Saturday, December 29, 2018

President Buhari, Let IGP Idris Go Home!

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
If the President Muhammadu Buhari government’s patent obsession with plumbing the depths of cronyism gains fresh expression in the extension of the tenure of Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, it would not really be a source of shock to the citizens. By January next year, Idris would have put in 35 years of service and thus by his terms of employment he should quit the police. But the suspicion is rife that Buhari would extend his tenure. Such suspicion may not be unfounded. After all, that was how Buhari extended the tenures of the nation’s service chiefs last year when they were supposed to retire.
*Buhari and Idris
The tragedy of these extensions is that they are not reflective of exemplary services that render the beneficiaries indispensable. No, what has become clear is that they are actuated by a desire to cater for the dark motives of the Buhari government. Or why is multi-faceted damage often inflicted in the course of prosecuting these extensions? Consider these: officers in whom the nation has invested so much in terms of professional training are often retired prematurely.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Indeed, Christmas Is Idolatrous!

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
The recent statement by the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, that Christmas is idolatrous has attracted widespread reactions.  Pastor Kumuyi was quoted in the Punch newspaper of December 13, 2013, as saying: 

We don’t celebrate Christmas. It actually came from idolatrous background. That is why you don’t hear us sing what they call Christmas carol. Never! ... When you find anybody coming in, or any leader, trying to introduce the idolatry of mystery Babylon that they call Christmas, and you want to bring all the Christmas carol saying that is the day that Jesus was born, and you don’t find that in the Acts of the Apostles or in the early church, then you don’t find that in the church either.  If you don’t know that before, now you know.”
*Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye 

These are indeed weighty, unsettling words on a widely cherished festival. The reactions they immediately stirred were, therefore, to be expected. However, it was a very courageous assertion by Pastor Kumuyi and I would love to pitch my tent with those who insist that he is right, and that those attacking him are either doing so out of sheer lack of adequate information on the matter or, worse, unwittingly betraying their reluctance to let go of a cherished idol.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Badeh, Buhari And Legacy Of Insecurity

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
What serves as a stark reminder of the seemingly irredeemable character of the President Muhammadu Buhari government is its blithe appropriation of its failings as the hallmarks of its triumph. Lost in this self-assigned halo of infallibility, it denies itself the capacity for introspection and thus holds no promise of self-correction.
*Air Marshal Alex Badeh 
Hence, while it is clear to the majority of Nigerians that the government has failed in the three major areas – economy, corruption and security – in which it wants the citizens to measure its performance, it is still afflicted by the delusion of having recorded indelible strides in those spheres. The alarming rise of the unemployment rate from 17.6 million to 20.9 million as has just been released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is obviously disdained by the government.

As SETESCO Rises And Shines Again

By Ikechukwu Amaechi
Seven years after Nigeria’s fratricidal war, the bucolic Obohia community in Ahiazu-Mbaise local government area, Imo State, came alive, rediscovering its soul, literally, with education as the tonic.
*Ikechukwu Amaechi
What used to be Eastern Nigeria had been devastated by the 30-month civil war. But the people were not broken. Out of the ruins sprang up community secondary schools. Secondary Technical School Obohia (SETESCO) was one of them. It remains a study in communal effort.Established in 1977, the school admitted students from all the nooks and crannies of old Imo State. The government only gave the approval, there was no financial support.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Nigeria: Unacceptable Presidential Debate!

By Banji Ojewale
Let a hundred flowers bloom, and a hundred schools of thought contend —Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976) founder of modern China.

Organizing a presidential election debate to prepare us for informed choice in Nigeria’s poll in 2019 without the face of tomorrow is a failed enterprise from the takeoff point. Two of those capturing that future, Tope Fasua of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC) are among those being shut out of the debate. That amounts to denying the future a say in our affairs. That’s disastrous, because a loss of those who stand for the next generation and a vote for the jaded geriatric age is a dirge for democracy and society.

The Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and its electronic media partners, Broadcasting Organisations  of Nigeria (BON), are shortchanging the people by aligning with the establishment forces to disallow these renaissance politicians a voice.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Watched Fulani Herdsmen Kill My Parents – Faith Thomas, School Girl

By Faith Thomas Gyang 

*Faith Thomas Gyang
“My name is Faith Thomas Gyang. I am from Gashish District.

“On Sunday, 9th November, 2012 we were at home, myself, my father and my younger brother watching film. My father then told us that, ‘you know these days are bad’, and he asked us to go and sleep and he prayed for us.

“Around 8pm, we heard gunshots everywhere. My father then said 'these people have come'. He then came out and we all came out the same time with him. As he was trying to go out, my mum stopped him. She went out first and then he followed her. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Can Lagos Be Free From Traffic Challenges?

By Kayode Ojewale
Some Lagosians ignorantly see public facilities as state properties belonging to people in government only; as such they fail to take care of these public facilities. Put simply, public facilities are facilities provided by the government for the benefit of the general public. These facilities include, but not limited to roads, street lights, public buildings, crude oil pipelines and recreational areas. Public facilities, in reality, belong to the people and the people are expected to take ownership of and responsibility for them.
This ought to be so because public facilities are made available and funded with the tax payers’ money. The wrong mindset that public properties belong to the government makes some people vandalise them. It is same reason people steal and sell off public properties. By so doing, they believe they are punishing and hurting the people in government alone through these acts of vandalism, whereas and of a truth, they are indirectly hurting themselves by destroying amenities which make life easier for all.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Joshua Dariye And The Joys Of VIP Criminal

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
It is an uncommon case that negates the Kafkaesque leitmotif that the law is beholden to the privileged, especially in a third world country like Nigeria – a former state governor, Joshua Dariye, was jailed for corruption.
Reflective of his preoccupation with the bizarre conundra of the human condition, Franz Kafka’s “Before the law” confronts us with the huge impediments in the path of the less privileged to get the law on their side. In the rare cases where the law grants access to the poor, it is because its defences have been broken down by bribery or the real fury of the oppressed.
*Joshua Dariye
But in the case of Dariye, the law is not really out to assert its equality before the rich and the poor. As a member of the privileged class, Dariye has found a way to make the law serve him even though he is in prison. Before Dariye went to jail, he was a serving senator. Dariye was Plateau State governor from 1999 to 2007. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted him for embezzling N1.162 billion within this period. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. But after his appeal was decided, this sentence was reduced to 10 years. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Nigeria: The Fable Of A Clone, A Clown And A Crown

By Banji Ojewale
Out there in faraway Poland the other day, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari put out a disclaimer that he isn’t what Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, says he is. Kanu asserts the man we refer to as our beloved president is really his double. The one we voted for died in London last year during his medical tour, he says. His loyalists then packaged a lookalike from Sudan called Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani to impersonate him, the Biafran agitator concludes. Kanu hasn’t thrown the tale to us as a joke. He believes in it as he does he is the runaway leader of outlawed IPOB. He has captured a credulous followership, among them many of the high and the low in the society. 
*President Buhari 
Even the yarn has got sections of the global media salivating. On American television programme, The Daily Show hosted by South African Trevor Noah, a correspondent ridiculed the Nigerian leader’s denial. He imitated a fraudster composing a scam email thus: “I’m a real president who’s trapped in my country because they think I’m a clone. Please send me $10000.’’

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Is The Nigerian Army Capable Of Defeating Boko Haram?

By Simon Abah
 Many military strategists x-ray strategies to tackle the scourge of terror which has damaged the image of Nigeria globally. It is highly commendable that President Muhammadu Buhari as stated in the past, “has absolute confidence in the ability of the Nigerian military to bring to an end the insurgency spearheaded by members of the Boko Haram sect.”
But I have always believed that the military alone cannot end the war on insurgency without the support of the political benefactors of terror in the first place. In 2013, I asked a young army officer (now late) if the military can stamp out Boko Haram, he shook his head, “not with this commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” he said. Whatever that meant I didn’t bother to ask.

Niger Delta: The Big Issue

By Chris O.O. Biose
The basic issue in the Niger Delta is that since the promulgation of Petroleum Decree No. 51, 1969, the Off Shore Oil Revenue Decree (No. 9), 1971 and other obnoxious military decrees by which military dictators dispossessed the Niger Delta of the benefits of its oil and gas resources, successive Federal administrations have been extracting the oil and gas in the Niger Delta and using the proceeds to develop other Regions in the country to the exclusion of the Niger Delta.
The activities of the oil companies were reflected in permanent gas flares, massive coastal marine pollution and unprecedented levels of environmental degradation without parallel anywhere in the world. They promoted intra and inter-community strife by means of selective favours. Regrettably, some youth resorted to militancy although the vast majority remained law-abiding. All these engendered tendency towards breakdown in traditional values and confusion among the oppressed people of the Niger Delta.

Aisha Buhari And The President’s Men

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
A justification for an inevitable return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Aso Rock in 2019 has not unexpectedly accompanied the frenetic campaigns in some quarters. The president’s political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leaders of his government reel off the epochal achievements that have validated an end to the citizens’ serial negation of his quest to occupy the presidential office.
*Aisha Buhari 
For them, these achievements redound to the bid for his return as a means of completing the good governance he has espoused and enthroned. And more importantly, they want the citizens to appropriate a campaign for his return as serving a purgatorial purpose – a way of discharging their obligation of gratitude to him for bringing uncommon integrity to bear on governance.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Stop! Nigerians Lives Matters

By Ene Gift Linus
Democracy on paper is not enough. Free, fair, and violence-free elections are crucial for the protection and deepening of representative democracy in any country. It is shameful and inhuman when political candidates use their own citizens as pawn to pave the way for their political ambitions. Unfortunately, electoral violence has been a continuous problem in Nigerian politics since she became a federation in 1963. 
Usually, the violence and killings occur either before the election (electoral campaign) or after the election.The First Republic (1963-1966) collapsed due to the  widespread violence unleashed by politicians in the disputed 19665 general election that led to the first military coup of January 15, 196. During the Second Republic (1979), the country returned to civil rule, but not long before some politicians again, resorted to electoral violence especially during the August 1983 general election where political observers said that, Akin Omoboriowo versus Governor Adekunle Ajasin saga in the old Ondo State allegedly involved in electoral fraud in the state led to three days of severe killings and arson, resulting in military takeover on December 31, 1983.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Buhari, Bigot Who Does Not Want To Be Seen As Zealot

By Reno Omokri

Have you read Buhari’s Opinion Editorial in the Church Times of UK in which he accused his political opponents of politicising religion? If you have not, do yourself a favour and do not read it. The hypocrisy will make you want to march to Aso Rock and donate two slaps to Buhari’s face!
*President Buhari 
It is just annoying, and certainly hypocritical, that a man who in 2003 said ‘Muslims should only vote for those who would uphold Islam’ is now writing an Op-Ed (can Buhari write? 
A consultant wrote it) asking Nigerians not to politicise religion. No man has politicised religion in Nigeria like Muhammadu Buhari! It is an insult for Buhari to claim in his consultant written Op-Ed that “Along with the millions of Christians in Nigeria today, I believe in peace, tolerance, and reconciliation”. 

Atiku-Obi ticket: The Devil In The Detail

By Banji Ojewale
“There is a great deal of difference between the eager man who wants to read a book, and the tired man who wants to read.”
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) English writer

Abubakar Atiku and Peter Obi, the flag bearers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria’s 2019 presidential poll, come from two different backgrounds. Atiku is a swashbuckling jolly good fellow. Peter Obi isn’t. Atiku is a rumbustious politician. Obi isn’t. Atiku is a gregarious personality on account of his wealth. Obi isn’t. Atiku is given to raucous peals of laughter that reflect his carriage. Obi isn’t. Atiku is a political figure who has operated at the national level. Obi isn’t. Finally, septuagenarian Atiku’s temperament is predictable. 57-year-old Obi’s isn’t.
*Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar 
Two opposites brought together by the PDP to make Nigeria work again, following a perception that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has underperformed and sunk the country into an abyss of misery, misrule and misfortune. Both Atiku and Obi post ‘formidable’ records in their days in office; the former as a vice-president for eight years after grabbing a governorship seat in Adamawa which he didn’t consummate, and the latter as a governor in Anambra for eight years.

Parable Of The Self-Appointed Messiah

By Chris Nonyelum
The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Namibia, Retired General Mamodu Basiri sat in his palatial office ruminating over the events of the past three and half years since he assumed the mantle of leadership of the Namibian nation as a democratically elected civilian despot. The tides of reckoning were moving too fast, and his country men and women were subjecting him to certain ‘uncharitable’ assessments of his stewardship. Too much had been said and written about his messianic mission for his beloved country. 
He had mounted the saddle of leadership with the promise to clean the Augean stables and set his country men and women on the part of economic rediscovery and glory. But the burden of leadership has overstretched his sanity almost to breaking point. He was no longer sure how effective his sense of rational judgment was. One thing though, was very clear to him. He has failed woefully in his much touted messianic mission. But he was determined to cling to power at all costs. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Rising Incidence Of Illicit Trade In Tobacco

By Nkemdili Nwadike
There has been an explosion in global and cross border trade for some decades now. With this burst also comes the menace of illicit trade, otherwise known as the underground economy. As markets open and demand grows, people try to engage in illegitimate trade by producing, importing, exporting, purchasing or selling items without complying with relevant legislations.

Illicit trade is a massive problem for manufacturers, governments, regulators and multilateral agencies and indeed any legitimate operator in the industry value chain. It extremely undermines government’s objectives on taxes and revenues, places burdens on government’s regulatory and enforcement agencies and undercuts the potential benefits of international trade.

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