As Nigerians continue to knock the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s elective fight against corruption, the spiritual head and founder of Shafaudeen worldwide, Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke, in this interview with Federationews2day, says that the present administration’s corruption fight, has the traces of the corrupt class who funded its emergence. Excerpts:
Nigerians are expressing worries over the present administration’s continued selective corruption war, what do you think is wrong ?
It is unfortunate that the All Progressives Congress(APC) was formed on the basis of looking for credible people, they were able to get that in President Muhammadu Buhari, but how to win the election depended mainly on who could fund the party. Unfortunattely, most of those people, who have the strenght to do it, belong to the corrupt class of the nation. It happened in Singapore, when Lee Kuan Yew wanted to moun the reign of power, he had nothing, but was sponsored by those who had amassed ill gotten wealth. Fortunately for them they were able to have a memorandum of Understnading(MOU) and they agreed with him, to suppor the cause of sanitizing the country in order that Singapore would be great again . That was how they were able to have their way. Singapore today, is a country that competes with the developed world, but in the case of Nigeria, the same scenario of change is not in play. Unfortunately, the big wigs in the pary are not ready to, let go of their ill gotten wealth.
At a time the President became ill, the illness was not natural, it was not, from God. And that is why he cried out. When you fight corruption, corruption may want to fight back. If not for God, the illness would have c onsumed him and that would have been to the advantage of the cabal and cartel, who would have returned to their free meal of ill-gotten wealth,amidst the turbulence surrounding this Government of President Buhari. Despite the fact that he survived the death threat and fire, his manliness began to fail him into mortgaging his conscience.
By now, dily dallying with the cabal, in taking some decisions, most especiallt the delayed ones. It is unfortunate, that his people are not helping him to succeed in the anti-corrution war, because they are damned to many and too powerful. Unfortunately, nobody wants to die again for the antion. A comparative analysis of Nigeria and some other nations, shows Nigeria as a nation that has failed the test of corporate governance, leading us into the stage of building strong individuals, rather than strong institutions.
As the new planting season approaches, farmers in Nigeria are not happy with the activities of those who sell adulterated agricultural inputs. In this interview with Federationews2day, the Executive Secretary of West Agro Input Dealers Association(WAIDA), Gbade Agunbiade says Major importers are to blame for bypassing the distributors in the supply chain. Excerpts :
Farmers are expressing worry over the activities of some individuals who deal in adulterated or fake agricultural inputs at the Ogunpa market. What is your association doing about this ?
Our association deals with agricultural inputs. Agricultural inputs such as seed, fertilizer, pesticide otherwise known as agrochemicals and farm implements. The association has received international interventions, particularly in the area of training and our members are well trained. Unarguably, Ogunpa market could be described as the hub of agro inputs in sub-Saharan Africa. My advice to farmers is that they should buy right. That is, they should buy at the right source. What I mean by the right source, is for them to buy from genuine WAIDA members. We have our internal mechanism to check erring members. But if people patronize non-members because of the lower prices, there is a possibility that they will buy wrong or adulterated or low quality or fake inputs. If farmers buy from our members, they should ensure that they collect receipts from such members. And if anything happens our office is open. The products are not made in Nigeria, so whatever happens to the exchange rate, will also affect the prices of the products. We also appeal to major importers to follow the conventional marketing practices. So, the idea of dumping products in the shops of every Tom, Dick and Harry, is a challenge. But if the product goes through the normal channel, from the major importer to the distributors, who are our members, from there to the retailers and to the consumers. This will be traceable. Not everyone who sells pesticide belong to our association. Our members are identified by our Identity cards.
Major importers are blaming the distributors for the proliferation of adulterated or fake products. What is your reaction ?
Our members don’t adulterate. We should ask the major importers whether they practice conventional marketing system. The problem is that major importers dump their products randomly, in such a situation, anything can be done with the products. If a litre is dumped with an individual, he can multiply it to five litres. But if such an individual belongs to our association we will punish such an individual. We have our code of conduct. Major importers are the ones that cause problems for farmers. They just decide to dump products on market days to Barbers, Hairdressers and people hawking minerals. At the end of the day they complain the these people adulterate their products. When an wholesaler sells directly to the end user, anything can happen. There should be legislation to curb this.
For Inquiries contact : The Executive Secretary West Agro Input Dealers Association(WAIDA)1st Floor, Ance Building, Magazine road, Jericho, Ibadan, Nigeria. 07054010737(WhatsApp)/08032499800
In July 2005, the then Acting Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, put in place a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the alleged killing of five Igbo traders and their female friend, by some policemen, at the Apo Mechanic village, on June 7 of the same year.
The committee which was headed by Mike Okiro, then a Deputy Inspector General of Police(DIG), was dissolved by the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
The President hinged his decision on the fact that the Police could not be a Judge in its own case. In addition, the President’s action was predicated on the testimonies of one Chukwu, a photographer hired by the Police in the Federal Capital Territory, to take photographs of the lifeless bodies of the six Nigerians.
The photographer had confessed that the Police were responsible for the crime, as he stated that he saw the Police bring guns and placed by the side of the six, to make them look like armed robbers, after which the Police ordered him to take their photographs.
The photographer also revealed that he was very shocked, when he saw the Commissioner of Police of the FCT Command, explaining to Nigerians that those killed were armed robbers, while relying on the photographs to give flesh to his explanation.
This development emboldened the President to put a stop to the Police investigation, to avert a situation whereby the outcome of the investigation would be favourable to the Police.
Without hesitation, the President set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to find out how the six were killed and the role of the Police in the incident.
Nigerians now felt that the action of the President was an indication of his lack of confidence in the competence of Ehindero, as Inspector General of Police.
Corruption and inefficiency have become recurrences in the Nigeria Police Force; this has affected almost every senior Police Officer, who has occupied the office of the Inspector General of Police.
In this dispensation, when Ibrahim Idris assumed office as the Acting Inspector General of Police, Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief, with the thinking that they would soon begin to sleep with their two eyes closed. This is, sadly, not the case.
Indeed, for several years, there has always been a disconnect between the IGP’s office and the 36 state Police Commands. This informed the establishment of special task forces by successive Inspectors General of Police, to tackle crime all over the country. What are the states Police Commands doing then?
Accusations of deprivation of funds and counter accusations of mismanagement of funds and corruption have characterized the relationship between the IGP’s office and the states Police Commands. On issues bothering on corruption, the Police cannot be a Judge in its own case, although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is an Anti-Graft agency.
The funding of the Police still remains in the circle of administrative bottlenecks and the late release of funds by the Federal Government. Sabotage now takes prominence.
Of worry, is the communication lag between the office of the IGP and the Police Service Commission(PSC). Since the PSC is not responsible for the appointment of the IGP. Successive occupants of the seat of the Inspector General of Police have always been suspicious of any suggestion or advice emanating from the commission.
Interestingly, some state Governments, which are promoters of state Police, have since taken advantage of the situation and have also become part of the issue for debate. However, state Police cannot fly, in an environment filled with political office holders bereft of ideology and principles.
Nigerians should not be deceived by the activities of some selfish and greed-driven citizens, who continuously discredit the present structure of the Police, in favour of sectional interests and designs.
As Nigerians continue to express displeasure over the Federal Government’s decision to enforce the ‘No Work No Pay’ rule, when workers embark on industrial action, the Founder and Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen world wide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke , in this interview with Federationews2day, advises the Federal Government to, in the first instance, clear the backlog of salary arrears, gratuities and pensions, owed workers, before it introduces a policy that is not worker friendly. Excerpts :
What is your reaction to the Federal Government’s decision to enforce the ”No Work No Pay Rule, when workers go on strike ?
The International Labour Organization(ILO)2007 states that workers’ agitation is expected, when they are not paid within the stipulated time, they are due for payment. If we are to go by the ILO law, which is universal and applies to workers all over the world, of which Nigeria should not be an exception, one will derisively rethink Government’s proclamation of ‘No Work No Pay’, in this period, when workers in Nigeria are owed more than eight months salaries and pensioners are yet to receive their gratuities in several states, as well as pensions. It is high time, we advise the Federal Government not to be unnecessarily rhetorical on issue concerning the rights of Nigerian workers, most especially when ti comes to the issue of mounting agitations to press home their demands, which takes the form of prompt payment of salaries, facility update of their working environment, and the need for Government to create an enabling and conducive environment to work, enhanced productivity and higher efficiency. When the yearnings of workers are not attended to, the lives of workers and their dependents are in danger, medical danger, safety danger, security danger and comfort-ability danger. This is because their dependents rest solely on the meagre amount or token received by Nigerian workers, for sustenance.
One should therefor, naturally expect, that workers through their labour unions should agitate for their rights, because without been paid as and when due, rights of accessibility to materials that will sustain them are trampled upon. It is unfortunate that in Nigeria we over politicize issue to the extent that the right to good living is been slashed into triviality, with the attendant death toll and lack of credible development, expected from Government. For example, when you go out to vote, you voted for those who will hold i the peoples’ mandate, for anybody who comes out victorious, through these votes, into positions of power, the expectations of the people, of the voters, is that those people in power, will be able to render stewardship and service which will transform into, provision of basic amenities and promotion of functional infrastructure, which in the Nigerian context is lacking. I will advise Government to be proactive on the issue of productivity and efficiency of workers through prompt payment of their dues including those that have served this nation during their prime ages, to the level of getting into retirement. It is only by this, that we can graciously roll out some rules of law, like ‘No Work No Pay’, based on truancy, sabotage and even what we can term as rebellious intentions.
The cries of marginalization continues across Nigeria, as the Federal Government intensifies efforts to have a firm grip of Governance. In this interview with Federationews2day, an Igbo leader, who is also the Onyendu Ndigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state, High Chief Alloy Obi, says that the South Eats Geo-Political zone of the country has not been treated fairly, in appointments into the board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC). Excerpts :
What is t your reaction to the suit filed by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba against the Federal Government on non inclusion of Igbos in appointments made into the board of the NNPC ?
The issue is very clear, how can there be 15 appointments on the board of the NNPC and no single person from the South East was appointed, 10 are from the North, three from the South West, two from the South-South, it is very bad. This is marginalization. The whole world is watching, do we really belong to this country ? Why can’t they give us our own share of appointments ? Out of 15 appointments, they do not deem it fit to give us just one or two slots. It is very bad, so, I support Dr. Olisa Abakoba for instituting a suit against the Federal Government.
Are you of the belief, that the rule of law and due process exists in Nigeria ?
There is no rule of law i Nigeria. There is nothing like that as far as I am concerned and there is nothing like due process Those at the top don’t respect the law.
What is your position on restructuring ?
Call it whatever name, the fact remains that we have to sit down and talk. Agitations will not stop unless Government does the right thing. People are not having what they are entitled to. I am an apostle of one Nigeria, but the issue of marginalization must be addressed.
Are you comfortable with governance in Nigeria ?
Come 2019, Nigerians should vote out the old brigade, the future of the young one is under threat, if one should go by all that is happening. There a lot of young people, who are competent enough to steer the mantle of leadership. My view is that come 2019, the old people in governance should be voted out. We are blessed in this country, but the problem is bad leadership. Politicians are holding this country to ransom. I commend the wife of the President, Hadjia Aisha Buhari, for exposing the poor state of the Aso rock Villa clinic, Look at what is happening inside the villa clinic, I sorry for this country.
What are your views on the crisis rocking the traditional institution in Ibadan ?
I don’t like what is going on in the Ibadan traditional institution presently. I will appeal to His Imperial Majesty and the Oyo state Government to resolve their differences amicably. We are also part of this state, I have been here for the past 45 years and anything that is going to affect the peace of the state, we must speak out. Everybody must make concerted efforts in sustaining the prevailing peace in the state. The traditional institution should not be desecrated.
Discrimination was the order of the day during the colonial era. In November, 1947, Imoudu led others to demonstrate against racial discrimination at the Bristol Hotel, Lagos.
In the cause of the demonstration, he was physically assaulted and arrested by the Police.
However, of worry, is the self-preservation approach of present day labour leaders.
At different times, he mobilized the conference of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to protest against colonial rule and also workers and peasants for the independence movement led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, during the nationwide tour of the National Council of Nigeria Citizens (NCNC), to raise funds and support for the Nigerian delegation to the constitutional conference in London.
The Labour wing of the NC-Democratic Grand Alliance, of which Imoudu was a member, won four seats in the Lagos Town Council elections in 1950.
In 1964, Imoudu led the general strike against the restriction of Democracy, which was targeted at compelling the Government to implement the report of the Morgan commission. In addition, he was a member of the Marxist Socialist Workers and Farmers Party.
In the Second Republic, he was Vice President of the Peoples Redemption Party(PRP) led by Mallam Aminu Kano.
His track record formed the basis for his becoming the founding President of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) in 1964. The NLC of today possess a different design and ideology.
Sadly, pragmatic approach to labour issues and concepts remain lacking, even as Labour leaders’ sacrifices and tribulations for Nigerian workers are cosmetic, debatable and trailed by controversy.
Those in the labour struggle, with Imoudu’s frame of mind and character are relatively few and extremely difficult to identify, in these days of ”he who pays the piper, dictates the tune”.
As Teachers, on Thursday, all over the world celebrated the World Teachers day, those in Oyo state have insisted that their working conditions were very poor and deplorable.
The Teachers, who stated that the thoughts of their unpaid salaries, have overshadowed any room for celebration, however acknowledged that the fact that they were still alive was a good reason to give praises to God.
They made reference to the deteriorating state of schools and the unfriendly environment , they work, as factors that have further affected their morale negatively.
At the Teachers House, Oluyole estate venue, of the celebration with theme ”Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” in Oyo state, the state executive of the Nigeria Union of Teachers(NUT)executive, secretariat staff, executives of the 33 Local Government chapters of the NUT in the state and the representative of the state Governor, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela and other invited guests formed the bulk of those who attended the programme.
The state Chairman of the NUT, Comrade Niyi Akano was conspicuously absent, even as some of those in attendance discussed his recent retirement from service.
In his remarks, the secretary of the NUT in the state, Comrade Waheed Olojede maintained that Teachers in the country deserved better treatment.
‘’The declaration of 1966 arose from the meeting of the Ministers of nations, who decided to draw attention of the entire world to the importance of Teachers and the teaching profession and they have come to realize from that meeting that teaching is the mother of all other professions, and that a Teacher is a moulder, is a builder and so they deserve to be recognized, they deserve to be celebrated and of course they deserve adequate remuneration corresponding to their statuses’’.
” I want to say that elsewhere in some other countries of the world Teachers are taken as some Lords, who must be worshiped, who must be celebrated and who must be given the right quantum of remuneration. But it is surprising and worrisome here in Nigeria, that Teachers are seen as mere instruments, who must be used and discarded with, what they experience or go through, in the hands of a very few, who have today, risen to positions of authority, you now see Teachers becoming objects of neglect, objects of discrimination, objects of starvation and objects of ridicule, which is quite unfortunate.
Comrade Olojede called on Government at all levels to key into the declaration made by the Ministers of nations, by giving Teachers adequate attention and remuneration.
The need for an increase in wages and better working conditions prompted Imoudu to lead a demonstration from the locomotive yard in Ebute metta, Lagos to the Government House situated at Marina, Lagos Island, Lagos.
The Governor General of the Colony of Lagos, Bernard Bourdillon noticed that any form of industrial action at that period, could disrupt railway supplies to the coalition, during the Second World War in 1941. It was on this premise he acceded to a 50 per cent pay rise for the workers.
This success, further inspired Imoudu to put forward more demands, among which were conversion of daily casual labour to salaried employment, Saturday work with pay, permanence of daily labour, holiday travel grant and payment of arrears to cover 1932 to 1942 of unpaid entitlements.
This did not go down well with Bourdillon, who facilitated the termination of Imoudu’s appointment on 23 January, 1943 and also ordered his arrest under the Nigeria General Defense Regulations, 1941.
In quick succession he was relocated and remanded at the Benin prison, while in prison, he influenced inmates to demonstrate against poor feeding and other deplorable prison conditions.
In response, the British Colonial Government in 1943, restricted Imoudu’s movement to the palace of the paramount Chief of Auchi and made an order for him to report twice a week to the Auchi Police station.
As a result of a face off with the District Officer of Auchi and his moves to facilitate the establishment of peasants’ cooperatives for the benefit of peasants in Etsako and Ora, he was again remanded in the Auchi prison.
Some of his comrades, including T.A Bankole openly spoke against Imoudu’s action, to the hearing of the Chief Secretary of Government.
After spending two and a half years in prison, the labour activist was set free.
A mass rally was held at Oko-Awo, Lagos to celebrate his release from prison, while nationalists such as Herbert Macaulay were on ground to grace the occasion.
In June 1945, he successfully led over 30,000 workers to down tools for 44 days.
The industrial action was hinged on the inability of the colonial Government to actualize the promise of Bourdillon in 1942, to review allowances according to living index.
Bourdillon’ successor, Arthur Frederick Richards vigorously refused to pay the allowance.
This resulted in the abrupt end of the unpopular Richards constitution, and set the stage for self government. To be continued.