Saturday, January 30, 2016

Agony Of Chibok Parents

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


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

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nigeria: Suffering From Chronic Elite Conspiracy

  

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

Of Nations, National Heroes and Tribal Bigots

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

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

Electricity Crisis And The Illusion Of ‘Body Language’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Soludo: The Real Idi Amin That Ran The CBN?

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

Nigeria: How To Be A Clueless President

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

Nigeria, A Country Built On Lies

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

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

The Nigerian System– Designed To Fail

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

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

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


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

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Buhari Is Enabling Corruption, Not Fighting It

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

This Is Nigeria, Our Nigeria

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

*President Buhari 











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

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



Saturday, January 23, 2016

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

By Idowu Oyebanjo

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

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Wombling And Fumbling With Fuel Prices

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

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

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Tyrant In Abuja


By Iyoha John Darlington
The world has lived through great civilizations and civilization itself has had its worst enemies. Man driven by lust for power and personal aggrandizement plays god to others and we have encountered with so many of them through the ages. The historic tripartite pact of 1936 saw a fusion of power blocs. Benito Mussolini ruled by caprice in fascist Italy, in Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler allied with Emperor Hirohito of Japan in a bid to bestride the world like a colossus.
*Buhari 
Other outposts of tyranny include Jordan under King Abdullah, Libya under Ghaddafi, Cuba under Fidel Castrol, the rogue regimes of North Korea and Iran, Iraq under Saddam, Uganda under Amin the late despot and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe who has ruled the country for nearly four decades.These were cold-blooded brutes who hid under a cause to unleash fury on their subjects and silenced dissenting voices in their political domains.

A lot of lives were lost and the world and most regions experienced unprecedentedly abysmal demographic change calling to mind the attempted extermination of the Jewish race out of which six million Jews gassed to death where they were held in death camps and other million of lives that were lost in World War11. Thousands of unarmed civilians mainly Kurds were killed in Halabja poison gas attack by the regime in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein, Iron-fisted Benito Mussolini clamped down on his own people while he ruled over Italy.

Back home in Africa, the State Research Bureau, Amin's secret agents killed many Ugandans some of whose flesh he fed on like a cannibal. These were all dark moments in human history. As luck would have it they all methodically took their unceremonious exits from the earth under unfortunate circumstances.

Persistent Rape Of Justice In Nigeria

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
The universal symbol of justice is the statue of a very beautiful but blindfolded beauty queen wielding a sharp sword with which justice is dispensed to all irrespective of class, status or race.
There is also a universal unanimity that justice must be dispensed with timeliness since justice delayed is said to be justice denied.
In Nigeria however criminal and civil justice is slower than a typical snail because of a number of reasons ranging from prosecutorial bureaucratic bottlenecks created by professional incompetence of the police which coordinates much of the prosecution of criminal cases and several other extenuating factors including but certainly unlimited to outright corruption and compromise on the part of the presiding judges.
Judicial corruption is therefore a hydra-headed monster that has unleashed unwarranted delay in the dispensation of justice especially to the poor and disadvantaged litigants.
Miss Cynthia Osokogu and the four undergraduates of University of Port Harcourt (ALUU4) murdered by the villagers in Aluu ikwerre in Rivers State on trumped up charges of theft have come to symbolize the most abominable kind of delayed justice because these two cases have lingered for almost four years without the killers being punished for these gruesome acts of criminal depravity.
Miss Cynthia’s case is pathetic because she was lured into her untimely but primitive death by her would-be business associates whom she encountered via the social media of Facebook.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Nigeria Is Fast Drifting Into A Police State - PDP

Press Release 

Handcuffing Of Metuh: A Deliberate Plot By Buhari To Subjugate The Opposition — PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned in totality the brazen display of authoritarianism demonstrated by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Government in handcuffing its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh even when the court is yet to hear his case.
This was contained in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Prof. Adewale Oladipo.
The PDP spokesman who was remanded in Kuje Prison last Friday, was brought to court this morning in handcuffs.
He was brought to court in a prison bus with registration No. PS-682-AO.
Metuh is answering to a seven-count criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“This development which expectedly elicited widespread public outcry clearly betrays an extra-judicial, top political witch-hunt policy of the APC, carefully designed to humiliate, embarrass and portray PDP leaders as common criminals and set the stage to cow and decimate opposition and perceived foes of the government”.

Who Is Fueling The Igbo-Yoruba Feud?



The feud between the Igbo and the Yoruba ethnic groups is con­trived, just like the feud between the Igbo and the Ikwere. Whenever these feuds take centrestage, the impetus is invariably traceable to the divide-and-rule imperative, which inevitably profits the oligarchy of northern Nigeria. Every other explanation ad­duced in the explanation of the phenomenon can only be pe­ripheral. It is important to make this point from the outset, be­fore going about the business of explanations – for the benefit of those who may genuinely be ig­norant of a crucial factor in the continued inability to resolve some of the more critical of Ni­geria’s contradictions.

Femi Aribisala, one of the more perceptive of the motley coterie of columnists currently on the national stage, discussed the origins and manifestations of this feud in an incisive article entitled Time To End The Bad Blood Between The Yorubas And Ndigbo (Vanguard January 12, 2016). “What is the basis of all this hate?” Mr. Aribisala asks. “In the sixties, the Igbo were slaughtered in pogroms in the North. However, the principal exchange of hateful words today is not between Northerners and Easterners, but between East­erners and Westerners. Why are these two ethnic groups so much at loggerheads?”

The straightforward answer is that it serves the interest of the “core” North to keep the South permanently in mutually assured destructive contention on largely immaterial issues. It happened between the Igbo and the old Rivers State in the wake of the Nigerian civil war. It was suddenly and conveni­ently “discovered” that the Ik­werre were not and had never been Igbo. The people went into a flourish of re-spelling: Umuomasi became Rumuo­masi; Umukrushi became Ru­mukrushi; Umuola became Rumuola; Umueme became Rumueme. In truth, all these represent no more than dis­tinct dialectal spellings of Igbo root names typical to the areas around Port Harcourt. But the re-spelling exercise was used to manufacture an entirely new ethnic group.

The acclaimed writer, Pro­fessor (Captain) Elechi Amadi, who led the group that lent intellectual weight to this fad, went further to celebrate in fictional terms the political marriage between Rivers peo­ple and Northern Nigeria. Yet, he did not see fit to change his name to Relechi Ramadi. Of course, the contrived ethnic dissonance achieved its pur­pose. While the fight raged re­lentlessly on “Abandoned Prop­erties”, mostly mud houses over three decades old, the “core” North moved in and harvested the oil rewards. Their members became instant millionaires by being allocated shiploads of crude, which they sold off at the Rotterdam Spot Market. Fur­ther, they appropriated 99 per­cent of the oil blocs. Then they seized Professor Tam David- West, a Rivers man, “tried” him for causing the country “eco­nomic adversity” and handed him a tidy prison term.

But the picture is becoming clearer. Had the black gold been found in the “core” North, would the Rivers man have been allocated even one per­cent of the oil blocs? It was not the Igbo that killed Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro. It was not the Igbo that killed Ken Saro- Wiwa. It was not the Igbo that banished Delta nights with the interminable flare of gas. The Igbo was accused of desiring nothing but the expropriation of Delta oil and gas. But science since proved that the entire Igbo country sits on oil, and holds in its bowels the largest concentra­tion of gas on the Africa conti­nent. That is the way everything goes and turns round.

Monday, January 18, 2016

How Long Shall We Blame Jonathan?

By Michael John
Finally we have witnessed change in Nigeria. Not the kind of change we expected because Santa Claus is yet to join the ruling party. The change is that the “change cry” is over. It is now very quiet on the “Western front.” The reality that all is vanity, according to the wisdom of King Solomon in the Bible is beginning to settle in. There was no way we were going to have change when all the connecting roads came from the past and the men who were driving the change agenda were those who had fed fat from yesteryears.
            
*Jonathan and Buhari
But the human mind is quite deceitful. All you need to fool and deceive an idiot that man is descended from monkeys is to show him a picture of a particular state governor side by side with a monkey. He may not bother to think that simply because someone Aki looks like Pawpaw does not make them brothers. So many were led to think that soon Nigeria would become a paradise. Hmm! instead it is nearly paralyzed.

But the Pied Pipers of change are still on the swing and leading some to Wonderland. Lai Mohammed, a jolly good guy and a find gentleman when he is asleep, is still the drum major. He has the uncanny ability to come up with the kind of answers which make you forget the questions. He claims that the reason the All Progressives Congress may not pay unemployed youths the five thousand Naira per person they promised to pay, during the campaigns, on assumption of office was because Goodluck Ebele Jonathan did not have the presence of mind to include it in the budget at the beginning of the year. Hmmm! What this means is that APC did not know that this was not a budgetary provision when they made the promise. They believed that since the Biblical Jonathan was a prophet, this Jonathan was also a prophet and would have known what the future holds. He should have know that change was coming.

The latest fad now in the “change business” is to blame all our woes on Jonathan and his aides. What a beautiful El Dorado Nigeria would have been if it were not for Jonathan and his men. Lets attempt to sing the APC swansong to an old nursery tune “If you are happy and you know it clap your hands.”

Pro-Biafra Protests: The Hoffer Principle

By Tiko Emmanuel Okoye
Most Nigerians can hardly understand that Biafra is not just a location or geographic expression but a phenomenon as far Ndigbo are concerned. The declared intention of then military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, to reintegrate Ndigbo into the fabric of the Nigerian society at the end of the civil war with his 3R’s programme (Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction), ended up just being a mere pipe dream.


How could there be reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction when Ndigbo who fled to safety had their homes in Port Harcourt and its environs classified as ‘abandoned properties’ and seized without any monetary compensation and with active government support? When the government abruptly changed its currency just to impoverish Ndigbo with stacks of pre-war Nigerian currency? When returning Ndigbo were not reinstated in their previous positions even as the government ruled that they should be considered as having ‘resigned’ from their posts?

When every man was given a paltry twenty pounds irrespective of the money he/she had in the bank or the amount of pre-war Nigerian currency and Biafran currency they owned? When the Nigerian government hastily embarked on an indigenization policy even as erstwhile Igbo middle and upper classes were deliberately schemed out through impoverishment? When the entire Southeast lacked infrastructure and no single federal industry was in existence for decades?

When one considers the lot of Ndigbo more than 45 years after the civil war ended, one can readily concede that Nigeria is yet to become an equal-opportunity nation as far as we are concerned. The least number of states in the other five geopolitical zones is six – with the Northwest having as many as seven – but the Southeast has only five. The high opportunity cost of this deliberate attempt to suppress their political development can be seen in the disparity between the number of our elected representatives and that of other zones.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Gay Marriage: Where Desmond Tutu Got It Wrong

By Israel A. Ebije
Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu became an internally recognized activist in the 1980's for his strong opposing views against the oppressive era of apartheid in South Africa. Born in Klerksdorp [1], Transvaal [2], South Africa, he was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town.

The 84 years old activist has stood against so many injustices, has helped raise awareness for HIV/AIDS campaign, tuberculosis, poverty, racism xenophobia and many more endemic health and social practices. He is indeed a globally recognized role model in the class of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

*Desmond Tutu
Against the backdrop of his lofty background therefore, it came to many of his admirers as rude shock when the highly respected Anglican Archbishop attended his daughter Mpho Tutu and Marceline van Furth same-sex wedding in the Netherlands. His presence at that wedding indeed endorsed gay orientation, which measurably smears his chains of achievements as an archbishop and activist. Some say he is within his rights to be at the wedding and at the same time endorse the ceremony, others like me totally condemn his implied endorsement.


While I feel laden with burden venting my spleen against his decision to attend the same-sex wedding, it is necessary to confront wrong decisions no matter a person's social, religious profile. No matter the quantum of advocacy for same-sex relationships, it is still frowned at by a good number of humanity who believe it's largely against moral instructions of virtually every religious practice.

I may sound obnoxious, obsolete to persons inclined to same-sex relationships who think it's an attribute of modernity, but regardless of their descent on this matter, it is instructive to harp against the dastardly persuasion which is now encouraging other sexual vices. It is even more sickening for Tutu to raise the stakes considering the strides he has been able to accomplish as a religious and as an opinion leader who advocates on human interest issues that transcends beyond Africa.

The presence of Archbishop Tutu at that wedding may have helped in no small way to either confirm the decision of some youths or to direct them towards taking same sex preference stance. It is therefore instructive to intimate that as a role model, he has taken a position, which indeed will go a long way in fashioning the outlook of so many people on their views towards a pattern of sexual persuasion with all attendant health, psychological and social issues.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Swot Analyses Of The New Electricity Tariff In Nigeria (1)

By Idowu Oyebanjo                  
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has finally succumbed to pressure from investors in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to increase the tariff regime in the absence of steady power supply and at a time of economic downturn. Consumers, organised labour and affected stakeholders have expressed dissatisfaction. As painful as this may appear, it is suffice to examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats inherent in the increased tariff structure planned for the 1st of February 2016.
*President Buhari 

The Strengths
Government's Responsiveness And Support
In every regulated electricity business, the price of electricity as a commodity needs to be cost-reflective. This among other requirements means that price must cover the cost of efficient delivery of electricity through the value chain. Before now, the price or electricity tariff in Nigeria is one of the lowest in the world and one of the lowest in West Africa. Electricity as a commodity is produced worldwide following roughly the same process so cost should within reasonable limits be reflective and comparable. The usual dilemma in a regulated business is the requirement for government, by means of the regulator, to seek to be fair to all stakeholders especially consumers, while maintaining a fair profit margin for investors. This is generally a conflicting role. However, the government showed leadership in trying to accede to the plight of the investors by setting new guidelines that will enable increased availability of supply albeit with increase in tariffs to large consumers.

Most Nigerians are exempted from the increased tariffs
The increased tariff regime exempts consumers in the R1 and R2 categories who make up the largest number of residential consumers (albeit for six months only) whose consumption of electricity is strictly for non-commercial, but regular day-to-day home use. Most homes, and therefore the bulk of workers and citizens, are therefore unaffected for now. However, it must be stated that consumers who engage in commercial activities either in their residence or in a separate facility along with industrial consumers who consume a significant amount of electricity (high end users) have been directly targeted by the increased tariffs.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Is There Anything Like ‘Honest Politician’ In Nigeria?

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
If you are in Nigeria and you have not done this before, try and do it right away. Just open a Nigerian newspaper near you. Go through its pages to find out how many people were described in that particular edition as “credible” politicians or “honest and selfless” Nigerians. You would be shocked to see the number of people that recklessly allowed themselves to be associated with such superb qualities even when they are fully aware that by what most people know about their character and vile history, it might even be considered a generous compliment to dress them up in the very opposites of those terms.
*Leaders of Nigeria's two major political parties 
Indeed, these are some of the words and phrases that have been so callously and horribly subjected to the worst kinds of abuses in Nigeria with hardly anyone making any attempt to intervene. I won’t in the least, therefore, be surprised if I wake up tomorrow to hear that decent people in this country (or even outside the country) have begun to protest and resist any attempt to associate them with those terms any more.

In these parts, we appear to be such exceptional experts in the effective devaluation of all that ought to inspire awe and noble feelings. I can confidently predict that there are now some Nigerians who would, for instance, feel greatly insulted should their dogs be nominated for our country’s “National Honours.” Especially, since the Obasanjo regime, the “National Honours List” in this country has sadly distinguished itself by the ease with which people who ought to be in jail star prominently in it. 

And as you look at the haggard or even dilapidated and grossly impoverished nature of a country with a long list of “illustrious” and “honest” sons and daughters annually honoured for their “selfless” and “invaluable” services to their fatherland, you cannot help wondering how indeed their so-called “immense contributions to the growth and progress of the their country” were not able to leave some bit of positive impact on the same country and its people.   Why is a country with such a long and intimidating list of “patriotic achievers” and “nation builders” still one of the most backward in the world despite being endowed with enviably abundant natural resources? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dasukigate Has Brought Out The Best And The Worst Of Us

By Okey Ndibe

Nigerians are in the midst of a familiar feeding frenzy. On the menu, this time, former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki. Prosecutors allege that Mr. Dasuki, a retired colonel of the Nigerian Army, took more than $2 billion, which was budgeted for the purchase of military weapons, and divvied it up among highly connected politicians.
*Ndibe 


















It seems that every day the media unmask the names of more beneficiaries. And each revelation fuels the frenzy. Resourceful pundits have fashioned a verb out of Mr. Dasuki’s name. The phrase, to be Dasukied (also Dasukification), has come to represent a sudden windfall or diversion of funds to an illicit purpose.
Nigerians are riveted, as attentive to the unfolding drama as Americans were when, in 1998, then President Bill Clinton was accused of carrying on an affair in the White House with a young intern, Monica Lewinsky.
The scandal Nigerians have christened Dasukigate has brought out the best and the worst of us. The usual pedestrian kind of disputation has taken root in social and print media. Some commentators have mistaken an indictment for a conviction. There’s a disturbing part of our psyche that yearns for the institution of mob justice. We forget those of us who advocate this mode, that it is a monster that, in the end, spares no one. Others—typically Mr. Dasuki’s supporters—have raised partisan hell, questioning the prosecution of Mr. Dasuki when government prosecutors have turned a blind eye to the alleged graft by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).


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