Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rotimi Amaechi: Test of Buhari’s Anti-Corruption War

By Wale Suleiman
A judge is not a lawyer, and neither is he an advocate. A judge is a priest. His vineyard is the temple of justice. But a judge doesn’t make prophesies. He doesn’t have a crystal ball. He only makes pronouncements. But he’s guided, not by the gods, but by the rules that define justice. He is an interpreter of the law when justice is at stake.

That is why he is a revered priest because in his interpretation lies life and death. He must not succumb to the human whims, yet he is a human being. He must keep fidelity to the lifeless words of the law. That is why the law has been described as an ass. The law is a tyrant, and the judge is always a victim of that tyranny.
That is why dubious politicians don’t take chances. They find ingenious ways to sway the judge. They hire lawyers in good reckoning of the judges who act as go between, and dangle sometimes irresistible offers. Some judges succumb to the lucre and desecrate the temple. They compromise the law, and justice. This country has seen it often and often.
Thus when the Department of State Security recently raided the residences of some senior judges believed to have soiled their robes, many were not surprised. But many were scandalised only by the manner of the raid, which portrayed the system as crude and uncivilised.
But since after the raids, the tables have started turning and the hunters are becoming the hunted. The judges whose homes were raided started fighting back. It was Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal Capital Territory High Court who fired the first shot. He wrote a well-publicised letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, explaining why he became a target of the DSS. He pointed fingers at the Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as the man behind his travails.
He said his arrest was a revenge from Malami, whose arrest and detention he ordered over a professional misconduct while he was judge in Kano between 2004 and 2008.
But when Inyang Okoro, a Justice of the Supreme Court, made his own ‘pronouncement’, and narrated how Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport, committed blasphemy, it was not only damning, it was earth-shaking! Okoro, in a letter to the CJN wrote that his ordeal was tied to Amaechi’s visit to his residence, alleging that the minister “said that the President of Nigeria and the All Progressives Congress mandated him to inform me that they must win their election appeals in respect of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State and Abia State at all costs.”

Nigeria: Suspension For All

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
While the plaudits tend to dim the caution against the danger of repudiating the constitutional forts that guarantee the stability of our society in the guise of prosecuting the anti-corruption campaign, we must keep on reminding ourselves of the desiderata for the realisation of the vision of a transparent society that President Muhammadu Buhari seemingly holds.
As this column has often stressed, there is no doubt that corruption is an enervating plague that must be rooted out of our society to pave the way for an equitable distribution of the wealth with which this nation is immeasurably endowed.
Yet, in arresting and prosecuting the corrupt among us, we must guard against being befuddled by our identification with the ruling party. It is such uncritical alignment that has blurred the vision of those who should have declared the obvious excesses that have smeared the anti-corruption campaign intolerable.
True, no one who is keenly aware of the grim reality that the nation has suffered despoliation due to the complicity of the corrupt guardians of the laws of the land would query the raid on the residences of judges who allegedly have been living on sleazy funds. Again, we cannot easily render impeachable the idea of the judges being on suspension until they exonerate themselves from their alleged involvement in practices that strongly detracted from their professional integrity.
Thus, the National Judicial Council (NJC) may soon buckle under the pressure being mounted on it to suspend the judges. The NJC may no longer bear being accused of complicity with the judicial officers whose residences the Department of State Services (DSS) raided for allegedly perverting the course of justice after being bribed with dollars. Of course, apart from the DSS and the president, no one else knows how compelling the incriminating evidence against the judges are. But to save the judiciary from the moral absurdity of judges accused of corruption presiding over cases of financial sleaze, they may have to be suspended while their investigation lasts.
But it would remain an ominous omission that mocks the anti-corruption drive if it is only the judges that would be on suspension because of the allegations against them. This is where the Buhari government must allow equity to lend credibility to the anti-corruption campaign. The judges have alleged that they are being haunted by the security agency of the government not because their professional credibility is in question, but simply because they have refused to do the obnoxious bidding of some of those in the ruling party.
Indeed, they did not mince words. Justice Sylvester Ngwuta accused the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Ogbonaya Onu of asking him to influence judgments in their favour. Ngwuta alleged that Amaechi asked him to illegally remove Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as governors. Before then, Justice John Inyang Okoro accused Amaechi of asking him to pervert justice by making sure that election appeal cases for Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states favour him.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Those Spoiling Nigeria

By Sunny Ikhioya
The foundation of any nation state is based sorely on unity, you cannot attain unity without peace and justice. And, you cannot attain peace and justice without love and honesty. To enable us understand this further, let us look at our national anthem that we all stand up everyday to honour.

 Those who composed our national anthem had this in mind when they wrote in the last verse of the first stanza thus: “One nation bound in freedom, Peace and Unity”. Have we really considered the weight of this verse as we recite when the opportunity presents itself? Have our leaders really tried to govern this country in an atmosphere of fundamental rights, as enshrined in the United Nations charter on freedom?

Has it not been a situation of the strong always oppressing the weak ? Have the minority rights ever been upheld to the letter as enunciated in our Constitution? One good thing that is happening in this country is the discovery of crude oil in places outside the Niger Delta, like in Lagos and a few in the north as being touted in certain circles. Will these oil producing areas be treated the same way the Niger Delta region has been treated, with disdain and neglect? My answer is no.

Already, the rumour mill is rife with stories about relief and compensation given to areas affected by the oil drilling activities in the north, especially to  Emirs. The NNPC is in position to clarify details on this but surely they will not get the Niger Delta treatment. I do not know if our leaders take time to read and digest the national anthem, the second stanza, verses five and six which speaks of  building a nation  “ In love and honesty to grow, And living just and true”. Have we related to ourselves in love and honesty? Where the Jigawa man is saying that the oil in Bayelsa belongs to Jigawa?

 Where the Niger Delta people have been completely deprived of the control of their natural resources? The Petroleum Industry bill, PIB, designed to take care of the interest of all, has been kept in the cooler by the majority ethnic groups in the National Assembly for almost eight years now. Where is the justice in that? The last verse of our national anthem says; “To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign”.  It is indisputable that, in a nation where peace and justice reigns, progress is guaranteed. The composers of our anthem noted this fact and all of our past and present leadership have accepted it as such. It therefore follows that all the past leaders,  including the present leader ship have failed to govern with justice, honesty, fairness and equity.

The Buhari/Aisha Squabble

By Wale Sokunbi

Three important events caught the imagination of many Nigerians in the past fortnight. But, I will dwell on one of them. Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, were in the global spotlight for reasons that were less than salutary. Aisha threw potshots at the president at an interview with the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), saying his government had been hijacked by “strangers” who were not involved in his campaign for the office of president. The president replied with an unfortunate gaffe in the worst place he could have made such a mistake – in front of one of the most powerful women in the world, German leader, Angela Merkel.
President Buhari and wife, Aisha
Buhari, to the shock of the lady and the enlightened world, said his wife’s place was in the kitchen, the sitting room and the now infamous “the other room.”
Aisha’s statement castigating her husband had, last week, won the hearts of many who felt that the president needed to be told the home truth that she told him. The statement was particularly pleasing to those who are happy to hold on to any straw to condemn the president and project his many perceived “failings”. Indeed, one writer, on account of what he regarded as Aisha’s identification with ordinary Nigerians on their disenchantment with the Buhari administration, actually saw in her someone who should run for the office of vice president in 2019.
What is the import of the Buhari/Aisha spat? For me, Aisha’s outburst mirrors her frustration with the president for not making the appointment of persons into his administration a “family and friends affair”, but one of strange bedfellows who were coming in to reap where they did not sow. In that sense, all the anger is not so much about the baking of the nation’s legendary “national cake”, but the sharing of it in a manner that did not reflect the efforts of those who contributed in making the cake available for sharing by Buhari in the first place.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Before We Destroy Nigeria

By Malachy Uzendu
Nigerians are superbly interesting set of people. Every moment presents itself as placebo for throwing away serious punches. We seem to love to be dribbled; we enjoy flash in the pan situations. We seem not to have deep thinking faculties. Our handling of situations is always on the ephemeral plane.
A few months ago, the issue on the lip of Nigerians were “Senate Standing Rules” forgery or no for­gery; whether it was the national leadership of the ruling All Pro­gressives Congress (APC) that holds the prerogative of determin­ing who becomes a principal offic­er of the National Assembly or not. It did not matter that people who were elected to that arm of govern­ment from the different constitu­encies in the country have even if we chose to call it some form of pedigree, neither did it matter that they have a contract with their var­ious constituencies. A privileged few must determine who becomes what and what happens there.

Nigerians made a lot of noise on this issue: some people called for the public execution of Sena­tors Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekw­eremadu. Some people who were obsessed by their self righteousness even postulated that National As­sembly members should not on their own aspire to any portfolio in that arm of government but should wait for portfolio to be assigned to them by the executive arm of gov­ernment either directly or indirect­ly through the instrumentality of the ruling political party.

Conversely, some persons who hold alternative view points insist­ed that capitulating to that level was dictatorial, diversionary, myopic and banal and had nothing to do with the essence of true democracy.
After several months of legal fireworks, propaganda and pub­lic odium for Saraki and Ekwere­madu, the executive arm of gov­ernment, withdrew the forgery lawsuit slammed on the two prin­cipal officers. To Nigerians it was a matter of case closed; no qualms, life moves on to the next issue. The master has spoken and so be it. The public never bother about the eco­nomic and social costs. This was a typical case of the executive dis­tracting the legislature and the pub­lic, the polity pays the price.

Monday, October 24, 2016

In Jonathan's Confab Lies The Future Of Nigeria

By Dan Amor
In Culture and Anarchy, Matthew Arnold, one of the greatest social and literary critics in Eighteenth Century England, according to a reviewer, “employs a delicate and stringent irony in an examination of the society of his time: a rapidly expanding industrial society, just beginning to accustom itself to the changes in its institutions that the pace of its own development called for.”
Coming virtually at the end of the decade (1868) and immediately prior to W.E. Forster’s Education Act, Culture and Anarchy according to the same reviewer, “phrases with a particular cogency the problems that find their centre in the questions: what kind of life do we think individuals in mass societies should be assisted to lead? How may we best ensure that the quality of their living is not impoverished?” In this little book of about 238 pages, Arnold “applies himself to the detail of his time”: to the Reform agitation, to the commercial values that working people were encouraged to respect, and to the limitations of even the best rationalist intelligence.
I do not know how much of Arnold had former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan read. But a critical or psychoanalytic study of the former President’s inaugural speech at the National Conference 2014, in Abuja on Monday March 17, 2014 advertises a clear departure from the wayward past. Despite whatever anyone may say, the composition of the team of delegates was the best anyone could put together anywhere in the world. It was an assemblage of dynamic personalities, of the men and women who forged our freedom as a country. And in spite of my well-articulated reservations about some of Jonathan's previous speeches, I saw his address at the Confab inauguration as sublime. In that beautifully crafted, inquiring and highly readable speech, the President brilliantly shows how in the course of a single lifetime, Nigeria changed from a confident continental power into an uncertain, reluctant and domestically fragmented member of the African Union with all her institutions almost failing due to a misbegotten leadership.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Many Lies Of John Paden, Buhari's Biographer

By Reno Omokri

The book Muhammadu Buhari-The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria  by Professor John Paden is not only an intellectually lazy work, it is also a fallacious document hastily put together to paint the protagonist in the borrowed garb of an effective leader who is cleaning the Augean Stable of misrule and corruption in Nigeria, but my question is this - how can you fight corruption with lies?
President Buhari, his wife, Aisha, Gowon and Prof Paden
I have taken my time to x-ray the book and I cannot help but agree with the national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress that Paden has done a great disservice to the truth. If I were Paden, I would consider a career in fiction writing. His talents are much better suited for that than to scholarly and investigative work.

On page 52 of the book, Professor Paden declares that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan declared for the April 2011 Presidential election on Saturday, 18th of September 2011. 

But for a man who was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, Paden did not show much scholarliness because if he did, he would have established that Dr. Jonathan made world history by being the first ever Presidential candidate to make his declaration on the social media platform, facebook, on Wednesday the 15th of September, 2016, a feat which was featured on the New York Times, the Washington Post and in several international news media. 

If this was the only error in the book, one could forgive Paden, but the errors go on and on. 

For example on page 53, Paden, without citing any proof or evidence, called Dr. Jonathan's margin of victory in the South south and Southeast 'nonsensical', but then he goes ahead to accept President Buhari's margin of victory in the North as valid even though they mirrored Dr. Jonathan's margins in the South.

On page 55, Paden called to question Jonathan's handling of the economy but then in page 60 he admits that the 7% GNP growth Nigeria attained under Jonathan was "impressive". Does Paden suffer from a split personality? Here he is calling into question former President Jonathan's ability to manage an economy that he himself admits generated an impressive growth yet he is praising a President Buhari under whom Nigeria has gone into recession. I don't get it Paden! 

Perhaps Paden should have written a book singing Jonathan's praises instead of President Buhari's!

Then he attacks Dr. Jonathan in page 55 over the 2012 attempt to remove fuel subsidies and pointed to the street protests that broke out in reaction, but curiously failed to mention that such protests were instigated and led by the then opposition members including President Buhari's former running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare, who was openly at the fore front of the protests and Malam Nasir Elrufai, who coordinated activities during the Occupy Nigeria protests. This is nothing short of intellectual dishonesty.

Muhammadu Buhari Vs Aisha Buhari

By Julius Oweh
The relationship between a husband and a wife is so iron clad that no person or matter can come between them especially in a blissful atmosphere.  Wives are known to protect the interest of their husbands especially in the public domain and the stakes are even higher should the husband be a politician and a president at that. Aisha Buhari, the spouse of President Muhammadu Buhari cuts a perfect picture of a dutiful and obedient spouse.
*President Buhari and wife, Aisha
The highly urbane and articulate Aisha was initially not involved in the soap box oratory and campaigns until Madame Patience Jonathan drew her into the arena. Since then, she has continued to distinguished herself as a proud wife and mother both to her children and husband. She has brought intellectualism and dignity to the office of the First Lady even though she has refused to bear the title and preferred to be to as the wife of the president. A case of six and half a dozen!
Courting the mass media is a dangerous terrain to those not aware of its enormous power and influence. The mass media can make or mar any personality depending on the level of interaction. That is why those who know the power and influence of the mass media tread carefully. It is one civics lesson Aisha Buhari may learn rather too late. Speaking to the Hausa service of the BBC, Aisha Buhari lamented that the government of her spouse has been hijacked by a cabal, adding that those who worked for her husband’s victory have been left in the cold.
Listen to part of that interview: "He is yet to tell me but I have decided as his wife that if things continue like this up to 2019. I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again… The president does not know 45 out of 50.I don't know them either despite been his wife for 27 years. Some of them don't even have voters card and those who made sacrifice have been reduced to nothing and certainly, I ‘m not happy with the way things are going."
The Aisha Buhari assessment is full of candour and the best description yet of the Buhari administration. It has nothing to do with the partisan views of Peoples  Democratic Party, PDP, or that of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. Coming from a better half of the president, it is really on the mark. It is more of a struggle between spouse obligations and the spirit of patriotism. In this case, patriotism seems to have the upper hand.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Aisha Buhari: New Face Of The Opposition?

By Steve Nwosu
First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is definitely working for the PDP.
And we can now officially enthrone her as the matriarch of the Wailers. Now, don’t ask me if she has ‘officially’ joined the PDP yet. But to underscore the fact that Hajia Aisha is currently being tempted to publicly tear her APC membership card (OBJ on my mind), President Muhammadu Buhari told a press conference in Germany last week that “I don’t know the party my wife belongs to”.
*Aisha Buhari 
So, officially, husband and wife are no longer in the same political party. My only problem for now is that I don’t know whether she belongs to the Makarfi/Wike faction or the Modu Sherrif faction. I also don’t know how much the umbrella people paid her to do what she’s doing.
Yes, if I or any other journalist or political commentator had said what Mrs. Buhari told BBC Hausa Service about Buhari and his government, I suspect the DSS, Police or EFCC would since have come calling. Yes, they might not resort to pulling down our doors or sneaking up on us like any gang of armed robbers and kidnappers would but bank accounts might have been frozen by now. And Lai Mohammed would be on air, talking about how we had been contracted and generously paid, by the PDP, to discredit Buhari’s government.
I think Aisha is coming from our rich and long production line of strong women in the corridors of power and leadership. Soft exterior, steely interior!
In Nigeria, we are not new to presidencies where the women wear the trousers and have the balls (if you’ll indulge me that expression).
Those who were close to the Goodluck Jonathan’s would swear that it was Mama Peace that had the balls. I was not close to the Umaru Yar’Aduas, but I’ve heard stories about Hajia Turai. President Olusegun Obasanjo may have been as stubborn as a he-goat, but people close to the then first family attest that his beautiful wife, Stella, was one woman OBJ could not put down.
I don’t know how the military leaders coped with their own wives, but legend has it that IBB stood no chance of ever making it to Maryam’s bedroom again if he had insisted, with the then Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), that Asaba should not be the capital of the then about-to-be-created Delta State.

Aisha Buhari: We All Know Where We Belong

By Paul John  
For some time now, our electronic and print media have been awash with news items about a recent interview granted to the BBC by the wife of the President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha. Following the aftermath of that interview, the President while fielding questions in far away Germany, described his wife as belonging to his kitchen, his living room and ‘the other room.’ This happened in a country where a woman is the Chancellor and in a year when a woman became the British Prime Minister not mentioning the fact the United States is about to have its first woman President. Shortly, after this presidential faux pas, Garba Shehu lamely attempted to disabuse the minds of Nigerians as to the innocuous import and purport of that statement by attributing it to Mr. President’s sense of humour.
*President Buhari and wife, Aisha
However, need one remind Garba Shehu that of an Igbo adage: ‘Ebe a na-ama njakiri ka a na-agwa mmadu eziokwu’ –  one is told the truth through jokes? In other words, it is in the midst of friendly banter that the greatest truth emerges. Even if as Garba Shehu wants the whole world to believe that Mr. President was only joking when he said that his wife belongs to his kitchen, his living room and ‘the other room,’ the import and dimension of that message cannot be easily or merely dismissed offhandedly as he wishes to do.
The question is: How many women have been appointed by the President to head Federal establishments or to be part of his cabinet? This is unlike the last administration where many women were given some key positions and allowed to do their jobs without fear or favour. A case in point happened to be the appointment of the first ever female Chief Justice of the Federation by the last administration. What is the President doing currently about the much touted 35% affirmation? Nigerians voted for change. Nigerians wanted to do things right or even better which was why some people opted for President Buhari against former President Goodluck Jonathan. But what are they getting now?
The worst of it all is that the President made the statement in a continent that never plays with women’s rights and in a country where a mother of eight is the Minister of Defence, superintending over one of the strongest military forces in the world. Thus, some feminist groups in Germany immediately called it a hate speech and demanded the immediate exit of the President from their territory. Did we not see how visibly angry Mrs. Merkel ended the press conference to save the President further embarrassment?
Let the truth be told, as far as this administration is concerned women are meant for the kitchen, the living room and ‘the other room.’ I may not bother to ask the DSS, EFCC or any of their sister agencies to investigate the meaning of the ‘other room’ rather I will assume that ‘the other room’ means the bedroom. But taking the President’s speech to a wider context, one would remember that immediately he assumed office in 2015, there was an interview equally credited to him where he said it would be unfair giving the same degree of attention he is giving to those who gave him 97% votes to those who gave him only 5% votes.
Is it not absurd that the region classified under 5% is the region that sustains the Nigerian economy through its oil production? The President said this as a cryptic reference to those from the South-southern and the South-eastern states whom the President believed did not give enough support to his presidential bid. Will the presidential spokesperson also come out to tell us that it was equally part of Mr. President’s numerous humours? But then Nigerians do not need jesters, else they would not have opted for the President, neither do they need a male chauvinist in a country that has more than 43% of its population to be women and girls else they would not have voted him into power.

The Emir And The Child Bride

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
Just when the outrage at the scandalous abduction of 14-year old Ese Oruru by a lecher from Kano who forced her into marriage is about quitting smouldering, there is now another paedophilic case to stoke the fury over the development. The replication of this scandal is in consonance with the tragic character of a nation that is impervious to the lessons of history. This is why the nation is bogged down by repeated blunders that have consigned it to the fringes of the league of its developed counterparts.
*President Muhammadu Buhari and the  Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabiru Usman
We failed to learn any lessons from the Oruru saga. There were no dire consequences for the so-called emir, other religious leaders and state actors who watched while the ordeal of Oruru lasted. This is why another case of abduction and forced conversion and marriage has now invaded the public consciousness.
Secure in the knowledge of a state that is incapable of inflicting well-deserved sanctions on its citizens who violate its authority, the Emir of Katsina , Alhaji AbdulMumin Kabiru Usman, has allegedly abducted and married 14-year-old Habiba Isiyaku. Continuing in his impunity, the emir allegedly assaulted Mr. Isiyaku Tanko when he went to the palace to take away his daughter.
What clearly confronts us with the reality of the failure of the Nigerian state in this smutty saga is that the police are complicit. They are aware of this condemnable abduction. Yet, they could not effectively intervene. Worse still, the police allowed the emir to bungle what appeared to be their intervention. While the parties involved in the case were meeting in the office of the state police commissioner (PC), a security detail walked in and declared that the emir asked that the girl should be brought to his palace and that her parents should come and take her there. Before the PC, the girl was taken to the palace from the chief security officer.
When the father got to the palace, he was humiliated and made to sit on the floor while the emir did not even bother to appear and address him. He only sent his aide to tell Isiyaku that since his daughter had converted to Islam she could not be released to him. Thus over two months now, the teenager has been in this captivity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chibok Girls Abduction: A Hoax Or Reality?

By Comrade Omaga Elachi Daniel
Recently, the media (both local and international) was awash with news of the release of 21 of the school girls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, out of the over 200 reported to have been abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram Sect. While jubilations and mixed feelings trailed this development, it is pertinent for one to critically bare his minds on some of the questions that are still left unanswered.

In its entirety, while some believe that the abduction was indeed an act of terror, others believe the episode was a hoax! A politically motivated strategy, carefully organized and executed by professional mercenaries to discredit the past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. A hi-tech political maneuvering that could pass for an all time best seller!

On the other hand, many believe the recent release of these 21 girls is another calculated attempt to make Nigerians believe that, yes, the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration promised to secure the release of these girls if been voted into power and they are indeed fulfilling their promises. At some point, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, a close ally of President Buhari said that these girls may never be found alive. A statement which many activists believe was goofy.

Even President Buhari, his spokespersons and the wailers took similar positions. They opined that the girls must have been married away or sold as slaves. These assertions never deterred Madam Oby Ezekwesili  and her ‘soldiers’ (the Bring Back Our Girls – BBOG- team) in their struggles and advocacy for the release of the girls. Funny as it became, the FG later saw these agitation as a hydra-headed problem that must be curtailed.
Without mincing words, I want to commend our security agencies so far for their resilience and commitment in fostering lasting peace and security across the nation. You guys are the true heroes!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Buhari: Hater Of Women, President From The Dark Ages!

By Femi Fani-Kayode

"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me"- Psalm 23. 

I recited this scripture three times and waited on the Lord quietly and calmly when I heard that my wife and son had been unlawfully apprehended and detained in a bank in far away Ado Ekiti on the orders of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) whilst I was in Lagos

 Somebody should tell President Muhammadu Buhari to stop sending his goons to abduct other peoples’ wives and eight month old infant babies and to stop trying to traumatise them, lock them up and destroy their lives simply because they are married to or fathered by opposition politicians and those he hates. 

He should leave my wife Precious Chikwendu, my eight month old son, Aragorn, and other members of my family alone, face me directly and be a man. Even in war the wives and children of the enemy are out of bounds. 

The truth is that Buhari is nothing more than a coward and a bully and he will suffer the consequences of his actions because God will punish him. 

I give thanks to the Living God, the fearless lion that is known as Governor Ayo Fayose and the good people of Ado Ekiti for saving the lives of my loved ones and protecting them from the barbaric and illegal actions and tyranny of the fascists of the EFCC. 

I have nothing but contempt for these people. They are the scum of the earth and by the time this is all over they will know that I serve a mighty God.

Despite the threats, persecution, violence and intimidation that my family and I have been subjected to over the last one year my opposition to the Buhari government remains implacable and unrelenting and I refuse to be silenced.

I said that Buhari was an evil man right from the outset and that he would prove to be an incompetent and disastrous President if elected into office and I have been proved right. 

If he and his security forces are not killing Shiite Muslims, marginalising Christians, silencing and intimidating critics, locking up members of the opposition, storming the homes of judges or threatening bloggers and journalists they are sponsoring Fulani militants and herdsmen to commit acts of barbarity and terror against their fellow Nigerians. 

If they are not impoverishing Nigerians, decimating the economy or freezing the bank accounts of innocent men and women and their family members they are tormenting, abducting and locking up the wives, infants and babies of opposition figures. 

If they are not intimidating and charging leaders of the Senate and other senior legislators to court on trumped up charges, murdering IPOB youths, butchering Niger Deltans, humiliating and cheating their own party leaders or discrediting and jailing dissenters they are denigrating women and confining them to the kitchen and bedroom. 

Buhari has divided our country along ethnic, religious and regional lines as never before and he has subjected the Nigerian people to levels of starvation, deprivation, poverty and suffering that were hitherto unknown. 

And it is not just southerners and Christians that are feeling the pinch and suffering the pain and affliction. Millions of northern Muslims are feeling it as well. If anyone doubts that I challenge Buhari to walk the streets of Kano today and see what happens.

One wonders how things got so bad? One wonders what engendered this terrible affliction and what attracted this deep-rooted curse of a government? 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Nigeria: Between Hope And Hopelessness

By Dan Amor
In 2015, during the Presidential campaigns, the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) then in opposition, promised Nigerians heaven on earth. They said they would turn Nigeria to a new paradise in Africa. Boko Haram would be defeated in six weeks. The pump price of petrol would be brought to forty Naira per litre. Naira, the Nigerian currency would be made to be at par with the American dollar. Primary and secondary schools students would be provided free food daily. Unemployed Nigerians would be given a welfare stipend of five thousand Naira (N5,000) each every month.
                                                                                  *pix: cnn
The list included over 150 promises, too numerous to be accommodated here. More than sixteen months of the APC in the saddle, Nigerians are told to be prepared to make sacrifices, that the change must begin with them. Boko Haram has been defeated only on paper.  Sambisa forest has been liberated by federal forces. But the insurgents have metamorphosed into killer herdsmen who are being pampered and protected by security forces to kill armless Nigerians. The Nigerian currency has nosedived several octaves below its metropol. It now exchanges for almost 500 to the dollar from N165 to the dollar in May 2015. Petrol which sold for N86 as at May 2015 now sells for N145 per litre. Millions of school children are still at home more than a month after schools have resumed across the country. Everywhere, there is hunger and gnashing of teeth as inflation has risen above rooftops. But, in his October 1 independence anniversary broadcast to the nation, President Muhammadu Buhari asked Nigerians to hope for tomorrow, that tomorrow would be better. Are Nigerians hopeful of the day after? Will tomorrow ever come? The collective answer to this poser is a resounding NO. Tomorrow hardly comes.

If Nigerians are no longer hopeful of tomorrow, they deserve pardon. For, never in the history of mankind have a people been so brutalised and tortured by the very group of people who are supposed to protect and nurture 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 about Nigeria is soured news: violence, arson, rape, killing, maiming, kidnapping, robbery, corruption, official lying, etcetera. 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 a genuine change, is still the daydream of the entire 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 cattle or 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, October 13, 2016

Count Buhari Among The Judges

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
By unleashing the Department of State Services (DSS) on some judges, President Muhammadu Buhari has succeeded in portraying the nation’s judiciary as reeking of corruption. The clampdown which has rightly provoked so much condemnation is a manifestation of the president’s long-held notion that the corruption of the judges has been an obstacle to the successful prosecution of his anti-corruption campaign. But there is one fact that must be remembered in the raging debate about the appropriateness or otherwise of the action of the DSS since the judges do not have immunity against investigation – the president’s complicity in the alleged misdeeds of the judicial officers. 

For while it is true that the allegations of corruption against judges and lawyers predate the emergence of Buhari as president, the brazenness of the perversion of justice that riles him is only reflective of the current era of the collapse of the sanctity of the constitution that Buhari and his government have precipitated.

To be sure, we are all outraged at the judiciary’s loss of a moral compass that ought to guide its activities and therefore through every pronouncement reinforce the notion that it is the last bastion of justice for the common man. Rather than deterring corruption, the Bench and the Bar have become ready sources of its perpetuation in the society. Lawyers bribe judges for their clients to win cases. Justice is now for the highest bidder.
Politicians who empty the public treasury are allowed to plea-bargain and go home to enjoy their loot. Those who steal their organisations’ money to buy property all over the world are allowed to recover from phantom ailments in luxury hospitals while the shareholders suffer penury. But the poor person who steals a phone is sentenced to many years in prison without even an option of a fine.
With the return of democracy, corruption in the judiciary has become democratised. The numerous disputes over elections have become opportunities for judges to amass wealth. The late Justice Kayode Esho once alerted us to how some judges had become billionaires by giving judgements that were paid for.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Dirty Little Lies Of Buhari’s Biographer

By Femi Fani-Kayode
Professor John Paden, President Muhammadu Buhari’s official biographer, is a man that is very comfortable with distorting the truth and telling lies. He is also a man that has been doing so for virtually all his adult life.

Anyone that doubts that should read his biography on the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, which was written in 1986 and titled Ahmadu Bello, Saurdana of Sokoto: Values and Leadership In Nigeria, and which is essentially a self-serving and comprehensive compilation of Bello’s numerous virtues with little or no mention of his many vices. I read that book twenty years ago and I placed it in the “light entertainment” shelf in my library because it lacked gravitas or any real intellectual stamina.
Aisha Buhari, President Buhari, Gen Gowon,
Gen Obasanjo at the October 3, 2016 book launch
 in Abuja
It was, at best, a beautiful public relations job for Bello and, at worse, a compilation of disjointed verbiage fit only for the dustbin. Paden’s book on Buhari falls into the same category. It is nothing but an illusion: an extraordinary and fantastic fairy-tale built on a shady foundation of pseudo-intellectual clap-trap and garbage.

To him, President Buhari is infallible. He is, at best, an angel of light and, at worst, a perfect mortal with no warts. Paden’s latest contribution is the greatest exercise in dishonesty and historical revisionism that has ever been undertaken by any foreign or Nigerian historian since independence. The only one that comes close to it in this respect is the book that he wrote on the Sardauna and a number of other books that he authored over the years which were primarily about core northern Nigeria.

Writing rubbish seems to be Paden’s stock in trade. In his latest book, amongst many other glaring and shameless mendacities, he indulged in two particular lies that are an eloquent testimony to his perfidy. The first was that three names were sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for the position of Vice President, namely Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Yemi Osibanjo and Babatunde Raji Fashola in 2014 for the 2015 presidential election. This is false and it is simply an attempt to demean and belittle Tinubu and the role that he played in the whole exercise.

The truth is that it was Tinubu and Tinubu alone that forwarded the only name that was given serious consideration for the Vice Presidential slot by President Buhari. That name was Professor Yemi Osibanjo. Senator Olorunimbe Mamora was also considered by Buhari but he did not have the backing of Tinubu and neither did Tinubu forward his name. The idea that Tinubu’s name was forwarded to be Vice President alongside that of his two protégées in the persons of Osinbajo and Fashola is nothing but fantasy and it was a beautiful and tasteful dish and tale that was spiced cooked up and prepared in the kitchens of Aso Rock.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nigeria: APC’s Incredible Nepotism

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
No matter how much the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders emote about their resolve to foster a merit-driven system and serve the whole country, their immersion in winner-take-all politics is obvious to all. Of course, this is by no means out of sync with the party of President Muhammadu Buhari who declared that those who voted for him would enjoy the so-called dividends of democracy more than those who never supported his election.
President Buhari and IGP Ibrahim Kpotum
While it is clear that Buhari has floundered in many other areas of governance, he has demonstrated uncommon fidelity to this commitment since he assumed office. This accounts for his appointing mainly his family members, political associates and other close persons.

This nepotism that has defined the Buhari government is set to interfere with the recruitment of new police personnel. Such interference is alarming against the backdrop of the persistent outrage at the unprofessionalism in the police that is often expressed in their predilection for corruption. They shoot a motorist who refuses to give them a bribe of N50; they collude with armed robbers to prey on the citizens; they turn a witness or complainant into a suspect because of pecuniary gain – and the list of crimes goes on. For all this, the blame rightly goes to the method of their recruitment that shares no kinship with meritocracy. Most police personnel join the force to make money through corruption and not because of the competence and the passion they have for the job. They easily bribe their way through the recruitment and once they have got the job, they brazenly pursue an agenda to recoup their investment.
Thus, we would have thought that a time of recruitment of police personnel would be seized as an opportunity to get citizens who are very competent and passionate to enforce the law and protect the citizens and their property and stop the rapid deterioration of the force into a hotbed for the proliferation of criminals. But now, through the nepotism of the APC, only those who are close to the ministers and leaders of the party are the ones who would be among the 10,000 police personnel to be recruited this year. These ministers and leaders of APC have disrupted the recruitment by insisting that only their cronies should make the list. To placate them, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has been removing the names of those who have meritoriously passed the tests for the recruitment. They have been putting the names of their cronies who have either failed the tests or did not even apply for the job in the first place. Consequently, the recruitment that should have been concluded by now has been stalled.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Nigeria @56 And The Worship Of Baal

By Fani-Kayode
Nigeria is 56 years old today. Consequently it is time to speak some home-truths and look at where we are in the scheme of things. It is time to consider how well our government has fared since coming to power and to compare their record of service to previous governments that were in the saddle before them. Sadly the score sheet does not look too good.
(pix: elombah)
The rigging of elections, the persecution of opposition figures, the demonisation of dissenters, the destruction of the economy, the pauperisation of our people, the introduction of famine, the humiliation of Nigerians coupled with violence, impunity, aggression, intolerance and tyranny: that is all President Muhammadu Buhari and his government have served our people since he was sworn in on May 29th 2015.

The last one year and four months have been the worst since independence in terms of the violation of human rights, civil liberties and court orders by our government. We have witnessed unprecedented mass murder, butchery, carnage and barbarity by well-armed and highly favored Fulani herdsmen and ethnic militias coupled with genocide and unprecedented extra-judicial killings by our military personnel and state security forces.

We have witnessed the resurrection of Abubakar Shekau and the mutation of Boko Haram into two powerful new factions. We have seen them re-take towns and communities that they lost years ago and hoist their dirty black flag in parts of the north-east. Our government has given up on the Chibok girls and we witnessed the humiliation, insults and physical harassment by security forces that those who have fought for their return in the BBOG group have been subjected to in the last few months.

We have seen the rapid depreciation of the naira, the total decimation of our industrial, agricultural and manufacturing sector and the destruction and decay of virtually all our roads, airports, power generating facilities and infra-structures. Our government has squandered our foreign reserves. Driven away local and foreign investment. Caused the dollar to fly away. Created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the markets.

Forced people to spend their life savings and capital just to survive. Reduced many Nigerians to eating just one meal a day. Caused many to withdraw their children from school simply because they cannot afford to pay fees. And they have driven many to depression, suicide and despair. Unemployment is at a record high. The banks and indeed the entire financial sector is dying because there is no liquidity. The naira is approaching 500 naira to one US dollar which represents an over 100 per cent depreciation in the space of one year.

We are in the middle of the worst economic recession that we have suffered in our 56 years of existence as an independent nation-state. Thousands are being laid off on a daily basis. Graduate and non-graduate unemployment is at a record high. Food prices, the price of transport and the price of fuel, diesel and kerosene have shot up. Finally, we have witnessed the total and complete dashing of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of the Nigerian people.

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