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I feel honored that Mr Paul C. Nwabuikwu, the media adviser to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala (NOI), Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, considered my article important enough to merit a rejoinder.  My article can be located here online.  http://ngrguardiannews.com/opinion/columnist/178125-temitope-oshikoya-golden-girl-and-the-icarus-paradox 

However, in his piece “Temitope Oshikoya: The Lies of a Disappointed Man,” Paul conveniently sidetracked the issues raised in my article, and instead went on vicious and vitriolic attacks that would appear to impugn on my integrity and professional standing. Paul’s cheap attempt to wish away the poignant message, and then try to impugn the character of the messenger is a despicable display of his moral bankruptcy. I will address his key points on: ethnic bigot, pseudo-intellectual, NMRC, and ADB.

  The piece written by Paul Nwabuikwu simply confirmed the key theme of my article that our Golden Girl, NOI has been hijacked by sycophants like him, deluding her with flattery and adulation. As I noted, all the media image laundering and gymnastics are happening at a time when energy should be focused in helping the Government and the President to tackle unemployment crisis, especially among the youth of over 50%; reduce Nigeria’s Misery Index of 48, the third rank among 90 countries; and attenuate the deepening socio-economic inequality.

As a professional economist and intellectual, it is my humble conviction that it is far better to let her realize the blinding effects of these sycophants from realties on Nigeria’s weighty economic matters.  First, in his characteristic sycophantic element, Nwabuikwu’s most egregious form of moral turpitude and dishonesty displayed throughout his piece with the words “ethnic bigot.” He insulted my Igbo wife from Abia State, my children with Igbo names, my Igbo in-laws, friends and colleagues.

People know me as somebody who transcends ethnic boundaries, marrying from the South East; I attended a University in the North. With faith in the Nigeria project, I appreciate the sensitivity, sensibility and understanding of the different parts of the country. These traits, at the barest minimum, ought to inform the disposition of all Nigerians: to be broad-minded and to put the Nigeria project and our collective good ahead of individual, regional, and ethnic selfish interest.

Second, Paul Nwabuikwu’s egregious charge of “pseudo-intellectual”, I am afraid, says more about him than about me. Curious to find out what this character is made of as displayed by his warped mind, I explored the Internet to know more about his credentials. To my utter disappointment, I discovered that all search for his intellectual scholarship showed nothing of value. If anyone has the temerity to label me a ‘pseudo-intellectual’ they had better do their homework properly.  For the avoidance of doubt, I am compelled to put to him a summation of my own record.

Like many Nigerians, I grew up from a humble background, with the painful memory of parents who could hardly afford to send me through primary and secondary schools. But thanks to God’s Providence and with dint of hard work, I obtained a bachelor’s degree with first class honours, and best graduating student in Department of Economics and Faculty of Social Sciences at ABU, Zaria. I won a national essay competition and a Commonwealth Scholarship for my Masters and Doctorate degrees in economics at McMaster University in Canada. I am a qualified chartered banker, with FCIB, certified management accountant (CMA), and an MBA holder.

In addition, I have gained leadership, strategic, policy, and operational experience in development finance, central, investment and commercial banking through keen competitive processes. With my economics and banking background, independent analysts had shortlisted my name on the list of potential CBN Governorship candidates. (http://www.myfinancialintelligence.com/banking-and-finance/next-cbn-governor).

I have authored and co-authored refereed articles severally in international scholarly journals, which have been widely cited as part of research and teaching instructions in leading universities world-wide. I have served as an editor and member of editorial boards of Journals published by Oxford University Press and Blackwell. I have also been contributing to public policy discourse on Nigerian economic issues, which appears to irritate sycophantic associates such as Paul Nwabuikwu. As I tell the truth dispassionately about our economy in those articles, these sycophants feel intellectually challenged. They think no Nigerian economist can and should challenge her intellectually on Nigeria’s economy, while thought leadership on our economy has been outsourced to non-Nigerians. 

Third, Paul Nwabuikwu obviously lacks knowledge of how professional search firms work. His allusion to the three professional firms headed by people from the South West was an attempt to cover up the regional selfish agenda. I have the highest respect for the names and search firms mentioned in Nwabuikwu’s rebuttal. But that is beside the point.  Somehow, only sponsored regional candidates always finally emerge. From experience, a search firm sources out candidates and submits a shortlist list to the prospective employer, including names proposed by the latter.

From thereon, the employer is in charge and control of the process going forward, including interviews, while the firm simply now plays a more supportive role, for example, in contacting candidates for the interview and looking after the paper work. In the case of the NMRC CEO, the firm has done its professional part and submitted names of short-listed candidates, and interviews were expected to be completed in January, 2014.

From then on, this is where the selfish agenda sets in! NOI kept delaying the process and finally acceded to a meeting in June 2014, then postponed it again for another three weeks in July. The start of the scheduled interview meeting was further delayed for more than three hours on the scheduled date of Sunday afternoon. I have had opportunities during my career of over two decades to meet with Presidents and Ministers in Nigeria and in some other African countries. Once there is a scheduled appointment, they will never delay you beyond thirty minutes. IFC, DFID, ADB and World Bank will not delay recruitment process by 8 months and scheduled interview appointments by three hours.

This is the crux of the matter: impunity and unprofessional lack of respect to others were displayed. The interview meeting provided me with the platform to challenge this impunity of not putting the collective good ahead of individual and regional selfish interest!   Fourth, it looks like Nwabuikwu does not seem to know the politics of the ADB and did not realize that I was an insider in the campaign for the Nigerian candidate in 2005.

Another form of Nwabuikwu’s dishonesty: NOI was not the Finance Minister when the Nigerian Executive Director of the ADB was initially appointed.   In conclusion, I wish to leave readers with quotes from an article in Africa Watch based on an interview of NOI by Ty McCormick: “As the full scale of Nigeria’s internal woes is laid bare, however, she (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) is increasingly at risk of being left with no clothes…In a way, the hype over the Nigerian economy mirrors the hype about Ngozi. Both are based on very little substance.” 

Need I say more?  I do not want to see this type of thing being written by a foreigner on Nigeria and her Golden Girl. We need to save our Golden Girl from sycophants such as Mr Paul C. Nwabuikwu, who will rather attack Nigerians who make efforts to contribute to public discourse on Nigeria’s economy. 

Political calculations are just not mere number ordering as in counting quantum, but empirical studies aim at addressing the need of a political desideratum. With just a few months to the dawn of political electioneering campaigns in Nigeria and the realisation that the ruling People’s Democratic Party, the PDP, has opted for the incumbent President Ebele Jonathan as its flag-bearer in 2015 presidential polls, two things must agitate the mind of the opposition. These are: the right strategies to successfully remove the incumbent President and the ruling PDP democratically through the polls bearing in mind that a typical African sitting president is worse than a bull in a China Shop. The second important index which forms part of the ingredient of the first, is breaking the “na-our-son mentality” of the average South-South person thereby creating the assurance that even with the removal of the Jonathan government, the gains so far mustered in the region during his period, will be consolidated upon and or preserved by the coming administration.

It is widely acknowledged and acclaimed world-wide that the Jonathan government represents an all-time low in Nigeria’s political history. Whether it’s in politics, economic, security or moral re-armament, the worst government Nigeria had before this could possibly with some moral certainty raise a candle of assistance to light up the darkness the Jonathan government is enmeshed! Howbeit, those reasons for which many informed Nigerians would want the government voted out are in the public discourse domain. They are not the thrust of this write-up, so, so much of that!

One of the challenges that face the All Progressive Congress, APC, as at the moment is the vested interest of the major gladiatorial line-up or the heavy weights in the party. It will be recalled that awareness by the opposition that fifteen years of the ruling party has done collateral damage to the nation’s economy resulted in the political regrouping that metamorphosed in birth to the APC; a coalition of three main opposition parties, the ACN led by Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the CPC of General Muhammadu Buhari and the All Nigeria Peoples Party. The formidability of this new platform as a party of the masses soon challenged the estranged members of the PDP who began to dare their party’s status quo. Soon many of them, very heavy weights in the PDP, decided to pitch tent in with the APC camp. The resultant calculation therefore is that all the major actors in this grand coalition of force came to the party with their followers. The Tinubu group, ACN, from all intent and purposes has the sympathy of over 80% of the South-West, the ANPP leg of the party has its support base in Kano, Sokoto and part of the troubled North-East, having lost Adamawa to the PDP via impeachment. The All progressive Grand Alliance APGA has South-East to pull its support from while the PDP entrants like the ANPP draws its support from across the north. Today, this is the framework of the opposition APC which if not properly handle could lead to a crisis of monumental proportion and the total fall of the expected emergence of a viable two-party platform and or a viable opposition party in Nigeria.

As the current opposition party, one contestant to the APC Presidential ticket stands out as the most single individual with the largest followership; Muhammadu Buhari. It will be recalled that barely there months to the last Presidential election, he formed the CPC to challenge the ruling PDP, and despite a lean purse, he pull a whooping 12million votes, beating others parties’ contestants to come up a close runner-up to the incumbent President Jonathan. We must not forget that lack or paucity of campaign funds foreclosed his ability to campaign throughout the country like others. Yet, Nigerians, many who knew him well as a disciplined and the most incorruptible politician today in the country stood by him and are still in the vanguard of agitation for his presidency come 2015!  

Other major actors in the race, Abubakar Atiku who flew the ACN flag and Rabiu Kwankwaso have large electoral followership but these cannot be compared to the mass followership of General Buhari! It follows therefore that the APC can reap a huge electoral fortunes from the Buhari persona in 2015 presidential election if the other contestants are magnanimous enough to team up with the candidacy of General Buhari as APC flag-bearer. This will be complimented with the South-West mass support.

The Buhari candidacy is even more desirable now that the PDP has adopted Jonathan, thus presenting a balance North/South tackles in the race between the two parties. Besides, the affable General still remains the only political gladiator from the North zone whose political foray in the past and now has not crossed the frontiers of fellow actors as to engender enmity or personal political jealousy. On a wider national appeal, the failure of the government to handle terrorism and other security matters, especially the Boko Haram insurgency, recommends the desirability of a president with a good understanding and respect of the Armed forces to reinstate the integrity of the Forces.

It follows therefore that any attempt by the APC to push forward a candidate with lower personal or political integrity will open such a candidate to such critical performance analysis, dug-up vilification charges and massive loss of vote as to provide the PDP candidate an easy open-sesame back to Aso Rock!

In the analysis above, I have deliberately left-out the South-east as it is obvious that mainstream Ndi-Igbo is apparently not interested in fighting for the seat of the President so long as “Azikiwe” is still there! This is where the second part of this proposition-assuaging South-South fear of reverting into the political limbo after Jonathan- takes root.

It well known that the South-South is the bastion of support for the Jonathan administration. It is also very true from enlightened opinion that people of this zone are not unaware of the dismal performance of their son, but have remain solidly behind him in the spirit of Rotational Presidency; Nigeria’s stop-gap solution to ethnic domination of the presidency that from all intents and purposes emphasises mediocrity in politics! This fear, has root in the unknown that the region may be relegated back into the pre-Jonathan era! This fear is palpable. You can feel it when you discuss with a typical South-South political activist no matter his education or standing in the society. This fear will govern his choice on the day of election. So how does the opposition assuage this fear and win his vote? You can also say the same for the average Ndi-Igbo person who sees the proverbial “Hausa/Fulani hegemonist” in an “unholy” handshake with the Yoruba man who is an economic wizard. The opposition must not overlook the fear of Ndi-Igbo support for Jonathan’s government. It must work to gain their confidence.

How? A South-East or South-South Vice-presidential ticket is likely the magic wand and three people come to mind here viz; Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Chief Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state. Yet these political actors have their respective political varying values vis-à-vis the Southern zones which they represent. The Southeast and South-South tend to agree on many national issues and have a shared loyalty as people of the Greater Southern half of Nigeria.

Without too much ado, the Comrade Governor of Edo state could be said to have a larger followership of the three for the following reasons: (1) there is the latent labour movement followership that can be galvanised in times such as presidential elections. This cut across South-South and South-East and is awaiting re-awakening. (2) He is the only one among the three whose political odyssey has not witnessed a movement from one party to the other, hence should engage lesser political squabble from enemies within who may play up and capitalise on public opprobrium from such issues. And finally, deriving from the two above, he may be said to be more independent minded not only as a representative of the South-South in the Presidency but of the whole South as a whole in the post-Jonathan administration.

From the perspective of this analyses, we may deduce that a Muhammadu Buhari- Adams Oshiomhole ticket is one sure frontal attack the All Progressive Congress has for a formidable electoral choice in 2015! The APC must for now appreciate that the present calls for the sacrifice of personal interest for the collective good of all Nigerian whose daily prayer is to ensure that the President Jonathan is removed from government in the coming elections. It’s a time that calls for a collective effort to chase away the hyena before deciding which cock heads the brood and the exigency of such times abhors internal frictions and squabbles.

 

Mallam Oyakhamoh Carl Abu’Bakar

Lagos Bureau Chief of the online newspapers www.xclusivenigeria.com and www.africareporters.com

Tel: 0802-323-7023, 0815-444-5334

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Going by recent cases of wife abuse by “football” players that are lucky enough to break away from the bottom of socioeconomic class in United States, one would think only rich black men abuse their wives. The fact is, it cuts across all classes, race and countries. The Problem: making African Americans the poster boys for all negative images. How soon we forget Deion Saunders with court custody of his children, some like him, that is still abused by ex-wife and her friends.    

If they are not good enough to be the mother or father of your children, they should not be our spouse in the first place: an old advice from an uncle. We treat mothers well to keep children we love and care for very much. So chose women you can love and respect enough to be called the mother of your lovely children not the sexy you despise, take advantage of and abuse.  

The notion that women stay with abusers just for the sake of their children is no more tenable. We have to balance the sanity and well being of the young mother to be strong for the children with the selfish notion of living with an abuser that are good only to his children while abusing his wife. Some mothers claim they would only leave after the children are older or in college.

By the time mothers get to that point, they must have sacrificed everything with a little left to live and depend on, except the same abuser. Indeed, that makes it harder to leave the abusers later. In the words of as an abused mother, she would have been spent and less likely to find another man in her older age. It led to the breakup of the marriage because the man claimed he gave her the chance to meet another man in her late twenties before she got older.

In communities where men dominate and are strong, we find more women willing to tolerate abusive men up to a point. It depends on the social welfare available to the women. Countries that are generous and sensitive to women and their children provide healthcare, food and cash assistant to single women head of households. Other communities indirectly punish women without a man at home, especially in those countries where minority men are powerless.

How do we handle great fathers of their children but abusers to their mothers? The answer to that is to remove either the abusive father from home or get the mother a tolerable place to raise their children. A good father may not be a great daddy or vice versa, whatever that means. While mothers are far more important in children’s life than their fathers, the growing numbers of mothers with multiple men in their lives are detrimental to the future of their children.

They are the children disproportionally represented from single households in the correctional system, those without high school diplomas, higher rate of truancy and usually ending up at the bottom of the social class noted for indirect retribution. The reverse is also true that the more households with two parents at home, the better their chances of completing high school and getting into college. They are more represented among the higher income earners.

The two main reasons for disputes between couples are money and infidelity. The two may also be reasons some women decided to or not stay with abusers. Money and lack of it is no brainer since it is needed for survival. Infidelity depends on who was cheating or cheated a couple of times and got caught. Women are more forgiving than men generally, but there are exceptions.

Once a good father or daddy, we would expect a good husband as well. But what changes a good husband into abuser may be related to the two evils: money and infidelity. These are the two areas where men become jealous and enraged. A man without money in the home is no man as far as most women are concern. A woman that cheats couple of times may be forgiven, not the one that does it for a hobby or as a part-time job; unless the man is complicit as a pimp.

The children are on a dangerous ground if money or sexual problem is systemic in relationships. Abuse by one or both of the couples would eventually affect the children. A poor manager of money would not improve the lives of the children and a sexual ego would allow different men or women into the lives of the children. The least evil must be noted, that a happy single parent household is always better than an abusive marriage because children are indirectly victimized.

Abuse is abuse, no matter what the woman does. Most communities respect a man that lets a woman be where she wants and who she wants to be with. If she had decided she wanted to be with another man and not the abuser, she should be free to do so. She could have been attracted to the abuser for variety of reasons including good behavior before marriage, money or privileges she wanted to hold on to.

If your woman cheated on you, you are either becoming boring, need to introduce more zest into it or she felt like getting back. She was not your child and you could never whip her into submission. Check yourself in case there was something wrong that could be corrected. In cases that could not be handled between couples, a trusted third party agreeable to both couples may be involved. As long as it is not systemic, habitual or an addiction, it could be rectified.

However, sometimes the wish is to get in and get out as soon as he or she could get what is wanted. They call those gold diggers. As long as they got their gold, they were ready to move on with the next person they would rather be with. It might work out with one man or many men.  The unwise choice of women could be questioned but not the excuse for men abusive behavior.

In those cases, men could gain custody of the children as a good provider and as responsible parent meaning the wife must have been at fault. It is also true that in most cases, women are awarded the custody of the children because of their support and dedication to their children. It is a difficult day in hell when a man would be awarded the custody of the children.  

Dr. Ade Abolurin, the Commandant General of Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) along with the Nigerian military and paramilitary Christians, held a prayer session recently to pray for Nigeria and the nation’s President, Goodluck Jonathan. The reported unity prayer took place in a public and government setting, the Civil Defense Academy in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Given that this unity prayer occurred on public property, focused on national unity and the collective peace for all, a display of a face of religious interfaith, in a combined or parallel manner, would have had a more inclusive appearance in regard to seeking lasting intervention to our present security challenges.

The backwardness of this type of one-sided religious togetherness was even more apparent when all the following security agencies were present, namely the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air force, Nigerian Navy, State Security Service (SSS),National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), and the Nigeria Prisons Service, Nigeria Customs, Vehicle Inspection Office, Federal Fire Services and Nigeria Police Force.

On a psychological and a deeper level, what does one think is going through the minds of other members of these agencies, both the trainees and those already serving, meaning the Muslims in particular?  How does this type of one-sided national unity prayer promote understanding among security workers of Christian, Muslim and traditionalist faiths?

How do you win the battle of insecurity and distrust when you are praying for peace in a non-embracing manner?

A prayer like this not only further expands the bitter divide among our people, but it shows a religious conduct that fully hinders President Jonathan’s power to administer the country in a united way. If one really believes in the power of prayer to bring national peace into the country through the coming together of a body of security leaders, officers and rank and file; then a much more stronger prayer in a collective manner could have been  better as it would pour down potential  peace, openly and equally for the purpose of touching the souls of all God’s offspring and all of Allah’s children as well as for the collective good of the people in terms of restoring peace in the country from the current state of insecurity bedeviling our society?

Dr Oshodi is a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist and a former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, should publicly offer profound apologies to all women and girls in the nation having recently declared a militarized form of domestic threat against military personnel wives.  Just a few weeks ago, while addressing soldiers of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu, he thoroughly tread on the rights of women to protest any course dear to them, such as the posting of their husbands into deadly areas of the heavily armed  Islamist terror group, Boko Haram.

In a highly  barbaric way, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah reportedly instructed soldiers in the following manner. "If they repeat it, all those wives will leave the barracks. This is not a civil service organization. This is not a Boy Scout organization. Any repeat of such act, I will tell soldiers to use koboko on the wives and bundle them out of the barracks."

The threat of flogging a group of Nigerian wives with a knotted rope whip, generally referred to as a koboko, is not only  a completely  disreputable and inappropriate behavior for an army officer in leadership, but renders the threat tantamount to the violent departure of over 200 school girls now under the abduction of Boko Haram.

For decades, the nation’s females have suffered acts of deadly domestic violence from men in Nigeria.  For a leader in a military system, which is highly regarded worldwide to be an institution of reputation for excellence in terms of human rights, to advocate domestic violence and abuse against women is victimization of the highest order to our young democracy.

Is this man not aware that in 2013, Nigeria passed a federal law to reduce gender- based violence? On a psychological level, the authorization to beat and disable military wives remains not only verbally and emotionally disgusting, but physically sickening, as such order could for decades and decades become a strong practice of soldiers and officers in dealing with certain behaviors of their wives and girlfriends.

The idea that  wives cannot dictate how their husbands should be  employed nor have a role in the Nigerian army is absolutely nonsense, as  wives by nature have a much higher function within the military. They are there to provide emotional support, period.

And even if they act out, get angry and show rage on behalf of their husbands, a profession like the military should always show unequivocal commitment and sensitivity to women’s issues, as they, in every and all cases, remain the emotional lifeblood that sustains the majority of our serving men.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah is supposed to command the ethos and values, as well as standards, for true leadership. As such, he should be the guiding center by personal example for his  subordinates and show responsibility of  character and spirit for our children,  especially for the girls and boys now and our nation’s future children.

Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi is a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist and a former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association.

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As far as I am concerned, Nigeria’s leader, Goodluck Jonathan, his Vice Namadi Sambo, former Army Chief Azubuike Ihejirika and Former FCT Minister Nasir El Rufai are all joint sponsors of Boko Haram and one group cannot extricate itself from the mess Nigeria is facing. Others in this ignoble group include Bamanga Tukur (sacked ruling party chairman),  Sambo Dasuki ( NSA) , Retired IGP Abubakar and all the service chiefs who served since the former NSA Azazi revealed that Boko Haram sponsors are in the ruling party. Therefore, the attempt to hinge the sponsorship of Boko Hram on Ihejirika alone as though others are clean is as despicable as the attempt to pin Boko Haram sponsorship on Buhari.
 
I was the first writer to classify Boko Haram into three in a piece on PDP Boko Haram initially released on the 2nd of February 2012. In the said article I stated that “The Boko Haram as presently constituted has three wings. The pro-sharia Boko Haram which is the offshoot of the one led by late Alhaji Yusuf, the All Queda Boko Haram which is sponsored by Arab support and the Peoples Democratic Party Boko Haram which wants to prevent President Goodluck from contesting for a second term in 2015 or stifle his seven year tenure elongation bid.” , and I still maintain that the three types of insurgency can be classified as (1) PDP Boko Haram (2) Sharia Boko Haram (3) Al Queda Boko Haram.
 
The PDP Boko Haram has split with some migrating to the opposition APC while some are still within the party. The PDP Boko Haram can be further subdivided into three (1) The Northern leaders/Governors Group (2) The Presidency Group (3) The Military Contractors group. I have written piece in 2012 that exposed the activities of each group and those entire things I stated which was ignored is now coming to hunt the nation.
 
The Northern Leaders/ Governors Group include PDP Governors, some of whom have decamped to the APC.  It also include persons like the former National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who as the second most influential northern politician told the nation  on the 16th of May, 2012 while receiving party chieftains from Gombe State that "Boko Haram is fighting for justice; Boko Haram is another name for justice." The same stance of Tukur was also echoed by Arewa Consultative Forum and other prominent Northern forums and  politicians from both the PDP and APC and they all asked Jonathan to dialogue with the sect. Those who claimed Boko Haram is fighting for justice are also sponsors of Boko Haram.
 
Another PDP leader fingered as a sponsor of Boko Haram was Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial District. This Senator was dragged to court by Nigeria’s Secret Police, the SSS, for giving names of judges to Boko Haram among others offences and in order to free himself, Ndume deposed in an affidavit before Abuja High Court that the Vice President of Nigeria Architect Namadi Sambo authorized his romance with Boko Haram. According to Ndume’s affidavit “The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Namadi Sambo, is also aware that he was in contact with the Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’).
 
PDP Governors like Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano State has been fingered as using Boko Haram to harass the late Emir of Kano, HRH Ado Bayero and the Igbo Community in Kano. It was alleged that Bayero felt that Kwakwanso was not doing enough to stave off the insurgency, and for the misgivings of the late Emir, he was visited twice with death from assassination through the bullet and later through bomb blast.  Kwakwanso threatened to balkanize Kano Emirate, a week before Bayero died. This Governor was till late last year a member of the PDP.
 
The Presidency branch of Boko Haram include aides of President Jonathan from all parts of the country, especially from Niger Delta  who saw the raging insurgency in the North as  means of automatically nullifying the hostile votes from the North East, thus making winning a second term easy for their kinsman. I have alluded to that in an earlier piece in 2012.  While the Presidency group never armed the insurgents, they failed to do enough to stave off the insurgents. They failed to arrest the Boko Haram sponsors because they can reap political capital out of the madness. This act also makes them Boko Haram sponsors
The military branch of the PDP includes the likes of former Army Chief, Ihejirika and all the former service chiefs who benefitted from over bloated defense budgets. Former IGP Abubakar and NSA Dasuki are all beneficiary of inflated defense expenditures. When these military chiefs from both East, West, North and South of Nigeria saw through the insincerity of politicians in acting on the security reports before them for obvious political reasons, they did a u-turn and decided to help themselves with the national cake by looking the other way while the militants over run the nation. The more the crisis, the more money is released and embezzled. The less the crisis, the leaner the budget. Therefore, exposing Ihejirika is akin to exposing all the service chiefs.
 
Another former PDP chieftain who decamped to the opposition, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is also among those fueling support for the insurgency. Mallam El-Rufai, a consummate human right and anti corruption crusader, also has some ubiquitous interest in festering Boko Haram insurgency in the North of Nigeria. El-Rufai heads the propaganda machinery of the opposition and he is adept at it. One of their strategies is to exaggerate any human rights violations of the military authorities in order to discredit the Jonathan regime. Thus the protesting voice of the likes of El-Rufai discouraged the military authorities in their resolve to stamp out terror. It was combined pressure from El-Rufai and his band of propagandists and the protest of Borno Elders that led to the disbandment of the Joint Task Force (JTF), in Borno, and its replacement with the 7th Division. Since the 7th Division took over the fight against terror, Mallam Shekau and his band gained upper hand.
 
Therefore, sponsors of Boko Haram are in the PDP and APC. They also include former Military Chiefs who couldn’t understand why politicians cannot permit them to strike at terrorists and arrest their sponsors. These military chiefs including Ihejirika, Abubakar and others decided to use defense budgets to help themselves. The opposition APC never allowed the military authorities to come hard on terrorists, they weakened them with false propaganda so as to showcase Jonathan as a failure and El Rufai was the arrow head. The Presidency Boko Harm believes that if insurgency ends before 2015 election, they may lose northern Muslim votes to Buhari and they also failed to authorize decisive strike against the terrorists and Jonathan knows this group.
 
Therefore, Boko Haram is all about various interests and 2015 permutations. I advice these men concerned to put politics aside and put heads together, by so doing, Nigeria may be confronting only the Sharia amd Al-Queda Boko Haram and that will be much easier to contain.
 
Obinna Akukwe
profetobinna2@yahoo,com
 

Why has Ebola epidemic overwhelmed Doctors-Without-Borders? There is a contradiction even with the best of intention that food and water must be sourced from donors. The United States Military deployed to Liberia with its capacity for humanitarian aid can learn from it. Local food production and water (ORS) must be freely available in health centers to encourage and attract people to stay before Ebola epidemic is contained. It is one of the reasons Nigeria succeeded.      

How can any government or organization quarantine suspected Ebola cases without adequate supply of food, clean water and shelter even schools converted to clinics and hospital in an epidemic? People that are supposed to be in quarantine are fleeing to look for food and water in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Those infected and hungry, with some energy left, not adequately provided for deserted in search of food and water elsewhere. No force can hold them back.

African countries that could hardly feed their hungry before Ebola have the audacity to pack poor people like sardines in an area without basic food for sustenance and beds and we expect those coming to help not to get frustrated and leave as infections increased. Their skill is public health and specialty in infectious diseases. Some have experience since the Ebola outbreak in 1976 in East Africa. This time we are facing greater populations that defy normal control.  

Experience always shows that no matter how prepared the international organizations are, there are little inconveniences and surprises they were not prepared for even when they are trained to expect them. Medical teams do not usually bring local food and water. Temporarily, their military may need to supply humanitarian supplies just as if they are in the war zones.

This is where the help of African countries, with Nigeria in the lead, comes in. It means enough food and clean water must be prioritized for those suspected of Ebola infection. It becomes a policy decision to feed those quarantined first so that they can remain where they are and not escape to infect others. The focus must be on prevention to reduce the amount of people that need treatment. Even vaccines are for prevention not a cure, population control is needed.

Nigeria was lucky that the zero infection happened in Lagos State where the medical team and others in contact with Ebola virus were skillfully managed without experimental drugs but with old fashioned established treatment by volunteer local and international experts in virology and public health. Shelters available were upgraded or replaced with better ones with adequate supply of food for those that could eat and freely available oral rehydration salts (ORS).

Yes, we may say if food becomes the attraction, those that are not suspected of Ebola infection would line up just to get food. Sure, the cost of feeding one hungry person must be weighed against the cost of one that was not fed infecting many others. Policy in this case may not be taught in medical schools but physicians can learn administrative and financial skills. In the case of epidemic one has to balance many factors, Africans are not short of the administrative skills.

Nobody needs to lecture us on the importance of balanced diet to keep up our immune system strong, and help during the period we cannot eat very well while sick. During sickness especially when accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting as in cholera and Ebola, six teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt in one liter of water can be a miracle saver. Oral rehydration therapy or salt are commonly sold in corner store pharmacies as they contain other ingredients like zinc.

Nigeria’s survivals praised the medical treatment they received, the kindness of attending staff and medical colleagues but also their own faith in whatever God they worship. Even when the body is diseased (weak) and the spirit is strong, the immune system is boosted from positive thinking. We may rely on our Incantations, Psalms from Bible or Koran. Each of them strengthens belief in Orisha, Ogun, Mohamed or Jesus, whichever works for individuals.    

United States has rightly decided to launch the fight against Ebola in Liberia before it gets near. There are different organizations from Africa and outside that are already making it to Liberia and Sierra Leone. No matter what their good intensions are, they must learn from Doctors-Without-Borders. No one can build public health or medical treatment on empty stomach and unclean water. Just as these are basic to life so are they basic to public health and treatment.

We have a problem if Doctors-Without-Borders are overwhelmed in Africa. It boils down to the subtle difference to us between Public Health practitioners and medical practitioners. While public health treats a community; physicians, pharmacists and nurses treat individuals. Diseases that are beyond community health workers fall on the shoulders of physicians. In short public health is prevention. We cannot get enough physicians to cure overwhelming Ebola infections.

Many of these organizations are aware that some of these logistics are not readily available in the countries they are going. But a few of them are surprised that basic necessities taken for granted, are needed where they want to provide medical services. The further they are to the cities, the greater their needs for essential commodities. One of the examples is the conversion of schools to clinics and hospitals, when it gets to the point where schools cannot remain open.

Logistics are very critical. It is very important to make available a secure area for medical and social team to stay. In cases where they have to travel long distances, some of them bring ambulances and Sport Utility vehicles with them. Whatever the case, people cannot be dying in a country where vehicles needed by medical staff can be temporarily loaned from ministers with two or three cars. Those rich enough must also lend their cars or donate it for medical use.

Food is not the only way to a man’s heart, loving him or pretending to, gets more money out of him than casual sex. You would think most ladies know that but many are so blinded by greed or confidence they lose sight of the ball. It has to do with what girls learn in their environment as they grow up that men would run after anything in skirt. Up to a point, yes, but maturity and experience kick in. So men only spend more of their money where they find happiness.

Why anyone would think men do not look for happiness like everyone else just because they want more sex, may be dealing with addicts, not normal matured men. The reason most of the relationships break is because one partner stop caring and the other discover that fact. If the one that stop caring wants more, she may lead him on until he finds out that it is a futile game.

Looking at Alafin of Oyo with his four younger wives on vacation in London was interesting. He looked gallant and refreshed with young bloods around him. Whoever thinks he can satisfy all those young women at that age must be kidding. The sex is not the important aspect of that type of relationship, his favorite is the one he thinks cares and loves him most. On the other hand, she may be the one waiting for him to kick the bucket.

In the meantime those ladies are pampered with most of what he can afford at the expense of his older wives that may not be getting so much attention. No woman gets enough anyway. It also raises the relationship of his younger children and his older ones. A great deal has been written about envies and jealousies in polygamous families but not enough about the cordial relationships within and management of natural consequences of the right of ways.

Women who accepted polygamy do not go into it blindly. They do it either for the love of the man, his money or his station in life which raises their own prestige or spending power. No man can keep a young lady these days solely on those; as exhibited by the Zulu Queen that sneaked out at nights to meet her lover that happened to be one of the King’s minister. She had most things some might say, unless she was just a nymphomaniac but her love was somewhere else.  

What we do not want to see are men in exulted positions sneaking out with girlfriends at various places or hotels. If the Alafin has to buy each of his wives an apartment or a house instead of living together, a lot of money would be wasted on maintenance, body guards and cars to take each wife and children out. Keeping them under one roof makes it polygamy but if kept in separate locations, it makes him a serial monogamist or a philanderer.

Some men either give money straight to hookers for sex or keep steady girlfriends for a loving relationship. There is no doubt that both men and women get infatuated with younger partners, what does not make sense is that some older women and men expect long lasting relationship from those younger partners. It takes more than money to tie down a young man or lady. Men have an advantage of starting new families around it while nature is not so generous to women.

Community does not look kindly or tolerate as much a woman that visits a kept man in another home which men do very often. It is even worse to live with a man the age of your children while those children are at home, even after the death of a husband. The society is not ready for that. But a man may be grudgingly accepted by his children as the case of Robert Murdock.

There comes a time when a young lady is no longer enchanted by all those privileges or money but desire a simple life she had before. As hard as it may be for a man to understand, he has to swallow his pride, cut his losses and let her go where she could be happier.  At the same time, there are these young ladies that want to keep the privileges derived therein without the man.

We must learn from the past that men and communities have gone to war over women. Just as women had sought golden prices from  men that loved them, like the head of John the Baptist. We do not expect such extreme behavior in this modern day. But the reasons and the motive for such atrocities remain in both men and women today. Boyfriends and divorced men have been known to stalk their ex-wives trying to maim them or their partners, as Oscar Pistorius.

Could be the reason women like Ray Rice’s wife endure abusive husbands with all the privileges.   It is not that ladies are not equally vicious, their crimes against their ex-husbands or lovers are nothing compared to the ranging anger of men. It has something to do with their pride, high sense of themselves or sometimes they might have borrowed heavily and spent voraciously to impress and keep this lady expecting life dedication in return. These men love themselves less.

A man that deserts a loving relationship with the wife, not only regrets it, still wishes he has a wife he may go back to once in a while for succor. So it is not that the girlfriends are better than the wives, they just work harder at it while it last. This is the advantage girlfriends have over house wives, even if it is a short relationship. When Donald Sterling girlfriend said he could not do without her, she meant it. He could not understand what happened to a faked relationship.

This relationship about money can be easily understood by Rockefeller and his girlfriend. He got love from her but was not sure how long it was going to last. So he bought her a condo with a mortgage that was only forgiven after his death. The point here is that he was willing to spend that much money for her as long as she remained loyal and loving. If it was just for sex, he could have spent much less like DSK, of the former celebrated “scandal” in New York hotel.

No matter how you look at it, those beautiful young women makes Alafin of Oyo look good. He even posed as if it was a prom night with his dates. With money, many, not most ladies look for a way into your pocket, not necessarily into your heart. Poor people like us may be jealous!

It is a shame that someone with the credentials of Dr Temitope Oshikoya would display the kind of dishonesty and moral turpitude present in his article, “Golden Girl and the Icarus Paradox” published in The Guardian of Monday, September 8, 2014. The article is a commentary on the ongoing recruitment process for CEO of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC).

For the sake of transparency, Dr Oshikoya should have let the world know that he was a candidate for this position but unfortunately, he did not make it. The fact that he neglected to mention this is very instructive and demonstrates that he is nothing but a disappointed bitter person who is not man enough to take responsibility for his own performance.

It is quite disheartening when people like Oshikoya, who is expected to know better, impugn efforts to institutionalize a merit-based approach to recruitment for key positions in the country simply because the results did not favour him. Some of us need to learn to put the collective good ahead of individual selfish interest.

The NMRC is, of course, the government sponsored but private-sector driven institution which is central to the Jonathan administration’s plan to make mortgage finance accessible to Nigerians. The launch of the first 10,000 mortgages scheme on July 31 underscores the government’s commitment to the realization of this objective.

The interview for CEO of NMRC which Dr Oshikoya participated in was part of a transparent process managed by the globally respected consulting firm, Deloitte and Touche. The firm shortlisted ten Nigerians from within and outside the country in a global headhunt which met the standards of international best practice. The interview panel included Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mrs Sola David Borha; interim CEO of NMRC, Mr Sunny Ayere; CEO, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr Uche Orji; CEO of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Alhaji Hassan Usman; and representatives of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and DFID. In the end, Dr Oshikoya did not make the short list of the final three candidates who are being proposed to be interviewed by the Board of the NMRC.

It is understandable to feel disappointed in this kind of circumstance. What is not understandable – or justifiable – is to write an article full of vicious falsehoods and distortions against the chair of the interview panel who, for reasons best known to Oshikoya, he erroneously blames for his poor performance. The unwarranted attack against the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance by Oshikoya is nothing but a despicable effort by a person who obviously has an inflated opinion of himself to channel personal frustration against a false object of disappointment.

Oshikoya’s long winded article is full of allegations which are as false as they are laughable. For instance, he shamelessly repeats the unfounded story that Okonjo-Iweala appointed Igbos to head agencies in the financial sector. But this is totally untrue as it is a verifiable fact that the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission, AMCON, Nigeria Stock Exchange and others were already in office before Okonjo-Iweala returned to government in August 2011. It is also a fact that Mr Uche Orji, the CEO of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority emerged through a competitive and transparent process supervised by the reputable international consulting firm KPMG and in which the respected Mr Fola Adeola headed the nominations committee.

It is indeed sad that Dr Oshikoya would, by implication, impugn the integrity of Mr Kunle Elebute, Managing Partner of KPMG who supervised the process of hiring the top management team of the NSIA, Mr Dotun Philips, head of Philips Consulting who supervised the FIRS version and Mr Joseph Olofinsola of Deloitte and Touche who oversaw the NMRC process which inspired his article.

In his haste to tar the Minister, Oshikoya neglected to do even the most basic homework. He obviously does not know that the DG of BPE, Mr Benjamin Dikki, one of the “Igbos” whom Oshikoya identified as the Coordinating Minister’s appointee is from Kebbi State not Okonjo-Iweala’s so-called “geo-ethnic circles” (sic)! Of course, Dr Bright Okogu, the DG Budget Office who is also mentioned is Urhobo from Delta State. He carefully does not mention Dr Mansur Muhtar, Nigeria’s most senior representative at the World Bank and Dr Shehu Yahaya, Executive Director at the African Development Bank as well as other qualified persons whose nominations were supported by Dr Okonjo-Iweala. To a mind warped by disappointment and bitterness, the truth is dispensable.

It is beneath contempt for Oshikoya to resurrect old lies about Okonjo-Iweala’s alleged role in the failed bid of Mr Bisi Ogunjobi to be elected President of the African Development Bank ten years ago. The final outcome had little to do with Dr Okonjo-Iweala who campaigned vigorously for him once he was nominated as Nigeria’s candidate. The truth is that Mr Ogunjobi performed creditably in a competitive process in which all ministers of finance in Africa interviewed candidates but did not emerge the winner. The notion that Okonjo-Iweala could have singlehandedly swung the vote in Mr Ogunjobi’s favour but refused to do so is fanciful nonsense.

It is even more despicable for Oshikoya to try and set Dr Okonjo-Iweala up to take the blame, ahead of time, should Nigeria’s candidate for the presidency of the African Development Bank this time around fail to make it. It is clear in his appalling write up that Oshikoya is an ethnic bigot carrying out an agenda that is designed to target Dr Okonjo-Iweala. I am sure that Nigeria’s candidate for the AfDB presidency, Dr Akin Adesina, given his background and profile, will be keen to dissociate himself from this unscrupulous attempt to sully his reputation and his serious bid for the presidency of AfDB. I know that, unlike Oshikoya, Dr Adesina is perfectly capable of taking responsibility for his performance, good or bad, when the time comes.

Oshikoya’s comments on Okonjo-Iweala’s historic and widely applauded run for the presidency of the World Bank is the final nail in the coffin of an article that trivializes fact and assaults common sense. Apparently, Temitope Oshikoya, Phd, was asleep when a respected rival, Dr Ocampo stepped down for Okonjo-Iweala during the race and the leading lights and respected voices in the world’s premier institutions and media declared her the better candidate to run the institution.

And he must have been oblivious when the world criticized the post Second World War tradition which made the position a monopoly of the US and which was used to stop Okonjo-Iweala from becoming the first non-American to head the institution. Of course he also conveniently forgot that African Presidents who recommended her and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who graciously put her forward were major reasons for her decision to participate. There is no substance in the charge of hubris which Oshikoya lays against Okonjo-Iweala. Obviously for a pseudo-intellectual with an ax to grind there are no limits to the sheer variety of lies that can be deployed in the service of an unholy cause.

Rather than pollute public discourse with an opinion piece riddled with lies and bitterness, Temitope Oshikoya should accept that he simply did not do well in his recent quest to head a key emerging institution and get on with whatever is left of his life. He should step up his game at his next job interview. We wish him good luck.

Nwabuikwu is Special Adviser Media and Communication to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance

The name Dimgba Igwe rings bell in the world of Journalism is to say the least, an understatement. The sad news of the passing on of Dimgba Igwe, the Vice Chairman of the Sun Publishing Company flittered to us on Saturday 6th September, 2014.

Nigeria has yet again lost one of its finest brain, a patriot, a perfect gentleman and a detribalized Nigerian who had carved a niche in both print and electronic media.

Therefore, it was most shocking and destabilizing to hear that the fine gentleman and well-bred journalist in no more.  The  4th estate of the realm indeed has lost a rare gem! His sheer distinction, brilliancy, rectitude, morality, honesty, ethos, analytical mind and his approach to national issues is absolutely outstanding. He has left a big vacuum that will be difficult to fill.

He is a highly gifted and talented journalist with unique elegancy in writing style. He bestrides the pen profession like a colossus. He was a total, complete, bold, articulate, dynamic, fiery, consistent and uncompromising journalist whose words, astute and integrity stands him out among his competitors.  On the demise of a quintessential, brilliant, upright, versatile and revered pen pusher, Dimgba Igwe on Saturday 6th September 2014, his death came to us as a rude shock.

At no time, to the best of our knowledge, was he caught or found engaged in unethical deal or being rude or nasty to any of his colleagues. He has left imperishably legacies on the sands of time. His wonderful contributions to national building can never be forgotten or wiped off.

As a father and family man, he was an epitome of discipline, humility and unpretentiousness. May the almighty God give the family, pen profession and the nation the fortitude to be the irreparable lost.

JOHN NWOKWU

FOR: BAMDELE ATURU & CO CHAMBERS

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