For at least four days the Nigerian people were not aware that a convoy of Boko Haram gunmen had stormed Gumsuri in Borno state on Sunday, at least four days before President Goodluck Jonathan’s Wednesday breakfast with security chiefs to obtain an update on the nation’s security.
Sadly, as the Chief of Defence Staff, Marshall Alex Badeh and other security chiefs, including the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, were being fed questions from State House correspondents after a breakfast meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, shamefully, none of them knew that many Gumsuri residents had been kidnapped and killed.
The reason for all of them being in the dark was partly due to the fact that the telecommunication facilities in that area had long been destroyed in previous attacks.
The Boko Haram raid resulted in over 30 residents reportedly killed, and over 100 women, girls and boys kidnapped, loaded in pickup trucks and carried away.
Sadly, the insurgents now have a greater supply of children fighters who can be donned in suicide bomb attire for the purpose of doing more harm to even more people.
Ironically, on the same day that we are finding out about this gross security negligence, we hear that an army court martial sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny after they refused to deploy for an operation against Boko Haram. The reason for their refusal was because it is difficult to have a successful fight with problems like poor basic communication equipment and impassable roads on the battleground.
As we now know by his own admission, President Jonathan stated that he continues to receive contradictory advice and suggestions from his security chiefs and other administrators; therefore, how could the president, as the commander-in-chief, let the sentenced soldiers die?
One would think that given the report that the telecommunication towers in many of these regions had long been disabled in earlier Boko Haram attacks that the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers would have had sufficient time to repair these towers, thus saving many lines.
President Jonathan’s sad admission of receiving contradictory advice and suggestions from his security chiefs and other administrators was corroborated by Badeh, in the midst of other security chiefs, when he told the media, “We are certainly not losing it. We are winning the war. Don’t worry; Nigerians should have faith in their military. The nation will win this war.”
He, Badeh, went on to say, “Normal life is back in Mubi. We are liberating more and more communities. People are moving in. Life is returning back to normal gradually.”
How is it possible to have faith in our military when time and time again we hear of collapsed and impassable roads, broken mobile phone networks and soldiers’ hunger complaints?
The well-armed Islamist rebels are known to come into these places on motorcycles and pickup trucks, so what is stopping the army engineers from creating or buying high performance motorcycles and delivering them to the soldiers in the battle grounds?
Why does the military continue to leave the already overwhelmed local vigilantes in darkness with no working phones knowing that the militants, known for having heavy machine guns and plenty of canisters of gasoline, will keep terrorizing and killing them?
How long can we continue to leave Nigerian lives like those of the Gumsuri residents in the hands of hunters and vigilantes?
Nigeria, what is Badeh going to say now about the gathered women and children who were taken away in trucks after the rebels burnt most of the village with petrol bombs? Let’s wait for his new justifications.
I always take exception and umbrage at hearing that slogan “Ibadan ki sin eniyan le’meji......". (Ibadan people do not serve the same leader twice). What about other Oyo State people?
It is as preposterous as it is denigrating. The insinuation and connotation, from the literal translation, is that Ibadan people worship or serve their leaders. That is where everybody’s getting it wrong and thereby inadvertently confers on those who have been ruling us, "mini-god" status. The rulers are the ones who are supposed to be serving us, not the opposite. We have to get rid of this ludicrous slogan. I do not subscribe to the idiocy that those selfish Ibadan elites have been feeding us for decades and the people have been swallowing and believing since.
A proposed second term by an incumbent governor should be based on performance, sincerity of purpose, achievements, focus, honesty and selflessness. A true Ibadan person will love to give a performing leader a chance to have a second term but the selfish, greedy and conservative so-called Ibadan elite, who have very dismal; records of their contribution to the development of this great city will always scuttle it for their selfish reasons.
Having said the above, please we must not discard the fact that Ibadan has eleven of the thirty-three local government areas in Oyo State, and is by far the largest, in terms of population and demography. The reality is that Ibadan must not always be laying claims to the government of Oyo State alone. It is an insult to the other areas and peoples in Oyo State, notably Ogbomosho, Oyo, Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa areas. As a matter of fact, any aspiring Ibadan politician who wants to claim the governorship of Oyo State who ignores these areas does so to his regret.
Some historical perspectives: Oyo State came to being on the 3rd of February 1976. It was known as Western Region prior to 1976 and consisted of Oyo, Ogun and Ondo States. It is historical that no civilian governor has ever been elected twice in Oyo State since its creation. Late Chief Bola Ige, an Ijesaman, became the governor in 1979 and he made an attempt in 1983 (UPN) when he contested the election against Dr Omololu Olunloyo (NPN), an Ibadanman, mathematician and administrator. That particular elections in 1983 were marred by serious irregularities engineered by the NPN national leadership, at that time under the Chairmanship of Late Chief Meredith Adisa Akinloye, another Ibadanman; and the NPN won the election in Oyo State. This was made possible because, according to farcical historical record, you guessed right, “Ibadan ki sin eniyan le’meji”. (no second term). That led to another dubious slogan “Omo wa ni eje ose” (It is our son and let him do it).
Chief Bola Ige, the incumbent governor, was roundly and smartly outmanoeuvred and Dr Omololu Olunloyo emerged as winner of the elections and served as governor for three months before the military putsch of Generals Buhari and Idiagbon took over on the 31st December 1983.
“When the late Chief Akinloye, on his return to Nigeria from exile, was later asked why and how late Bola Ige was deprived of his mandate in spite of his superlative performance and why Omololu Olunloyo won the election, the wily Ibadan Chief just smiled”. (Quoting my dear sister and Barrister, Mrs Olutoyin Eweje).
There followed an influx of military governors and administrators from 1983 to 1999, namely Lt. Col. Oladayo Popoola (4 January 1984 - September 1985); Col. Adetunji Idowu Olurin, (September 1985 - July 1988); Col. Sasaenia Oresanya, (27 July 1988 - August 1990); Col. Abdulkareem Adisa, (3 September 1990 - January 1992). (Source: Wikipaedia)
The current Oyo State was established in 1991 when Osun State was split off from the old Oyo State.
Chief Kolapo Olawuyi Ishola; an elected civilian Executive Governor (2 January 1992 - 17 November 1993 under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) created by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, in his spurious attempt to return the country to democratic rule); Navy Capt. Adetoye Oyetola Sode (9 December 1993 - 14 September 1994); Col. Chinyere Ike Nwosu, arguably the most incompetent and corrupt military ruler Oyo State had ever had (14 Sep 1994 - 22 Aug 1996); Col. Ahmed Usman (22 August 1996 - August 1998) and finally, Comm. Pol. Amen Edore Oyakhire (16 August 1998 - 28 May 1999).(Source: Wikipaedia)
Then the current democratic dispensation started on 29 May 1999, with Alhaji Lam Adesina as the first Governor (29 May 1999 - 28 May 2003, Alliance of Democracy (AD); Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, (Governor, 29 May 2003 - 28 May 2007, Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP). Ladoja was illegally impeached in January 2006, reinstated in December 2006; Chief Christopher Alao-Akala (Governor (de facto), 12 January 2006 - 7 December 2006, People Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) was appointed when Rasheed Ladoja was impeached, until the impeachment was overturned. (Source: Wikipaedia)
Then Christopher Alao-Akala became Governor in his own right, 29 May 2007 - May 2011 (PDP).
The incumbent, Abiola Ajimobi became Governor in May 2011 under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and is now seeking re-election under the relatively new All Peoples Congress (APC)
This is now where the slogan “Ibadan ki sin eniyan le’meji" (Ibadan people do not serve the same leader twice) has surfaced again, engineered by the same selfish Ibadan elites and elders hell-bent on having their way, instead of the progress of the whole state. These people have arrogated to themselves the monopoly of picking the state’s political leaders, be it governor, senator, member of the House of Representatives, members of the state’s House of Assembly, local government chairpersons and councillors. It is very sad.
I have always maintained the position that Performance should be the key to re- election of any incumbents in office,and not an issue of age-long ridiculous and denigrating slogan. If this is so, it is Senator Isiaka Ajimobi's task to break the jinx based on his performance alone. Can he do it, or will it be an exercise in futility?
Let us look at some historical records (some people may call it allegations or assumptions on my part) again: It was the complacency of the people and rigging by the NPN that prevented late Bola Ige from serving two terms, because he clearly performed. The PDP, under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo prevented Lam Adesina from serving two terms due to a combination of massive election rigging and non-performance.
Rasheed Ladoja never had a chance, even on his return from impeachment, by that time his former deputy, Alao-Akala was ensconced in the state house and was favoured by the party, PDP, with the backing of the Godfather of Ibadan politics, the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu and the notorious and vicious National Union of Road Transport Workers (Up National, they call themselves) with the active support from the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
In 2011, it took the interference of God, if you like, and the gods of justice as well as the resolve of the people of Oyo State, not Ibadan alone, to get rid of the profligate and clueless Alao-Akala (who is an Ogbomosho man) and elect the current governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi – sometimes I think the man sleeps in his agbada and fila; you never see him in in casual clothes.
So, on the strength of the fallacy, Ibadan and Oyo State people never serve the same leader twice, but in reality, the reason for this ugly phenomenon lies in the fact that our electoral processes have always been flawed, irregular and manipulated by selfish, greedy people.
Now let us look at the population of Oyo State: population (2006) total 5,591,589; estimate (2007) is 6,617,720. For Ibadan alone, with eleven local governments out of thirty-three, (one-third), estimated population in 2011 is 3.2 million, representing roughly half the total population of the state.
Simply put the Ibadan vote only marginal affect the outcome of any gubernatorial election for the simple reason that it is always split amongst the contestants, especially if they all come from Ibadan. Thus currently, on the basis of this, the Ibadan vote is about 30% for the incumbent, Ajimobi of the APC; 30% for Ladoja of the Accord Party and another 30% for Teslim Folarin of the PDP, while the rest 10% is for the other smaller parties, notably the emergent Labour Party.
Now, the above theoretical computations need to be re-evaluated. Now that Alao-Akala, (an Ogbomosho man) has decamped from the PDP to join the Labour Party and has been adopted as its governorship candidate, the equation has changed a bit. The Labour Party will erode into the PDP votes, because, somehow, Alao-Akala seems to still enjoy some support and goodwill from the Ibadans, and so will the Accord Party votes – Ladoja too is much beloved in Ibadan, unless these three political parties somehow find a common enemy in the APC and decide to throw all their votes behind one of their three parties, most likely the PDP. At any rate, Accord and Labour Parties are just poorly-veiled extensions of the PDP and a big ploy to distract or split the votes away from their common foe, the APC. I don’t see this happening, however it will deeply upset the APC, whether they collaborate or not.
The reality, however of the political action in Oyo State is that the people detest Ladoja, he has outlived his usefulness – what does he want to prove again? His party Accord lost a lot of goodwill the moment he declared himself to contest again, instead of passing the baton to a younger party member. Alao-Akala does not have much support anymore because of his sour-grapes decamping to the light-weight and non-structural Labour Party. His decamping has also weakened the PDP in Oyo State, and the non-Ibadan factor is another minus for him, plus, what does he want in the Government House again after several years of non-performance, corruption and profligacy while he made only his cronies rich from the state’s resources?; while the PDP candidate, Teslim Folarin is also disliked for his tight-fisted nature, even as a Senator, and has brought out a lot of ill-feelings within his own party such that they do not trust him. The Buhari factor is a huge plus for Ajimobi because virtually everybody in the country wants change and is rooting for the APC; however he must not be complacent.
What should now be the major aim and strategy of the Ajimobi’s APC is to convince the people of Ibadan, one, that the obnoxious slogan of “Ibadan ki sin eniyan le’meji" is what it is, a mere fancy of selfish elites who have been feeding us with nothing but nonsense and delusions, and put it to rest, once and forever, and two, that Ajimobi has performed to best of his ability and will do more if he’s given a second term. Three, Ajimobi has to convince Ibadan and Oyo State people that his first tenure has been devoid of corruption and nepotism. He has been tagged as arrogant too, and he must dispel this unwanted and damaging appendage.
For me, continuity is important, but has Ajimobi proven it to the people of Oyo State that he should continue? It is appalling hearing people using this hopeless slogan, especially when you hear it from our so-called educated people. In any organisation, one of the strategies used in measuring performance, competency and benchmarking is what they call KPI - Key Performance Indicators, and looking back at all the civilian government we've had so far in Oyo State, if these people will be honest with themselves and not being politically partisan and sentimental, many of us can give kudos to only the Bola Ige and Ajimobi civilian governments. And I am saying this without any bias to the Truth. Unfortunately today, people are not interested on building for their future but love the glory of corruption and lucre, not of what legacy to leave behind for generations to come.
At the risk of some people accusing me of having collected money to write this, I think the incumbent governor has just about done enough to justify none of his rivals dislodges him.
The holistic Truth always.
Akintokunbo A Adejumo
The responsibility of the Vice President is to be ready at a moment's notice to accept the Presidency if the President is unable to perform his duties for any objective reason, and Namadi Sambo, certainly can fulfill this responsibility, having been in his current position since 2010.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has chosen the 71-year-old retired army general, Muhammadu Buhari, the iron fisted and no-nonsense disciplinarian, to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the presidency next year.
Buhari, as we know, ran in 2003, 2007, and in 2011 unsuccessfully; now he wants to kick out President Jonathan, who has been in power since 2010, along with vice president, Sambo.
Buhari, as we all know, is an honesty-driven man, a fierce fighter of corruption, and has been known to very quickly silence drug dealers, punish white collar criminals, chastise compromise-minded media, and display the fear of God in him on behalf of the people.
Buhari, given his unique personality and style, should go ahead and select his running mate from an oppositional party, like the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Yes , it sounds odd, but under a country like Nigeria, with its unusual circumstances as it relates to our current state of polity, there is apparently no constitutional law that would prohibit Buhari, as a presidential candidate, from selecting a running mate from the opposition, the PDP or any other party. In practice, of course, it's extremely unlikely that a PDP-type would consent to run on an APC ticket, or vice versa.
However, should Buhari move boldly and select the current deputy to Jonathan, he, Sambo, would be seen as a traitor among partisan allies, especially Jonathan, to the point where he would be forced to switch party affiliation.
Although the odds are slim to none that Buhari would be willing to invite vicious ridicule from his political associates, it should be remembered that to a man like Buhari what matters most is putting the people and Nigeria first.
It's also possible that some in APC 's rank-and-file would coordinate a revolt and try to work to subvert the presidential nominee's unusual choice.
Yes, we know that a vice presidential nomination is supposed to be affirmed by the stakeholders of a party like the APC, but today in our young democracy, we live in a bitter time and in one of the worst moments in our nation. As such, let’s do the unusual during this extraordinary time.
A conflict-time coalition between an APC and a PDP against the swelling problem image of the current ruling party would provide a sigh of relief to the people who are yearning for a major offensive against the present powers that be. But silently, are they in fear of the all-powerful PDP with their super military back up?
We should not be perturbed about Vice-President Namadi Sambo being a Northerner, a Muslim, and a long standing devotee of PDP. Sambo, an architect by background, is a silent political heavyweight, who may even harbor his own presidential ambitions.
As a possible vice president to the aging Buhari, he is well positioned to be President in the future, if not sooner. Perhaps in private, he may be experiencing mixed feelings that President Jonathan did not keep his reported oral promise to leave office in 2015.
As a Governor of Kaduna State, we all remember Sambo’s 11-point agenda that was focused on empowering the youth and women of the community, and his full attention in addressing the issue of insecurity for his state.
Sambo, by appearance and history, is not too partisan; he is more a man of the center, and already has the finesse for a vice-presidential relationship, as he has a very warming face with the public. He is anti-indiscipline and a serious person when it comes to the people’s priorities.
Sambo is grounded in a mind of independency. He is all about reality rather than wide open fantasy. He is a man of character. He is not an ultra-Muslim, but certainly a man of tolerance.
Sambo, if truth be told, would take off in speed from the PDP, based on PDP’s soiled name locally and globally. But for now, he must continue to grapple with this type of problem as he is generally deemed to be a loyalist.
Why would Nigeria not welcome and bring in such a man to a new Nigeria, if Buhari boldly asked him to join the APC , especially when we know Sambo as one of the most passionate advocates for the youths, lay people, the elderly, and a friend of the professional and business world?
By appearance, it is quite easy to see a personal chemistry between Buhari and Sambo, as it relates to a mindset for a disciplined and healthy political atmosphere. Above all, Sambo is bathed in confidence, truthfulness, and selflessness. He is a strikingly different Nigerian from Jonathan, who reportedly ruminates on a notoriously close relationship with some questionable political and religious associates.
Like every great story, the opinion here may be an exercise in fantasy, but if the party elders in the APC really want the best for Nigeria, let them allow Buhari to secretly reach out to Sambo as a possible vice presidential candidate and, should both of them agree, the non-ending embarrassment that the PDP and the APC have created in the eyes of the people will be lessened, as we will be repositioning Nigeria with two good men from the so-called oppositional parties.
How will the rest of the world react if Nigeria chose leaders wisely? Elect a principled President, not obsequious to international gratification. Do not fear his views on world affairs; just respect him to demand for the same socio-economic factors that elude our young men in Diaspora. The same way Italy, British, Germany, Poland, Mexico, China, Cuba, and USA do.
Champions of world injustice must not fear young African men. If no world leader calls out, we must. Police abuse of young men is worldwide: accountability is not, for the abuse of minorities.
Vestiges of injustice, revolts and guilt in slavery are still driven for the preservation of privileges. Danger of destabilization of African families is more difficult in Africa with the man at home. A family is destabilized by cutting off the strong man from his home, even for spanking his kids as everyone. Police denied the mothersand children their own protectors of family values in the house and blame young men without confrontation, aware they are all likely to protest injustice.
Africa men like other men, prefer to be the bread winner in the family. Unemployment that has devastated African men at home in Africa and as blacks in Diaspora, suddenly visited other men in the recession with the same impact on their families. Lack of confidence, physical and mental sickness left less of them caring for families and children. It leaves more women carrying men’s heavy load. Indeed, fewer young men are getting married and avoiding long-term relationships.
Yes, Africans have enough problems at home, still must join the mass demonstrations by blacks and whites in United States, Britain and around the world protesting unindicted police, gunning down young black men that can never be tolerated if they were whites. Critics have come out claiming more attention should be on these young black men killing more of one another. They never mentioned white men kill most whites or Asian men kill most Asians as American Mafia.
What is even more disgusting is watching talking heads on cable news television trying to justify cold blooded killings of young black men by police with “scientific” and self-serving forensic evidence while using some racist witness 40 to discredit spontaneous eye witnesses or redefine what is captured by cameras. It did not work, young men and women of all races poured out condemning police double standard as they document HYPERLINK "http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/04/crimingwhilewhite-white-people-are-confessing-on-twitter-to-crimes-they-got-away-with/?hpid=z1" special privilege they got as whites: here.
In the 60s Africans saw humans carrying signs that “I Am A Man”, in 2014 we see people of all backgrounds and races carrying signs: “Black Lives Matter”. Old cliché that African Americans are not where they should be but far from where they were, is intriguing in light of these police killings without even indictments for probable cause. It is another form of skinning a cat.
There are many ways to skin a cat in different cultures, from slow socioeconomic death to outright lynching. First, black men must be deprived of credits for all accomplishments and talents by demonizing him. Such as making him the sacrificial lamb for everything wrong that must be corrected in the community. It makes it harder to vouch for any man so dehumanized. We must not lose focus, that the postal boys for most crimes are the weak, poor and black men.
Apart from Africa, most other world communities defined you by your postal or zip code where you remain for generation. Others measure their own success by how well the next generations will do; if children are going to be better off than parents. But in the ghettoes, it is a struggle to break out of this chokehold. Even when they do, some successful ones remain in the ghettoes where they are more comfortable because of rejections from the mainstream by discrimination.
We cannot overemphasize socio-economic factors in the relationships of men and women in a community for a stable family. Africans leaders must use socio-economic factors to strengthen cultural values in families by encouraging behaviors that prevent the vicious circle of crime and punishment employed against Africans outside Africa. Just as they have realized the unequal implementation of “three strikes”, “broken windows” and “zero tolerance” laws on minorities.
Africans must accept and ride with pride the unique endowment bestowed on them by nature. People see the African in you, no matter what you call yourselves: colored, white, Negro, brown or African American. While it may be uncomfortable depending on where you are, it is how you portray yourself that people admire and emulate. When “black and proud” others take to our natural traits as Afro haircut, women cornrow, endowed lips and butts apart from many talents.
Demons have no admirers even in Africa. If black skin is portrayed in ugly pictures, you cannot blame little kids that prefer white baby dolls, blame their parents that bleach their skins. Some Nigerians deny poverty under our noses and creates fake statistics for it. Some explain poverty in their midst as a result of classes that exit in every community. What we fail to realize is that Africa was one place where children of the poor do better than those of the rich, until recently.
No community, even in USA can place all responsibilities on the shoulder of women without a man to help train and support that strong woman. No woman has it all and no human can be a super mom or a super dad. Some men may feel less pressure to find jobs because they are less likely than previous generations to be providing for others. Only 28 percent of men without jobs — compared with 58 percent of women — HYPERLINK "http://kff.org/other/poll-finding/kaiser-family-foundationnew-york-timescbs-news-non-employed-poll/" said a child under 18 lived with them. See here.
Young Africans, even before the recession, had the highest unemployment rate. Most of the economic gains went to the very top percentage by design and manipulation in the West and by legal looting in African and third world countries. Yet, the working class had productivity increase with lower wages, outsourcing and bursting unions where wages were high. Since their purchasing power is decreasing their standard of living becomes lower. Crimes start from family.
Shortly after the coup of December 1983 in Nigeria, in which the seemingly no-nonsense duo of General Muhammadu Buhari and General Babatunde Idiagbon took over by force the government of Nigeria from the corrupt and inept Shehu Shagari-led civilian regime, I was invited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to their Winnipeg, Manitoba radio station to shed some light on the situation in Nigeria. I was then the President of the International Students Organisation.
One of the issues put to me was that the people of Nigeria and those of us abroad at the time are fearful for ourselves or for our people at home because of the obvious military putsch’s clampdown on freedom. My input to this issue then was “The ordinary Nigerian has nothing to fear; only the corrupt politicians who were deposed have to fear Buhari/Idiagbon”.
Now thirty one years later, I daresay the same applies, or may apply. Only the corrupt and inept people in government, irrespective of party affiliations, now need be fearful of Buhari’s emergence as a Presidential candidate of the APC.
But let us put a few issues in perspective. Mr Buhari has not yet contested and has not won the 2015 Elections. He might not even win the election despite the euphoria of his election at last week’s APC primaries. After all, he has run unsuccessfully for the office of the President of Nigeria in the past – 2003 (All Nigeria People's Party, ANPP), 2007 (ANPP) and 2011 (Congress for Progressive Change, CPC) - his detractors label him a “septuagenarian serial election loser”, and his ethnic background is Fulani, and his faith is Islam; a native of Daura in Katsina State of Nigeria. So how are we sure he’s going to be fourth time lucky; nay, fourth time accepted by Nigerians?
In Nigeria, where corruption rules the roost and is a god to many, fighting it is a damned hard chore and battle; herculean in nature, so when you fight corruption, as I am sure will be the main policy thrust and appealing agenda of Buhari’s manifesto, corruption will fight back a thousand times more powerfully, resourcefully and viciously. We see it every day in our dear corruption-riddled country, such that if you can’t beat it, you join it. Those corrupt Nigerians, and their foreign collaborators, who have been engaging in corrupt practices and have made enormous wealth from it over the decades are not prepared to down arms and flee or surrender. They will mobilise every ill-gotten resources, power and weapons to fight back so they do not lose their illegal source of wealth. So trust these bastards to be vicious in their fight back.
Mr Buhari has been labelled with many uncomplimentary physiognomies too, from being a religious bigot and zealot to an unrepentant ethnic misogynist who being a Fulani, believes in the superiority of the Fulani over any other ethnic group in Nigeria. Many unpalatable quotes have been attributed to Buhari, ostensibly to consolidate the evidences of religious and ethnic intolerance against him. Incidentally, a deep look into all these accusation will produce the fact that they are mostly fabricated by confirmed ethnic, religious and political partisanship who do not have any other things to say to negate Buhari’s noted honesty and sincerity, not to talk of his world-renowned stance against corruption in government and high places in Nigeria.
Allow me say to say here at this juncture, that I have never been ardent of Buhari; in fact, I always believe he was inferior to his then deputy, Babatunde Idiagbon, of blessed memories. I always believe that most of the discipline of Nigeria attributed to Buhari was the handiwork of Idiagbon. I always believe the man is humourless and too rigid in his outlook in life, but, as it is I acknowledge his self-discipline as a man, and that have always been the endearing ideals I have for him. Even I do not really think he was a good leader, probably because, I was not in Nigeria during his military rule to witness first-hand his achievements and secondly because he did not have the luxury of a long enough time to prove he is a good leader.
However, his consequent records in public life were to confirm the honesty of this man, at least according to the fact available to the public. For example, a 1998 report in New African praised the Petroleum Trust Fund , PTF, under Buhari’s Chairmanship, for its transparency, calling it a rare "success story. Another plus for his was the story that he declined to receive the N300 million monthly allocations to him as a former Head of State, instead opting to receive only 2.3 million Naira per month. Shame on Shagari, Obasanjo, Babangida and Abdulsallam for still receiving this huge amount despite the massive expanse of money they allegedly made/stole while in power.
So, you will ask me, why have Nigerians suddenly woken up and enthusiastically (at least from the noise we are hearing) ready to give this “serial election loser” a fourth shot at the prize, and probably even voting him in and getting rid of the incumbent PDP and President Jonathan? Like a friend asked me recently, why are Nigerians euphoric over a “refurbished Messiah”? Whoaa!!
I replied, “But who is calling Buhari a Messiah? I am definitely NOT, anyway. All I can say is Nigeria stands a better chance/change with him instead of what we have now. We must give CHANGE a CHANCE. That's all we can hope for now, or what else do you want? Do we stick with the same rot, and continue to mutter curses on Jonathan and the PDP (and in fact the state governors irrespective of party alliance) or do we give Buhari (no other credible alternative from any of the pseudo-political parties parading themselves as opposition parties have emerged) a fourth chance?
Is Buhari the best man available to rule Nigeria? No, not by a long shot! As far as I am concerned, I am confident that I will make a better leader than him, but of course, I am neither interested nor have been approached nor stand any chance in Nigeria’s brand of politics. So I concede to Mr Buhari that he is better than all those that have crawled out of the woodwork laying claim to the throne. If Nigerians perceive or are given a better choice, I am sure they will discard Buhari immediately.
So he’s 72 and too old? Who said? I am always for the younger generation to be at the forefront of nation-building and to be given a chance to govern and prove themselves, but current evidence indicate that even our youths and their thinking/mind-set have been hijacked by the older useless and corrupting politicians and have been influence by the extremely corrupt society which bore them and which they are growing up in. We can rectify this situation if an incoming set of rulers look at other ways of engaging the youths by provision and creation of employment, freedom of speech, opportunities in government and decision-making, etc.
And this is where I lament the chances Nigeria and Nigerians lost in denying the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo the leadership of this country many times, till the man died, and everybody now wept at his graveside and eulogised him, hypocritically as “the best leader Nigeria never had”, when it was too late, to the eternal regret of this country, take it or leave it, depending on which side of the fence you are, or how truly patriotic and progressively-discerning you are.
It seems to me another chance has yet presented itself to Nigeria, after 3 other failures to grasp the opportunities, to redress the abysmal rejection, get back on the track to attempting (yes, attempting) to save this country from its light-speed downward spiral into chaos, self-destruction and uncertain future for the generations to come.
I think God has presented us with another chance, after all, we are fond, and indeed it is a national pastime, to cry to God to come down and save us. I am one man who is convinced that God will not come down to Earth to save Nigerians (Nigerians being His only favoured people in the world?) but will rather help Nigerian via a mortal who will do God’s will. Maybe Muhammadu Buhari, born December 17, 1942, is such mortal. But then, he’s only a fragile mortal. After all, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was given up to 3 chances, never before done in the history of the world, and what did he do? He blew it.
Mind you, I am not calling Buhari a Saviour or a Messiah or a Saint. He’s definitely not, but this is a man who seems sincerely willing to give it his best shot, with the right people and resources at his disposal. I always believe and say that nowhere in world history have saints, Christian or Moslem or any other religion, ever ruled nations (not caliphates). Saints, messiahs, saviours have no business or are good in politics or governance. And this brings me to one of the many little advices I have for Mr Buhari.
The current APC, of which is the presidential candidate in the coming 2015 elections is not the APC he helped found just a couple of years ago. The current APC has been diluted and suffused with politician from the crumbling PDP of doubtful character and intentions. Not only doubtful characters but some of them are “proven” thieves and corrupt, inept rulers and other public office holders. Such men are dangerous, as Julius Caesar would have said. And if Buhari allows the ilk of party men to dominate in any section of the party, and in government, if he wins the Presidential elections, the will mess him up and hence continue to mess the country up as they had done before.
I am not campaigning for Buhari here; that might probably come later when I have a much clearer picture of what he has let himself in for, and the intentions of the people in his party too. But all evidence point to the fact that Nigerians want a change, are desirous of CHANGE for the better and not for the sake of it.
The faultfinders of Mr Buhari will say the only selling point for Buhari is that his desire to lead Nigeria is all predicated on anti-corruption and nothing else, but how will he tame the corrupt people in his party? I will be honest, I cannot myself answer the latter, but for the former, I have always believed the problems of Nigeria are centred on corruption. Tame or manage corruption, and you have a damn fine country that will realise its full potential within a very short time. How Mr Buhari will marry the two remains a task that everybody must be prepared to do. Good leaders do not rule alone; they rule with the support and cooperation of their people.
I have always castigated my people that they are insincere and hypocritical when it comes to wanting change, that we resist change very vehemently while at the same time desirous of it; but maybe this is the time they truly will vote for a change. We love dragging our feet, and that was why we let Awolowo slip by us. Maybe now is the time; maybe now we have a right candidate for Change. Maybe not, but we might as well give it a shot. We can only lose as much as we have been losing since 1960, or less.
There we are.
Let the Truth be said always.
Akintokunbo A Adejumo
A friend of mine after my last paper sent me a message via Facebook.
"Congratulations Haywhy, after school, what next?"
I calmly replied:
"Marriage of course" and he answered with "why rushing" and then I said, if I die today, will you ask me why rushing? Well, maybe he will reply next Year.
As we all know that it is from when we were very young that many of us have been taught about sex as being an act that should not be done anyhow and that one should save it for one’s future partner. Sex nowadays to many has become an act with little or no regard to its sacredness as both unmarried young and old individuals indulge in it. I’m not criticizing anyone however, but I’m rather pointing out the sacredness of sex which is only respected and blessed within the confines of marriage and between husband and wife.
I am not also saying our parents aren't right, and with all due respect, that is the right thing to do, but what I'm advocating for is that parents should help their children so that they leave home with concise knowledge on sex education rather than leaving the duties to the "outside world” , because charity begins at home. Also, parents should educate their children about marriage because by so doing, it helps to promote purity in our economy.
In earlier generations, the milestones of adulthood – leaving home, finishing school, getting a job, getting married and starting a family – were completed in a short period of time. But today, the milestones have been placed on a “10 to 15 years stretched out track, that I call prolonged adolescence." It's just too much privilege, and not enough responsibility.
Additionally, Parents instead of suppressing their children's feelings if they confess of liking someone are encouraged to pray with them, dream with them and talk more about the vision of marriage. In the church as well, I want Christians to coach young men to pursue relationships and elevate the marriage talk.
I stand to be corrected however, I am not advocating for all young people to get married early as people differ, but there's a certain level of maturity, life responsibility and one's walk with Jesus that should be considered when assessing someone's preparedness for marriage.
Well, some of my critics will say divorce is very close to those who marry early. That is a strong opinion but we all need to know that God is the only one that can sustain one’s relationship.
For the record, most divorce cases today occur with couples who married late because they had been committed to their job probably, so marriage to them is not a priority.
Conclusively, when people around us marry early, let us encourage them, and pray for them because God is the only builder of the HOUSE and our Prediction in most cases does not matter.
Odeyele Ayodeji Joseph was born in Ile-ife, Osun State in late 1980s, the first son of Elder and Deanconess A.F ODEYELE. AYODEJI attended the Adventist secondary school,idi omo lagere ile-ife,he proceeded to Osun state university for his degree programme in History and international studies. From his sophomore year at the University , he wrote a weekly column for the school press club. He was also active in student politics, serving as a the Pioneer President of his campus. he is married to Mrs Titilayo Mary Odeyele
Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, by now should be aware that various authorities in our ever exciting country know you as the man to do the unusual job, so it is no surprise that a Nigerian judge is ordering the police force and other law enforcement bodies to search every nook and corner of Nigeria, and indeed all across the world, for a particular book, “My Watch”.
Sir, as you may know, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s book has fully sold out locally, with the inadvertent instant advertisement by Justice Valentine Ashi , the trial judge on this matter.
Sir, in addition to possibly blocking importation of more of “My Watch”, what about its electronic format? Will it not be beyond the reach of our law enforcement forces? But still pursuing the impossible, in fact, the Judge could pass out a third order against the cyber world for the purpose of confiscating all copies of “My Watch”!
IGP Abba, as you may know the book was published and distributed a month before Justice Ashi’s December 5th and 10th court order. Nevertheless the learned Justice absolutely believes that in your capacity as an Africa-based police chief and, as a man of unusual operations, you have the men and women capable of visiting the entire globe and seizing a book already in global circulation.
IGP Abba, could you imagine our law enforcement officers searching and picking up copies of “My Watch” from classrooms, libraries, schools, shops, offices, and even from homes, dormitories, vehicles, and from other settings within Nigeria and beyond?
We expect soon, if you have not already, that you may smash into the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Nigeria , to get your force there as fast as you can hoping that you might find some copies. Or perhaps, you may ask the Director of the State Security Service (SSS) to send in our secret detectives as quickly as possible, they know how to do the job nastier.
IGP Abba, amazingly, this is what Justice Ashi is demanding of you, especially when he has since issued a restraining order not once but twice, in regards to confiscating the autobiography.
There is a strong chance that you have to do this, given the report that the plaintiff, Buruji Kasahmu, is a very close friend to our president.
Sir, what is it about you and the already challenged Nigeria law enforcement officials (domestic detectives included) that these authorities see that make them believe it is fully possible for you and our agents to be able to search and confiscate the book locally and internationally?
Sir, you many need more men and women to travel afar because suddenly the book has gained broader attraction. It is now being read and distributed across Nigeria, and globally in places like Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom, and United States of America.
Sir, per Justice Ashi’s order, time is short as this case is under a 21-day ultimatum for revisiting, actually by January 13, 2015, by which time your men and women must have returned from overseas in full possession of thousands to millions of anything having to do with “My Watch” , and in full containers bring them to the door of the registrar!
Just within Nigeria alone, this task now given to you is at best illogical and absurd. Yet, as this is an authoritative order, irrespective of the reality that the book is on its face is a personal story, a memorial message, a political mark, and a free speech work, you must act now! Sir, forget about the fact that the former President has appealed the order given by Justice Ashi. So what? This is Nigeria!
Again, IGP Abba, what is the thinking behind Justice Ashi’s order? What has caused him to literally get so angry at a particular book that he asks policemen and women to locate and confiscate the said book by every and any means possible?
This is a question beyond this discourse. As such, in your capacity as a police chief on behalf of ALL Nigerians, it is your duty to ask him why he has chosen to litigate against the entire world as it relates to the distribution and sale of the book, which you are expected to put a stop to right now.
Africa has never been a poor continent, always a honeycomb. It has produced the richest and the most generous folks in history; while enriching others led to its own detriment. The richest human that ever lived was the Queen of Sheba whose wealth was celebrated in most ancient countries and in religious books throughout the world. The closest person to her riches in gold, silver and every unprecedented measure until today was the Emperor of Mali, Mansa Musa.
The irony of their conspicuous display of wealth before or after the main prophets and greatest powers was the reinforced appeal that Africa is the richest continent to plunder by Muslims and Christians. Display of opulence and wealth by these Africa Queens, Kings and now by politicians continues today but at the expense of the African people. When we see, read and hear about the young children of Africa risking their lives perishing in North Africa deserts, we must pause.
These cannot be the children of the Queen of Sheba, Emperor Mansa Musa or the politicians of our time looting their continent to pay heavy taxes on mere vacant bricks, toys, Susies and kids lost to foster parents while young Africans look for a way out from the same land that flow with gold, diamond, uranium, milk and honey. It gets worse, if anyone of them is caught laundering money or any of the materials from Africa into Europe and America, they are jailed big time.
At least in the days of Queen of Sheba and Mansa Musa Africa was respected, there was law and order. Mali markets were known to be fair even to little kids without fear of being cheated. Leaders like S. AfricanShaka Zulu lived in a system of accountability, check and balances. In the old Oyo Empire, the world’s first system of cabinet around Oba, the check and balances were so strong, Oba could face justice by the show of calabash. That is death by suicide, Oba-Koso!
Consequently, lack of check and balance has left the children of Africa vulnerable to the mercy and caprices of Vagabonds In Power. All expectation on Nigeria to become a regional power vamoosed. We have countries that started industrialization with Nigeria,despite corruption. Like North Korea, India, Indonesia and Brazil only to come and lecture us on how to be viable.
In Nigeria mental deficitproblem started way back on the different tastes of Aje-butter and Aje-pako. Some children that lived in oyinbo GRA or Ikoyi in the 50/60s knew those were unfriendly lonely and dryplaces. You could not find candy, drinks or bread to buy unless someone drove you to town. There was no sport: soccer, ayo, cones, stations, marble ortennis to role. As their kids became rulers, foreign mentality taste grewwith unsustainable demands for hard currency.
Their compulsive habits and taste created special class in most African countries. A class where their measure of success is how much is stashed outside their countries or continent, not how much is retained for others comfort at home. Indeed, the reason many Africans want to get rich is to buy luxuries outside where power is regular. It is not to take their people and surroundings out of dark ages living condition of forced generators, lamp and candle usage; into modern age.
Most of us including this writer fought and condemned the restrictions on foreign exchange and criminalization of people who made their money outside during military regimes. We have now gone the opposite way, where few Vagabonds and cronies exhaust our foreign exchange in the name of business depriving our poor of basics. Many of them imitate the so called Aje-butters, even when they knew what it was to be dirt poor like the people they oppressed today.
A case in point is our liberalized insatiable penchant for foreign exchange, to buy what? Any country that demands more money (it does not print) than it can generate by trade from internal boom in products and services are chickens selling more eggs than it can produce. At some point that country has to sell its chickens and promissory note in return for foreign money to buy foreign products it desires but cannot nurture. This is what the economists call deficit.
How many eggs would be left if we sell and consume twice or three times the amount that is laid? This is why the chickens of African are crossing the desert and sinking in deep waters, no matter the risk posed to their lives. They can neither lay enough eggs for poachers and raiders, nor can they get enough corn to feed on in an environment that does not nurture or indifferent.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with investment in equipment that can increase products and services from which the gains can cover the investment. But consumer items like toys, food that can be grown at home and useless products like “tooth picks”, not only kill local industries, they are a drain on the balance sheets. We are known as Continent of consumers not producers.
We have a double cross here. We waste our natural resources buying and importing finished products as cement, gold, diamond, chocolates, refined oil and spirits while wasting our natural gas by polluting our environment. So we are providing jobs for outside factories, while idling andsabotaging our domestic factories without jobs for our workers and sending them across the deserts to compete in foreign countries for the jobs we export outside to their factories.
Some of us do not realize that outsiders want to sell us genetic modified seeds, buy our land to grow them and sell them in world markets. That way, we will lose control not only on our crops but also land and a say in the market. Our selfish politicians only want instant gratification.
Therefore, the days of blame on colonialism are gone. Nkrumah called it Neo-colonialism that has no stigma or guilt of the past. Individual opulence in the midst of majority of our people in abject poverty and wars has become the norm. It is not limited to one country or region of our Continent; it is pervasive and shocking to a decent conscience. This has become a compulsive pathological behavior without limit or bound. We need colo-mental hospitals.
By Odeyele Ayodeji
The existence of a Nation can be said to be as a result of the success or the contribution of its standing Army i.e. Laws and Principles of a nation becomes acknowledgeable due to the very existence of the Army that because a law becomes a law becasue of what is backing it up, in other words has simply put by Ranti Afowowe:
" No Army! No Nation"
Travelling from one’s Home town to Abuja, perhaps, can be quite risky especially with the security threats the nation is facing, but recently the journey has been so smooth that one wouldn’t be disturbed by any kind of insecurity apart from the poor road conditions which applies to almost all roads in this nation except few.
As rightly concluded by Audu Echono and Mandyen Brenda Anzaki, they said,
“No doubt, checkpoints are absolutely necessary especially with the current security situation in Nigeria today but they cannot and should not be a platform for extortion, indiscipline and the unnecessary log jams that has characterised these checkpoints. It is also clearly time for other methods of achieving security and safer roads to be exploited, especially effective use of technology which ultimately cuts down time spent at these checkpoints.”
From my hometown, Ile-Ife to Abuja, if I am not mistaken, there should be more than 12 Army check points, though there are other check points mounted by other uniformed men perhaps due to the insecurities the nation is facing. One and of course the most paramount thing one would notice is the durability and the composure of these Nigeria Army officers. They ask questions with great manners. For example:
Hello sir, where you coming from?
Hope you are enjoying your journey?
These soldiers are of great standard, and one hardly sees them delaying people except when needed and of course they are up to their tasks, they don't engage in unnecessary jokes and talks.
Apart from safeguarding Nigerians from the rampant evil vices on our highways, the Nigeria Army is also on the battle field with the Boko Haram Terrorists who are antagonizing and disturbing the peace of this Nation. However, the Nigeria Army with all her unending efforts in safeguarding the Nation is just asking for one thing from us and I personally think that the task is so simple. “Do Not wear Our Camouflage”.
Many will wonder if it is illegal for civilians to wear camouflage. Well the answer to that is simple and to my best knowledge it is illegal depending on the scenario. Not every offence is spelt out in the constitution explicitly. For example, you can be charged for impersonation if you wear a camouflage. Some Celebrities wear it for certain performances or shows, and if perhaps they are caught on the streets with it, they can be charged for impersonation.
Also, there are different kinds of camouflage. There are camouflages for fashion and there are camouflages for the military. You shouldn’t wear military camouflage. Why would one choose to use military paraphernalia when he/she is not in d military?
Wearing the Nigeria Army Camouflage is the highest point of insult on the Army. The wearing of the Nigeria camouflage by Nigeria Artists is a very unfriendly development; those who are expected to tell and preach the gospel of “Don't wear Nigeria Army Camouflage” are the ones doing it.
In conclusion, Many may not find the "Don't wear Nigeria Army Camouflage” write-up as very interesting, but it seems it is high time the Nigeria Army deals with anyone found putting on the Army Camouflage because such person may have misrepresented himself and made people around him think he is a military man while he is not. Anyone who is therefore fond of dressing up in the Army Camouflage should desist from such act as it is disrespectful to the Nigeria Army.
Odeyele Ayodeji is a graduate of History and International studies,from Osun state University, Osogbo.