18 June, 2015

The Jonathan years

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's tenure is over. No longer news. Goodluck was the running mate to the late President Umaru Yaradua who died on 5th May, 2010. He was made the Acting President on the 9th of February,2010 as a result of the 'doctrine of necessity' motion adopted by the Nigerian senate. He subsequently contested for President in his own right in April 2011.

On the 3rd of MARCH, 2010, I wrote about how not to be a President, the Yaradua way. Read here

The main points of that post are still relevant in today's Nigerian political clime.

1. Be a man of yourself. Don’t be misled into taking a decision that you cannot defend or stand up for. Goodluck made a lot of decisions that He couldn't defend all in a bid for political expediency. There are a lot of instances. However, two will suffice: a. Exonerating MEND from the Independence day attach on 1st October 2010 before full investigation was completed. b. Keeping Stella Oduah as Minister in the face of public outcry. At the very least, He could have suspended the Minister and then order a thorough investigation into the 255million Naira scandal.

2. Lesson 2: Trust your VP/Deputy wholeheartedly. On this count, Goodluck scored high points. There were few rumours of any rancour or disagreement with his Vice-President, Arc. Namadi Sambo. If there were, they were resolved privately.

3. You don’t preach something and do something else or act unconcerned when what you stand for is being rubbished by your aides. As an advocate of free and fair elections, Goodluck should have recognised Rotimi Amaechi as the Chairman of the Governor's forum. The fallout of the controversy partly led to his losing the Presidential polls. The Wendell Simlin controversy was something that should have been addressed as well.

4. As a leader, the buck stops at your table. You can delegate authority to your aides but you take responsibility for whatever they do. As a leader, President Goodluck failed to take responsibility most times until late into his tenure. There were a lot of statements and innuendos that sought to deflect attention from the President and blame opposition groups and imaginary enemies of the Nigerian state. The President failed woefully in dealing with the Boko Haram crisis for starters.

5. As a President, never be inaccessible to people who voted you into power. "Politics has elements of show Business. A President in a democratic dispensation must always be visible, for in him, the state is embodied. There should be information flow about the President at all times. There has to be a real interface with the people."

Goodluck was not a bad man or President. He was a man largely unprepared for the murky waters of politics and He found himself overwhelmed most times not having a grasp on the real issues confronting Nigerians.

25 November, 2014

Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Photo Source: Sun News
Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is currently the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives of Nigeria. He was born on the 10th of January, 1966. That was just five days before the first Nigerian coup. He is a lawyer having studied Law at the Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto and called to the Bar in 1992 after having completed the one year additional study period at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He has been a member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), ANPP (Second time), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). In eleven years, the honorable speaker has been a member of four different political parties and a return to one of them at some point. There has been a lot of debate about whether he is still the speaker or not but in Nigerian politics, anything can happen. I will not be surprised to see the Honorable Speaker make a U-turn to the PDP at some point. As things stand right now, the Speaker is in a battle of wits with the Executive and He has picked up a nomination form to contest for the Sokoto state governorship elections instead of the presidential nomination form that he picked earlier. The speaker has been dogged by controversy since he emerged the Speaker in 2011 largely supported by the opposition lawmakers and some disgruntled members of the PDP. Now that the speaker has decided to join the opposition, He has a moral duty to resign so that the party with the majority of members in the House produce the Speaker. In Nigeria, the more you look is the less you see atimes. Tambuwal can still redeem his image and set a good precedence if only He can look beyond his interest. Nigeria is in dire need of men of courage and integrity and sadly Tambuwal who represents a new Nigerian generation is not offering the desired alternative to what is obtainable. A very sure path to sainthood for Honorable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is to resign and only then can He be a true progressive.

28 November, 2013

ara featuring 2face - olomi (official video)

Maximum respect to Chief Ebenenzer Obey,2Baba, Samklef,Ara and DJ TEE...Bless!

Samklef - Mi Ole Beru Ft. Olamide [Official Video]


08 November, 2013

Friday morning musings

"There is fire on the mountain and nobody seems to be on the run" That was Asa singing four years ago. Writing or thinking about Nigeria most times has a way of putting someone in a despondent mood. Anytime I think of writing about my beloved country, I subconsciously discard the synopsis that was already formed on my mind. Why should I go through the mental torture of birthing what was on my mind, putting pen to paper or typing it out as the case may be and still feel like "alarudale bi oko tipper"-a truck?

It is very easy to give up on Nigeria. It is very easy to gloat and adopt and castigate someone for not voting for your preferred candidate in the last elections. Buhari or Ribadu would have done a better job, some people would argue. What people forget easily is that a society that does not care so much about its human capital will pay a very stiff price.

Some people miss the point, they say our leaders are bad. Babangida institutionalized corruption. Obasanjo was corrupt...blah blah blah What have you done to actually better yourself and make yourself a better member of society?

At the tertiary education level in Nigeria, it hasn't been good since the 1980's. A lot of people were vying to get into University and there were not enough universities to cater to the increasing number of applicants. A lot of students got enrolled to study courses that had little or no semblance to what they were interested in life. The situation didn't get better until some private universities were granted licenses to commence operations about a decade ago. With the addition of the private universities, a lot of students who hitherto would not have had the opportunity to attend a good quality university due to JAMB and other issues were enrolled and finished their studies in the time period they were meant to study.

A lot of students now though, sadly more than in previous years are not guaranteed to study at tertiary levels even when they have the pre-requisite grades. A lot more are settling for courses that they probably never knew existed before they got told that if they want to enroll, that is the only available department. It is not difficult to find students who wanted to study computer science and were told to enroll for Botany instead. There are students studying Philosophy who wanted to study Law to become lawyers.

It may surprise or shock you to know that 1.2million prospective students from a total of 1.7million people who wrote the JAMB exam this year will not be able to attend University in Nigeria even if they pass the examinations. Only about 500,000 students will be able to enroll into university this year...federal, state and private universities included.

Most of those who were denied good quality education starting from the 1980's are now adults and the quality of public discourse to a very large extent reflects the kind of education that they got. Majority of those born in the 1990's who have not really known a good Nigeria. People who could afford private schools attended private schools up to secondary school level. They either continue their studies in a private higher institution or check out options abroad. However, it is increasingly becoming very difficult to see the advantage of having attended a private institution where one was supposed to receive a good education and public institutions that are clinging to questionable maxims.

It is very incredulous to find out that someone who purportedly wrote the WASSCE or NECO examination and passed with a very good grade in the English Language subject cannot write a formal letter. The best they will tell you is that, "Oh Ok, they used to give us this thing as an assignment back then."

Look no further than the major online forums that shapen the public discourse among the 15-40 age bracket in Nigeria today e.g. Linda Ikeji,forums on Nairaland and Naijapals, etc., it is either they are talking about Kelly Rowland flashing her undies or Kim K's butt. Hardly do you find most of the online forums and accidental celebrities championing a good public cause. They would rather convict public officials who allegedly dip their hands into the till, irrelevant stories from Dailymail, UK and the shenanigans that someone in the US or Europe has been up to. Bad grammar, uncouth attitudes and blatant disrespect for the opinion of others are a common thread on these forums.

While it is the right of these kinds of groups or individuals to exist or put out whatever it is that they do, their influence and domination of popular culture is worrisome to say the least. Their acceptance by a society who should demand better is the real tragedy. It is not too late to save the future generation by investing in a good society that takes education very seriously.

01 May, 2012

Boko Haram...What will Buhari do?

Photo Source: The Nation Online

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has been called every unprintable name that you can imagine. After the general elections last year, it seemed like there was nothing happening in government circles that was reminiscent of the "auto-drift" era of the last Yaradua days. The audacity of the Boko Haram to move from bombing banks and police posts to the UN building gave the group more worldwide coverage. Since then, "Boko Haram" has bombed churches, schools, police posts, media offices, etc. and up till now, it seems like the group has waxed stronger instead of being weakened. With the indictment of the PDP on Boko Haram by the National Security Adviser recently and not forgetting that the bombs are still going off, I asked myself a question: What will Buhari do about Boko Haram if he was President of Nigeria?

16 April, 2012

When Dame P. Jonathan came to town

Last week, the Nigerian media was awash with the discomfort experienced by Lagosians when Dam Jonathan, the first Lady came to town.
One problem with Nigerians, especially those with computers or smartphones that can connect to the internet is that we don't always get our facts right before commenting on issues.

Not taking anything away from the inconvenience that the visit caused a lot of people but blaming Jonathan's wife is like taking it too far.

Is Dame responsible for coordinating her own security or determining her own security protocols?
Can she even ask her security details for the security plans that have been put in place for her visit to Lagos? The answer is NO!

Let us blame the Nigerian Police Force in Lagos. The IG of Police recently directed that all road blocks in Nigeria be dismantled except if the President and his wife are exempt from that directive.
let us forget about the state government traffic agencies for now who claim they were not informed beforehand of the visit.
Also, let us not forget to blame the SSS and other federal agencies who are directly or indirectly responsible for the security of the First Lady.
Forget about Dame, she just happens to be the first lady.
It could be Bimbo Fashola tomorrow who will be the First Lady. What happens if we dont point fingers in the wrong direction now? We blame her and wait for the next in line to also grind another day to a halt...

God bless Nigeria!!!