Tag Archives: Governance

African Heroes Awake

By Tunde Eso, President of Fix Nigeria Group and 2018 Osun State Governorship Aspirant

My vision is to ensure that my twenty-one-year pregnancy for Africa gives birth to young and dynamic visionary leaders that will elicit new political ideology, educational growth, industrial advancement, political stability, provision of constant supply of electricity and security among other dividends of good governance for an enviable continent where other peoples of the world would want to reside.

In 2013, I put together in my book Vision for Africa my thoughts to awaken the consciousness of progressive minded youths in Africa towards taking their destinies in their hands politically, economically and socially by using the principles of the new system of government that I refer to as Youthocracy which is a “government of the people, by the youth and for the people” Youthocracy is majorly to ensure leadership shift for pragmatic development in Africa and the rest of the world.

It is right to say that the quality of leadership is important for Africa to rise up and take its rightful place. Objectively, Youthocracy will be a driving strategy to attaining lasting development through the injection of new political ideology by the youth.
Africans should liberate themselves from the primitive thought of embracing rotational system of government that yields tribal and endemic political control of power.

Conversely, having painstakingly studied political strategies in Africa, I discovered that Africa has three groups of leaders that have been presented within three generations. Generation one: Those that led in the 50s and 60s, like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. The legacies they left was that they fought for independence. They freed us from colonialism and were commended for their efforts. They were followed by generation two that wreaked havoc on the continent. One hero said, if one thinks of fighting corruption, human rights abuses, mismanagement of public funds they became champions and stereotypes of African leaders the West makes reference to today. He said that generation had moved on and have been replaced by generation three with the likes of late Nelson Mandela of South Africa. He is not saying they are perfect but have helped to clean up much of the mess of generation two. For stopping the fight and improving macroeconomic policies, he described them as the stabilizer generation.

Presently, Africa’s increasing wealth and economic liberation has brought up a new breed of businessmen that do not rely on political connections and thus are able to raise their voices against abuses in their country in the likes of Aliko Dangote, Folorunsho Alakija and Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese billionaire philanthropist.

I am not happy as Africa has for about four decades become a laughing stock among comity of nations; some of its leaders are more than 90 years while others are just beginning new terms in office. Where do they want to lead the continent to?

Most African leaders are by nature greedy for power. It has become obvious that the external influence which was thought to be responsible for the misbehavior of African leaders was in fact not responsible for Africa’s misfortune over leadership.

What are the factors behind this irrational quest for power and the unwillingness to relinquish same? Insecurity of life outside power, economic gains, political influence and more are some of the factors that have kept genuine democracy away from most African countries. Without these and other factors, what else could have made Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast cling to power until his disgraceful removal even when the whole world acknowledged that he lost re-election through free and fair election? What else could have kept Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in power for 42 years until his country came under rebel attacks and no fly zone imposed by allied forces?

The style of leadership in Gabon and Togo has been that of dynasty by two families and there are many examples of sit-tight dictators in Africa.

Few examples of such leaders readily come to mind.

Felix Houphouet-Boigny was President of Cote d’Ivoire for 33 years. At his death, he was the third longest serving head of state in the world, after Fidel Castro of Cuba and Kim II Sung of North Korea. He was the first President of Cote d’Ivoire, and died in office as president.

At over 80 years old, he was reported to have said: “I refuse to grow old, so that I can serve my country and Africa.” Yamoussoukro was Houphouet-Boigny’s village; he attempted to replace Abidjan with it as the nation’s capital. A lot of money was sunk into the fruitless exercise. It was only after his death that the capital was transferred back to Abidjan.

Gnassingbe Eyadema was president of Togo for 38 years. He came in through a coup d’état and refused to leave until his death. Eyadema ran Togo as a personal estate. He made his mother the mother of the nation and made her birthday a national day. Under him, Togo was militarized. An entourage of 1000 beautiful women sang his praises everywhere, as did highly indoctrinated school children. When you heard a siren in the streets of Lome, you must drop whatever you were doing and clap ecstatically, on the understanding that it must be the president passing by. Eyadema ruled Togo as a ruthless dictator. If you opposed him, you are likely to be killed.

Muammar Gaddafi was the leader of Libya for 42 years; which made him Africa’s longest serving head of state. Once he seized power through a coup d’état in 1969, he had no intention of relinquishing it. He held on to it until he was killed by his own people in 2011.

The leadership of Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor, both of Liberia and Idi Amin of Uganda went the same way. The same thing with former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, who spent 23 years (1988 – 2011), he dictated the tunes; Tunisians danced for 23 years until he was deposed by the new political wave that pervaded the Arab world; Hosni Mubarak of Egypt had 30 years (1981 – 2011) before Egyptians kicked him out of office. Many of them did not see the possible continuous existence of their countries beyond their leadership.

There are 54 independent countries in Africa and 90 percent of their presidents are between the age 70 and 95. Here are some of them, their country and age as at 2017.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (37years – since 1980), Robert Mugabe, 93, has been in power for 37 years. He had just unwillingly stepped down as president though negotiations with the army. President Mohammed Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria became the country president at the age of 72.He is regarded as the oldest person to become Nigeria’s President; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became President of Liberia at age 70 in 2006. She is currently 81; Jacob Zuma of South Africa is 75 years old. President Peter Mutharika of Malawi was 74 when he was sworn in on 31 May, 2014. He will be president till 2019 at 79 years, President Alpha Conde of Guinea is now 77 years old and he was sworn-in in December 2011 at 72 years, President Jose Eduardo Santos of Angola is 72 years.

And he will be president till 2020 at 78 years; President Abde Bourtefilka of Algeria is 77 years old and will be in office till 2020 at 83 years old, President Alasanne Quattara of Ivory Coast was 72 years in 2012, and will be President till 2016 at 76 years.

Conversely, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has been president since 1985. He won another seven year term in 2013 at 77 years, and will be president till 2020 at 84. President Jose Mujiaga of Uruguay was 75 years old when elected. He is now 79 years. President Tedoro Oblang Nguema Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea, was born January 6, 1942. He is 72 years and still going on.

President Michael Sata, Zambia, is 77 years-old. He became president September 23, 2011 at 74, and will rule till 2016 when he will be 79. President Paul Biya of Cameroon is 81 years old. He will be in office till 2017 at age 84 years.

Every progressive minded young African should be angry about the gerontocratic nature of our governance. But that is not enough, the youth must also wake up from their slumber because power is not easily attained; one must struggle for it. Power will not get to the youth on a platter of gold. They must come out of their cocoons and begin to make sacrifices in search for power.

From the analysis I have made and for the youth to identify themselves with the quest to do away with capitalism Abraham Lincoln coined Democracy for people to identify with. For the youth to identify with, I have coined a new system of government known as Youthocracy which is a system of government of the people, by the youth and for the people, that will entrench the reign of the youth in Africa which the world can emulate for the benefit of mankind.

We must all pay attention to grooming the set of generation of youthful leadership in a strategic succession plan for Youthocracy to ensure pragmatic development through leadership generational shift in Africa.

The content of my book is an article of truth, which should be adhered to as a new philosophy that will entrench true democracy in Africa and make Africa a better place for all nations.
The book contains the vision I have for Africa and the rest of the world. Youthocracy invariably means government will be controlled by the youths for freedom, liberty and socio-political and economic well-being of the people. This is much like democracy. The difference is that youths will be the key players in the helm of affairs to inject new ideology and development.

By Tunde Eso,2018 Osun State Governorship Aspirant,
Author, Vision for Africa and African Security Solution
+2348038272210
tundeeso@yahoo.co.uk

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Collapse of security system: A Call for Action

Disturbed by the security situation in the country and the recent outrage by Nigerians calling for the scrapping of Special Anti Robbery Squard (SARS), an arm of the Nigerian police, Punch Newspaper in it’s Editorial page writes:

AT a recent charged plenary session, senators roundly condemned the collapse of the country’s security system. The Senate said that many lives were being lost in the country to clashes and crimes without a major step taken by the government to stop the killings. Regrettably, the Muhammadu Buhari administration creates the impression of helplessness in dealing with the dangerous trend.

Horrible killings have escalated in Numan, Adamawa State. Reports state that about 100 villagers have been massacred following clashes between the locals and invading Fulani herdsmen, who have a history rich in atrocities. The official response has seen Nigerian Air Force planes strafe the villages where perpetrators are holed up. This is a knee-jerk reaction. Fulani herdsmen, on the pretext of cattle rearing, are a major cause of security breaches in Nigeria. They have rendered Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Ondo, Cross River, Enugu and Bayelsa states unsafe with their wanton killings and destruction of farmland.

Nigeria is also afflicted with armed robbery, kidnapping, gangland violence, ritual killings and rape. The Boko Haram insurgency is still claiming lives despite the military’s claim of degrading the terror sect. Kidnappers have entrenched their nefarious activities on the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway. In June, they abducted 46 travellers in broad daylight. In November, they murdered a Federal Road Safety Corps official, abducting his colleagues and co-travellers. The police high command made all the right noises, but it all came to nothing.

Citizens live in fear across the country. On December 8, a gang of robbers attacked a bullion van in Asaba, the Delta State capital, in broad daylight, carting away huge sums of money. On December 6, a former Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango, his son and four others were abducted on the Kaduna-Abuja Road. They were released a few days later. Schools in Lagos, including the Model College, Epe; Babington Macaulay, Ikorodu and the Nigerian-Turkish Academy, Isheri, Ogun State, have tasted the wrath of kidnappers. In Ogun State, pipeline vandals brazenly appropriate petroleum products and kidnap for ransom. Rivers State is as terrible. It is a risk to travel in the Emohua corridor of the oil-rich state, where armed militia hijack vehicles at will.

In Zamfara, Niger, Kogi and Kaduna states, cattle rustling is pervasive. In November, Niger Delta militants abducted missionaries belonging to a medical charity, New Foundations, which was founded in 2003. Two of them, David and Shirley Donovan, were released after ransom exchanged hands; but the third, Ian Squire, was shot dead moments after singing Amazing Grace to the group. No one has been held accountable for the security lapse.

But there is enough blame to go round. The lawmakers cannot be divorced from the security breaches. They are part of the elite, who are being protected by about 110,000 police officers, out of a force of 370,000, according to police figures. Apart from being poorly funded, the NPF is infested with armed thugs who are completely ignorant of the laws they are entrusted with to enforce. As presently constituted, the force is an instrument of state oppression and exploitation.

The Buhari administration should publicly set out a clear strategy, including police reform and funding capable of attending to the population’s safety and security. While corruption has to be tackled, recruitment should be conducted transparently to prevent criminals from enlisting in the force. The IG should put a system in place to weed out bad cops.

Effective crime control depends on competent intelligence gathering. But, the Nigerian police have a poor relationship with the public, which views them with suspicion and hostility because of their history of brutality. This ought to be corrected. A healthy relationship encourages the public to feed the police with vital tips on criminal activities. Also, the closed circuit television camera, a critical tool for intelligence gathering in various parts of the world, is almost non-existent in Nigeria. In 2010, the Federal Government signed a $470 million contract with a Chinese company, ZTE Communications, for the installation of CCTV in Abuja and Lagos. Seven years on, there is nothing to show for it.

In contrast, there were 4.9 million CCTV cameras in Britain or one for every 14 people, and 750,000 in sensitive locations such as schools, hospitals and care homes as of 2014, according to a British Security Industry Authority survey. A few days after a bomb attack on a music concert in the Manchester Arena in May, police released CCTV images of the suspect, Salman Abedi, 22, who was captured on security film at Manchester Airport, Market Street and Granby Row near Piccadilly Station. Police used the footage to call for more information on him. Without an effective CCTV system, body-worn videos, drones, number-plate recognition system and other high-end technological devices, the Nigerian police would be groping in the dark.

For now, Nigeria is under-policed. A single, centralised police force for a population estimated at 193.3 million by the National Bureau of Statistics cuts an underwhelming picture. New solutions recommend themselves to Buhari and Idris.

The President should work with the parliament to decentralise the policing system, and build up capacity with armoured personnel carriers, communications equipment, helicopters and surveillance systems. Efficiency requires community policing. It is an aberration that such is absent in the country. Apart from community police forces, schools, estates, highway patrol forces, state police and local council police, should be in place as soon as possible. Ultimately, the fight against crime is about involving the community.

Reinforcing Nigerian Economy Through Ifa (Oracle)

A REFLECTION

Concerned about improving the Nigerian economy, the Chief Press Secretary to Kogi State Governor, Mrs. Petra Akinti Onyegbule, noted that though Nigerians are “deeply religious”, but investing in Ifa (Oracle) as a source of tourism would go a long way in helping Nigeria grow her wealth. In her Facebook post on 7th of December, 2017, she wondered as follows;

“When will we allow Ifa to contribute significantly to the economy of Nigeria?

Do you know how many people believe in Olodumare through Ifa worship? Why can we not bring them to Nigeria on pilgrimage?

No, we do not need to believe in Ifa to support such venture for Jews do not believe in Jesus as Christians do. The place of Golgotha now has a magnificent mosque sitting pretty on the site.

Bethlehem, the birth town of Jesus, is under Palestinian authority. As a matter of fact, the Church of the Nativity is being reconstructed by the Palestinian Presidential Committee tasked to make the sides more beautiful. Even though the Church has three parts managed by three different denominations – Catholic, Armenian Apostolic and Greek Orthodox.

For the authorities here, it is all about the economy.

Pilgrimage services the hospitality sector in Israel. It can do same for Nigeria.

I do not see why it is not possible.”

Nigerians, what is your take?

NBTE’s VISIT TO IPOKIA: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Recall that when the current imbroglio that followed the pronounced conversion of our highly revered MAPOLY to a University started, I have not said anything publicly. Today, I feel constrained to place on record the most recent happening, on which destiny of thousands of students had been hung.

Also remember that NTBE had been billed to visit the site of the proposed take-off campus of the newly established Ogun State Polytechnic, yesterday, Monday, 4th December, 2017. That actually took place yesterday.

Expectedly, the Ogun State Government through its fifth columnists have started sing-praising its own ‘efforts’ over the ongoing construction works at the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia. So much so that there are talks as if the 10-man NBTE team has ‘granted’ accreditation to the polytechnic.

It is however imperative to set the records straight. You deserve to know what played out yesterday.

Firstly, there is no accreditation for the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia. Recall that the Ogun State Governor had sometimes in August been quoted to have said they had approval for ’42 courses’. This visit yesterday has confirmed, that was a BLATANT LIE.

Everyone and anyone with Polytechnic experience knows that for accreditation to occur, there shall be a team of resource persons (from various Institutions) for various programmes with NBTE staff as support staff for the various teams – this did not happen at Ipokia. Though, some widely experienced technocrats are also involved in institutional accreditation, the 10-man team to Ipokia is an ADVISORY TEAM who lacks powers to accredit an institution or its programmes. Therefore, the essence of the visit ab initio is for the government to attempt a ‘shortcut’ which in the end, amounted to a share waste of funds and resources.

Contrary to the widely circulated reports, the head of the team, Engr Nuru Yakub is NOT the current ES of the NBTE.

The team, while at Ipokia observed the virgin land at the permanent site and the ‘mad rush’ for the completion of the ‘temporary campus’ which it also observed does not have the necessary facilities upon which an accreditation can be granted.

It was credited that about 3 members of the NBTE team openly condemned some activities; including but not limited to the location of the hostel accommodation (which is just at the digging level), the time length it will take for the facilities to be completed, the very notable absence of crucial facilities (Library, Health Centre, Sports Complex, etc) that should have accompanied even the temporary campus. How do you teach Polytechnic students without STUDIOS, LABORATORIES and WORKSHOPS? None of these are yet available. You can be sure there is even no MASTER PLAN.

In all, there was no TIME, all through the exercise yesterday, that the team leader failed to indicate that their visit (which was forced upon them by the Ogun State Government who paid to NBTE for the visit) was ADVISORY and that useful advise will be given. Why then is the government trying to confuse our people?

A look at the hurriedly printed students’ handbook of the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia will vindicate this write up wherein various degrees of errors could be observed. Ranging from 2 Directors of Environmental Studies, to a Town Planner heading the School of Business Administration, and some programmes listed as courses and others as programmes. Is this the best we can do for the ‘Gateway State’? I also wonder if, after the visit, the buses of MAPOLY re designated to OGUNPOLY buses for the purpose of the visit will be rechristened back to the original owners (MAPOLY). Can’t the state government afford to buy buses for the Institution they created? I wonder if same will be done when the NUC comes calling for the resource inspection of MAUSTECH!

I have spoken that ye may know, correct the wrong impression already being created that the institution has been granted accreditation. Unsuspecting students, parents and members of the public be WARNED!

One On One Session With Atiku Abubakar

PEDULUM By Dele Momodu
Email: dele.momodu@thisdaylive.com

Fellow Nigerians, I’ve always wondered what drives or propels the man, former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. For real, I have never seen a man so fastidious about his dream and so obstinate about achieving a lifelong ambition to be the number one Nigerian Citizen. I’ve followed his trajectory with keen interest since 1993 when he took on both Chief Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe, in an epic Presidential primary, that Chief Abiola ultimately won. His formidability we were told was a result of the influence of his godfather and political colossus, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, now of blessed memory. Chief Abiola actually reached out to the General, as he was fondly called, to prevail on Atiku to pull out of the race and support him. A deal was subsequently struck, between Abiola and Yar’Adua, for Atiku to be Abiola’s running-mate. Everything looked good on paper until the powerful and influential Social Democratic Party (SDP) Governors threw spanners in the works, forcing Abiola to renege on his word. Whilst Abiola wanted Atiku, the Governors led by the irrepressible Olusegun Osoba, from Abiola’s home State of Ogun, insisted on Abiola picking Kingibe. They convinced Abiola that it was dangerous to pick Atiku who would have been more loyal and too submissive to his godfather.

I have no doubt that from that moment onwards, the June 12 Presidential election was already threatened and endangered. According to insiders, the General was so miffed and enraged that he swore Abiola would not be President for dumping his godson. Efforts were made by different personages to settle the matter, but it seemed the camaraderie was over between Abiola and Yar’Adua who, once upon a time, were successful business partners at African Ocean Lines.

Anyway, Atiku was kicked out of the race to fight another day. Abiola won the Presidential election eventually but was never allowed to assume power. The June 12 election fallout led to a cataclysmic eruption that consumed many of the big players, including Abiola, his wife, Alhaja Kudirat, Major-General Yar’Adua and General Sani Abacha. The boss of bosses, General Olusegun Obasanjo, escaped only by the whiskers. He was jailed but came back to be President. Ironically, the same Atiku who was not allowed to be the Vice-Presidential candidate in 1993 became the substantive Vice President in 1999, when he ran, and won, with Obasanjo. Whilst Obasanjo emerged, in a bid to assuage the betrayed and wounded Yoruba, Atiku’s choice appears to have been predicated on the sense of injustice that he had suffered as a result of being dumped by Abiola.

Everything initially ran smoothly between Obasanjo and Atiku in their first term in office, from 1999 to 2003. However, the relationship collapsed when Atiku started showing interest in the number one position. I will not bore you with the rest of that fiasco, including the anecdotal humbling of Obasanjo who allegedly had to beg his deputy, Atiku, to allow him a second term. My mission was to provide some background to Atiku’s uncommon trajectory. He has pursued his dream since 1993 and has never given up. That was 24 years ago. Indeed, Atiku has been in partisan politics for 28 years but only served in government for eight years. He has criss-crossed different political parties in search of that magic wand that could give him his heart’s desire. It has been a painful journey. He’s been dissed and lampooned as a serial “decampee” famed for wandering endlessly in the wilderness of Nigerian politics. That, for many people, is a major weakness which signals integrity issues. There are other minuses weighing on him like an albatross. How does he deal with these very serious issues of perception or misperception?

The opportunity came for me to engage him very critically, and very privately, yesterday afternoon in Lagos. A mutual friend had called to arrange the meeting at Atiku’s behest. I gladly accepted not only as I was anxious to bombard him with many nagging questions, but also because by some quirk of fate, the political gladiators for the number one hot seat in Nigeria seem to feel that a session with me is a sine qua non for their aspiration. I’m deeply humbled by that trust.

The meeting was arranged for Lagos. Atiku had arrived on Thursday. I arrived in Lagos yesterday afternoon from Abuja where I had been the Chief Presenter of Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi’s book, On a Platter of Gold, chronicling President Goodluck Jonathan’s twilight days as President. I checked into my hotel just before 12 noon and put a call through to his room. He told me to give him a short time to freshen up and invite me over. He’s obviously been doing a lot of consultations and was working well into the early mornings. I dozed off. Suddenly, I was awoken from my slumber by banging on my door. I stood up to look through the peephole and was pleasantly surprised to see the most-talked about politician of the moment at my door. I opened the door and Atiku immediately apologised for the intrusion. He came without any aide, so we were both comfortable to talk frankly.

I thanked him for the honour of actually coming to me and asked if he won’t mind me asking some tough questions. He said that was fine and I should feel free. My first shot was about his moving from Party to Party. Does this not make him look desperate and unserious? He must have answered this question a thousand times because he wasted no time in answering very calmly and confidently:

“There is nothing wrong with it. Ours is a fledgling democracy of barely two decades since the end of the last military regime. What it means is that the political parties are yet to mature and are going through constant transformations and changes. That is why even President Buhari has been able to move from party to party, including ANPP, CPC and now APC. And for those who read about world history and political books like I do, they will know that Abraham Lincoln, Sir Winston Churchill and others went through so much before achieving their dreams…”

He went further: “I’m not different. I know what I want for my country. I’ve served Nigeria in different capacities and I am one of the most experienced leaders around today. There is no part of Nigeria I’m not familiar with. I have friends everywhere. They know me and I know them. The benefit of being around for so long is that they have come to know me for certain principles and know that I have a rich knowledge of Nigeria and what it would take to move us to the height of greatness. They can also trust me that I’m not coming to government to steal their money. God has blessed me with business acumen. How can you run a nation if you cannot run your own business? I run my businesses to international standards. Let any of those who want to compete with me show what they have managed successfully. I’ve lifted over 45,000 families out of joblessness and poverty through my microfinance company in my State Adamawa and we’ve have empowered mostly women. The good news is these women have been very honest. Returns on our loans have been about 98 percent. They have not disappeared with the loans given then. We plan to replicate this nationwide…”

I asked if he was obsessed with being President at all costs. His answer was an emphatic, No! He asked rhetorically why he should not give back some of his experience and exposure to a country that has given him so much? Why should he allow incompetent people to run down the country when God has given him the talent and wherewithal to lift up Nigeria?

I told him the belief out there is that he is a corrupt man and that the stain won’t be easy to remove. His former boss, General Olusegun Obasanjo, has sold us that line, and would stop at nothing to regale the world that Atiku is a thief who nobody should vote for. Atiku’s response was very concise and assertive: “I have the highest regards for my boss. He gave me eight years to serve Nigeria under him. We had our differences but we both tried our best. But on the issue of corruption, I have challenged anyone, anywhere, who has any evidence of corruption against me to come forward. I’m sure they would have combed everywhere trying to find anything incriminating against me, but they have not found it, or they are still searching. Dele, I’m throwing that challenge again, let them bring out whatever they have on me…”

I followed with a bazooka and asked him “how come you are running away from the United States of America? What offence have you committed to warrant not being able to visit, since all this time?” Atiku fired back at me: “It is the sole prerogative of America to determine who they want in their country or not. I’m not running away from America. I applied, but wasn’t issued a visa. However, they did not decline me categorically either. They’ve only said my application is going through administrative process. This is not peculiar to me. For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations. The current Indian Prime Minister, Modi, suffered the same fate for years. Today, he is being treated to red carpet treatment in America.. I fly to different parts of the world, including Europe, if America wanted me, it would be so easy for them to reach out to their allies…”

We soon dovetailed to the nitty-gritty of politics. Why did he not wait to contest the primaries in APC first and see the outcome before running away? I felt this was defeatist! His response: “After Buhari won the election, he was no longer interested in the Party that made him President. Every activity stopped and not even the Party Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, could take any decision. I called Chief Oyegun a few times to tell him our Party was dying slowly but he told me he would not do anything unless he got clearance from the President. At a stage, I gathered about 18 prominent members and began to meet in the hope that we can re-energise Party activities, but some people lied to the President that I wanted to use the forum to launch my Presidential campaign. That forum became simply dead on arrival. No BOT, no NEC meetings, as stipulated in our Constitution. The Party became a one-man property. Everyone grumbles behind the President’s back but they are too timid to raise a voice against the illegalities being perpetuated. I should be bold enough to know what I want, and can do so at my age, so I decided to leave…”

So, where is he going from here? He says he hasn’t formally declared for any Party, but is sure PDP is waiting to welcome him back into the Party he co-founded with others at the end of military rule. I asked if he has any guarantee of getting the PDP ticket. He told me why he should get it: “Nothing is absolutely certain in this life, but PDP needs a candidate with the brightest chance and that can only come from someone who has major experience, exposure, knowledge about running an economy, who is a Nationalist and not a sectionalist and whose brand cannot be intimidated in anyway by that of the current President. If PDP picks a weak candidate, then the Party is doomed. Some of those whose names are being touted and bandied about have not grown beyond their immediate domains.”

If he gets the PDP ticket, is he confident he can beat a sitting President and Buhari for that matter? “I will definitely beat him this time. He has wasted a lot of his massive goodwill. A lot of people are disgruntled but keeping quiet and lying low. Our youths are suffering terribly and now they are being sold into slavery. Everyone knows my track record of inviting and attracting a good team and giving them the opportunity to work professionally. Nigerians are tired of leaders who cannot think big and work big. Dele, I will be ready from day one…”

Is he not afraid of Buhari? “No, definitely not. Buhari is free to contest and I’m free to contest. And Nigerians will make their choice.” I could see that glow in his eyes. He sounded determined and more prepared at this time, than at any other time.

Will Atiku play a joker as his last card in 2019? Time will tell.

CORPS MEMBER LAUNCHES “STAND WITH NIGERIA” CAMPAIGN IN ENUGU

The “Stand With Nigeria” campaigners on Tuesday, 31st of October  had a formal lecture where roles of youths in leadership and governance were redefined. The event was well attended and reported on Radio Nigeria, Enugu National service on Frequency Modulation 92.9. Below is a very similar trans copy of the news report as filed by Edith Ajah;

 

A corps member serving in Enugu State, yesterday, Tuesday, 31st of October, launched a “Stand With Nigeria” Campaign, hash tagged “StandWith9ja” in the state.

The event with the theme; “Making of A New Nigeria: The Youth Agenda” was held at the Enugu North Local Government Secretariat’s City Hall with government officials and other dignitaries in attendance.

The corps member, Moshood Muhammed with the state code EN/16B/4959, it was learnt started the campaign as a personal Community Development Service effort until some of his colleagues adopted the ideology and joined the movement.

Speaking during the event, the Assistant Director, NYSC, Enugu State, Mr. Ernest Ebekine charged Nigerian youths to continue to work together for the development of the nation by ensuring they do the right thing at all time.

According to him, he was happy a corps member in the state could think of how to sensitize others to have the right thinking attitude, cause change so as to move Nigeria forward.

In his words, “I feel so glad that one of our corps member initiated this idea. This is a right step in the right direction because through this programme, a change will occur and our country, Nigeria, will move forward”.

The State Director of National Orientation Agency, Mr. Isaac Onukwube lauded the initiative and encouraged the corps members present to always present the country in good light.

He added that event as such should be embraced by many as it would help redirection of grievance registration by youths and other stakeholders in the country, rather than causing mayhems.

In his remark, a guest speaker at the occasion, the immediate past Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Poverty Reduction in Enugu state, Mr. Godwin Ogenyi maintained that youths should aim at making Nigeria better through their creative abilities.

While lauding the initiative of the corps member and his colleagues who put the programme together, the former commissioner charged them to equip themselves with necessary skills, and do away with the usual complaints about what is not good about the country.

He noted that opportunities only come to those who are prepared for it.

Mr. Ogenyi said; “What we are doing today is an idea of a young man, who has decided to redefine the kind of Nigeria we want to see, to consider those things we need to be able to do this. Obviously, he (Muhammed) has engaged his colleagues so they can collectively challenge the ills in the society. This is good”

Earlier in his welcome address, the founder initiative, Mr. Moshood Muhammed said the aim of the programme was to encourage patriotism among Nigerians, with special focus on the youth so as to unite and move the nation to a greater height.

He added that the inauguration of volunteers became necessary owing to the need to continue the campaign beyond his service year, noting that the same campaign is currently being mobilized for in Ogun State as well as other parts of Nigeria.

Explaining the rationale behind the project, Muhammed said; “this campaign started with a view to engage the youth so as to orientate and re-orientate citizens of the country, augment the patriotism of our people so that we can collectively move this country forward.

“The country, Nigeria, cannot move forward when we are not a part of it. There is a need for us as citizens to come on board, acts responsibly and ensure they put the country first in everything we do, because there is no leadership without followership”. He noted.

Some members of the movement expressed satisfaction with success of the inauguration and extended an invitation to other youths to key into the vision of building a better nation for all. One of them, Justin Izuchukwu Okosa said; “I thank Mr. Moshood for bringing up the idea. The campaign targets the youths so we can engage the youths of the country on the need to be patriotic because when we (the youths) do the right thing, the country will move forward.”

Another participant, Kolade Tinuola, had this to say; “Most Nigerians have turned to western countries to pursue their dreams because they have lost interest. With this attitude, we would not be able to build the kind of country we seek. Everyone of us must be part of the nation building process; in Nigeria, my contemporaries should believe that we can make it and Nigeria will rise enviably. That is why we have started this campaign”

The event, which saw the inauguration of volunteers for the campaign had in attendance a member of Enugu state House of Assembly representing Ezeagwu State Constituency, Hon. Barrister Chima Obieze; Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu; Local Government Inspector of Enugu North, Mr. Maduforo Chinedu and senior officials of the NYSC in the state among others.

​OUR MANY TRAVAILS AND THE NEED TO CONSOLIDATE OUR DEMOCRACY

By: Moshood Muhammed

Generally speaking, the people constitutes mainly the element, admissible and permissible in democracy, the Nigerian system of government, with whom the decision of who becomes what, get what and at what time is taken and for.

With reference to the definition a former President of United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, participation of people, who are an indispensable element of government and leadership of a country, is believed to be non-negotiable. But, reverse is sharply the case in the issue of Nigeria, the most populous black-skinned people country in the world.

The rare magnanimity of the then military ruler and Head of State, Rtd. General Abubakar Salami saw Nigeria return to democratic rule in 1999 with Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo as the democratically elected President. After he exited office, Nigeria has successfully transferred power from one leader to the other and most recently, from a political party which Nigeria started with, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a very peaceful and uncommon manner, alien to the African politicians and its many years of political sojourn. This remains one of the feats we have achieved as a country.

On return to democracy eighteen (18) years ago, expectations were high, no thanks to the ‘nightmares of military rule’ and having seen what democracy infers in other climes. Nigerians could not hide their joys when the Obasanjo administration came on board; many were promised with very infinitesimally done so far and nothing done in many cases, even by successive occupiers of the Aso Villa and other public positions in the yesteryears up till now.

Power supply has remained consistently out of supply in many homes, villages, cities and factories, forcing Nigerians to make darkness their neighbours, while many businesses went out of operation, with others relocating to neighbouring countries; education is yet to recover from the colossal damage done to its structural and administrative hitherto strong rooting. Same is the case with Agriculture, which was formally our source of national financial muscle depleting into a business of very few with little concentration from government, not until recent time. The list is endless.

As much as it incontrovertible that all is not so well, coupled with corruption fast becoming regalia of our political actors, it does not translate to the end of the road for the country. The country has despite the political upheavals that greeted the preparation for last general elections among other issues emerged, a united country, though with affray from some parts of the country.

As Nigerian democracy gets a year older, concerted efforts must be made by all in seeing the birth of the new and assuring country Nigerians would be proud of.
Now, the leadership of the country and government structures across board must be sanitized and made to work in the interest of the people, while the trademark of corruption on most political office holders is ‘confiscated’. Our leaders must be aware that if everyone who has at one point or the other occupied the office did not leave, they would never have the opportunity to get there.

Furthermore, the central government must not surrender in its struggle for a well respected country in Africa and beyond, flush out, in sincerity the demonic corruption tendencies, that has almost brought the country on its knees, out of the country; wipe out the inkling Boko Haram insurgence stint, rescue the remaining Chibok School girls, get back home Nigerians leaving like foreigners on the own soil, neighbouring countries. Also, our economy which somersaulted must also be revamped, with the diversification plan executed speedily while ensuring an enduring, stable and uninterrupted power supply to all nooks and crannies of the country. This will do doubt help recover our hailing economy and set us forthwith on the path to prosperity.

On the other hand, Nigerians must see The New Nigeria project as a collective assignment, on which the destiny of millions of our country men and women are tied to, and indeed that of many generations yet unborn. Should the war against corruption be won, proceeds recovered and ultimately pumped into the economy, Nigerians can be certain of a speedily developed country. Hence, everyone must resolve to join the campaign, reject proceeds of crime and never be involved corruption. Charity they say begins at home.

Similarly, our parents, families, religious leaders, teachers and schools must note that they are either partner in crime or partner in progress, depending on what they make of the flock in their care. There is therefore a great need to have them support government and by far, the popular view, rid the country of many rots she has found herself in. This implies that the song of anti corruption, transparency, accountability, hard work and perseverance should be continuous on their lips.

The truth is, should we fail to augment our resolution for the ‘hell-lots’, vent our displeasure with the widely affirmed abysmal state of things, by participating meaningfully in the affairs of the country, our complaints would be mere noise. In other words, our political affairs, call for accountability, responsive and responsible government should not be left in the hands of politicians and the acclaimed ‘opposition’ parties, we must all make Nigeria work for our good. The rumoured military take-over is not and will never be in the interest of majority of Nigerians. As such, we must all defend our democracy and make it stronger.

Though, all may not be rosy for us as a country, it is never a time to give up; our participation in governance should be strong, defiant of oppression tendencies of any public office holder, bad governance, misrepresentation among others, like never before. Surely, we would get there.

If you are not participating, it is not making sense. #Standwith9ja

God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria