A Case For The Young – By Tosin Ashafa

“Our answer is the world’s hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement of danger. It demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.”

 – Robert F. Kennedy, South Africa, 6-6-1966


I want to first start by saying that I am a young man and my passion is linked to seeing young people defy norms and conventions to blaze trails and herald new vistas. I love the youth “age group.” It’s quite a league in itself. There’s just this sometimes unexplainable energy. You just have to love them.


And in the times when I can articulate a reason for my love for youths, I feel that the reason I like this particular group of people is because they are old enough to envisage and comprehend their life, why they are in a certain situation, and how they arrived there.


They are frequently willing to look at the prospect of change and go with the flow, through the phases. And, they can generally discuss their feelings, even though it is in an outburst of anger. They are receptive to new and fresh ideas and are willing to share these ideas of theirs with you. And, like every person, I have something to learn from each of them!


I have had the privilege of listening to a lot of short, positive and powerful speeches from young people. You know, so often we hear about youths talking but almost rarely do we pause to hear from them. Things I have heard have ranged from person after person sending messages that they care about the earth, their community, each other, and the future.


Youths are deeply associated with one another and they are proud of their varied heritage. They are keen, lucid and they don’t pull any punches when they tell adults just what they see.


In my journey through life and in the process of trying to comprehend the transformation that has characterized the digital age, and investigating the opportunities that abound in helping youths prepare for their integration into civic and political life, I have concluded that civic engagement and political participation stresses the interplay between individual growth, organizations, networks, communities, and platforms.


Like my father, I decided long ago that I would turn myself into a “platform” that facilitates the interplay I talked about in the concluding part of the previous paragraph. I have become a model of civic education that leverages on youth enthusiasm for digital tools and the networked life.


I have chosen to support my peers and younger individuals that want to participate in the political and governance system in Nigeria. I have opted to be a source of morale booster, financial and logistical centre where they can draw on tools that they need to use effectively for civic purposes.


My involvement in politics has proven to be more effective and result-oriented when I’m behind the scene and my passion for the advancement of young dynamic individuals in the politics of Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole is really unmatched.


If we want young people to become more engaged and become effective civic actors, then all youths need to be provided with civic learning environments that are “connected and participatory,” and all youths need to engage in practices that offer a range of civic learning opportunities enabled by new media. This is my humble opinion.


The Importance of Youth in Politics


A quick look at a “global” list of what has been termed as “issues in youth politics” according to politicians, the media and some other sources illustrates some interesting perspectives e.g. Age of candidacy, Child labor laws/Right-to-work laws, Climate Change, Drinking age, Driving age, Education policy/reform, Environmental issues, Healthcare, Immigration, Minors and abortion, National service, School reform, Student rights, Youth vote, etc.


Unfortunately, youths are termed culprits when only a minority of people create social disruptions. Since most youths are generally self-motivated and want to do well in everything they get involved in, doesn’t this mean that they could excel in politics, leadership and governance? This is a question for us to take home.


When we open up the conversation space by allowing youths to voice their opinions, there could be a chance that we would be opening up, moving and deepening the political space. This is not only good for society, but necessary for society.


If the young do not engage in politics, even through pressure groups, imagine the chaos our political establishments would be thrown into just attempting to keep policy impartial and sustainable for coming generations.


Take, for instance, the pertinent issue of rape and sexual harassment, it would be required that many young women engage with the issue at hand because it is an issue a lot of women (young and old) are quite opinionated about.


I would love to end this article by asserting that if as a society, we have not done enough for the youths of today to get involved with politics and, as a large portion of our society, they should be allowed more access to politics to shape the world they live in, I will continue to walk in the steps of my father who mastered the approach of identifying young talents with the ability and the potential to move this nation forward.


Basheer Tosin Ashafa is a real estate / social entrepreneur with a strong interest in the early involvement of youths in politics. He can be reached via basheerashafa@rioconstructionng.com 

Politics is the worst profession in Africa, says deputy senate leader.

Bala Na’Allah, deputy senate leader, says politics is the worst profession anyone can venture into in Africa, “particularly in Nigeria”.

In an interview with DAILY TRUST, Na’Allah who represents Kebbi south, said most public figures find it difficult to take care of their basic needs after leaving office.

“Politics is the worst profession anybody can venture into in Africa, particularly in Nigeria,” he said.

“Look around you to see how former ministers, former senators, former reps are finding it difficult to take care of their basic needs.

“The fact that when you come to the senate or house, banks give you loans to be deducted in four years from your salaries and allowances is not it. You live big only during that period, but go and find out how the politicians live, one year after leaving office.

“A lot of people don’t understand that apart from your salaries and allowances, except if you are a criminal or corrupt, you are not likely to leave the senate or house with anything. It will even be worse if at the end of your tenure you aspire to either maintain your position or for a bigger office.”

The legislator also spoke on his love for flying, saying pilots in Nigeria earn more than legislators in the national assembly.

“You could say I delved into flying when my son challenged me,” he said.

“When we brought the aircraft here and he told me that flying is difficult, I told him that nothing is difficult in my life. So I decided to go back to school. Luckily for me, I started flying solo at only 11 hours and everybody was surprised.

“As it is now, my entire family, excluding my wife, are in the Aviation Industry. My daughter is in flying school in Ilorin, Kwara state and my second son is already in the United States, also flying.

“I have five pilots who fly for me. Except for the last one we took, I’m sure that there is none of them who does not earn more than what I do in the national assembly.

“Nigeria is one of the countries where pilots take the highest pay, how and why it is so, I don’t know. What a captain receives in America, may probably be half of what a captain receives in Nigeria. And that is the truth.”

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigns

John Key, the New Zealand Prime Minister and leader of the National party, has resigned.

According to The Telegraph, announcing his resignation, Key said, he did not see himself as a career politician and had “nothing left in the tank”.He cited family reasons as one of the factors in his decision and had reportedly been asked to resign by Bronagh, his wife of 32 years.

His resignation will be effective from 12 December, when National MPs will meet to select a new leader.


I’m worried by political situation in South Sudan – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed displeasure over the disturbing political developments in South Sudan which had lingered due to the non-implementation of peace accord signed by the leaders.

Buhari, however, said that Nigeria would keep following up events in the country to ensure that the country regains stability.

The President, while receiving a Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan, Paul Malong Akaro, at the State House, Abuja yesterday, pointed out that delay in implementing the peace accord had affected the development of the country in spite of the lofty potentials for growth.

According to him, “I was a little disappointed with the subsequent developments in your country. I was hoping that we can move forward and develop the great potentials of your country after the peace accord.

“The African Union will continue to hold your leaders to account in implementing the peace process.

“And the leaders should be able to accommodate one another for the good of your people.”

Buhari further told the ambassador that the peace process would be most effective when accepted and implemented by leaders from within the country, without external interventions.

Buhari, who also received the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Malainine Sadik-Bachir, assured that Nigeria would continue to back the country as it strove to realize its goals of development.

He added, “You can be assured that Nigeria will remain steadfast in her support for Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. We will continue to do our best for you.

“In his remarks, the South Sudan ambassador, Mr. Akaro said the government of national unity in South Sudan was still committed to the peace process in the country.

“We know that the only way we can achieve stability and development is to implement the peace process. We are grateful for your support.”

“I’m not new in politics”, says Jimoh Ibrahim.

The factional governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the forthcoming election in Ondo State, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has declared that he is not new in the politics of the state.

He said he would not embark on an aggressive campaign to win the November 26 governorship election, saying he was on a familiar terrain

He stated this on Monday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while speaking with journalists.

Ibrahim, who was declared the candidate of the PDP by the Independent National Electoral Commission after receiving a court order, added that he would need little introduction to the electorate in the state.

He said, “This is not my first time of running for the governorship of the state. In 2003, I ran for the governorship election in the state under the All Nigeria Peoples Party. So, politics is not new to me and I’m not like those people who are running for the first time. I need not to do all the work by moving to all the nooks and crannies of Ondo State.

“I am not new to the people of Ondo State, I ran before and I had very impressive result at the last engagement when I ran for the governorship of this state. It is my ambition to become the governor of this state and I’m back to realise that ambition.”

Ibrahim, who described the Ahmed Makarfi faction’s candidate of the party, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), as new in the state politics, advised him “to take his time.”

He said, “It took me from 2008 to the present date to gain this political legitimacy. You cannot come just in one day and begin to think you can win election like that.”

Speaking on his plan for the people of the state if eventually elected, Ibrahim said he would give priority to the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and expose them to training and retraining.

He stated, “I need to take the state from the hopeless situation it is now to a very hopeful situation. I need to take away injustice, we cannot afford to have a senatorial district producing governors for 16 years at a go. That is injustice, that is hopeless and we will not allow that, and that will not happen in Ondo State.”

Husband Divorces Wife for Joining Different Political Party

A 44-year-old man, Iliasu Salami, on Thursday in Iseyin, Oyo State, lost his five-year-old marriage to irreconcilable political differences between him and his estranged wife, Rashidat.

Rashidat’s refusal to show up in court after several summonses and the evidences tendered by the husband on the political differences between them are enough to show that no love is lost between the couple, the President of a customary court, Chief Adelodun Oyegbenle, said.

“It is unfortunate that the defendant (Rashidat) did not attend any of the court proceedings despite court summonses.

“This court hereby dissolve the five-year-old union,” he ruled, and ordered Salami to pay N10,000 monthly upkeep allowance for the two children of the failed marriage.

Salami had approached the Iseyin Customary Court, seeking the dissolution of the marriage over allegations of disobedience and insubordination.

He told the court that his wife had no regard for him, adding that his opinions did not count in their affairs.

He said his wife joined a different political party against his instruction and wish. Salami, however, did not state his or ex-wife’s party.

“All efforts to resolve the issue by both families failed,” Salami said, and pleaded with the court to terminate the marriage.


Why We Are Selling Two Presidential Aircraft – Presidency

The Presidency on Tuesday confirmed the newspaper advertisements for the sale of two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.

Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

Shehu stated that the advertisements were duly authorised by the Presidency.

According to him, this is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that aircraft in the presidential air fleet be reduced to cut cost.

He said: “When he (President Buhari) campaigned to become President, then being APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, he promised to look at the presidential air fleet with a view to cutting down on waste.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he will like to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of government officials that go on special missions.

“This exercise is by no means complete.

“I am sure the Commander of Presidential air fleet will any time from now, call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some aircraft to the Air Force for their operations.”

The Presidential Aircraft Fleet contains 10 aircraft.

They are Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or AirForce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500) and two Falcons 7X.

Others are one Hawker Sidley 4000, two Agusta Westland AW 139 helicopters and two Agusta Westland AW 101 helicopter.

Politics Blamed For Delay In UN Aid Delivery To Syria

No humanitarian aid has entered Syria yet, the UN says, despite the de-escalation of violence across the country following the coming into effect of a nationwide ceasefire.

Al Jazeera has learned from diplomatic sources that no route for the delivery of aid has been agreed upon yet.

The Syrian foreign ministry on Tuesday said it would not allow any humanitarian aid to enter the rebel-held side of Aleppo without coordination with the Syrian government and the UN.

It said Turkish convoys in particular would not be allowed into Syria.

A diplomatic source, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, confirmed that the Turkish government’s involvement remains a major sticking point for the aid delivery.

“Politics is coming in the way of the delivery,” the source said.

Read More: aljazeera

Northern Christians Break Away From CAN, Form Northern Nigerian Christian Association

Northern Christians under the concerned Christians of Nigeria and Northern Nigerian Christians Sunday said recent political happenings and ‘corruption’ in the apex Christian body; the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has forced them to unanimously revert to what they described as the pre-independence Northern Nigerian Christian Association (NNCA).
Daily Trust reports that the controversy that led to the emergency of the new CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, had been condemned by some Christian leaders from the North who accused the past CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor, of deliberately frustrating the candidature of Rev. Jeremiah Gado of the TEKAN/ECWA bloc to prevent the emergence of a northerner.

However, in a joint press conference in Jos Rev. Luka Shehu of Concerned Christians of Nigeria and
Hon. Peter Luka of Northern Nigerian Christians said the decision to revert back to the Northern Nigerian Christians Association (NNCA) became necessary following what they described as the ‘travesty of justice, lies and manipulation’ that led to the emergence of Rev. Supo Ayokunle as CAN President, various acts of corruption by the leadership of CAN as well as neglect of northern Christians especially in the North-East.
“Considering our common shared values and peculiarities as Christians from CAN and after wide consultation among Christian leaders, traditional rulers, youths and women, we under this auspices from the north have unanimously decided to revert to the pre-independence Northern Nigeria Christian Association,” said the two groups.

I Joined Politics To Expose How Politicians Manipulate The Society – Oshiomole

Outgoing Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday revealed why he joined politics.


Speaking at an event, organised by the Kukah center: titled, “From activism to polical power: the challenges of democratic governance in Nigeria,” the former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, said he joined politics to understudy and expose how politicians manipulate and control societies.


According to Oshiomole, “I joined the ruling class, having been temporarily associated with them, for the purpose of studying them to know and expose the hidden things they use to manipulate and control societies. I will be able to say, you know, I know how what you did that time, how much you consumed.


On the issue of change promised by the current administration, the outgoing governor explained that it will take collaborative effort on the part of Nigerians. No one of us can change society through individual actions, because the order you seek to change is of ignorance but you need to appeal to it.


Those gaining from the order cannot be sermonized but by engagement you may probably defeat them,” he added.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Names His Wife As Running Mate

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has named his wife as his running mate and candidate for vice-president as he seeks re-election for a third term.

First Lady Rosario Murillo already has a prominent role as the chief government spokeswoman and is widely seen as sharing power with her husband.

She appears on Nicaraguan television almost every day.

Critics accuse the first couple of running Nicaragua – which has elections in November – like a personal fiefdom.

While President Ortega rarely speaks to the media, his wife is regularly seen on TV discussing policy and promoting her own brand of New Age spirituality.

Supporters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua (19 July 2016)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe president and his wife a re passionately supported by member of their Sandinista party

Mother of the president’s seven children, she is fluent in English and French in addition to being a renowned poet.

She also has a reputation for wearing colourfully extravagant outfits and jewellery more commonly seen in the hippy 1960s.

Correspondents say many Nicaraguans see Ms Murillo as wielding the most power in her country because of her higher public profile.

Husband and wife officially submitted their candidacy papers in the capital Managua, accompanied by the legal adviser of their Sandinista party.

Hundreds of Sandinista supporters cheered the couple when they left the building.

But opposition supporters are concerned her promotion may herald the rise of a new family dynasty in the impoverished Central American nation.

Mr Ortega, 70, is a former left-wing guerrilla who formed part of the government junta following the Sandinista revolution against the dictatorship of the Somoza family, which ruled Nicaragua for four decades.

The Cuban-inspired Sandinistas seized power in 1979.

The party lost elections in the 1990s, but Mr Ortega returned to power in January 2007, after a successful election campaign.

Amaechi, Fayemi, Others Want Youths In Politics

Nigerian youths have been tasked to participate more in the political system of Nigeria in order to witness a developmental growth under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal government. Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who gave the admonition at the weekend in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said the importance of youths to Nigeria democratic system cannot be shunned.

Amaechi, who was also represented by the Senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial district, Ajayi Borroffice, noted that the youths would not be neglected in the present government of the APC. The Minister spoke at a youth programme tagged: “The Roles of the Youth as Progressive Change Agents” organised by All Progessives Congress (APC) Youth League, Southwest Zone of the country. He said that more participation of the youths in the politics would help enhance them to map out strategies and ideas that could fast-track the change mantra of the All progressives Congress led government. “We need more youths in all legislative houses both at state level and federal level because they are agents of progressive change”

Amaechi said. He added that over 70 per cent of Nigerians were youths who have various potentials and could contribute to the development of the country but expressed dismay that most of them were unemployed. The Transport Minister, however, noted that the incumbent All Progressives Congress at the federal level was fully determined to make amendment and provide more jobs for the youths in the country. “If we do not start to build on youths now for future, then Nigeria will be in danger and it is left for our leaders to use youths in driving development and goals.

“There are characteristics of youths that must be employed to make the future brighter,” he said. Earlier, Minister of Mine and Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said that the youths should constitute themselves into opinion groups that would shape the country for better. Fayemi, who was represented by Mr Abiodun Omoleye, added that they should prepare for leadership role and not be used as political thugs, saying that they should stand up for their right because leadership starts now.

The Southwest coordinator of APC Youth League, Adeoye Aribasoye, stated that youths should not be used and dumped by politicians after election but be engaged in profitable business that could promote enhance their potentials.

Credit: DailyTimes

CCT Trial: Senators Vow To Stand By Saraki, Say Calls For His Resignation Is Mischievous

Members of the Senate have vowed to stand by Senate President Bukola Saraki as he goes through his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal CCT. In a statement released through its spokesperson, Abdullahi Sabi, the Senators said they maintain that his trial is a political vendetta and that calls for his resignation is premature, mischievous and unwarranted. The statement reads:

“Following a meeting held in Abuja yesterday (Sunday) by some senators and the wide consultations with our colleagues in which we reviewed last Friday’s decision of the Supreme Court in the appeal on the preliminary matters filed by the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on the charges filed against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), we hereby resolve as follows: That from the beginning of the trial last September, we have declared that this case is not about any fight against corruption. It is simply a case of political vendetta. Our position remains the same. We still believe that the case is politically motivated. We also noted that the decision of the Supreme Court given last Friday was on preliminary matters arising from the commencement of the trial. The trial proper is yet to begin. And since the fundamental principle in our legal system is that a defendant is deemed innocent until proven guilty, we have decided to patiently observe the proceedings until the case runs its full circle in the nation’s final judicial forum. It is on this ground that we want to state categorically that there is no basis for the call on the Senate President to resign until after the matter is decided in that final judicial forum. Such a call at this time is premature, mischievous and unwarranted. We therefore reiterate our support for Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the President of the Senate. We stand by him as he goes through the trial at the CCT where we believe he will be able to prove his innocence. We also call on members of the public to ignore the rantings of a few Senators who having failed to get the wish of their sponsors done on the floor of the Senate are now launching media campaign against the leadership of the Senate. We want members of the public to know that the Senate under Dr. Saraki has achieved stability in the legislative institution and we do not need any negative distraction at this point. The focus of the Senate is on the objective consideration and timely passage of the 2016 budget and we will want all Nigerians to support us as we concentrate on this important assignment. We also want to say that we will not make any further statement on this case until the matter has been decided in the final judicial forum.”

Gimba Kakanda: Aisha Yesufu; Victim Of Partisan Savagery

Aisha Yesufu has been in the news for the right reasons. What got her in the line of partisan fire was her account of the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and parents of the abducted girls of Chibok, which she witnessed and reported last week. She wasn’t impressed, and wasn’t also afraid to admit so. For this brave indiscretion, a tribe of partisans has risen and formed a counterforce against her activism. Their outrage was a betrayal of what she advocates as a strong pillar of the #BBOG campaign. 

Aisha is a private citizen, businesswoman, wife and mother. She’s an advocate of good governance, she is not a member of the political establishment. I know her well enough to express that she hano political affiliation, nor ambition.  Born and bred in Kano, she’s of Edo State descent. A sketch of her biography is all one needs to realise the extent of her sacrifice in a clime of “federal character principles”, where the cartographers of ethno-religious bigotries will never even let her aspire to a political office. One may thus see now why she’s misunderstood by the fire-spitting minions who always lurk around to pounce on any critic of Buhari.

Her account of the meeting portrayed the President as emotionally absent and his Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Aisha Jummai Alhassanas contemptuous, insensitive and mischievous. Even Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, in challenging reports that the President left the meeting visibly angry, corroborated claims that parents of the missing girls present “didn’t feel him”. Both the President and his Minister, according to various accounts, were uninspiring. The summary of the meeting was: the group was mounting too much pressure on the government even though the abduction took place in the last administration.

On Twitter, Maureen, another extraordinarily resilient member of BBOG, reported a troubling exchange between Aisha Alhassan and Aisha Yesufu. The Minister, according to Maureen, asked grieving parents to leave everything to God. In their defence, Aisha Yefusu asked why she went to court and not God on losing the Governorship election in TarabaState. Poignant!

If there’s one voice I will always regard as unquestionably credible in this campaign, it has to be Aisha Yesufu‘s. Unlike the others who’ve had a stint with a government or have been politicians, she IS neutral to partisan allegiances. She’s only pitched tent with the better alternative, and furiously supported Candidate Muhammadu Buhari in the period running up to the 2015 general elections.

Some of the cyber-thugs who have taken up a challenge to shame her, have never done in their entire life what she does in a single day, committing, for the about 750 days past, her hard-earned resources to advocating for the rescue of our Chibok girls. At the time many were reluctant to lending their voice to the story of the abduction, she emerged from absolute oblivion and challenged the Jonathan-led government to be honest in admitting its poor response to the condition of citizens abducted in northeast Nigeria.

Of Chibok girls, while some bigoted people attempted to deemphasize them for being mostly Christians, this Muslim woman defied the polarizing scheme of mediocrity in championing what has now become symbolic. She drew the attention of the world to the previously overlooked cases of abduction of our innocent citizens in that terrorist-infested region. She was so notorious in her confrontations with Jonathanians that when the veteran journalist, Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf, died in a stampede in Saudi Arabia, some, mistaking Bilkisu for Aisha, put up a picture of of the latter to celebrate the death. Because she was a bogey to those agents of darkness who promoted the tragedy that was Goodluck Jonathan.

Aisha’s only flaw, which her critics fail or refuse to recognise, is that she’s not politically correct. Unlike Dr. ObyEzekwesiliwho’s friends with prominent people in our political establishment, she does not belong in the elite class, and doesn’t give a damn how she’s perceived by them.

A day to ministerial inauguration, Barr. Solomon Dalung, then a ministerial designate, was at the BBOG sit-out, and Aisha, being Aisha, looked him in the eyes and said, “You are one of us. Tomorrow you will be a part of them. We don’t know your portfolio yet, but we want you to represent our interests there. And if you don’t… ” And then she shook her head. Dalung got her message.

This is the Aisha these partisans who have never done anything different to promote justice in this country seek to shame. It doesn’t matter to them that her account of theBBOG group’s meeting with President Buhari was simply her honest perception of the man’s attitude towards them. She hadn’t come to look at a deity in reverance, but to meet ahuman elected to do better than a failed human before him.

Some of her traducers, in the last bid of their desperation to shame her, resorted to sharing a 5-minute video of Aisha Alhassan to present the events of a meeting that lasted for hours. I hope they see the cruelty of their mischief. And those who are asking the campaigners to “give up and face reality”, such damning absurdity is not a surprise coming from partisan savages. I just hope they know what it means to imagine their own biological daughter alive, and being abused, among a cult of their fellow savages who differ from them only in the style of their savagery

If the girls of Chibok were of famous surnames, children of the criminally wealthy somebodies of MaitamaAsokoro and Aso Drive districts of Abuja, and abducted at Loyola Jesuit, Whiteplains British School, El-Amin International School, International Community School or Nigerian Turkish International College, there would never have been a loss or lack of intelligence on their whereabouts, and no government would ever risk not making them its priority. That we have a kind-hearted woman such as Aisha Yesufu, who’s neither a politician nor political, losing her resources and health to amplify the voice and publicise the agonies of the nobodies whose children were abducted, is one heroism we ought to support. May God save us from us! 


By Gimba Kakanda 

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

Henry Onyidoh: Getting Around Office Bad Belles

Call it (or them) any name you want – saboteurs, haters, opposition, people with pull-down-at-any-cost syndrome, enemies of progress; but it all boils down to bad belle people, of whom the master rapper, Mister Incredible (M.I) has made quite a huge diss about. You encounter this type of people in every facet of life, and most especially in your place of work, and more often than not you’ve relegated them to the background, where nothing they say seems to matter anymore. Imagine a colleague with whom you are having this type of relationship with, the person who makes every innocent conversation edgy. Whatever seems to be the topic of discussion this person is always in the opposition and attacks everything you say and do, even when it is the least of things you consider harmful. How about I tell you there’s a way to go round this person without the “usual” frontal offensive, which is common.

In every scenario you can imagine, the most annoying would to be a moment when having filed in a report or a presentation to your boss, you’re seated on your desk feeling accomplished, then all of a sudden a head pops up from the side and says: “I happen to see the draft report you sent, and there are sooooo many mistakes. Come over let me share some ideas with you to make it better.”

It makes you want to scream in anger. All sorts of reactions and thought would pop up: “See this one, how she get my report sef?” “He just happens to sit down and mark all my mistakes, busy-body.” “She thinks she’s so smart, telling me to come let’s make it better; ITK.”

Now, erase that person off your mind, and instead, imagine another colleague with whom you’re friendly with; that person who always got your back. This is someone you go to for advice and always a delight when you deliberate on important issues. Once you have this person in mind, imagine this scenario: You’re seated on your desk, then all of a sudden a head pops up from the side and says: “I happen to see the draft report you sent, and there are so many mistakes. Come over let me share some ideas with you on how to make it better.”

You feel pleased, appreciative, and looking forward to the conversation, right? You may even long for the discourse and jot down more questions in anticipation. That’s how intensely your assumptions and predispositions affect your perceptions. And after the conversation might have ended, the truth is that most of the time, the exact same message from the two different people leads to radically different outcomes. With the perceived bad belle, you assume the worst. Your mentality, your reaction and body language become negative and impervious. The “adversary” being human would get defensive and hostile upon seeing your behaviour. The corresponding faceoff justifies more adversarial attitude from you, and as a result status-quo is maintained, trust is further eroded, while the organization is worse for it.

However, with your paddy; your “five and six,” you assume the best, your conversation and actions are open, your ideas are laid bare without fear of criticisms, you share, learn, trust grows and the end product makes the work and organization better. You then wonder why you can’t get along with the “bad-belle.” The missing antidote in you is mind-set, mindfulness, mentality. It is the best antidote to reverse the destructive dynamics going on between you two. Being mindful of the assumptions you make gives you an opportunity to reverse the ills of your prejudices.

Paying attention to how you react to your colleagues actions, would give you some clues on why your heart race, why you clench your fists, why you raise your voice, why you shut down and back off whenever that person appears, speaks or offers help. Each time you experience this, stop and ask yourself, what is going on with you? Why have you inferred that whatever he/she does or say would be negative? In the end you would notice that the most intense reactions are often triggered by assuming what the other person thinks or infers about your character or capability. By becoming aware of your negative assumptions is a valuable, but “uncomfortable” step in addressing the issue.

Next step is addressing the logic. Once you are aware of your default conclusion, the next and easiest step is to replace your assumption(s) with a more productive hypothesis. Instead of assuming they see themselves as being too smart to highlight your mistakes, change your logic into thinking that they are actually be concerned for you due to the standard and scope your boss wants the report to accomplish. Or they’re actually looking out for you by making sure you didn’t present a report full of errors. Such alternative logic would make you more generous and empathetic, needed to generate a productive conversation. Make the same inference for yourself, fill your mind with thoughts that; “I haven’t put in enough work, despite my big brains.” This will ensure that you would be more receptive and have an open mind to ideas which would widen your aptitude.

 Lastly, to crown this approach, you need to show superficially the curiosity you are modelling internally. To demonstrate your honesty to a colleague’s perspective, ask questions: Why do you disagree with the data on the document? Why do you think the report should take a different course? It will be amazing to see how your discussion would be transformed to a more constructive dialogue; from a tug-of-war over who is right to two people genuinely trying to solve a problem. Only when you change your mind-set would you be able to make more positive assumptions and start getting over your prejudices, so you can choose a more constructive path, albeit in the office; the neighbourhood bad belles can wait.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

I’m Not In APC To Take Anybody’s Place –Nwobodo

A former Minister of Information and governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, has told members of the All Progressives Congress in Enugu State not to feel threatened by his defection to the party.

Nwobodo, a former senator and presidential aspirant on the platform of his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, said he did not come into the APC to take anybody’s place.

There were insinuations that some APC members in Enugu State were uncomfortable with Nwobodo’s admission into the party.

There were reports that the said aggrieved members voiced their dissatisfaction during a recent meeting, reportedly convened by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Jeffrey Onyeama, where Nwobodo declared his membership of the APC.

However, dismissing the insinuations, Nwobodo, who spoke through his media consultant, Mr. Nwobodo Onyekwere, said he was not in the party to rock the boat, particularly at the state level.

The former Sports minister also said he would not lord it over the party members at the state level.

According to Nwobodo, all members of the party in Enugu State should join hands together to reposition the APC in the state, instead of nursing needless concerns over positions.

“Some unidentified ‘’stakeholders’’ had allegedly voiced opposition, criticism and/or objection to Chief Nwobodo’s admission into the APC. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

“If indeed there were any such dissenting voices at that gathering, such disgruntled person(s) ought to come into the open.

“As all neutral witnesses would bear out, the whole duration of the occasion was devoid of any untoward or unsavoury incidents.

“Chief Nwobodo has left the PDP to join the APC, strictly on principle and for the good of his people.

“He hasn’t joined to take anybody’s place or lord it over anybody.

“There is no need for anybody or group already in the party to feel unsafe or threatened by his entry, as everybody’s preoccupation should be how to reposition the party in the state for greater goals and/or results,” Nwobodo said through his media consultant.

He added that the APC leadership in Enugu State had assured members that measures were being taken to bring to book, persons found to be responsible for the ‘false’ insinuations that his membership was not welcomed by some members of the party in the state.

He said,”Those involved in this treachery know themselves and are also aware they have been unmasked.”

Uwazuruike Apologises To The North, Says Biafra Protests Politically Motivated

Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Biafra (MASSOB) Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, yesterday apologised to people of the South-east and northerners living in the region over the recent killings and burning of mosque.
Protest by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) last week, led to killing of about five people and destruction of property in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri, Imo State, Uwazuruike disassociated members of MASSOB from the protest.
He said the group was against violence and that it was the first to speak about Biafra. Uwazuruike described the protest in the zone as politically motivated, adding that those involved “were expelled
from the group because of their reckless action and dubious character”.
He said: “We are apologizing to people of the South-east and Hausas in the region, who were affected by the protest. What they have done is violent and may even endanger the lives of many Igbos in the North”.
Uwazuruike added, “During the protest, shops were closed down and houses were burnt. That behaviour has even caused people to dislike the struggle”.
He flayed Nnamdi Kanu, for using the Biafra radio station to preach hate messages against the Nigerian government.
“Why must heaven fall because Nnamdi Kanu was arrested? What happened to Benjamin Oneuka who has been in prison because of Biafra?” he said.
He also tackled the Department of Security Service for “refusing to release the Nnamdi Kanu after the Federal High Court granted him bail”.

Source: DailyTrust

We Will Halt Money Bag Politics In PDP- Secondus

The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has said the present National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is pursuing an agenda to revolutionise the party so that the idea of money-bag politicians dictating things in the party will be eliminated.

Secondus who spoke on Tuesday while receiving the head of International Republican Institute (IRI) in his office at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, also urged the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to ensure free and fair conduct of the Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship elections.

Speaking on some of the reforms being introduced in the PDP, Secondus said the era of automatic ticket for aspirants vying for elective positions is over.

“Our intention is to make our primaries zero expensive, so that nobody will induce anybody. My agenda is to revolutionise the party so that the idea of money bag controlling the party will be eliminated. We want every member to participate in the party activities by paying their dues. Through this, we can eliminate the class syndrome and bring the party to the people. The party belong to all and should not be in the hands of few money bag. The party must be returned to the people,” he said.

Credit: ThisDay

Ajiroba Oladipupo: Justin Trudeau, Canada Elections And The Nigerian Experience

I have been inundate with comments on the recently concluded elections in Canada that saw 43 years old, and leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau emerging as the next Prime Minister of Canada. Having been on ground and actively involved across different platforms on governance and political issues in Canada, to an extent, can give account of what transpired.

Justin Trudeau rode to victory on the back of many young people that bought his vision for post-secondary education and love his charismatic sense. Also, significant migrant community, especially from the Caribbean supported him on account of the immigration policies implemented during his father’s tenure as a Prime Minister. In other words, there was a track record that spurred him to victory. Many candidates across the party platforms were supported by ordinary citizens without any hope for compensation. Personally, I put in many hours voluntarily to canvass for my choice candidate and even donated my hard earned money for the campaign.

Fast forward to Nigeria, what do we have? Noise makers well divided along ethnic and/ or religious lines. Lazy young people who seek patronage from old political figures, praise singing and ready to their dirty biddings for pea nuts. Even when this same set of people who have been raping them for many years are being tried, the armies of jobless citizens are ready to protest and are fast to tell us their masters are being witch-hunted.

It is often said that one cannot eat his or her cake and have it and the same time. This is particularly true in the Nigerian case where citizens look forward to enjoy patronage during election period, and at the same time expect such elected officials deliver on good governance. If we are to see any change, then the followers must withdraw from the bilateral symbiotic relationship it enjoys with the political leaders. If this does not happen, let us forget it, we all will write, talk, shout and die and yet nothing will ever change.

The young people as a matter of urgency, must sit up and start being pro-active. The willingness to be a tool in the hands of these political leaders must cease henceforth. Money politics must be discouraged, and citizens with genuine agenda to promote general prosperity of all must be encouraged to get elected. Governance is not a rocket science, and we can get it right if bold enough to do what is right.
Time to start walking the talk is here. Nigerian youths must arise and send the old politicians away.

Oladipupo is a member of Leak Times Editorial Board and a Nigerian Sustainable Development Expert currently based in Toronto, Canada.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Tribunal Sacks Lawmaker, Bans Him From Politics For Life

The National and State House of Assembly Election Tribunal for Plateau State has nullified the election of a member of the state House of Assembly representing Langtang South, Mr Vincent Bulus.

The tribunal also banned the lawmaker from contesting for any election for life.

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 House of Assembly Election. Mr. Jackson Danladi, had filed a petition before the Tribunal challenging the victory of Bulus in the election, alleging that the lawmaker was an ex-convict.

Delivering judgment, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice O O Akeredolu, said the respondent was not qualified to contest the election having been convicted of an offence in line with Section 107(1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Justice Akeredolu said: “The respondent, having been convicted of an offence involving fraud and dishonesty by a court of law, was not qualified to contest the election into the Plateau State House of Assembly to represent Langtang South constituency.

“That the election and return of the first respondent as member of Plateau State House of Assembly to represent Langtang South is a nullify.”

Credit: Tribune

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 www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Tope Adesipo: NANS; Can This Rotten Organization Be Redeemed?

The rot in NANS is huge and phenomenal. NANS has completely lost its legitimacy, reputation and mass base as actions in recent times have plunged it into. The most recent is the award it gave a wanted drug baron Buruji Kashamu .worst still, most students do not even know it exists anymore. For years now, successive leaderships of NANS have been completely anti-struggle and pro-state and sometimes attack dogs for politicians. In January 2012 during the widely-supported general strike and mass protest against fuel subsidy removal, NANS stood out shamefully on the side of Jonathan’s anti-people government. As if that was not enough, during the 2013 ASUU strike NANS again stood on the side of the government.  the struggles that have broken out over the past 10 years or more in the student movement over issues of fee hikes, victimization, welfare conditions and other education attacks, NANS has had little or no role to play. In many cases, these struggles have occurred because students on campuses organized or mobilized on their own to compel their local unions to fight.The condition of the student movement is evidently not alright. For close to 20 years the student movement has lacked a vibrant and fighting national leadership the ideological and political decay of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)is glaring to the least onlooker.the big question is  can the organization ever be revived? 
The organization structure is splits into zones, Joint campus committee and Local unions (SUG) there are four zones, the National president is the head and first member of the Association. respective SUG presidents,forms the legislative arm called the senate of the Nans. one rather appalling side is the fact that while one expects the president of the Senate to be chosen from amongst the SUG presidents, an outsider according to the Nans Constitution is elected as Senate president. The senate are supposed to meet regularly under normal condition but as it is today, NANS senate meetings are hardly held. The conventions, which are now held in choice hotels instead of on campus, are theaters of war with different contestants heavily funded by parties and politicians arming cultists to gain victory. my experience in Uyo in 2012, was brutal. The convention was fixed for University of Uyo, we had all gathered at the campus. waiting to be accredited, we waited for 3 days to start accreditation. no communication on the reason why. After the frustration became so unbearable, we gathered a few progressive voices to protest the treatment, poor organization before we could start the convention on the 4th day. when we did start, we were told that we can not make use of the university of Uyo premises anymore. we had to make alternative arrangements to use the Uyo township stadium.
One thing which struck me at Uyo is the age of those parading at that convention as Nans stakeholders or something. they were in their 40s. some of us who were genuine students leaders and  young were few. genuine students or activists don’t want to attend because of the violent nature of NANS meetings and conventions. there were too many gun shot flying around. you can not be chicken hearted to be in that place at that time. Ordinarily given its complete disconnection from the rank and file, NANS should have ceased to exist altogether. However it has some unique features which have sustained it till now. This is the mutual interests of the NANS leadership and the some leadership of local unions in using the platform to negotiate for payment from governments and politicians. NANS is like a huge meal ticket. This is why despite its complete disconnection, NANS can still attract attendance of local unions at its convention most of whom are always mobilized with money and with each candidate providing hotel accommodation for their supporters.
But NANS cannot just be simplified to the question of genuine young students leaders taking the leadership alone. In any case, the rot in NANS is not just the product of the successive pro-state elements who have continuously occupied its leadership for years now. The enduring rot in NANS also has something to do with the ideological retreat in the student movement over the past 20 years which is a product of many factors including, but not restricted to, consistent attacks by the school management and government against student activists and students organizations. All this has caused low level of consciousness among students, a condition which best suits and sustains the  guys running  the local unions and NANS. The level of consciousness has to always guide and define what genuine activists can do and cannot, this means not tailing as well as not going beyond what present level of consciousness can achieve or sustain. Without building a movement around those issues that immediately affect students (like issues of inadequate hostel accommodation, fee hike, bad welfare conditions etc.) and linking this with the need to reclaim NANS, any efforts no matter how sincere to win leadership of NANS will end up in futility as most students will see it as the least important of their problems. Only an effort to reclaim NANS that is backed by mass arousal and mobilization of students can win and this is impossible without building a movement first around issues of education attacks from which students consciousness can be raised to comprehend the task of reclaiming NANS or forming a new platform.

Again, an association that is not financially independent can never be truly independent of politicians. NANS have no bank account. the Treasurer and the financial secretary exist as figure heads albeit to pursue money from politicians also. no annual due like it is collected by the local unions. the association rely on monies they can get from politicians to survive. in redeeming NANS, there has to be structural changes and this is where all students and even all former students leaders must take keen interest. Nans has to be funded independently. we must change the structure. let each students in Nigeria pay a token of 100 naira to the organization’s purse.
Simply fighting electorally to hijack leadership of NANS from these elements that see nothing wrong in giving a wanted drug baron an award for Man of the year or declaring an alternative faction is not enough to begin to revive the student movement. What is needed is patient work of building an independent mass movement from below that has roots in the rank and file and that can begin to challenge attacks on education, support pro people issues while linking this with the task of changing the leadership of NANS or building an alternative platform and also structural changes..
Former President of the students Union Federal university of Agriculture Abeokuta
@tope414 on twitter
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Sola Ajibola: The Case For Youth Inclusion in Top Government Positions In Nigeria

To many Nigerians, ‘Change’ has finally come and to some others, every move by the new government must be critiqued.

The overall interest of Nigerians is priority and as such, it is important that we do not take the usual route of praise singing or blind criticism of the current administration, but point out salient issues that have held the nation bound for years.

The general elections has come and gone, but it is safe to say the campaign period did not only leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some potential political neophytes, but also laid emphasis to the marginalization of the youth demographic (between the ages of 25-39) holding elective positions across the country.

There were many debates about the impact of age and effect of youthful ideas as it affects governance during the campaigns and anyone who is truthful will know that Nigeria ignores the input of the youth in politics and especially in governance.

The case for socio economic inclusion cannot be overemphasized, there is an urgent so need for youth participation in government both at the state and federal level.

Anthony Enahoro was 27 years old when he led the struggle for independence after the death of Herbert Macaulay. The late sage Obafemi Awolowo was 37 and Nnamdi Azikiwe was 42 at the time.

Nigeria’s political history cannot be written without the contribution of the youth, from the time of the 1966 coup led by Ifeanyi Kaduna Nzeogu who was 29 to the time of President Muhammadu Buhari who became a governor at 24 and at 31, was already a head of state.

Many of the military administrators who governed the states under the successive military regimes were below 30 years of age at the time. A number of them are still relevant even up to the current administration.

Even the brief democratic dispensation which interjected the military interregnums also saw the House of Representatives in particular populated majorly by members under 30.

Today, Nigeria’s growing youth demographic make up over 40% of the population with little or no significant representation in government. As much as the wisdom of the elderly is needed in the nation building process, the strength, ideas and versatility of the youth cannot be overlooked.

The world is changing fast and Nigeria need not be left behind.
The power of the youth was brought to bare in the last elections which visibly changed the dynamics. The youth took the campaign to social media, facilitated voters registration and created voter monitoring awareness platforms  which clearly determined the eventual winners.

Consequently, It is only natural to have fair representation of the youth in government based on the value added during the elections.

Nigeria is losing out by failing to harness the untapped potentials of this vibrant 40%. At this point in our democracy, it will not be out of place to have a law in the constitution that ensures youth inclusion in government especially leadership roles such as; Cabinet/Ministerial positions, MDA heads, commissioner roles among others.

In the absence of a law however,  it is not too late for progressive change.

In mentoring the next generation of leaders, It is imperative going forward that the President Buhari led Federal Government lead by ensuring there is significant youth representation in his cabinet.

Same can be done at the state level for example, in cosmopolitan Lagos led by Governor  Ambode and even Govenor el-Rufai in Kaduna who both have shown to be of progressive mindsets.

The inclusion of intelligent young people in cabinet positions will send a clear message that the youth will no longer be taken for granted and are partners to effect positive change by bringing fresh ideas to governance.

We all are aware of the stellar
performances of former Governor of Cross River State Donald Duke and former EFCC boss Nuhu Ribadu who held top government positions at a young age and performed exceptionally.

In conclusion, it is essential that we earnestly tap the ideas of the younger generation by ensuring they have greater opportunities to participate in governance and decision making after all, it is popularly said that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow.

Sola Ajibola


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

No Man Turns Me On Except My Husband- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Ex-model and award-winning actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde in a new interview with New Telegraph said she has never been attracted to any man other than her husband. She also made known her wish to have Buhari scrap NYSC. Excerpts:

  • Have you ever been been attracted to any man apart from your husband?

No! I’ve never been attracted to any man other than my husband. My husband is sweet; he’s very cute, handsome and attractive. He’s the one man I have always been attracted to all my life.

  • What do you have for those who have been wishing that your marriage had hit the rocks a long time ago?

They should keep wishing. That’s all I have to say.

  • Three things you cherish about your husband.

Oh my hero, my pillar of support, my ever cute captain. I admire and respect him for his calmness, dignity and his love and fear for God. So much I cherish about him, he’s one in a million.

  • Do you still wash your husband’s clothes and cook for him?

Well, he’s sitting next to me (pointing at her husband). Maybe, you should ask him.

  • What advice do you have for President Muhammadu Buhari?

He should scrap NYSC. It’s not useful, he should please do that for Nigerians. Our children don’t need it anymore.

  • Why do you want NYSC scrapped, knowing fully well it’s a national orientation programme?

I have looked at the programme thoroughly and exactly what it’s supposed to have achieved over the years. Believe me, there is no credible or tangible result. It’s a total waste of time and resources and I think all the time and resources should be channelled into something more resourceful.

For instance, I have had situations where some members of my staff, in the name of NYSC, left for a year only to come back and their spaces had been taken by another. You can imagine. NYSC is not just adding any value to our society or even to the lives of our children. I am of the opinion that it should be scrapped.

  • So what other useful and relevant programmes do you suggest?

Skills acquisition. We have had situations whereby the young ones, after graduation, are with no jobs. They start roaming the streets or even go into crime to survive. This is an urgent situation that needs to be addressed.
Let us make good plans for our children, instead of going to waste a whole year of their struggle, claiming they are serving their fatherland. They should be trained and equipped with skills. That way, their future is secure.

  • If you were offered a ticket to contest for the seat of a governor in your state and it’s confirmed you will win, would you consider the offer?

I won’t accept the offer; but maybe, if it’s in Lagos, I will accept the offer

Soyinka Is More Of A Successful Hunter Than A Political Critic- Obasanjo Re Echoes Opinion

Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has repeated once again that Professor Wole Soyinka is more of a successful aparo (guinea fowl) hunter than a political critic. He repeated it on a programme tagged ‘Book Club’ on Channels. It will be recalled that in his book, My Watch, the former president had said;

“For Wole, no one can be good, nor can anything be spot-on politically except that which emanates from him or is ordained by him. His friends and loved ones will always be right and correct no matter what they do or fail to do. He is surely a better wine connoisseur and a more successful aparo (guinea fowl) hunter than a political critic.”

The professor however replied him last year December, shortly after the book went public, in a piece titled ‘Watch And Pray, Watch And Prey’, where he vehemently protested the description of him, calling Obasanjo an expert liar, who lies to boost his ego.

But repeating what he had earlier said, Obasanjo in the interview said;

“Wole Soyinka is a gifted man. I have always acknowledged that but he is a bad politician and I have also always said that; and that is my own point of view. He may agree with it, he may not agree with it.

“But having said that, I also, in my book, bring out Wole Soyinka as I see him and that’s my own judgment; that’s my own perspective of him. He may agree, he may not agree but anybody can bring out his own perspective of me.

“For instance, I know that if I want somebody to give me the best wine, one of the people I will go to is Wole Soyinka and I know he has a taste for good wine and I said that in the book.”

List Of States Absent At Pres. Buhari’s Meeting With State Governors

Currently President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are meeting with all state governors.


The meeting, holding inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, is the first of its kind since Buhari’s inauguration on May 29.

However due to one reason or the other, the following states aren’t at the meeting according to PUNCH:

  • Abia
  • Bauchi
  • Enugu
  • Nasarawa

The states in attendance are Rivers, Ogun, Imo, Gombe, Benue, Delta, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kogi, Borno and Jigawa.

Others were governors of Kebbi, Kwara, Taraba, Ekiti, Ondo, Kaduna, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Anambra, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Lagos, Adamawa, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Yobe States.

Plateau and Bayelsa States were represented by their deputy governors.

Credit – www.nigerianbulletin.com

Stay In Your Party Or Quit Politics, APC To PDP Defectors

The All Progressives  Congress, APC yesterday shut its door to defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, charging would be defectors to either form a constructive opposition or quit politics.

The charge from the APC came as the PDP following a meeting of the national chairman with zonal and state chairmen of the party accused the APC of using carrot and stick to dismember their party with the intention of enthroning a one party dictatorship in the country.

The PDP chieftains in their post-mortem of the recent elections also urged aggrieved candidates of the party who lost out to seek judicial redress with the affirmation that the party would support them all the way.

The APC reacting to a communiqué of the meeting between the National Working Committee, NWC of the PDP and its elected governors and senators on Tuesday affirmed that the party was scared stiff of playing opposition.

Noting the continued interest of the leaders of the PDP to jump ship, the APC in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party was not enthusiastic about receiving the PDP defectors.

‘’The truth of the matter is that the leadership of the PDP is not even waiting to be approached before fleeing to the APC. PDP leaders and members are falling over themselves shamelessly and swearing undying allegiance to the APC. Well, in case they did not get the message of the President-elect and our National Chairman, we want to repeat it in very blunt terms: PDP leaders and members, you are not welcome in APC. Please stay in your party, but if – as we suspect – you cannot survive in opposition, then take a walk, quit politics,’’ the party said.

Read More: vanguardngr

Register To Attend: Faith and Politics with Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN)

Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Senior Pastor, Olive Tree Parish of RCCG and APC’s Vice Presidential Candidate will be addressing concerns Christians have about getting involved in politics at a town-hall organized by Faith and Politics Nigeria, a platform set up by a group of influential and governmental Christian leaders. Scheduled to hold at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos, on the 22nd of March 2015, the town-hall will feature other notable speakers including Mr. Leke Alder, Principal Consultant at Alder Consulting, a renowned speaker and Brand Strategist, Pastor Wale Adefarasin of Guiding Light Assembly and Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Missions (TREM).

The 2015 General elections have generated so many conversations and controversies, which have awakened the consciousness of every strata of the society. However, the questions have remained: What is the stand of The Church on the direction that the nation is headed and why has The Church remained largely silent on the current political activities of the State? While many have argued that State must be separated from Politics, others even go as far as saying Christians should not touch politics with a long pole.

These concerns and more will be addressed at the townhall. Speaking on the necessity of the initiative, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, Regional Pastor of the Apapa Family of the Redeemed Christian Church of God said: “…The bible, our constitution as Christians, has given every child of God heaven’s point of view on politics and governance when Jesus said …give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Essentially he was saying that every Christian must operate within the confines of the rule of the State secularly, and if going for a political office, they must serve and govern with the highest moral standard and spiritual principle, which gives glory back to our God.”

“Saying the church or Christians should not engage in politics is almost saying they should ready to be guided by values and principles they don’t subscribe to. If Godly men and women do not get engaged in politics, how then can we expect to build a Godly nation, where peace and justice will reign?” – Kola Oyeneyin, one of the organisers of Faith and Politics asked.

It seems therefore that Christians are beginning to see the importance of Political engagement and involvement in nation building as critical and unavoidable. If this continues beyond the elections in 2015, we may be witnessing the influx of young people who are driven by the values of righteous Government in our political space.

Reserve your seat to attend this event now via www.faithandpolitics.ng. Limited seats available!!!

Why Ndigbo May Remain Politically Irrelevant By Uche Igwe

I took advantage of the break caused by the postponement of the elections to visit a few places in the South-East and South-South zones and directly gauge the perception of the people about the current political developments in the country. The first place was my village in Mbaise, then my mother’s village, both in Imo State. After going to my state, I joined one of my close friends to pay a courtesy visit to one of the riverine villages near Yenagoa in Bayelsa State. Interestingly, some grass-roots politicians showed up during both visits and I took the liberty of the two visits to discuss Nigerian politics with both sets of people – my kinsmen and the kinsmen of President Goodluck Jonathan. During my discussions, it was obvious that President Jonathan has more supporters in Imo and other Igbo-speaking states than even in his home state, Bayelsa. Surprised?

Let me state two things upfront. The first is that contrary to the views expressed in some quarters, I do not dislike President Jonathan, at least not his person. My concern is about his style of politics and governance and his performance as President and how these two factors affect me and my generation. As a southerner and an academic, I should connect with him. If he performs brilliantly as President, I will share in his success and such performance will brighten my chances and those of other members of my generation to one day decide to lead our country. The same way today I am sharing in his mistakes. So, the stakes before us are clearly beyond whatever thing I feel about his person.

The second is that if I am given an opportunity to nominate who will become the President of Nigeria under normal circumstances, my first choice will not be General Muhammadu Buhari. I am just 40 and so you can begin to guess why. However, in the circumstances that we have found ourselves as a nation, Buhari is potentially a better choice than Jonathan. It is very obvious that our President has run out of ideas. The country is deeply divided and the citizens are so highly disillusioned such that it will only take a trigger for the country to go up in flames. The current insecurity, unemployment, poverty and economic uncertainty in the country have reached frightening dimensions in our villages.

But do we blame all of these on Jonathan? Definitely no. Does he have a large chunk of the blame as our leader at this time? Of course, yes. The incestuous levels of corruption and blatant looting going on under Jonathan are part of the reasons that have led to widespread disenchantment and loss of confidence among the citizenry. Does my support for Buhari mean that he will do any magic? No. These things will take time to fix but we need another style. There is hardly any new approach the current President can bring on the table after trying for almost six years. Change has become long overdue. It will have a psychological soothing on Nigeria and Nigerians.

Now back to my main subject. My discussions revealed that unlike me, many people from my village neither support Buhari nor the All Progressives Congress. I could not but ask the following questions: What is the Igbo agenda in the current political dispensation? Who are those articulating it? What is their reason for the fixation with the status quo? Why are Ndigbo reluctant to engage the wind of change currently blowing in the country? Many of the people masquerading as Igbo leaders are individuals of questionable character preoccupied with only pecuniary objectives. In my village for instance, a school drop-out is now in charge. He feeds the kinsmen with falsehood and takes regular advantage of their ignorance to enrich himself.

While in the village, one of my uncles called me and abused me thoroughly for expressing views that he termed “anti-Igbo.” Which Igbo was he referring to? It is obvious that he is still fixated about the civil war and the roles of some northerners in it. I was shocked that more than 45 years after the civil war, many people are still passionately talking about it. True, it is an important part of our national history but is it not time to move on? Could it be the main reason to like or hate Buhari and the northerners? So, what about Olusegun Obasanjo? What about the Ijaw who took over our abandoned properties in Port Harcourt? To my mind, and the minds of many young Igbo men, the Ijaw, who colluded with other majority tribes and benefitted mostly in the acquisition of properties and wealth in Port Harcourt from a tribe lying helplessly prostrate from a civil war, committed greater atrocity towards the Igbo. The Yoruba recently came out to declare that they would not waste their votes for anyone without demanding something in return. Have the Igbo made any similar declaration? What are they getting from Jonathan and his kinsmen in return for Ndigbo support in 2015? Will the Ijaw presidency (no matter how hard we try, this is what our brothers in the Niger Delta have reduced the Presidency to) guarantee a national redress on the injustices of the civil war and the abandoned property saga? Will President Jonathan, as an Ijaw, who majorly orchestrated and benefitted from the abandoned property saga compensate the Igbo the same way he has guaranteed amnesty to the Niger Delta militants? Have Ndigbo asked for all of these, especially, since a continued support for the South-South, if it spirals out of country, may be jeopardising Ndigbo’s fresh investments in wealth acquisition in places like Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, Jos, Bauchi, Zaria, Ibadan, Lagos, Abeokuta and Lokoja just to mention but a few. You will recall that Ndigbo subconsciously redirected their business investments to these new territories as a result of the sense of insecurity following the abandoned property saga. Will they now jeopardise all of these new investments and wealth accumulation in support of the kinsman of the same tribe that stripped them of their old wealth?

Read More: punchng.com

2015 Elections: Mixing Religion and Politics By Will Ross

As tensions rise ahead of elections in Nigeria, some fear the country’s unity will face a new test and divisions will be exacerbated by a vote which sees a Christian presidential candidate from the south, Goodluck Jonathan, facing stiff competition from Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim candidate from the north.

It is not their first face off but is likely to be by far the most closely contested. But to what extent will voters pay attention to the religion of the candidates?

“If the Christian leader does not have what it takes to provide good leadership I will not vote for him merely because he is a Christian,” says Arome Okwori at his home in Jos where the Christmas decorations still twinkle.

“However, I will make a choice between that Christian leader and a Muslim leader who may not guarantee freedom of religion… so to that extent I may lean to the Christian leader but that is not how it should be,” the father of two young children adds.

He says he knows many other Christians who fear that Mr Buhari has a hard-line Islamist agenda and wants stricter implementation of Sharia – Islamic law is already in place across the north.

“Gen Buhari believes in the secular nature of Nigeria,” says Lai Mohammed, a spokesman for his All Progressive Congress (APC) party. “He is not a religious bigot. He is not a fundamentalist. That is mischievous talk.”

There are Nigerians, and by no means only Muslims, who say President Jonathan is too close to some of the hugely popular “super pastors” who have grown rich from their Pentecostal churches.

Nigerians are notoriously religious and the voting patterns will once again no doubt look very different in the predominantly Muslim north compared to some areas in the south where more Christians live.

“You can never divorce the religious sentiment from a typical Nigerian,” says Khadijah Hawaja Gambo, a white veil framing her face.

“But the way things are going people are beginning to downplay the role of religion in deciding who you vote. I hear people talking a lot about credibility,” she says.

The Muslim mother of six adds that she wants a leader who can end the insecurity in Nigeria and “take the country back to where it used to be with people co-existing peacefully, not the kind of Nigeria we are seeing today”.

Read More: bbc.com

Peter Obi Fires Back At Soludo

Former governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi has dismissed Soludo as a man haunted by his past for stating that he (Obi) built no signature project in Anambra State during his tenure.

Speaking through his Media Assistant, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, Obi described the article by Professor Charles Soludo as full of evidence of one who is still nursing deep hatred against those he wrongly assumed were responsible for not renewing his appointment as the Governor of the Central Bank and those that thwarted his move towards becoming the Governor of Anambra State last year.

Obienyem in his response agreed with some vital points raised by Soludo but regretted that the aim of the write-up was not to instruct or contribute to positive national discourse, but to hit back at those he is nursing secret grudges against.

Obienyem recalled how Soludo in 2013, said he was the foundation upon which the new Anambra State was built, and went on to commend him on how he changed the fortunes of the state.

He wondered why Soludo would just turn around so soon to declare that the tragedy of Obi’s tenure was that he built no signature project by which his regime would be remembered but saved money in the midst of hunger thereby impoverishing the people of the State.

Obienyem said it was surprising that a renowned economist as Soludo, who in the same write up, prided himself of saving $45billion in the nation’s external reserves when he was the Central Bank Governor in the same article should condemn Obi for saving money for Anambra State, questioning the wisdom of savings where there were things that needed to be done.

“When he said he saved $45bn, does it mean that at that time Nigeria’s problems were over? Now oil price is falling and state’s allocation are bound to fall, Soludo should be told that the money Obi saved will be used to cushion the effect, among others reasons for states to save at all times. He also talked about clearing Nigerian debts without acknowledging that the architect of it is Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is still part of Jonathan’s Government”.

On Obi leaving no signature project, Obienyem said that Soludo merely displayed his ignorance of what true development is, insisting that development is nothing if it does not involve the totality of man.

“Talking about signature project, Obi has them in abundance. He built over 30 bridges, built the State Secretariat, built the teaching hospital, built the permanent site of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University, rebuilt Iyienu, Borromeo hospitals, Holy Rosary and St Joseph hospitals; and Our Lady of Lourdes among many hospitals with signature structures dotting them.

“Beyond the foregoing”, Obienyem continued, “Soludo should be told that Obi did much more in areas that are far more important than mere structures. He returned schools to the Church and committed billions that could build any form of signature project of Soludo’s imagination. Because of this, Anambra State is today the number one in external examinations in the country.

Moreover, he changed the psyche of the people of the State and removed Anambra State from her pariah status to one of the exemplary States in the country.”

Why We All Should Be Activists In 2015 By Joel Pereyi

Literary gem, J.P Clark, in his celebrated poem; The Casualties, wrote:“The casualties are not only those who are dead. They are well out of it, though they await burial by installment. The casualties are not only those who are escaping. The shattered shall become prisoners in a fortress of falling walls…The casualties are many, and a good member as well outside the scenes of ravage and wreck; they are the emissaries of rift.”

In the African context, the casualties aren’t only those who now sleep dreamlessly due to our grandly epic dysfunctional systems. They may be well out of it. They aren’t those who have been sentenced to an unending season of unimaginable grief and a seemingly eternal drought of joy. They aren’t exclusively the victims of the Abubakar Shekaus, Joseph Konys, and other less renown gentlemen whose favorite sport serves bartering peace for war. They aren’t only those who have lost friends, families, relatives, friend of friends and who we may someday lose too. They aren’t solely those who carry the scars of knives at the carnival of blood or mothers searching for coffins to bury their children; children of a seemingly cursed continent. They aren’t those who are earnestly seeking for a healing balm to soothe their preventable aches and demographic-inflicted emotional sapping(s), no. They aren’t the grief-stricken parents of our Chibok girls, neither are they the parents of boys whose throats were slit while having their well deserved nocturnal rest. Just like the rest of us, the only crime they were indicted of was that they chose to be knowledgeable. While we chose xyz locations, they enrolled at Federal Government College, Buni Yadi. For this sole cause, they were abruptly banished from the margins of consciousness, their spirits respectively and collectively amputated. No, they can’t be the thousands of children being orphaned by Ebola in sub-Saharan Africa. Neither are they solely children soldiers being exposed to the odium of polluted wind, unhealthy harvest of corpses, and young girls being used as sex slaves across the acreage of Africa. We are the emissaries of rift. Africans; this writer and his brothers and sisters who are sometimes adjudged black monkeys or Negros due to the melanin in our skins, are the casualties.

Hence, we, the casualties, the good members living outside the scenes of ravage and wreck, must deem peeking into our future and bluntly relaying how it looks; ugly or beautiful, as part of a necessary revolt. Our environs may be devoid of dawn to dusk curfews for the now, but we all would agree – overtly or covertly – that our security is the biggest lie being sold to us at the moment.

This beggars the posers: For how long will we keep indulging in the luxury of basking in half truths? Even if our government finds an avocation in failing us, for how long will we keep failing ourselves? For how long will we stand dumb, when we ought to raise our voices, regardless of how lacking in baritone it might be? For how long will the debilitating pain, the writer’s cramp or block tether our hands from writing, whether or not we are confused by commas, puzzled by parenthesis and perturbed by punctuation? What better do our words serve, if not our weaponry, and our thoughts our ammunitions? Is our silence not deafening and our complacency discomforting? The Freedom of Information bill, was it passed to put our future in smithereens or make it tinselly?

For too long a time we have been subjected to serial deceptions by our political class. We are repeatedly told that we are the leaders of tomorrow. Yet, our opinions can only be valid when we are well above 30 years. Back to that later. UNESCO stipulates that a minimum quota of 25% should be accrued to education in budgets, but which state in Nigeria has thus far lived up to the mark? No, not one. Article 6 of the United Nations Convention for Child’s Right guarantees the rights of a child to survive and live. But burrowing into the streets of major commercial cities in Africa, the confines of our reality confirms otherwise. Amid the hustle and bustle of these high octane cities, it is commonplace to find belabored young men and women whose dreams and future are being interrupted daily, loiter, hawk and lurch backwards, forwards and sideways in jams, like unanchored rowboats in a storm, trading – the surest means of survival they can cling to, in a continent where social security for both young and old is queer.

Small wonder it has been widely speculated that asides our ethnological inclination, as of now, if “being African” served a word in the thesaurus, it would appropriately spell out hopelessness, bleakness, a few uncomplimentary anecdotes beneath the earth, and a trickle unholy adjectives above the heavens. Understandably to the West, democracy is comparatively nascent in many African countries. But do one need to be reminded that no excuse is good enough for failure? Is learning from the experience of others not more palatable than committing needless mistakes and unnecessarily elongating our journey to Singapore?

Please be aware that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Jacob Zuma, Tedoro Oblang Nguema Mbasogo, Peter Mutharika, Alpha Conde, Jose Eduardo Santos, Abde Bourtefilka, Alasanne Ouattara and Yoweri Museveni, just to mention a few, are serving presidents of Liberia, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Guinea, Angola, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Uganda, and they are all septuagenarians in their own rights. Whilst President Paul Biya of Cameroun is an octogenarian. These men and women are competing in age with grannies, yet, in the renditions of primary and secondary school students across the land, probably one of the most hypocritical statements of all time; “you are the leaders of tomorrow” and other similar aphorisms are routine.

If we suppose we are safe in assuming that these are mere smoke screens. If we claim now is temporal; it is only a moment, yes. What should we make of our teeming army of un-indolent, but unemployed and underemployed youths? What do we make of the tons of jobless first and second class graduates in our third world economies? According to UNICEF, 2014 is the worst year for the African child. What do we make of that?

And if you think activism is being a rebel or radical who sees no good in any government, you’ve got to think again. If you think it is solely a political demonstration; converging at Unity Fountain or Gani Fawehinmi Park, with a placard stating your grievances raised above your head, then, you are only partially right. Activism is all about being a better citizen. It is all about concurring with the simple fact that if we do nothing, nothing will happen. It is all about using action to achieve results. Be it by holding elected or selected office holders accountable for every dime accrued to their ministries or parastatals via means within the bounds of the law, partaking in protest marches, sit–ins, sit–outs, peaceful demonstrations and strike actions, writing petitions, joining or volunteering for civil societies and resorting to litigation, if need be.

You should be an activist because anything that isn’t working around you is a consequence of your silence. The next time you see rivulets rage along a road or lake formed because of rainfall where there was hitherto a shallow depression, bear in mind it is as a result of your failing to wince or cry out loud enough. The next time you hear cacophonies and hums of generator sets or see the toxic fumes it burps blare into the heavens and pollute your environment, ask yourself: How long will it take me to admit that change will keep eluding us if we don’t get tired of our current situation and aren’t ready to pay the price for it? Regardless of how bizarre it sounds, our corruption, insecurity and myriad of miasmas are compounded residues of our collective silences.

Its high time we considered our options: Remain silent, play gloating onlookers, maintain the status quo and remain at the bottom of the barrel in areas that matters most or be change agents who will topple unpatriotic elements (in governance), unsettle leaders who don’t have us in their dreams and never back down until Nigeria takes its rightful position in the sun. Change wouldn’t be brought to bear by sentiments or complaints. Our actions are key and our voices are golden. Silence is not a song we should know all the words to. We are kindred souls. We share a common grief!
Joel Pereyi, a freelance copywriter, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
Phone: 234 703 300 1376

Angelina Jolie Considering Politics

Angelina Jolie,39, revealed she’s considering taking her career in an even more unexpected direction, with a move away from film, into politics.

Talking to UK news outlet ITV News, the actress said her UN work, and the direction that it takes, is always based on a desire to make the most difference.

“I’ve always gone where I thought I was needed and when I was working with the UN I was working in the field,” she explained. “I felt I was needed in the field. Then I realized I was only so useful in the field because then somebody had to go to Washington and plead the case, so then I would do that,” she added. “I don’t know what that means or where that will lead me.”

“So politics is a possibility for you?” asked interviewer Julie Etchingham. “If I felt I could really make a difference, yes.” replied Jolie. “We have overall a failing of international leadership when we have 51 million people displaced from conflict, more people displaced than since after World War II, when we have completely open-ended conflicts, when we have crises like Syria,” she said.

“We seem to be completely unable to handle it and make ground and help all of the people who are starving and dying at the moment — I think clearly if you look around the world you can say that we simply are not doing enough.”

Credit: Yahoo News

Jonathan “Wholly Rejects” Allegations by Buhari

President Jonathan in a statement responding to General Buhari’s charges against the PDP administration, “wholly reject the allegations made by General Buhari against the Jonathan’s administration at the declaration of his intention to contest the 2015 presidential elections.”

According to the statement articulated by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president said, “We have noted with disappointment and regret, the reckless, baseless and unsupportable charges made against the Jonathan’s administration yesterday by a supposed elder statesman, General Muhammadu Buhari,”  adding that his actions are “as an irresponsible denigration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s sincere efforts, over the past four years, to positively transform Nigeria.”

The statement went further to say that, Buhari’s statements “reflects very badly on the character of the political opposition we now have in Nigeria, that a political leader of General Buhari’s stature will deliberately make such false and uncharitable comments about the elected leadership of his country, merely for personal and sectional political gain.”

“Also contrary to General Buhari’s assertion yesterday, Nigeria’s agricultural sector is thriving under the reforms being implemented by the Jonathan administration as current production figures show and neither manufacturing nor commerce is “down” as the APC presidential aspirant alleged.

”His most uncharitable and inexcusable accusation against the present administration was that election rigging continues to thrive in Nigeria.”


Is Something Truly Wrong With Us?: A Call For Introspection And Internal Reflection! By ‘Tosin Ayo’

Was Nigeria built to fail? Was the black man deliberately made to be thoughtless? Did our leaders deliberately ‘dis educate’ and disorientate us? Are we Africans truly white people who didn’t fully develop into humans? Who inflicted the black man with the mentality of inferiority? How exactly did we get here? Okay, let me explain what I mean. Over 2,500 ideas allegedly crosses the mind of an average sane human being every blessed day! But the black man as evident from our way of life barely executes any of them! Our collective lack of productivity, the parlous state of our pariah nation, our floppy reward system, the over-attribution of success and failure to religion without bearing in mind the realities of causation and effect, our mindless acceptance of our deplorable condition and political exploitation, brazen theft, endless corruption and brigandage by our politicos as an unchangeable fate, our inertia in declaring to our leaders that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, our unpardonable lack of leadership and the disoriented mindsets of the followership often force one to conclude that no idea comes into the mind of a Nigerian or that those lofty ideas die on arrival!

Each time I remember how millions and indeed billions of our collective petrodollars develop wings and fly through the window without anyone raising an eyebrow and worse still seeing poor, famished old women whose monies were indirectly looted raising placards protesting the public ‘prosecution’ of the direct culprits under whose watch the monies were stolen by rights’ enforcement and civil society groups, I feel like screaming: ‘It’s official: we have all been enslaved’

I feel pained to see it in this clime that we pray to gain admission to schools in Ghana, Benin Republic, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Canada, Cyprus, Norway and America, one then begins to wonder if there are no budgetary allocations for Education and long term plans to move things in the right direction in our country. We all know and see these things but have been intentionally conditioned to accepting the unacceptable as an unchangeable eternal condition. Do you know the extent of gruesome horror of having to live in a country where merit has no place and where the brilliant ones who have no privilege of human connection cannot work in deserving well-paying establishments whilst their mates who sit comfortably at the lowest rung of the academic ladder secure employment in government parastatals and blue chip oil companies? We are so used to the abnormal so much that abnormal is the normal to us in this nation where it is not normal for things to be normal! Maybe this whole “God will do it”, “It is well” when it is obviously everything but well and “the dividends of democracy are in the pipeline” are nothing more than a well composed, thoroughly fashioned out, supremely orchestrated, deceptive rhetoric after all. Maybe this whole Nigerian thing is a sheer political set-up to end in doom after all. Just Maybe!

I marvel greatly that the richest pastor in the world, the richest black man in the world and the richest black woman in the world all come from a poverty-stricken 3rd world if not ‘7th world’ country like Nigeria. How can we own so much yet have so little? How can there be so much squander in the midst of such a grim squalor? How can a few microcosm of the populace acquire so much in the glare of so much penury?

Indeed, mass poverty isn’t Nigeria’s problem, rather; it is wealth redistribution. So much is in the hands of so few whilst so little is the hands of so many! A similar injustice plays out in the political sector, how can a Senator ‘legitimately’ earn over two billion Naira in a year! That is legislative terrorism simply so called! Pure malfeasance and greed! Our nation is indeed a hub of lopsided reward system which gives pittance to the hardworking and plenty to the powerful! These ‘legislooters’ pay themselves so much for doing so little!

Most students have lost the steam to study and the will to move on due to the floppy nature of our national reward system where militants earn more than medical doctors and political thugs are accorded more ‘respect’ and recognition than University Professors. They often giggle as renown political prostitutes, apologists, butt-lickers and certified kleptomaniacs receive national honours whilst sacrificial lambs who risked their lives to save ours receive death and lack of recognition as recompense- you can be sure of which path they will tow. These children have witnessed how their elderly ones have graduated with good grades from institutions of higher learning only to return home for years without end jobless, to be fed by their old and retired parents. They have thus concluded in their minds that Education is not the best policy but a needless time-wasting distraction useful only for keeping the young ones from truancy.
This is just a mild picture of the problem on our hands! The time to act is now!

In a continent that accounts for more than 90 percent global malaria induced deaths, you begin to wonder If scientists and medical doctors are still produced in this country. They all fight for increased wages whilst they lack the initiative to find a permanent cure to malaria! But can we validly blame them when they practice in an inconvenient professional environment bereft of the requisite incentives and motivation for innovation. How can one think straight in an unruly, demoralising atmosphere of ‘peacelessness’ and rancor? I remember how the authorities in Scotland normally quarantine malaria patients (a norm in our clime) because its alien to their society. That alone can make one to question the very idea of raising your children here or ever having to give birth at all as a Nigerian! Indeed, in this country, everything will kill you!

I still can’t get over the shock of my European friend to whom I frantically explained what a generating plant meant to no avail. He had no idea. He asked me If I meant a transformer! I said: ‘you don’t know ‘I beta pass my neighbour’ Tiger generator you switch on that makes a mild noise and supplies electricity whenever ‘NEPA’ ‘takes’ light? (Power outage)’, I thought he was ‘forming’, but his 3 fore-generations have never witnessed power failure! Sometimes, I feel so sad like we are still in a stone age. I know of universities established in Europe in the 12th century whilst the ancestors and gods were still drinking blood and eating human sacrifice, cowries, palm oil, hot drinks and pap at three-path junctions as recently as 18th century in Africa! Why won’t I feel we are brief and brutish people who did not finish downloading and fully develop?

Honestly, whenever I see a large amount of people gathered in prayer meetings in churches and prayer mountains, I am happy and then I am bothered! I am concerned and deeply worried! I see Africa, I see confusion, I see contradiction in terms. I see chains on necks and padlock on mouths. I see the begging bowl, I see ignorance. I see foreign aids. I see conspiracy. I see thoughtlessness. I see vainglory. I see sincerity in naivety! I see pure stupidity! I see a people genuinely committed to not getting it right! I see a people who believe God for everything whilst doing nothing to change their despicable condition! I see a people who pray without working and a people who misconstrue God as a partial magician! I am thoroughly bothered. I shudder when I see people giving testimonies and thanksgiving offering because they bought a fairly used car, obtained a Malaysian visa to go and hustle and sell their kidneys, or just got married to a beautiful but hapless wife they are obviously inviting into a life of misery and mendicancy or when I see people giving prophetic offering for reduction in waste to the Pastor to pray that their Sienna space bus should consume less fuel, my heart bleeds at the sheer ignorance of a people! God cannot be mocked, whatever a man sows, so shall he reap! Sow indolence and reap lack of productivity! Moreover, God will not do for you what you can do for yourself!

With all these purely economic disconsolation, Administrative ineptitude and simple political brawl resolvable by dialogue, strict enforcement of laws, making the right political choices bereft of tribal sentiments, ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry and conscientiously installing a different kind of selfless leadership, we have self-called Pastors who milk their congregation dry by anointing their feet for breakthrough in the midst of mass poverty, personal success in the glare of national doom and gloom and making altar calls for those who want American, Peru, Italian and Asian visas to escape from the gory and horrific nightmare Nigeria has become. But I ask: how did we get here? How exactly did we degenerate this low?

In a nation where we have more musicians than lawyers, more actors than doctors and more Politicians than Engineers, more layabouts than technologists, one cannot expect anything other than what we have presently. Sow sand and reap stone! It is that simple! It is even worse now that every unemployed Christian has become a Pastor! In the future that I see (God forbid) if nothing is done to stem the tide, there will be more people on the pulpit than on the pew! We preach without reaching out forgetting unwittingly that the etymology of the word ‘PREACH’ indicates that it was formed from ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘REACHING’! Thus, If all you do is preach to guilty souls like a parrot, hold out your feathers like a peacock and amass needless wealth with a reckless abandon like a rabbit in the sitting room without reaching out to the needy and the underprivileged, you have only made a sweet noise!

We seem to believe that an outside force will suddenly take us out of our murky and muddy water, profane realities and ludicrous happenstance someday, or at least, heaven is made of Gold, and we will make it there and walk on Gold though we trek on sand here. We have left the world for the ‘worldly’ and relinquished our dominion! We are now buying time and portray the world as a passing phase to be endured and not to be enjoyed! We no longer crave the good life or prosperity on earth but look forward to Heaven our beautiful home. We forget that God created us for His pleasure and He wanted us to subdue, enjoy and conquer our worlds! That was why He gave us the spirit of excellence and created us in His own image. Imagine such irresponsibility, such thoughtlessness, such warped and disoriented mentality that makes us think it is an attribute of heaven-bound Christians to be poor and hungry. But the truth is: poverty will take you to hell faster than prosperity! A debtor will tell lies to his creditor! Liars won’t make Heaven! A man who cannot take care of his family is worse than an infidel! I am sure you know infidels won’t make Heaven! A man who starves his wife and makes her to sleep with men to feed herself and her family will ‘rest’ in the hottest G.R.A. of hell! It is extremely difficult for an empty bag to stand upright!

But then, we cry endlessly to Heaven: Lord! Please save us your children. Same way Africa cries to America. Our solution seems to be everywhere but within us. We all clamour for change without starting to change ourselves. We forget that we are the change that we seek! Must we all misconstrue belief in God for the ability to replace our mental drudgery with excellent results? Do we all have to think that help comes from above without doing anything beneath? Haven’t we heard that Heaven helps those who help themselves? Are prayers not just the supplication that supplies speedy results to our earthly toil? What will God bless If there is no work in our hands? Would Christ have been able to feed the multitude If there were no 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread? Must we devalue our own collective capacity to succeed and rise up to the challenge and save ourselves from these evil plague of powerlessness, lack of productivity, lowered standard of living and mass penury instead of waiting on God or our insensitive leaders? Let us all reflect and genuflect on these words but most of all, let us act on them!

-Tosin Ayo (The ‘word bank’) is a Legal Practitioner, Essayist, Novelist, Energy Law Specialist, motivational speaker and a believer in a better Nigeria. He holds a LL.M degree of the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

I Did Not Endorse Buhari For Presidential Ticket Saraki Says

Contrary to unconfirmed reports that he may have thrown his weight behind the aspiration of former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Senator Bukola Saraki said he not endorsed any of the aspirants seeking the presidential ticket under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Saraki’s clarification came on the heels of a newspaper report on Monday.

He was touted as possible director-general of General Buhari’s campaign in the report.

But Saraki, through his campaign office, has denied the report insisting that he was still consulting on his next line of action regarding the endorsement of any of the aspirants.

A statement from his media team said: “Our office will like to clear the air concerning the above. Senator Saraki, indeed, met with other aspirants as it relates to getting our country back on the right path.

“Senator Saraki is convinced that all candidates are committed to presenting candidates that will be acceptable by all. At this time, Senator Saraki has not endorsed any aspirant.

Court Judgment Is A Sign I Will Reclaim My Mandate – Murtala Nyako

Impeached governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako has expressed delight at the sack of Acting Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.

He made his position known yesterday in a statement through his Director of Press and Publicity, Ahmad Sajoh, after the inauguration of ex-Deputy Governor Bala Ngilari who was reinstated as governor by a Federal High Court yesterday.

The statement said: “His Excellency Admiral Murtala Nyako wishes to express satisfaction with the judgment passed by the Federal High Court in Abuja declaring that former Deputy Governor Bala James Ngillari has not resigned as Deputy Governor.

“This is a further testimony to the fact that the entire process associated with the purported impeachment saga had been just series of acts characterized by extreme illegality and political brigandage.

APC Raises Alarm Over Fake Delegates Forms

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised an alarm over the circulation of fake delegate forms in some states and has called on members of the party to disregard them.

An official of the party informed reporters on telephone that the party has on the directive of the national secretary of the party, Mai Mala Buni, issued a circular to all the 36 states chairmen of the party including FCT to disregard the fake delegates forms as they did not emanate from the party leadership.

He said it is the work of some unscrupulous elements within and outside the party who have always been seeking ways to create confusion and cause disaffection among party members especially at this time when the party is going for its primaries.

A state party official in one of the states in the north-east where the forms were reportedly distributed told reporters on telephone yesterday that the forms were allegedly brought to the state earlier in the week and that distribution started on Friday.

I Touched 2face’s Life – Kenny St Best Speaks On Her Political Ambition

Gospel artiste and Vice President of Kennis Music recently declared her intention to run for Lagos State House of Assembly under the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Speaking on why she delved into politics, she told Punch “Every night I pass through Opebi Road and see young girls (sex workers) I feel sad and it is worrisome that they keep increasing every year.

This constituency is the seat of power for the entire state. I am going to the Assembly and it will be transformation galore.

”During my time with Kennis Music in the past 16 years, I touched the lives of many youths who have become big today.

Some I never knew, but I saw something in them. Today, 2 Face, Paul Play Dairo, Remedies, Essence are all success stories because we believed

in them. Imagine what we can do through governance?” She said

Senate C’ttee Asks INEC To Stop New Polling Units…Reps Suspend Debate On Electoral Act

The Senate Committee on Electoral Matters has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to stop the creation of additional 30,000 polling units across the country.

Committee chairman Andy Uba told journalists in Abuja yesterday that while the idea behind the creation of additional units was good, the timing was wrong and as such it must be stopped.

“We have sent a letter to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and we expressed our reservations over the planned creation of additional polling units across the country,” Uba said.

“What he is doing is good but the timing is wrong. We are close to an election year and we have so many displaced people in the North eastern part of the country.

So where will the INEC put the new polling units?”

Uba also said, “If they (INEC) continue with it (new polling centres), we will pass a resolution to overrule it. It is simple, and once we pass our resolution is he going to go ahead that he doesn’t care?

“There are consequences when you say you don’t care, that is what it is but I know he (Jega) is a gentleman and he is a man that keeps to his words. We had a meeting and have sent him a letter.”

Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/daily/top-stories/35749-senate-c-ttee-asks-inec-to-stop-new-polling-units-reps-suspend-debate-on-electoral-act


Breaking: Amaju Pinnick Elected New NFF President

At the end of the second round of voting, Delta FC chairman Amaju Pinnick has been elected as the new president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In the first round, Pinnick took the lead with 25 votes, while Taiwo Ogunjobi from Osun polled 9 votes. Dominic Iorfa from Benue State was able to get 6 votes. while Shehu Diko from Kaduna had 4 votes.

Amanze Uchegbulam, Imo and Mike Umeh Anambra had no vote.

Pinnick, Iorfa and Ogunjobi then went head-to-head in the second round, to determine the winner of the election via simple majority.

After the second round, Pinnick polled 32 votes, Iorfa got 8 votes, while Ogunjobi had 4 votes.

2015 Presidential Elections ; Buhari Makes Statement Today

All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, General Muhammadu Buhari, will today be addressing the nation on a number of issues.

A statement issued yesterday by General Buhari’s media office, said the APC leader would be addressing  an amalgam of youths  groups known as the Buhari Youths Group that have been urging him to run as president of Nigeria in 2015.

His address to the youths in the country is expected to encapsulate his position on the many issues affecting Nigeria and give a clear direction as to the role he would be playing in the build up to 2015.

Today’s address by the former head of state, who is expected to make a formal declaration for the presidency on October 8,would serve to give a clear indication what shape the race for the APC presidential  ticket would take in the few weeks to come.

Nigeria Is Not Working; Not A Nation By Adebayo Taiwo Hassan

However unpleasant, we must be frankly truthful about who we are, our history and what future holds for us a society. Perhaps, that would cause us regret, sober reflection, the spirits to correct the mistakes and ultimately bequeath a better society to the posterity.

Such is the frankness and grimness presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, fiction, reflecting Nigeria’s artificiality and brutal history through the 60s, pointing to a future that hangs in balance.

Nigeria is not a nation and I am really convinced, I wish not to be, that the idea of one Nigeria is a blandishment and façade, only being held together by corruption and poverty of the leaders to do the needful.

The founding founders, so-called nationalists, caused grave damage and planted seeds that would make difficult evolving an attitudinally unified entity, a new social whole, with common purpose, national identity and sense of oneness, from array of groups of which Nigeria is composed.

They’re the best ever, even with them, we were going to set our sights on rivalling the West (please get Nigeria’s First Nat’l Devt Plan) but their sectional psychology, among others, fouled their labour, engraving in the psyches of their followers hatred for other tribes and receding belief in this country, because they would exploit the significance of their ethnic background as platform to get the power at the centre. The challenge is still there with us till

The events leading to the civil war, the war itself, the two coups, the unjustifiable massacre of the Igbos have worked with other factors to make Nigeria a state without nation – the idea “we the people of Nigeria” is a fraudulent imposition. The average Hausa Muslim would see Igbos or Yoruba Christians as fellows who don’t worth their lives because they are “astray”. The Yoruba would man would arrogantly refuse to call Hausa man a human being in case of auto accident. Is “only two persons and one Hausa were involved . . .” not common?

Nigeria is divided! The Igbos are still convinced they are victims bloody iniquity, while almost every family could count at least one member killed in the Northern Massacre that preceded the civil war. They still have siege mentality and believe other groups hate and envy them because they are remarkably entrepreneurial and innovative. What’s more? Buhari gave Shagari house arrest in Ikoyi, while the Vice-President,

Alex Ekwueme was to rot in Kirikiri prison. The oil-rich minorities in the Niger Delta are aggrieved because that they are victims of economic injustice and majoritarian oppression and exploitation of the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa (topic for another day).

Some Northerners are already saying the some South South elites, including the President of the country, CAN leader and a former Chief of Army Staff, are behind the Boko Haram terrorism to reduce the North population

We must admit this, and get ourselves to the table to discuss our future and being together, which ultimately should be decided through referendum.

At the risk of being misunderstood, need I say quickly that I still believe it’s a great illusion that we can never and should never live together as a nation due to our diversity. That is our diversity should ordinarily not pose problem, after all India is more diverse than we are and Swaziland is homogenous yet much like forlornly underdeveloped.

And even our collective pre-colonial pasts had met in myths of origin, trade etc. But the problem is what we have over the decades made out of Nigeria’s creation; our failure to think realistically a way of living together in unity, peace, albeit diversity and the characteristic emptiness of the head and mind of the political class.

And we already have caused the mess and embarrassment that Nigeria is, made the country a filthy carcass, a terra nullius to which an average Nigerian does not have emotional, affective and psychological affiliation, in such way as he does to his ethnic group .

Therefore, if we are to continue as one Nigeria, the groups that make up Nigeria must freely work out a template to have a NIGERIANESS out the various Nigerian ethnic groups. Otherwise , every group should be allowed to freely assert for themselves their future and the state under which they wish to live, before things get worse than this all time worst. Should self-determination not be a right?

Adebayo Taiwo Hassan-Justice is a Public Commentator..

 Articles posted on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion 

Soyinkaism:  We Deserve No Nihilist By WHYTE HABEEB IBIDAPO

The unleashing viperous cult like Boko Haram on peaceful citizens qualifies as a crime against humanity, and deserves that very dimension in its resolution. If a people must survive, the reign of impunity must end. Truth – in all available detail – is in the interest, not only of Nigeria, the sub-region and the continent, but of the international community whose aid we so belatedly moved to seek’’.



The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.As with any other species, human populations are shaped by the usual forces of natural selection, like famine, disease or climate. A strong culture of impunity has come to stay in Nigerian polity. No matter how you try to kill the truth, it has a phenomenal way of self resurrection. To say we are enjoying good governance in the Nigeria of today is a real thesis that needs no defence for validation. The rule behind the conspiracy scheme of governance in Nigeria is self explanatory. Nigeria has moved towards what the philosophers have identified as nihilism, in which its advocates disavow all institutions. They don’t believe in law and due process. I wonder if the current government are not close nihilists. When you don’t obey the law and breach protocol all for personal gain and you disdain institutions. You are a nihilist, if you don’t know. If you had employ the service of a negotiator to look into a matter and the result of his investigation points accusing fingers to your political associate and on that basis you refuse to take the proper action under the law, it is safe to conclude that you are a nihilist. No doubt our presidency is climbing the ladder of success wrong by wrong when it comes to proper governance.

We are blessed with all manner of blessings under the sun but the blessings and geniuses in us are hindered because of corruption occasioned by the priority and perpetuation of self above the interest of the citizenry. It could well argued that some of the problems began with inherited colonial state which made it a point of duty to isolate itself from the entire citizenry but with the extent of government transition, we should have gotten it right. Nigeria’s role in the world and African affairs had declined significantly. The democracy we celebrate is one representation narrowly concerned with rights, mainly political rights but hardly participatory or deliberative in the sense of harnessing the energies of communities let alone making them the focus of governance. There is always the shortage of many of the things that makes life and living meaningful in every part of the country. It is more or less diarchy. It is just a mockery of the government of popular reflection.

Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.Often time than not, we yap over act instead of act over yap; we get engrossed in myopic politicking when our health system is amongst the worst in Africa, our education is deteriorating every day, corruption is escalating on exponential scale and employment is killing our national potential, insecurity and terrorism have claimed several lives most among whom are productive youths. And above all, are the Chibok school girls that were carted away from school without a national security responsive other than a mockery of our political will power and national dignity. The Boko Haram issue is a complete mockery of our national dignity and it is actually a manifestation of the degenerations in every department of our national architecture. I believe strongly that some people are working day and night to disintegrate our great nation. Unfortunately for us, they are more purposeful and better co-ordinated than our leaders across boards. They are more dedicated to their mission than our leaders and even more disciplined. Even if we think they are fallen angels that were let loose from hell, they are still purposeful to their cause. Why can’t the government of the day be responsive enough to quash them completely? The government should better learn the basics of dedication to a cause from the fallen angels that are threatening our safety. The safety of Nigerians should be the highest law of the land. Afteral, the law protects you from being abused. It doesn’t threaten your lifestyle for someone else to have the right to exhibit their lifestyle. The government must tread where angels feared to tread.

As at today, we are not still sure about the capone of Boko Haram. Accusing fingers are directed towards the Grand commander himself others believes that it is the Northern leaders in a bid to make governance in 2015 etc. We don’t even know who to believe. Different version of truth are been spoken everyday and we forget about them easily. The fact still remains that there are innocent youths in captivity whose society and governance have failed their existence. Some persons have even taken the issue to be political rather than coming together to put an end to the problem at large. I guess one of the fundamentals of a political party is to represent platforms of ideas, policy options and visionary goals around which the electorate is invited to gather. It is rather an assemblage of power hungry individuals that wish to exhibit their nihilist abilities. It’s essentially a club of elites for the motive of sharing oil rents and political spoils. Sanity has lost its position in our governmental affairs. It’s a nihilistic affair.

It should be noted that Nigerians are tired of digesting concoctions that are filled with empty promises rather proactive actions should be taken. The law should be blind to race, gender and sexual orientation, just as it claims to be blind to wealth and power. There should be no specially protected groups of any kind, except for children, the severely disabled and the elderly, whose physical frailty demands society’s care. To prove that this government is not nihilist in doings, people that are find wanton on our security issues should be prosecuted with immediate effect. We are not supposed to be all equal. Let’s just forget that. We are supposed to have equal rights under law. If we do that, we have done enough. The same right that the government have in prosecuting individuals over alleged corruption acts should be extended to those that are been suspected to be the backbone of the fallen angels that are threatening our survival. We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love, but it can keep him from lynching, and I think that’s pretty important. No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency. For this sake of this generation and generation to come, the federal government should please BRING BACK OUR HONOUR.

( WHYTE HABEEB IBIDAPO is a United Nations Award winner, Africa International Arbitration Award winner and Coca cola/ The Nation Campuslife Award Winner.

Email: whyte287@gmail.com


Articles published on omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

APC Condemns Attempt To Cover Up The $9.3 Million Scandal By FG

Opposition party The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the obvious attempt by the PDP-led Federal Government, working with some members of the National Assembly, to cover up the smuggling of 9.3 million US dollars to South Africa on a private plane, saying the cover-up plans will fail because the issues involve transcend Nigeria.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the cover-up attempt manifested clearly at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, when Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha curiously refused to entertain a debate on a motion seeking a probe of the issue that has further ridiculed
Nigeria in the global community.

It said the refusal of the Deputy Speaker becomes even more suspicious amid allegations that some members of the House has each received $50,000 bribe to quash the motion.

APC however hailed its members in the House of Representatives for staging a walk-out to protest against the inexplicable decision not to allow the issue to be debated on the floor of the House, saying by their actions, they have aligned with the majority of Nigerians who are eager to get to the bottom of how such a huge amount of money
could be smuggled into another country by the Nigerian authorities, despite being fully aware of the limitation on the amount of money that can be taken into any country.


Former presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has given reasons  why he abandoned his presidential ambition to contest the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Adamawa     State governorship poll.

Mallam Ribadu, speaking  after he submitted his nomination form  with journalists at the national headquarters of the PDP in   Abuja on Monday, said that his desire to be of service at any level propelled him to drop his ambition of presiding over Nigeria.

Mr Ribadu, who was a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said, “Everything in my life has been about public service. I’m prepared to serve in any capacity.

“If you ask me to come and be a sweeper of any street in any part of the country, I’m ready to do that. I don’t even have power of my own in any part.”

Asked if he was worried that the PDP was yet to grant him and other defected aspirants waivers needed to contest the primary, he categorically said no.

”I am not worried about the waiver. I have followed the rules. I am a law and order person. I have done my own bit and I will wait for the party to do their own. That part is not my responsibility,” he said.

Under the constitution of the party, new members and returnees are not qualified to seek elective positions until after two years, except they get a waiver.

Section 50 (9) of the PDP constitution says, “There shall be a minimum of two year membership span for a member to be eligible to stand for election into any public office, unless the appropriate executive committee gives a waiver or rules to the contrary.”

Meanwhile, other aspirants have insisted that the party must conduct proper primary to choose the party’s candidate for the October 11 election.

The aspirants spoke when they came to also submit their nomination forms to the party’s national leadership, which was received by the National Organisation Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha.

The aspirants included the former Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Modibbo; Acting Governor of the state, Ahmed Fintiri; former Presidential Adviser, Ahmed Gulak; and the former ACN governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Marcus Gundiri.

Others are  Dr. Umar Ardo, Senator Ahmed Girei, Gen. A.A.Kana (retd.), Buba Marwa , Awwal Tukur and Aliyu Idi-Hong.

Modibbo said, “People soul d be allowed to contest. We should not pay too much attention to consensus. Our tragedy in the state was that we did not do the proper thing when we chose the past leader he added .

#KakandaTemple – 2015: The Power of Rants

I do not have faith in Nigeria, no faith in the next elections, but do not trust me when I rant. Ranting is an expression of freedom, it’s the seldom unintelligible language of the oppressed. It’s similar to the persistent, incoherent noise accepted as Afro-Hip hop in parts of Africa. I rant as an escape, I rant also to dramatise my inability to avenge wrongs, to hit back in defiance at the vultures that peck at my senses. Like those hybrids of noise taken for music, rants serve two purposes – they either provoke the villain or amuse the victim. I did not actually know what ours do to these villainous politicians who are quarantined in a mental institution named Aso Villa until poor Dr. Reuben Abati, in his worst ever disservice his to masters, exposed their secrets. I mean, he told us how much pain our pestles of criticisms have battered into the tranquility our less-than-sane gods enjoy in their despised Villa.

Ranting is about the only survival instinct among the majority of Nigerians, who consider armed struggle the portion of the Arab World. Yet our tolerance is being questioned by a brand of tyranny called Democracy, where a clique of moneyed cronies perform wonders with people’s minds and intellects—in their scramble for votes, in their race to rig. And perhaps the anonymity social networking avails the oppressed, which didn’t exist during the military juntas, has made fears of personal safety less an issue? So, we rant! I was pleased with the displeasure once expressed by the Senate Leader about the social media being turned forum to demonise the ‘honourables’, the ‘distinguisheds’ and the ‘excellencies’, mis-leaders of the country. It exposed our political leaders’ insensibility. But then, let’s just waive that on the excuse that he too, like other Three Arms Zoners, was high.

Here is one thing Senator David Mark failed to see: Without the escapism of social media, Nigeria would have been long ago torn asunder in chaos. It could be over a biased report on Boko Haram insurgencies in the north, which some lazy journalists portrayed as disasters endorsed by every Muslim here. It could be a report that Igbo elements are the prime targets in either a strike by Boko Haram or a crisis in volatile city of Jos. But social media frustrates the obvious conspiracies sold to our newspaper houses, it fosters our harmony as Ibrahim gets to see and understand Chinedu and vice versa, in his humane form; his tweets, updates, likes, broadcasts, pokes, pings—rants. I think the e-fraternity, where differences are figured out through dialogues, is an experiment that highlights the possibility of our peaceful co-existence in the absence of politicians.

But our realities make me sober. These days I feel like character Saleem Sinai, the protagonist of Salman Rushdie’s mytho-historical novel, Midnight’s Children, triggered by the ticktocks of my country’s clocks. It had been over two decades that our teachers lied to us that we were “tomorrow’s leaders”. This, considering the subjugations of our oldest brothers, does not seem attainable soon as the grandfatherly thieves are still not done with the emptied treasury. And our life expectancy rate which is among the lowest in Africa is being eluded by the aged elites who had even become honorary citizens of First World countries through numberless medical trips and vacations abroads. Our life expectancy is the clock that gets me restless, right from our short but effectual fight during the Occupy Nigeria protests. The clock troubles me now that we return to our rehab, the social media, to play and to exhibit the fibre of our unengaged ideas, intellectuality and visions. The clock troubles me now that we wallow in certain cheap escapisms, like our First Lady’s health condition, which, especially with this impractical proposition of a ridiculously high denomination of Naira bill, is diversionary. She is only an issue only when she stands between policies that affect you and I. But making her health condition a source of entertainment is too cheap. Like Yar’adua, she’s human. She owes me nothing, I owe her nothing. All I need as a citizen is something from her husband.

Like Saleem, I’m restless. Whenever ‘2015’ forms in my mind, my thought goes to that village woman surviving on a muddied pond, her farmer-husband waiting for the fertilizers promised by the Governor or council Chairman or Constituency rep during the electioneering campaign to revive his occupation. Promises which we witness unfulfilled because a certain contractor who knows the man who sponsors the Governor misappropriates the funds meant for the subsidised fertilizers project. And here in the city, I see beggars, I see diseased people far gone, I see an angry battalion of uneducated youths, I see unemployed graduates tweeting, pinging and updating their Facebook statuses to kill time – all claim they await 2015, a new government. And I ask, to do what? This expectation, which is actually a way to tell self that all will be well, only awakens a used-to déjà vu; prior to the elections we would agree that suffering has no ethnic, religious and regional identity only to betray our pact to stand together and save Nigeria on being told a story of early beginning without shoes, which should have only been recommended for publication in Macmillan’s children’s literature series.

Finally, as we pretend that the ongoing government can never be redeemed, gathering our ideas for 2015, let’s be conscious of the power of money, which has conquered the integrity of the Judas Iscariots among us and the electoral officers in conspiratorial tune with the politicians. And we must not shout hallelujah yet because our scandalising rants can also be washed away with a bottle of tequila in that mental Villa!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (Twitter)

Of Insecurity, Threats And Secession

I was not born when Nigeria witnessed  her first civil war from 1967 to 1970,  but if the accounts of the books I have read are to be believed, it was a bloody and terrible event, one I hope never to see in my lifetime. The accounts of the war though varied, are united in claims of avoidable events which led to the war, and I can’t stop drawing parallels with that time and now.

The Nigeria of 2012 under the Goodluck Jonathan administration is bediviled with several problems that threaten the very existence of the country. From corruption to insecurity, the list is endless, and the government appears at loss for what  do. There has been a slow descent into anarchy as religion and ethnicity becomes  effective tools for making outrageous demands.

When Boko Haram came into the scene in 2002, the government ignored the warning signs of an impending security catastrophe and concentrated on depleting the national reserves. The sect was ignored just as the Niger Delta militants were ignored till they grew formidable and became more than a rag tag army weilding unsophiscated weapons to one with IEDs and assault rifles that send the men of the Nigerian army scampering into bushes. While the president continues to indulge in useless political diatribe and finger pointing, the sect continues to flourish, spreading its tentacles across the entire North.

The government’s lackadaisical attitude has emboldened more people to become revolutionaries, fighting for a cause or merely issuing threats to all and sundry, or in some cases to particular targets who may have drawn their ire. The threats too have been ignored or given less attention than they deserve. From Abubakar Atiku’s threat of violent change based on the famous words of late president John Kennedy of America to Asari Dokubo’s recent threat that the country would disintegrate should the house of representatives impreach president Goodluck Jonathan, making threats has become the order of the day. Asari and Atiku are not alone in the threat business, we have had religious leaders from the two major faiths in the country struggle to outdo themselves with inciteful words, adding more fuel to the burning fire.

As if things are not bad enough, there are talks of secession from nearly every corner of the country. For MASSOB who still dream of the secessionist state of Biafra, there is no going back on the clamour for a separate country. The demands of the islamists up North have bordered on getting a separate state run on the dictates of religious laws. We will not forget the furore generated by the Ekiti state government’s decision to  adopt its state anthem and flag, and how the state governor Rauf Aregbesola was accused of harbouring a secession plan. Now  groups from the South South geo-political zone seem to have caught the secession bug. On August 2, Goodluck Diigbo, factional leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) declared independence for the Ogoni ethnic group in Rivers State. Barely seven days after Diigbo’s announcement, the Bakassi people also declared their independence. The declaration which was spearheaded by the Bakassi Self Determination Front (BSDF) witnessed the hoisting of the Blue, White, Red official flag with eleven stars on the blue and launching of a radio station called ‘Dayspring’. Then, last Wednesday August 8, Bayelsa State government announced plans to have state-owned flag, coat of arms and anthem.

I don’t know if President Goodluck Jonathan is aware of the grave consequences of ignoring the issues on ground. I don’t know if he is capable of shrugging off the toga of ineffectiveness, political naivete and incohrence to bring sanity to the land. I don’t even know if he knows that being the president calls for deep insightful action than empty rambling, but one thing I know is, if things are left to continue the way they are going, there will be a repeat of 1967, only this time, it will be on a larger scale as the lines are blurred and the enemies plenty.


Umari Ayim is a lawyer, published author and a thinker devoted to the Nigerian cause.

Her column ‘Revolution Woman’ where she will be dealing on topical issues runs every Monday.