Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Again, Where Is Nnamdi Kanu?

By Obi Nwakanma
Last week, I felt nauseous just watching “our own WS” stand at a podium talking-up the Buhari gesture of naming June 12 “Democracy Day” and awarding the GCFR to the late Moshood Abiola. It was a dog-shit fare clothed in damask. I half hoped that Soyinka would not be part of this hollow ritual; but in the end Soyinka’s presence there served to remind us all that Nigeria is a circus; and the relationship between circus masters, puppeteers, and the circus animals is that they are all there to entertain us. 
*Nnamdi Kanu 
And Nigerians were properly entertained in what I still regard as the hollow ritual of forgetting. Every time, this government and its mind-warpers try to turn us all into amnesiacs, so that we will forget for instance, that Muhammadu Buhari himself was not only a key beneficiary and supporter of the abrogation of June 12, he himself led a military coup that overthrew a properly elected civilian government on the last day of 1983.  Nigeria began to slide radically down the order of things from that very coup. 

If Buhari Apologised For June 12, Who Will Apologise For Him?

By Reno Omokri
To say I was stunned when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said Buhari had fulfilled his campaign promises and deserved a second term would be an understatement. I mean it is the holy month of Ramadan for goodness sakes. Even if Bola Tinubu wanted to spew such nonsense, why would he do it at a time when the Muslim Ummah should be displaying piety.
*President Buhari 
Even as I write this, I am trying to comprehend why Tinubu made such a fallacious statement. How could he possibly say that Buhari deserves a second term because he has kept his campaign promises? Why do Buhari, Lai Mohammed, Garba shehu and now Tinubu continue to lie during Ramadan? Is 1 equal to $1? Is petrol 40 per liter? Has he created 3 million jobs per year? Is Buhari paying the promised Job Seekers Allowance?

Monday, June 18, 2018

President Buhari’s Queer Blandishment Of A Kleptocrat

By Ochereome Nnanna
 President Muhammadu Buhari gave hints of how his supporters will enter the upcoming electioneering fray when he met his Buhari support groups in the Presidential Villa on Tuesday last week: it’s going to be a gale of lies all the way. I am not referring to his allegation of $16 dollars spent on power projects “without power”. Figures that have been bandied down the years – from $3billion to $6 billion to $10 billion to $16 billion.
*President Buhari 
This reminds us of how former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor (now the Emir of Kano) Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had in February 2014 bandied figures as the amount “diverted” by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, instead of being remitted to the Federation Account. He started with $20 billion, brought it down to $10 billion and readjusted it to $12 billion. That is Nigeria for you. Others use figures to inform and educate. We use ours to confuse and promote falsehood. 

Nigeria: June 12: I Still Remember

By Ikechukwu Amaechi
June 12, 2018, was the 25th anniversary of Nigeria’s historic election, which outcome held out so much promise. How time flies! Who will believe that 25 years have rolled by and yet the June 12, 1993 poll, which by the sheer magic of one man’s transcendental personality almost obliterated the country’s primordial fault lines of religion, ethnicity and prependalism, remains on the front burner. 
Generals Abacha and Babangida 
While some claimed to have stood on June 12 in the days the locusts ate under military jackboots, many dismounted the high horse at the return of civilian rule on May 29, 1999, partly because the primary beneficiary, President Olusegun Obasanjo, worked so hard to ensure that the date and what it represented were consigned to the dustbin of Nigeria’s history. The winner of the election, Bashorun MKO Abiola, had died almost a year before the 1999 polls and most stakeholders had been sucked into the new political tendency.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

MKO Abiola Deserves Apology, Not Humour

By Afam Nkemdiche
When I first heard about President Muhammadu Buhari’s surprise posthumous honour to Chief M. K. O. Abiola, the widely acknowledged winner of the 1993 presidential election, my instinctive thought was, “My God! How could he nerve his conscience to do that – he was a principal confidant of the maximum ruler who denied MKO his well deserved mandate, until the mysterious death-in-detention???”
It cannot be gainsaid, even in fiction, that Buhari was the closest public figure to the Kano-born general in Nigeria’s darkest years. Soon after Abacha sacked Ibrahim Babangida’s contraption (Shonekan’s Interim Government), he decreed that all monies that accrued from petroleum be pooled into a Fund, the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF. The humongous size of the envisaged pool qualified the PTF to be immediately referred to as a “parallel government”; even the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had to look to it for funding. Buhari was the first and only executive chairman of the PTF. This was a measure of the unique camaraderie that the duo enjoyed when Nigeria teetered on the brink of disintegration from November 1993 until June 1998 when Abacha suddenly succumbed to death ahead of his detainee. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Nigeria: President Buhari’s Greek Gifts

By Sunny Awhefeada
June 12th 1993 was a Saturday and it met me in Ughelli.
June is a month of unpredictable rain, but that day was bright; bright and fair.
We trooped out to vote for a new dawn. 
 I was then an impressionable undergraduate of the University of Benin possessed by ideals instilled by youth.
*President Buhari 
The buildup to that day was momentous and exciting. The military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida had embarked on the rigmarole it called transition to civil rule programme.
In the course of that tortuous experience, political parties were formed and disbanded.
Politicians were classified as new breed and old breed and they were banned and unbanned.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Nigeria: June 12: Every Life Matters

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
After the elaborate ceremony of apology and award of honours, it is now time to come to terms with the fact that the greatest tribute has not been paid to the victims of the truncation of the nation’s democratic watershed on June 12, 1993.
Clearly, there has been in the past 25 years a persistent clamour for restitution for the victims. Every June 12 has witnessed calls for the closure of the sad political trajectory in the nation’s life. President Muhammadu Buhari has apparently heeded these calls. But sadly, Buhari’s action has rather shown the poor premium we place on life in the country. 

Nigeria: Their Tomorrow Will Surely Come!

By Dan Amor
Are Nigerians hopeful of the day after? The collective answer to this rhetorical question is a resounding NO. If Nigerians are no longer hopeful of tomorrow, they deserve pardon. For, never in the history of mankind have a people been so brutalized by the very group of people who are supposed to protect and take care of them. They ought to be pardoned knowing full well that their manifest state of hopelessness has extended beyond disillusionment to a desperate and consuming nihilism. Which is why the only news one hears from Nigeria is soured news: violence, arson, killing, maiming, kidnapping, robbery, corruption, rape.
*Buhari, Obasanjo and Abdusalami
It is sad to note that Nigeria is gradually and steadily degenerating into the abyss. Even in a supposedly democratic dispensation, a sense of freedom, a feeling of an unconditional escape, a readiness for real and absolute change, is still the daydream of the whole citizenry. Everything is in readiness for the unexpected, and the unexpected is not in sight. You cannot possibly conceive what a rabble we look. We straggle along with far less cohesion than a flock of sheep. We are, in fact, even forced to believe that tomorrow will no longer come. Quite a handful of us are simply robots without souls, as we are hopeless because we are conditioned to a state of collective hopelessness.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Nigeria: Buhari, Saraki And Politics Of Guns

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
While we cannot credit President Muhammadu Buhari with a transformative genius that has redounded to the citizens’ wellbeing, we must not ignore his masterstrokes in self-preservation. What we have been confronted with in the past three years is his craving for self-protection with its trappings of paranoia.
*President Buhari and Senator Saraki
Thus, beyond the need to punish crime no matter the station of life of the allegedly culpable, the alleged linkage of Senate President Bukola Saraki to armed robbers who raided banks and killed over 30 people in Offa, Kwara State seems an extension of the politics of Buhari’s self-survival.

Through his words and actions, Buhari has not concealed his prejudice that it is only from the executive arm of government flows a genuine desire for good governance that would improve the citizens’ lot. Buhari feels trammelled by the legislature and the judiciary. He is riled by the absence of military powers that could enable him to decree life or death in a democratic milieu. This was why he sought emergency powers that the legislature refused to grant him. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

APC’s Recent Congresses: Omen Of Impending Calamity

By Godwin Etakibuebu
At the last count, eight states of the federation have drawn up parallel Executives to counter what some people called “authentic Executives” of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, during the recently concluded congresses. One of the most unbelievable states where this happened is Lagos. That some people, albeit members of the APC in Lagos State, could challenge the supremacy of the de-facto Jagaban of the South-West politics would remain one of the wonders of modern Nigerian political history.
Emergence of the parallel Executives in the eight states came with re-introduction of politics of blood-spilling into the Nigerian polity and this is the most unfortunate dimension of the APC debacle. These eight  states of Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Zamfara, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kwara and Delta, where parallel Executives emerged saw violence. A few people died in some of these states while in others, it was a day of bloodbath; like the case in Ondo State, where notable citizens were grossly humiliated as most of them were stripped naked. This is without mentioning Imo State where Rochas Okorocha, the APC governor, was completely demystified and dethroned by the  machinery of the APC itself.

The Offa Robberies, Political Thuggery And The Near-Death Of Nigerian Democracy

By Kennedy Emetulu
There is something rotten in the state of Denmark and it’s either we clean it up now or we all die from this stench. This is not an alarmist testament; it is real. The killings and findings following the Offa robberies have provided us an opportunity to cleanse the Aegean stables once and for all.

Thirty-three citizens woke up on Thursday, the 5th of April 2018 to go about their lawful businesses, but they were brutally murdered in cold blood by a group of young people in apparent armed robberies involving six banks in Offa, Kwara State. The banks are the First Bank, Ecobank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank and Ibolo Microfinance Bank. Amongst the dead were 9 police officers, pregnant women and other ordinary citizens. The police have arrested some of those behind the killings, including leaders of the gang and they have allegedly been making confessions. I say “allegedly” because whatever they are saying now has not been tested in a court of law.

Nigeria: The Road To Babylon

By Reuben Abati
Nigeria is on the road to Babylon: a place of confusion. Three years ago, the people were convinced that they had found a messiah who will lead them to the Promised Land, and meet all their expectations. 
Today, everyone is speaking in different tongues; “turning and turning in the widening gyre…the falcon cannot hear the falconer… things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world/The blood-doomed tide is loosed, and everywhere/the ceremony of innocence is drowned…surely, some revelation is at hand…”
But just may be, there is still, no cause for despair. The good thing about democracy is that it teaches people lessons – ask them in Malaysia and the United States – and even when the people refuse stubbornly to learn – ask them in Syria, Venezuela, and Libya –  the lessons exist nonetheless.

Nigeria: Dirty Buses In Lagos

By Oshineye Victor Oshisada
It is conventional that, whenever we, as Nigerians are confronted with challenges, the usual mantra that is invoked is: “Prayer to God is the solution.” It is believed that “prayer’’, “prayer” and nothing, but “prayer” is the solution to our numerous problems. But, can our resort to “prayer” without pragmatic efforts solve problems? I doubt if it is the panacea for every challenge. Two instances readily come to my mind. 
In the early 1970s, my radio-mechanic assured me that, if he retired into seclusion for prayer, he would successfully accomplish the task of repairs. Instantly, I concluded that he was incompetent and a failure. The second instance was a student who confidently told me that if she prayed on to her bath- water, she would succeed in her examinations. The lazy drone spent hours praying in the bathroom, but failed her examinations. I have it on the authority of the ancient Romans: `Ora et labora`, meaning. “Pray and work”. The Romans did not exhort us to pray, and fail to work. Therefore, actions and not prayers alone can solve our problems. It is against this backdrop that our public utilities are examined.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Buhari And The Petroleum Trust FRAUD

By Ray Ekpu
It is not known to this column how close Brigadier Sani Abacha was to Major General Muhammadu Buhari by December 1983. It was Abacha who announced at the end of a few minutes of martial music on New Year ’s Eve that the government of President Shehu Shagari had been thrown into the dust bin of history. Buhari became the fulcrum of that history as Nigeria’s head of state. On August 27, 1985, there was another game, the Revolving Doors’ game. Buhari was out, thrown out, while Ibrahim Babangida, was in, thrown into the pinnacle of political power in Nigeria.
Babangida clamped Buhari into the dungeon for some months where he cooled his feet, while his colleagues were bestriding the Nigerian political and military firmament like they owned the world. Babangida left or was forced to leave the throne after eight years of dangerous foot work. He called Chief Ernest Shonekan, a successful private sector entrepreneur, to come and take the baton of leadership.

Nigeria: Apologies For Gen. Sani Abacha

By Dan Amor
Friday this week indubitably marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of General Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s most treacherous tyrant and who ranked with Agathocles and Dionysus I of Sicily, as the most notorious dictators, not only of the age of antiquity but of all times. He died in Abuja on June 8, 1998 as a sitting military dictator. It is true that the degree of cruelty and loathsome human vulgarity that the Abacha era epitomized is already fading into the background due largely to the mundane and short character of the human memory. But his timely exit ought to have been marked by Nigerians just as the United Nations marks the end of the Second World War not only for posterity but also as a thanksgiving to God for extricating mankind from such epoch of human misery.
*Gen Abacha 
Abacha emerged as head of state from the ashes of the June 12 crisis. The General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida military administration had annulled the June 12, 1993 presidential election with a clear winner. It was the most placid election ever conducted in the annals of our country. The contest was between Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC) and the billionaire business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Abiola was coasting to victory when the Babangida military regime halted the announcement of the election result superintended by the Professor Humfrey Nwosu-led National Electoral Commission. The Federal Government eventually announced the annulment of the result on June 23, 1993. This action triggered a violent protest especially in the South West which led to Babangida stepping aside.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Nigeria: Combating Poverty With Proceeds Of Corruption

By Ayo Oyoze Baje
As the ping-pong blame game over corruption charges unfolds between two former military generals – incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and erstwhile counterpart, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo – what matters at the end of the day is that the cause of justice should be served; that such public funds brazenly stolen be recovered back into the national till and the culprits be made to pay for their crimes against the Nigerian state. And more importantly, that such funds be judiciously utilized to lift the quality of life of the average citizen. 
The significance of this clarion call is hinged on the fact that successive administrations have made promises in this regard but much more has been said than done. Indeed, discerning Nigerians are tired of being regaled daily by accounts of humungous sums of money so far recovered from thieves of state. The issue took a new dimension when the All Progressives Congress (APC), administration went to town to list the names of the public treasury looters( without any of their members) and the huge amounts of money recovered.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Nigeria: Of Lawmakers And Bribe-Takers

By Olusegun Adeniyi 
From the judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos which orders President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently instruct security and anti-corruption agencies to forward to him reports of their investigations into allegations of padding and stealing of some N481 billion from the 2016 budget by some principal officers of the National Assembly” to damaging allegations by both former Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, the spotlight is now on our federal lawmakers who are being perceived as no more than cheap bribe-takers. 
*Senate President Saraki and House Speaker Dogara
The situation is not helped by the widespread knowledge that the National Assembly has become the watering hole of high-maintenance ex-governors, semi-literate political contractors, wanted international criminal suspects and some yesterday’s men who are now in desperate need of economic empowerment. Yet, in a situation where lawmakers behave like gangsters, the various executive bodies like ministries and agencies will begin to see their assignments in transactional terms as oversight becomes a ritual of appeasement of the greed of committee members and the budgeting process, which ordinarily should be a serious assignment, degenerates into an annual bazaar. 

Unemployment, Corruption And Nigeria’s Youth Dilemma

By Matthew Ozah
Their story is very pathetic and heart-breaking: You cannot help but feel sorry for Nigeria’s youth. At every step the Nigerian youth wonders where he or she is going and why. They worry about unemployment and cost of living as the creeping inflation following the recent economic recession which has raised prices of commodities. In the face of all these challenges, youths across the country are determined as they struggle to make themselves relevant by acquiring university education.
However, being a graduate does not save one from enlisting in the army of unemployed people. The strong expectation and desire to be gainfully employed saw the youth entangled with the All Progressives Congress (APC) change trap. The sound of ‘change’ that engulfed the entire nation then, was like the midnight drumming sound Alex Harley described in his book: Roots, which led some slaves in America during the era of slavery to escape to freedom. Indeed, Nigeria’s youths were captivated and entangled with the APC’s change bait to escape joblessness and live a good life. As we all know, the APC promised to create millions of job and pay unemployed graduates a stipend of five thousand naira monthly among other mouth watering promises which are still in wait three years on.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

As Ebola Returns!

By Tayo Ogunbiyi
Ebola is a dreadful disease that once ravaged the West African coast, leaving in its trail sorrow, tears and blood. According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) data, at its peak, Ebola had over 10,000 victims in West Africa. The WHO records further reveals that 9,936 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone contracted the disease. Nigeria also had her own share of the Ebola brouhaha, no thanks to the dastardly escapade of late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer.
After weeks of scary Ebola episode, Nigerians were understandably over-joyous to hear the news that the country was certified Ebola-free. While the Ebola trauma lasted, 19 cases were recorded out of which eight died and 11 survived.  Aside the number of lives it claimed and attendant psychological trauma, the Ebola ordeal came with lots of economic losses. 

Arabisation Of The Nigeria Police?

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
As though to prove the sceptics wrong, the country suffers no deficit of evidence of its descent into anomie. This is underscored by the fact that what seems only plausible in the provenance of macabre fantasy easily becomes reality.

It sounds implausible that a country and its leaders would do nothing while citizens are being killed and pillaged. But this is the reality in Nigeria - Fulani herdsmen are busy raping, maiming and killing citizens. 
Even places of worship that should have served as refuge from bloodlust and plunder have become the prized targets of the herdsmen.

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