THE AMBASSADOR, UNITED STATE OF AMERICA,
UNITED STATE OF AMERICA EMBASSY,
PLOT, 1075, DIPLOMATIC, DRIVE, CENTRAL,
BUSSINESS DISTRICT ABUJA,
AMERICA'S HYPOCRISY AND NIGERIA’S SECURITY WE DEMAND CHANGE OF STRATEGIES,
Nigeria as a nation cannot leave in isolation as,-it needs other country to grow, develop from strength to strength-one of such nation it need is United State of America.
Sadly as Nigeria continue to depend on America in many areas of her development; it has indeed come with a high price-of deceit and hypocrisies. The need to point out and correct Americas' increased hypocrisy in the affairs of Nigeria state, and the urgent response to desist from such prompted this letter.
Since the assumption of diplomatic relations between America and Nigeria, in 1960, Nigeria, more than bargained for, have been at the receiving end of unfavorable America's foreign policy.
It suffered policy reversals on account of the strong arm tactics of the America. It suffered complicated insecurity, underdevelopment, on accounts of America’s government. These realizations prompted the sustained call for the review of Nigeria-American relationship for sustainable mutual development.
It thus became clear to us that if our nation sincerely wants to grow, must reduce the dependence on any other country-including America. It must also explore deep relations with other world economic super power.
Today ,our dear country is passing through series of threatening challenges, some of which include insecurity, corruption, human rights abuses, infrastructure decays, not until many of these challenges are addressed we may not make headway as a nation, hence the series of policy initiative and reforms, embarked upon by successive government.
According to the ex-chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (I.C.P.C), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; while lamenting the nation’s monumental losses to corruption since independence, said that Nigeria has lost the sum of $300 billion to corruption. In terms of insecurity, report says Nigeria, lost over 18,000 lives, only to insecurity scourge in the north east of the country. Yet, America's input is nowhere to impact the tide.
Much as reforms are ongoing, international cooperation's will further speed up its attainments-herein lies the relevance of American government-who will be patriotic enough to meaningfully partner with Nigerian government to ensure credible national development.
The key issues affecting the nation are insecurity, human rights abuses, corruption, poverty, illiteracy, and moral decay-gays issues. Its 87 million people live in extreme poverty, with over 65 per cent illiterate population.
The combined impacts of corruption, insecurity, illiteracy, poverty, influence of westernization has been very devastating to say the least. It remains a major motivator of terrorism, violent conflicts across the nation. Nigeria Terrorism Index is projected to be 9.26 in 2018 according to a Trading Economics poll; it is projected to increase further, on account of poverty.
Much as we as a people have made effort to address this, albeit, with minimal successes, we still require the inputs and expertise of the Americans-but America has continue to disappoint Nigeria in so many attempt at promoting a symbiotic diplomatic relations.
If not in many areas ,we noted how between 2014 and 2015, the United States refuse to sell highly needed weaponry to Nigeria in her war against terror and insurgency in the North East of the country, on a flimsy excuse that that the Nigerian military is notoriously known for human rights abuses. Yet America supply arms to Syria, Egypt, Algeria, with records of human rights violations.
Sadly also, it has become the hallmark of American envoys in Nigeria to utilize various public platform provided by unsuspecting Nigerians to lecture and disparage the country, its leaders and institutions.
While Nigeria needed America’s support, sadly, the support gotten so far, particularly in our efforts to fight corruption and insecurity has been feebly disappointing, dimming the prospects and hope of continued relation with America.
Our appropriate perceptions of America is that of a nation that is particular about the benefits that she can get from Nigeria, rather than how she can help better the lots of our dear nation.
Your country will rather pursue over $5.87 trillion dollars nuclear weapons race, in the past four decades, rather than help to feed the starved wrinkled-stomach children in African continent. Your country will rather manipulate NATO, to do her biddings, rather than, working to help check abuses of human rights or deepened democratic tenets in several of this nations.
America’s attempt at defending abuse and neglect of human rights is selective, biased and non-inspiring; this ought not to be so. As the custodian of democracy, it ought not to promote policies that will undermine democracy in Nigeria. That is the case of America, so far in Nigeria. America cannot be said to have contributed enough to democratic stability in Nigeria, nor can it said to have been robustly involved in checking corruption, abuse of human rights, insecurity. Today, looters of public treasury in Nigeria, found safe lodging haven in America. Efforts to retrieve this stashed funds has yielded little dividends.
The volumes and levels of democratic instability and insecurity in the nation cannot be divorced from the long years of corruptions and looting of the public treasury. We believe the earlier America limits her unwanted intrusions in the affairs of nations, the better for it and the concerned nation.
The destructions wrought by America, on African continent, led to the lost of hundreds of thousands of lives, destructions of properties worth billions of dollars, and the high level of the numbers of camps, bearing the[IDPS] internally displaced persons around the globe.
Serving as the policeman of the world has led to more sorrow, and pains to humanity. The roles of America in Libya, and the eventual toppling of its leader, Mohamar Ghaddafi, remain sore points in America's role towards fostering global instability in efforts to protect her national interest or to put America's first. And cause colossal damages to Africans
American needs Nigeria as much as Nigeria needs America. Reason!, while America has an abundance of capital; Nigeria has an abundance of human and natural resources. This should inform a positive mutual diplomatic reciprocity and not an assault..
There are credible evidence, from available official us records, indicating that the united states has, over the years, executed some of the biggest arms shipments, running into several billions of dollars, to countries with abysmal human rights records, including brutal suppression of democratic dissents, yet it deplore arsenals to crush any developing countries, accused of human right abuses.
Also, America military and security agencies had their own share of abysmal records human rights abuses in almost all their operations outside the United States.
In some cases, she actually mobilized global support and spent billions of tax payers’ money in humanitarian and military support to prevent the total disintegration of a region it helped to destabilize.
Several of Nigerians had been trafficked to America, mostly residing in Houston. Many are subjected to all forms of exploitations and abuses. Many lives in degrading subhuman conditions. Human trafficking is an estimated $150 billion global industry annually (ILO: International Labor Organization). In the US alone, it is an estimated $9.8 billion industry, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The harsh economic and diplomatic sanctions on Nigeria, led to increase poverty and deprivations that drove millions of her youth out of the country in search of greener pastures.
Nigerian government needs to be more strategic in its engagement of the United States, The destabilizations caused by policy manipulations, must not be tolerated for long. Nigerian should demonstrate and make it clear to the Americans and their local collaborators that the country will survive and develop..
Billions of dollars had been looted or laundered out of Nigeria to the United States of America. We had thought that America will in the spirit of transparency repatriate the money back
Sadly it continued to warehouse stolen funds from Nigeria, and also conspired with other unpatriotic people to imposed stringent conditions for the repatriations of the stolen funds.
Earlier in August 2014, the sum of $480 million was forfeited to the United States following court judgments. Again, the United State was reluctant to release over $550 million to Nigeria, being proceeds from identified official loot in the country.
It is a big deceit to continue to keep Nigeria's money in your vault, while you pledge and support Nigeria, with the proceeds from the accrued interests from our stolen funds.
We must enact policies and pursue reforms that will lessen our much dependence on other countries. The country leadership must based its diplomatic interfaces with America on extracting concrete commitments and supports to be able to frontally address the issues of terrorism and insurgency in the north east, and other forms of insecurity bedeviling the nation.
We as a people need to rise up and challenge the hypocrisy as well as the massive damages of America to our nations Africans. We need to appreciate the facts that America is never our ally, as regards issues close to protecting and defending our national interests.
We need to form bulwarks of pressure groups that will patriotically work to resist the imperialist tendencies of America in Nigeria. Enough of the enslavement of our people!
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON.T,
President [IAADHR] International Association for Advancement and Defense of Human Rights
DANKAZEEM VICTORIA [MRS]
OPEN LETTER TO BRITISH CONSULAR IN NGERIA
PAUL THOMAS ARKWRIGHT.
BRITISH CONSULAR GENERAL TO NIGERIA.
British High Commission
NO,19,torrens close, off.mississipi,street,
Shehu shagari way, maitama.
NIGERIAN DEMOCRACY AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT; WE DEMAND CHANGE OF STRATEGIES AND COMPENSATION FOR COLOSSAL DAMAGES.
Unfolding security and political events in Nigeria in the past and of recent and the need to find a lasting solution, perhaps, more than any other issues prompted this letter.
Few days ago, the whole civilized world woke up to an embarrassing and sordid assault on Nigeria's democracy, when security agents and men of the department of state security, DSS, took over and barricaded all the gates and other entrances into the National Assembly, denying lawmakers entrance. In an apparent move to oust the senate President, Bukola Saraki.
This anti democratic tendencies was roundly and robustly condemned, by all well meaning citizens, as well as your mission.
This is certainly not the first time; crisis of the magnitude that has the ability to truncate our democratic governance is taking place under the present democratic dispensation.
Your Excellency will recall that the Nigerian Senate was embroiled in crisis of leadership at the inception of the present government, on account of ascension of the present Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki. The crisis of legitimacy, generated by such an ascension was so rancorous and destabilizing, to necessitate diplomatic neutrality, from most of the diplomatic missions in Nigeria and beyond.
They knew better; to intercede at that point in time clearly undermines neutrality of which is against all diplomatic etiquettes and protocols.
Sadly and regrettably so, the British High Commission, under the former British Consular, sir Andrew Pocock, help to legitimize such a brazen democratic assaults of the Senate President, when on 9th of June,2015,he paid a courtesy/solidarity visit to the embattled Senate President, in a typical case of diplomatic corruption, Peculiar to your Commission.
The essence of diplomatic relationship is to promote mutual interests of the nations involved regarding trade, security, democracy, culture and territorial integrity. Anything short of this amount to and constitute security threats.
This actually had been the hallmark of Nigeria-British relationship as far back as 1922 in Nigeria, and their manipulative roles in the nation’s democratic evolution in the 1954 and 1958/59 elections in Nigeria.
Your Excellency, you will no doubt that the British forceful and brutal incursion into Nigeria has all along been peculiar with pains, sorrow, Slavery and a sustained orchestration of political instability in Nigeria till date and no doubt in the future.
The Punitive military expedition and excursion of 1896/1897 by a British force of 1,200 under Admiral Sir Harry Rawson captured, burned, and looted the Benin kingdom, of its valuable artifacts, deposing and, exiling the reigning Oba’ bringing to an end the kingdom. This by all standards the most devastating of all events of violence that have happened in the history of Benin kingdom. It destroys the culture/traditional and civilization of the people. The people are yet to recover today from the devastating invasion of the British on Nigerian soil.
Today, the British are the architect of the major problems that bedevil us as a nation, starting from the point of your amalgamation of both the northern and southern protectorate to form the present Nigeria, in 1914, and the introduction of the Clifford constitution of 1922, which signaled limited franchise and subsequent restriction of election to certain class of Nigerians.
Today, your roles-and excesses- in the interference in Nigeria's democracy and our internal affairs, and subsequent exploitations of our human and natural resources, has immensely contributed to an incalculable damage and resulted in the level of miseries which Nigerians are presently subjected to.
As the colonizer of Nigeria, your government failed to solve the divisive tendencies you met with our people, but instead further compounded it. The British High Commission has been acting a script handed down to them by Lord Lugard, who in his report to the British parliament in 1901 and 1902 stated that they must work and support a section of Nigeria-the North to continue to rule-against the spirit of equity and true democracy.
Consequently, despite the fact that there was no single party that won enough seats to be able to control the federal parliament, then, but the Brutish British organized and manipulated to make it easier for NPC to make use of either the action Group of NCNC as partner in the Federal Government, so before the counting in the election was concluded, the British Governor General had corruptly declared NPC winner.
While the counting was over, it was discovered that the position accorded NPC, under British-supervised rigging was not due to it. Also, the delimitation commission set up unfavorably worked to support the NPC. Women, who were yet to be democratically enfranchised in the north, were counted and their numbers used to allocate seats in the country. In essence, even before women in the Northern Nigeria, were officially allowed to participate in election, the British had perfected ways to use them to manipulate and rig elections.
These are ways by which the British manipulated and destroyed our electoral system. Not only was that, effort by opposition to emerge robustly resisted. The Sir Foster Sutton Commission of inquiry was used to harass and silences Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. These were the machinations, intrigues and conspiracy done by the British against Nigeria people. I must confess, we are yet to recover from it.
Sir, how ?’ needless do we need to add the massive massacres which the British expeditionary forces wrought across the nation in your efforts to forcefully colonize our people-the Baro massacres, the Satirru massacres, the Kazuare massacres, the Hadejia conquest, the Abeokuta invasion and several of them. The truth of the matter remains clear. While we caution your commission to mitigate policy and programmed that exploit and destabilize the nation, time seems right to press for and demand billion-pounds as reparations for the massive and incalculable damages done by the British people in the past and the British high commission in the present. With every intervention on our nation’s domestic affairs, the British seems not to ever get it right. It is high time that the British completely hand off the nation's problems, as they are the architect of the same problems and the economic woes that bedevil the nation and makes life meaningless in the nation.
The national assemblies, through the law makers are suppose to enact bills that will make life meaningful to Nigerian and enhance national development. Sadly, it has established reputation for greed, insensitivity and gross disregard for national interests. Bills that could have been passed to positively impact the life of ordinary Nigerians are neglected, but bill that interest them are given speedy passage.
The consequence of the insensitivity and aloofness of our lawmakers is the high rate of poverty, insecurity, hopelessness and underdevelopment that has enveloped the nation. And snuffing life out of ordinary citizens Nigerians.
The British High commission in Nigeria has certainly not done enough to restrict the excesses of the law makers much as it had done to give verve and legitimize political brigandage and instability in Nigeria.
So far, the diplomatic strategy of the British towards Nigeria state revolves around economic diplomacy and sending foreign aid to the nation, with little policy cooperation towards strengthening the rule of law and building enduring institutions.
The British colonial rule in Nigeria and its impact on national development to say the least has been devastating to our collective vision to grow as a nation. With booby traps of structural imbalances created by them and nepotistic leadership, that today characterizes Nigeria’s democratic trajectory, we will need to do more to evolve our own home grown leadership system and democracy.
The delegation of the British High Commission then, led by the High Commissioner, sir Andrew Pocock, the envoy visited the embattled Bukola Saraki,to legitimize illegality assuring him that the UK will work closely with the Nigerian government in ensuring good governance at all levels.
Most of these crop of lawmakers are the part of the problem of the nation, how ironic for them to be reporting the invasion of the National Assembly to the United Kingdom and American government, who are also part of the problems in Nigeria. No doubt, there had been series of such intervention, since the country’s independence in 1960-vis-à-vis, 30 month old civil war of the 70s, military intervention (coups) in polity, Foreign aids, recovery of stolen commonwealth Terrorism, insurgency, and several others. These and many more were clearly guided by definite protocol and international convention which must continuously be respected and adhere to.
Nigeria is faced with myriads of challenges that daily undermines her security and threatening to break the resilience of her ever hardworking and dynamic citizen. There are cases of Terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping corruption, poverty, underdevelopment, and several others These challenges have dire consequences on the nation, her people and their psyche. Its translate effect is seen in, high security threat level, high corruption index, high unemployment rate, high capital and investor’s flight, restricted foreign direct investment, diminishing GDP, and negative balance of trade with many of her trading counterpart nations.
This unfolding development has greater tendency to drive it to a precipices of a failed state.
Consequently, every efforts is being put in place to address those challenges, particularly through policy reform, program stratification, public opinion mobilization, collective protest, ethical reformation, legal intervention and diplomatic intervention.
Diplomatic intervention usually doubles the level and potency of resolution of such internal national challenges. This is one aspect where the British consular in Nigeria should established a worth common ground with Nigeria not joining gangster politicians to legalize illegalities and undermine the nation's democratic gains.
Diplomatic relationship should be premised on symbiotic reciprocity; this much the British interests in Nigeria must serve. We frown at the complicity to undermine our nationhood and national interest. Enough of such manipulation.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON, T,
President [I.A.A.D.H.R] International association for advancement and defense of human rights.
DANKAZEEM VICTORIA [MRS]
WE SAY NO TO MONEY POLITICS
Gentlemen of the press, we as patriotic Nigerians, concerned by her future are worried by the increasing threats to our electoral processes as well as our evolving democracy. Much as the nation is gradually inching toward another election year, it is needful and rightfully so, to have helped reposition and enhance the nations democratic resilience against challenges that had continues to undermine and slow it down.
Elections remain a key part of the whole process. Electoral processes offer a gateway to democratic consolidation. Election is the hallmark of a democratic society, as our elections and electoral process are key and fundamental to the working of every democratic setting in modern state. Thus, realizing this very important import of credible election, means that we as a people must continue to do our very best to ensure that our electoral process are never compromised nor the electoral laws abused and enfeebled.
It is a common but sad knowledge that Nigeria's electoral process has continue to betray and fallen short of what the electoral process should mean or ought to be for a democratic society. Since its attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria has been inundated and tormented by series of political instability. Violence-fuelled largely by an electoral process that is accompanied with political thuggery and violence, electoral malpractices both at the general elections are at the political levels.
The first post independence national elections of 1964 and 1965 in western region were characterized by widespread rigging, arson, intimidation, chaos, that led to mass boycott and subsequent military take over.
The 1978 general election, which saw the emergence of Alhaji Shehu Shagari,as civilian president, according to international observers, was characterized by massive rigging. The same with the 1983 reelection of Shagari. the political violence and polling irregularities were also witnessed in the subsequent general elections of 1999,2003, and 2007.thus,regretably so, political violence, thuggery, intimidation, assault, corruption and money politics has become a recurring decimating decimals of our democratic journey so far, and it gives us much cause for concerns and remains the critical threats posed to our evolving democracy and nationhood.
We as a people must strive to make our democracy what it ought to be. The failure or infidelity of our democratic journey so far is being clearly manifested by the lack of an established and stable institutions to hold leadership accountable, to enforce social justice and to deepened constitutionality in the nation, hence the increased centrifugal tendencies of the many separatists groups that had evolved in the nations space of governance and also the hue and cry for restructuring, power devolution by its marginalized and aggrieved stakeholders.
Monetized political system in Nigeria is a great anathema to deepening of the nations democratic ethics. Money politics in the nations electoral cum democratic process has done more harm and continue to pose security threats in the nation. It is a process whereby politicians contending for elective position deploy money to sway or undermine the genuine wish and patriotic convictions of electorates to vote for them or pawn to their interest and agenda.
In the post colonial Nigeria, of past relative to the present era, political actors of the era played selfless and patriotic politics with sole aim geared towards an altruistic national development. Politics of such an era was predicated on service and value....it was almost an abomination to try to influence voters with money, sadly, today, the opposite is the situation. The Nigerian political process is business-intensive and merchantilistic cash and carries kind of. It comes in the form of money for campaign, settlements' and outrageous nominations form fees, which usually run into millions of naira, and this has etched a deep gully of guilt in the psyche of many Nigerians.
Many big time drug barons, smugglers, fraudsters, criminals, and very few honest persons who have large sum of money to throw around to manipulate election and buy the conscience of the people, continue to enjoy an undue head start and strategic advantage of their accessibility to slush funds and stolen money. They are therefore willing to be a major sponsor, donor who bankrolled the installations of presidents, governors, senators, reps-to the detriment of the sense of equality desired incredible democratic settings. It is therefore no wonder why the same sets of people are poised to be the first and major beneficiary of government patronage in terms of contracts and appointments..
We must continue to advocate and mobilize to resist and work together to mitigate or eliminate the impacts of money in the nation's political system, particularly having realized its negative tendency towards concerted attempts at deepening the nation’s democracy.
Monetizing the political process and system in the nation creates youths unemployment, infrastructural underdevelopment, insecurity, culture of impunity, create class stratification by widening the gaps between the poor and the rich, scare patriotic people from coming into politics, create more opportunistic political class, led to the mismanagement of tax payers fund, buying of delegates to political party convention-all these negates the true ethics and essence of democratic governance as well as affecting public policies and spending priorities of government.
The long military rule in the nation, coupled with persistent brazen rigging of election under successive democratic governance in Nigeria had wrongly psyched Nigerians to the state of resignation of powerless. This ought not to be so.
It is not good for politicians to share money or rice, stockfish, salt, sugar, cloth, wheel barrow to potential voters with the hope of compromising their choices. To do so is to demonstrate a lack of faith in their ability to freely campaign and win elections without financial inducement as well as faith in the credibility of a freely conducted free and fair election.
The citizen has critical roles to play in stemming the tide of money politics in Nigeria and in sustaining our democracy.
Sovereignty resides in and flows from the people of a country, Nigeria cannot be an exception, government must truly belong to the people and be used for the benefits of the people. There is no democracy without the engagement of the citizen-to ensue it delivers.
The people must demonstrate this further by holding their leader accountable and responsible of stewardship by truly establishing and living to the fact that they have vote sovereignty and constitutional rights in that aspects.
When people allow unscrupulous politicians to buy their conscience and manipulate the whole electoral process with ill-gotten wealth, political equality is being put at risk. Vote sovereignty is being threatened and power of individual choice is being criminally suspended.
Nigerian citizen must stop collecting money from politicians who wants to buy their vote and fundamental rights, which are priceless and invaluable. to sell your vote is to sell your future and constitutional rights. To sell your votes is to bargain the future of unborn generation on the altar of greed, ignorance, carelessness, poverty and underdevelopment.
The greatest threats to the existence and continual survival of our democracy stems from its political class, particularly the legislators, who appropriated a large chunk of the nations revenue, without any sense of remorse of the depravity of their demand/entitlement as well as some sections of the nation's security elites (in police),who have not demonstrated enough resilience against the pervasive influence of money manipulation of the electoral process and compromising some security agencies.
We urge Nigerians to continue to strive so as to sustainable divorce the marriage of money and politics or completely shrink its influences.
In the spirit of anticorruption initiative and campaigns, the citizens must be up and doing, standing up to be counted amongst those who will resist continuous manipulations of the electoral process by politicians.
To courageously reject money gift or donations from politicians intending to sway your votes to his advantage is the key message of demonstration of your resilience.
We call on government to be the major source of funding for all political parties in the country as well as work with all citizen and all arms of government to reform all defective electoral laws and to enforce all relevant laws hitherto neglected. It must ensure it levels the political playing field to ensure that it is an all comer affairs; this will lead to the emergence of the best and preferred candidate.
We call on government to put a premium on educating the electorates and creating awareness and consciousness that will not tolerate political compromise and take gifts from politicians in whatever form-this will go a long way in changing the vote-behavior or psyche of the people.
We call on government to fully enforce the provisions of the electoral Acts so as to drastically cut down the cost of electioneering campaign thereby promoting low entry points to political contest in the nation. This will go a long way to positively impacting on the ongoing anticorruption war in the nation.
We realize that as long as there are weak legislations and low political will to address these scourges, the deeper the challenges arising from the engagement of money in politics will continue to undermine national development. We there call for further global partnership and declaration of a state of emergency regarding issues relating to negative influence of money in the nation's political system.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON
TIME TO SUPPORT PRIVATE FUNERAL FOR DEATH OF “COMMON SENSE” IN NIGERIA.Jan 102017
Every patriotic Nigerians are bound to be concerned about the future of the nation as well as its people; when everything goes well it becomes a thing of joy. When it is otherwise it becomes a thing of worry and concern. Sadly what makes Nigeria respectable in the committee of Nation has been continually threatened and thus call for concern and intervention to wrong the rights.
Few days ago, the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka had vowed to hold a private funeral on January 20th, the day the United States President Elect, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of USA.
Donald Trump campaign rhetoric had been very demeaning to blacks, especially Nigerian, whom he severally insulted along with their Head of state.
While many Africans reacted to the demeaning insults of Donald Trump, the Nobel laureate was not excluded. He was vehemently against Donald Trumps emergence, knowing fully well the implications for Africans. His reactions were terse and far reaching. The Nobel laureate threaten to destroy his American Green card following the election of Mr. Trump, vowing that he will have nothing to do with his politics, but would instead be to the death of common sense among Nigeria, considering the controversy and criticism that arose from Soyinka’s threat.
Since that pronouncement, we saw different and regrettably unwarranted attacks on the person and reputation of the Nobel Laureate, which say the least is non warranted.
Most of the Nigerians who attacked him on the social media, still went ahead to urge him not to renege on his pledge to discard his green card.
Before proceeding further, it is pertinent to note here that Prof. Wole Soyinka never asked for a green card in the first place, as it was given to him by President Jimmy Carter, to provide asylum to him during the struggle against the military dictatorship in Nigeria and the fight for the realization of the June 12th mandate that lead to his exile in the 1990s.
The green card was not given as a result of his desire for pleasure or businesses, but as a product of his struggle to snatch the soul of the nation from rapacious military forces that was bent on destroying the nation then.
It is a clear fact that Nigeria Nation has been under the degradation of rampaging military dictatorship in the 1990s and much earlier, forces of division, corruption, ethnicity and nepotism.
Some of these factors have been responsible for the challenges the nation went through in the past and even in the present. One of such was the case of civil war in the past and Boko Haram and corruption in the present.
While these were on, Professor Wole Soyinka was an active change agent to address these myriads of problems that confronted the nation then. The professor has no doubt earned his honour and stripes in the service of the nation. He it was who risked his life at a very young age to prevent the outbreak of the civil war in Nigeria, it will therefore be wrong to continue to attack, degrade the Nobel Laureate for his present stance. The question is, where were these critics when he stood against several cases of injustices in the past? Where were the critics when Soyinka’s struggles contributed to the emergence of the present democratic order and further cry for restructuring and true federalism? Where were them when the Nobel Laureate risked his life and comfort to ensure Nigerians enjoys freedom of Association and expression. His literary impacts to Africa has been tremendous, his solid contributions to national and African pride has been second to none.
Despite his desires to see Nigeria great, the reverse has been the case, retrogression, suffering, under-development; corruption has become the nation’s badge of honour and symbol of identification and loathsomeness all over the world. Insecurity, religious intolerance, Nepotism continue to threaten the nation’s march to progress and greatness, pushing us far behind nations like Dubai, Brazil, Singapore, China; some of the nations we were ahead of before and who looks up to us.
Much as nations partner for development, it is only good that such partnership be positively reciprocal, Nigeria got that bargain with China and many other nation, but can not be said of America.
Any patriotic Nigerians will be concerned about disrespect for Nigeria by any country, no matter how powerful, and each one shows the concern in different ways - including the threat to discard the green card of America.
Even as the Nobel laureate is angry with the voting of Donald Trump, a hater of Africans, he expected solidarity from Nigerians towards his patriotic decision, in expression of his reservation over certain issues.
In the past, he had destroyed his national medal during a protest at the Race Course (also known as Tafawa Balewa Square) in Lagos during a protest he undertook with late Tai Solarin.
The Nobel Laureate reactions was certainly inform by the rhetoric against the integrity of the Nigeria’s abroad and at home, pointing us in a demeaning light.
Any people or nation worth their integrity will certainly not take such an unwarranted insults on Nigeria by Trump lightly. Nigerians certainly does not deserve such an assault, considering many honest and hardworking Nigerians contributing their quota to the development of America. The insult of Donald Trump on Muslims and Islam is equally non deserving and we strongly object to it.
Thus, one can understand the pains and reactions of Soyinka who had vowed to mourn the death of Nigeria Common Sense.
Sadly, there had indeed been a death of common sense in Nigeria; consequently many Nigerians are comfortable with injustices, bad governance, Nepotism of government, without any desire to raise a revolt or protest.
There is certainly a death of common sense in Nigeria as the conscience of the youth of the nations is at peace with materialism and the rat race or get rick quick syndrome in the polity.
If Donald Trump can so insult Nigerians without an atom of protest or response from any sector of the once vibrant civil society organization then the common sense is completely dead in Nigeria.
The common sense here is a sense of responsibility to governance and the governed. The death of common sense is to feign docility in the face of an assault verbal or physical. It is a death that has given Nigerians a bad reputations and source of taunt internationally.
When the majority of the society decides to keep mute in the face of impunity and tyranny, indeed, there is death of common sense.
This must not be allowed to continue endlessly. Corruption in the polity has been the main cause of insecurity, terrorism and Boko Haran phenomenon in the polity. It is also as a result of the debasement of our family and national values-keeping asides what united us together as a people for what divide us apart.
Instead of Nigerians truly celebrating a theater of the absurd by acidic and acerbic criticism of Nobel laureate, we ought to be mourning how far we have derailed as a nation and people.
If an octogenarian can be much concern about the future of Nigeria than the youths ho are the future of tomorrow, it speaks sad volume of how far we as a people have got it wrong and railroad from the desirables.
We must not continue to trivialize everything for sensationalism, there must be a strict response to this level of sloppy waywardness to which the abuse of common sense has been subjected to. When he takes such an action, one expected an avalanche of support from Nigerians not vulgar expressions of frustrations occasion by poverty inflicted by bad leadership.
Common sense is not selling our responsibility, honour and identity for America; it is not sacrificing our core values for assault of an intemperate president Trump.
If we must gain our respectability in the committee of nation, then is time to reawaken our sense of common sense.
By so doing, we would evolve a new and positive reputation and branding that will prompt massive global respectability and investment flow into Nigeria.
By so doing, we will deepen our democracy, strengthen our human right commitment, promote transparency in governance, and sustain free, fair and credible election and national stability.
We must be concern about the absence of common sense in Nigeria and work hard to restore our dignity, unity, sense of future. To refuse to do that is to succumb to second colonization; is to acknowledge the inferiority of the black race to the white and is to indeed say Wole Soyinka may go blazes for daring to make a move that intends to protect our dignity.
I therefore urge you for a collective forum or platform to celebrate the death of “common sense” in Nigeria and to advocate for it reawakening and resurgence-for national interest.
Comrade Bature Johnson.
CITIZEN-SETTLER CHALLENGES: IMPLICATION FOR NIGERIA DEVELOPMENT
The utmost desire and aspiration of Nigerians is to see that their beloved country grows and develop in leaps and bounds. Regrettably, this desire is hampered by series of challenges; one of which is the issue of citizen-settler syndrome. Today, one of the most disturbing trends in the polity today is the issue of indigene-settler syndrome, a sad situation where places of origin are designed to give strategic advantage to those who wield this weapon of mischief.
If Nigeria is to achieve the so much desirous integration, it must properly deemphasize the issue of indigene/citizen-settler syndrome.
It is needed to understand and appreciate the issue of citizen with respect to settler situation.
The term “citizen” typically refers to any person who owes allegiance to a sovereign state and there by receives certain afforded legal status and certain rights. No connection to the area or land is required and those born outside of the country can often apply to become citizen.
Some nations even allow people to become dual citizen, where they are considered legal citizen of more than one nation. Indigene ship also means a person is indigenous to the area and shears an ancestral links to the land. In some nation, those with indigene ship get preferential treatment over the citizen, including the extensive rights to run for office and to participate in certain ceremonies.
The word “Indigene” has no place in the nations constitutions. There is no explicit or implicit definition of indigene. The word ‘indigene ‘use to qualify a citizen of Nigeria whose tribes is “native” to a given territory, cannot be referred to as an “Indigene” as widely abused and distorted in Nigerians to segregate and discriminate the other Nigerians living in state or local Government where their lives are not “Indigenous” to that given area.
In a sense, an “indigene” is only an “older settler” of a particular sociocultural space, while a “settler” is a more recent occupier of the same space.
The word “settler” referred to a citizen whose tribe is regarded as alien to a particular state or local government and for which no matter how long the people or their protégé have lived there in, cannot be regarded as indigene to a particular state or local government.
Today, Nigeria is one of the few nations that had series of controversies regarding citizenship status. Local and state government within a nation requires a person be indigenous to a particular area before he can run for office in that locality, leading to a series of division. The issues of citizen -settlers have been on in Nigeria, exacerbated by struggle for limited space, couple with nepotism, favourism, tribalism, and selfishness.
The British colonialism in northern Nigeria through its infamous indirect rule system, merely consolidated and systematized approach of the
Minority was further enhanced by feudalism.
As long as the struggle for resources of the nation continues, the issue will continue to be engage for the advantage of those who wield it, regrettably this is a recourse to primordial and senseless perpetuation of rent-seeking behavior that retards nation progress.
The syndrome competes in diametrical opposition to our constitutional right as Nigerians and remains a big cankerworm that not only denies our institution high caliber leaders, but also militates against the collective development arising from individual competitiveness in the polity.
There are series of cases of abuse of citizen-settler that had undermine degree of patriotism in Nigerians. This issues affected late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in political participation in the predominantly Yoruba south west. The citizen indigenes issue led to unexpected controversies that trailed the nomination of Mr. Olusegun Agaga, the former minister of Finance as a ministerial nominee to represent Lagos state in the federal executive council (before his eventual confirmation on July 6th by the senate).
President Goodluck Jonathan had asked each state of the federation to submit the names of minister to represent them after his reelection into office.
While that was done, issues of marginalization of Lagos state in the ministerial portfolio was raised by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila(ACN), Lagos state who kicked against the nomination of Aganga because he reportedly hailed from Ora in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo state, while he is married to Abiodun Awobokun, a Yoruba woman.
Fred Agbaje, a constitutional lawyer also described his nomination as marginalization of Lagos and advised him to “simply step down and allow the people to choose a representative of their choice”.
This is not the first time such an issue of citizen-settler is raising its ugly head in Lagos or Nigeria.
During the 2007/2008 gubernatorial election in Lagos state, some elements rose up against the candidature of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, saying that he was not a Lagosian, the matter was not resolved until the election was concluded.
The 1999 Nigeria constitution which is the exact ground norm of the land, contains various aspects with regards to citizenship.
Under section 25,26 and 27, thus constitution consist of three different root for the acquisition of Nigerian citizenship, Namely through birth, by registration and by naturalization.
By whatever way the Nigerian citizenship is acquired, once declared a Nigerian person, a person automatically enjoys constitutional rights guaranteed by the constitution. Why then must we continue to refer to the discriminatory tendencies of the citizen -settler syndrome?
Nigeria needs to borrow a leaf from other nations regarding the issue ofcitizen- settler, for instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger originally came from Austria as an immigrant into the United States of America, in the early nineties, yet he became the governor of California.
Obama originated from Kenya, but there was no campaign to prevent his presidency in America. Nicholas Sarkozy has Scottish roots, yet nobody in France denied him the presidency because of that during those years.
In Nigeria case, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Kano state traced his origin to Borno state, yet the Kano people never discriminated against his political emergence, this equally applies to many other prominent Nigerians in authority now or in the past.
The issue of citizen-settler has generated too much bad blood in the nation’s political history thereby undermining the oneness and development of the nation.
In the nations economy and infrastructural development, such an issue has prevented the emergence of the best brain to help solve our economic challenges, giving room to mediocrity. The abuse of the word “indigenes” has led to conflict and crisis as seen in Jos pogrom of 2001,2004,2009, Bauchi in 2009,2007,1999, Kano in 1991,2001 and Zango Kataf in 1991, in Ife Modekeke in 2001, in Aguleri- Umuleri in 2002 and in Kuteb/Jukun and Tiv conflict of 2001/2002.
This said manipulations must not be allowed to continue; for instance, Olusegun Aganga who was born and has stayed for over 40years in Lagos, cannot be said to be a settler again, if not for mischief and self-preservation.
If this is allowed to persist, then our desire for peaceful coexistence will be truncated.
The 1999 constitution of Nigeria provides, inter alia, in 42(11), a citizen of Nigeria of a particular communities, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not be by reason only that he or she or practical application of any law in Nigeria over any executive or administrative action of the government, to restriction to which citizen of Nigeria or other communities, ethnic groups, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion are made subject.
If a particular person lived in an area before Nigeria attained independence in 1960, it is only right that he or she should be considered an indigene and not be reduced or segregated into “visitor” or “settler” status as obtained in some parts of the country.
The relevance of primordial identities becomes timelier whenever the state or government fails to meet its basic responsibilities for the provision of the economic and social wellbeing and security of life and properties of the citizens, where tribe or religious groups pretend to take over some of the responsibilities thereby stealing the loyalty of the state.
Instead of placing premium of citizenship on place of origin or birth, it should have been placed on issues such as property ownership, tax value for one year or the number of years one has lived in the area.
The manipulation of the citizen-indigenes syndrome is against the spirit of Pan-Africanism and readily kills productivity and patriotism. It breeds suspicion, mistrust and conflict. They are crude tools mostly engage by those who are lazy and have nothing to offer the society.
Citizenship ought a voluntary choice borne out of a genuine and passionate desire to choose where to be called ones state or local government of origin. We must shun nepotism, ethnicism and favoritism. we must all strive together to find a lasting solution to the issue of citizen-settler in the nation so that we can make speedy progress.
We need to establish a specialized court to try offenders who violates our constitutional rights as a citizen anywhere in Nigeria. Political and traditional rulers must stop unnecessary promotion of issues that divides us rather than those that binds us together. We must strive to remove any identity or affiliation to tribe, state of origin or religion in our official documents. In nation building, issues of indigene must be done away with for Nigeria to make meaningful progress.
It is the only panacea or antidote to our social, economic and political challenges to develop as a nation.
We must commit ourselves to democracy, respect for the rule of law and conduct of public affairs in accordance with legality, propriety and due process. Unless and until this is done, we may not be able to mitigate the negative impact of manipulating the issue of citizen-settler in our nation.
Comrade Bature Johnson
THE ANTI CORRUPTION WAR: IBRAHIM MAGU SHOULD BE CONFIRMED
Gentlemen of the press; am COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON T. the president of [IAADHR]it has become imperative to hold this event of press conference on issues that are germane on Nigerians.
Unfolding events in the nation prompted our responses. Not too long, the Nigerian senate refused and rejected the confirmation of Mallam Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
Their resolution, the senate says was based on the strength of accusation contained in a security reports by the Department of State Security Service DSS, in which he was accused of corruption.
Mr. President had appointed Ibrahim Magu to the position, thirteen months ago, and he had continued to function effectively in the position.
While he continues with his work, the DSS was said to have commenced and concluded detailed investigative report on him, which instead of submitting to Mr. President, directly submitted it to the Senate.
In the report, several level of accusations and fraudulent involvement were allegedly linked to him, some of which include living in a N20 million per annum apartment, above his status; paying for first-class to fly to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj, and leaking of official secrets.
Since his temporary rejection for confirmation, diverse opinions of Nigerians achieve to rage, mostly against the senate and in support of the confirmation of Magu.
The anti-corruption fight of the Buhari Administration had indeed assume a global approval and respectability on account of giant success recorded in the recovery of several looted funds under the leadership of Magu and also in the prosecution and trial of high profile Nigerians, some of which include past and serving governors and senators.
His rejection is thus understandable act of unpatriotic and faceless cabals in Nigeria who are bent on thwarting the patriotic efforts of the commission as well as the power given to the anti-graft agency to battle economic and financial crime in Nigeria.
His rejections will certainly have a far reaching on Nigeria and its new change agenda, and thus will have far reaching effects on the outputs of commission.
The temporary rejection of Magu had increase the heightened suspicious of Nigeria’s Senate determination to undermine the fight against corruption in Nigeria, and its double standard. The senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki remain in office despite being tried in the Code of Conduct Tribunal, yet he wouldn’t want Magu to be confirmed despite the obvious facts that Magu has never been charged and found guilty as charged in any reputable competent court of law in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Senate has not live up to the expectation of the people. Several bills have been sent to them by the executive, but the bills were not given urgent considerations, they will rather prefer bills that suit their interests and cronies. For example the first executive bill sent to them have not been given due consideration, so also the pension bill meant to ameliorate the challenges of Nigerian pensioners. Sadly some of the senators who were either former Governors and Ministers continue to draw a large amount pension running into millions of Naira from their former states at the expense of Nigerian tax payers, This must not be allowed to continue as it is definitely not sustainable in the face of mounting economic hardship in the land.
It implies that they may want the EFCC to compromise its tough stance against corruption and give soft landing to many corrupt Nigeria. This will no doubt signal a dangerous trend towards national development.
Rejecting him by the senate will certainly not be good for the new vision of change in the present administration and the senate will not be doing Nigeria good by rejecting Magu’s confirmation.
Rejection his confirmation will not only reverse the giant strides so far recorded with recent fight against corruption, but will go further to undermine the so much needed continuity for effective anti-corruption campaigns. It will equally send wrong and negative signals to the international community that the nation is certainly not serious about fighting corruption.
By ignoring to thoroughly investigate the content of the reports, the senate clearly demonstrated his biases to send Magu packing at all cost, even in the face of lacking credible moral authority and rights to accuse Magu of corruption. The Implications for the rejection of Magu is far reaching for Nigeria. If DSS know all along that Mr. Magu is a serious security risk as being portrayed now, why? Has the body continued for so long to collaborate with Magu - led EFCC, without raising an objection or reporting the matters to the right quarters? It no doubt left Nigerians with a greater worry for the use and abuse of security reports, and Nigerians need to start getting wary of these series of unsubstantiated security reports. For the senate, the effort of the present government to fight corruption has not received commensurate support from the senate, portending dangerous omen for our transitional/ democracy.
For the fight against corruption, it is indeed a setback; because Magu have not been allow to responding and defending himself on all of the allegations against him or legal representation, thus violating his rights to fair hearing, liberty.
We call on all international organization to sustain its support of Magu and EFCC in its agenda to sanitize Nigeria of corruption. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the National Assembly to confirm Magu and to rely on the reports of the Presidential Advisory Committee in confirming Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman. We also call on the senate to rescind its decision on Magu’s rejection and confirm him in expectations of all patriotic Nigerians. Magu has done a commendable job in his acting capacity, ganging up to deny him the opportunity and privilege to serve the nation is to say the least, highly reprehensible and unacceptable.
Corruption and impunity in Nigeria has no doubt held the nation hostage, threatening to derail every element of positive development and good governance. We call on DSS to be extra conscious in discharging its mandate to the nation, so as not to undermine the nation’s transitional/democracy. If we as people fail to win the corruption war, we may be doomed forever and plagued by worse forms of national calamity.
Nigerians deserve a leader that is purposeful, reliable proactive that will be able to address the challenges that we are presently facing. Nigerians need a visionary leaders that will swiftly respond to the burning national issues and address them, what Nigerians need now is an emphatic leaders committed to initiating and implementing qualitative policies that will have direct and positive bearing on the lives of ordinary Nigerians, The Executive have to equally proven in meeting the urgent needs of Nigerians by urgently address Nigerians of their bases and the reason why? They withdraw the alleged forgery case against the senate leadership and others,
We as a people need to rise up holding our leaders accountable for their past misdeeds and present responsibilities in office. Until we do that we will continue to be taken for a ride and erroneously believe that we do not have a stake in Nigeria.
In service of patriotic Nigerians.
Thanks, we diligently support responsive leadership,
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON T.
PRESIDENT [IAADHR] international association for advancement and defense of human rights.
SENATE FORGERY CASE: OUR STANDS
Few days ago, the media was filled with the news that the federal government had withdrawn the case and prosecution of The Senate President, Dr.Bukola Saraki and his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu over allegation of forgery.
Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President as well as a former clerk of the National Assembly Salisu Maikasuwa and a former Deputy Clerk, Ben Efeturi, were reportedly alleged to have master minded the forgery of the senate rules used in conducting the inauguration of the 8th national assembly.
With the realization of the act of criminality involved in such a high profile case of forgery, all the suspect were first arranged before Justice Yusuf Halilu in June 12th , 2016. since then, the case had continue to move forth and back between the court and back to the responsiveness of the federal government as well as the will of the public opinion- with a clear verdict that such a case must be conclusively prosecuted.
While Nigeria and the international community waited anxiously for the conclusion of the case, report then came that the federal government withdrew the case on the ground of respect for the rule of the law and hierarchy of the judiciary.
While the national assembly jubilated and celebrated the verdict, hinging that Nigerians, particularly the executive and legislative arms of government cannot afford to dwell on issues that will divide them and prevent them from delivering good governance to the people, many Nigerians’ called for a revisit of the case and his actually is our stand
To allow the alleged senate forgery case to be dismissed just in a manner so far observed is to provide leeway for further impunity self glorification and standing headlong against the rule of law and ethics of democracy and good. This certainly has far reaching and grievous consequences for the anticorruption campaign as well as the country.
While the presidency tried to pursue the case, the senate publicly threatened Mr President with impeachment .when the case was withdrawn, the same senate alluded a vindication. What a sad situation- should law and justice not take its course because of status or sentiments.
They observed that the response of the federal government in bringing the conflict of this shameful conducts and mal-practice to book has been, to say the least, very disappointing and certainly not in tandem with the deepest aspiration and desires of every patriotic Nigerians.
Must the federal government make a forced peace with the leadership of the national assembly so that his request to pass bills and amendment is speedily done? The federal government must go beyond this and ensure that the rule of law is observed vis-à-vis in getting the national assembly to fulfill its obligation to Nigeria without it feeling that they do Nigerians favor.
To withdraw and close up the case without pursuing it to logical conclusion is to further promote the culture of impunity, corruption insult and assaults’ to the criminals justice system and act in Nigeria. The case must not be withdrawn under any circumstances.
So far the perception on the manner of handing of the senate forgery case, mostly by Nigerians are a clear betrayal of their hopes for qualitative governance and trust in the ability on government to do what is right and needful. They may certainly not trust their leaders to deliver good governance and it clearly shows and portrays lack of desired eruditions and pragmatism in Nigeria leaders, elected government officials and representatives.
While the perception is dire, its implication is much more delimiting and far reaching.
The whole atmosphere of legislative corruption which the issue has thrown up may refuse or take long time to fade off. Much more, it may slow down the effective rapprochement and cooperation between the executive and legislature making it difficult to deliver good governance.
Withdrawal of such a profile criminal case may not only drive potential foreign investors away from the country, but may further legitimize and strengthen criminality and corruption in Nigeria. It will promote regular executive legislative face off, which may promote instability in the polity and further worsen the already fragile issues of insecurity, crime, poverty, terrorism and book Haram insurgency.
Apart from it helping to foster an atmosphere of violence, it will also signify a big set back to the attempt of development in Nigeria.
Certainly the separation of power is Nigeria is not on trial, what is Trial is legislative rascality and corruption.
The reported withdrawal of the case against both Senator Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu and others is against the wishes of Nigerians and a violation of their fundamental human rights to liberty and dignity
It is a display of the highest form of insensitively. if at all that was the intention of the government in withdrawing the case soon, there will be a avalanche of call by other similar cases of forgery for a withdrawal, this will further make a mockery of our already battered and mocked legislature
Every anti-people polices of the government must be resisted with all vigor and patriotism
If Senator Bukola Sarakl and Ike Ekweremadu and other suspects are allowed to get away with these trials, all hope will be irreversibly lost in the ability of the President Muhammad Buhari A P C – led government to bring the high and mighty as well as corruption and forgery cases against them to book and punishment. Despite the check and balances provided by the constitution, the executives have not had much impact and effect in checkmating the excesses of the legislative arm of Government. Lack of accountability and transparency in election into and the subsequent running of their office had been the bane of many parliaments Africa.
Many are characterized by profligacy and unnecessary waste of tax payers fund, and very insensitive in making laws that will directly impact on the majority of the masses or laws that will enforce the provision of basic amenities infrastructures.
Thus, when the case of forgery was mentioned in connection with the Senate President and his deputy, one is not too surprised. However, the parliamentary forgery is a criminal offence against humanity and the State. It is a crime that by all standard and measure worse than terrorism- because it helps foster factors that promote and sustain terrorism and insecurity. It is equal one of the major cause of rigging of election and subsequent electoral violence. It makes democracy unattractive and unacceptable as a way of electing representatives. It equally destroys the hope of the incoming generation in the country and her future.
This is the more reason why President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government must not tolerate or condone forgery or any form of criminality. This is the more reasons why President Muhammadu Buhari must strive to protect and uphold the mandate given to him by millions of Nigerians in the last election.
Nigerians massively gave their mandate to PMB to help better their lots by delivering the dividends of democracy. Steps so far taken by the Federal Government, especially the compromise of withdrawal of forgery charges against the Senators is an abuse of trust and mandate that may spell doom for Nigeria.
Today, the Nation suffers from lack of good road, Job deficit, Infrastructure deficit, poverty and hunger. This challenge would have been addressed if the Legislative arm of Government had been patriotic, responsive, competitive, emphatic, vibrant and transparent enough.
In a time like this, when the nation is in need of Statesmen visionary leadership, PMB need to emulate great visionary global leaders like Abraham Lincoln of America and do the needful. If we must move forward as a nation, we must promote and implement ideas and policies that will promote good governance, reduce insecurity and enhance Democratic tenets and tendencies in the policy- not a compromise of fraternity with men dubious integrity.
Thus Federal Government should put in place and motion all the necessary investigative evidence to affect a far reaching, faultless and landmark judgment in the case before the court as well as Nigerians
Every judicial lacuna and technicalities that might be exploited by the accused to escape or evade prosecution must be speedily addressed
If the charges that made the withdrawal of such cases were weak and unconvincing enough, fresh charges must be obtain against the suspect to ensure effective and comprehensive trials
Federal government must enhance the competence of the police, the judiciary as well as the office of the director of public prosecution to enhance dispensation of justice.
One of the technicality so for explore to Weakens effective prosecution is the case of joint prosecution of the suspect and the subsequent challenges of such a legal administration. Federal government must be conscious of this and charge the suspect individual as opposed to the previous one where the suspect were jointly docked
Government must not relent in its efforts to promote accountability, rule of law and effective nation building,
To treat such a high profile case shabbily is to tell Nigerians that Nigeria may as well soon lapse into banana republic, where brute force and brigandage prevail and where anything goes. This is certainly not what Nigerians wished for and we pray it will not be so. Both Senator Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu must be made to face the trail to a conclusive end
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON
WE SUPPORT THE DEREGULATION ON THE OIL SECTOR
Few days back, the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari announced the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), from 86.50k to ₦145.00 per liters as a ceiling cost.
It stated and justified the price modulation, hinging it on economic sustainability of the nation and the need to address the precarious situations Nigerians found ourselves in presently.
This price modulation is to ultimately lead to the total deregulation (removal of fuel subsidy) in the nearest future.
With the hike in the price, Nigerians, especially the stakeholders in the sector were apprehensive prompting series of reactions, meetings and call for industrial unrest by the organized labour. Government efforts and meeting with labour to resolve the grey areas became deadlocked. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) later called for a nationwide strike, which later recorded a woeful and an uninspiring compliance from other sister labour unions and Nigerian workers.
Nigeria as a country is a mono-economy, sustain by the benefit and politic of crude oil sales. Every of the dynamics of our economy is thus influence by fluctuation of oil prices at the international oil market.
The mismanagement of the oil resources by the few corrupt cabals have ensured that the proceeds from the sales of crude oil do not benefits the majority of Nigerians.
Consequently, when successive government tried to address these challenges, by attempting to remove the oil subsidy, it meets with a stiff resistance by the oil majors. The subsidy regime was is enormous, With the previous ₦86.50 pump price of PMS, the Federal Government paid a subsidy of ₦13.7 per liter translating to ₦16.4 billion monthly. Thus, this clearly accounts for reason why all the nations’ refinery is not functioning.
Money saved by the removal of subsidy will have been saved and applied for national development in the present vis-à-vis infrastructure.
It is no wonder why many patriotic Nigerians from all works of life welcome the new price modulation (subsidy removal) that will be moderated by government from time to time.
The Nigerian labor Congress (NLC) no doubt has the right to protect the rights and welfare of Nigerians workers, but his stance against the removal of the subsidy ran contrary to the utmost aspiring millions of Nigerians. Such demand is elitist and not in tandem with the spirit of change and escaping from economic suffocation posed by continued subsidy.
It is a clear fact that the past government palliative of subsidized transport system given to the labor has clearly not been well managed, clearly indicating lack of accountability and continuity on the side of labor. It thus lack every moral integrity and authority to continue to defend the interest of Nigerians until it duly render accountability of past stewardship as well as address increasing fictionalization in its fold.
For several month now, Nigerians have been facing unfold economic hardship foisted by economic downturn and slump in crude oil prices in the international market. People find it hard to survive now, than ever before, and thus, crave for urgent intervention from the government, especially all the promises it made to Nigerians.
Thus, the price hike comes at a time when ordinary Nigerians are going through untold and unbearable hardship, where poverty and all developmental indices of life are at its lowest ebb.
Past government indeed put in place a template of policy plan to address these challenges, but lack the political will to enforce it to the letter.
The President Muhammadu BUhari led administration has equally put in place a new and revolutionary templates of policy plan (differing form the past government) to address the present challenges in the oil sector, vis-à-vis – refinery maintenance and effective use of palliative, (already built in the 2016 budget) in the overall development of all sectors of the national economy. He must back it up with the political will; it required avoiding errors of the past government.
The pains of the common Nigerian is unbearable and suffocating particularly due to the effects of the recent price modulation of PMS, yet is a policy that will yield a positive dividend in the long run more that in the immediate observations. It is a hard price we must pay for greed and lack of foresight of past leaders in Nigerians.
Every responsive and patriotic government must put the welfare of its people as a priority. We believe this is where the NLC is found wanting. It has failed to take into task the real needs and body language of Nigerians into consideration before embarking on such as suicidal strike.
Government must thus demonstrate its sincerity particularly in its efforts to address challenges facing the nation.
The palliative put in place must address the short term challenges facing Nigerians and the long term challenges of fixing up the refinery and putting in place sustainable price regulation templates.
Government must implement policies and programmed that will create employment to millions of the unemployed youths in Nigeria.
Not only the government must be proactive in tackling series of challenges that are rearing its heads in every sector of the economy, particularly the increase vandalism of oil pipelines and fulani – farmer clashes.
Government must develop and build the health, education, power, energy and related infrastructures, it must fix the rails and build new ones, and it must build and integrated transport system as well as the security sector.
We urge all Nigerians to remain calm, patient and continue to bear with the renewed efforts of the government of the day to address challenges facing them. We call on all Nigerians to be more innovative and think out of the box to survive the present harsh economic reality.
We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything within its power to plug all leakages and loopholes of financial transactions in the country, starting form ASO rock and using his own as influencing templates for others to follow.
President Muhammadu Buhari must ensure that he reduced the luxurious expenditures accompanying, his leadership and policy outputs so as to reflect the pains of ordinary Nigerians electorates who voted him into office in the first place.
The one year leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has certainly not positively impact on ordinary Nigerians. The ordinary Nigerians have not felt the impact of such leadership. Money has been saved or accrued from different sources, such as those collected from corrupt Nigerians who looted the treasury, loans from abroad and money saved through TSA. Nigeria is certainly not broke, we urge our president to deploy these resources to develop the infrastructures.
If Nigeria is broke, neither government recurrent spending mush not increase, nor the lawmaker allocates bogus salaries to themselves.
Government must put in place a technical committee on a realistic minimum wage to ensure maximum productivity in the system.
No doubt, the nation need more private sector participation to increase adequate refining capacity, government cannot do otherwise.
Government must provide conducive business environment policy in place to invest and increase refining capacities of our refineries so that more jobs will be created.
The government palliative must be transparently administered and take the most vulnerable of the society into consideration. Banks can partner with the labor to provide mass transit for Nigerians. Government must ensure food security by massive investment in Agriculture and to attract more youth to the sector. The real challenge the government faces is winning the trust of the people and the present administration must rise up to the present challenges. The people want to know whether government has credible plan for them and how to quickly would government implement the post-subsidy programs.
The Nigerian government must thus implement a transparent system for redirecting and monitoring the use of funds from the fuel subsidy program for infrastructure and Nigeria’s overall development goals so that its citizens can review and scrutinize the expenditure and be well contented with such decision. Such programs must be targeted toward helping the poor to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve road quality and access. Most importantly, Government should assemble a committee of key civil society organizations to oversee the investment of these funds. The government and the proposed civil society oversight committee must prioritize sustainable investments that will have a long-term development impact. The removal of the fuel subsidy should be supported. If implemented correctly, the subsidy funds could lead to major development gains. Civil society organizations should take this opportunity to fully engage in the debate on how best to redirect the funding from the subsidy program. Some form of social protection must be launched immediately to protect the most vulnerable. This could include measures to reduce the cost of public transportation in the near term.
Government must revisit and implement some of the valuable and timely resolutions of the past national conferences. The running of our bureaucracy is very expensive and unsustainable, thus government may need to revert to true federalism as a way of frontally addressing the long term causes of the instability of the system. We are certainly not in support of the call for strike by NLC. The call is untimely, counterproductive, unpatriotic, and not in tune with the aspirations of patriotic Nigerians. During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the labor seems not to be proactive to staging strikes and protests, despite the need for it, it must also exercise its mandate with tact and discreet,
COMRADE JOHNSON BATURE