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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The Wages of Shielding Corrupt Persons

In 1996, when Jose Maria Aznar became the Prime Minister of Spain, the country was ranked among the poorest in Europe.

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Weighed down by the home grown separatists, deteriorating economy and penetrating poverty, Spain was not in the competition within Europe.

However, within a space of five years,  Aznar made the difference. He turned around the economy of Spain, and effectively curtailed the activities of terrorists in the Basque region. At a point in time, the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of Spain was more than those of Canada and Russia.

Spain regained its frontline position in Europe, while its citizens had a refreshing  new lease of life,  for the period  it lasted.

With this as a background,  the present administration in Nigeria has since its inception on May 29th, 2015, focused on corrupt elements outside the corridors of power.

Curiously, happenings have indicated that no political office holder either former or serving, who belongs to the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) has come under the searchlight of the anti-graft agency-the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). The EFCC has been ferocious, in its hunt for  those in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). Blackmail, intimidation and threats are now tools in the hands of those with the wherewithal, to whip dissenting voices to submission.

Of worry, is the visible signs of corruption that are present in every nook and cranny of most states of the Federation.

A dangerous method on parade presently, is the public indictment of targeted passt or serving politically exposed persons, in a bid to frighten them to part ways with their political ambitions. Also of note, is the existence of the ‘untouchables’, these are the individuals who bankrolled the present administration to power.

Out of self preservation, those indicted and the ‘untouchables’, support the ‘status quo’, while their ‘wrong doings’  are discreetly, swept under the carpet. Among the lot are ‘spoilers’ and thos co-opted to mislead the citizenry.

With this as the latest  template, the present administration, as could be observed from  happenings, has continuously exhibited its inability to be sincere in its fight against corruption in the land.

Sadly, Nigeria might not be able to follow the path of Spain, as long as identified corrupt persons remain in Government and are vigorously shielded from prosecution.

We want to Ensure We Get to Govt. House in 2019-Seyi Makinde

Members of the Poples Democratic Party(PDP) in Oyo state have resolved to put aside individual interests and work towards the party’s victory in the 2019 Governorship elections in the state.

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This disclosure was made recently, by Engr. Seyi Makinde, in a chat with Journalists after the state congress of the  PDP held at the Baptist Secondary School, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, Nigeria.

”We’ve resolved to work together for the interest of the party. And we want to ensure that we get  to the Government house by 2019”, Engr. Makinde stated.

 

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

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

 

 

Agitations : Nigerians Should Follow The Path of Constitutionality and Law- Senator

Nigerians with grievances have been called upon to follow due process and the rule of law, while agitating for a change in the status quo.

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This call was made  by the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

“Whoever has genuine grievances should follow the path of constitutionality, law, dialogue, love, brotherhood and peace. We are one. We have the resilience and infinite capacity to handle all challenges confronting us as a people”.

“Every Nigerian should feel at home and protected wherever he or she finds himself or herself in the territory of Nigeria”.

“So I want to strongly advise and appeal for peace and urge our security agencies to be vigilant and maintain the peace at all times. We don’t want our fellow citizens to be intimidated, harassed or killed extra-judicially for whatever reasons”.

“I must advise also that this should not be a pretext by any security agent to harass our peace-loving people. That shouldn’t happen at all.  Let’s constantly engage with ourselves in wisdom as we build a better society for all, Senator Omo-Agege  concluded.

 

Restructuring : Is the People’s Welfare the Issue ?

In 1998, the Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo restructured, 12 months after the structure became the platform to campaign for Igbo Presidency.

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In 2004,  the socio-cultural organization restructured, even though  the general elections came up in 2007, and Nigerians  were of the opinion that the Presidency of Nigeria was for  all Nigerians. Their argument was hinged  on the fact that no section of the country was excluded from aspiring to become the number one  citizen.

Indeed, there has never been and there is  still not any  constitutional law  that stated that a particular  tribe  cannot vie for the position of President.

Interestingly, Ohaneze is a South East  Geo-Political zone based organization, which seeks to project the image of the Igbos and the  rest of Nigeria in  general.

Although at a particular point in time, the organization was accused of been elitist, its  objective  according to a cross section  of  members is to  ensure that the ordinary  man  in the street  is  a member.

The members  argue that anybody who  is  Igbo or  of Igbo  extraction, within  Igboland or in diaspora, should be considered as a member of Ohaneze. Such individuals, according to them  can attend meetings without a  third party making  introduction.

”You can come to Ohaneze meeting without anybody introducing you. If  there is need to introduce yourself, you get up and tell them who you are”, they stated.

In an interview session with a Lagos based news magazine in 2004, the then President of the Anambra chapter of Ohaneze, Dozie Ikedife, insisted that restructuring was on course, irrespective of any presidential election.

”If it happens that no  Igbo man is installed  as President this  time around, Ohaneze will still play  its role to ensure that a President is installed  in this  country and that things move peacefully with a sense of  equity, fair play, justice and enhancement of the sense of  belonging  for  all”, Ikedife had declared.

Since no  tribe or ethnic  group has been excluded from Nigeria, the debate about who occupys the  number one seat in 2019 and other election dates, should be for  all and sundry. Perhaps.

The Significance of the Argungun Festival

The Argungun festival  made its debut in 1934, that year, Sultan Hasan Dan Muazu Ahmedu visited Kebbi kingdom and the festival was organized in his honour.

The festival’s significance stems from its role in ensuring peace between the former Sokoto caliphate and the Kebbi kingdom.

The festival featured men and boys, who compete, to catch the largest fish, which was afterwards presented to the Sultan. Ever since, the festival has become an annual event, held between February and March.

Over the years, the festival has attracted people from all walks of life, who travel from far and wide, to watch land and water events, from arts, crafts, music, traditional dancing to bicycle, Donkey and Carmel racing. In addition, wild duck hunts, swimming and diving competitions and horse races featured prominently.

The four day cultural event, involved thousands of fishermen, carrying traditional nets and gourds. The sound of a gunshot, signified the commencement of the competition. The fishermen move towards the well stocked  Matan Fada river and leap into the water. They are expected to catch the biggest fish in one hour. Those who triumph are rewarded accordingly.

Of note, is the fact that the festival  has been a source of unity  and peace among the people. For centuries, the empires had fought battles, which only ceased with the arrival of the British.

Initially, the festival allowed the participation of women, but since it was in conflict with  the Islamic Sharia law, it was stopped.

In this dispensation. the psyche of Nigerians has been adversely affected  by the agitations of ethnic groups,  this is not  good for development. What obtains today,  are Ethnic summits, organized to push forward sectional positions on a wide range of issues.

The task of reversing this ugly trend does not dwell in issuing public statements and making frequent broadcasts, but in practically and positively impacting on the lives of the people, who now have a very different impression of governance.

 

 

 

The Responsibilities of Governance

Nigerians have for several years now, embarked on the journey to promote a  just and equitable society without encouraging results.

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This is regardless of the countless number of prominent citizens, who belong to the private and public sectors, including the civil society community, at home and in diaspora.

Sadly, most of the innovative ideas and policy options of Government have failed to serve as spring board for the country’s social, political and economic emancipation from the vicious circle of underdevelopment.

Of note, is the fact that  Nigeria is yet to attain the status of a free, dynamic and knowledge based economy, this is just as there are no genuine signs  of commitment to fairness, equity and justice.

This is a fall out  of bad or improper governance  at all levels of Government.  Decisions and policies of Government are powered by self centered ideals and greed.

Most political office holders lack ideology and principles to recommend a soothing cure for the country’s ailments, this is convincingly reflected in the very weak economic and political reforms, which are without doubt not the compass of a new world order.

The myriad of problems confronting the country justifies the need for transparent and incorruptible institutions to decisively address pressing issues which have taken a political  turn.

Those institutions which were put in place  before now, might not have achieved the desired  results, regardless of the resources that were dissipated in the process.

The major questions on the lips of most Nigerians include, who has the responsibilities for policy formulation and governance under the present dispensation ? Is it the state or does it rest  on the exploitative hands of  private individuals  ?  These questions continue to attract  debate among the citizenry.