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Dear President Muhammadu Buhari just a few months into the presidency of our emerging society called Nigeria, and after a few weeks of returning from international visit you reminded the people of your mission to remain a God fearing antipoverty and anticorruption crusader.

So when the good people of Nigeria recently watched as within one week what looked like a play of political visits by the powerful to your person, it appears that a triangular form of power struggle between these persons of influence is at play.
Mr. President, whether these visits were planned or sudden what appears to be in the open is the uncomfortable ambivalence, tension, pain or even smile you might have felt or may be feeling now after these visits  or invites.
Mr. President, as the whole political father to us all be aware that good people never pretend to be evil, but many times, evil people pretend to be good so what you just experienced from these competing leadership visits is a simultaneous conflict between feelings to fight for collective good of the nation or appeal to disloyalty on behalf of the powerful.
President Buhari the people will never know what occurred during each  meeting but what was clear was that former President Goodluck Jonathan, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo the now two political enemies showed up respectively with the first on Thursday and the other on Friday.
In what appeared to be a worried visit we saw known sympathizers of Jonathan, who belonged to a collection of interfaith peace panel led by a former military Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar equally coming to see you.
President Buhari, as we now know from the media these persons of peace panel in an unusually defensive manner rained on your military past as if you are still an active military despot single handedly fighting corruption.
Mr. President, this sort of after visit statements from the  peace group, in effect, could create ambivalence or worry in you but here is the good news, the Constitution, the people and the world are on your side.
As such the internal struggle of leadership and ambivalence of values you might have experienced will be undermined by the positive strength of true leadership in you.
Mr. President, the best way to handle Nigerian type of leadership known for its selfish impulses, pretension and hypocrisy, is for you to consciously grow hurtful of the damage that has been done to Nigeria and its people.
Mr. President, as you wake up daily in good spirit and health, remember these words of yours as you govern "I belong to everybody, and I belong to nobody" and unlike many past leaders of our emerging nation focus on your mission which include reducing poverty, sinking corruption, repairing the criminal justice system, improving governance and deepening democracy so quality education, health, transportation, electrification, investment and security could fairly reach the people.

The expedition by General Muhammadu Buhari to give Nigerians good
governance is giving a deep cut in the head from the way he is going
about his government. His mind’s debate figuratively centres on which
aspects of governance he should give the constituents.

His debate can be seen: He categorically believes that fighting
corruption is the best part of governance that he has to promote.
Buhari’s sojourn to the Europe and USA to assist him fight the monster
called corruption may be seen as a miscalculated efforts.

This is said because these foreign continents or countries will not
help in that aspect neutrally. They must seek for what their countries
must take home as remuneration to their efforts. This is where Buhari
has started showing administrative crisis.

It is palpable that Buhari has been expressing grievances against the
government that he succeeded, without any advancement in harnessing
sustainable human development over two months he took over the
helm-of-affairs.

While he is bent on holding the other government to account, he is
invariably losing better policies, by not empowering his government
with cabinet members since May 29, he took over. One is not sure
whether Buhari thinks that Nigerians should not demand for equitable
and sustainable policies; that it is his sole right to do whatever he
likes with Nigerians, at his own pace.

This is neglecting justice of abuse! It is essential to pinpoint that
Buhari has abused and distorted governance to advance his government
interest, which have not allowed Nigeria to flourish since two months
now. This is neoliberal agenda that Buhari is showcasing to Nigerians,
just the same way foreign investors and governments are mounting
pressures on him to pursue policies that are in tandem with their
rapaciousness.

Buhari is unaware that good governance is not mouthing and clattering
about fighting corruption, but about its capability to deliver
people-oriented government that is based on achieving the people's
fundamental Human Rights. Good governance is not about making reforms
for foreign countries to hold Nigeria accountable than Nigerians.

Buhari has succeeded in making sure that an aura surrounds him, since
he was declared the winner of this year’s presidential election. That
aura is that many people think that he is still the military Head of
State and not, a democratically elected president, due to his carriage
and utterances.

One is poised to ask where transparency, accountability, participation
and responsiveness exist in this government except the marginalisation
of the people not to be represented in the cabinet. What Nigerians are
seeing is a government that is nationally and internationally creating
dimensions for itself, whereas the affairs of the communities are
gasping for breath.

General Buhari, without doubt, is dwelling his energy at-a-large on
what went wrong with Nigeria and not, what to do next. He is fighting
and struggling between two things, which are how to give the people
good governance and how to fight the so-called corruption that has
bedeviled the country.

It is not expected that Buhari will be a successful leader, because
his training as a military personnel, makes him focus on the country
with bigoted mindset, which is hinged on his past failures and not
actually on what he had achieved. (If there was any achievement as a
military Head of State).

Obviously, Buhari has centered his energy on how to fight corruption,
as if that is the height of giving the people good governance, without
actually harnessing the root cause of corruption.  Sadly, Buhari is
focusing on the destination and not, the journey.

It is not about individuals being hounded and quizzed by the Economic
and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on daily basis since Buhari
assumed power, but about putting every necessary measure in place to
checkmate further practice of dishonesty in the country. It is sad
that Buhari is depending on his eyes, when his imagination is out of
focus. His presence rather makes democracy complex than it was assumed
to be simple.

Nigerians can see that much blame on the woes that have befallen
Nigeria, have gone to former President Goodluck Jonathan from Buhari,
than to the shabbily Constitution which the military created, of which
Buhari was once a Military Head of State.

It would be better put that the fear of failing in governance has made
Buhari to fail already, because there is the decline of civility: He
has no trust for the public and corporations. He believes that
everybody is corrupt and he is the only incorruptible person in
Nigeria. He has made his government to assume a harsh dimension inlure
of tranquility, which is an exceeding mode of state.

Let Buhari know that Nigerians need the right kind of governance and
not actually the Buhari's effective governance. Buhari should eschew
seeing governance to represent politics and public administration
alone. He should see governance to represent economy, state and
society.

He has to stop creating complexities in the economic, cultural and
political interactions for the exaltation of his government. It is
pointless for Buhari to expect a general answer to 'good governance'
when political scientists are having a problem to define an 'ideal
form of governance'.

The "Good Governance: A New Public Managerialism" by Coskun Can Aktan
and Hayrettin Ozler on February 6, 2009, states: Since Socrates and
his student Plato, philosophers and practitioners have been searching
for the best way of governance, a morally mature community and the
best form of state.

The story goes further that Platon in his works, “the State”,
“Politics” and “the Law”, contemplated on the ideal state and ideal
political governance. He also couldn’t help to pose the question: “who
guards the guardians?” Indeed, the states and governments in history
usually based their power on coercion rather than persuasion in order
to derive the consent of their subjects. Even policy sciences as a
scientific branch of politics search for policies to have people
conform to rather than searching for ways to increase public control
over policies.

Are these not what General Muhammadu Buhari is doing?

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State.
Tel: +2348057778358
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

It has been over six week since Buhari took over the new Government in Nigeria but looking at the criticism he has received, one would think he has been there for a year. Comparing this to the last time he took over as a dictator, when the impact was immediate after initial celebration that welcomed him and Idiagbon. What he lacks now is ruling by decree or fiat. While his voters may be patient for the next 100 days, the criticism by those that voted against him is startling.

All of us have to decide which Buhari we want. It has to be one that will let some criminals go scot free to our dismay,so that the right of most innocent people is not jeopardized or punish a few innocent people so that every previous government must be held accountable. It is easy to probeinto agesin a kleptomaniac societyas Nigeria but impractical even in western democracy.

Expecting Buhari to hit the ground running might have been easier under dictatorship. This time he has to prove that he is a true democrat willing to achieve his goals in a “civilized” manner by due process. He has made some appointments all right but they are heavily from his side of the North, which other Nigerians see as common flaw of Northern leaders. The same Nigerians see   Governor of Kaduna State, El Rufai appointments fairly accommodative of Nigerians in his State.

It may be unfair to estimate Buhari’s disposition when he has more appointments and ministers to select. Northwest is not amongst Service Chiefs. Unlike OBJ’s initial appointments when the Northern constituencies cried marginalization, Northwest is quiet. Some opinions are harder to dispel after first impression. Buhari is in politics now and he should have mixed up his initial appointments because he must have known that skeptics are watching every move he makes.

Time will tell in hundred days or more how Buhari will solve the mess.The Yoruba felt they have lost the Speakership twice in a row with the opposition of Igbo in PDP that were against Ms. Akande with the support of Tinubu’s ACN during the reign of Jonathan.Now Igbo PDP are against Gbajabiamila with the support of Saraki against Tinubu’s APC (their old ally). All the Hausa have to do is nothing, but watch the two brothers go after one another.

Moreover, APC alliance is under fire, revolt and subterfuge. Most of the inside fire is coming from the likely source. They are members of PDP, his main opponent during the election, that were enticed to undermine their leaders and former President Ebele in collaboration with the new crossovers from the same party. Instead of following the terms of their new party, they have decided on the minds of their own, with different agenda and goal. It may sink APC.

Ethnic rivalry will always have a place in the politics of Nigeria. The Hausa do not have to get involved in this. Igbo and Yoruba are playing politics of elimination as usual depending on which of them successfully form alliance with the North. The Igbo gave their loyalty to Jonathan the defeated President that Yoruba found wanting. Sadly, most Nigerians had elected the defeated President,from North and South of the Country.Obama pledged USA support for accountability.

Since the Yoruba backed the elected new President, the Igbo are having the greatest fun of their life asking what Yoruba has gained from their endeavor with the North in view of the entire problem in APC between PDP crossover and Tinubu leadership in the APC alliance.

There is also a saying in Nigeria that too many heavyweights will sink the boat. Nevertheless, we thought Buhari and Tinubu worked their differences out. What they didn’t take into account was their differences with members switching from the opponent’s party. Even more disturbing is the caliber of Buhari’s partner: Tinubu and those of PDP crossovers, especially BukolaSaraki. Tinubu and Saraki are far from change Nigerians desired from Buhari’s anticorruption image.

There is nothing new here. Nigerians have a history of taking over parties that they were not foundation members of. Indeed, it has created problems for the leadership and Presidents of the parties. What is surprising here is that they would plan and carry out the plot under Buhari, the well-known former dictator. We are now under democratic disposition, he does not count?

Unfortunately, speculations are rife that Buhari had some insight into how to prevent what may later be his waterloo. Some claim PDP renegades want to make sure Buharicannot probe PDP. Others claimedhe curtailedexaggeratedinfluence of Tinubu and his loyalists’ claim of victory. So if he has to probe PDP, he must start from Tinubu.PastBuhari would probe PDP and APC!

APC may have brought in their own Trojan horses from PDP getting criticism and sabotage from outside and within their Party. As it is, the number of PDP crossovers can easily ally with their present PDP members to initiate their agenda APC loyalists find repulsive.APC can be reduced to a minority if push comes to shove. Nigeria has never been an easy Country to rule. We have more than 250 ethnic groups that are very vocal with a very vigorous press than many countries.

The notion of Senate President as APC and his Vice as PDP is a reflection of the disarray faced by Buhari; unless we want a unity government. There are some speculations that Buhari may include some members of defeated PDP in his cabinet. Whether this will fracture his power further or infuriate members of his Party is yet to be seen. But a unity government is usually reached after some consensus within the dominant Party, far from the grumbling we hear now.

Inadvertently, all these scenarios may draw out the real dictator in Buhari. We seem to forget what we hated so much about Obasanjo under his civilian rule. Buhari may come out the same way or even worse if he cannot get his way. Nigerians want a decisive leader because that is what we need to set wayward and erring criminals that are willing to take advantage of every situation. In the process, innocent people may pay a price.

by Obinna Akukwe 

 
The Peoples Democratic Party has hailed the determination of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to give Owelle Chukwuma Azikiwe, first son of Nigeria’s first president, Rt Hon Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, a decent burial, despite opposition from some politicians in the zone who abandoned the family.
 
Speaking with Rev Obinna Akukwe, Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) in Abuja on Thursday, after a meeting of committee of close friends and family members of the late Owelle, on Thursday in Abuja, a member of Board of Trustees of Peoples Democratic Party and former National Secretary of the party, Chief Rex Onyeabor described President Buhari’s involvement as very patriotic. 
 
According to the party chieftain “Despite insinuations to the contrary, President Buhari had shown that he is a nationalist, especially in this patriotic effort to ensure that Owelle Chukwuma, a bosom friend, and patriot is given deserved burial. It is unfortunate that while other Igbo leaders abandoned this great son of Zik, probably due to his political ideology, it is a President of northern extraction who saw everything good in this incorruptible Igbo son and wants to give him final honor”. He added that “all Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliation should stand behind the President in this endeavor”
 
Chief Onyeabor however asserted that his support for Buhari’s action does not mean that he believes in the fragmentation and party schisms in the APC and expressed regret that the opposition cannot manage their victory. He described Owelle Azikiwe as bosom friend who would rather die that defraud anybody of a single kobo, and he resisted pressures to convert his privileged position to amass wealth.
 
Speaking in the same vein, another bosom friend of Owelle and second republic senator, Chief Dr Uche Offia Nwali described Owelle Chukwuma Azikiwe is an honest man who hated primitive acquisition of wealth. He asked Igbo leaders to emulate the examples of the late Owelle and unite for prosperity. Senator Offia Nwali, a member of Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, promised the involvement of Igbo Elders in support of Federal Gov
Chief Mrs Kate Onwe  Acting Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Caretaker Committee  and former Attorney General in Enugu and Ebonyi States  , hailed the news that the Federal Government wants to get involved in Zik’s son’s burial and pleaded that” Igbos must unite behind Buhari and the Federal Government to make it  a success, irrespective of party affiliations.”.
 
 
Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) has exclusively reported that President Buhari has vowed to give the Zik’s Son a befitting burial and that in furtherance of his promise, the president sent Senator Chris Ngige , ex-Governor of Anamb ra State, to Onisi Onira residence of the Azikiwes for inspection and feedback. 
 
Subsequently another meeting was held at Zik’s House on Monday, 6th July with the following in attendance: Senator Dr Chris Ngige (ex-Governor Anambra State), Engr Chukwuma Njaka (PA to Owelle Azikiwe), Mr Ifeanyi Okwudili (Nephew to Owelle Azikiwe), Rev Obinna Akukwe, (Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC)), and Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu (Assistant National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Chairman Igbo-Ohanaeze Integrity Groups).
 
The following Family members who had earlier briefed Buhari on the preparedness for the Burial at Aso Rock earlier in the month include Nwamulunamma Onuora Azikiwe (Spiritual Head of the Family), Akunne Arah Azikiwe (youngest brother of Rt Hon Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe) Engr Chukwuma Njaka (PA to late Owelle Chukwuma Azikiwe) and Senator Dr Chris Ngige (ex-Governor Anambra State).
 
Obinna Akukwe via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www. facebook.com/obinnaakukwe
 
 




 

What does African oil producing countries; especially Nigeria, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea have in common with American Republicans against our son Barrack Obama? They may not join the rest of the world in the celebration of Iran Nuclear Agreement that has sent world market oil price down. Iran can produce 3.1 million barrels of crude oil daily. Hard hit by oil market glut, Buhari will pitch sales and help against crude oil theft on high seas, in the meeting with Obama.   

Those that were opposed to Obama Peace Nobel Price may now agree that it has inspired him as it was meant to. Can Obama success inspire Buhari to deliver us from greed for Africa’s sake?

The new Iran nuclear deal is the latest in Obama’s strings of achievements. It is very much like President Richard Nixon’s China Agreement and Ronald Reagan’s Soviet Agreement. They were all very controversial because they involved negotiating with enemies that threatened the very world dominance of United States. Just as arch conservatives were against Nixon and Reagan then, they have already piled up to derail President Obama Nuclear Agreement with Iran.

Compare two black men in two different environments. Obama accomplished United States oil self-sufficiency; can do without oil import. Nigerians cannot eat oil, so Obama will urge Buhari to stop the aggressive destruction of portable refineries in Nigeria. But improve its use for oil and coal as energy to spur Nigeria’s industrial and economic growth: the same way United States and Russia have. After all Japan, China and South Korea stock pile our oil for that purpose.

Conservative Republicans always think they are the only ones that are capable to negotiate for United States, just as they think war can only be declared and won by Republicans.  The fact remains that generally, conservatives take the world to wars and liberals negotiate the end of wars. No matter where they are in the world, conservatives always think it’s their way or no way. So in world politics and religions, extremist conservatives are unpromising mix of folks.

The difference between Buhari and Obama is their systems. Obama is not a Republican, Nixon and Reagan were. While some conservatives always try to undermine Obama, this first African American President will go down in history as one of the most accomplished United States leaders in a generation. It may be too early to compare him with other Presidents but the fact that he has exceeded expectation of critics as an African, is not lost on most fair Americans.   

There are discussion in the black community that Obama has delivered to women, Latino, gay and many middle income Americans that could not afford healthcare that were available to the very poor and the rich. But the black communities are still waiting for Obama while his term is getting close to the end. Some of blacks ignore his accomplishments in the correctional system.

Most of the promises he made to special interest groups have been delivered except to African Americans that expected more than he has done because those successes are not as obvious and still transient. Until unemployment rate among African Americans go down considerably, there will still be dissatisfaction among some blacks similar to those of arch conservatives.

Nevertheless, Obama the first President to visit a prison has worked very hard in the area of criminal justice system that has been unfair and weighed down African Americans. Their incarceration rate is proportionally higher than their population. Others will equally argue that African American communities have higher crime rate. The most devastating effect has been the drug war and “three strikes” which claimed more African American men into prison.  

"The problem is the way it was written and implemented is we cast too wide a net and we had too many people in prison, " President Clinton said.  "And we wound up...putting so many people in prison that there wasn't enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out so they could live productive lives." See here

Obama has worked hard to remove some of the unfair biases in sentencing and appointed more black and white judges that are not necessarily liberal on crime but fair in their approach to minorities in the judicial system. The story about President Jimmy Carter as President was refusing to fill certain vacant positions until he got more qualified minority judges. Nobody could make the case that in the United States; they could not get qualified minorities as judges.

Justice Thurgood Marshall had warned that it was not a matter of black or white judges but that of fair people. There are conservative minority judges just as conservative judges as borne out by the Supreme Court members. So African Americans have to be careful what they pray for, they may get more than they bargain for. Fortunately, it is not always about race but an important factor in a country that still recoil from open discussion on race.

Nevertheless, Obama’s rating is higher among African Americans and Africans than any other groups. Most of the Democrats still have high opinion about him but the so called independents that usually swing the elections are held back by the negativities coming from conservative parties and their press. For a President that has accomplished so much, one would think his rating would be much higher that what it is at home.  He is more popular in foreign countries.

Obama promised direct meeting with Iran and Cuba during his campaign for which he was heavily criticized for being naïve. The President of United States does not talk to enemies without getting them to capitulate and renounce their oppressive government in exchange for western democracy. He has followed Reagan and Nixon that you can get an agreement with your opponents to achieve a greater goal of economic and peaceful world.

Negotiations within groups and between countries are not static, they are ongoing and must be renewed by one leader after the next to buy time and peace. The amount of money that will be spent making wars can be better spent making peace and providing for better living conditions among the poor in different communities of the world.  Africans need their own Obama, no matter which country he or she comes from. 

It pains and true patriots writhe in fury when we talk of Nigeria’s unity and secularity, but governors of the South East continue to marginalize the Muslims and institute overt political exclusion against them. That is why one may need to query the relevance of the Muslims’ visits to the governors every Muslim festival: Eidil-Fitri and Eidil-Adha. Is it just to meet the governors and repeat the old stereotyped messages of praising them, and receive in return a token sum of between one hundred to three hundred thousand naira from the governors? Or is it to go to government houses to thank the governors for gathering all the Muslims of their states in the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, after sharing other positions: commissioners, special advisers/assistants and directors of state agencies to their non-Muslims of the states?
 
This trend has persisted and Muslims of these states have been overwhelmed by the injustice meted against them in their own fatherland. After every political dispensation, the only compensation for the Muslims of these states is the Hajj Board, nothing more! Is it what is obtainable in the core northern states where Christians are in minority like the Muslims in the South East and South-South? Never! Christians occupy high political positions in the northern states where governors are Muslims. What is the truth in the media proclamations by the governors of these South East states that they preach peace, unity and religious tolerance? Are there no qualified Muslims in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo state who can be commissioners, special advisers and directors in their state parastatals and agencies?
 
Inasmuch as one would not urge the discontinuation of sallah homage to the governors of these states, because at least it is a clear evidence that the governors are aware of the existence of Muslims in their respective states, one is forced to strongly believe that the visits have not yielded any political change and commitment on the part of the governors. Promises are made to the Muslims during the visits for mere publicity and image boosting on religious tolerance. But such promises are never fulfilled. Sometimes, the governors would only delegate their deputies or secretary to the state government to receive the Muslims, so that by the time the visiting Muslims recall the past promises made to them by their governments, their host would claim ignorance and so it is buried.
 
While in the field journalism, I was privileged to attend many of these sallah visits in states of the South East and South-South. I was able to conveniently convince myself that it was the apex of hypocrisy on the part of these governors and mockery on the Muslims. Except for few states like Rivers, Edo and Abia where their past governors showed certain level of love and humanity to their Muslim citizens, the story has been sourly for others. Former governors Peter Odili, Orji Uzor Kalu, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and present Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole did something, though not their best, for the Muslims of their states.
 
The 2015 general elections are over, but the trend has continued even worse than before. Yet these governors would go to Abuja and hold talks with their Muslim governor counterparts of the north and claim that they are advancing religious tolerance, unity and political inclusiveness in Nigeria. Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state has 18 commissioners and 27 special advisers. No single Muslim is in the cabinet. Governor Rochas Okorocha who is believed by many Nigerians to be a non-religious bigot and a detribalized patriot has no Igbo Muslim as commissioner in his cabinet. He has even tactically frustrated the operations of the only board that all the governors of states of Eastern Nigeria gather the Muslims of their states to fight over, Hajj Board. It is called Adhoc-committee in Imo state, with members and little or no funding.
 
As for Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, he may well tow same old path of his immediate predecessor. And Governor Willie Obiano cannot do the opposite because Anambra can be described as one of the strongest opposition to the existence of Igbo Muslims in Igbo land. But Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (aka Gburugburu) is yet looked upon. Gburugburu in Igbo language implies comprehensiveness or all-inclusiveness, meaning that the governor is for Enugu citizens, Christians and Muslims.
 
Nonetheless, these governors may claim they do not have qualified Igbo Muslims in their states for appointments into their state cabinets. If not, what is the actual reason for the tactical political exclusion of Muslims from their cabinets other than religious antagonism? It is surely not political party differences because although political bigwigs in the region regard the All Progressives Congress (APC) as northern party (Boko Haram party), there are many Igbo Muslims who fought with their state governors under PDP at least for their state governor, though they may have voted APC at the President polls.
 
For the avoidance of doubt, I have continued to repeat that every state of the five states that make up the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria has very qualified Muslims who can handle any political position of trust in their states, in Nigeria and in the world. They are Nigerian citizens with reputable origins and they have obtained degrees in all fields of life endeavours from reputable universities and educational institutions across Nigeria and the world. This writer is from Ebonyi state and his readers cut across the breath and length of Nigeria and the world. There is hardly, I repeat hardly, any local government of the South Eastern states where a Muslim cannot be found. Investigations are urged for this claim. This trend of denying them to compete in the political arena at all levels of governance in Nigeria should be discontinued by Nigerian compatriots at the corridors of power.   
 
Governors of states of Eastern Nigeria must change the ugly trend of excluding their Muslim political associates from positions or recommending them for federal appointments. If they do not change, then they should stop parading themselves as agents of change. They should then count themselves as the real religious bigots which they accuse others of being. They cannot claim to be proponents of national integration and harbingers of religious tolerance when they individually and collectively deny their citizens of appointments on the grounds of religious discrimination, stigmatization and antagonism. Have they not heard of Christian commissioners and ministers from core northern states where governors are Muslims?
 
When sallah celebrations come, that is the only period they grant audience to the Muslims of their states. The security outfits would even request for the speech to be presented before the governor. They may select very few that will finally make the visits, so that the praise singers will made the list for publicity. Then after praising the governor and his government for what both have actually not done for the Muslims, a paltry sum of maybe N100,000, N200,000 or at most N300,000 will be given out to the large crowd of visitors to fight over and go home with N500 each. That is all and the sallah would be recorded to have been celebrated by the governor with the Muslims of his state.
 
In the whole Eastern Nigeria, sallah homage to governors has had no significant effect on the lives of Muslims in their respective states. But due to the high level of poverty and want amongst the Muslims of the area, save the residents of businesslike, whatever little money that they get from the government house on the sallah day is not rejected.
 
Throughout the opportunities I had to join the Muslims on sallah visits to their governors in the South East and South-South, I can recall the audacity with which the late Rivers state Muslim leader, Chief Alhaji Ahmad Okiri tutored former governor Dr. Peter Odili, sometime in 2005, on religious tolerance and the need to carry Muslims along in political appointments his government. Odili who was recognized for his generosity, refused to do the opposite. He merely increased his sallah gift instead of the main demand the Muslims made – inclusion in political appointments, not only Hajj Board. That is how it has been. Even in Edo state which has the largest population of Muslims in the South East and South South, the former governor Chief Lucky Igbinediom denied the Muslims of his state until I made an investigation on denial of fundamental human rights of Muslims in the state during his regime.
 
The question that remains unanswered is when the governors of Eastern Nigeria will begin to realize that their tactical exclusion of Muslims from political appointments in their states is basically on their hatred for Igbo Muslims. Islam is a universal religion, just like Christianity. Islam cannot be extinguished in Eastern Nigeria, just as Christianity cannot be abolished in Northern Nigeria. Islam is not new in Eastern Nigeria, just as Christianity in not new to Northern Nigeria. Muslims are in minority in Eastern Nigeria, just as Christians are in minority in Northern Nigeria. Therefore, for any politically elected or appointed government official to attempt to frustrate freedom of religious affiliation or freedom of association in Nigeria, under whatever guise, tantamount to constitutional breach to which they swore to uphold, and definitely a revolution against divine law which must be resisted by well-meaning compatriots.
 
This trend of political exclusion of Igbo Muslims in their own states is a calculated ploy by the governors to frustrate the Muslims from their religion. Unfortunately in this 21st century which has exposed knowledge of every bit of human existence and attachments, the governors and the Igbo nation still query why an Igbo man should accept Islam which they regard as Hausa religion. Very unfortunate! Very disheartening! And indeed very frustrating!
 
Let there be peace and understanding in Nigeria. Let the governors of Eastern Nigeria resist the temptation of concealing in their minds that Islam is a Hausa religion that is forbidden to the Igbo nation. Let them control the hatred which they conceal for their Igbo Muslim brothers and sisters. According to the constitution, the position of governor is supposed to be for the protection of all the citizens, the guarantee of equity, fairness and justice for all citizens and the political inclusiveness of all citizens. Igbo Muslims must not be seen as special group of Nigerian citizens who are doomed in their states and in Nigeria. Yes, they are Igbo. But they are Muslims and freedom to belong to any religion and non-violent associations is guaranteed in the nation’s constitution.
 
Muhammad Ajah is an advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
It is a standard universal norm that no leader leads without advisers, and time has ascertained that a leader who acts solely on his own judgment is sure to fail. Consultations and taking of advice are therefore composite foundational elements of leadership. The institutional office of the Special Adviser, with its functions, is hence vital in the due discharge of governance. Indeed, the success or failure of a regime rests as much on the ability of the leader as on the competence or otherwise of his adviser(s).
 
Underscoring this point, the 1999 Constitution of our country (as amended) creates at the federal level the Council of Ministers and offices of Special Advisers for the good purpose of executing the powers and functions due to the Office of the President. This invariably means that the stability and good governance of the country are dependent on the sound character, right practice and good judgment of the President; while the well-being and quality judgment of the President depend on the knowledge, skill and honesty of his official advisers. Blessed therefore is the President with truthful, knowledgeable, intelligent and right-doing advisers to remind him if he forgets, to assist him if he remembers, to correct him (in secret and with respect) if he is wrong, and always lay to him the complete facts of every issue that may come before him to decide.
 
Advising a leader, therefore, is an onerous task that necessarily requires very special proficiency to perform. Great political thinkers are agreed that the adviser needs five basic attributes, if his work is to be fruitful and satisfactory:-i. Wisdom, whereby he will perceive clearly the outcome of everything into which the Principal may enter; ii. Knowledge, whereby implications of actions of the Principal will be open to him; iii.Courage, so as to act as and when appropriate on the Principal; iv. Honesty, so that he will treat all things and men truthfully without exception; and v. Discipline, so as to keep official secrets secret at all times. If the President is able to appoint suitable men, then he is most likely going to succeed, for ‘a good adviser is like the ornament of the King’; but if he is unable and appoints unsuitable men, then his regime is most likely going to fail. Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, said that when a ‘king’ has an unsuitable [ignorant] adviser, his reign will be like a cloud which passes on without dropping rain. He then warned that since what is most important in the polity is the ‘kingship’ institution, no effort must be spared in getting the right adviser to help protect it.
 
Instructively, in our presidential system of government, all advisers are solely appointed by the President. This means that the quality of advice is also solely dependent on the kind of advisers the President assembles to himself. In appointing advisers, the president’s skill or lack of it to distinguish the great disparity that exists between men who are suitable and men who are not itself can decide the ultimate destiny of his regime. To this extent, therefore, the President must necessarily think deeply, consult widely and select carefully in matters regarding the appointment of advisers; and thus when ultimately making these appointments to ensure that only competent and very skillful advisers are chosen. On this account, I support the President in taking his time to select his governing team.
 
Given that President Buhari came to office with the confidence and goodwill of Nigerians behind him,all genuine lovers of the President and the country would not want him to lose peoples’ confidence and goodwill; because in politics, as the saying goes, it is easier to gain peoples’ confidence than to regain it. So it is of utmost importance thatbefore the President appoints his advisers and ministers, his actions or inactions in the meantime must also not diminish his political standing.I say this because of three recent happenings on the political landscape, which ordinarily ought to have re-enforced the President’s political goodwill but all failed to do so, and instead are drawing unwarranted criticisms and even possible loss of peoples’ confidence.
 
First is the inauguration of the National Assembly (NASS). Being a first time democratically elected president under the platform of an opposition party with the zeal to initiate and implement change in the country, the president undoubtedly needs the NASS to perform. To this end, in my opinion, the President should have corporally inaugurated the NASS so as to create an interpersonal relationship with members.This would not only have forestalled the current crises in the NASS and the ruling party, it would have instead created a strong bond of goodwill and confidence-building between the two arms of government,thereby earning the President huge political capital withthe legislature. Besides, as probably more than 70% of the APC members in the NASS would not have won election on their own merit but were electedon account of Buhari’s ‘APC-sak-wind-of-change’, I believe many of them were eager to physically see the man whose name swept them into fame. The president’s failure to seize this opportunity and personally inaugurate the NASS was a political misjudgment and a product of either bad advice or no advice at all.
 
Second, is the recent policy statement by the Presidency on the removal of military checkpoints nationwide. Without doubt, military checkpoints have become nightmares for most citizens, especially those living or traveling in the northern part of the country. Other than the superfluous time-wastingat the roadblocks, and the accompanying extortionsof innocent citizens’ hard-earned money, there are also cases of dehumanizing tortures and even killings inflicted on Nigerians. It is therefore desirable that these checkpoints are removed or moderated in such a way as to bring relieve to our people.However, it would have been advisable that before such decision is taken and pronouncements made, wide ranging consultations were made with critical stakeholders so as to arrive at the best form and method of handling the issue. In this regard, consultations should have been held with State Governors, the Police Commands, DSS Commands, Road Safety Commands, NSCDC Commands, and even with Local Government Chairmen and key Traditional and Religious Leaders.
 
These consultations are important on two aspects – first, they can help formulate alternative security devises that are locally initiated, people-friendly and practically effective; second, it will be politically beneficial to the President because he will be seen to be carrying the people along in his policy formulation and implementation processes. The failure to do that is again the result of bad advice orlack of it; the result of which occasioned the current embarrassing reversal of this policy in certain parts of the country. Such mishaps not only caninevitably create a poor impression of the thoroughness of the President’s policy initiatives, but also will be accompanied by a debilitating loss of peoples’ confidence in the president’s method of governance. This is the last thing the president needs to kick-start his administration, especially given the good impression of his character and ability that pedestalled his election.
 
Third, is the appointment of the Director-General of the DSS. Surely, the former Director General, Mr. Epenyong richly deserved his sack for having turned such a highly delicate and professional agency into a political tool of a governing party, but in appointing his successor the President should have been well advised to be political about it – i.e. being sensitive to the national sentiments and sensitivities! Since he wanted to appoint Musa Daura, who is eminently qualified, and Daura being the President’s home town, and having already appointed two previous officers (Accountant General and INEC) both from the Northwestern part of the country, the president should have appointed at least one Southerner in another agency along with Daura for the purpose of national politics. Even though the President may mean well in his actions, still he needs not give his vast political opponents the data to paint him inbad light as a regional irredentist. Such a perception, rightly or wrongly, is not good for the President’s political image.
 
These three episodes are capable of hampering the President’s political trajectory and misleading the public of his politics of governance, in its formulation, execution and general decision making. But to be fair to the President, on all the 3 cases sited, I believe he must have acted on some advice, most likely from his close associateswho are obviously acting as his unofficial advisers. The lesson to be learnt from this, therefore, is that the capacity for sound advice in a presidential system of government like ours must not be taken for granted that it can always be found in about every Nigerian close to the President. It definitely takes more than knowing the President closely; it needs special skills and total commitment. And such commitment can only come when the skilled is formally bestowed with the official garment to perform those duties. That way, the sense of duty to the nation and responsibility to the government shall impel in the official adviser the total commitment to the President; seeing the latter’s success or failure as his own.
 
As an analogy, the work of an official adviser to the President is like that of an aircraft’s pilot. Just as the pilot must ensure that the aircraft and weather are 100% without problem before taking off, so the president’sadviser must ensure that all matters are 100% inerrant before being presented to and decided by the President. This way, mistakes on the part of the President will therefore primarily be the malfunctions of his official advisers. In fact, the analogy may even be in twist in favour of the pilot - for the extreme that can happen to the aircraft is to crash; the harm that can come to a nation with a slip of the President’s pen is better imagined.This then necessitates the essence of ultimately appointing skillfulofficial advisers in the light of the emergent problems that can manifestly expend the political standing of the President, the popularity of the regime and the stability of the country. It is my considered opinion that this action will help save the President, his regime and the nation from further unwarranted and avoidable discomfitures. The President may well need to heed to Aristotle’s admonition; ‘good advisers are needed to help the King spare his reign’.

Farouk Martins Aresa

We seem to forget what we hated so much about Buhari and Obasanjo, even under his civilian rule. Buhari may come out even worse if he cannot get his way on corruption. Nigerians need a decisive leader to set wayward and erring criminals that are willing to take advantage of every situation. In the process, innocent people pay a price.  Losers cannot control Buhari’s agenda! 

The achievement worthy of praise in Buhari first month is corruption watch. Assurance by G7   leaders to haunt looted funds during their summit he attended; closing loop holes of revenue generating and collecting agencies at the Federal level must also be extended to the state level as previously promised by the former Coordinating and Finance Minister; discovery of 3.8t naira unremitted from NNPC and $2b depleted cash from Excess Crude Account deserve appreciation. 

Security is very important but it’s an ongoing fight not only against Boko Haram but also against ethnic militia, day and night robberies and total disregard for human lives by Police and Army in their abuse of civilians. Indiscipline within the Armed Forces has demoralized Esprit de corps and their ability to respond to both internal and external threats. 

It has only been a month since Buhari took over the new Government in Nigeria but looking at the criticism he has received, one would think he has been there for a year. Comparing this to the last time he took over as a dictator, his impact was immediate after the initial celebration that welcomed him and Idiagbon. What he lacks now is ruling by decree or fiat. While his voters may be patient for the next 100 days, the criticism by those that voted against him is startling. 

There are problems from his own political Party that may distract him from fighting corruption. All of us have to decide which Buhari we want. It has to be one that will let some criminals go scot free to our dismay so that the right of most innocent people is not jeopardized or Buhari that will punish a few innocent people so that most criminals can be severely dealt with. It is easier to want something in between but practically difficult, even in western democracy.  

Moreover, his APC alliance is under fire, revolt and subterfuge. Most of the inside fire is coming from the likely sources. They are members of PDP, his main opponent during the election, that were enticed to undermine their leaders and former President Ebele in collaboration with the new cross-overs from the same party. Instead of following the terms of their new party, they have decided on the minds of their own, with different agenda and goal. It may sink APC. 

Ethnic rivalry will always have a place in the politics of Nigeria. The Hausa do not have to get involved in this. Let the Igbo and Yoruba play their politics of elimination as usual depending on which of them successfully gain not only alliance with the North, but trust. The Igbo gave their loyalty to Jonathan the defeated President that Yoruba found wanting. Sadly, the defeated President had been elected by most Nigerians North and South of the Country. 

Since the Yoruba backed the elected new President, the Igbo are having the greatest fun of their life asking what Yoruba has gained from their endeavor with the North in view of the entire problem in APC between PDP crossover and Tinubu leadership in the APC alliance. Time will tell in hundred days or more how Buhari will solve the mess.

The Yoruba felt they have lost the Speakership twice in a row; with the opposition of Igbo that were against Ms. Akande in PDP in collusion with Tinubu during the reign of Jonathan. For the second time, Igbo went against Gbajabiamila with the support of Saraki against their past ally Tinubu. Yoruba must not feel sorry for themselves if they did not put their best foot forward.All Hausa brothers have to do is nothing, but watch the two other brothers go after one another.       

There is nothing new here. Nigerians have a history of taking over parties that they were not foundation members of. Indeed, it has created problems for the leadership and Presidents of the parties. What is surprising here is that they would plan and carry out the plot under Buhari, the well-known former dictator. We are now under democratic disposition, he does not count? 

There is also a saying in Nigeria that too many heavyweights will sink the boat. Nevertheless, we thought Buhari and Tinubu worked their differences out. What they didn’t take into account was their differences with members coming from the opponent’s party. Even more disturbing is the caliber of Buhari’s partner Tinubu and those of PDP crossovers, especially Bukola Saraki. Tinubu and Saraki are far from change Nigerians desired from Buhari’s anticorruption image.

Unfortunately, speculations are rife that Buhari had some insight into what may later be his waterloo. Some claim he did it to curtail the influence of Tinubu and his loyalists. Others claim PDP renegades want to make sure he did not probe PDP for corruption. If he has to probe them, he must start from Tinubu. If Buhari does not kill corruption, Corruption will kill Buhari!

Expecting Buhari to hit the ground running might have been easier under dictatorship. This time he has to prove that he is a true democrat willing to achieve his goals in a “civilized” manner by due process. He has made some appointments alright but they are heavily from his side of the North which other Nigerians see as common flaw of Northern leaders. The same Nigerians see   Governor of Kaduna State, El Rufai appointments fairly accommodative of Nigerians in his State. 

It may be unfair to estimate Buhari’s disposition when he has more appointments and ministers to select. There are some opinions that are harder to dispel based on first impression or initial  missteps. Buhari is in politics now and he should have mixed up his initial appointments because he must have known that sceptics are watching every move he makes. We must also remember that he has some Northern constituencies he needs to send messages to.

Stephen King was it who wrote in the work – “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” – that Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
 
The former surmises the donkey weeks that it took General Muhammadu Buhari to resume office perhaps where he was waiting for inspiration on how to start, something that took ex-President Goodluck Jonathan a minute to do.
 
Exactly on June 22, when Buhari packed into Aso Rock, his dearth in economics pushed him to say that there was an empty treasury he inherited. But he was not lucky to hoodwink the citizens as Abubakar Sulaiman, the immediate past minister of national planning, was reported to have faulted the claim.
 
The slogan that Buhari inherited “virtually an empty treasury” was rebuffed by Sulaiman, saying, Jonathan, left about $30 billion before handing over.
 
This is the type of government that Nigerians said they voted Buhari for? If there was no one who stood up to speak for Jonathan, many Nigerians would have believed Buhari in whole, just as a certain part of the media spectrums started calling Jonathan “a go slow president” on assumption and that glued around Jonathan government till it exited.
 
It was absolute crassness to say that Jonathan left an empty treasury when his government has not been audited or probed. Two acquaintances have said that their angst with the government of Buhari is the unprofessional way it is going about it, which they think is the crux of this treatise.
 
They said that they would have loved Buhari to appoint an independent and internationally credible accounting and auditing firm to review the books and state how much that was left by the previous government and publish and, not making blues for the marines. Then the new government simply shots up its mouth and go to work.
 
They continued that Buhari is though a British vassal: A vassal has no power except that which is given to it. Buhari has been in government since the 70s, when he started as a mere kid. He has not solved anything yet and he is not going to. The issues he said that he is going to address are the very ones he was among those who manufactured them.
 
This goes a long way to show how dictatorial tendencies may still be running in Buhari’s veins like a virus. Archetypal to his dictatorship was using the word “vow” when he told Nigerians that he would recover whatever money he said that were stolen in the past administration.
 
It might be only in Buhari’s government that one could be send to prison without a court of competent jurisdiction. How could Buhari say of “the rot in federal agencies under previous governments” when no commission has said that such existed in the past government? This is a way of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang her.
 
Lawyers would tell us that a suspect remains innocent till convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction, but this may not be applicable in Buhari government.
 
Buhari should stop making utterances to boost people’s praise of him, thereby demonizing Jonathan. One thing is that Buhari has spent much time thinking about how to rubbish the government of Goodluck, not how to make Nigeria better.
 
But it is obvious that none he may get right. This is a man who thought that the best way to be sincere with Nigerians was to tell them that at 72yrs, they should not expect much from him. He did not take to cognizance that productivity in governance is not about age but about the acceptance of morality and allowing consciousness to control the existence of that government.
 
It’s expected of Buhari to talk less and go to work, but the reverse is the case. Maybe, he is overjoyed that he was declared winner of the presidential election: Something he once vowed and wept before the public that he would never contest again, having lost severally in the same election. So, what do we do to a dog that goes back to its vomit? Time for some people to hide their faces in shame?  
 
Many Nigerians are very sure that times of great calamity and confusion have set in for Buhari and instead of showing his much boasted mettle in governance he wants to cause distractions. It behooves us to tell Buhari that he cannot pull Jonathan down, even though that Jonathan government might have goofed in some areas.
 
It will be pertinent Buhari is reminded that the seat of the president is not for showing animosity. Before he probes Jonathan government, all the present and past leaders should be marshaled out for probe and the north should tell the rest Nigerians where it kept Nigeria for 48 yrs under its rule. Buhari should stop considering his presidency as an experiment.
 
Let Buhari concentrate all his thoughts upon the work in hand and not to make himself holier-than-thou. He should stop drawing us back and focus on thinking of a new Nigeria that many are yearning for with his heart, but create with his mind.
 
Whether Jonathan government stole trillions, it is not on the stool of Buhari to say in a democracy. Afterall, the Code of Conduct Bureau Commission refused to declare the review of Buhari’s wealth giving flippancy excuses not to do so.
 
-Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Writer, Rivers State. Tel: +2348057778358.
The immediate past President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan was a human being with all the components of human mind. Since he eventually handed over the nation’s power after years of his leadership as the president of Nigeria, Nigerian people have been heaving signs of relief from a regime described by many political analysts as the most corrupt period in the leadership in the history of Nigeria. The military juntas, a lot of Nigerians believe comparatively were better days because at least every Head of State was in control of his government and could give simple account for his actions. No phrase can depict this torturous period than “years of political, economic and communal mayhems.”

The repugnant feelings of Nigerians were palpable on their faces on the handover day across the country. His two main parting gifts for Nigerians, acute fuel scarcity and the devaluation of naira/cleaning up of the nation’s treasury pricked the spirit of the citizenry. All the sectors of the economy were nearly in total disarray. Nigerians themselves were fixed in utter confusion, apparently expecting the worse to happen anytime before the handover. Grievances over the outcomes of the April general elections on the part of some of his party men raged and the handover ceremonies in some states of the federation were charades. Many were sure that if it were possible for Dr. Azikiwe Jonathan to eschew handover prelims and ceremonies, he would have done. Members of the leadership of his party PDP exposed these intrigues in their post election quagmire.  
 
Many governors of his party, PDP, who were to handover to APC governors on Friday 29th May, 2015 were reported to have shunned the swearing-in ceremonies in their states, an action that exposed their disillusionment and power-mongering thirst of his government. One or two cases were reported where PDP governors were lynched by angry youths of their states who were targeting any chance to exert physical revenge on their outgoing governors. However, every Nigerian including most of those in the then Jonathan’s government knew that the country was heading for a disaster if Jonathan had continued to rule Nigeria. The international community watched events in Nigeria with awe and consternation. It was clear that all was not well with Nigeria. 
 
There were huge debts and civil servants were owed for several months. It was alleged that some governors did not pay their civil servants for months, having preferred to use the money to campaign for their candidates of choice or for themselves. President Buhari is very worried of this. “I hope we are starting and this culture of 100 days in power is bringing so much pressure, with the treasury virtually empty, with debts in millions of dollars, with state workers and even federal workers not paid their salaries. People could take to the streets if nothing is done”, he lamented at the maiden meeting he held with the State House Press Corps at the Press Gallery of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
 
Again, the leadership of ex-President Jonathan was, many Nigerians believe, more painful to the Nigerian populace than gainful. “Jonathan’s rule brought pains to more Nigerians than gains, except for the influential and the rich and those close to those in power. It were years of wonderful achievements in poverty growth, youth restiveness and unemployment and exploitation, political lust escalation, human rights violation, educational devaluation, moral decadence, indiscipline permeation, corruption legalization, Ijawnization of the federal polity and executive lawlessness. I can say more”, an educationist, Taiwo Adesina, proclaimed in a press encounter.

Some observers have also maintained that the last policies embarked upon by Dr. Jonathan did not only portray him as one leader who was insensitive to the plights of the nation’s populace, but as one who wanted to create confusion and burdens for his successor. With the non-statutory appointments made at the 11th hour, award of contracts to cronies and many unanswered questions about the actual state of the nation, Dr. Jonathan could not dispassionately prove the statesmanship spirit allocated to him by some past leaders. He once lamented that some Nigerian statesmen were acting like touts when Northern Elders Forum visited him. 
 
This further espoused the realities on ground. Daily Trust of Monday June 22 reported that Goodluck Jonathan awarded 72 licences for radio broadcasting to his political associates and friends few weeks before the end of his administration using irregular procedures and documentation. Beneficiaries, according to the daily, included Chief Bode George, Ibadan-born industrialist and chairman of the finance committee of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organization, Otunba Funso Lawal, an oil mogul and a friend to the former president, Chief Emeka Offor, former National Chairman of the PDP Chief Barnabas Gemade, national coordinator of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) Patrick Ubah as well as some former ministers Olajumoke Akinjide, Labaran Maku and a close associate of the former governor of Bayelsa state, Dieprieye Solomon P. Alamieyeseigha, Mr. Ehigie Edobor Uzamere.
 
“The last minutes of Jonathan’s government were uncontrollable. Things became harder. It was as if the man was not happy contrary to his claim of conceding defeat. He nearly sold Nigeria out to his loyalists. If investigations are carried out, it will be found that he sold some of the nation’s properties to himself by proxies. Nigerians are paying through their nose as prices of transport fares, food stuffs and everything have soared. All the sectors of the economy have gone worse.” Ezinwa Okoro opined.

Analysts believe that the burdens which Jonathan has left behind for Muhammadu Buhari are enormous. There was strong skepticism over the privatization of the nation’s properties. “Selling off almost the country’s properties before leaving office did not only portray Dr. Jonathan as a ruler who did not consider the interests of the people, but also revealed his intention for not having put them in order for public utilization despite the huge revenues the country earned during his regime”, a university student, Solomon Bello stated.

Nigerian labour market swelled and indirectly aided the increase in crime and vices in the society in the quest for survival. Strike actions by the labour and the civil society permeated, power generation fell; road network, its maintenance and the responsibility of FERMA troubled a lot of the people. Means of transportation and the transportation system were overblown using the media. Agriculture and housing policies which are the primary needs of man were not encouraging. The fight against corruption through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) was comatose because many Nigerians and international observers believed that the fight was either not existent or was targeted at some perceived political adversaries. If stealing was not corruption in Jonathan’s perception, then EFCC and ICPC existed without function throughout his regime.

The most troublesome included the loss of peace and love in the minds of Nigerian and especially in the violent area of North East and the Nigerian borders. Many Nigerian lives were lost in communal wars, cult related attacks and counter attacks, religious misunderstandings and youth restiveness. And Jonathan, who could not visit the war torn zone, had the courage to go and campaign for votes for a second or third term. “I will bring peace to you if you vote me into office in 2015”, a president told the people he abandoned over the years. 
 
The nation experienced so heavy civil disturbances and loss of lives and properties during Jonathan’s regime in the name of Boko Haram. Nigerians were in hostage and check points became common where Nigerians were humiliated by the soldiers and forced to pay illegal taxes by the police. It is arguable if the Niger Delta crisis claimed more during the combined regimes of both Obasanjo and Yar’Adua. Religious demarcation was more pronounced. Job opportunities for the teeming population were a nightmare. This was at a time some state governors were boasting of developing their states with non-existent infrastructure and social amenities. The federal government seemed particularly interested in its squandermania. It did not monitor states, even as Labaran Maku did his jobs by visiting states and praising success instead of failure. 
 
However, one dark area at all levels of government then was the implementation of budgets. One was bound to allege that Dr. Jonathan did not know how much Nigeria actually had, how much was actually expended and how much was actually utilized. Maybe he depended merely on paper arithmetic by the embezzlement cartels around him. Many Nigerians questioned the manner the budgets were implemented throughout the years of Jonathan’s reign and the way majority of the citizens were subjected to unnecessary hardship and suffering. Summarily, there were more pains than gains and Nigerians expressed this by themselves through the general elections. However, Dr. Jonathan was a mankind with limitations like many others amongst human race.
 
Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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