The Urgent Need for The Peoples’ Votes To Count In Nigeria

In Nigeria today, Nigerians exercise their civic responsibilities at the polling booths, with hunger and poverty in the land intheir  minds.

This is to the advantage  of the contestants, who are extremely desperate to garner votes, to give them unhindered access to the Government treasury.

Sadly, at the Local  and State Government levels, the electorate are’blindfolded’ to vote for unknown candidates, who at the long run behave true to type, after winning elections. Since, they do not know those who voted for them, they immediatley disconnect with the electorate, once they occupy public office.

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Although sources of funds of contestants is of great importance, same  has not been given serious attention over the years.

However, in the time past, specifically 2007, the situation was quite different, when Princess Patience Ajudua won election into the Delta state House of Assembly on the Platform of the Accord Party, to represent Oshimili North state constituency.

The people of the  state constituency voted for whom they know very well and who also know them very well.

Princess Ajudua is from the Ajudua familyt of Ibusa, a family which has impacted poisitively, on the lives of the people.

The family, singlehandedly tarred the major link road from St. Augustine Primary school to the General hospital in Ibusa.

In addition the family rehabilitated and resuscitated the water reservoir in the community for the benefit of the people, while also ensuring that it constructed  an ultra moderm library inside St. Augustine Primary school. It also granted scholarships to imdigent students of the community.

Not done yet, the family established a community bank and named it after the founder of Ibusa, Umeje.

Indeed, personal resources had gone into the empowerment of the people , before Princess Ajudua became the peoples’ representative.

Such instances are rare in the present dispensation, considering the lies, deceit and unfulfilled promises of the elected representatives of the people.

The people have actually identified those who can deliver the dividends of Democracy, unfortunately, those identified do not belong to the two dominant  political parties in Nigeria. Although, Nigeria is not operating a two party system, the two political parties have up till date won  almost all elective positions in the country .

Of worry, is the  fact that most of the elected rperesntatives are rubber stamps to any decision taken by the Executive, even if  such decisions against the interests of the people they claim to represent.

Sadly, the cries of the people, that they are tired of cosmetic empowerment  programmes, have fell on deaf ears.

Curiously, the people insist that their votes did not count in the 2015 general  elections in a number of states of the federation, this they say resulted in the presence of strange faces as their representatives in public offices .

For the major purpose of economic growth and development, Government should do all within its capacity to ensure that the peoples’ votes count, and depend less on imposition and manipulation. Hopefully.

 

 

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Nigerian Politics and The People’s Predicament

In politics, lessons are repeatedly taught and learnt. It is now left for those involved to modify their gains and loses to suit the situation they eventually find themselves.

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Regrettably, the laws of Niccolo Machiavelli have all along been wrongly applied in this clime.

After the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) convention in 2003, Chief Barnabas Gemade made spirited attempts to be adopted as the Presidential candidate of the United Nigeria Peoples Party(UNPP), but failed. This was Chief Gemade’s fall back option, when his future in the PDP became uncertain.

Indeed, Chief Gemade was the backbone of the UNPP, in his home state, Benue, even though he was a card carrying member of the PDP. Not surprisingly, meetings were held in his home, with Chief Gemade in attendance. Of note, is that is followers held him in high esteem.

Curiously, it was discovered that the former PDP National Chairman, contested the Presidential primaries, alongside, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, with the intention to use same as a bargaining chip to persuade the then President to compensate him with a ‘mouth watering’ political appointment. This did not sail through.

Indeed, double standards, as a means to an end in politics has become a unique brand in Nigerian politics.

Chief Gemade began losing his followers, after he abandoned Senator Daniel Saror, who he successfully convinced to let go of his senatorial ambition to contest for the Benue governorship seat on the platform of the UNPP.

To be extra sure that Senator Saror abandoned his ambition, Chief Gemade boosted his morale financially and that was how Senator Saror was able to purchase the UNPP nomination form for a whooping N2 million.

Interestingly, at the Swange cinema hall, Makurdi venue of the governorship primaries, Chief Gemade, with the financial backing of a political money bag, Usman Abubakar(a.k.a Young Alhaji) influenced the leadership of the UNPP in the state to adopt Mike Mku, instead of Senator Saror as the party’s Gubernatorial candidate.

Already, aspirants for elective positions in future elections are aligning and re aligning, while hinging their intentions on optimism.

Indeed, a sizable number of these aspirants rely solely on optimism and money(for the money bags), as a strategy to hoodwink their competent opponents to the bargaining table, with hope that rewarding agreements would be made.

With this in mind, the average Nigerian, contending with insecurity and economic hardships, brought about by bad governance, is of the hope that the same quality of political office holders, presently on display, would not re-emerge to torment and torture all and sundry in a new dispensation.

About Behaviour                About Attitude               About Values

Nigeria’s Imam and Pastor: Faith at the Front

Adversaries Became Friends and Devoted Their Lives to Easing Muslim-Christian Tensions

By: USIP Staff

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In Northern Nigeria, where clashes between Christians and Muslims have claimed thousands of lives and torn communities apart, two prominent clergymen believe religion can also be a way toward peace.

Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye are both from Kaduna and fought on opposite sides during religious violence in 1992 that left thousands dead. Ashafa lost two cousins and a teacher in the conflict. Pastor James lost his right hand.“Most of us as youth, we went wild for vengeance,” says Ashafa. “We took revenge on innocent Christians who were living in our own communities.”

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Ashafa and Wuye came out of that experience determined not to let it happen again. Introduced several years later, they eventually began working together to bridge differences and cool tensions between Nigerian Muslims and Christians. They established the Interfaith Mediation Center  and, working with USIP, mediated a lasting peace agreement in the area of Yelwa-Shendam in Plateau state in 2004-05 after more than a thousand people were killed in religious violence. With seed funding from USIP, the center grew it into an institution that has gone on to  train others  in their own country as well as in Kenya, Iraq, Sri Lanka and elsewhere in strategies to resolve conflict without violence.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and largest democracy. With its oil reserves and agricultural sector, it is a crucial economic engine for the continent, and its position in the Lake Chad Basin and along Africa’s Sahel region makes it strategically valuable in the fight against global extremism.

But Northern Nigeria is riddled with political, economic, religious and social fissures that can turn deadly and destabilize the area. Interreligious and interethnic violence has erupted in Kaduna and Plateau states and elsewhere, leaving thousands dead, hundreds of thousands displaced and millions of lives changed forever.

Militancy and Radicalism

Militancy and radicalism also are on the rise in the region, most notably with the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorist group, which conducts attacks on civilians, including schools. Northern Nigeria’s crises, including the Boko Haram insurgency, have forced more than 2 million people from farms and villages. The resulting turmoil has destabilized other countries in the Lake Chad Basin and most recently triggered a famine.

Although the violence is fueled by such factors as land disputes, corruption, political inequality, and climate change that turns agricultural land into desert, the fighting is often couched in the form of religious disputes, pitting the huge Christian and Muslim communities against each other.

“Religious leaders are in especially strong positions to connect local communities and their concerns with wider political discussions and initiatives to address problems such as corrupt, ineffective, or exclusionary government,” says Susan Hayward, USIP’s senior advisor on religion  and inclusive societies.

“For more than 25 years, we’ve been committed to understanding and engaging religious actors and factors in zones of conflict,” she says.

In Nigeria, USIP works with a range of Christian and Muslim leaders, including Roman Catholic Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who is the Archbishop of the capital, Abuja, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, Nigeria’s highest authority in mainstream Islam. The two are well-known for their Interfaith Initiative for Peace, which seeks to defuse conflict over issues ranging from elections to land use.

Female Religious Leaders

USIP also assists interfaith and peacemaking efforts by female religious leaders such as Pastor Esther Ibanga, the late Bilkisu Yusuf and Sheikha Khadija Gambo Hawajah. Ibanga, a civil society leader from Plateau state, is founder and president of the Women Without Walls initiative and recipient of the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize honoring her efforts to promote women’s empowerment and peace. USIP worked with her as part of its Women Preventing Extreme Violence Project. Yusuf was a pioneering Muslim journalist, presidential advisor, and advocate of interfaith society. And Hawajah is chairperson of the Plateau State Muslim Women Peace Forum.

“These interfaith meetings build relationships between communities and security forces to prevent violence, and simultaneously help heal divisions that have resulted from decades of violence and conflict,” says Hayward.

A review of the Interfaith Mediation Center’s 2004-05 project in Plateau state found that dialogue was a critical tool in establishing the conditions that led to the signing of the peace accord. The agreement successfully ended hostilities, built trust and laid the foundation for social cohesion among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in the area.

The assessment also concluded that such efforts need to be accompanied by work to make government more effective and legitimate, to help address conflicts before they become violent.

“Grassroots dialogues are important for reducing violence, but we’ve found they need to be complemented by changes in governance,” says Oge Onubogu, a USIP senior program officer for Africa.

That’s why USIP also works withNorthern Nigerian Governor , who have outsized influence in pivotal areas where Boko Haram operates. Also, a year-old USIP-supported working group of eminent  civic leaders has pledged to support the governors in developing strategic, long-term plans for improvements. One of the working group’s projects, for example, is to examine a new peace building organization established by the governor of Plateau state to see if it’s a model that other northern states could use. The governor was speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, representing Shendam, in 2005 and worked with Pastor James and Imam Ashafa on their peacemaking project.

Ultimately, the aim is to build a larger community of grassroots activists and senior government officials in Nigeria with the tools and skills to effectively mediate and address grievances and disputes before they turn violence.

“We need to replicate ourselves,” says Pastor Wuye about his work with Imam Ashafa. “More imams, more pastors, more young women and community leaders to carry this banner.”

Source :USIP

About Behaviour                           About Attitude

Political Office Holders As Servants of the People

The basis for true civilization is the respect for law and order. Due process and the rule of law, features prominently in the lexicon of societies all over the world.

Indeed, unstable power supply, lack of good roads, declining standard of education, unreliable health care delivery, high unemployment rate and insecurity are just some of the challenges threatening  the diminishing  hopes of Nigerians, who before this time, had high expectations.

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The myriad of challenges persist because the political class are in short  supply of Democrats, who possess finesse and are willing to embrace the culture of Democracy and the rule of law.

At a point in time in Nigeria’s history, the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari was the Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP), while a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar was the standard bearer of the Action Congress(AC). The stake holders of the coalition are now singing different tunes.

Indeed, constitutional Democracy is a vital tool for a stable united Nigeria, with emphasis on unity in diversity.

This line of thought recommends that the  of leaders of each ethnic group should have  a basic willingness to engage in cooperative efforts with the leaders of other segments in a spirit of moderation and compromise, while still retaining the support and loyalty of their own followers.

The commitment of leaders of all ethnic segments to the continued unity of the country becomes crucial and debatable.

Without doubt unity is synonymous with the safety of lives and property, in a workers’ friendly environment. With this in mind, it would not be wrong to call for the restructuring of the Nigeria Police Force by Government and at the same time, it is high time workers restructured their trade unions for better results.

In the present dispensation, a major characteristic of governance at all tiers, is the constant abuse of power.

Sadly, over the years, the servant leadership ideology has failed to take root in the country’s national life, with political and public office holders as prominent actors.

However, Nigerians are hoping that sometime very soon, political and public office holders will reconsider their present positions, and become servants of the people. Maybe.

About Attitude                                           About Behaviour

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Nation wide Broadcast

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

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In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analysed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance. I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse. The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of; economic security, political evolution and integration as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.”

Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

 

Ebonyi Govt To Close Down Private Schools Without Operating Licenses

The Ebony state Government has declared that it will close down any private school in the state which does not have the approved license.

This declaration was made on Monday by the State Commissioner for Education, Prof. John Eke in Abakaliki.

“It is the license that you validly secure from the ministry of education as a school proprietor that qualifies you to open and operate a school in the state.

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“We are not in a lawless state. There is law and order which moderate the behavior and actions of individuals.

“It is therefore against the law of the state to establish and operate any school, including nursery, primary and secondary, without an enabling license issued by the ministry,”

“School business is not like the normal business where the owner has a mindset of profit maximization. It goes beyond that”, Prof Eke concluded.

“The school is a place for character moulding where the totality of the life of the child including the mental, emotional, spiritual, social and cultural aspects, are shaped.

“That is why we are being careful while screening applications for issuance of operating licenses for prospective school proprietors.

“We also carry out periodic review through monitoring and evaluation of schools to ensure that they are complying with the set standards,” he said.

Nigerians Look up To Govt As Zambian President Declares State of Emergency to Protect Lives and Property

In Nigeria, several incidents have occurred which no doubt have endangered the lives of innocent citizens.

However, Government, in its wisdom, has responded to such incidents within its capacity and ability.

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Nigerians are patiently expecting the Government to do more to ensure the safety of lives and property in different parts of the country.

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Several lives have been lost and properties running into millions of Naira lost.

Interestingly, in the Zambia, the President, Edgar Lungu, with the invocation of  Article 31  of the country’s constitution,  declared a state of Emergency in a nationwide broadcast in the electronic media.

President Lungu maintained that this was the only option, in the face of threats to lives and property.

“There is no doubt perpetrators of this act is to make the country ungovernable. As President, I will not tolerate this lawlessness,” the President stressed.

The President spoke after fire destroyed Lusaka’s city market.

Allies Under Attack: The Terrorist Threat to Europe

Georgia Holmer testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.

By: Georgia Holmer

I testify before you today as the Director of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) at the United States Institute of Peace, although the views expressed here are my own. USIP was established by Congress over 30 years ago as an independent, national institute to prevent and resolve violent conflicts abroad, in accordance with U.S. national interests and values. Violent extremism and terrorism pose significant challenges to peace and security in our world today, and understanding its causes and finding ways to address it are priorities for USIP.  Read more……..

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23 YEARS AFTER, STILL IN OUR MINDS

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CHIEF DAVID ADEBAYO ADEWUMI

       (Retired Principal)

Badagry  Grammar School, Badagry, Lagos state, Nigeria

Epe Grammar School, Epe, Lagos state, Nigeria.

Trinity Secondary  Technical School, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos Nigeria et al.

       B.A Econs., Dip. Ed. Durham F.R. Econs. S.(End) M.N. Econs. S.(Nig.)

      The Akogun of Ibeshe, Lagos state

      (Former Electoral Commissioner, Lagos state(Alhaji Lateef Jakande Civilian         Administration )

 

      Daddy, the legacy you left behind 23 years ago still stands like the THE ROCK OF GILBRATA.

                                  BISI, TUNIJI, NIKE, FUNKE, TAYO