Archive for September, 2013

New SSR Resource Centre post by Blog Contributor Chris Kwaja discusses the Boko Haram insurgency and roots of conflict in Nigeria, with a particular focus on the role of the security sector in both exacerbating and addressing these factors.

“He (African) loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility” Lord Lugard – The Dual Mandate, Published in 1926:70.

The spate of violence and insurgencies occasioned by discontents in Nigeria provides detailed evidence of contemporary insecurity in the country. In the last five years, armed violence and insurgency with grave humanitarian consequences have held the country siege. This has created an elaborate transnational criminal network of insurgents that became conduits for arms transfers and mercenarism in the country.

The socio-economic dimension of the bloody insurgency as a result of militancy in the Niger Delta region and the Boko Haram phenomenon in northern Nigeria reveals that when corruption remains a barrier to growth and development, discontents and resistance can become explosive. Thousands of people have been killed and displaced due to the violent confrontation between militants and insurgents on one hand, and the Nigerian security forces on another. For instance, the Boko Haram phenomenon in the north is seen to represent part of the resurgence of Islamic revivalism and militancy in its search for a new template for the emergence of a theocratic state in the north. This is also linked to the crisis of political legitimacy and governance in a polity that is witnessing an unprecedented level of militarisation. In fact, the crisis of state building that is associated with governance deficits in both the north and the Niger Delta part of the country is organically tied to the inability of leadership to undertake reforms in all spheres of governance, which are required to bolster good governance, durable peace and stability. All these have been stunted by corruption, which has become a major developmental challenge.

Conditioned by the realities above, the security sector has been worst hit, largely due to the fact that it has been caught up in the web of identity politics and corruption, which has contributed to its politicization and factionalisation along ethnic, religious, political and regional lines.

There is a sense that governments at all levels are failing in their responsibility to convert growth into jobs for the unemployed, which heightens the dynasty of poverty in the country. Hence, Nigeria has become breeding grounds for insurgents and militants. These groups are increasingly challenging state capacity and control over the instruments of force.

Experiences within the country as it relates to violence and insecurity has shown that poor attention to the security needs of the people within the context of security sector governance has been responsible for the emergence and dominance of politicized security sectors, the resort to armed conflicts by non- state actors, as well as a rising culture of impunity that is associated with flagrant disregard for the rule of law by both the state, belligerent elements and other criminal networks. This makes security a public good that is far from the reach of the people. As observed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2004):

Security matters to the poor and other vulnerable groups, especially women and children, because bad policing, weak justice and penal systems and corrupt militaries mean that they suffer disproportionately from crime, insecurity and fear. They are consequently less likely to be able to access government services, invest in improving their own futures, and escape from poverty.

The huge governance deficit in the country has been one that people do not see as part of the state building project, under leadership that is unwilling to transform society and guarantee security for the people. Rather, emphasis is often placed on appropriation of power and regime security at the expense of good governance and human security.

In the long run, undertaking security sector reform/governance is an imperative. Here, emphasis should shift from the traditional perception of security from a state centric approach, to a more holistic one that recognizes the centrality and primacy of human security.

A normative national framework for early warning and response that seeks to strengthen cooperation among governance institutions and security agencies is needed in the fight against insurgency, militancy and insecurity. This will help address the question of mercenarism and the proliferation of illicit arms that end up in the hands of unauthorized non-state entities.

As a long term strategy, addressing some of the key drivers of violence and insurgencies requires reducing some of the major discontents that under-lie violent conflicts in terms of ferocity and frequency. The key assumption here is that discontents arising from perceptions of political, economic and social exclusion, as well as inequality are critical drivers of violence and insurgency in the country.

Chris Kwaja is a Lecturer and Researcher with the Centre for Conflict Management and Peace Studies, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria. His area of research focuses on the politics of identity in Africa, Security Sector Reform, privatization of security, governance, peace and conflict studies.

By Prince Charles Dickson

A person’s ugliness is the god’s doing; the person’s lack of clothing is his/her own fault.

How many recall those ‘good ole’ days in secondary school, the Literary & Debating Society days. We visited schools; the debates were intense, yet fun-packed. It was a matter of pride.

They were days of the Press Clubs, and Principals’ cup and inter-house and schools sports competition. But those debates were way up there.

Whether the topic was “Mixed schools are better than single schools”, “Boarding is better than day”, even “Mom is better than Dad”…I love those final submissions, with these few words of mine I hope I have been able to convince and not confuse you that Nigeria is better left this current way than discussed.

Before the final submission, was always that introductory protocol, panel of judges, co-debators, guests and friends, I am here to tell you, Nigerians must talk….
Now to my debate – should Nigerians not talk, should they talk and why, is it worth the talk or should we just go on auto-pilot? Even these days the auto-pilot button is on malfunction mode.

“The people on the highland don’t care for the survival of the people under the water because they still have chance to breath and cling to their crumbs. The Abuja lands retainers are too afraid to let go than the landlord who gave them the lands. The fact is that nobody is losing anything that is properly appropriated, except for the fear of losing corruption-laden affairs in Abuja.

It is becoming clear by day and night that there are differences amongst different nationalities who feel they need to talk before slitting throats of each other. There is no law or power on earth that supports the arrogance of a few against majority resolve. I strongly believe if the “president who heads the executive council and the senate president who heads NASS have said they support an independent platform for Nigerians to talk”, it is a waste of time paying attention to uncommon grandstanding, self aggrandizement and arrogance of nonentities who believe they represent certainty. So talk, we certainly should.

Those were the conclusion of my friend, Wakilawal. But really what are the contentions regarding the renewed agitation/calls for a national talk. I have never seen a madman who accepted that he was mad let alone accept any low mental level. Nigerians talk about God, love God, serve God and look up to God even to the envy of the Israelites/Italians/Arabs et al. Therefore, when we are confronted with any situation we go on our knees in prayer and supplication to God even when the problem is self-inflicted.

So with the nod to the Sovereign National Conference/Constituent Assembly/National Talk/Dialogue, my admonition takes me back to 2005, it was named the National Political Reform Conference. Its approval and set guidelines was reminiscent of the late Abacha’s Five Leprous Fingers hand experiment.

A fruitless journey, one dare says. But who is afraid of Nigeria being balkanized? Is the dialogue solely about division? Why are we scared as regards the unity question? What is wrong in us really redressing the issues that affect us such as ethnicity, tribal cum indigeneship/residency matters? How about all these political power problems – our structural and systemic defects? Is our federal system not all feeding bottle fiscalism?

The unity everyone so craves and holds on to has a messy history of having been evolved in the heat of the passion moment by the bedside between Lord and Lady Lugard. Lord Lugard says, “Sweetheart, what do we call this business of South and North.” She responds, “Honey, let’s call it Nigeria”. Is this what we are afraid to discuss?

While this enterprise called Nigeria remains very viable, it really has not arrived anywhere and there was no need deceiving us. It was imperative for us to sit down together and do a soul-searching exercise of the system, the structure and the people.

Let everyone – man, woman, child (mad people inclusive) – talk! Not some select few who will be teleguided. But there are more answers than questions. Nigeria has become a nation of committees, workshops, seminars, panels, conferences, probes, and inquiries with no findings or results. The reports are left to gather dust at Aso Rock file cabinets. Of course, that is when one does not go to court to bar the report from being made public.

We had the constituent assemblies of IBB and Abacha, and their fantastic blueprint which never was or will be implemented. It has remained “choosing the wrong formulae for calculating a nation’s political woes”.

From simple humour to laughable seriousness as same persons that are the problem are quartered in some hotels, free food, phones, call cards and banters. Political jobbers that will just job, recall the last one was almost a billion naira spent on some 354 persons, almost a million per day on a person for almost three months yet no consensus.

(Certain of one’s conditions one must take responsibility for, but others one cannot take the blame for.) Killer whales are no whales but species of dolphins. Nigeria is a nation everyday evolving as a problem. We may criticise Jonathan, but what about the rogue governors, thieving councilmen at the local level?

A bandwagon of ministers, aides, a young and disillusioned populace, a corrupt laden few ‘god of men’ and masquerading elders, yet universities remain on strike for three months; who really is ASUU if not part of the problem. A professor works at NUC on secondment, he is an ASUU member.

Nigerians need to talk, but we are in quagmire regarding what to say, who to talk to, how to talk. Understanding Nigeria and its needs only gets compounded; in a breath it is corruption, in another leadership, and in a sweep it is followership, at 53 years of independence, and few months to our centenary, will we get to talk out our differences, or continue to collect counterfeit currency for our daughters’ bride price so that she remains betrothed. Only time will tell.

Ajimobi Sacks Cabinet

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ajimobi Sacks Cabinet.

 

By Prince Charles Dickson

“You do not spit it out, and yet you do not swallow it”.

Addressing the 54th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Summit that held in Abuja last week, president Goodluck Jonathan blamed the level of corruption in Nigeria on the society. He said instead of punishing corrupt people, WE reward them.

‘When you talk about corruption, the private sector is involved; the public sector is involved; even the individuals, including other societies, and I wouldn’t want to mention names so that I will not be attacked. But I know that if collectively all of US don’t reward corruption, people would not be attracted to corrupt practices, but when WE all reward corruption, then of course, we will be tempted to go in that direction.

Same week, he said, in an effort to improve and encourage the use of cars manufactured in the country, the FG said it would soon ban importation of foreign cars. He made this known in an address at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Annual National Management Conference of the Nigeria Institute of Management NIM at Udo Udoma House in Uyo Akwa Ibom State.

The President lied, because this is the same nation that imports toothpick, fish, meat, table water, but again please indulge me, and patiently let US read on, this is not about Jonathan really

When last did you buy kerosene anywhere in Nigeria at regulated price, many mothers and their children, are in some filling stations in search of the product. These are mothers that have to manage from the lean resources their oga at the bottom drops.

And you still at loss, if this conversation is about Kerosene, I know a few of my readers do not use cooking fuel, we are the bourgeoisie of the cooking gas era, so we never really mind.

Within the same week, it was alleged the Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama said that the 2013 budget was no longer implementable due to what he called ‘over-bloated revenue estimates…”, and quickly the Senate, directed its Committee on Finance to, as a matter of urgency, summon the two ministers of finance to appear before it to defend the allegation.

Now to the story of my mom, your, Jonathan’s mom and a few mothers. My mom passed on some three years and I could only find this most appropriate to drive home what we have lost and what the problem is, and what the solution maybe after my few paragraphs above.

Can you recall what it felt like to be raised by an African mother.

When we grew up as kids, we got our buttocks whipped. That is basic! She used a piece of cloth commonly called a ‘wrapper’ to carry us about until we could walk unaided, really it wasn’t the days of pampers.

Mom ran the house and you had better learn this early. There’s a very high likelihood that our dad will back her up if you get into trouble.

We got whipped if we don’t eat our veggies or any food she puts on the table.

Older kids are expected to take care of younger kids and if mom came back to find an unpalatable situation, the whipping is communally shared by all kids.

It’s always better to take the whipping immediately; running away only increases the degree of your crime.

There were endless fountain of stories and tales. Telling moonlight tales, especially when the power goes out, though this was rare then, but it was a common occurrence in many homes then, if you had electricity.

Stealing a bite of something delicious left in the kitchen is a sure way to have a bad night.

In general, stealing is worse than any other crime you might commit. You will be ‘returned to factory settings’ with the nearest available whip.

Educated moms tend to take school homework seriously and in many cases, you do receive some level of homeschooling at the earlier stages. If someone comes to lay a complaint against you, it’s cultural for your mother to sometimes chastise you publicly and then comfort you privately.

If however, it’s something major, expect the opposite. She’ll stand her ground and protect you but whip your brains out when you get home.

Sign Language: Our mothers then communicated through sign language – This leads to the next point. When offered sweets/food during a courtesy visit, it is wise to look in the direction of your mother and receive the all-clear (friendly smile) or the try-that-and-die stare.

If she suddenly stops in the hallway and stares at you, make sure you instantly try to remember what chore or errand is left hanging.

When you’re having a ‘planned’ whooping buttocks session, you’re responsible for getting the decided item your buttocks is going to get whooped with. This is a trick. If you get something too small, they’ll get a bigger one. There’s a technique to getting the right size whooping item.

No matter where you’re going, your mother will lather you in cocoa butter until you’re shining like you sweat oil.

Being raised by an African mom like my mother, there is a pretty good chance you will never ever throw a tantrum in her presence, much less direct it at her. That just doesn’t fly.

It would very likely earn you a slap across the face – a hot one! Whatever your objections to a situation, you will very humbly state them (if at all) taking great care not to annoy her in the process.

Your mother is most commonly known by your name if you are her first-born child. Like Mama Tom or Mama Lydia, Mama Prince. You and your siblings may never know her given name until you have to fill out a form at the end of your primary school.

The love is immense. African parents like my mom are more than willing to make countless sacrifices just to make you comfortable and achieve much more than they did. Many of us aren’t/weren’t very chatty with our folks. ‘who born you’ They send us to schools, admonish us to study hard and be diligent and stuff. But I don’t come home telling my mother about some girl I have a crush on or how I don’t have many friends in school. They just offer general advice and expect you to handle your business. In some way it makes you tough.

African mothers generally don’t smother their children. When your dad beats you, she would probably save you or try to cure you after the damage. [The irony] Last but not the least – African mums are so fond of their children, they generally don’t leave home until they get married.

On ASUU, on the economy, on unemployment, on the sad state of health, on all the strikes, poor remuneration, the fraud called vehicle registration, police BMCR, on matters of good governance, whether Akpabio, Rotimi, Aliyu, Fayemi, Obi, Suswan, et al. Tukur, Ngozi, Baraje, Atiku, Obasanjo and co, do the current crop of leaders behave like they had this kind of training?

This is just another tale, simply told, but fact is we are loosing it. Where are today’s mothers, is the kind of Nigeria where citizens are slaughtered by security agents, kidnapped by their own, maligned by government, the type any mother would be proud ofonly time will tell.

By Nelson Ekujumi

Recently, our media space was awash with news about a young Nigeria Daniel Oikhena, who stowed away in the tyre compartment of an airline from Benin to Lagos, and thus, the breach of security at our airports was once again highlighted by this ugly incident.

However, one is astonished and upset that this youth, whom we all ought and should condemn for being a deviant by putting his life as well as passengers on that flight at risk is being celebrated and rewarded by the people in authority against our norms and values which recognizes and encourages reward for good and responsible conduct.

One is being forced to respond to this untoward act by the government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole because of the long time implication on the psyche of Nigerians and most especially our youths who have unfortunately been deprived the priviledge of mentorship which they should ordinarily have, but now have to cope with our distorted ways of doings and are thus left at the mercy of their own initiative about societally approved values and norms which seems lost.

I feel sad anytime I look at the vulnerability of our youths to social vices because of a dysfunctional and disoriented society that they have found themselves in. Today, pitiably, our youths are involved in all sorts of crime because of lack of guidance. At times, I wonder if this was not the same society I was given birth to and grew up in. I remember vividly well, my primary school days in the late seventies and secondary school days in the early-mid eighties when our social values had stricter control and were a means of moulding the character of youths rather than the force of coercion by the law. This was a period when as a student, the norm was ostracization from your peers if you were even alledged of academic misconduct unlike what obtains this days when you are seen as a big boy or girl if you are involved in examination misconduct.

Those were the days when people were respected because of their honesty and integrity rather than what obtains now in which societal recognition is bestowed on someone because of the amount of cash in his wallet irrespective of the means of acquisition. Truly, this are perilous times for our youths and our country, but as our people say, “Orisha bi o le gbe mi se mi bi ose ba mi” literally meaning, “The gods, if you cannot help my cause, restore me to the status quo rather than worsening my plight”

It is in the light of the above quote that I want to admonish the Comrade Governor, that what he has done by the award of scholarship instead of a referral to a juvenile home by the appropriate state organ is a disservice to the good upbringing of our youths because whatever we do today, becomes history tomorrow. By rewarding the deviant Daniel, our political authority are sending a wrong signal to our youths that the only way to be rewarded or recognized by the state is to do something against the norms and values of civilized conduct as epitomized by young Daniel.

However, one’s anger against the Comrade Governor who has an ally in recently freed kidnap victim Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has been mitigated by the public condemnation that greeted his illogical call of amnesty for kidnappers, though we can excuse him because he must still be suffering from the trauma inflicted on him by his abductors, and the most appropriate thing would have been to seek counseling rather than making a call that runs contrary to our traditional norms and values.

Thus, we must all come on board now to speak out against this dangerous trend which is capable of destroying our society, lest posterity condemn us of being culpable by conspiratorial silence.

 

By Lawrence Nwobu
 

A nation is like an individual; driven and shaped by certain values and propelled by ambition to success or the lack of it to mediocrity and failure. A few days ago I was discussing with some friends over the Nigerian quagmire and one of them suggested that “if all Nigerians were evacuated to the Unite States of America and all Americans were evacuated to Nigeria, in

a few years the Americans would turn Nigeria into one of the most prosperous countries in the world while the Nigerians would turn America to a failed state.” His argument was premised on the logic that the people and consequently the leadership of a society determine the outcome in the success or failure of that society. It is difficult to fault his logic for try as we may, we cannot deny that there are certain predominant attributes of the Nigerian people and leadership that has helped to create and sustain the tragic society and failure Nigeria is.

America has been a democracy since 1789 and since that time, there have never been cases of organised election rigging, census rigging, electoral thuggery and other such fraudulent shenanigans by different generations of American leaders. America has since its founding been an ambitious nation that set out to be the best in everything. From exemplary public leadership, democracy and the rule of law to science, technology, arts, sports, commerce, entertainment and military prowess America continues to lead the world. Ambition and the predominant values of justice, freedom, dignity and the rule law of the American people and leadership created the success story and American dream America is for the world. America is consequently the most advanced and prosperous nation on the face of the earth. The nation where your dreams can be fulfilled and you can be all that you desire to be. The nation that unleashes the best of humanity. 

 

By contrast Nigeria became enmeshed in crisis from the very beginning. No sooner did the British colonial authorities depart in 1960, than all shades of fraud and lawlessness was unleashed. Elections and census were massively rigged, political thuggery and violence became routine and just 6 years after independence there was an explosion of violence that culminated in a bloody conflict. Since then different generations of leaders have continued in the same pattern of dictatorship, brutality, election rigging, census rigging, thuggery and massive looting. Unlike America, a lack of national ambition and the predominant values of self hate and an entrenched culture of injustice, wickedness, fraud and lawlessness of the Nigerian people and leadership have created the failure and nightmare Nigeria is. Little wonder Nigeria is the most corrupt and one of the poorest failed states in the world. 

Given the abundance of human and material resources, there is no limit to what Nigeria could have been. But Nigeria has failed in spite of the abundance because the lack of ambition and predominant values of injustice, corruption and self hate amongst others embedded in the Nigerian people and leadership cannot create a successful society. Like my friend suggested; if you moved all Nigerians to America and handed America over to them with the entire infrastructure already built, the same factors would ensure that America would collapse in a few years and become a failed state. Likewise Nigeria would become functional and prosperous in a few years if all Americans moved to Nigeria because the ambition and values of the American people and leadership would create a successful society anywhere. Nigeria has thus become a failed state crippled by corruption, injustice and trapped in unprecedented social unrest because of the values of those who inhabit it. With a different set of values and fundamentals Nigeria could have the best roads, state of the art rail system, some of the best schools, hospitals and social welfare for the unemployed and underprivileged. 

Nigeria could have been an example in democracy, with free and fair elections at every level elevating the dignity of the human person and showing the world an example of best practice in an African democracy. Nigeria could have been a technologically advanced nation, producing goods and being part of technological innovations. Nigeria could have been a major tourist destination with millions of visitors each year coming to visit an African success story, a black Mecca of sorts, a proud and successful black nation taking her place among the comity of nations, holding her head high and giving pride and dignity to black people across the world. Nigeria could have been a secure, harmonious and prosperous nation enjoying modernity and life in an advanced, civilised and thriving society invested in the rule of law. Nigeria could have been a dream, just like the American dream, a nation where people are given every opportunity to succeed. A nation that invests in her people and brings out the best in them. A nation that dignifies and humanises her citizens, a nation where people from all over the world will choose to come and live. A great nation and an African miracle. 

But alas we are in Nigeria and Nigeria is a failed state because our values have made us only capable of creating a nation that dehumanises her own citizens, a nation that brings out the worst rather than the best in her citizens, a nation that is entrenched in injustice, a nation that impoverishes and destroys her own citizens, a nation that self destructs. This is the story of Nigeria, a nation that could have been one of the richest, harmonious and technologically advanced in the world, yet today lays prostrate and crippled as the laughing stock of the world, as the shame of the black race, as the greatest human phenomenon of failure, because we have no ambition and we allowed injustice to become the defining aspect of our values and therein lies the difference that gave Americans a dream and Nigerians a nightmare! 

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu

Email: lawrencenwobu@gmail.com

By Prince Charles Dickson

“We must be ready to measure numbers that matter…or else we won’t understand a husband of a mother is a father”. amebo

Just on Saturday, I sat down in front of the television, well not watching it, because there was no electricity, and as I went through a couple of news on the very many forum one belongs to, this hit me, it was pushed by a friend.

Jonathan Turns Nigeria into a Christian Country: 95% of Federal Appointments as heads of Parastatals / Agencies were given to Christians as shown below. The SGF, Service Chiefs (Army, Navy, Air force), 100% Ministers from Southern Nigeria are all Christians.100% of Ministers from Yoruba Land are all Christians. 70% of his Ministers are Christians in a country that has Muslim Majority. Surely Jonathan hates Muslims as he told Tinubu when he came to Power. May God curse any Muslim that identifies with Jonathan in 2015 elections, Amen?

S/N PARASTATAL NAME OF HEAD

1 NIMET Dr. Anthony Anuforom
2 NNPC Eng. Andrew Yakubu
3 NIMASA Patrick Apobolokemi
4 PENCOM Mrs. Chinelo Anohu Amazu
5 FERMA Engr. Chukwu Amuchi
6 DPR Mr. George Osahon
7 Bank Of Industry Ms. Evelyn Oputu
8 Nigerian Content Dev. Agency Ernest Nwanpa
9 Consumer Protection Agency Mrs Dupe Atoki
10 NCC Engr. Eugene Juwa
11 NAMA Engr. Nnamdi Udoh
12 NCAA Engr. Akikuotu
13 FAAN George Uriesi
14 NCAT Capt. Chinere Kalu
15 SEC Aruma Otteh
16 Sovereign Wealth Fund Uche Orji
17 NAFDAC Dr Paul Orhil
18 FIIRO Dr. Mrs. G. N Elemo
19 Maritime Academy Of Nigeria, Oron Joshua Okpo
20 Railway Corporation Eng. Seyi Sijuwade
21 Nigerian Tourism Dev. Corporation Mrs. Sally Mbanefoh
22 Budget Office Of The Federation Dr Bright Okogwu
23 NERDC Prof. Godswill Obioma
24 NEXIM Mr R. R Orya
25 Standard Organization Of Nigeria Dr Joseph Odumodu
26 Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation Emeka Nkem Mba
27 Industrial Training Fund Prof. Longmas Wapmuk
28 National University Commission Prof. Okojie
29 NESREA Mrs. N.S Benebo
30 MDG Office Dr. Precious Gbenio
31 Surveyor General Of The Federation Peter Chigozie
32 Statistician General Of The Federation Dr. Yemi Kale
33 Accountant General Of The Federation Mr. Jonah Otunla
34 Auditor General Of The Federation Samuel Yonongo Ukura
35. National Orientation Agency Mike Omieri
36. News Agency Of Nigeria Oluremi Oyo
37. NEPC E/S David I Adulugba
38. NEPZA Mr. Olugbenga Kuye
39. BPP Engr Emeka Eze
40. BPE Benjamin Ezra Dikki
41. FHA Arc. Sever Gemade
42. NOSREA Sir Peter Idabor
43. FRSC Osita Chidoka
44. National Population Commission Festus Odumegbum
45. NYSC Brig. Gen N. T Okorie Attiah
46. PPRA Stanley Reginal
47. Petroleum Equalization Fund Mrs. Adefunke Sharon Kasati
48. PTDF Dr. Wole Oluleye
49. Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Agency Dr. Sam Amadi
50. Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corpse Dr. Ade Abolurin
51. Immigration Services Mr. David Paradang
52. State Security Services Ita Ekpeyong
53. Chairman Federal Civil Service Commission Deaconess Joan O. Ayo
54. Debt Management Office Dr. Abraham Nwankwo
55. NAIC Fola Daniel
56. National Identity Card Management Agency Chris Onyemenam
57. National Intelligence Agency Ezekiel Olaniyi Oladeji
58. Nigerian Sugar Development Council
59. National Board For Technical Education Dr. Olatunde Awotokun Aworanti
60. Nigeria Defense Academy Commandant Major General C.O Onwamaegbu
61. Joint Admission And Matriculation Board Prof. Dibu Ojerinde
62. Revenue Mobilization Fiscal Allocation Engr Elias N. Mbam
63. NAPTIP Mrs Beatrice E. Jedyagba
64. National Salaries, Income Wages R.O Ebule
65. National Eye Centre, Kaduna Dr. D.O. Adejor
66. National Human Right Commission Prof. Ben Angue
67. National Agency For Control Of Hiv/Aids Prof. John Idoko
68. Boarder Community Dev. Agency  Engr. Numoipre Wills
69. National Council For Arts Culture Mr. Mwaajin Malgwi
70. National Cereal Research Institute Baddegi Dr. Anthony Ochigbo
71. National Productivity Centre Dr. Paul Bidlhjoh
72. National Institute For Cultural Orientation Dr. Barclays Fubiri
73. National Institute For Advance Legal Studies Prof. Epiphany Azinge
74. Teachers Registration Council Prof. A.M. Nwokocha
75. National Centre For Agric Mechanization Engr. I.I. Azogu
76. Legal Aid Council Mr. J.S.Bob Manuel
77. Niger Delta Dev. Commission Christian Oboh
78. National Power Training Institute Engr. Ruben Okeke
79. Raw Materials Research Dev. Council Prof. A.P. Onwualu
80. National Examination Council Prof. Promise N. Okpala… etc

I want to add the list of those Muslims like Namadi Sambo Vice President, but many say he is not from Kaduna and so not even a Muslim,  the Inspector General Police–Abubakar was busy getting married, the Comptroller Customs, Dikko,  Central Bank’ s Sanusi, EFCC’s Larmodi, and okay I give up!

The above is not news; let’s go a little further, Tukur/Nyako/Atiku are from the North, infact one state, and Muslims. Amaechi/Goodluck are Christians from the South-South. I so dearly wanted to ask my friends, where did Jonathan tell Tinubu former Lagos state Governor whose wife is Christian that he hated Muslims, and really does the God we serve answer these kind of prayers– May God curse any Muslim that identifies with Jonathan in 2015 elections? Not that I personally intend vote him either.

I followed the thread, and I only smiled with sadness, as I see a nation that has been torn equally by hatred, a Jonathan who many voted because he is Christian and many believe it was a case of our turn, a Buhari many would never vote because he is Muslim, whether his driver or cook is Christian or not.

The two dramatis in the NGF crisis, are both Christians, Amaechi, and Jang, only last year, both officials of the Muslim Pilgrim board and Christian Association  in Taraba were convicted for fraud, they both connived to swindle their members of monies meant for them.

In same Taraba, take it or argue, many say, rather a dead man walking Suntai, as no Muslim would ever rule Taraba, the reverse is in Nasarawa, where the roots of the Omabatse clash lie not in fetish voodooism but marginalization centered on religion both real and imagined.

What is balance in a nation that is sorely divided across religious lines, yet richly blessed but abused by her leaders such that followership is blinded by the divide and rule tactics bequeathed us by our colonial masters.

I ask 80 percent of my readers today, how has a Muslim presidency or a Christian presidency, benefited us, Nigeria is worse off, Boko Haram is wrecking havoc, kidnappers, who are graduates, are doing theirs in the south, to a point after parting with millions, Mike Ozekhome SAN just released asked that they be forgiven.

We have become so blinded by the fact that when we fill forms one must either be Christian/Muslim, and some nasty variables, it has become ingrained, so even an armed robber that is filling a form must necessarily identify with one faith.

With all those Christians in the parastals are they any better as agencies, or should I throw up more controversies, like is a Christian leader better than a Muslim leaders, who steals more, are we not same Nigerians that voted Abiola enmass despite his faith.

The mutual distrust is a stench, we are all living a pretense, census figures is a faith/ethnic issue, once a list is out we are looking at who is Muslim/Christian, and from Kano or Imo. We are in trouble, BIG trouble, as there’s no way out if these Christanization/Islamization phobia. Speed trains all over the world, locomotive is it in Nigeria, until we realize, what really our problems are, the churches and mosques would increase and so will our woes, are we really ready to move beyond our mediocrity of fasting/praying on issues mentality, and know that, the husband of a mother is a father, well,  time will tell.

By Reno Omokri

Having read Malam Nasir Elrufai’s interview in the SaturdaySun of September 14, 2013, I am compelled to present facts to set the records straight in order that the general public is not misled by the machinations of a man who is in dire need of prayers and perhaps psychological assistance.
Nasir Elrufai said “Nothing can make Jonathan succeed. He is grossly incompetent, he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t even understand the issues. I am sorry! I know the man more than those that are shouting with Jonathan because when he was my friend, none of them even knew him. I knew Jonathan as a deputy governor in 2002. That was when I first met him and we have been relating. So, all these new found Jonathan lovers should just shut up. I know him and I know what he can do and what he cannot do. So, please, they should just leave me alone. Those that want jobs can go and take jobs. I don’t want”.

Now, let me start by saying that Nasir Elrufai lied when he said this and there is documentary evidence to prove this. For instance, contrary to what he said in this interview, Nasir Elrufai at a meeting with Ambassador John Campbell in April of 2007 said that the then Vice Presidential nominee of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan “is clean and honest”. Going further, Elrufai told the ambassador that “Governor Jonathan was the only candidate that met Obasanjo’s guidelines- honesty and Ijaw”. Unknown to Elrufai, the ambassador kept a record of their conversation which is now a public record in America.

Beyond that, Nasir Elrufai, who had gone into voluntary exile under the presidency of Malam Umaru Musa Yar’adua after he was accused of corruption and abuse of office while he was minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, felt safe enough to return to Nigeria as soon as President Jonathan ascended to power.

When Elrufai returned to Nigeria, in 2010, he visited the President at Aso Rock Presidential Villa on May 11, 2010, and was the first major political figure to call on President Jonathan to contest for the 2011 presidential election. Elrufai also praised President Jonathan openly.

The Holy Bible says in James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”. I think this biblical verse best describes Nasir Elrufai. Elrufai in this his latest interview showers encomiums on Major General Muhammadu Buhari saying “I think that where Nigeria is today, only someone like Buhari, with the experience of having run the country before, and having run it along certain principles of discipline, integrity and accountability, that Nigeria needs”.

However, this is what the same Elrufai had to say about Buhari on October 6 2010 ” Mallam El-Rufai wishes to remind General Buhari that he has remained perpetually unelectable because his record as military head of state, and afterwards, is a warning that many Nigerians have wisely heeded. His insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known. In 1984, Buhari allowed 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new. Against all canons of legal decency, he used retroactive laws to execute three young men for drug-peddling after they were convicted by a military tribunal and not regular courts of law. Buhari was so high handed that he gave himself and his officials immunity even from truthful reporting. That obnoxious Decree 4, against which truth was no defence, was used to jail journalists and attempt to cow the media as a whole. That tyrannical legislation shows the essence of his intolerance. These are facts of recent history. The story of counter-trade and import licensing, the cornerstone of Buhari’s stone-age economic strategy and those whose interests it served, is a tale for another day.”

Now, how does one man go from warning the nation about Buhari as a man unfit to govern Nigeria and one who is perpetually unelectable because of his parochial nature to saying that he is the man that can best lead this nation?

Is it not obvious to all that there is more than one personality in possession of the mind and soul of this man called Nasir Elrufai? Can any sane person trust the words of a man who is so unstable?

Today, Elrufai, perhaps banking on what he thinks is the short memory of Nigerians is attempting to rewrite history. But it is such a difficult task to paint over the truth with a lie.

Nasir Elrufai wanted something from the President which was why he visited him at the Presidential Villa to heap unsolicited praise on the president in 2010. When he did not get what he wanted, he became bitter and since the days of yore when the fox that could not get the grapes tagged them ‘sour grapes’ to mask its frustration, it has always been the habit of persons who cannot compete on the basis of ideas to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Thus, Elrufai, having run out of ideas, has tagged this administration as ‘incompetent’. But as they say in law, Res Ipsa Loquitor, (thefacts speaks for themselves).

In just this past month alone, we have seen a fulfilment of two major Jonathanian promises. The Akanu Ibiam Airport is now officially an International Airport as its facilities have been upgraded to meet ICAO standards and it received its first international commercial flight. Also, the rail services have been revived from Apapa Port to the North.

In these two instances, the Jonathan administration has put money back in the wallets of Nigerian citizens. Every time someone flies internationally from the Akanu Ibiam Airport, he saves sixty thousand Naira that would have been spent paying for connecting flights to Lagos, Port Harcourt or Abuja. And every time you receive a container by rail in Northern Nigeria from Apapa Port, you would have saved perhaps fifty thousand Naira that would have been spent on additional cost from hauling your container by road.

And this is just for last month. Time would not permit me to highlight the 153 Almajiri schools built in every state of the North to serve our children who are engaged in the almajirinciform of Qu’ranic education (a total of 400 are to be delivered), or the ongoing reconstruction (not repair) of the Lagos-Ibadan road for which 167 billion has already been reserved to prevent the project being an abandoned project, or the dredging of the River Niger up to Baro in Niger state to make that port accessible to ships, or the establishment of the Green Belt Zone along Nigeria’s Northern borders to end desertification, or the signing of the HYPADEC bill into law to enable the people of the Hydro Electric producing areas benefit from their God given resources, or the current massive multi billion Naira efforts to save the Lake Chad from drying up. This is besides the fact that those states which did not have a federal university prior to President Jonathan’s ascendancy now have at least one university, thanks to this administration’s establishment of nine new universities.

I have identified these projects on purpose because they were meant to be priority projects of yore but were however left unattended until one man called Jonathan Goodluck entered the scene.

Why has it taken an “incompetent” President Jonathan to grow Nigeria’s economy at over 6% per annum since he ascended to the presidency? Why has it taken an “incompetent” administration to get Nigeria to be promoted from a “Low Income Nation” to a “Middle Income Nation” by the World Bank? Again, it took an incompetent administration to ensure Nigeria won its first African Cup of Nations in 19 years. If previous administrations had been this ‘incompetent’, then Nigeria would have long since overtaken South Africa as Africa’s largest economy, but we did not achieve this feat until an ‘incompetent’ Jonathan was brought to office by the votes of over 22 million Nigerians.

In this latest interview, Elrufai boasts that he is a “self-made man”. Even this statement is a sad reflection of the irreligious state of Nasir Elrufai’s mind. People who say they are “self made” should read The Book of Daniel and see what God did to Nebuchadnezzar after he made such a boast. Nobody is self made. Does it make mathematical sense to believe that the God who has numbered the hairs on your head has no input into the opportunities that came your way?

In a Wikileaks document, an identified American diplomat revealed that Elrufai was “personally known to him to be homeless” before he got into government. Now Elrufai has never sued the diplomat for libel or slander. But today, this man who was known by a U.S. diplomat to be homeless now boasts that ” I was already a self-made man when I came into government”. Since when did homelessness amount to being “self-made”?

And Elrufai further showed his disconnect with the realities around him when he boasted in his interview that “there is no one who sat at the table with us when we were making these decisions and advancing these arguments that have come out to say that what I wrote there [his book, The Accidental Public Servant] is not true”. This statement is so easy to demolish. As at the last count, the following persons have come out very publicly on the front and back pages of newspapers to say that what Elrufai wrote is a lie; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Economics and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, former Central Bank Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim amongst others. In fact, Nuhu Ribadu was reported in the Punch of February the 19th 2013 to have said that “There is a huge integrity deficiency” in Elrufai’s book!

Does Elrufai have such a record for truth that we can say that his word outweighs the words of these gentlemen?

In any case, let me conclude by saying that Malam Nasir Elrufai has problems that may not be known to the generality of Nigerians and certainly by his current bed fellows in the All Progressive Congress. In his book, The Accidental Public Servant, Elrufai had terrible and nasty things to say about those whose backs he had already climbed on and reserved encomiums for those whose backs he needs to climb on. That alone speaks volumes of his character and should alert his current associates to the proverb that a slave who sees his fellow buried in shallow grave should know that he would receive the same treatment when his time comes.

Reno Omokri is Special Assistant (New Media) to the President.

Parable Of The Shower Head

Posted: September 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 By Pius Adesanmi

 

 
 

I never come again. I still dey faraway. Make you wait till I reach where I dey goooo… I wasn’t going to Fela’s Kalakuta Republic. My destination, two years ago, was Abuja in faraway Nigeria. Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, my very good friend and Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Canada, was launching his new book in the Nigerian capital and had invited me to the launch as book reviewer. The flight from Ottawa to Abuja via London was mentally draining. I spent a lot of time agonising over mode of delivery, level of language, and length of the lecture largely because Professor Hagher had assured me that all the state governors, federal ministers, senators, etc, invited to the event had confirmed to him personally that they would attend – and it turned out to be so.

My agony stemmed from my knowledge of the intellectual laziness and mental indolence of the Nigerian political class. If I was going to deliver a lecture in a Transcorp Hilton hall crowded by governors, ministers, senators, etc, what were the chances that that sort of crowd would understand anything or even listen to me beyond the first few sentences? Would they not be waiting impatiently for the book launch proper to flaunt how many copies of the book that they would buy for how much? Should I reduce the intellectual intensity of the engagement to take care of a class of people whose disdain for intellectual matters has consolidated a national apathy for books and erudition? Are these moneyed people not allergic to dogon turenchi? I concluded, rather ungenerously, that only Professor Hagher, the author, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Chair of the event, and yours truly, the speaker, would be there for my own part of the event – the intellectual part of things. If Chief Anyaoku liked the lecture, I concluded, it would be a privilege of a lifetime and any intellectually impecunious government official in the room could go and jump in the river Niger for all I cared.

This inflight mental stricture over which level of grammar to blow ensured that I got to my hotel room in Abuja completely exhausted. I travel so often for lectures that jetlag is no longer an issue for me. My tiredness, I thought irritably, had to be a consequence of worrying about the lecture I was billed to deliver the following evening. A long hot shower was the way to go! As I got ready to enjoy a shower, I took a mental note of the posh and gloss that the hotel had to offer and looked forward to a luxuriating experience under the water. In that environment, one could be forgiven for momentarily forgetting that one was in Nigeria, the earthly address that Satan rents to provide temporary accommodation for the occupants of hell whenever he needs to service the furnaces in hell.

Then came the reminder of where I was. Nigeria will never allow you to bear a false witness of efficiency against her. Nigeria will never allow you to accuse her wrongly of getting at least one thing right all the time. In all that luxury and mimicry of First World standards, I turned on the shower and hot water gushed out of only about four or five holes in the shower head. Remember that a shower head has hundreds of holes and it is the combined gushing, pulsating power of all the holes that provides the rounded shower experience. I called Reception and complained. Profuse apologies laced with sir sir sir and a promise to send the engineer (plumber, but they said engineer) up to my room right away.

The uniformed ‘engineer’ arrived less than ten minutes after my complaint. Ope o, I thought, not only was the Receptionist exceptionally professional, the service I requested was also in my room in record time. I made a mental note to report that positive side (one insignificant case but it was progress all the same) of Nigerian service delivery whenever I wrote an op-ed about that trip. Good evening sir, I hear that your shower is not working, he said, flashing a professional courtesy smile. Na so I see am o, my broda, di ting no dey work well, I offered in pidgin, reciprocating the smile.

His professional smile disappeared, replaced by a NAFDAC-certified Nigerian boisterous laughter: evidence that he now considered me a broda, a propa shon of the shoil, one of us, arawa ni, arawa ni bobo yen, arawa ni. In the spaces of sociality where Nigeria’s notoriously obnoxious and snobbish moneyed class circulate, such as posh restaurants and five-star hotels, they treat the staff much the same way they treat their drivers and domestic staff at home: like shit. Switching to pidgin often sends a message to such staff that you are not one of those useless ogas and their useless wives or concubines. It can ensure that an offended waitress will not spit in your food or urinate in your water before bringing it to your room or table to punish you for your snobbery.

Ah, oga, you sabi blow pidgin like dis? Make I go repair the di shower one time for you, he said, dancing his way into the bathroom. I made a few phone calls to Canada while waiting for him. Moments later, his strident calls of oga oga oga from the bathroom interrupted my phone calls and I rushed to join him there. His face was a blissful marriage of confusion and consternation. The shower was running, all of the four or five functional holes of the shower head hissed, coughed, and spat out water in furious staccato bursts. Oga, shebi you say dis ting no dey work? See am now. No be im dey work like dis? See, bucket even dey dis side in case you wan run di water for inside bucket sef. I understood what was going on. It was one of those situations where an utterance devours the response one would have offered. Oro di hun. Oro p’esi je o oro di hun. I apologised to him and attributed my not noticing that the shower was running perfectly to tiredness and he obliged me with more encouraging banter before leaving my room and disappearing into the hallway.

After one and half weeks in the hotel, I finally moved early this week to my official quarters on the campus of the University of Ghana at Legon. I’m here in Accra for one year as a Carnegie Diaspora Visiting Professor in African Studies. As I opened the door and breezed into the living room of my apartment for the first time, it told the story of First World standards. Cozy, posh, brand new appliances, from gas cooker to split airconditioner to toilet to bathtub to shower to king-size bed. I felt the usual pang of frustration that Nigerians feel whenever they are treated to a good dosage of Ghanaian infrastructural superiority and efficiency.

I took a shower a day after I moved into my apartment and was relieved that only four of five holes in the brand new shower head were working. Boy, was I happy! After nearly two weeks in this country, something to finally complain about! Something that ain’t working! Something to bring Ghana to the embarrassing level of Nigeria. Eta nu! I was going to milk this situation to the maximum. I was going to flog this horse and flog its carcase when it dies! I placed a call to maintenance and complained very bitterly. Listening to me, you’d think the world was coming to an end because my shower wasn’t working properly. Apologies, apologies, apologies. We’ll send someone to come and look at it tomorrow, Prof.

The technician woke me up the following morning. I showed him the bathroom. He turned on the shower and four or five shower holes obeyed his command. Prof, this is unacceptable. We are so sorry. I brought a replacement shower head. I’ll fix it for you. About an hour later, a replacement shower head was on duty, spitting out water from every hole on its surface. A dozen strings of apologies followed and the technician was on his way.

Two countries, two technicians, one problem: only four or five holes in a shower head are working. Their stratospherically different instinctive reactions, upon visual apprehension of this singular problem, tells in one powerful narrative brush the story of how either country arrived where she is today. It tells the story of the power of civic instruction and awareness. It tells the story of the only type of psychology that could power a country out of the backwaters of underdevelopment and set her on the course to joining the rest of civilized humanity in the 21st century.

It was the demeanour of the Ghanaian technician that I found so painful –painful is to be understood in the context of the statement that the said demeanour makes about my own country. His embarrassment was patent, his dissatisfaction written all over his face. You’d think that the fate of his country, Ghana, rested on him rectifying the situation and making sure it never happens again. Above all, there is that psychology of his that even if a single shower hole is blocked and ninety-nine others are working in a shower head, it ain’t right.

The Nigerian technician comes from a different world. One sordid and shitty world of rationalizing mediocrity, created by 160 million people and the useless political leaders who rule over them. All 160 million of us are responsible for this atrocious and unpatriotic psychology. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell who is more unpatriotic: Goodluck Jonathan and the bunch of corrupt clowns he leads in the political class or the people who are their victims. For the average Nigerian, in his daily treatment of Nigeria, ranks among one of the most unpatriotic citizens of any nation on earth.

Every time you accept less than perfect, justify it, impose it on people around you, you are killing Nigeria softly and unpatriotically. A taxi driver musters the courage to resist bribing a police officer, you, his passengers, turn against him. Why not settle them and stop wasting our time? How much dem dey ask sef wey you no wan roger them? Useless driver like you. Ordinary to roger dem 20 naira, you siddon here dey waste our time. If police shoot you now, dem go say na your mama co-wife cause am. Eventually, you force the taxi driver to bribe the officers. You are killing Nigeria softly with that unpatriotic psychology.

Don’t tell me. I know what y’all would have said were you in that hotel room with me and the technician and I had continued to insist on every hole in the shower head working. You would have descended on me like a ton of bricks: Oga, wetin be your own sef? You fall my hand well well o. How you go say dis ting no dey work? You think say na jand you dey? Na so una go come home dey do gra gra like say una no dey shit. Every time you agree that a shower head is working well because only five of its holes are blocked, you are killing Nigeria softly. Every time you see only about five or six pot holes in a 7-kilometre stretch of road and you continue to scream, ah, dat road good o, dat Governor try well well, you’re killing Nigeria softly for if there is even one pothole on it, the road ain’t good and you should scream for it to be fixed as if your life depended on it.

Take your average resident of Ilorin in Kwara state. He beats his chest over the spectacle offered by Ahmadu Bello Avenue. That is one of the poshest and glossiest streets in the Kwara state capital, the address of Kwara Hotels, Government House, and most ministries. At night, it is always very brightly lit. Yet, for every ten poles of street light, there are one or two bulbs missing or dead. That gives you about one or two black patches for every block of that stretch of beautiful government district road. Yet, the Ilorin resident beats his chest everyday: ah, ina wa ni be yen o. There is light there. The Governor is really trying o. The day we get this average Ilorin resident to understand and feel genuinely dissatisfied that one street light bulb ain’t working on Ahmadu Bello Avenue is the day we shall begin to win the battle for Nigeria.

I am saying in essence that the battle against corruption is not as urgent as the war to rewire the wrongly wired psychology of the Nigerian. Nigeria’s deadliest enemy is the psychology of the Nigerian, not corruption. Take corruption out of the picture, let us assume that a miracle happens and our rulers suddenly stopped stealing, from Aso Rock down to the local government headquarters, would that be a guarantee of progress? I think not. So long as the psychology of rationalization and excuses persists, we cannot make progress. Where public services are supposed to function 100%, if citizens are given 20% once in two weeks and they prevail on other citizens to be thankful to government for providing even that 20%; where they treat anyone who insists on 100% service as an outcast and an alaseju; where they collectively make it clear that we should all manage am like dat, zero corruption is no guarantee that such a people would ever make progress. Reno Omokri, the silly fellow in charge of Facebook and Twitter in Aso Rock, would even jump up and tweet silly photos of one or two roads tarred and exhort the people to gratitude.

This explains the 21st century embarrassment that is Nigeria. I’m afraid I also failed Nigeria very badly by giving up that evening in that hotel room in Abuja. I felt I didn’t even know where or how to start teaching the guy that he was wrong in his assessment of the shower situation. I didn’t bother to educate that ‘engineer’ that even if na only one shower hole block and ninety nine dey work, na im be say di whole shower head no dey work gabadaya be dat. I ought to have instructed that mind and won it for the Nigeria that we are fighting for. That was a teachable moment I ought to have seized to go to work on that Nigerian national psychology of elevating mediocrity to the rank of the last thing God created, saw that it was good, and rested on the seventh day.

Nigeria’s Death By Democracy

Posted: September 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Olumide Adeyinka.

Insidious is the right word to describe Nigerians’ love for Democracy in the face of very many challenging facts and evidences that has shown its harmful, treacherous and ever cumulative negative effects on the overall well-being of the nation and her people. Our overzealousness and obdurate dogmatist dependence on a totally foreign adoption of democracy, without any vibe or conscience to reappraise and retrofit the intrinsic nature, culture and value of our disparately diversified and incongruous populace into the definition of our own democracy has remained the greatest threat to our existence as a nation and a people. I therefore, predict, involuntarily, that Nigeria as a nation may die, neither the death by the belligerent regional bigotry nor the death by the pernicious religious philosophies that are sharply different, neither will Nigeria die the death of the ever untold portentous corruption that has lived with us forever nor the squabble for citizens superiority on the basis of language and tongue. I have every sane inspiration to predict, against my sincere patriotism and unalloyed loyalty to my fatherland, that Nigeria may die of what her people have come to embrace so warmly and closely acceptable but which works contrary and traitorous to us. This democracy may eventually extirpate Nigeria and obliterate us as a people of a unified nation. Our obsequious dependence on democracy as the only pattern of government that can liberate Africa is much more a new form of colonization that has mortgaged our resourcefulness and inspiration to evolve a very customized model solution to our very peculiar problem.

The known litany of problems we have as a people, stemming pre-independence to post-independent Nigeria, has shown that we possess a rare conditioned, but questionable, coping skills to neglect and abandonment. We have even developed a strange pedagogy to pass the skills to generations, and seem to be succeeding in that effort much more than the determination to ask for our rights and privileges. We see basic rights as privileges, as priced possession, as some will say, “thank goodness for democracy as we can now voice out our opinion”. Fourteen years after the experiment of uninterrupted democracy, most Nigerians still revel only in the victory of sending soldiers to the barracks.. Somebody said we are “mumus” or “magas” or “munguns”. We celebrate democracy as if we won a lottery of prosperity. We get bemused by election dates as rats let loose to eat poisoned roaches. We revel on party formations, and most annoyingly on rebels cross-carpeting to and fro-political parties as dead cats placed in the haven of rats. 5 became the majority over 24 in our national democratic arithmetic, and all we do is smile when salaries are paid three months late and we rejoice when a bridge is built in one community at a price enough to build 20 in several more. Governors celebrate 2 years in office with 10 Mosques built as dividends of democracy. The “progressives” who could not ordinarily stand a year of repressive military government before they jump from jail to jail have all-of-a-sudden become so mute in the face of tyranny because party political appointment is the only way to get rewarded for their ‘labor’ of our “gift” – Democracy. They all have vamoosed from the terrain of national activism into the lodges of Burdillon Road in Ikoyi or Otuoke in Bayelsa or the now reigning Adamawa house of Atiku Abubakar.

My intention is not to deride democracy in its elements and intent as a practicable system of government, but to advertise it as the only possible solution to human governance is totally unacceptable to wisdom, especially in the midst of very convincing success stories of many nations that has not practiced democracy. Relative Success Analysis is the most unreliable method of comparing nations based on their style of government. I mean, there are successful nations of the world that does not practice democracy the American way or the British style. There are nations that have been on Constitutional Monarchy for centuries and are still successful at it. There are Republic with a non-executive leader that are doing well till date. There are yet other countries that practice Absolute Monarchy and are stable. There are also failing democratic states too. To preach economic prosperity via democracy is the biggest lie of all ages, and Nigerians must awake to that reality. Democracy in 14 years should have given enough hope for a future that we can all be proud to leave for our children, but the truth is, we are worse for it in every shade.

Democracy is NOT just election on party basis, democracy is not majority carries the power, democracy is not just party politicking, neither is it party candidature only. Democracy does not concentrate power to anyone or any arm. Democracy is an all-embracing system of government that is about representation, participation and total inclusion. Period! I live in the United States, and can tell you that the U.S as the capstone of democratic example to nations does not come close to the elements of democracy that one reads about. For fifteen years now, almost everything about governance has been grounded on the rancorous anti-progressive rhetoric of party differences. Conflict and invidious reductive party lines are drawn at every opportunity at the expense of nations development. Ideology is no longer the driving force of national pride and development. Almost nothing has been done since after Bill Clinton. Actually, both Republicans and Democrats have called the Congress (the most important part of America democracy) the “lamest duck Congress” since after the great depression. The only thing that keeps America rolling is the institutionalized structures that have been built over 200 years of verifiable cooperation between both isles. It just simply shows that Democracy itself has no perfect realm of reference within humanity, probably not even in our homes.

Nigeria has not had any semblance of democracy by any definition or reference. What we have celebrated under the guise of democracy is Despotism by Oligarchy. Obasanjo was an autocratic despot and Goodluck Jonathan represents an Oligarchy as a puppet. Most perturbing to the soul is that those who benefit from the largesse of corruption have perfected the art of selling the dummy “to protect the bulging democracy” to the unsuspecting victims of abuse and neglect under the aegis of “Military government is an aberration”. Six and half a dozen will always be defined on the prism of perception in Nigeria. What is ingenious about a democracy that has produced more problems than we ever had in our history? The Nigerian democracy is simply a Democratic Citizenship System that allows only a selected elites (free men) to ‘vote’ (rig) and exclude the majority of the nationals as ‘slaves’. Though we were not called slaves, but we all are treated as one without rights and privileges. We neither practice Direct Democracy nor the Representative Democracy, but we still call it Democracy. How many of our people have access to register, vote and be counted. May Fela Anikulapo-Kuti find peace in his grave.

Why then do I think this Democracy will ‘kill’ Nigeria?

First, we lack what is called Institution Building Capacity. The building capacity has nothing to do with high level of literacy or intellectualism within our borders. Capacity to build institution is philosophical, structural, behavioral and cultural in perspective. Do you know how many electoral bodies we have formed and how many credible Nigerians have been made to sit above them in the last 30 years? Do you know how many political parties have been formed, defunct and reformed? Do you know how many electoral processes we have adopted from A4 option to open voting? Do you know how many failed people have been recycled in government to formulate policies for governance in Nigeria? Do you know how many viable men we have had fired because they seem too lethal to keep? I can go on and on, but suffice it to say that in answering the above questions, please do put in mind how many Professors, PhDs, MSc, BA, or even uneducated ones will be in the list. It crosses all spectre of the Nigeria nation. We just simply lack the forthrightness and foresightedness to build for the future. And it is not only in government. Think about the several Billionaires we have had in the past, and ask where they are with all the stolen money today? Take a look at abandoned projects of successive governors in our democracy and you’ll see the success of military regimes that we are quick to condemn. We have not even considered evaluating our very peculiar problems as a nation talk less of formatting a development plan to overcome such. There is no viable national institution in Nigeria that can withstand the rigorous test of posterity and stand. Even those that seem standing are built with rubbles. I hate to tell you this, but democracy depends so much on institutions that stands.

Second, we lack what I call Institutionalized Citizenship. Most Nigerians does not even have a clue what it means to be called a Nigerian. Have you ever wondered why Americans are proud and are still able to manage failures for years in their democracy? It is a profound citizenry that is educated, patriotic, dedicated and zealous for the motherland. Americans can fight on where you build a mosque or a Church, but when it comes to citizens’ obligation and expectations, they are as united against any religion or nation. What we mostly have in Nigeria is bigoted citizenry that has much more loyalty to religion and tribe and other sundry divisive agenda. Can you imagine some Nigerian “activists” on the social network does not even have respect for our constitution? Some Muslims told me in a forum that the Nigerian Constitution is so inferior to them because it is man-made. Their entire loyalty is to their religious laws and nothing more (however, many Muslims in the same forum corrected their excessive ignorance and religious patronage). I happen to meet a Special Adviser to a state governor in America for vacation and we got talking about Nigeria. As I was complaining of the many atrocities of government and condemning them, he looked me in the eye and told me “all is well with Nigeria as long as some people are empowered to take care of the weaklings in our society”. He believed in oligarchy to his roots. The conscientiousness of citizenry is very lacking in Nigeria as a nation. People describe themselves as Igbos, Hausas and Yorubas much more than a Nigerian. Most are only patriotic to money and power at the expense of others. I hate to tell you again that democracy can only be viable with a people so sold to dedicated patriotism.

Third, philosophy of ideas is what is needed to power political parties for a viable democracy. Unfortunately, political parties are formed by a derivative new name and no ideas. What is the philosophy of PDP? On what idea is the APC formed, except a coalition of very strange oppositions? The only pride PDP has ever announced publicly is that they are the biggest political party in African. A difficult-to-verify but necessary propaganda to enable them blackmail opposition. Anytime I think about APC, I can only chuckle and giggle on how politics work in Nigeria. I will be delighted to see Rush Limbaugh and Hillary Clinton work together someday. To see Buhari and Tinubu in a single party makes a good democracy drama. Extremely strange people are now bedfellows in APC just to wrestle power from the PDP. Assuming they get a presidential candidate and win the central election today, what will be the agenda the government will run on? Dedicated godfatherism or a ruthless anti-corruption crusade? I hate to tell you again, this democracy will destroy us if we don’t stop it now, build institutions and develop ideas and philosophies to run our nation on. We have none! Vision 2020, my foot!

Fourth, the saying “majority carries the vote” may be sound as a doctrine of democracy, but the intended meaning has been lost over years. What we have now is a cosseted exclusive preserve of a gaudy and ever purloining morph of people claiming a stolen mandate at the election as victory. I strongly have a problem with the Majority/Minority clause in any democracy. Majority wins, but democracy only declares the victory in ideas and not in exercise of absoluteness. Can we seriously define the word majority without conditions? In Nigeria, at election night, billions of naira is sacrificed for the victory party by the party that is victorious in over-rigged elections. You then ask why? Obviously, because it is a known fact that “prosperity” has come for the big players of the winning party. Nothing close to the expected reflection on how to govern and administer the state comes to mind. Most times, it is vacation time for the victorious team. If you look at the moment of prosperity in American history, you will be inundated with many cases of majority/minority participation in government because the simple lesson of joint ownership of the nation was never lost. Read about the days when America gets pummeled and you will see a state of winner-takes-all mandate that leaves the minority fighting tooth and nail to derail the government. It has gotten bad these days as opposition party sees members who partake of another party’s victory as liberal conservative or the conservative democrat. In Nigeria, the truth is there is no opposition and so the minority has always been the populace. Here is my problem with the majority/minority rule. Using the 2011 election data in Nigeria, a nation of 160 Million people and about 80 Million of which are adults of voting age, and there are 73.9 Million registered voters without any database (Red flag). The 2011 election result recorded 39.5 Million people voted (some of whom are Late Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson of U.S.A). Now, that is just about 50% voter turnout. That also means 39.5 Million of the 160 Million citizens voted. The winning party claimed to have 22.5 Million votes, which is about 30% of the registered voters. How does 12% of Nigerians translate to majority that automatically owns all? How would such a party conduct herself excluding the rest of the country and still call that democracy. That is the problem in America, Nigeria and Egypt’s Morsi. Morsi had 11% of Egyptian votes and felt he is now a god. Egypt will not take that. Majority wins by idea not by total instrumentation of power where the minority becomes ostracized in their own land. All are stakeholders in the nation. I hate to tell you this but democracy does not mean power grabbing and morally relativistic showiness.

Fifth, is our Problem Fixing Style. Democracy is so much about proffering solution to problems that affect a people in sovereignty via rungs of strategically positioned authorities from the grassroots (communities) to the topmost echelon that oversees. Problem solving is by upward mobility and not by downward gazette. People are the ones that can solve their own problems within their own community by the authorities that should reside with the people. In Nigeria, what we do with democracy is make order from above that all shades of government will have to obey. Governors are subservient to the president, and local governments, which are created to please powerful individuals without recourse to grassroots’ convenience or viability, are empty entities as appendages of state powers. Separation of power makes the dynamics of democracy thick, but in our case, power is absolutely centralized far from where the problems are. Governors are now trying to free themselves from the grip of central power drunks but they are turning around to deny the third tiers of governance, the local government, their own self governance because power is the ultimate of our democracy instead of service. Local government executives are scared of state governors who are hell scared of Mr. President. Our congress in both the states and central government are cymbals of noise making where most of them does not even know what and how to make instruments of law or understand the language of legislature. We will never fix any problem downwards, and that is our democracy, so I hate to tell you it’s a trip to nowhere. You cannot just correct it because it is systemic. We can only stop it and reevaluate.

Sixth is what call Vortex of Insecurity. The chief function of government at any level is security, and that alone has been the Achilles heel of democracy in Nigeria. Remember, insecurity is a recurring issue in Nigeria democratic government ever. At post independence, it caused a civil war. During what we call the first republic of Shagari’s administration, we had the Maitatsine Islamic group that reigned untold terror on the nation for 4 years between 1980-84. We lived with it for 4 years until Buhari/Idiagbon government came and ended it within a week in April 1984. The notorious Obasanjo government known for his military highhandedness romanced the Niger Delta Militants for the life of that administration. 14 years after, they are still killing and bombing despite billions of naira paid them monthly to keep them shut. Boko Haram took over in 2009 and we are still battling them till date. None of this would have been tolerated by the military, by the way. Why do we still fancy this democracy that kills us daily? How do we progress if we have internal threats? Violence is good money making venture in politics, and we know it. I am afraid, we’ll be stuck with insecurity until we stop this nonsense we adore as democracy.

Seventh on my list is Constitutional Ambiguity. The constitution that allows for religious freedom and rights clearly stated that such liberty is within the superior confines of our laws. In Nigeria democracy today, a senator can boldly tell us documents of our constitution are inferior to his religious rights, and still remain honorable. That is Nigerian democracy for you. Can you imagine an American Muslim senator say that? Our state governors are insanely acting as owners of the state. Akpabio can spend state money as he likes and nobody blinks. Politicians concoct bedroom economic figures to assuage the pauperized populace to jump uhuru. Nigerians’ alienable rights to live peacefully and pursue his/her legitimate means of livelihood in any part of Nigeria without let or hindrance is been abused daily.

Eight will be the enormously expensive democracy will bankrupt us shortly. Please do a simple arithmetic on how mush is spent on political party funding in addition to the unrivalled amount of money we spend on the electoral process, and you will know we are closer to bankruptcy than broke. Remember also that, all these monies come from nothing other than crude oil sale. Recent report says we lose above a quarter of our daily production to oil thieves. How then do we foot the enormous bills that are stolen everyday if not to borrow into the very far future for our children?
Billionaires are made on a daily basis on the instrumentality of hyperinflation and oil subsidy, and so we have many super rich people who have no industry or commerce.

Unemployment rate is unequal ever. Until we get the very strong selfless and patriotic ones in our midst who will fight for Nigeria and the good of the land without the political bottlenecks of democratic structures, we are getting close to wipe out.
Nigeria is about to die, and democracy will be the cause of death!

Olumide Adeyinka can be reached at nigardgroup@yahoo.com

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