Category Archives: politics

Afobaje of Oyo State

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The 67-year old governor of Oyo and former Senator the Republic of Nigeria representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi, has unofficially proclaimed himself as the “afobaje” of Oyo State. It is rather annoying and disheartening that our so-called leaders still live in the primitive world.

During an interactive session with newsmen organized to mark the `Democracy Day’ and the sixth anniversary of governor’s administration’s, which has been plagued with several controversies, one of which is the “constituted authority” drama, the governor stated that 34 aspirants are currently jostling to succeed him under the platform of APC.

“I have seen about five people who have the potentials to succeed me. I will let you know whoever will be my successor by May next year,’’ he said.

The governor further stated his desire to return to the National Assembly as a Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District after completing his tenure as governor in 2019.

While I would not be a judge of the “constituted authority” of Oyo State that has seen my friend spend over three years in 300L at Ladoke Akintole University of Technology, I sit back and wonder why anyone would want to vote for a person that has said and showed that as the supposed #1 person in Oyo State, he can decide to do whatever he pleases.

His consideration to return to NASS can be likened to a dog returning to its vomit. If I may the governor and the people of Oyo South Senatorial District, “what did Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi achieve during his first spell representing you? He is 67 years old already and I am wondering if there are younger, fresher and better heads in Oyo State to direct the affairs of the “Pacesetter State”.

I guess I can only write and see how 2019 and beyond pans out for Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole. But as I will always say, #OurMumuDonDo.

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The Opposition

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The APC was a somewhat formidable opposition to the PDP, especially after it was formed in February 2013. This subsequently led to the party winning the 2015 election, with the “change” mantra being its major campaign slogan. All this is history, and the country has moved on since then.

It is, however, unfortunate but not surprising that in a country like Nigeria, there has been almost no opposition to the current government. While I might no be a strong advocate of opposition, I believe in constructive criticism and not what the likes of our award-winning senator cum musician are doing in the national assembly.

The only credible opposition to a government or party is the electorates – the so-called ordinary citizens of Nigeria. If you are wondering how I came to this conclusion, try to Google the list of “dignitaries” that attended former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida’s daughter’s wedding. Jagaba, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was pictured attending the ceremony of a man accused of killing his political mentor – MKO Abiola, sitting beside who was supposed to be his arch political rival – former President Jonathan.

The only result that can come out of such an association is how Nigeria and Nigerians can be dragged deeper into the dungeon of suffering and poverty. It is, therefore, time for Nigeria and Nigerians to stop the blame game and the winning. Instead, let us criticize and oppose our “rulers,” asking questions and holding them accountable, as this is the only opposition that would give us the change we want if we want any at all.

Be an active part of the polity or let hoodlums and touts decide your future and that of your unborn children and grandchildren.

As area father would say, #ourmumudondo

​TIME FOR THE UNDERDOGS

underdog-into-and-exit-1024x604The run-up to the 2015 presidential election was indeed an interesting period. The struggle for PVC, the intrigues and campaigns that divided the nation into progressives versus transformationists (supporters of the status-quo), media coverage, the election postponement, the election proper, card reader woes, counting of votes and final announcement of results. Nigerians were really interested in the outcome of this election.
Just like recent American and British elections, Nigerian 2015 Presidential election was largely influenced by new media – the Internet and social media platforms & sites (Leuschner 2012, IET 2016). Nigeria’s improving tele-density accounts for an estimated 16 million Twitter/Facebook users so far (Internet World Stats 2016). Political discussions on these new media are so ubiquitous, little wonder Nigeria is better rated than the US and the UK in the use of social media for politics (Jackson 2016). Thus the viability and preference of the new media cannot be over-emphasized.

There are 40 registered parties, 14 of which participated in the 2015 presidential elections (INEC 2016). Indeed the election result concurs with earlier held elections to show our bi-partisanship Votes distribution was as usual skewed in favour of only 2 parties while the other 12 parties polled negligible votes. This should not necessarily be so. It is not a hopeless situation for the small fries, the new media is here to stay and it’s egalitarian platform guarantees success to any political party with a holistic combination of presentable candidates, appropriate manifesto and robust IT strategy.

Taking a cue from the just concluded 2016 American elections we learn that:

1. Any publicity is good publicity. Just be in the limelight. The news & social media unwittingly created more attention for Donald Trump. Even those that were obviously for the wrong reasons were skillfully maneuvered by the Trump camp.

2. There exists a grand distrust for career politicians by the electorate. Such was the story of the unpopular Trump who triumphed over Hillary because Americans were tired of liars, sorry I meant to say politicians. They just are the same, aren’t they? Always talking from all sides of their mouths; upholding today what they vehemently opposed yesterday.

What’s more, allegiances change. Nigerians are largely after good governance. The PDP was booted out for abysmal performance and so can the APC. Who says if KOWA or APGA have the right combinations that they can’t win the next presidential elections?

Now is the time for all to act. Let us make electioneering more interesting in Nigeria and by so doing, up the ante in the quality of elected officials irrespective of their party affiliations.

Hillary Clinton trumped by Donald

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The keenly contested election to decide the 45th president of America came to an end on Wednesday with Donald Trump emerging victorious. The celebrity entrepreneur widely regarded as a political outsider drove to a rather surprising and unexpected victory, ending eight years of democratic governance in the United States.

Trump has always spoken out against part of the Obama-led government policy, with the likes of Obama care and nuclear agreements with Iran, coming under strong scrutiny. It will definitely be a government to look forward to, with Clinton quickly calling Trump to congratulate him on the victory and wishing him the best in his dispensation.

The possible effects of either side winning the election was seen in the early hours of Wednesday, especially with Trump gaining ground. The financial sector is one of the main sectors affected by the news.

Global equity markets witnessed a decline after hearing the news of a possible presidency headed by Donald Trump, largely due to the uncertainty about the economy, in particular as regards trade and economics.

US stock futures and Asian stocks were not left out of the downturn as investors and other such players worry about what the new government had available in the field of economic policy and their potential effects.

Currencies such as the USD and Peso also witnessed a decline in value in the early hours of Wednesday, valuing the price of gold as expected.

The FTSE 100 rebounded after the start of the recession as the new president gave his victory speech.

We can only look forward to the next few days for the further consequences of this sensational US elections, especially in the financial sector of the economies in the world

How Boko Haram caused Tomato Scarcity in Nigeria

boko-haram_3173406b  The statement that insurgency in the North East by the Boko Haram sect led to the current tomato scarcity experienced across the country made by the Minister of Information and Culture did not only amuse me; it also reminded me of the former Minister of Information, Labaran Makun’s statement that the then President Goodluck Jonathan brought Facebook to Nigeria.
While I am just like any other Nigerian, who will jump of headlines to draw a conclusion without reading the news in full, the two statements just go to show the kind of country we have and of course, the kind of citizens we are.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbeh clearly stated that the current tomato scarcity is caused by what is popularly known as “tomato Ebola” and this makes it even funnier that another Minister is attributing the situation to the insurgency. Alhaji Lai Mohammed claims that farmers have been chased away from their zone due to insecurity. He also added that the country has lost two years of harvest to the insurgency.
I will not be drawing any conclusion to what the honorable Minister said, but I have one question – why should we be suffering this issue when the insurgency has been defeated according to the same Minister of Information. This question leads to two sub-questions – the first concerns the Minister’s claim of losing two years harvest, but the last time I checked, Nigerian tomato farmers do not store their produce so how can be losing a harvest that has never been stored? The other question is that if Boko Haram did not cause tomato scarcity when the insurgency was biting hard, why do we have scarcity now that the present administration is claiming victory over the insurgency.
So before our Ministers and other public office holders come out to make statements, they should think carefully and remember that “the talker should remember those that know how to listen.” And for Nigerians, especially the young ones, it is high time we started embracing politics and politicking if we want to put a stop to this menace and embarrassment.

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Over 365 days of Buharinism

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The PMB-led government has spent over a year in control and just like any average Nigerian; I am yet to see the direction of the administration and I stand to be corrected.

While it might be rightly argued that the present government inherited an almost dead nation, hike in fuel price, increased electricity tariff, and an alarming foreign exchange rate leaves people like me confused as to when the “change” we clamored for will come to pass.

It is important for parties on either side of the argument to note that pragmatism just as Wole Soyinka said, is the only reasonable way of looking at the situation here. Whether you are for the government or against it, it is important that the government give a clear direction of what to expect.

In an administration where we get as many as three different answers to a particular question like the recent case of fuel subsidy removal or deregulation of the downstream sector. The president recently told Nigerians to tell him if any minister should be removed but how can we score an administration or the cabinet that has only lasted less than four months with a budget that has not even been implemented.

Yes, we have been able to significantly reduce the activities of the BH boys, and cynical as it may sound, one of the Chibok girls is back, with some looted monies being allegedly recovered, but besides these, Nigerians are yet to smell the change we voted for.

So to PMB and his team, all we want is a “New Nigeria” that was promised to us during the campaign, we have had enough of how PDP and past governments almost ruined the country, after all, the only reason why we elected you was because we wanted CHANGE – a positive one at that.

Over 730 days of Confusion and Tears

It was a sad day on the 14th of April 2014, when over 200 girls from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State were abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Today makes it over 730 days, 17,520 hours, 1,051,200 minutes, or over 63 million seconds of confusion, tears, and all sorts of emotional hurts not only to the abducted girls or their relatives but also to every well-meaning being across the globe.

The story of the abduction was labelled with different attributes and while some still see it as a conspiracy or political stunt to oust the then GEJ administration, the fact that the over 200 hundred abducted Chibok girls is just a fraction of the lives that have been taken either in the form of abduction or killings by this miserable sect cannot be denied. It is even more evident now that a video showing some of the abducted girls was released by the terrorist group.

276 girls were reported to have been abducted with 57 of them escaping from the terrorist group. Since Boko Haram started its exploits in 2014, over 2,000 boys and girls are reported to have been abducted with only a fraction of this number recovered.

The major question here is not just whether the girls and other abductees are alive or dead, but what they have become if they are alive. A father of one of the Chibok girls reportedly got a call from the number of his daughter but on returning the call, a man that claims to be the husband to the owner of the phone answered and threatened the father never to call the line again. This gives a picture to what might be the current condition of these abductees and if they will ever be found.

The Bring Back Our Girls #BBOG group led by Dr. Obi Ezekwesili has consistently been at the forefront of the call to return the Chibok girls and other abductees of Boko Haram. Support for the agitation to return these girls has from people across the globe even as celebrities and the first lady of the United States giving her backing to the return of these girls.

Videos of the abducted girls being converted to Islam have surfaced, and this is just a very insignificant impact of what could be a result of over 2,000 boys and girls kidnapped by a terrorist group. If these girls have been married, impregnated, or even made to bear offsprings, then we might be looking at an even bigger impact.

One can only imagine the pains and anguish passed through by the parents, siblings, and loved ones of the Chibok girls and other such abductees and pray that these girls are brought back to their homes and rehabilitated to be able to live the lives they have always dreamt of and become good citizens of Nigeria.

It is a collective responsibility of governments of all levels and the citizenry to be conscious of happenings in their community and continuously strive to have a safe and secured Nigeria for us and the unborn generation especially for those of us that do not have any other country to run to.

The vindication of Buharinomics

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The last couple of months have not been particularly rosy for Nigeria and Nigerians especially with the naira depreciating to as low as 380 to a dollar and over 500 naira to a pound. This led to the cry for the devaluation of the naira by economists and people that knew close to nothing about economics even joined the cry for devaluation.

The argument In favor of devaluation underlined the fact that those crying for devaluation were either speculators or as mentioned earlier, had no knowledge about economics.

Devaluation as repeatedly stated by our economist president, only favors big economies that manufacture and want to increase their export has this makes the products cheaper to international buyers. Unfortunately, my dear Nigeria is an importing country and devaluing the currency will only lead to more hardship especially to the masses.

It was however good news to Nigerians especially those that knew what devaluation would mean to the citizenry when Nigeria suddenly began to appreciate, trading for as low as 310 and even 295 to a dollar in some places as the close of business on the 24th of February, 2016.

Speculators that have bought the dollars in recent times in anticipation of a further decline in the value of the naira can start to count their losses with the recent appreciation.

One obvious point that Nigerians have been able to appreciate is the knowledge of the President and PMB’s desire to make life easier and better for the masses.

The sudden increase in the call for made in Nigeria products also resulted from the fall in the value of naira, which can now be said to be a blessing in disguise if we decide to act what we preach and patronize made in Nigeria commodities.

With the vindication of Buharinomics and the appreciation of the naira, we hope the currency continues to appreciate and who knows, we might eventually live the dream of 1$ to 1naira.

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Capital Punishment for “Capital Criminals”

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Even with the cry especially from the so-called human rights groups across the globe calling for the abolition of capital punishment in countries of the world over, it is quite surprising that quite a number of countries still have it entrenched in their constitution to punish offenders of different forms.

China is one of the very few popular countries that still punish some criminals by sentencing them to death by shooting, lethal injection, and the likes. It is even more surprising that the world’s most powerful country that has human rights deeply entrenched in her constitution actually had 35 cases of capital punishment in 2014, with China recording the highest number of such cases in the same year with 3000 executions.

The argument here is not about whether this type of treatment should be abolished globally or not, it is actually to somewhat examine the “capital crimes” and judge on the right type of punishment deserved. The following illustrations are for our careful and honest assessments.

  • An adult rapes a girl or a woman, and the victim subsequently commits suicide as she is unable to stand the stigmatization, shame, and trauma that come with rape.
  • A family dies from an auto accident due to bad roads that were left unfixed or uncompleted as a result of a corrupt public officer/contractor failing to execute a contract to fix the bad roads.
  • A man is unable to cater to his family for months as a result of unpaid salaries that were put in fixed deposits accounts by top officials of the ministries, leading to some members of the family engaging crimes such as armed robbery, prostitution, and cyber crime.

The illustrations above are just some of the many scenarios happening in our dear country Nigeria and practically everyone can easily relate with at least one of them. The question is that, from the rapist to the corrupt public officer/contractor, to the top officials of the ministries, which one of them can be completely exonerated of committing murder? The recent DasukiGate phenomenon that saw monies meant for the acquisition of ammunition diverted by corrupt official is a vivid example of this case. Thousands of Nigerians have been killed and millions left homeless no thanks to the activities of the Boko boys, and one wonders if some of these lives could have been saved if these looted monies were put to use appropriately.

After these illustrations, I leave you to be the judge of the situation if (God forbid), you happen to be a victim of any of the unfortunate happenings mentioned above.

The Nigerian Corruption Fight

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#DasukiGate has continued to make the headlines and remain a hot topic ever since the Buhari-led government started its crackdown on corrupt public office holders. Many Nigerians especially those of the now opposing party – PDP, are of the opinion that the fight is one-sided and it is actually used to tackle the members of the PDP. While they might not be totally wrong, the question that should be addressed is whether or not these guys stole the money.

The case of Dasuki is a classic “ole gbe, ole gba” case – “thief steal am, thief collect am” case. While the recent arrest of Isa Jafaru, a close ally of President Buhari might extinguish the claim that the corruption fight is only a witch-haunt, the rumor that he was released by the EFCC after allegedly refunding #100 million of the 170 he was accused of collecting, with an undertaking to refund the remaining 70 leaves a question mark on the fight against corruption.

In my view, what is good for the goose is good for the gander and accordingly, the likes of Raymond Dokpesi and maybe even Dasuki himself should be treated the same way Jafaru has been treated. In the same fight against corruption vein, Nigerians should also look inward and judge objectively irrespective of the side of the fence we are. If we have been fighting the insurgency that has led to the death of thousands to millions of Nigerians for more than half a decade without a significant result only to discover that the claim of some Nigerian soldiers that they were under-funded to tackle the insurgency is real, no thanks to the Dasukigate.

This simply means that the thousands of lives lost due to insurgency can be directly or indirectly linked to Dasukigate just as the lives lost due to auto accidents that occur on bad roads that were left uncompleted by contractors can be linked to these scrupulous contractors. It is therefore imperative that as we judge Dasuki and the collectors of the money meant for fighting the insurgency, we look inwards and look at the multiplier effect of our actions or inaction and assess the tens to hundreds and thousands of lives that would be affected by that singular action or inaction.

All in all, there is a Dasuki in an average Nigerian and it is left to us to correct our ways to ensure the corruption fight we all clamor for is done wholeheartedly if we are to have a new Nigeria we all wish for.