Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Muhammadu Buhari’

Jonathan 2015 & The Parable Of The Prostitute By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo.


 

Columnist:

By Rudolph Okonkwo

You must have seen one of those must read stories. There is this one about a lady who was a prostitute. She did her job so well and for so long. It also meant that she had to undergo a lot of abortions. At one point she decided to undergo a full hysterectomy to avoid any need for further abortions. The doctors indulged her after getting her to sign the consent. One of the lines on the consent form said she agreed that she would never have a baby again.

Along the way, as these stories go, she got redeemed. She accepted Christ and became born again. Her new passion for Christ found favor in the heart of the dashing pastor of her new age church. In no time, the pastor proposed to her. She was reluctant to accept, for obvious reasons. The pastor insisted that God spoke to him to marry her. She asked the pastor to check again for he must have misunderstood what God said. After going back and forth with the pastor insisting that he heard God well, she told the pastor that her womb had been taken out.

“No problem,” the pastor said. “I’ll still marry you.”

They got married. Lo and behold, before you could say honeymoon over she became pregnant. And that was when the story became interesting.

She returned to the doctor that removed her womb and reported that she was pregnant. After a natural bout of dismissal and doubts, the doctor did a pregnancy test and as the story put it, “to his greatest surprisation” the pastor discovered that the woman was pregnant for real.

To crown it all, on the ninth month, she gave birth to a baby. Not just any baby- she gave birth to the gold standard baby- “a bouncing baby boy.”

I know. By now your heart has melted like a spoon of butter left in the sun. And that’s when the peddlers of this tale finally strike. They now say to you in upper case:

“IT WAS THE GRACE, FAVOUR AND MERCY OF GOD that the prostitute could have a child. Therefore, I decree upon your life that whatsoever that has or might have damaged in your life, in your body, in your skills, your career, your academics, your business, MAY THE FAVOUR, MERCY, GRACE AND MIRACLE OF GOD LOCATE YOU. YOU TYPE AMEN TO THIS PRAYER, IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME, AMEN. My brothers & sisters, God still does this kind of miracles, just write “Amen” and share this story to your friends, you will see GOD perform a Miracle in your life today!!!”

Immediately, thousands of our compatriots rush to type Amen. If it is the one that urges you to forward the tale to 60 friends in six minutes so that Bill Gates will drop an iPad under your pillow, thousands of us will do so.

Nobody pauses to ask simple questions. Like, where will a fertilized egg get implanted on when the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the cervix were taken out during hysterectomy? Even in a partial hysterectomy, if fertilized egg is not self-aborted before the woman knows she’s pregnant, it gets attached to the other organs of the abdomen or the walls of one of the fallopian tubes, immediately putting the life of the mother in danger. Gynecologists and obstetricians often remove such rare fetuses. Unless a didelphic uterus is involved, hysterectomy is as good as sterility.

Those are the questions we should be asking and not singing, Amen. But trust us, Nigerians! We long for signs and wonders in place of reason and proof.

President Goodluck Jonathan knows this. And that’s why his handlers have designed a strategy that will keep him in Aso Rock until 2019. That strategy is very simple: show the people their miserable lives and point to them the people to blame for it. That’s how elections are typically won. In the case of Jonathan, he has crafted the people to blame – others.

Even though the presidency just issued a book, “The Reforms that have transformed Nigeria (2010-2013),” they are not basing the upcoming campaign on highlighting the various achievements listed in the book which they claim has made the lives of Nigerians more meaningful. Instead, they want you to just write Amen.

The ethno-religious reality of Nigeria has made it very simple for the president. The safe zones of the president are the South-South and the South East, the Middle Belt and the Christian North. The only region at play in the 2015 election is the South West. The Jonathan-Sambo ticket’s only path into the South West is through the church. The president has to grab 40% of the votes in the South West to win the election.

The opposition party, the APC is placed in a difficult position by this reality. The party also needs the South West vote to win. To get a significant number of the South West vote, the party has to juggle some complex parameters.

First, on the biggest masquerade in APC- General Buhari. A good analogy of his political fortune can be deduced from that of Emeka Ojukwu when he returned from exile in 1982. On Ojukwu’s return, an analyst said that, “if Ojukwu joins NPN, NPN is finished and if he joins NPP, NPP is finished.” Looking at the 2015 elections, the feelers out there is that the fate of APC is to a large extent dependent on whether Buhari runs or not. If he runs, APC is finished and if he doesn’t run, APC is finished. This thinking is based on the calculation that no matter how much President Jonathan screws up, Buhari cannot overcome the fair or unfair negative perceptions of him in some parts of the south. Some potential northern candidates are using this argument to keep Buhari from contesting at all.

The APC can pick a South West candidate for president. To ensure that the candidate has a chance up north, he or she must be a Muslim. The other alternative is to pick a Northern candidate for president and then pick a South West candidate for vice president. In this permutation, the only viable candidate from the South West with the kind of crossover appeal is Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State. But the Northern candidate cannot be a Muslim, too. Otherwise that will play into the hands of Jonathan and his PDP group already tagging APC a Muslim party.

If Fashola is the presidential candidate, he could deliver the South West votes but will the North line up behind him in the numbers needed to deflate Jonathan’s inroad into the North via the Middlebelt and the Christian North? If Fashola is the vice-presidential candidate which northern candidate at the head of the ticket will inspire enough confidence in the South West to secure over 70% of the votes there? Buhari did not in 2011 and he will not do so in 2015.

That is why Jonathan’s only challenge in these permutations is to squeeze out 40% of the South West vote, irrespective of the candidate APC will come up with. And the only way to do so is to carry the bible and the cross until election time.

And once the bible and the cross come out, like in the story of the prostitute, it is miracle and grace that follows not logic and reason. Objectivity disappears. Empirical evidence becomes irrelevant. Amen stands upon other Amen until the ladder climbs up to heaven under the whirlwind of promises.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Help Wanted: Nigerian President For 2015 – By Bayo Oluwasanmi.


By Bayo Oluwasanmi

The race for the presidency is shaping up. In the right-place-right-time theory of politics, the moment matters. It’s scary to visualize what the political landscape will look like in 2015. For sure, there will be events that will try our souls between now and then.

With the disappearing act of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerians are looking for the next strongest leader to take over. Nigerians are fed up with the leadership of Mr. Jonathan. In the absence of a leader, Nigerians are like sheep without a shepherd and we yearn for a leader. Like any other group of people, we focus on our immediate needs, we struggle with delayed gratification, we feel insecure and begin to worry without abundant signs of hope, and we always ask: what has the leader done for us lately?

Leadership, like life, is the sum total of the decisions we make. Every decision has consequences. The president decides how he’ll respond to issues, decides on the size of the budget, decides on whom to hire, and decides what values and priorities are worth fighting for, and most importantly, decides what will be his legacy.

It is evident that the three-year presidency of Mr. Jonathan portrays him as a leader who lacks commitment, suffers from a scattered focus, looks for excuses, forgets the big picture, go public with private thoughts, behaves inconsistently, creates poor relationships, and avoids change.

For 2015, we want a leader who will separate himself regularly from the crowd. A leader who will pursue truth over popularity, a leader who is willing to take risks, who is ready to be watched by the public even though it feels intimidating to be watched and scrutinized.

We want a leader with character, a leadership with competence – ability to get the job done and leadership that produces results. We want a leadership with conviction – a leadership that has backbone, someone who will always stand for what is right. Tomorrow’s production begins with today’s preparation. We need a leader that will solve problems because the fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems.

The cost and expectations of leadership are high and expensive. The failure of a leadership usually results in consequences far more greater than the fall of a non-leader. We want a leader that will live at a standard higher than others. A leader that cares for the interest of the poor, who lives with integrity and keeps his word. We want a leader that manages time and the nation’s resources well.

Nigerians want a leader who is ready to listen to the people, who practices patience of silence and submission. He must be faithful and committed as a trustworthy partner of the people. We want a leader with charisma, a man who enjoys a sense of giftedness.

Example is the most important tool a leader possesses. People do what people see. We need a leader that will set example. “Example is not the main thing influencing others,” says Albert Schweitzer, “it is the only thing.”

I remember an incident of leadership by example that took place when I was in high school. Our principal – a strict disciplinarian – had warned us several times to stop dumping refuse at a particular spot near the hostel. We refused to use the new pit dug for that purpose because it was a bit far from the hostel. Over time, the refuse pit had become a dunghill. Well, one day after the morning assembly, in his characteristic style of leadership by example, our principal gave the marching order: “Follow me.” We all lined up behind him. He headed straight to the dunghill. Without a word, he bent down and with his two hands grabbed his own piece of the dirt. Without any hesitation, mumbling, or grumbling, we all snatched our share of the mess. Within few minutes, the whole mess was gone. End of story!

By now, Nigerians are sick of scheming leaders who will do anything for the sake of power. Our political history shows that our leadership revolves around Machiavellian leadership style based on amorality, deception, power, ego, and personal advantage. By contrast, the leadership style required for 2015 should be based on morality, truthfulness, servanthood, humility, and meeting the needs of our people. It should be a leadership based on self-giving and not self-preservation.

We need a leader who projects confidence, strength, hope, optimism, and sincerity who can always inspire Nigerians through personal power in seemingly hopeless situations. In the darkest days of the Second World War in 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the parliament: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” he said. “We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering,” he assured the Brits.

Despite Churchill’s depressing words, it was the realistic assessment of the crisis faced by Britain. Indeed, as it turned out, those words lifted the morale and ignited the fighting spirit of the British people. With defiant courage, Churchill declared: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” This is the type of president Nigeria needs. We don’t need a skilled manipulator with superficial charm without the experience, ability, values, and character that make an authentic leader as president.

In a nutshell, the next president of Nigeria must be a leader with a sense of “I am eager” meaning a sense of passion and urgency about reaching Nigerians and meeting their needs, a sense of “I am obligated” that is, a feeling that he cannot do anything else vocationally, and a sense of “I am not ashamed” by way of conviction to do what others may think illogical.

So, let the race begin!

byolu@aol.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Again, A Case of Uncounted Billions By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

To a first-time visitor, much of Nigeria is likely to appear like the wreckage of a long war, what with its gutted roads, rutted infrastructure, the near-absence of electric power, and the paucity of pipe-borne water. It’s a developmental nightmare, a relic of the misshapen monuments of small-minded men and women, a patchwork of ill-conceived, abandoned projects.

Given Nigeria’s shape—or, more appropriate, its lack of shape—you’d expect a certain sense of urgency about transforming the space. You’d expect politicians and experts to focus at every opportunity on ways of creating a healthcare system worthy of human beings, revitalizing the educational sector, creating jobs for milling youths, providing basic facilities, and changing the moral tone.

Instead, what you find is a deranged obsession with a rat race whose sole goal is the primitive accumulation of riches. The country’s political leaders, who incidentally lead the rat race, seem to miss the point that the winners of such a race remain rats! Yes, a lot of them amass obscene sums of illicit wealth, but lucre merely raises their rating as ridiculous figures. The more they steal, the more they consolidate their contemptible quotient.

But Nigeria’s political “leaders” are far from the only problems. If anything, they seem to reflect a broader cultural malaise. Many Nigerians, one suspects, are hostile to the deep thinking that is a precursor to remarkable transformation. We’d much rather muck around in sectarian, ethnic and partisan baiting. Confronted with evidence of systemic collapse, many of us are content to blame Christians or Muslims, Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa, the North or South. We fail to realize that, where it counts, so-called Christian and so-called Muslim figures collaborate in schemes that impoverish the rest of us; that Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa politicians are not averse to acting together to corner looting opportunities; that men and women from the North and South work together daily to abort Nigeria’s promise.

The reportorial priorities of the Nigerian media mirror, I suggest, Nigerians’ little tolerance for substance. Despite Nigeria’s abysmal condition, it’s hard to see any serious debates in the media. It’s all about PDP this, APC that. Nobody, least of all the two parties’ top officials, can articulate what either party stands for. In lieu of any sustained presentation of ideas for making Nigeria a habitable address, both parties settle for parading personalities. What’s worse, the advertised political henchmen (and women) have pedigrees defined less by ideas than their possession of stupendous wealth.

You’d expect Nigerians to pay attention when somebody who ought to know talks about billions missing from the national treasury. But perish the thought!

Last week, Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria appeared again before the Finance Committee of the Nigerian Senate, and spoke about huge frauds in the oil sector. Mr. Sanusi’s presentation rang with grave claims. Speaking with a directness hardly ever used by any past occupant of his seat, he accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of failing to account for $20 billion from crude oil exports. According to him, the NNPC sold $67 billion worth of crude oil, but deposited only $47 billion.

He told the committee that two companies, Seven Energy and Atlantic Energy (which he said were owned by the same persons), were beneficiaries of a curious deal with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). The deal enabled the ostensible private investors to pocket billions of dollars that ought to belong to Nigeria, the CBN head asserted. He also spoke about “leakages from the system through opaque and complex Swap transactions between PPMC [Pipeline and Products Marketing Company] and some counter parties.” He added: “The Agreements signed by PPMC contained a troubling clause that permits the destruction of documents after one year.”

These are startling allegations, worthy of particular attention by Nigerians and their media. When I googled Mr. Sanusi’s presentation, I found that it received relatively tepid reportage in Nigerian newspapers. It was played up more by online media, especially those based outside of Nigeria.

Even if Mr. Sanusi were talking nonsense, the proper response would be for reporters versed in oil transactions to thoroughly dissect his presentation and expose his misrepresentations. Besides, President Goodluck Jonathan and his aides ought to debunk Mr. Sanusi’s allegations by providing proof that no money is missing. It’s far from an adequate response to point to the fact that the CBN governor’s figures have shifted since September, 2013. The discrepancies may point, in fact, to the complex, labyrinthine nature of the schemes used to defraud Nigerians.

The role of the media has been shameful—but let’s put it aside for now. How about labor unions, student organizations, and such professional bodies as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and the Nigerian Guild of Editors? What explains their astonishing silence on the matter? Is Nigeria so affluent—so awash with cash—that $20 billion don’t count?

On the Internet, some anonymous commentators fixated on the fact that Mr. Sanusi, bearer of a disquieting message, is a Muslim and a Northerner. Some accused him of awarding billions of naira worth of contracts to his cronies. Others raised issues about his personal life. Mr. Sanusi’s faith and ethnicity have nothing to do with anything here. If he illegally awarded contracts, he deserves to be called on it—and prosecuted, if he broke the law. If there are lapses in his personal life, they should concern us only if he meddled with public funds. Otherwise, it is up to the stakeholders in his personal life to hold him to account, or choose not to.

If students, lawyers and editors didn’t find the case of the missing billions worthy of a single raised eyebrow, who would blame the rest of the populace for going on, unconcerned? It was as if most of us yawned and quickened our stride to that pepper soup joint! Few, if any, bothered to contemplate all the things that $20 billion could do for Nigeria.

I can’t help contrasting the collective indifference to Mr. Sanusi’s expose with the hysteria over former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s decision to leave the PDP and enlist in the APC. Nigerian newspapers not only rushed to cover this relative non-event, they have also offered their readers numerous follow-ups.

You’d think that the answer to Nigeria’s crises of underdevelopment lie in Mr. Atiku’s choice to register with a party that has yet to spell out how it differs from the PDP, much less what answers it has for Nigeria’s worsening state.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Sunday Musings: And What Shall We Discuss At The National Conference, Where, And For How Long? By Mobolaji E. Aluko.


By Mobolaji E. Aluko
My People: When the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue (PACND) submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan in December 2013, in addition to suggesting modalities for the National Conference itself, it recommended thirty-eight main topics (sub-divided into seventy-eight sub-topics).Now in accepting (in January 2014) and then beginning to act upon the PACND’s report, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) specifically “accepted” only one non-topic – indivisibility of Nigeria – which “No-Go Area”  (in Nigerian parlance) I have now taken the liberty of actually making the thirty-ninth topic (See Table 2 below).

One presumes that the NC will discuss all the topics – and possibly more that are thrown up during the discussions.  However, the burning questions to me at this time when I read all of the suggested topics are:

(1) is the NC going to be a mere talk-shop – an EVENT in a hotel in Abuja  – to end in a report that might or might not see the light of day? or

(2) a serious PROCESS across the nation, at various venues,  sometimes week-days, sometimes week-ends, that will eventually end up in a Popular Constitution approved by a Referendum; and

(3) will three months (the recommended length of time for the NC), six months (my recommended period) or even twelve months be enough to discuss all-and-sundry topics?

Finally:

(4)  if it is an Abuja hotel event, which employed persons (self- or otherwise employed) will be able to devote three months of his or her time to this event – or is this an event planned for the IDLE RICH, and/or the un-employed, and/or the un-employable?

These questions are rhetorical.  Assuming therefore that the National Conference being proposed is a SERIOUS EVENT that will lead to a Popular Constitution within a period of time that serious-minded (and otherwise busy) persons can participate in within a reasonable period of time – and episodically go off to engage their constituencies as well as their primary jobs – I have outlined in Table 1, an 18-block, 38-topic list of suggested discussion topics culled from PACND’s list.  It is not that the other topics that I have cut out are not important, but they can be considered AOB – Any Other Business – and can be discussed TIME- PERMITTING.

Let the National Conference begin….after the delegates are chosen somehow, which is a separate challenge.

And there you have it.   Your thoughts are welcome.

Bolaji Aluko

 

 

————— TABLE 1:  Suggested Priority Topics to be Discussed (in order of importance) – Aluko suggestions

 

Block Priority Topic for Discussion
1 1 (No)Go Area: (in)Divisibility/Dissolution/Disunity of Nigeria
  2 Definition of Federating Units: States or Geo-Political Zones
2 3 Political Federalism
  4 Fiscal Federalism
3 5 Presidential system
  6 Parliamentary system
4 7 Choice between Uni-cameral or Bi-cameral legislature
  8 Choice between full-time or part-time legislature.
5 9 Fundamental human rights
  10 Justiciability of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy
6 11 Diversification of the economy
  12 Oil and other Mineral Resources Management  (Resource Control)
  13 Poverty and wealth creation
7 14 Tenure of Public officials: President, Governors, etc
  15 Immunity of political office holders
8 16 Local (State) Policing
  17 Security Agencies: Review and re-design of national security apparatus
9 18 Fighting corruption and anti-corruption agencies — ICPC, EFCC
10 19 National Census Policy
  20 National Electoral System (INEC, SIEC, etc.)
  21 Federal Character
11 22 Review of judicial institutions
  23 Religion, Secularism and the Secularity of the Nigerian State
  24 Sharia and Customary legal system
12 25 Land use Act
  26 Citizenship/indigenes — Settlers dichotomy
  27 Boundary adjustment
  28 State Creation and Merger of States
13 29 National Education Policy
  30 National Science and Technology Education Policy
  31 National Research and Development Policy
  32 National Health Policy
14 33 National Defence Policy
15 34 Gender,  Youth and Vulnerable  Citizens issues
  35 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
16 36 Role of Traditional Rulers and Institution in governance
17 37 Administrative/Legislative Structures for FCT, Abuja (and Lagos? Calabar?)
18 38 Languages and Language Policy

 

 

 

Table 2: Committee-recommended Specified Items For Inclusion on the Agenda of the National Conference

 

Main Section Sub-

Section

Topic for Discussion
1   Political Restructuring of the country:
  1 a. Political Federalism
  2 b. Fiscal Federalism,
  3 c. Definition of Federating Units: States or Geo-Political Zones
2   Forms of Democratic Governance:
  4 a. Presidential system.               
  5 b. Parliamentary system;
  6 c. Choice between Uni-cameral or Bi-cameral legislature;
  7 d. Choice between full-time or part-time legislature.
3   Good Governance;
  8 a. Cost of governance;
  9 b. Corruption and National Development;
  10 c. Fighting corruption and anti-corruption agencies — ICPC, EFCC;
  11 d. Immunity of political office holders;
  12 e. Citizenship/indigenes — Settlers dichotomy;
  13 f. Justiciability of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy;
4   Judicature:
  14 a. Fundamental human rights;
  15 b. Impunity of judicial officers;
  16 c. Review of judicial institutions;
  17 d. Sharia and Customary legal system;
  18 d. Delays in the administration of justice.
5   Democratization
  19 a. Deepening democracy;
  20 b. De-militarization of national psyche,
  21 c. Democratic culture and orientation;
  22 d. Mechanisms for a more inclusive participatory democracy.
6 23 Political parties, God-fatherism and the challenges of internal Democracy:
7   National Security and Security Challenges:
  24 a Security Agencies: Review and re-design of national security apparatus,
  25 b Local Policing,
  26 c Other security agencies.
8 27 State Creation and Merger of States
9   Education:
  28 a. Investment in education;
  29 b. Decentralisation and National Education policy;
  30 c. Return of Missionary and Private schools to original owners;
  31 d. Institutionalizing Tsangaya/Almajiri education system
  32 e. Nomadic Education.
10   Health
  33 a. Health Policy
  34 b. Investment in Health
  35 c. Healthcare Delivery
11   Science, Technology and Development:
  36 a. Science and Technology Education;
  37 b. Technological Adaptations and the National Economy;
  38 c .Research and Development;
  39 d. Promotion and Improvement of indigenous Technological innovations;
12 40 Restoring the National Ethics, Morals and Core Values
13 41 Religion, Secularism and the Secularity of the Nigerian State
14   Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development
  42 a. Decentralisation of National Agricultural Policy;
  43 b. Grazing Reserves and Cattle Routes Demarcation
15   The Environment
  44 a. Environmental Degradation – flooding, soil erosion, oil spillage and desertification;
  45 b. Climate change.
16   Defence
  46 a. Nigeria’s defence policy and posture at home and abroad;
  47 b.The Nigerian Armed forces and multi-lingual challenges;
  48 c. Nigeria and International peace-keeping operations.
17 49 Tenure of Public officials: President, Governors, etc
18 50 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the challenges of conducting free and fair elections.
19 51 Population and Credible National Census;
20 52 Land use Act;
21 53 Role of Traditional Rulers and Institution in governance at national and local levels;
22   The Economy:
  54 a. Poverty and wealth creation;
  55 b. Productivity;
  56 c. Diversification of the economy;
  57 d. Industries and Industrialisation
23 58 Oil and other Mineral Resources Management, Exploration and Sharing mechanism;
24 59 Revenue Generation and Mobilization
25 60 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC);
26 61 Gender issues;
27 62 Youth Unemployment and Development issue;
28 63 Physically Challenged Persons and National Development;
29 64 Investment in Sports
30 65 Boundary adjustment;
31 66 National inland waterways issues;
32 67 Elective Mayorality Administrative/Legislative Structures for FCT, Abuja
33 68 Special status for Lagos;
34 69 Unsettled issues of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970);
35 70 Revising Bakassi;
36 71 Languages and Language Policy;
37 72 Pension Matters and Rights of Senior Citizens;
38 73 Federal Character
39 74 (No)Go Area: (in)Divisibility/Dissolution/Disunity of Nigeria

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Not An All-Propaganda-Congress By Sonala Olumhense.


 

Columnist:

Sonala Olumhense

As a writer who has questioned the heart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I am pleased to notice that it is clarifying its mission and character.

On December 1, 2013, I asked the question: “Is APC Less Dangerous Than The PDP?”

At that time, five governors elected on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP) had just joined the APC, thereby granting the latter a vast acreage in relevance and credibility.

It is a political currency called defection, and since then, the APC has made a mint of the word, which now seems to hold the exclusive meaning of someone joining the APC from the PDP.  Somehow, a defection from the PDP is being made to sound as if it justifies itself while it demonizes the PDP.

I write this article to clarify one point: that to criticize the PDP is not to justify the APC.  Every party, especially one which claims to stand for change, must earn its credibility.

It is not news that the APC hopes to become Nigeria’s dominant political force.  There is nothing wrong with seeking to replace the PDP, produce the next President, run the National Assembly and produce a majority of the country’s governors.

All of that is legitimate; it is precisely what the PDP has done since 1999.  But the PDP progressively became richer and more insensitive to the tears of our people.

It is in those tears that the APC wishes to swim on its way to political dominance.  “Those compatriots who have lost faith in our dear country because of insufficient and corrupt leadership; count on us for we represent an Agent of change for committed, transparent and focused leadership,” it says in the preamble to its manifesto.

“As a change Agent, APC intend to cleanse our closet to halt the dangerous drift of Nigeria to a failed state; with a conscious plan for post-oil-economy in Nigeria.

“To achieve this laudable programme APC government shall restructure the country, devolve power to the units, with the best practices of federalism and eliminate unintended paralysis of the center.”

These claims market the APC pretty well.  As I observed in previous comments, however, a new party can basically place anything in its shopping basket in a bid to acquire power.  The PDP did, and for 15 years, it used every such craft and every trick to snatch power, knowing it could then do whatever it pleased.

That is how we found ourselves with the monster of impunity, corruption and bad governance to which the APC says it is an answer.

Can the APC do it?  In terms of winning political power, the party is on the ascendancy, but as we have seen, winning power is not the same thing as using it for the public good.  If Nigerians have learned anything from their recent history, it is that words are not the same as intent, or even of ability.

On this count, the APC seems to be saying to Nigerians, “Trust me.”

Only a fool would trust the APC, as currently established, to be any different, let alone better than, the PDP, which is currently collapsing on its head.

However, while the opponent’s own goal may be enough for you to win the semi-final, it is not proof that you are capable of winning the final.

Let us remember that some of the APC-ers who are currently gushing with a certain pseudo-patriotic spirit were well-known clean-up men in the PDP and other parties.

In other words, if the APC is an answer to the PDP, is the APC also an answer to the APC?  Can the APC discipline itself to serve Nigeria and not the APC?

“Democracy, to be stable and meaningful, must be anchored on the principle that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed,” APC says in its manifesto.

“This means that governments are instituted on the basis of free, fair and credible elections, and are maintained through responsiveness to public opinion. In addition, the exercise of political authority is rooted in the rule of law. APC believes in the doctrine of social contract between the leaders and the led; which means that the public office holder is a trustee of the people and that power must be used in the interest of the people rather than in the interest of the public office holder.”

It is unhelpful to argue with this analysis.  In fact, those members of the ACP who travelled in through the New PDP made a stronger case during their journey, repeatedly stressing the necessity of a “democratic temperament.”  They demanded a democracy inspired by free choice, the rule of law, transparency, and accountability.

As one of those who challenged the APC to reach for enduring an enduring platform, I am pleased to learn the party will use the Uwais Report to change the electoral law, and seek to make the Independent National and State Electoral Commissions (INEC) truly independent.

If elected, the party says it will institute an anti-corruption response through deploying the relevant agencies as strong and independent bodies. Some of us also thought the APC should institute an aggressive grassroots voter-registration scheme, which it put into play last week.

While I commend the APC for these proposals, the truth is that they do not go far enough to protect Nigerians should the party win power, and it must be clear that this is the heart of the challenge.  What happens should the APC be elected and it begins to protect its looters?

Only by the establishment of clear internal standards and mechanisms, from the beginning, can the party hope to answer this question.

While it has accepted the need to provide a code of conduct, the party says such a document will be prepared by a body that has yet to be established.

That is unacceptable because such a code is the only way to tell those who genuinely want to use the APC to shield Nigerians from the rain from those who want to use it to shield themselves.  It is the only way to guarantee the level playing field the APC has often spoken about, as opposed to a level playing field for the APC to compete with other political parties.

The battle for integrity is not the battle between political institutions, but the battle between right and wrong.  That is why it is vital for any political party which proclaims change to demonstrate that it will have even higher standards for itself than is demanded by law.  That is how desperate our situation is.

This is why, in a previous article, I called on the APC to “set clear standards, and demonstrate that those standards are higher than partisan politics and the APC itself. “

This is more important now than when the APC started out.  The party is attracting an assemblage of people who ought to sign this code, as a pledge, so they know they are really committing themselves to true patriotism.

If they do not pledge to serve the people openly, they are almost certain to serve themselves privately, and that is the standard to which the APC says it objects.

Let every top member, every official at every level and every electoral prospect sign such a pledge and be judged by history.

All those who sign should get a party button which proudly proclaims: “I SIGNED!”

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Fashola Funding APC Registration From State Treasury – Lagos PDP.


Gov-Fashola-04

The  Lagos State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has accused  the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, of sponsoring the  ongoing All Progressives Congress, APC membership registration from the  State Treasury, while at the same time crippling governance in order to  participate and monitor the said registration exercise.
In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Lagos  State, Mr. Taofik Gani, the party also berates what it termed  mismanagement of funds and maladministration by some of the 57 Council  Chairmen whom they alleged have replicated same act in their various  Council Areas.
“We can now confirm that the ongoing APC membership registration,  especially in Lagos State, is enjoying the sponsorship of Governor  Fashola. The Governor has also condoned the decision of the 57 Council  chairmen to divert their council funds into the clearly party exercise.
“They have spent at least 7billion Naira paying for the registration  materials, staff, massive promo adverts at all levels, and inducing  persons to register. This amount could have been better utilised to  improve the lives of Lagosians”, the statement read.
Consequently, the Lagos PDP has hinted that it may invite the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe the  allegations.
“This party, APC, has no membership yet and cannot claim any  financial membership as well. Who, then is bankrolling their ongoing  membership registration process? Governor Fashola must give us answer to  this question.
“Lagosians demand to know. We have stronger, direct and  circumstantial evidence for the EFCC to proof that the ongoing APC  membership registration is being sponsored from the Lagos State  treasury”, it concluded.           by: Channels Television.

Source: Radio Biafra.

On The Practice Of Nigerian Democracy By Felix Di Netimah.


By Felix Di Netimah

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of people in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it. – Frederic Bastiat

The President has convened a national conference. From all corners of the country chosen delegates will pour forth upon the nation’s capital. The principals will meet in private. There will be initial discussions (horse-trading), negotiation (you scratch my back and I yours) and finally agreement (a nod and a wink). Thereafter, their factors will pronounce our fate in public. They will say the ‘people’ have decided. They will say this is democracy.

Is it?

My friends, it is not. It is a kleptocracy. Our leaders practice a form of government designed to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population and with the pretence of honest service . This national conference will do nothing other than to further the interests of the elite.

On the one hand, we should be honest enough to acknowledge corruption is the normal condition of human society. From the dawn of human societies whether Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon or Republican Rome, whether Victoria’s England or Boer South Africa, social organisation has been based on the use of force to seize assets and gain power. Once seized, the elite then create and cement rules that legitimise and sustain their hold on power.

So modern Nigeria is not unique in the history of human social organisation. Our corruption is endemic not because we are different from the rest of the world but possibly because corruption itself is part of human nature.

But on the other hand, we decry the greed of the elite, we decry their avarice, we decry their materialism. And why? Because this national conference, if properly done, represents a golden opportunity for change in the country.

It presents an opportunity to change the ethos of the elite. Major Nzeogwu condemned the ethos of ‘ten percent’ in explaining why he felt compelled to seize power in the coup of 15 January 1966. Then the elite creamed ten percent off official contracts in bribes and such like. But in the decades since, our elites have arguably taken corruption to deeper, more pervasive levels. Where once ten percent would do, the new elites take it all instead. Where once those in power showed self restraint in asking for 10 percent, our modern leaders will take it all, award a new contract for the same work and then help themselves to more again.

The national conference offers a real opportunity for the leaders to get together and impose self restraint on themselves. Let’s not talk about the aspirations of Nigerians, the type of democracy we should have, the composition of the National Assembly or Jonathan’s bid for a second term. No. The people do not want to know whether Jonathan had an agreement with the ‘North’ (more on that later!) They want to know when they will have uninterrupted power, food in their bellies and education for their children.

The starting point for ensuring we achieve the aspirations of the people lies in ensuring we spend more of the national wealth on the people. We cannot eliminate corruption overnight. But restricting our elites to 10 percent for starters would go a long way to ensuring our evolution to a modern socially progressive nation.

The other change I would propose for the national conference? An end to federation. The conference should dissolve this union as we know it and set the terms for a confederation of Nigerian States. The terms should then be put to the vote of the people in a referendum.

Felix Di Netimah
London January 2013

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Tag Cloud