Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nigeria: A Presidency And Its Contradictions

By Musa Toyyib Olaniyi  
APC! Change! The crowds were mammoth and so was the frenzy generated by the idea of the new coalition which had as its presidential flag bearer, a man reputed to possess the talisman that will conjure out of existence, all the problems of the country.
Today, Nigeria is directly experiencing the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari which was built on great expectations. Alas, the presidency has been mired in incredible contradictions.
*Buhari 
The presidency of a nation carries its sovereignty and in most cases, come with humongous powers. In Nigeria, the presidency is a leviathan. Because the presidency is an administrative or governmental entity that surrounds the office of the president of a nation or state usually personified by a man or a woman elected for such purpose, it is usually powerful and awe-inspiring. The news making the roundabout rodents eating up the office of President Muhammadu Buhari is a new low that we never bargained for in this administration.
Sometimes, we wonder what might be going through the minds of people of power and their handlers when they do certain things. When the news filtered in, the reaction was a mixed one. The news elicits both a sort of disbelief and at the same time uproarious laughter because of its incredulity. We never thought that a time will come in this country that such lines will emanate from the governing authority. In an administration that budgets billions of naira for environmental services in the Aso Rock villa, rodents ravaging the office of the President to such an extent that major renovations become imperative is a sad development. What sorts of media handlers are these? Is mediocrity so pervasive in Nigeria that the pinnacle of power in the country is not spared the unfortunate reality?

Wanted: A National Coalition Against Rape

By Adewale Kupoluyi
What has become a serious source of worry to many Nigerians is the dehumanising, wicked and heartless cases of rape of minors, girls, ladies and women in the country. Hardly any day passes by without cases of sexual molestation, violence and crime. Rape, the forceful canal knowledge usually of a female, is a serious calamity that can befall any female. Why is there an upsurge in rape cases in the nation?
A gory statistics, according to the Nigeria Police Force, shows that the nation recorded 1,827 rape cases in 2015; 1,959 cases in 2014; and 1,788 in 2013. Furthermore, NOIPolls, country-specific polling services in the West African region, done in partnership with Gallup, United States of America, revealed that four in 10; that is 36 per cent of adult Nigerians, claimed that most often, the alleged offenders involved in child rape were close family relatives and neighbours; amounting to 33 per cent, as almost half; amounting to 49 per cent of those that personally know a victim alleged that they were usually children between seven and 12 years old; while 78 per cent of the respondents alleged that rape cases were reported without any deliberate effort being made by the police to investigate and prosecute the culprits.

No, Don’t Re-Arrest Nnamdi Kanu

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
In a seeming bid to ward off the increasing threats to the stability of the country, the government is floundering from one absurd measure to another. From deploying its security apparatuses to monitor the social media, it has moved on to rein in hate speech by proposing a bill in this regard. No much alarm should be triggered if the government luxuriates in the obliviousness of the inability of these frenzied measures to stave off the dissolution of the people’s union if it fails to reckon with more enduring and acceptable solutions that the citizens have generously proposed.
*Nnamdi Kanu
But we must not ignore the augury of a looming tragedy we are now confronted with in the government’s latest move to sustain the nation’s unity. This is the bid by the government to re-arrest the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu might have impudently breached some of the conditions for his freedom from incarceration. He might have been found rhapsodising before his hundreds of supporters and putative security personnel about his republic of unrivalled equality and thereby violating the condition that he must not be in a crowd of more than 10 people. He might be considered to have continued on the path of heating up the polity by insisting on his prising a Biafra Republic from Nigeria and securing the support of some Igbo youths who evidently swoon over the prospect of freedom from the stranglehold of their implacable tormentors. He might have been a threat to the state by declaring that no election would take place in Anambra as long as the Biafra question remains unresolved. But these apparent offences do not validate the government’s quest to re-arrest him in view of the rash of grim consequences that such a move would precipitate. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nigeria: Before Darkness Falls

By Julius Oweh
The one hundred and four days of President  Muhammadu Buhari’s medical sojourn abroad opened the fault lines of the nation and a clear advertisement that ours is pretending to be a nation. For those days, the ship of the nation was clearly adrift with an absentee president and a nominal acting president that could not deliver effective leadership because of some deep rooted cabals and interest group.
*President Buhari and VP Osinbajo
In fact, the nation was on auto pilot and the information managers did a poor job about the president’s health status. As you read this piece, Nigerians are yet to be told the nature of the president’s illness and how much the nation has spent in treating him. Therefore any talk about the buy made- in- Nigeria product campaign of the present administration is shattered by the medical tourism of the president. 

The less than seven minutes broadcast of the president, failed to address the pressing issues of the moment – restructuring and fiscal federalism. 

Furthermore, the hard stance of the president in his words `the unity of the nation is settled` is a clear indication that the president is very far from the reality of the moment. He has to climb down from the high horse and address the needs of the people especially those of the south.

Akachi Ezeigbo: Celebrating The Literary Icon

By Prisca Sam-Duru & Elizabeth Uwandu
For Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Wednesday’s reading at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, was a great honour done to her by the institution which doubles as her Alma Mater and where she retired as a lecturer. 

The monthly reading organised by the English Department of UNILAG has turned into an event lovers of literature look forward to and Prof. Ezeigbo’s session didn’t let them down as she treated guests to an outstanding performance of  a dirge for late literary icon, Buchi Emecheta, which  earned her a standing ovation.

The multiple award winning writer and author of so many books which cut across all the genres of literature including children’s literature, opened her reading with her latest short story, “Mr. President’s Change Agent” which is coming out in November. “Mr. President’s Change Agent”, narrates the story of a woman who receives her share of injustice in the hands of an unscrupulous Nigerian police officer after she refuses to give a bribe. Being afraid that she may be shot by the desperate officer, and coupled with the fact that she is already late for her appointment, she parts with the only cash she has with her after she is delayed for over an hour.

How JAMB Is Destroying Education In Nigeria

By Luke Onyekakeyah  
Two shocks in the tertiary education sector that have jolted Nigerians, once again, show how the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is geared towards ruining the future of Nigeria. It also proves the much-talked about need to scrap JAMB, which has outlived its usefulness, to allow universities admit qualified candidates.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and JAMB registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede are behind this national embarrassment. Could President Muhammadu Buhari save the future of this country by reversing these retrogressive decisions? This is not the kind of change we need.
First is the appalling and disgusting slashing of university cut-off marks from an awful and lamentable 180 (45 per cent) to a deplorable and scandalous 120 (30 per cent). It is like the 180 score didn’t get Nigeria at the jugular, which the 120 is now out to accomplish. Without equivocation, these say much about the direction the country is headed. 
The second is the re-introduction of post-UTME test that was banned barely a year ago by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu. What is a post-UTME test going to achieve when failures, who scored 30 per cent, in JAMB are admitted. Is it possible for candidates who scored 30 per cent in JAMB to score 80 per cent in post-UTME test? This is most unlikely and would call for investigation if it happens.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

President Buhari Still Doesn't Get It

By Ikechukwu Amaechi
After listening to President Muhammadu Buhari's three minutes, fifty-six seconds national broadcast on Monday, August 21, his first since coming back to the country from a 103-day medical tourism in the United Kingdom, I concluded that he still does not get it.
I doubt if he ever will.
*President Buhari
Prior to his speech, I was not overtly hopeful I would hear anything grand, ennobling and soul-lifting.
Yet, after a three-month absence from duty post, during which time he presumably had time for sober reflection on what ails the country of 180 million people over whose affairs he superintends, I had hoped he would have realised the need to calm frayed nerves and bring people together through moral suasion.
How wrong I was.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Nigerian Unity Is Negotiable

‘Only Restructuring Will Ensure The Unity, Peace And Development Of Nigeria’  Southern Leaders Forum (SLF)

“President Buhari expressed dissatisfaction about comments on Nigeria (while he was away) that ‘questioned our collective existence as a nation’ and which he said has crossed the ‘red lines’. Against the background of the threat to treat hate speech as terrorism, we see a veiled threat to bare fangs and commence the criminilisation of dissenting opinions in our national discourse. Experience worldwide has shown that any attempt to deal with dissents by force usually drives it underground, which makes it much more dangerous and difficult to deal with.

“The president deployed the imagery of the late Ikemba Ojukwu to play down the demand for the renegotiation of the structure of Nigeria by saying they both agreed in Daura, in 2013, that we must remain one and united. While we agree with them, the meeting between the two of them could not have been a Sovereign National Conference whose decisions cannot be reviewed. The claim that Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable is untenable. If we are a settled nation, we would not be dealing with the crisis of nation building that are affecting us today.

President Buhari’s Illusion Versus Reality

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
It should be clear by now to the citizens who are genuinely concerned about saving the country from careering into mortal catastrophes that their first task is to rescue their president. It is not a redemption from his hobbling medical condition. London doctors are equal to this task. This they have uncannily demonstrated by giving President Muhammadu Buhari a new lease of life. Now, apparently far from an afflicted president who was in dire need of the citizens’ empathy and prayer for his good health, Buhari has resumed office with so much vigour that he easily underscores his toughness by casting his expectations from the citizens in fire and brimstone.
*President Buhari in Zamfra (March 2017)
What Buhari is in urgent need of rescue from is his illusions about his fellow citizens, his country and the world. It does not matter that he claimed to be abreast of developments at home and the other parts of the world while he was away. In less than a week since his return, Buhari has shown that he is fixated on his misbegotten notions of governance that he had before his medical sojourn abroad. A graver danger is that these notions have degenerated as they have assumed a misanthropic character. Those who thought that his ill health would have sobered him up and purged him of his self-created distance from the citizens have been sorely disappointed. He has come back home to reprimand them with a sledgehammer for intolerably going errant ways while he was away. After all, in his reckoning, most of those who want a redefinition of the terms for the co-existence of the people have not been confronted with the prospect of their shedding their blood for the survival and unity of the nation.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Of Rats And Rodents Driving President Buhari Out Of Office

By Mike Ozekhome
It is a very shameful and disgraceful statement that emanated from the presidency to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), after a whole 105 days abroad on medical grounds, cannot work from his office because of rats and rodents. So, a whole Julius Berger, the German construction giant has to be called in to drive them away and repaint the office! This statement further derides and shames Nigeria as a country.

Why didn't the same or similar rodents pursue Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Musa Yar'adua or Goodluck Jonathan during their presidency? For truth, there is another mini office at the villa quite different from the official residence and main office. Let PMB work from there.
Let's see our president working, not through still photo shopping. For how long will this government take the Nigerian citizens for a ride and for robots ? Who told the image makers we are as brainless as they are? Don't they know that lies have expiry date and that propaganda cannot substitute for image making?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Buhari Writes National Assembly On Resumption Of Duties

State House Press Release:
PRESIDENT BUHARI WRITES NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ON RESUMPTION OF DUTIES
In line with constitutional provision, President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly, notifying the legislature of his return to office, after returning from medical vacation in London.
President Buhari had returned to the country on Saturday, August 19, 2017, and in a letter dated August 21, 2017, he told the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, that he was resuming office.
The letter stated in part: "In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I write to intimate that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, 21st August, 2017, after my medical follow-up in the United Kingdom."
President Buhari had left for London on May 7, 2017, and handed the reins of government to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who functioned as the Acting President.

FEMI ADESINA
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
August 21, 2017.


Buhari, APC And 2019

By Alabi Williams  
Topics like this are going to feature prominently from now till 2019. And let it be clear from onset, that loyalists of President Muhammadu Buhari are the ones promoting this campaign. Before ordinary and innocent citizens are accused, pray they are not lynched, for being disrespectful and not allowing Buhari to enjoy his privacy regarding his fitness to continue in office now and after 2019, let it be clearly stated that it is Mr. President’s close associates that are peddling his capacity for more tasks. That only gives us, laymen something to ponder and talk about.
*Buhari and Tinubu 
 After he led some party members to visit Buhari in London, on Sunday July 23, party chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, again sounded bombastic of Buhari’s strength for 2019. Oyegun has never hidden his preference for Buhari on that subject. At every opportunity, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chief never wastes time to announce that the platform is all for Buhari, even without him asking.

Then, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu is also one of those who market Buhari’s fitness and acceptability. Upon his return from London last week, after he had a good and close-up view of his boss, who had been away for months, Garba could not help but announce that a rejuvenated Buhari was very fit for future elections. Garba told Arise News Network that Buhari is good enough to continue after this first term of four years. 

Nigeria: ASUU And Politics Of Evasion

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
No time is ever proper to resolve overarching questions of development in a polity like ours where the leaders demur at every crucial moment to grapple with the challenges of nationhood. Thus, in the hands of our leaders, what should be a laudable process of envisioning becomes travestised as a trajectory of disguising their inability to confront head-on national challenges. Or why do our leaders have the penchant for setting national goals in a time frame that is perpetually elastic? Remember? Under varied rubrics such as “Housing for all by 2000 AD” and “Vision 20:2020” our leaders have found a way of not coming to terms with national crises that would eventually haunt us or the subsequent generation.


Now, the official refrain is that this is not the best time to talk about restructuring. As they flounder for a pretext under which to avoid confronting the issues that the need for restructuring has thrown up, our leaders have not been so fortunate to think of offering the agitating citizens the anodyne of “Restructuring in 2050 AD.” For our leaders, what should presage talks about restructuring is the restoration of economic buoyancy, a goal that would remain elusive as long as our leaders continue to see their political positions as means to self-valourisation. The unimpeachable argument that the economic misery of the people was sired in the first place by the absence of a restructured polity holds no appeal to them.

President Buhari’s Disappointing Broadcast

By Ebun-olu Adegboruwa

Reading through the presidential broadcast, however, one cannot but express a sense of utter disappointment. This is a president who virtually sneaked out of Nigeria, who breached his own self-declaration of transparency, by keeping Nigerians in the dark for over 100 days, and in that process grinding the wheel of progress of the nation.
President Buhari 
Notwithstanding that the president took Nigerians for granted, he was not impeached, but rather Nigerians were offering prayers for his recovery, daily, only for him to return with a language of combat and insult, describing his own citizens as "irresponsible elements"!
There must just be something about the All Progressive Congress (APC) ruling government that detests truth and consistency. Whilst the president was away, his Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinabajo, translated our freedom of expression into hate speeches and terrorism and here is the president, few days thereafter, piling up hatred and animosity upon Nigerians, who are simply demanding restructuring, true federalism and dialogue, asking the president and his party, to fulfill their campaign promises.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: President Buhari Returns To Nigeria

Pix:Sunday Aghaeze/State House

After 103 days in London receiving medical attention for an undisclosed ailment, President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Abuja today at about 4.35 pm. 

He was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by a Federal Government delegation led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. Prof Osinbajo has functioned as Acting President while Buhari was away in London.

For the past few days, a group of activists had protested in Abuja demanding that Buhari should either return to Nigeria or resign from office. 

The protesters were attacked by an angry mob sympathetic to President Buhari when they carried their protest to the popular Wuse Market in Abuja. 

But a pro-Buhari group who organised a counter-protest receive protection from the police. The attack on the anti-Buhari protesters has received widespread condemnation.  

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.

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