Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why Are Dictators Not Able To See Facts

By Alexander Opicho
I have been following political decisions of Gambia’s Yahaya Jammeh for the past five years, it has been an interesting venture which have led and could still lead any other observer to the question that, why are dictators not able to see facts the way they are, or what goes on inside the mind of a dictator. For example, Jammeh has been using the political office to serve himself sensuously, without being touched by economic and social problems of his fellow countrymen in Gambai. 
*Jammeh and Buhari in Banjul
Poverty and despair in Gambia has never been a source of contrite to him, instead he feels good to be the only strongman among the desperate weaklings. Jammeh could not accept the fact that he has been voted out, he still clung on power, neither could he see the dignity of accepting defeat to hand over power until he is humiliated through a forceful ejection by the ECOWAS military.

This behaviour is not unique to Yahaya Jammeh as an individual, but it is the shared character of all social and political dictators. Failure to see the reality is their main behaviour, and then deriving pleasure from problems of others is their second behaviour. In fact closer examination of dictators like Jammeh leads to a premise that may be dictatorship is more of a medical problem that a political problem. This premise easily gets support from the sub-normal behaviour of Yahaya Jammeh during his last days as President of the Gambia.

The corporate world is not an exception, managers and corporate leaders that are tyrannical will never accept that they are failing the organization. They will never be sensitive to the fact that they are ones making customers to withdrawal and employees to resign. Instead they will cling to their positions until the organization is closed down. Some observers attribute this behaviour of the tyrannical managers to fear, anxiety, love of power and paranoia, but this is not enough.

A Peep Into Osinbajo’s Presidency

By Ochereome Nnanna
Within these twenty months of  the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have been privileged to see two “faces” of his presidency. The first face is the General Muhammadu Buhari character of it, while the second is the Professor Yemi Osinbajo coloration. These two faces are dramatically different.
*Buhari and Osinbajo
Let us look at them briefly. Muhammadu Buhari, being the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the man majority of the Nigerian electorate gave their votes to as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Many Nigerians saw him as an experienced leader; a man of integrity who would fight corruption and secure the nation from Boko Haram and other security threats, thereby, giving the sluggish economy the impetus to jumpstart itself back to buoyancy.

At least, that was the logic his promoters from the Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu presented before Nigerians. He looked very tailor-made to deliver the “change” the party promised Nigerians. Some of us had our reservations because we had seen the other side of him which did not recommend him as the person to lead the country at this juncture of her march to nationhood.

But when he assumed the mantle of power, Buhari started confirming our fears about him, rather than justifying the confidence of his supporters and other unbiased onlookers. He was slow and sloppy in putting his government together, very much unlike the experienced leader whom we all expected to swing into action immediately after being sworn-in. It took him six months to put together his Federal Executive Council, unlike the new American President, Donald J. Trump, whose cabinet was already in place as he started work.

Up till today, Buhari has not fully constituted his government. One of the most perplexing of Buhari’s failings when it comes to the appointment of people to crucial positions is the Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN) saga. When the former CJN, Mahmud Mohammed retired in November last year, the National Judicial Council, NJC, recommended Hon. Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen to Buhari for onward transmission to the Senate for confirmation.

Rather than doing so, Buhari swore Onnoghen in as Acting CJN. It was a queer move which the President, up till today when he is away on medical tourism abroad, has refused to explain his motive for it. He left us all guessing. Some of us guessed, against the background of his ethnic and sectional predilections in loading up the commanding points of the Federal Government with Northern Muslims, that Buhari did not want a Southerner as CJN.

Perhaps, he was waiting for three months to elapse, hoping that Onnoghen would retire and the NJC would cave in and nominate the next in line, Justice Tanko Mohammed from Bauchi. That would effectively put the leadership of the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary back in Northern Muslim hands in line with Buhari’s preferred, nepotism-fed governing template which is against the demands of the constitution that top positions in government must be shared to reflect the Federal Character and give all sections a sense of belonging.

Buhari Explains Why He Requires Longer Time For Rest


“President Muhammadu Buhari thanks millions of Nigerians who have been sending good wishes and praying for his health and well-being in mosques and churches throughout the country.

The President is immensely grateful for the prayers, show of love and concern.

President Buhari wishes to reassure Nigerians that there is no cause for worry.

During his normal annual checkup, tests showed he needed a longer period of rest, necessitating the President staying longer than originally planned.”

Femi Adesina 
SA Media and Publicity 

Why Some Zimbabweans STILL Love Mugabe

President Mugabe 
It's not just loyal Zimbabwean state media that will enthusiastically wish President Robert Mugabe a happy 93rd birthday on Tuesday.
There are still Zimbabweans - and not just in the rural areas - who support and idolise Mugabe (though there's little doubt a bit of vote-rigging always helps win an election).
As one Zimbabwean tweeted this weekend: "There are many people who vote for Zanu WILLINGLY. Please deal."
So why, after years of economic hardship and international isolation, do some still love the man that critics accuse of turning the southern African country into a basket-case?
Here are some suggestions:
Powerful legacy
Like him or hate him, Mugabe played a key role in freeing Zimbabwe from colonial power in 1980. It's a victory he often likes to remind locals often ("Zimbabwe will never be a colony again" etc etc). His story resonates well beyond Zimbabwe's borders, which is why he also gets a lot of support when he travels on the continent.
Stressing the I-freed-the-country line is "chapter 1 in How to be a Dictator", Jeffrey Smith of @VanguardAfrica told News24. There are some signs that the younger generation in Zimbabwe is becoming increasingly disillusioned with the "debt" Mugabe and other war vets claim they're still owed nearly 40 years after the war for independence (As @BuildZimbabwe urged on Monday: "Don't let your loyalty become slavery. Reject the status quo"). On the other hand, legacies win elections. Higher education minister @profjnmoyo argued along these lines at the weekend.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fulani Killer Squads, Nigeria Police And Chocolate City

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
Nigeria has returned to a familiar turf as a society in very deep distress thereby necessitating good Christians and Muslims to embark on wide ranging prayers and atonement sessions to solicit divine intervention.

Only yesterday, the Catholic Church around the country continued with the recitations of the Unique prayer for Nigeria in distress composed by the Nigerian Catholic Bishops Conference during the regime of the military dictator- Late General Sani Abacha.

In Maiduguri, Borno State, report has it that in over 90 mosques, the adherent of the Islamic religion last Friday interceded for the quick recovery and return to work of the Nigerian President who was only recently described by a foreign press as the “missing president”.

Buhari originally travelled to London for a ten days medical vacation but ten days has turned into a full blown Month with no known exact information on when he would be back to the Country.

But the defining moments that reminds us all that Nigeria is in very spectacular distress is the weekend's illegal arrest, detention and belated release of the young Nigerian entrepreneur Mr. Audu Maikori by the police for alleged incitement following a social media posting he did on the Southern Kaduna Massacres by the armed Fulani thugs.

Mr. Maikori, a lawyer by training and a leading light in the Nigerian Music scenes, was arrested in Lagos around noon Friday by a team of policemen attached to inspector-general monitoring and intelligence team and was immediately transferred to the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
Mr. Mark Jacobs, the Legal Counsel to Maikori said the arrest was in connection with a series of tweets posted by Mr. Maikori about four weeks ago in which he alleged the killing of some Southern Kaduna residents by Fulani herdsmen.

But details of the tweets, which Mr. Maikori said were obtained from his driver, turned out to be false.

Mr. Maikori later retracted and apologized for the false information. A magistrate in Kaduna issued a warrant for his arrest, his lawyer said. But it's a notorious fact that Mr. Audu Maikori was humiliated by the police on the illegal instruction of the Kaduna state governor only because he is a Christian from Southern Kaduna and because he has consistently condemned the atrocious mass murders of his people by armed Fulani terrorists.

The arrest of this young Nigerian business executive born by Southern Kaduna parents was sequel to earlier threats by the Kaduna State governor that he will order the detention of anyone spreading information about the killings in Southern Kaduna State. It is a well-known fact in a lot of circle that Nassir El Rufai is an unrepentant ethno-Islamic bigot. He was once quoted to have tweeted a hate message stating that for every Fulani man killed the Fulani will not forgive but will decimate many from the community whereby this killing takes place. El Rufai is not known to have dissociated himself from this apparent hate message on his tweeter handle. 

Gov El-Rufai, Hypocrisy, And Executive Incitement

By Moses Ochonu
A couple of my interlocutors have written to say that Audu Maikori deserves to face justice for sending out a false tweet. I have no issue with that. There is a new law in Kaduna against incitement and if he is in violation of it and the state's prosecutors feel they can build a case, he should be prosecuted.
*Nasir El-Rufai 
But here are the issues that the few —yes, few— El-Rufai worshippers and those who share his ethno-religious and supremacist inclinations are avoiding and want to deflect by latching onto Maikori, the entertainment entrepreneur having become their convenient escapist scapegoat.
1. Is it not curious that all those arrested so far (Christians and Muslims) under this new anti-incitement law are El-Rufai's critics? Is it not equally curious that the governor's supporters who have been making incendiary statements and inflaming the Southern Kaduna crisis with their comments in support of the herdsmen killers and against the people of Southern Kaduna have not been arrested under this law? It appears that as long as you support the governor and join him in demonizing the people of Southern Kaduna and their leaders, your incitement carries no legal consequence. But if you criticize the governor's handling of this crisis or the Shia killings in Zaria and you say something that can be remotely interpreted to violate the capacious anti-incitement law, you get arrested. In this way, the anti-incitement law seems to be functioning as a tool for silencing El-Rufai's critics, an instrument for furthering his tyranny.
2. Is it not hypocritical and ironic for a governor who is the most inciting politician in Nigeria, and whose actions and comments have rendered him a biased umpire in the Southern Kaduna crisis and stoked the conflict, is arresting others for the offense of incitement? And I am not just talking about his well known pre-Governorship tweets at a time when he seemed to have been aiming for the award of the most divisive and inciting politician in Nigeria. I am talking also about his ONGOING incitement. During this crisis, El-Rufai has blamed the Southern Kaduna people, the victims of sustained killings, for bringing the genocide upon themselves by provoking foreign Fulani herdsmen. Just two weeks ago, El-Rufai was on Channels TV, asserting without a shred of evidence, that Southern Kaduna secular and church leaders were encouraging the killing of their own people because they were profiting from it!! This was coming from the governor of the state, but somehow we are supposed to see a false tweet from a citizen's account as a greater threat to peace in Southern Kaduna. A law against incitement may be a good thing if it can be enforced even-handedly (which el-Rufai has shown that it cannot), but a politician who is guilty of serial incitement, a politician indirectly complicit in the ongoing crisis, and a politician who is the inciter-in-chief in Kaduna does not have the credibility to be the enforcer or promoter of such a law.

Give Donald Trump A Chance, Says Robert Mugabe

President Donald Trump should be given a chance to prove himself, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe says.
He went on to express his support for Mr Trump's America-first policy, saying "America for Americans" and "Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans".
It is unusual for the veteran head of state to publicly back any US president.
The US imposed sanctions such as travel bans and an assets freeze on Mr Mugabe and his allies in 2001.
The sanctions were imposed over allegations of human rights abuses and election rigging.
Zimbabwe's government says they caused the country's economic collapse.
Most experts however blame Mr Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms, which used to be Zimbabwe's economic backbone.
With Mr Trump's reputation for being unconventional, Mr Mugabe is hoping his administration might decide to lift the sanctions.
"Give him time," Zimbabwe's leader said of Mr Trump in an interview aired ahead of his 93rd birthday on Tuesday.

The Misplaced Call To Pray For Tyrant

By Femi Fani-Kayode

Permit me to begin this contribution with an aside. It is only a weak, insecure, paranoid, wicked, heartless, ignorant, lawless and callous government that refuses to identify, apprehend, prosecute and hang the bloodthirsty, psychopathic and murdering Janjaweed Islamist Fulani militants and herdsmen and instead arrests an innocent and accomplished young man like Audu Maikori who simply had the courage to cry out to the world about the barbarous genocide that the people of Southern Kaduna and members of his ethnic group and religious faith are being subjected to all over the north.
*Femi Fani-Kayode
I am convinced that my old friend Governor Nasir El Rufai has lost it. He has literally been driven mad by the power that he now wields. If he wants peace in Kaduna state and in the entire country is this the way to achieve it? Does he really believe that locking up his critics and those that have expressed concern about the mass murder and crimes against humanity that are being perpetuated in his state by his Fulani friends and kinsmen who he publicly admitted that he sends public funds to is the way forward?

Does he not know that the suppression of dissenting voices and intimidation will only lead to more anger, resistance, violence and dissent? Can he not build bridges rather than burn them? Can he not make friends rather than make enemies? Here is my message to him: the people of Southern Kaduna are NOT your slaves and neither are the northern minorities, the people of the south or the Christians of Nigeria.

You can kill and lock up as many of us as you like: our faith will only continue to grow, we shall continue to go from strength to strength and we shall oppose and resist you till the bitter end. At the appointed time the Lord will strike back at you for your power show and sheer wickedness and He shall deliver His people. I will not beg you to free Audu Maikori but instead I will strongly advise you to do so. This brings me to the meat of this intervention.
One of the qualities that a Prince must have is the ability to speak truth to power no matter the price, no matter the consequences and no matter whose ox is gored.

Today I will share a truth which many may not like but which, as a leader and a Prince, I am constrained to share. Some have suggested that every Nigerian is compelled by God to pray for our ailing President. I disagree. I do not wish him ill or wish him dead but at the same time I do not subscribe to the view that I am compelled to pray for him. I would rather save my prayers for the thousands of Audu Maikori’s of this world who are suffering persecution and who are languishing in dingy cells all over our country for doing absolutely nothing wrong. I would rather save my prayers for the souls and families of those that have been cut short by the guns and bullets of government security forces, the bombs of radical Islamic terrorists and the machetes and knives of the Fulani militias and herdsmen.

When the Holy Bible says we must pray for our leaders the author was referring to God-fearing and Godly leaders and not usurpers and tyrants. The Bible says we must ‘resist evil’ and few would dispute the fact that with the economy in shambles, with the naira at its lowest value in its entire history, with the level of impunity and corruption in government and with the amount of brutal persecution, politically-motivated arrests and prosecutions and the massive shedding of innocent blood that goes on in our country today, Buhari and his Federal Government are pure evil.

As a matter of fact they are a cursed government that have come to do nothing but spread death, disease, poverty, tears, hardship, suffering, division, hatred, persecution, injustice, destruction and wickedness. To those that insist that even evil tyrants are worthy of our goodwill and prayers I put the following questions.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Even Mugabe's Corpse Will Win Elections In Zimbabwe – Grace Mugabe

The wife of Zimbabwe's 92-year-old President, Robert Mugabe, has said that he is so popular that if he died, he could run as a corpse in next year's election and still win votes.
*President Mugabe and wife, Grace 
Grace Mugabe, 51, was addressing a rally of the governing Zanu-PF party.
Mr Mugabe has governed Zimbabwe since the end of white-majority rule in 1980 following a bitterly fought war.
His wife, who has often professed her undying loyalty to her husband, has assumed an increasingly high profile.
"One day when God decides that Mugabe dies, we will have his corpse appear as a candidate on the ballot paper," Mrs Mugabe told the rally in Buhera, south-east of the capital Harare.
"You will see people voting for Mugabe as a corpse. I am seriously telling you - just to show people how people love their president."
President Mugabe has been backed by his party to stand again in next year's election, but recently cut back on his public engagements.
Grace Mugabe has warned contemporaries of Mr Mugabe from the guerrilla war era that they are not in a position to replace him because they likewise would be too old.
"Anyone who was with Mugabe in 1980 has no right to tell him he is old. If you want Mugabe to go, then you leave together. You also have to leave. Then we take over because we were not there in 1980," she said, gesticulating towards herself.
Last September, the president was rumoured to have died after he reportedly cut short his attendance of an AU summit to fly to Dubai for a health check.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lai Mohammed And The APC: Uncommonly Gifted Liars!

By Reno Omokri
Last week, Lai Mohammed, the infamous minister of information (if you can call what he does as dishing out information) denied being a liar and rhetorically asked newsmen interviewing him to “give me one thing that I have said which is not true”.
When I read that, I thought that perhaps he had repented from his demonic pastime of lying. But it appears I spoke too soon and I was too hopeful!
*President Buhari and Lai Mohammed 
I say this because just days after justifying himself and in response to the US congress citing Nigeria as “the most dangerous place for Christians in the world”, Lai Mohammed had the following to say: “Such fallacies like the Islamisation of Nigeria, the killing of Christians by Muslims, the labelling of Nigeria as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world.”
I do not know about the Islamisation of Nigeria and I doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari has such intentions, but to say that “the killing of Christians by Muslims” is a ‘fallacy’ is a special kind of a lie that could only have proceeded from the lips of a man whose own parents saw the perfidious destiny ahead of him and chose to name their child Lai accordingly!
I know for a fact that thousands of Christians have been killed by Muslims since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power including hundreds in Southern Kaduna (possibly thousands), even more hundreds in Agatu in Benue (although the Agatu Community Elders said over 6,000 of their people have been killed), hundreds in Bali and Donga Local Government Areas of Taraba, over a hundred killed in Enugu, hundreds in Delta, and multiple other deaths of Christians at the hands of Islamic extremists Fulani herdsmen.
This is besides the thousands of Christians killed by Boko Haram and Evangelist Bridget Agbahime beheaded in Kano (and whose suspected killers were discharged and acquitted on the instructions of the Kano State Attorney General) and Pastor Eunice Elisha killed in Kubwa after the morning ministration (whose killers were not surprisingly never charged).
Lai Mohammed has a very distinguished career in lying. I imagine that if he could find his way there, Lucifer will gladly give him an honorary PhD from the University of the Pit of Hell!
Elsewhere, I have detailed his lies but in this piece I want to inform my readers of a troubling pattern I am noticing which is that lying seems to be the default pattern of communication for not just Lai, but the ruling All Progressives Congress, its members and sympathisers. I will prove it.
Two years ago, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, a known APC surrogate LIED that former President Jonathan wanted to kill him. Today, hunger is killing Nigerians and Mbaka’s lying mouth is silent!

Gov El-Rufai Should First Arrest Himself

By Moses Ochonu
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has caused Audu Maikori to be arrested for sending a tweet that relied on false information about an attack that never occurred, a tweet for which he has since apologized. Maikori has been a critic of the governor's handling of the Southern Kaduna killings.
*Gov Nasir El-Rufai 
El-Rufai's latest canard to defend his tyranny and intolerance for critique is what he calls "a policy of consequence." Very chic. The problem is that not a single one of the foreign herdsmen he says are responsible for killing hundreds of Southern Kaduna people's have been arrested for murder. Not a single one of them has faced this "policy of consequences."
In fact instead of being arrested, El-Rufai rewarded them with handsome payments to silence their guns. Yet Southern Kaduna folks like Maikori who complain about their menace, even if relying on unreliable information produced in the haze of crisis, are hounded into detention. It's different strokes for different folks.
We have a situation now where the governor prioritizes what he nebulously calls the offense of incitement over that of mass murder. But even here, he is being disingenuous. Governor El-Rufai is the inciter-in-chief in Kaduna. Just the other day, he was on Channels TV accusing Southern Kaduna elders and church leaders of encouraging and profiting from the murder of their own people! What could be more inciting than this recklessly incendiary statement?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Buhari: A Diary Of Confusion

Nigerians, no doubt, are confused at the moment. The people have too many issues to grapple with at the same time. One is as urgent as the other. The scenarios are so confusing that the people do not seem to know which one to approach first. This being the case, it will be a Herculean task to seek to pigeonhole the whole of the confusing set-up here. But we can try our hands on just one of them today, namely, the health of the country’s President, Muhammadu Buhari. This is one issue that clearly spells confusion. But let us begin from the beginning.
Some time this January, it was announced that the President was going on a 10-day vacation in London. The people were told that the President would, during the period of vacation, undergo routine medical check-up. But no sooner did he arrive London than the rumour mill began to spin with confusing stories about his health. The rumours were various and varied. Some had it that he was critically ill. Others suggested that he was more than ill. There were some other suggestions and permutations about his health condition, many of which bordered on the absurd and the ridiculous.
In the midst of the confusion, it was thought that the President’s lieutenants would clear the air. But Nigerians were to discover to their chagrin that those who they thought knew something about the health of the President were as confused as the rest of the people. Where the people expected clarification, the President’s agents presented them with something more confusing. If you thought that the agents would build their story around the initial anchor, which suggested that the President was on medical vacation, you were dead wrong. The agents had abandoned that storyline and opted for another. The story was amended to read that the President was not ill and, therefore, not admitted in any hospital, be it in London or Germany. With this twist in the tale, Nigerians ate their words and waited patiently for February 6, the date his agents said he would return to work in Nigeria. The appointed date came but the President did not return.
Then the agents stepped out to inform us that the President could not return on the date earlier announced because his doctors in the United Kingdom advised against it. They said he was running a series of tests and could only return to work in Nigeria after all the tests would have been carried out and the results ready. But the agents were wiser this time. They did not give the people a new date on which the President would return. The extension of time was indefinite, meaning that the President could remain where he is now until May 29, 2019, the day his tenure would expire.

APC, Buhari And Arrogance Of Leadership

On Monday evening, news filtered in that newly sworn in American president, Donald Trump would hold a telephone conversation with holidaying or recuperating (depending on the information you are working with) President Mohammadu Buhari. Apart from the surprise announcement, Nigerians were equally eager to see whether the conversation would hold and not another of the propaganda that Nigerians have been fed with in recent time, to prove that the president was and is still ‘hale and hearty’, according to the acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo
President Buhari and APC National Leader, Tinubu
The conversation  eventually took place. As with everything that had been subjected to social media scrutiny and query by Nigerians, doubts were raised about whether President Buhari actually spoke with the American president. Nigerians had cause to doubt whether a telephone conversation took place. Weeks after the president left the country on an extended 10-day leave, which was supposed to culminate  with him seeing his doctors, the issue that dominated the cyberspace especially when the president decided to extend his stay without a clear cut date of return was his health status. Information had filtered in that  the president had passed on. It wasn’t as if anybody was wishing him dead, but his health status had been shrouded in so much secrecy that it was difficult to know what to believe.
Who would blame our people? The experience with former President Musa Yar’Adua is still fresh in the memory. After several weeks and months of hide and seek, the citizen eventually got to know that President Yar’Adua was dead. It was a fact that could no longer be hidden.
So with President Buhari, Nigerians were still unconvinced that he was still alive. They thought they were still being taken for a ride in the usual way, in spite of assurances from different quarters.
But I have issues with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari. Even when those who surrounds the president are saying differently, Nigerians needed assurance from the president himself, they wanted to know the problem with him. They found it difficult to accept the information from Aso Rock media managers. You can’t blame them, once beaten, twice shy as it’s often said. All they wanted was assurance, they wanted to hear from the president. It was a simple enough thing to arrange.
They wanted the president to speak to them. They wanted to see him ‘live’. But they were disappointed. The APC, the president and his media minders didn’t see any need for it. It was a display of sheer arrogance, that the people do not matter. It is surprising that the president equally decided to keep quiet and didn’t feel the need to speak with the people, unless Nigerians are still not being told the entire truth about his health status. You could have a lot of people visitin. It does not indicate anything. People have visited some people like that they pay their last respect? It does not mean everything is perfect.

Buhari, ‘Python Dance’ And The Biafra Question

By Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo
Just like the birth pangs of a woman in labour heralds the innocent cry of a new-born baby; so do the travails and committed struggles of any oppressed people herald the dawn of their freedom. This is the natural sequence of events in the integral calculus that create freedom. History cannot afford me any parallel where a nation has emerged from the womb of oppression into freedom without bitter struggle and sacrifice. In the entire history of mankind it has been a constant war between the lord and the serf; between the oppressed and the oppressor and between death and life. If we bring home this truism to Africa, when it is not the Mau-Mau Revolt in Kenya, it will be the Maji-Maji uprising in Tanganyika. In all these battles for freedom, men have had to die that others will live. 
*Dr. Arthur Nwankwo 
The fate of Ndigbo in Nigeria is not different from the dynamics that signal the end of an era and the birth of a new dawn. As a people, our lives would be worse than the lives of dogs in a manger if we fail to rise up and say to the Nigerian establishment “enough is enough”. If as a people, we should ever fail to pursue our legitimate demands and condemn the serial atrocities against the Igbo nation, we would cease to have meaning. The contradictions of the Nigerian state have compelled Ndigbo into coordinated demand for the state of Biafra and with each passing day, stakes keep getting higher. 

 The emergence of nations like Eritrea, South Sudan, Croatia, Czech Republic and the many independent Baltic States followed this pattern. Even more instructive was the emergence of the State of Israel in 1948. Time was in the history of Israel when King David, one of the most outstanding and successful kings of Israel asked a very rhetorical question. Faced with the conspiracy of the Gentiles David, in the second chapter of the Book of Psalms, asked: “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying: Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us”. In verse 4 of the same chapter, David declares the response of such plotters against the Lord’s people. According to David, “He (God) that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them (those plotters) in derision”. But even after the Holocaust and with renewed anti-Semitism, the State of Israel had to chose between actions that pull down the Temple of Humanity itself rather than surrender even a single member of the Jewish family to the oppressors. 

Ndigbo, like the Jews, have risen to say that we will no longer tolerate the continued cold-blooded murder of harmless and innocent Igbo sons and daughters by the Nigerian state under any guise or excuse. From 1966 to 1970, Ndigbo had to endure a genocidal pogrom orchestrated by hate and jealousy. If any person or group in Nigeria thinks that in 2016, we will sit idly by and watch a re-enactment of the macabre dance of 1966 in Igboland, that person or group must have his or their heads examined. 

Save The Naira!! Save Nigerians!!!

By Henry Boyo
The Nigerian Public service is reportedly heavily burdened with a ghost population, who not only unexpectedly write job applications and present themselves for interviews, but who also open bank accounts and collect salaries, despite their human shortcomings! 

Curiously, the CBN’s “know your customers” directive to banks was obviously no deterrent to the establishment of bank accounts for such ghosts! Naira In a strategic move to forestall detection, these ingenious spirits discreetly also infiltrated the Nigeria Police Force, where a 2010 staff-audit revealed that ghost officers accounted for over 100,000 members, out of the officially registered 330,000 policemen.

The audit reports further revealed apparent collusion amongst the Police pay officers, and accountants as well as bank officials to successfully rob the NPF of over N36bn annually! Similarly, Alhaji Mande Lofa, Chairman of Tureta (LGA), has also confirmed that a verification exercise carried out in July 2011 by the Tureta LGA in Sokoto State led to the discovery of over 500 ghost workers.

Also, in July 2011, the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board reported losses of N2.4bn annually to 1477 ghost workers, while the National Identity Management Commission, also revealed that, after conducting a biometric data exercise, it had uncovered 4000 ghost workers out of about 10,300 employees on its payroll.

Furthermore, in December 2011, Garba Tagwai, the Niger State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs also noted that “No fewer than 20000 ghost workers have been detected on the pay roll of the 25 Local Government Areas of Niger State”. The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, also observed that, prior to his administration, Ekiti State government lost over N3bn annually to ghost workers out of a projected annual budget of N80bn.

Unfortunately, the federal government is not immune to such fraudulent revenue leakages; indeed, in 2001, the incumbent Accountant General of the Federation, Chief Joseph Naiyeju, reported the discovery of 40,000 ghost workers following a man-power verification exercise. Similarly, 6000 ghost workers were detected after the completion of a staff audit, when Mallam Nasir El Rufai was Minister, of the Federal Capital Territory in 2006; revealingly, the FCT government was losing about $8m annually, due to ghost workers on its payroll.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Buhari And The Trump’s Call

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
At a time Donald Trump is grappling with an increasing low approval rating at home and abroad, Nigerians really made his day last Monday. That was the day that the United States (U.S.) president made a call to his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari who is on a sick leave in London.
It is outside our remit here to probe whether the presidency grovelled to have that call made to Buhari, or whether the call was made at all. We limit ourselves to the notion that Nigerians were elated that their president was not vegetative after all; he was mentally alert to hold a conversation with Trump. Again, they were excited because this call indicated the high acceptability the president enjoys before the leader of the greatest nation on earth. If Trump who is incurably narcissistic could call Buhari, that means the latter has some value to add to the world, so goes the argument ad infinitum.
Yet we must not forget: the excitement that the call has generated harks back to the elation of a plebeian who was shown a little favour by a medieval potentate. For, there is an unequal relationship between the West and Africa. It is a relationship in which the West constructs Africa as its other. Thus when the West courts Africa, it is not for the good of the latter. It is either to keep the African in a subservient position or to remould him or her to be able to take the role of a less significant party. Remember, Shakespeare’s Prospero boasts that he endows Caliban with the power of language. But unlike Caliban, our leaders neither seek to explode this myth nor use whatever they have apparently got from the West to destabilise it to their own advantage. They rather internalise the myth of their benightedness and the notion that it is only through the West that African nations can become aware of their inherent potential and realise it. This is why they often seek developmental aid from Western institutions.
But the stark reality is that the interactions between Africa and the West do not produce any positive result for the former. Are we now saying that we should be isolationist in a globalised world? No! Rather, we should bring our own values to the table of globalisation. We should not allow the values of the West to define ours. For what the West wants to do is to make us to accept their values and keep us obligated. In most cases, these values are not useful to us. This was why the U.S. under President Barack Obama wanted Nigeria to ratify its misbegotten homosexuality. Even if Goodluck Jonathan is considered not to have achieved any other thing, it is to his eternal credit that he did not succumb to the pressure of Obama to legalise same sex marriage. After all, nobody needs to wait for a legislation to gratify their homosexual tastes.

APC’s Failure And The Blame Game Syndrome: Requiem For Nigeria

By Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo
One factor that has led to the collapse of many societies throughout history is internal decay brought about by inept and visionless leadership. The pages of history are littered with examples of societies whose final descent into perdition was preceded by unprecedented internal rot. This type of rot is usually sustained by a corps of lackadaisical and moronic leadership that made a vocation of blaming their predecessors for the rot of society without as much seeing in their own lethargy, ineptitude and lack of foresight as significant contributory factors for that collapse. This is the product of the nemesis called “blame game” syndrome in leadership.
*President Buhari and APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu
Blame game syndrome is as old as the history of creation. It has always been the stock-in-trade for those who fail. Those who fail in their assignments must always find an escape goat for their failures. Their failures must have been caused by someone else, and not necessarily by their own actions. The Bible records the earliest form of this blame game attitude in the Garden of Eden. God, we are told in the Bible, created a man and a woman and put them in the Garden with a very clear instruction never to eat of the tree of life. 
The consequences, God had warned them, would be dire and ultimate. But Adam and Eve failed. The serpent deceived them and they ate the forbidden fruit. Adam was the head of God’s mortal creations and therefore was in-charge and ultimately answerable to God. When God, therefore, confronted him to know why he had chosen to flout His orders by eating the forbidden fruit, Adam resorted to the blame game denial. The woman you gave to me, Adam stammered, gave me the fruit and I ate it. Adam’s failure was fatal and in laying the blame on the doorsteps of the woman God gave him, Adam was factually accusing God of making a mistake in giving him the woman. Adam’s failure would ultimately bring to ruination, the fate of man on earth.
Such blame game syndrome has always been the hallmark of inept leaders. Lacking in vision and the initiative to elevate their thinking to glorious levels, and also of what should be done to transform society; a typical scenario of a bad workman quarrelling with his tools, such leaders invariably lead their societies into destruction. The history of some of the world’s worst leaders is replete with this type of blame game. And in their naivety and dearth of focus, such leaders have always hit on the expedience of the most absurd and outlandish policies to superintend the affairs of the state. The product of this type of absurdity and lack of focus has always resulted in mass murder of citizens. Pol Pot of Cambodia, Idi Amin of Uganda, Torquemeda of Spain, Prince Vlad Dracula, the Impaler of the ancient Wallachia Empire and Josef Stalin of Russia are just some of the typical examples of this class of leaders. 
And in the 21st century, Nigeria’s version of Pol Pot has reincarnated in Muhammadu Buhari and the APC. And typical of his types in history Buhari, along with his APC has reinvented the blame game and elevated it to a principle of governance. Rather than initiate practical and pragmatic policies to drive their change agenda, Buhari and the APC has resorted to blaming the past government of former President Goodluck Jonathan as the reason for their headaches, bellyaches and heartaches. The Goodluck administration must be blamed for our economic recession, for the full blown process of Islamization of the country, for the plummeting of the naira, for the ethnic and religious cleansing sweeping through Nigeria, for the unprecedented resurgence of corruption; for the government’s inability to bring back the Chibok girls; for the ever scorching activities of Boko Haram and for the total collapse of our public institutions. 

Nigeria: The Beginning Of The End

By Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo
Clarence Day was a renowned American poet, essayist and philosopher who lived in the 19th century. Clarence Day could have been a prophet because he captured with astonishing accuracy the trajectory of the collapse of human society. Asked how future generations will know that their society is decaying or collapsing, he counseled his students to always look back into mankind’s documented history. According to him, of all the inventions of man, none is as enduring as the documented histories of human existence. Empires rise and fall, he said; civilizations grow old and die. But in the world of books are volumes and volumes that have seen this happen again and again; still as fresh as the day they were written; still telling men’s heart of hearts of men centuries dead. 
*Dr. Arthur Nwankwo 
However, he regretted that many societies have become lax and complacent; so much so that history means nothing to them. His words, no doubt, accurately depict the Nigerian situation and our leaders’ penchant for collective amnesia. A country that could remove history as a subject from her school curricula is doomed to repeat the tragedies of the past. 
Sir John Glubb, a British author and lecturer, has equally argued that most empires, glued together by artificial tendons generally do not last the distance. Citing examples with the Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Romanov Russian Empires, he remarked that such societies do not realize their internal rot even when events indicate that they have entered the Age of Decadence, i.e. the final stage at which such society is marked by delusion, pessimism, materialism, frivolity, and the total collapse of institutions of governance.
I am constrained to remark here that a few years from now, historians would be writing about the total disintegration of Nigeria. Then Chinua Achebe’s prophetic bequeathal of literary ingenuity and foresight, There was a Country would become more meaningful to us. But even now, Nigeria’s history of dissolution is writing itself furiously; accelerated by agents of doom masquerading as religious and pious puritans. In all my life I have never seen a country consumed by the spirit of despondency and forgetfulness as Nigeria; a country on the highway to perdition without knowing it. 
By the time the day is done, there would be no more compatriots to stand in the gap for Nigeria, there will be nobody to obey the clarion call of national defense; the love, strength and faith would have dissipated in Nigerians that they call to service would fall on deaf ears and the labours of our heroes past would factually be in vain. This sounds like a doomsday prophecy but it is not. It does appear that all the prophecies about Nigeria’s demise are being fulfilled in our time today. The signs are indeed ominous and the day is far gone for redemption. 
The crumbling period of Nigeria started in 1966 when the Nigerian State conspired to annihilate the Igbo population for no just cause than Igbos capacity and ingenuity to survive where others have failed. Though, after that genocidal pogrom, the Nigerian state seemed to get along as a united country with patchy mechanisms, the final descent to perdition began on May 29th 2015 when a combination of political forces anchored on treachery, chicanery and other negative thematic ushered in Muhammadu Buhari into office as the President. Since then, a chain of events, so dire, has occurred that it would seem the Nigerian empire has snapped the fuse of self-destruction, going by the series of catastrophes we have had since 2015. 

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