Friday, February 12, 2016

The Buhari Propaganda Machine

 By Moses E. Ochonu
We live in a hyper-partisan time, in which the desire to score political points and spruce up the record of one’s political camp has replaced responsible citizenship. We concede that misinformation, distortion, overzealousness, and exuberance grow naturally from excessive partisanship. Even so, the current situation in Nigeria is uniquely depressing. Truth has taken flight, replaced by propaganda, lies, and exaggerations.  

Propaganda has become the political currency of the time, traded, exchanged, and valued by partisans on both sides of the political divide. And the biggest culprits at this time are Buharists. This is ironic because President Muhammadu Buhari, the man whom the Buharists adore and are eager to present in good light, has a reputation for truth telling, candor, and self-effacing bluntness.

During the last government, former President Goodluck Jonathan's supporters were given to exaggerations of his successes — if they can be called that. They were also notorious for downplaying or refusing even in the face of evidence to acknowledge his failures.

It was under that government that the Chibok kidnapping and other tragic failures were shamelessly denied or trivialized while routine government businesses were promoted to acts of elevated statecraft, of transformative success.

In truth, the Jonathanians were sometimes responding to the taunts of critics, mostly supporters of the APC, who would not acknowledge any achievements of that government and were eager to exaggerate its failures. Even in the domain of terrorism where people were dying, many of the former president’s detractors sounded like cheerleaders for Boko Haram, while the Jonathanians, who trafficked denials and willful ignorance, sounded like mean-spirited people who did not care about human life.

To compound matters, the Jonathanians were embellishing or outright fabricating achievements to make their hero appear more competent that he actually was.

Unfortunately, we are seeing the same with Buharists. 

From Abortion Table To Hell! My Experience

I was raped by a supposed friend (someone I thought I could trust). Left in shame and shock I could not tell anyone about my ordeal. I kept it to myself and went about my normal life. 

Some weeks later after I came back from an event, I started feeling weak, so I went to a nearby hospital and ran some tests. To my greatest shock I tested positive to pregnancy. 

I told the man involved who after much plea convinced me to have an abortion which will be kept a secret. 

I went in for an abortion. However, before the procedure, I asked God to forgive me for what I was about to do. In the process I died. I then saw myself leave my body. Still looking at the lifeless form on the abortion table, I started ascending but in a flash a force pulled me down through a dark tunnel. I could not see the beginning or the end of the walls of the tunnel. It was dark, so dark, I saw cobweb like cells on the walls and in an instant I was in HELL.

I saw a woman who had been there for over a hundred years; she was in deep pain and agony, she would melt in the flames and the magma like liquid will come back together in the form of the woman. It occurred repeatedly. I knew I was in hell. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Fraud Called ‘Jega Elections’

By Ikechukwu Amaechi
Attahiru Jega, a professor of political science and immediate past chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is a very lucky Nigerian. He is one of those fluky human beings the Scripture tells us are blessed because their sins are covered. He remains the only INEC chairman to “successfully” organise two national elections – in 2011 and 2015.
*Jega,Osinbajo and Buhari

For a job that has become the nemesis of most otherwise solid reputations, Jega left office with his intact. Today, he is hailed in some quarters as the best thing that has happened to Nigeria’s democracy since 1999.
He left office on June 30, 2015 to return to his lecturing job at Bayero University, Kano, where he was vice chancellor before his appointment in June 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

That was after he had disclosed in March that he would not accept tenure renewal. Had he wanted, perhaps, he would still be INEC chairman today.
Shortly after leaving office, Jega, former national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), won the 2015 edition of the Charles T. Mannat Democracy Award.

It was presented to him by the United States-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), administrators of the award, at an elaborate ceremony in Washington D.C. on September 29, 2015.
Every year, IFES, a pro-democracy organisation that advocates improved electoral systems around the world, recognises the accomplishments of individuals in advancing freedom and democracy by bestowing awards on them in honour of past chairs of its board of directors: Charles T. Manatt and Patricia Hutar, and Senior Adviser, Joe C. Baxter.

While Jega was honoured under the Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award category, it is instructive that his co-awardees were U.S. Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, and Republican Congressman, Ed Royce.
Jega was chosen as the international figure for the award, according to the promoters, for leading the INEC to conduct what they perceived as one of the most credible elections in Nigeria’s history, even in the face of alleged intimidation and sabotage by some of his own staff and officials of the Jonathan administration.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Each Of Buhari’s Foreign Trips Costs 1$Million – Fayose

...Buhari’s Unnecessary Trips The Bleeding Economy”
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has counselled President Muhammadu Buhari to stay at home and govern the country instead of junketing from one country to the other, saying; “foreign countries won’t solve our problems for us and the President’s incessant foreign trips is already bleeding the economy with about $1 million being spent per trip.”
The governor, who said most of the trips embarked on by the President were unnecessary, added that ministers or at best the Vice President could have been made to attend most of the functions being attended abroad by the President.
According to a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said that “the President should rather listen more to those of us who criticise him instead of those hailing every of his wrong steps either because of what they intend to gain or for fear of persecution.”
The statement read; “Conservatively, about $1 million goes into every of the foreign trips and the way the President is going, foreign trips alone might gulp 20 percent of the Federal Government budget and that will be disastrous for the dwindling economy of the country.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Buhari And The Vanishing Miracles

By Levi Obijiofor

Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the governing party at the federal level, has cast himself as the chief defender of President Muhammadu Buhari. His exaggerated defence of Buhari’s economic and political policies should be expected. After all, he was the one who threw his weight behind Buhari as the presidential flag bearer of the APC during the general elections last year.

Answering questions that focused on the state of the economy, the falling oil price in the international market, and the government’s options for dealing with the ragged economic situation at home, Tinubu offered simplistic excuses why Nigerians should not be nervous about the instability in the oil market which has also affected global currencies. He said: “We are not the only country affected, it is universal. We have to manage ourselves, challenge ourselves, and be more creative in a way that will not affect the welfare of the people, because the government is about the people.” He also said: “We should also be innovative and develop our economy in such a way that will show the leadership position that we always espouse in Africa. Now and years back we have been talking about diversification of the oil sector but we never implemented it.”

The idea that the significantly reduced oil price should be regarded as a worldwide problem might be true but should the country go into lockdown just because the global economy is experiencing turbulence? If the problem is worldwide, shouldn’t the government have its own emergency response strategies? Should we fold arms, suspend our lives, and wait for the situation in other parts of the world to abate before we can start to live again?
The hallmark of good political leaders is the ability to respond instantly to unanticipated problems that confront their nations. I do not subscribe to Tinubu’s rallying call for all citizens to support President Muhammadu Buhari because there is no evidence that the government is taking strong action to mitigate the nation’s economic problems.

It is okay for a party leader such as Tinubu to aim to rouse the citizens to support their government in times of economic adversity. However, before that can happen, the government has to demonstrate practically to the citizens that it is working hard to alleviate poverty, economic hardships, health problems, and other problems that have overwhelmed the people. In times of growing economic problems, speechifying is not the best way to appeal to and win the support of citizens. The government has to show with verifiable facts that it is working tirelessly to attend to national problems.

January 15, 1966 Was Not An Igbo Coup (2)

By Chuks Iloegbunam
The object of this second half of my article is to challenge Nigeria and Nigerians: Please make an honest effort at determining the truth of Nigeria’s contempo­rary history! It is the sure way of exorcising the demons need­lessly thwarting every chance of Nigeria attaining nationhood. If Nigeria refuses to confront the truth of its history, it will con­tinue to tug at centrifugal forces guaranteed to eternally forestall any contingency of mastering the contradictions that dog every centimetre of the country’s path.
*Reuben Abati 
The 50th anniversary of the January 1966 coup d’etat afforded the country a golden opportu­nity to turn its back permanently against historical lies, especially lies of the variety that inflame passions and further entrench the existing divisions between the disparate peoples forged into one country by the sleight of British colonialism. Unfortunately, revi­sionists seized the public space, retold falsehoods previously dis­credited and, thus, blew the op­portunity.

Reuben Abati is one such revi­sionist. In the first half of this article, we exposed his lies in an article he entitled Armed Forces Day: January 15, Remembering Where We Came From. Abati had claimed in that article that “An Igbo man, Nwafor Orizu, the acting President, handed over power to another Igbo man, General Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi.” We proved that this was blatantly untrue. He had also downplayed Aguiyi-Ironsi’s central role in putting down the coup, for which we pointed out that he was being disingenuous.

There are two other distor­tions in Abati’s article that must be discredited. He wrote that (1) Aguiyi-Ironsi treated the January coup plotters with kid gloves, and (2) Aguiyi-Ironsi imposed Igbo hegemony on Nigeria. Whether in scholarship or in journalism, whoever made claims such as these, would be expected to de­ploy empirical evidence in sup­port of his assertions. But not Abati. We must dismantle his fab­rications, of course. Before doing that, however, some background information is imperative. Fif­teen years ago, Abati wrote a two-part article entitled Obasanjo, Se­cession And The Secessionists (The Guardian on Sunday, December 16 and 23, 2001).

That article contained all the lies that he regurgitated in his lat­est piece. It elicited a lot of reac­tion from observers of the Nige­rian condition who believed that Abati should know better, and should wield his pen with some circumspection. We will return to this. Let’s first reexamine the facts. Abati said that Nzeogwu and his cohorts were treated with kid gloves? In Nzeogwu: An Inti­mate Portrait Of Major Chukwu­ma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Spectrum Books, Ibadan 1987) Olusegun Obasanjo reproduced copies of handwritten letters from his friend, Nzeogwu, which detailed the ill-treatment they suffered in detention. But far more impor­tant is the fact that Aguiyi-Iron­si’s Supreme Military Council (SMC) took a decision to subject the coup plotters to public trial.

Let The Igbo Be!

By Oguwike Nwachuku                                      This year’s activities leading to the 50th anniversary of the January 15, 1966 coup plot believed to have altered the political equation of Nigeria after just six years of independence have come and gone.
But the lessons, like a razor will continue to pierce the heart of every discerning person.
Popularly and erroneously described as Nzeogwu Coup, nay Igbo coup, many commentators have interpreted that putsch the way it suits them, their political allies and interest, 50 years down the road.
The same scenario is playing out in the trial of the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, whose own case is being given another colouration.
Of all the persons accused of eating the yam from Sambo Dasuki’s office as former national security adviser (NSA), Metuh is the only one that has been brought to court in handcuffs and Black Maria and whose bail conditions are ridiculous.
Today’s intervention is not on Metuh, but I think the Igbo are also using their tongue to count their teeth.
This is what Nzeogwu told his compatriots while announcing reasons for the coup: “Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 per cent; those that keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian calendar back by their words and deeds.
“Like good soldiers we are not promising anything miraculous or spectacular.
“But what we do promise every law abiding citizen is freedom from fear and all forms of oppression, freedom from general inefficiency and freedom to live and strive in every field of human endeavour, both nationally and internationally.
“We promise that you will no more be ashamed to say that you are a Nigerian ….”

Monday, February 1, 2016

How APC Destroyed Nigeria For 16 Years

By Oraye St. Franklyn
I'm usually taken aback whenever officers of the present All Progressives Congress (APC) administration release statements and interviews to sermonise Nigerians on how Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration has destroyed Nigeria for 16years and how they are working on fixing the mess created by PDP.
It is non-contestable that between May 29, 1999 and May 29, 2015, “PDP" (in quote) occupied the seat of power in Abuja and controlled  majority states of the federation. However, we have to get our fact right with respect to who destroyed Nigeria between 1999 and 2015. I believe we should do a holistic analysis on this subject.
President And Vice President: 1999-2015
Nigeria had three presidents between May 29, 1999 and May 29, 2015, namely, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Mallam Umaru Yar'adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan. Of the three, Obasanjo spent eight years in office (1999-2007), Yar'adua three years (May 2007-May 2010) and Dr Jonathan five years (May 2010-May 2015). Obasanjo who spent the longest period as president (Eight years) has since denounced the PDP to become the APC and Buhari's “navigator” to office. Similarly, of the three vice presidents during the period under review, Atiku Abubakar spent the most number of years in office (Eight, 1999-2007). But he not only moved to AC/APC while in office in 2006, he also aspired to rule Nigeria on the APC platform in 2014 and is today a member of APC's Board of Trustees.
*El-Rufai and Amaechi

January 15, 1966 Was Not An Igbo Coup (1)

By Chuks Iloegbunam
Reuben Abati earned a PhD in Dramat­ic Arts over two decades ago. He was chairman of the Edito­rial Board of The Guardian for nine solid years. And he was spokesman for Presi­dent Goodluck Jonathan for another four years. In terms of education and exposure, therefore, he ranks with the best, not just in Africa, but globally. Yet, in Armed Forces Day: January 15, 2016, Remember­ing Where We Came From, an article recently published extensively in both the or­thodox and social media, he made many false and unwar­ranted statements, only two of which must be debunked in the space available here.
*General Aguiyi-Ironsi
Abati claimed that in Jan­uary 1966, “An Igbo man, Nwafor Orizu, the acting President, handed over pow­er to another Igbo man, Gen­eral Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi.” He also claimed that, Ironsi “had been instrumental to making the coup fail.”

Kaneng Daze, the daugh­ter of Lieutenant Colonel James Yakubu Pam, a victim of the January 15, 1966 coup, granted an interview, which The Punch published in its edition of January 17, 2016 and which is also circulat­ing in the social media. At the time of the coup, Mrs. Daze was only eight years old. 

The following is a part of what she recalled: “So, my father dressed up and got out of the room and started fol­lowing them (the coup mak­ers) down the stairs. Before then, he made some few calls while he was with our moth­er… The first was to (Briga­dier Zakariya) Maimalari… I think it was that call that alerted Maimalari that made him to escape. The second call was to General (Aguiyi) Ironsi. Ironsi appeared not to have shown any surprise as he kept saying, ‘I see! I see!! Okay!!!’ He dropped the phone and went down the first stairs.”
*Gen Gowon 
Dr. Abati and Mrs. Daze represent two broad types that straddle Nigeria’s con­temporary history. Abati is of the class of Nigerians fully knowledgeable about the minutest details of Ni­geria’s history but are crip­pled by a curious inability to live the truth. Mrs. Daze belongs to the class unwilling or unable to reach beyond fairy tales and determine for themselves the truths of their country’s stories.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Agony Of Chibok Parents

By Aniebo Nwamu
Until now, I didn’t believe any representative of the Nigerian government would raise their voice during a conversation with parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls. Government exists to protect life and property, and, where it fails as in the case of the Chibok schoolgirls, it should at least feel guilty. I thought no Nigerian leader could look the distraught parents in the face and still speak words that hurt. 

I was proved wrong on Thursday, as I read with disbelief what “Mama Taraba” Aisha Alhassan told the Chibok parents during a meeting in Aso Villa. Here were agonising parents transported from Chibok by the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement to receive consolation from the powers that be. Here were parents expecting the presidency to tell them when to expect their long lost daughters. The presence of Hajiya Alhassan, who is also Nigeria’s minister of women affairs, must have reassured them that there was a mother who would protect their interests. How then could Alhassan, a mother and grandmother who is still hoping to be awarded the governorship of Taraba State, have spat on their faces?

“Mama Taraba”, first, told the grieving parents they were not invited to the villa. Then, she reportedly told them that the girls were not kidnapped under the current government, “so why are you harassing us?” As if the diatribe was not enough, Minister Alhassan reminded them: “You wanted schools, you wanted hospitals, you wanted this and that… you wanted so many things.”

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nigeria: Suffering From Chronic Elite Conspiracy


 Professor Ali Mazurui wrote it all in his seminal work titled: “The African Bigman”. And by this, I think he meant to refer to those Africans who inherited the elite dynamics and dialectics of the departing Colonial Masters, and who always want to act similarly in their colonial-mentalities and ways of doing things. Also, methinks he was also referring to those emerging and emerged African elites in their countries after independence, who lack humility in all they do, especially because of their belief that they have attained high societal positions that gives them the leverage to flaunt their kind of attitudes (and therein knowingly and unknowingly trample on the less privileged).
*Perpetual Victims 
Yes! There is what could be regarded as “African Bigman Syndrome”; which emanates truly from “Colonial Mentality”; whose roots is surely, as we earlier said, from “Colonial Mental Attitude”. Indeed, Africans who became elites after the departure of the white Colonial Masters, and indeed those who replaced the departing Colonial Bourgeoisies in commercial and administrative positions of authority (inheriting and living in their then big houses, segregated Government Reserved Areas, using their types of big cars, joining their segregated clubs, wearing their kind of clothing, eating their kinds of food and drinking their kind of wine, etc) developed a syndrome of bigmanism that “sickens” them all the time; making them to want to separate and discriminate other down-trodden Africans (their less privileged brothers and sisters). And this sickness has lingered from the days of our political flag independence (we are yet to be economically independent), and have now, dove-tailed-into what could be called/posited and asserted affirmatively today as “Chronic Elite Conspiracy” against the masses of Nigeria.
What is this endemic elite-disease? What are its operative methodologies? How has it affected the socio-political and economic aspects of our society (country, nation, nation-state or call it whatever name you like!)? Let’s attempt an answer! But before we do this, please permit us to first of all define the three key words that are entrenched-in and encapsulates this topic: Chronic; Elite and Conspiracy.
According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Chronic means: Lingering; lasting; bad; intense; severe; acute; constant. Elite means: Best (of a group); Select group or class. Conspiracy means: Act of conspiracy; combination for unlawful purpose; plot; agreement to say nothing concerning a matter.
Therefore, having all these definitions in mind, and having observed the obvious display of the kind of mannerism (attitude) and actions of Nigerian elites since her independence in 1960, can it not be rightly said then, that a lingering/long lasting plot (which is definitely unlawful in purposes) has been unleashed by a select group or class of Nigerians (who through their high intellectual, administrative and commercial-enterprise positions); have denied a vast majority/generality of Nigerians (through discreet and open operating methods) their rights to their basic needs of life (like food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care, employment, water, electricity, transportation facilities, security and other social amenities/utilities and services) and freedom; and also used the people’s resources and wealth (commonwealth actually) to better themselves (which they consciously and unconsciously concretized through their high-conspiratorial high-life)?

Of Nations, National Heroes and Tribal Bigots

By Dan Amor
Nigeria is a nation of experts without roots. We are always creating tacticians who are blind to strategy and strategists who cannot even take a step. And when the culture has finished its work, the weak institutions handcuff the infirmity. But what is at the centre of the panic which is our national culture since we are not yet free to choose our leaders? 
*Buhari and Obasanjo 
Seeing how ineligible dunces who don't even understand the secret of their private appeal, talk less of what the nation needs jostle for power, I realize all over again that Nigeria is an unhappy contract between the rich and the poor. It is not that Nigeria is altogether hideous, it is even by degrees pleasant, but for an honest observer, there is hardly any salt in the wind.

Yet, in Nigeria, the myth of politics and the reality of life have diverged too far. There is nothing to return them to one another: no common love, no cause, no desire, and most essentially, no agreement here. Nigeria needed a hero before the exit of the White man, a hero central to his time. Nigeria needed a man whose personality might suggest contradictions and mysteries which could reach into the alienated circuits of the underground, because only a hero can capture the secret imagination of a people, and so be good for the vitality of his nation. A hero embodies the fantasy and so allows each private mind the liberty to consider its fantasy and find a way to grow. Each mind can become more conscious of its desires and waste less strength in hiding from itself. Roosevelt was such a hero, and Churchill, Lenin, De Gaulle and Mandela. Even Hitler, to take the most odious example of this argument, was a hero, the hero-as-monster, embodying what had become the monstrous fantasy of a people, but the horror upon which the radical mind and liberal temperament foundered was that he gave outlets to the energies of the Germans, and so presented the twentieth century with an index of how horrible had become the secret heart of its desires.

Electricity Crisis And The Illusion Of ‘Body Language’

By Ugochukuwu Ejinkeonye                                                                                  By Wednesday, April 1, 2015 when Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 2015 presidential elections, the rainy season was already here with us. And as all keen and informed observers of Nigeria’s power sector were already fully aware, at that particular season each year, we usually witnessed some improvement in electricity supply due to the increase in the water level usually witnessed at our dams; and 2015 was certainly not going to be an exception.
*President and Lai Mohammed
While the APC and its supporters were all over the place immersed in boundless revelling, chest-beatings and other self-congratulatory gestures, and asking anyone whose ear they were able to attract to await the wonders and miracles which the APC had so freely and loudly promised during the elections now that their “Wonder Man” has won the election, I visited a shop near my office. And there I saw a barely literate young man who was so happy with himself as he confidently told the few people who had some time to spare for his poorly coordinated lectures about what he perceived as Buhari’s pre-inauguration accomplishments:

“You see what I have been saying? The man has not even been sworn in and we are already enjoying light [electricity supply] every day! What will happen then when he is sworn in? Just wait and see! Once he enters there, you will see how everything will change!”

His cocksureness was amazing. He spoke pidgin English, and so what I have attempted here is mere paraphrase of his happy outbursts.

Now, one could easily ignore this clear advertisement of ignorance, but after listening to that fellow that bright afternoon, and thought about the matter later, I begun to have this fear lurking somewhere in me that the APC, given its antecedents and distinguishing character, might soon start reechoing this fellow.  Anyone who closely observed the party during the campaigns and elections would readily recall that, somehow, it does not easily recoil from saying just anything that can help it win a few more ears no matter how easily such claims would simply evaporate in the face of reality.

And so, I had to quickly write an article entitled, “Electricity: Can Buhari Break The Jinx?” in which I attempted an analysis of why, in my view, former President Goodluck Jonathan could not achieve an impressive record in the power sector and urged Buhari and his people to hasten to do the right things to achieve a name for themselves since they had unduly raised the people’s expectations during the campaigns. Then I gave them the timely counsel which is contained in the following extract:

Now, it is a known fact that during each rainy season, there is usually some improvement in electricity supply as currently being witnessed by Nigerians. But instead of deploying solid effort to increase the amount of electricity generation and distribution in the country, the government may naively choose to sit still and start announcing this development as one of its ‘great achievements.’ That would amount to repeating the folly of previous administrations which had also done that forgetting that the rains would soon go away and they would run out of lies trying to explain away the biting reality that would dawn with the sudden return of darkness.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Soludo: The Real Idi Amin That Ran The CBN?

By Jude Ndukwe
Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and former governorship aspirant in Anambra State, got the nation anxious again when he declared in a no-holds-barred manner that former President Goodluck Jonathan ran the Central Bank of Nigeria in manners akin to that of Uganda’s late dictator, Idi Amin. Soludo did not fall short of accusing the former president of ordering the CBN to ‘print’ say, N3 trillion under the guise of creating an intervention fund for national stability but which is eventually doled out to prosecute an election campaign or just about anything the president fancies. He further described the CBN as the presidency’s ATM under Jonathan.
Such an unsubstantiated grave allegation coming from a man like Soludo is, indeed, worrisome. That a man of Soludo’s status would condescend so low, throw caution to the wind, jump on the bandwagon, play to the gallery and take advantage of the political situation in Nigeria to make spurious allegations unscrupulously against the former president is a sign of the decline and amnesia which has gripped our political class in the last eight months.
Apart from the fact that such unguarded outburst is false, the timing is instructive.
In the months prior to the appointment of Ministers by President Buhari, Soludo was so desperate to be noticed that he suddenly became vocal in condemning the immediate past administration and accused them of just anything that tickled his fancy all in a bid to get Buhari’s attention. His nearly endless tirade against Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Finance and
Coordinating Minister of the Economy, is legendary. Despite all his efforts, President Buhari overlooked him and settled for someone who by her deportment is timid and easily malleable than a Soludo who is brash, rash, abrasive, confrontational and does ITK (I Too Know).
After having missed that opportunity, and with the growing rumour that the job of the current CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, is hanging in the balance following the shambolic state of our economy and the continued slide in the value of the naira, it is time for Soludo to remind Buhari that he is still jobless and quite available for the CBN top job, and the only way to do this since he does not have direct access to the president is to criticise the past administration for just anything that would make him sound as being in the same boat with the president and his men, and probably be considered for a job in the current administration.
However, a look at Soludo’s leadership of the CBN between May 29, 2004 and May 29, 2009, when he held sway there leaves much to be desired.

Nigeria: How To Be A Clueless President

By Femi Aribasala 
Instead of giving Nigerians the change you championed, give them excuses. Blame Goodluck Jonathan for everything.
In six years of Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency, the opposition told us again and again the man was “clueless.” It made sure the tag stuck to him like glue. But now we have a new sheriff in town, with the APC claiming to be better at everything than the PDP. While that might still be subject to debate, there is overwhelming evidence that in the cluelessness department, the PDP is certainly no match for the APC.
*Jonathan and Buhari 
Here is a compendium from the APC textbook of cluelessness, provided within barely one year in office. If you want to know how to be a clueless president, this is the APC blueprint.
Instead of giving Nigerians the change you championed, give them excuses. Blame Goodluck Jonathan for everything, including the harmattan. Whenever you make a blunder, pass the buck to the former president. If there is petrol shortage, blame it on Goodluck Jonathan. If the budget is dead on arrival, blame it on Goodluck Jonathan.
In the middle of an economic crisis, promise to provide Nigerians with free education; free meals daily for millions of Nigerian public school-children; free tertiary education; free health-care and free houses. Facing a drastic drop in Nigeria’s income, declare you will be giving grants of N1.5 trillion a year to Nigeria’s poor. When you fail to deliver on any on these highfalutin promises, blame it quickly on Goodluck Jonathan.
Forget the name of your vice-presidential running-mate. Call him Yemi Osunbade instead of Yemi Osinbajo. Tell President Obama the name of your political party is the All Nigeria’s Peoples’ Congress when it is All Progressives Congress. Call your party on CNN the All Progressives Confidence.

Nigeria, A Country Built On Lies

By Kparobo M. Ehvwubare
Four years after the amalgamation of Nigeria, an ex-Judge Stocker, described the Contraption called Nigeria as a form of system he called: The Nigerian System. He described the Nigerian system as "A setback to a condition of things resembling the barbarous ages”. As at the time, “The Nigerian system” was and is still the most infernal system that was ever designed for the express purpose of humiliating and depressing the units of any loyal and progressive community.
The three basic principles for the successful working of the Nigerian System were and are still: 

*IGNORANCE, FEAR and MILITARY TERRORISM: Infernal extremely evil or cruel; expressive of cruelty or befitting hell.

The Nigerian System– Designed To Fail

To restrain and subvert the greed and selfishness of the Emirs because of his consistent dread of a Jihad or holy war against him or his government in the Northern Protectorate, Lord Fredrick Lugard charmed them into submission with the princely salary and a 50% allocation of the native’s treasury funds. These funds were derived from direct taxation thereby creating a distinction, without a difference between their private and public funds.

While Sir Lugard humored at the greed of these Emirs and the ignorance of the peasant natives, he had a successful rule as a mini-god, as long as he did not tamper with their religion. Hence, the cementation of the system where only “a few were beneficiary of state funds while the peasants were at the mercy of a ruling class”. In that system, he termed as the “indirect rule” in the Northern Protectorate. He had subtly guided these Emirs {ruling class} to the center of the garden to taste the fruit of knowledge, and to be able to decipher between good and bad while the natives were left in perpetual ignorance.

Things did not work out so well when Lugard arrived the Southern Protectorate and the Lagos Colony. There, he met missionary schools in several nooks and corners, educated natives with a system of government that was designed to progress. During his presentation on taxation policy to the parliament in 1913, he was bombarded with several questions on these policies and considerations were put forward on the affordability in defense of the natives. These didn’t quite go well with the god-emperor Sir Frederick Lugard. Ignorance was not going to be a basic tool for success in the Southern Protectorate/Colony as it were in the Northern Protectorate.

Most of the Princes and some commoners of the Southern Protectorate were already scholars of western education. Hence, history reports that Sir Fredrick’s policy met with such a lamentable and disastrous failure in the Lagos Colony and Southern Provinces. The darkness of ignorance from the Northern provinces was dispelled by the people of the Southern provinces championing Rights, Liberty and Justice.

Faced with the challenges of imposing the "divide and rule by ignorance” policy of the Northern provinces on the Southern Provinces and Colony that was strongly opposed by the natives of the Southern provinces, Sir Fredrick Lugard thereby devised the sudden thoughts of creating the CONTRAPTION called UNITED NIGERIA.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Buhari Is Enabling Corruption, Not Fighting It

By Obi Nwakanma
The minister for justice just announced that judges found to be corrupt will be tried by this administration. This is problematic. Though this sentiment is much shared, it should not be left to the president and his administration to define “corruption,” or determine which judge is corrupt. For the avoidance of doubt the writ of this republic does not make the president the supreme authority of the land.
The constitution is the governing authority of this republic, and the president is, as are all Nigerians, governed by the Constitution. It would amount to overreach for the president to break the thin glass boundaries that established the separation of powers under the constitution. It would be power-grabbing, and the National Assembly and the courts must keep an eye on this president. In fact, it is about time that the National Assembly moved to reduce some of the powers granted the president, because one of the great sources of corruption in Nigeria is the enormous and almost limitless power granted the executive by this constitution designed by the military. Let me advert the minds of Nigerians to January 1, 1984: a military coup had just sacked the democratically elected Government of President Shehu Shagari. At the head of that coup was a tall, lean, unsmiling General, who came across as a Spartan, no-nonsense, missionary soldier, out to rescue Nigeria from political and economic collapse.
Shagari had just been re-elected in a very controversial election, which had the great Nnamdi Azikiwe spewing fire in his very prophetic, as it turned out, post-election letter to Nigerians, “History Will Vindicate the Just,” published widely in the Nigerian Press. It was clear that the election was riddled with irregularities. Yet, corruption in the politics of those years was the bread and butter kind. It was confined mostly in the political parties. The civil institutions were still intact: the public service; the judicial system; the entire bureaucracy of state governance which could put to check to the excesses of political leadership. And they were still all there in 1984. Then came Buhari and his dark-browed praetorian guard, sacking the civil government, and instituting a rule by decrees. The first order of business was to dismantle the credibility of the elected political leaders the soldiers had sacked. In very elaborate fashion General Buhari and his rubber-stamp Supreme Military Council authorized the arrest, detention, and prosecution of the discredited politicians. His Minister for Justice, Chike Ofodile quickly crafted decrees that established extrajudicial tribunals that evacuated the powers of the civil courts. Some of the trials were in-camera. But it soon became obvious that these arrests and detentions were skewered mostly against politicians from the South, particularly of the group that called itself the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and by politicians from the Middle Belt. It might have been inadvertent, but the impression it created was of a partisan, regionalist witch-hunt of Southern politicians – some of them the most popular, and in fact, the more credible in their visible achievements in the four years between 1979 and 1983.

This Is Nigeria, Our Nigeria

By Dan Amor
Even as the River Niger surges still along its wonted path to its dalliance with the River Benue and the consequent emptying of the passionate union into the mazes of the Delta, and, thereafter, into the vast, swelling plenitude of the all-welcoming seas, it is Nigeria, our Nigeria. True, Lagos is still Lagos; Abuja is still Abuja. It is, indeed, injury time in a new country under a new democracy, our democracy! Yet, everywhere you look, things look pretty much as they always have been. Still, the sway of buffoonery and unintelligent greed; still the billowing gown arrogance of the supposedly powerful, the surface laughter of the crashing rivers celebrating the disquieting crisis of democracy, the riveting appearances of things. 

*President Buhari 

Splendid is the current! Yet, into the heart of the average Nigerian pop uninvited intimations that we live today in the cusp of a new age, a new country and a new democracy. Alas, it is a new era. But in the lull between the passions and exertions and excitations of our workaday world today, at these times when the body yields to repose and the mind nestles in shades of quietude, it hits you: it is the dawn of change! But, what manner of change is this? From better to worse?

Something, you realize, is going on in this country, something is happening here. But what? What is it? What really is going on? It is simply real. It is the season of change. It is the season of democracy. But democracy, as you know, never comes like a bolt from the girthless skies. It comes rather upon the ripening. Whether in our bodies or our characters, or our large, tall and considerable affairs, democracy is a ripening, stage after stage and after stage. The trouble, however, is: we live half-blind, usually even totally blind to the obvious processes of liquidation being sponsored by our rulers against our nascent democracy. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Swot Analysis Of The New Electricity Tariff In Nigeria (2)

By Idowu Oyebanjo

The Opportunities
Localisation Of Services
In the last few years, there has been increased agitation for localisation of services in the power sector especially in the local manufacture of smart meters. Local manufacturers of meters now have an opportunity to showcase their capability under the local content initiative. This will lead to the creation of jobs and business opportunities as marketers of electricity recharge cards or vouchers just as experienced in the Telecommunication sector will spring up along with companies involved in metering and customer billing systems. 
*Idowu Oyebanjo
A critical element that will hold NESI in good steer is the need for a global procurement strategy or culture where stakeholders leverage on the volume of purchase to reduce cost. In the atmosphere of cuts, this will serve the industry well. This can start now. As Discos seek to purchase meters in bulk, they should negotiate a fair deal in view of the number of meters they will have to purchase. Consultants and service providers will not be left out as installation, operation, and required maintenance services for meters procured will be sourced. Generally speaking, there is need to establish the Joint Qualification System (JQS) and register of suitably pre-qualified practitioners to provide these services by the Nigerian Content Joint Consultative forum. 

Other potential opportunities include but not limited to the provision of Demand Side Response and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), pursuit of revenue protection initiatives by Discos, energy efficiency and energy conservation (as those who waste electricity will now conserve it and therefore contribute to increased availability of power elsewhere on the network), increased network operational efficiency, phased introduction of feed-in-tariffs (as consumers deploy renewable generation on their roofs), increased penetration of embedded generation with the attendant reduction in network losses and accelerated increase in availability of electricity supply.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Wombling And Fumbling With Fuel Prices

By Henry Boyo
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s Executive Secretary, Farouk Ahmed, reportedly announced, at a press briefing in Abuja on 29th December, 2015, that a revised template for fuel pricing had been approved by the Agency; the announcement was evidently the formal manifestation of the ‘modulated pricing’ model earlier canvassed by Ibe Kachikwu, the NNPC CEO and current Minister of State for Petroleum. Thus, with the adoption of the new template, petrol price will be reduced from N87 to N86 in NNPC filling stations, while other marketers would sell at a pump price of N86.50/litre.

However, in contrast to the previous static cost template, fuel prices would henceforth be reviewed quarterly to reflect fluctuations in any cost variable. Indeed, Kachikwu had also corroborated the thrust of the new template when he emphasized in an earlier press briefing in Kaduna on December 2015 that “we are not going to be fluctuating prices day to day, we are going to take like an average, and I think that today when you look at the prices, we have no subsidy, because prices remain low and that is what we need to do”. 

Kachikwu’s statement probably suggests that the reviewed fuel price has fallen below the existing subsidy threshold of N87/litre; consequently, government decided to pass on between N1 and 50Kobo/litre discount on petrol prices to the public, despite the oppressive N2Tn projected loan required to fund 2016 budget deficit. The PPPRA’s modulated response to fuel pricing is allegedly a demonstration of government’s “honesty in being able to sell products to Nigerians at affordable prices that make sense”. Nonetheless, the Minister is certain that we still need to get out of the subsidy debacle, because, according to him “the reliability and affordability of subsidy are issues we need to get away from, whether or not you believe in subsidy”.

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