Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Ozubulu Catastrophe And Governor Obiano’s Deft Hand

By Chuks Iloegbunam 
When news of the terrible development hit the Awka seat of power early that morning, many scenarios taxed the imagination. Nothing of the sort had previously happened in Igbo history. There was a bizarre angle to it, of course, that was of tremendous import: Anambra State, reputed to be an oasis of safety and security, peace and placidity in tumultuous Nigeria had taken a vicious bang on the jugular. 
*Gov Willie Obiano
Who had done the violent action? To what end? Since it is often the case that “when it hits, it reverberates,” was the impunity set to spread? These were some of the questions Governor Willie Obiano tried to think through while, at the same time, receiving Security and Intelligence debriefing. Taking little time, the Governor’s convoy negotiated the 48 kilometres from Awka to Ozubulu, and hit the scene of the bloodbath. 

Armed with both the truth of what had happened and the spins sprouting in the social media, Governor Obiano inspected the carnage inside the St. Philips Catholic Church, Amakwa, Ozubulu. Twelve congregants whose only “offence” was attending the 6am mass to worship their God had been brutally massacred in an orgy of gunfire. Eighteen others sustained gunshot wounds, some of them life threatening. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Getting President Buhari Out Of Their Lives!

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
A spectre of more protests against the continued stay of President Muhammadu Buhari in office hangs over the nation as the façade over his health status comes crashing down. In February this year, the government through its coercive security apparatuses was able to stop famous singer Innocent Idibia popularly known as Tuface from leading a protest against the poor governance that has blighted the citizens’ existence under the current government. Just as the government failed to stop the protest which took place without Tuface then, the prospect now of easily squelching the citizens’ expressions of their disenchantment with it is non-existent.
*President Buhari 
The citizens who are increasingly becoming disillusioned with the government of Buhari have refused to accept all governmental platitudes and intimidation. They have again taken to the streets to protest against Buhari. They are unequivocal about their grouse: Buhari should come back from London and effectively assume the reins of office or simply resign.
The citizens might have delayed these protests while hoping that governance and developments around the health of the president would take a turn for the better. But government officials have kept tantalising the citizens with the return of Buhari. But shortly after the excitement over the assurance of his return fizzles out, there is despondency as the citizens realise that they have been swindled again.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Moral Debris Of Ex-President Jonathan’s Looted Home

By Louis Odion, FNGE
Vanguard editorial, in my view, belongs in the heavyweight echelon of Nigeria's commentariat. The weight of its punch is to be judged not only by the resonance of the message over the years; but also its economy of phrase - the uncanny facility to say a lot in so few words, packing so much into so little a space.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan 
But its edition of August 3 must rank among those that fall miserably short of the high value it normally espouses. In the comment entitled, "Looting Of Ex-President Jonathan's Home", the newspaper said every thing expected against the cops-turned-burglars and those who trafficked the stolen goods. 
What would have been a fine argument against yet another iniquity of man was however sullied when, in the next breath, it openly sought to either deny anyone the right to outrage against Jonathan on any count whatsoever or make a villain outright of those unable to express pity or empathy with the victim on this matter. 
It wrote: "No decent human being can claim that what took place in ... President Jonathan's house is excusable on any ground. All people of conscience must rise up and condemn evil, no matter who is involved. The atmosphere of hatred which seems to have seized the people of this country by the throat must be made to give way to empathy for one another, as that is the only way we can build a united, strong country."

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nigerians And Killer Soft Drinks!

By Owei Lakemfa
I bought two products of the Coca Cola conglomerate three days ago. They are bottles of  Fanta and Sprite. I looked for a warning on them which should read that the drinks are poisonous when taken with Vitamin C. This would be in accordance with the March 2017 judgment of the Lagos High Court which found the products unfit for human consumption as they contain high  levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid which according to European and American drug agencies, can form the carcinogen benzene when combined with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). The court had ordered Coca Cola to comply not later than June 2017.

But I did not see such warning. I did not expect to see the warning because as expected,  Coca Cola would be hiding behind technicalities and  a claim that it is appealing the judgment. However, if  it were interested in the health of Nigerians and not just profits, the company  by now, would  have saturated  us with adverts warning of the dangers of taking their products as ordered by the court. In a matter affecting lives such as this, the company should comply with the judgment even if it seeks a reversal in the higher court. This is basically because while it can recoup losses, it cannot bring back lives that might be lost as a result of its non-compliance.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nnamdi Kanu, Hate Speech And Our Ostrich Attitude

By Nnamdi Okosieme
Before I address the issue above fully, let me a few points clear.
1. I do not think much of Nnamdi Kanu; I am not a fan of his; I do not agree with his methods but concede he is entitled to seek a better life for himself and his people.
I also think we would have been spared all his drama, shenanigans and tantrums if our president had not been heedless enough to arrest him instead of finding a more workable approach to tackle the challenge he presents.
*Nnamdi Kanu
2. I believe that those who call for tinkering with Nigeria as it is presently constituted not only have every right to do so but are indeed right for there is a lot that is wrong with this country. That tinkering can come either by way of geopolitical restructuring or constitutional amendment or whatever works best. But tinkering? Certainly!
3. I believe that it is wrong to threaten to lop off someone's head or disembowel him simply because he does not subscribe to your views. In that regard, Kanu and others threatening people with death are way off the mark and dead wrong. In the main, rather than advance their cause, it actually diminishes it.
Now, to the issue above. Hate speech is decidedly abhorrent for if left unchecked engenders violence and spawns genocide in the end. When Hitler was threatening Jews and pigeon-holing them, the rest of the world went about their business unperturbed. Europe and America which had the political and military might to intervene looked the other way until the chickens came home to roost.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Obasanjo, Fayose And The Libyan Idol

By Louis Odion, FNGE
A humour bag of arguably inexhaustible depth, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, would make even the most consummate stand-up comic feel inadequate on a good day. From improvising the risqué to trafficking the folksy, his creativity, as he himself once famously put it in one such fit of self-deprecating humour, is fed by a certain native resourcefulness, being "Omo ma lo le gbesi" (scion of he who is prodigiously adroit at tackling single-handed any public loud-mouth without help from home). "Wait and get", for short. 
*Gaddafi and Obasanjo
The reason it is therefore rather surprising, if not troubling, that the witty general has kept a studied silence to the avalanche of weighty revelations by Ayo Fayose, the feisty Ekiti governor, in the current edition of wave-making The Interview. Since release last Thursday, Fayose's wide-ranging expose on his one-time political godfather has been widely reproduced by all leading national dailies with massive rebroadcast in the social media.
At this writing, five uneasy days had passed without as much as a whimper from Ota. More and more, the ensuing silence conveys an eloquence not even a thousand words can possibly describe.
Whatever happened to the fabled facility of "Wait and get"?
Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned, Shakespeare tells us.
Now, with Fayose, we now know no venom is as lethal as an estranged godson on rampage. For all his unalloyed loyalty and submission to be used for dirty jobs, he regrets Obasanjo eventually betrayed him by orchestrating his kangaroo impeachment in October 2006.
Of course as a former OBJ enforcer, the "Oshoko" of Ekiti was an insider. What seems to complicate matters is that he did not just squeal; he named living witnesses in the series of infamies OBJ perpetrated as Nigeria's civilian emperor, particularly between 2004 and 2006. 
The revelations surely stink. The image of Obasanjo revealed is pathetic indeed. They include how public funds were used to bribe lawmakers to support Third Term Agenda which OBJ has in the last decade fought tooth and nail to deny. Going down memory lane, for instance, Fayose recalled that the day the bill was shot down at the National Assembly, OBJ dozed off in bitterness as they rode together from Akure airport to Ado Ekiti. Midway, he recalled, OBJ jerked up from slumber, muttering, "Ah, (Ken) Nnamani (then Senate president) willl not leave in one piece".

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Prof Osinbajo’s Irresponsible And Irreverent Assertion –An Open Letter To The Acting President

By Femi Fani-Kayode
“Those that are calling for restructuring are looking for appointment. When they say they want restructuring what they mean is that they want an appointment……. some people told us Nigeria is a “geographical expression” although it was not even original to them”- Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
 
*Osinbajo
Your Excellency,
I trust that you are well despite the fact that your principal is still at large.
Permit me to take this opportunity to respond to your gratuitous insult and your irresponsible and irreverent assertion about those of us that have been at the forefront of the fight for restructuring our nation for many years.
However before doing so I shall make a few observations and assertions of my own.
You have constantly condemned and warned against what you call “hate speech” in our nation yet you indulge in it more than anyone else.
I say this because you constantly call others, particularly members of the opposition, “looters” and you take pleasure on demonising them before the world even before a court of law has pronounced them guilty of any wrongdoing.
You also call them “plunderers”, “liars”, “clueless” and “destroyers”. If this is not hate speech then I really don’t know what is!
You have stigmatised and criminalised every single leading member of the opposition PDP, including our leader President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, over the last three years and you have sought to paint us as reprobates and evil souls that are not fit to hold public office and that have destroyed the very foundation of our country.
One of your most prominent and vocal sympathisers, supporters and leaders even called President Jonathan’s wife, our former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, an ugly and illiterate hippopotamus! Are these sentiments not motivated by pure hate?
Yet you know very well that all that you and your associates have said about the PDP and our leaders is not only a lie from the pit of hell but also a carefully crafted, purposely contrived and premeditated false narrative.
Worse still you are fully aware of the fact that over sixty percent of your party elders and APC governors, ministers, legislators and public office holders were, up until three or four years ago, all elders, leaders and members of the PDP, including President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Nigeria: Jonathan’s House As Metaphor

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
So former President Goodluck Jonathan house was plundered? While this is a personal misfortune to the former president, it serves as a fortuitous reminder to both the leaders and the citizens of the demands of nation building amid the despoliation of the national patrimony by those paid to watch over it.
*Dr. Goodluck Jonathan 
At the outset, we need to state in unequivocal terms that our humanity is by no means vitalised by the troubles of others or what the Germans would identify as Schadenfreude. At the same time, we owe no fidelity to the philosophy of not speaking ill of the dead which deprives us of the reflection that could yield useful lessons for our own lives. Thankfully, in this case, we do not speak ill of a dead Jonathan but a man who has not yet passed the bloom of life and still has so much ahead of him. You need not doubt this – think of Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Donald Trump who offered to serve their nations in their seventies and the point becomes clear.
Jonathan’s four-bedroom duplex in Abuja was stripped bare of all valuables. These included six television sets, three refrigerators, one gas cooker, furniture, electronics, toilet and electrical fittings and internal doors and frames. The suspected masterminds of this larceny are those charged with the responsibility of guarding the house.
Jonathan has publicly confirmed reports that the house was burgled. But this public confirmation might have been spurred by the need to dispel wild speculations about the caches of luxuries in the house that threw into stark relief his implacable acquisitive character. This public acknowledgement only came after he had reported the case to the inspector-general of police who did not waste time in arresting the policemen who are suspected to have committed the crime.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Insensitivity Of The Nigerian Senate

By Ray Ekpu
The failure of the Senate to approve the devolution of powers from the centre to the federating states is a colossal misreading of the country’s temperature. It sends the wrong message to the agitators campaigning for ethnic self determination, total resource control and confederation. It says to them that the Senate thinks everything is okay in the country; that there is nothing to worry about and that the country as it is, is working just fine. This is a most regrettable decision and if the current tension arising from the dysfunctional state of Nigeria reaches an irreversible crescendo the Senate should hold itself largely responsible.
*Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki
Here are the facts: there has been a massive agitation by some Igbo youths for a Biafra Republic. The numbers are increasing and on May 30, they grounded all the five Igbo states as a show of their strength. Some Arewa Youths have asked the Igbos in the north to go away from their territory before October 1, 2017 otherwise… Some militants in the South South also say that northerners in the South South should also go away from their territory before October 1 otherwise… A group in the South West has already drawn a map of an Oduduwa Republic meaning that they are ready to secede except… The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has called a series of fence-mending meetings but no mending has yet taken place. 
The Nnamdi Kanu group which calls itself the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has already declared that there will be no governorship election in Anambra State in November except there is a referendum on the idea of Biafra. Anambra is coincidentally the home of Emeka Odumegwu–Ojukwu, the Oxford trained historian – soldier who led the Biafran revolt (1967 – 1970) that ended in a monumental disaster. One million dead persons later, Kanu is embarking on another Biafra misadventure which is catching the attention of the youths who have never been victimised by the horrors of war but are enthused by the prospects of a putative utopia of that ill-fated name.

Nigeria: Unity Schools And Unjust Cut-Off Marks

By Luke Onyekakeyah  
At a time when agitations and mass discontent are raging across the country as a result of perceived injustice, cheating, marginalisation and inequity in the system, the Federal Ministry of Education is going ahead with the entrenched and lopsided admission policy into the 104 Unity Schools, whereby, states in the north are favoured in the admission through very low cut-off marks while the southern states are denied admission through very high cut-off marks.

The admission is conducted as if the schools belong to the states and not the Federal Government; hence, the northern states have to be given special favour. This, unfortunately, is still going on despite a court verdict that abolished disparity in cut-off marks in the schools since 2014. The Federal Ministry of Education has chosen to disobey the court order and nothing is being said about it. Hapless pupils from the southern states are being denied admission simply on grounds of states origin and gender.
An order given by a court of competent jurisdiction ought to be obeyed by both the Federal Government and the minister of Education in the interest of the rule of law. Why should the minister not comply with the court order? 
The culture of obeying court orders only when it favoured one doesn’t augur well for the system. The Federal Minister of Education has chosen to disobey the court order since 2014 without sanction, whatsoever. How can democracy and good governance flourish amid lawlessness? It is incumbent on the minister to comply with the court order in the interest of justice, fairness and progress.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Nigeria: Our Intractable Northern Burdens

By Ochereome Nnanna
 What happened at the Senate on Wednesday, 26th July 2017 infuriated those who have been clamouring for restructuring and true federalism.  But, it elated two other segments of the Nigerian society which, funny enough, see each other as sworn enemies:
(a) those who want to maintain the status quo,
(b) the separatists.


Those who want to maintain the status quo got what they wanted when the Senate voted 48 to 46 to throw out the proposal for the devolution of powers to the states. It required 72 votes to alter the constitution, subject to the verdict of Members of the House of Representatives. The separatists also rejoiced because, having lost faith in the possibility of restructuring and devolution of powers, they want complete separation from Nigeria to establish their own sovereign republic where they can swim or sink based on their abilities.

The separatists know that the failure of the vote for restructuring and devolution of powers will vindicate their position. It will win them more converts in the East and nudge more groups outside the East to also seek self determination. I would have been surprised if the vote had turned out differently. Just before that day when the Senate had to vote electronically to avoid controversy as to where majority of their members stood, Arewa Youth Forum, AYF) responded to the move towards restructuring by issuing death threats. 

Memo To My Friends In Aso Rock Villa

By Abraham Ogbodo
Before I get started, I have a confession to make. In my little way, I try to avoid the friendship of big men. I will explain. Big men and (women too) can hardly appreciate the worth of a small man. They cannot initiate a short telephone conversation with the small person to say ‘I am just checking on you my friend.’ If they manage to do, it is not to say hi but to complain, most times bitterly, about some matter that a small man didn’t handle to their ultimate satisfaction; or reel out more directives after which they recline to their exclusive economic zone and wait for when the unfortunate small man will become useful again.
*Garba Shehu, Femi Adesina and Laolu Akande

The big man thinks his bigness, and the fact that he allows some social access more than compensate for every effort the small man puts in to sustain the relationship. As a Christian, I asked God to give me the wisdom to manage big men and women. He told me to stop pretending to be a big man’s friend. The application of that wisdom has never failed me. I have just offered free of charge what took me days of fasting and prayers to secure from God.
I have had to give this background so that my friends in Aso Rock Villa, who however became big men on May 29, 2015 or thereabout, will understand why I have somehow maintained a safe distance. They are Femi Adesina, Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande. All three are evidently big men by any interpretation. The first two are my senior colleagues; they became editors of national titles long before I did. Laolu Akande is my junior in every sense. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Nigeria: More Deaths Due To Electrocution Unless...

By Idowu Oyebanjo
Electrocution is basically death caused by an electric shock. While this is not a favoured topic, it is important to expose the facts about the Nigerian Power System and the high potential that it possesses to cause more deaths due to electrocution in the short to medium term if things are done improperly as they are now.

One of the anti-climax of not having stable electricity for over 50 years now in Nigeria is the fact that one did not hear so much of deaths due to electric shock from electrical appliances or devices. This is mainly because there was no “light”. With the recent increase in availability of gas to power stations, and the attendant availability of electricity supply, the weakness of the power system will come to the fore and more electrical safety accidents are bound to occur. Unfortunately, because electricity is a good servant but a bad master, the fatal results of not following electrical principles in the design, operation, maintenance and control of the power system is death by electrocution! In the last few weeks alone, we have had the death of a staff of one of the electricity companies while he was carrying out his day to day activities on a power line. But more recently, the case of Oluchi Anekwe, a 3rd year student at the University of Lagos has reinforced the calls by experts for a holistic review of the operation of the Nigerian Power System.

Nigeria: Eligible Customer Declaration In NESI – SWOT Analysis

By Idowu Oyebanjo
The declaration of eligible customers prior to the prevalence of conditions precedence as stated in the contract between FG and DisCos became inevitable because the DisCos have not been transparent with remittances of monies collected from consumers thereby worsening the illiquidity crisis in the electricity market within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). In addition, DisCos have failed to invest in customer metering and the reduction of aggregate technical, commercial and collection losses as required by their distribution licences. Federal Government (FG) has therefore invoked the eligibility customer clause according to section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 under Ministerial directives.
*Idowu Oyebanjo
One can easily understand the FG trying to preserve the health of the sector however, the initial reaction of the DisCos may be to cry foul. This may not be necessary as some of the transactions will still go through DisCos and TCN. It is therefore in order to evaluate the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in FG’s decision to allow GenCos to sell electricity “directly” to four categories of customers with average monthly consumption of 2MW and connected to the medium and high voltage segments of the electricity network. This in my opinion should be described as customers with minimum Authorised Supply Capacity (ASC) of 2MVA. This is equivalent to a consumption of 100 Amperes (unit of current) at 11kV

*Strength
By declaring the eligible customers, Nigeria’s privatisation addresses the myth around subjecting a “natural monopoly” to economic regulation rather than competition in a privatised electricity supply industry by deepening competition in the electricity market of natural monopolies. Such competition or liberalisation will force the existing 11 DisCos to improve their operational efficiency and customer service. This will become a reference wherever matters of electricity regulation are being discussed in the world of power systems.
The advent of Distributed Generation and bringing of generation close to consumers will help to improve the liquidity of the electricity market and achieve the desired reduction in network losses more quickly if the scheme is properly implemented.

Nigeria: FG’s Planned Demand For Transparency From DISCOS

By Idowu Oyebanjo
The Federal Government has announced plans to escrow and beam its searchlight into the revenue accounts of the operations of the DisCos due to poor monthly remittances. Although DisCos have condemned the move, this is a good step in the right direction. To address the problems of NESI, a holistic view of every aspect of the multi-faceted problems plaguing it is required with a view to solving them in a coordinated manner. One of the major problems in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) today is the potential for illiquidity. In simple terms, this arises when DisCos declare, whether truthfully or otherwise, that they have not collected enough money from consumers of electricity and so are unable to make full payments to the bulk electricity trader, NBET, for electricity received. 

This has the potential to always create illiquidity in NESI because their remittances should have been used to pay all key stake holders in the industry including but not limited to GenCos, TCN, Gas providers, market operator, NERC, NBET etc. The solutions to address this anomaly include a massive investment in customer metering, reduction in network losses, preventing electricity theft and collusion of staff of electricity companies with consumers to defraud the industry, discontinuation of estimated billing, and ensuring that revenues collected by DisCos in behalf of NESI is transparent to all key stakeholders, and not least the Federal Government which still owns 40% of DisCos. The government has chosen to implement the last of the afore-mentioned solutions but the DisCos have frowned at the move. Thus a critical review of the position of DisCos is in order.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Buhari, Just Come Back Home!

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
Whether President Muhammadu Buhari has been irrevocably hobbled by ill-health or is sound in bound and mind and prancing around in the Abuja House in London is a puzzle that would not be unravelled until he returns home.
*Buhari 
Even if all the state governors, the officials of the presidency and political parties travel to London and return with the verdict that Buhari exudes great health and a stellar sense of humour that belies the stern stuff he is made of, this would make no difference to Nigerians. Let Buhari write again to his Guinean counterpart that he is well and that he would soon return to Nigeria to assume the responsibilities he has abandoned for months, this would not still douse Nigerians’ doubts. They would maintain the skepticism that Buhari is yet to recover from his debilitating sickness that has kept him away from Aso Rock.
This cynicism is well founded. The officials of government have so much lost the citizens’ good will that they cannot be trusted. Remember? It was the same way that politicians and even clerics visited the late President Musa Yar’Adua but when they returned they did not tell Nigerians that he was incapacitated. It was only the then Minister of Information, the late Dora Akunyili who had the courage to shed off the carapace of propaganda for Nigerians to be confronted with the reality: the truth that the health of their president was beyond recovery. Yes, we take cognisance of the fact that a glaring misalignment of the creeds and deeds of politicians, especially the ones in these climes, oftentimes makes trusting them as amounting to self-immolation. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When Will Buhari Be Considered Incapacitated?

By Asikason Jonathan 
At the homestretch of the 2015 presidential election, the Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection campaign team challenged the then candidate Muhammadu Buhari on a sport contest. When the gauntlet was left unpicked, the team in a follow up, set the internet abuzz with the juxtaposition of the pictures of President Jonathan and members of his Federal Executive Council jogging and that of not-too-good- looking candidate Buhari.
*Buhari 
The challenge which came on the heels of simmering conjectures on the health condition of candidate Buhari was aimed at passing one message which is: President Jonathan is healthier than candidate Buhari to carry out the duties of the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
But was “health” given a premium in the election? The vuvuzelas of the opposition party was so fortissimo that not even the yawping of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State could be heard. They rally-cried Nigeria sai changi” and people responded with “Sai Buhari” and thus turned a blind eye to the critical issues in the election.
 That health is of premium in the electability of a candidate leaves no room for argument. All public office –let alone the office of president– demands people who are sound both in body and in mind so that efficiency and proficiency will be brought to fruition in the exercise of the duties of the office.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Unmasking Of Diezani Alison-Madueke

By Sonala Olumhense

His name: Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President-Elect.  The man who, in one week, would take control of the Africa’s most bewildering country.  He was a much-feared man, with a certain reputation for character, a man who had fought for the presidency for years claiming he would rid Nigeria of corruption.
*Diezani Alison-Madueke
He was swiftly checked in, accompanied by just one person.  He took First Class Seat 3K.  

And then British Airways received another surprise VIP to the same flight: Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s powerful Minister of Petroleum Resources, accompanied by two aides also in First Class.  She sat behind the President-Elect.
Reports said the Minister, her tenure down to seven days, had booked her flight only after discovering Mr. Buhari would be on it.  Widely-alleged to be the most corrupt Minister in a government of great corruption, she hoped to soften him up in conversation during the flight, commentators suggested.
The omens were not good for the outgoing Minister.  After taking office, Buhari on almost a daily basis promised hell on earth for every corrupt former official. 
Mrs. Alison-Madueke had reason to be afraid.  As Buhari prepared to take office, there were further pressures.  As it turned out, on that late May 2015 trip to the United Kingdom, Buhari was received at 10 Downing Street by Prime Minister David Cameron, who pledged “technical assistance” to the Buhari administration to combat terrorism and corruption.
And then there was the United States, also offering help,and President Barack Obama reportedly giving him details of extensive corruption within the Goodluck Jonathan government, including of a certain Minister who had looted up to $6billion.  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A New Role For Magu

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
In a democratic government that is marked by the absence of an autocratic pecking order that harks back to the days of medieval despots, conflicts among the key players in the political space are inevitable. But since there is no allowance for any of the three arms of government to hegemonise authority, they are all expected to adhere to a constitutionally ratified cooperative principle that oils the wheel of good governance.
*Ibrahim Magu
Such a principle is violated if instead of the arms of government mustering enough capacity to resolve their disagreements, they allow them to hurt governance. This brings us to the long-drawn rift between the Presidency and the Senate over the confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu. The conflict is festering as both arms of government continue to maintain their hardline positions.
The Senate has vowed not to confirm any presidential nominee until Magu is relieved of his job. It feels affronted by the unresolved contradiction that the same Presidency that gleefully declared that it did not need the approval of the Senate for Magu to be in office wants the upper legislative chamber to confirm presidential nominees. 
In its attempt to wriggle out of the cul-de-sac it has found itself, the Presidency is considering taking the matter to the Supreme Court for judicial intervention. When the rift between the two arms began, the Presidency obviously relished the support of the public. The latter eagerly waited for that moment when the Senate would declare itself shellacked by the Presidency. Beyond supinely contemplating the impudence of the Senate to appropriate powers it has not been given by the constitution, some people made themselves available to be hired to protest against the chamber. But these protests have since fizzled out since it has become clear that the Senate would not disavow its position.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Peter Obi At 56

By Valentine Obienyem
Today, the 19th day of July, 2017, the man regarded as one of the best in governance, at any tier, in the annals of our country turns 56. As usual, drums would be rolled out by some of his admirers who believe excellence ought to be celebrated. They contend that if for nothing else, it is a means of promoting merit as role models in name and indeed. In a country where even imbeciles garbed in purple fall over one another seeking attention, it is about time the society set up a clear template for granting honour to whom it is due.
*Peter Obi 
In another vein, beyond panegyrics by his enthusiasts, most people will just wish him a perfunctory ‘Happy Birthday’.
In this piece, I set out to re-examine, through the memories of his tenure, what good governance is all about and to encourage Nigerians to look up to him as the man who came into governance through entirely different route, with an entirely different mentality and left it as nobody has done in the history of governance in Nigeria. For me, this is decent birthday present that would also instruct those in governance on the right way to go.
Born on July 19, 1961, Peter Gregory Obi started his life in the rustic city of Onitsha, and obtained his initial formal education in Onitsha and Nsukka. He has since attended some of the best tertiary institutions in the world in his thirst for intellectual insemination to boost his competences.
How shall we rank him? Which of us possesses so varied the Knowledge to understand him adequately? As an experiment in perspective, let us see him through his dramatic entrance into government and what he did while there as distinct from business as usual.
Before him, news emanating from the State was not palatable at all. It was always stories of intrigues, squander mania, rape and rapine. Visions and memories of the State tormented all persons of goodwill; an involuntary gloom penetrated our souls, chilling their imaginations. The Bakassi group and their co-predators worsened the situation as they turned our dear State into a vast Golgotha of carnage, an arena for horror, where her children tore and destroyed one another with the clear conscience of nature. Concerned like other decent people, Peter Obi developed an urge to turn these barbarisms into civilization and this was what compelled him to seek election into public office.

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