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Haliru Bello

Fathers and sons Incorporated

ONE of the most significant issues of recent revelations of high wire corruption in Nigeria today, is the way that leading politicians have brought their children into the corruption loop. Top Nigerian politicians are appearing in courts together with their sons. Humungous sums of public money are stolen and shared by fathers and sons (their daughters are entering the political fray too). Ruling class irresponsibility has led to the detention and arraignment of fathers along with their children, for stealing monies in their care, expected to be used for the betterment of society.

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New year, old contradictions

2016 is here! As the old year hurtled into memory, we can look forward to the portents for the New Year. Every country plans against the backdrop of expectations built within the context of the old year. We had exited last year with the excitement following the 2015 elections and change of government, tempered by the hard reality of a serious economic crisis. Household budgets have taken a severe knock as Nigerians go through a very difficult time; but we averted the danger that would have descended, if President Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP administration had achieved re-election. Nigeria pulled itself from the edge of a precipice, by voting for change, but for change to be more than just a slogan, there is a lot of work on hand for all of us. Nigeria must abandon the old ways and consciously make a different set of choices. But this is where the problem lies. The more things change, the more they have remained same in our country

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File: Elder Orubebe at the INEC collation centre

Defeating despair, reinforcing hope

2015. What a year in our lives! I have thought long and hard about this year, trying to come to terms with its many colours and shades; the ups and downs that made it such an incredible year in the life of our dear country. I honestly think the stand out moment, one which has defined the Nigerian spirit profoundly, was that encounter between PDP chieftain Peter Godsday Orubebe and the former INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.

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N20 billion bond: Chasing Kwara’s black goat at night

I MADE a tremendous effort last Friday, to get out of bed as early as possible in the morning. I arrived in Ilorin last Sunday, and had read that the state House of Assembly was to hold a public hearing on a N20 billion bond that the Kwara state government was proposing to access from the capital market. Loans and bonds have almost become synonymous with Kwara State, since Bukola Saraki became governor in 2003; and the jury is out on the usages of those loans. I was determined to watch the legislators interrogate the proposed bond, especially because there were reports that the legislature had previously refused to endorse the plan twice, and had insisted on knowing how previous loans and bonds were expended. It didn’t appear typical of the Kwara House of Assembly! The information I read had stated that the public hearing was to commence by 8am. I arrived at the House of Assembly by seven thirty, but there was no indication that a public hearing was about to take place there.

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Muhammed Lawal

Remembering Governor Muhammed Lawal

NOVEMBER 15th, marked the ninth anniversary of the passing of Rear Admiral Muhammed Alabi Lawal, naval officer, former Ogun state military administrator and first democratically elected indigene of Ilorin as civilian governor of Kwara state. To commemorate the anniversary, a prayer session held in his residence in Ilorin, while his political associates used the opportunity to recall his contributions to Kwara’s development. I was unable to attend ceremonies to commemorate his death.

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Social Media Bill

Social media and its Senate malcontents

LAST week, a very controversial bill passed second reading in the Nigerian Senate. The bill titled: “Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions”, is sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, representing Kebbi South. The bill’s sponsor said it is aimed at whoever makes “an allegation or publish a statement or petition in the newspaper, radio, or medium of whatever description against another person, institutions of government, or any public office holder”.

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Minimum wage

Nigerian governors and national minimum wage

Last week, the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, rose from a meeting to announce that they can no longer pay the N18, 000 National Minimum Wage that was signed into law in March 2011, by President Goodluck Jonathan. The governors gave as reason for their inability to continue to meet their obligations to the Nigerian working people, the poor state of the Nigerian economy. Specifically, the governors pointed out that the wages burden was lighter when crude oil sold at $126 as against the current $41 per barrel.

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NBC and NTA: Regulator and broadcaster in the 2015 elections

By Is’haq Modibbo Kawu “T[he]…passiveness of the media regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to challenge…bias and effectively regulate the broadcast media is not fully consistent with regulatory framework for the elections or international standards requiring the state controlled media to ensure fair and equitable access by contesting parties” – European Union Election Observation Mission LAST
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Odegbami and Kalu

Orji Uzor Kalu and Segun Odegbami: The Nigerian FIFA presidency challenge

A FEW weeks ago, I received a call from ex-International football star, Segun Odegbami. We had not spoken for a while, but it turned out to be a very long discussion. Odegbami informed me of an audacious bid to run for presidency of the international football body, FIFA! It appeared such a daunting proposition and one would have thought that he was joking but clearly he was not!

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