Friday April 18th, 2014
Friday April 18th, 2014
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Oronsaye Report: No one should panic

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:09 am   /   Comments

*Mr. Stephen Oronsaye

Although, I am yet to meet anyone who has seen the ‘White Paper’ on the report of a panel headed by Steve Oronsaye, a former Head of Service of the Federation to rationalize government organizations, the media has disclosed the release of such a 105-page document. With proactive investigative journalism aided by our new law on freedom of information, why not get the details; I asked myself? I was honestly not excited about that because history teaches me that in Nigeria, an official document called ‘White Paper’ is by tradition a “stereotype”- something that takes the same pattern all the time.

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Rotimi Amaechi and the Verdict of History

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:03 am   /   Comments

Gov Amechi

In today’s Nigeria, Rotimi Amaechi the current Governor of Rivers State is likely to emerge as one of the great personalities that shaped the Nigerian political history of his time. From 2007 till date, he has been a dogged fighter. First, he fought his former political party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – over the latter’s breach of internal democracy.

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When Attorney General becomes a high jumper

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:00 am   /   Comments

*Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke

IN several countries, the position of Attorney General is usually held by a lawyer because the holder is expected to serve as the permanent legal adviser to the government. In Nigeria, it is one post that has always attracted top legal experts especially during the military era. At a point, it was resolved that only a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) could be the Attorney General of the Federation.

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Immigration Tragedy: Minister Abba Moro will remain

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:30 am   /   Comments

TRAGEDY: Interior Minister, Abba Moro, with one of the victims of Nigeria Immigration Service aptitude test tragedy, at the National Hospital, Abuja, yesterday.

An interesting fall-out of the death of some Nigerians last week while in search of employment at the nation’s Immigration Service was a statement credited to ‘Comrade’ Abba Moro the Interior Minister in charge of the sector. According to media reports, the Minister was convinced that the tragedy was caused by the refusal of the applicants to adhere to the rules of engagement designed for the recruitment exercise.

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Aviation reforms: Nigeria still too far behind

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:24 am   /   Comments

Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

Exactly one week ago, I left Nigeria for Dubai to attend the annual international broadcast exhibition -CABSAT 2014. Considering that the Dubai Emirate is a rich country, it was easy to appreciate the magnificent difference between Dubai, its main city and Abuja – our own self-acclaimed fastest growing city in Africa. However, some of my professional colleagues could not help discussing some of the structures that were put in use during the exhibition.

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Who actually is holding-on to Nigeria’s money?

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:33 am   /   Comments

IGP, Mohammed Abubakar

Last week, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar announced the promotion of 24,118 police personnel in the country. According to Police spokesman, Frank Mba, the exercise ranks as the highest number of Police Officers promoted in one fell swoop in the history of the Force. The announcement was a happy one for many families including that of this writer-our own cousin Joe, being one of the beneficiaries.

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So, can’t we count even our dead?

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:13 am   /   Comments

DAMAGE—Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam with Speaker Yobe House of Assembly, Adamu Dala Dogo (below left) inspecting the damage in the school, yesterday.

The indisputable breaking news of the immediate past week was the killing by suspected insurgents of several students of the Federal Government College, Bun Yadi, Yobe State. Whereas, different accounts of what transpired centred on about the same content, everyone had a different version of the number of students affected. During a sympathy visit to the school by the state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, a Senior Master in the institution, Ibrahim Abdul, confirmed that Twenty-nine students were killed. He added that 11 other students sustained gunshot wounds in the attack. Abdul’s report was corroborated by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Sanusi Rufai who also confirmed 29 dead.

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One-man one-vote: Edo’s futile slogan

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:17 am   /   Comments

nasselection

On October 22,2013, the Edo State Electoral Commission organized an election into the Esan North-East Local Government Council. Somewhere along the line, it declared the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the chairmanship election. The opposition party- the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cried foul alleging that it was a travesty of justice as the rightful winner was reportedly short-changed.

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APC’s Lai Mohammed has upset me

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:29 am   /   Comments

Alh. Lai Mohammed

For quite a while during the life of this present government, many Nigerianslooked forward with eagerness to the emergence of a strong political opposition to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Thus, the birth of the All Progressive Congress (APC) brightened the hopes of many citizens that better governance was on its way. The APC seems to have done fairlywell so far especially in bringing down the high degree of impunity of the ruling party. Their rather unpopular directive to their legislators to block the passage of the 2014 may have started, even if inadvertently, to refine our crude democracy – a good example being the end of the police control of Rivers State.

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Does Jonathan also have a pact with Lord Lugard?

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:10 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

Indeed, the ‘democratic’ government of President Olusegun Obasanjo decreed same for the nation as if our leaders had a secret pact unknown to the rest of us with Lord Lugard to preserve his creation. Is this suspected pact also binding on President Goodluck Jonathan whose government recently declared the same no-go-area which bars Nigerians from debating whether or not they wish to continue to belong to the Lugardian nation?

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Focus on 2015 Presidential Election is a grave error

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:15 am   /   Comments

*Jega

Last week’s announcement of the time table for the 2015 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has no doubt opened a new vista in the nation’s political landscape. Already, it has elicited a number of viewpoints from different analysts. To some people, it is a pro-active welcome development. In fairness to such analysts, it is the first time in about 2 decades that our electoral body has been forward-looking with respect to its mandate thereby creating a path way for the nation’s electoral process. To other people however, the time table is nothing more than the script of the ruling party. The nature of politics and elections particularly Nigeria’s winner takes all, zero-sum game system, would make it difficult for anyone to dismiss either of the viewpoints.

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Adamu Mu’azu: Not as we hear

  /   in Nigeria Today 1:03 am   /   Comments

muazu

The selection of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu former Governor of Bauchi State as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) no doubt opens a new chapter in the affairs of the party. Mu’azu means different things to many people. To this writer, he is a large-hearted philanthropist and consummate development activist. No one should blame me for being so charitable to him because my impression is the product of an unforgettable personal encounter with the man some years back. It happened early in 2006 when my goal of achieving 2 projects for my organization – the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) – ran into a critical cash-flow challenge. The projects were the establishment of NTA International and the conversion of the NTA TV College Jos into a degree awarding institution.

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Election rigging as a national hobby

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:59 am   /   Comments

INEC official displays an empty ballot box

Section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999, provides for the system of democratically elected local government councils making it mandatory for every state to ensure their existence under a law which provides for their establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions.Thus, the conduct of local government elections in Nigeria is the responsibility of the state government hence each state handles hers.

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Let’s allow Independent Candidates in 2015

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:03 am   /   Comments

APC-PDP

In democratic societies, political parties naturally evolve within a polity. Thus, when the government of President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) decreed for Nigeria, two political parties-the Nigerian Republican Convention (NRC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in 1989, many critics faulted the move. The critics condemned such a mechanical and rigid approach to politics without recourse to what influenced Babangida to so act. Rather than spending a few minutes to reflect on the Presidential broadcast of October 7, 1989 which adduced several reasons for the action of government, everyone suspected Maradona, as IBB is generally called, to have been up to some mischief.

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Wanted in Nigeria: More hours for Governance

  /   in Nigeria Today 3:05 am   /   Comments

Abuja-PDP7

The last general elections in Nigeria took place in 2011. Since then till date, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate the pre-election atmosphere from that of national development for which governments were instituted. This is because campaigning for candidates into offices that have already been occupied is still very much on-a dangerous trend which no doubt hinders improvement in the welfare and living standard of the people.

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Obasanjo, Jonathan, better than other Nigerian leaders

  /   in Nigeria Today 3:56 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan  and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

The end to the last long drawn-out university teachers’ strike means that students are set to return to school. On the basis of their experiences during the strike, they are likely to once again, face the reality of a wide gap between theory and practice. In the area of mass communication for instance, many students may have to grapple with the real meaning and nature of communication. Having learnt that written communication is generally superior to other forms such as oral communication and body language, they would not easily comprehend why the choice of writing as a channel of communication by former President Olusegun Obasanjo (Obj) with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) elicited so much anger from some people. Did the many angry commentators read Obj’s letter about which they made pedestrian comments?

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Kwankwaso’s Transparency: A challenge to other Governors

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:07 am   /   Comments

kwankwanso-NEW

Exactly one week ago, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) decorated Governor Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State as the best Nigerian Governor in the area of Fiscal Responsibility- a concept which refers to openness, discipline and accountability in governance. This writer was proud to serve as guest speaker on the occasion because it was a remarkable award that was specific, credible and indeed verifiable. It was obviously not purchased like the ones that are given to those who had donated huge sums to the issuing body. In the case of Kwankwaso, the several memorable developments in Kano State for which he was honoured are exceedingly persuasive. What are these developments and what challenges do they pose to other State Governors?

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ASUU crisis: It is time for commendations

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:14 am   /   Comments

Asuu-cartoon

The strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since July 01, 2013 will probably go down in history as the best ever well-organized action of the union. Although the action lasted longer than many Nigerians envisaged, it is to the credit of ASUU that it was fully ready for business. The union had in fact made it clear that only a complete resolution of the issues at stake would bring the strike action to an end. Hence, it was also ready for any eventuality. Consequently, when the government introduced the ‘no work, no pay’ rule into the game, the union responded by resorting to providing other welfare strategies such as distributing food items, giving out soft loans and cash advances to members to cope with the effects of the policy.

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Kudos to Governors Oshiomhole, Fashola and Orji; but…

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:41 am   /   Comments

*Oshiomhole and the widow, Mrs Ifijeh drinking tea yesterday.

The ideal role of a critic is to serve the best interest of society through constructive criticism by drawing the attention of leaders of society to issues which are begging for redress. It is however not enough to enumerate and propagate what is wrong. A good critic ought to, in addition, proffer solutions to the problems or articulate alternative options for handling identified concerns. More importantly, a critic should be charitable enough to commend leaders in those areas where they have made efforts to right their wrongs. The latter is the premise of today’s article which identifies 3 state governors whose recent activities deserve some measure of commendation. The governors are Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and Theodore Orji of Abia.

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Corruption in Nigeria: Is it a perception?

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:04 am   /   Comments

corrupt

There appears to be some measure of unanimity among analysts both within and outside Nigeria that the nation is a highly corrupt society. The country’s successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999 do not quite agree. This can be deduced from certain viewpoints that are usually officially canvassed on behalf of the nation. The first is that there is corruption everywhere, making it obvious that it is not peculiar to Nigeria. Some say, if the British knew nothing about corruption, the term would not have evolved as an English word.

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Inconclusive INEC!

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:00 am   /   Comments

Anambra Supplementary Election: INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru  Jega addressing pressmen , announcing November 30 for Supplementary election at  Anambra State  while National Commissioner Lawrence Nwuruku looks on in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has since 2011 established for itself; certain constant canons of behaviour which Nigerians need to appreciate whenever they seek to participate in an election in the country. One of them is that no matter the election; be it nationwide or in only one state or indeed in just a single constituency, election personnel and materials must arrive late for the event. The present INEC opened its tenure with it in April 2011 when it postponed the National Assembly elections because of late arrival of materials. Since then, that principle of lateness “due logistics reasons” has become part and parcel of INEC just the same way, our airlines run permanently delayed flights “due operational reasons”.

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Kogi Governor’s Convoy Again!!!

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:23 am   /   Comments

*Late Iyayi

Professor Festus Iyayi, erudite scholar and literary giant is gone forever; courtesy of the convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada. The University of Benin Don was killed last Tuesday when a vehicle in the convoy of the governor collided with the one conveying Iyayi and some other delegates to attend ASUU’s National Executive Committee meeting in Kano.

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Enugu Govt House: A Mental Hospital?

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:06 am   /   Comments

Clara Chime, Sullivan Chime and Mr Femi Falana, SAN

The week which ended yesterday no doubt put Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, prominently in the news and once again, it was for the wrong reason. His wife, Clara, made several damaging allegations against him which were publicised by the media. According to the story, the lady’s fundamental human right on basic issues such as freedom of association and of movement had been breached by her husband for longer than she could bear. She also claimed to have been a victim of forced imprisonment. In his response, Governor Chime insists that whatever actions he has taken have been in the interest of his wife. From the lady’s version of her state of depression and the governor’s diction at a press briefing on the subject, it is apparent that the lady has a peculiar medical challenge.

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Who is the latest Mr. Fix it?

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:25 am   /   Comments

Oshiomhole-new-2

On April 20, 2013, the Edo State Electoral Commission held local government elections in the state. Several radio and television stations were replete with disturbing reports by election observers of how the electoral body performed worse than the old infamous Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO). It is hard to forget FEDECO which in 1983 conducted elections in which the ruling party- the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) won more votes than were available and also emerged victorious in centres where elections did not hold. This was what prompted this column to imagine earlier that FEDECO which was dissolved in 1983 must have resurrected in Benin City, 30 years after and got renamed the Edo State Electoral Commission.

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With whom is ASUU in conflict?

  /   in Nigeria Today 1:09 am   /   Comments

asuu-fg

It is no longer news that academic activities in public universities in Nigeria have been paralysed in the last 4 months as a result of the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). With the adverse impact the strike has had on the nation, emotions have taken over and many people are now pleading with the Union to have pity on their suffering students and suspend the strike. Of course, we are all free to favour peace in our campuses but there are a few immediate issues to be noted.

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Traditional rulers as election campaign managers

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:00 am   /   Comments

*PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY 2012 EDO STATE GOVERNORSHIP CAMPAIGN RALLY HELD IN BENIN CITY Pix (4TH LEFT) CHIEF MIKE OGHIADOMHE,CHIEF OF STAFF PRESIDENCY; ALH.TUKUR; ARC.MOHAMMED NAMADI SAMBO,VICE PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA; MAJ.GEN.CHARLES ARHIAVBERE

On December 14 1991, governorship elections were held in all the states of the federation. The conduct was generally hitch-free, but the result of the election in one state-Edo- was nullified by the relevant election tribunal. The tribunal took the decision having convinced itself that the election was adversely affected by undue influence occasioned by a political broadcast by a Benin Chief alleging that the Oba of Benin had directed his people to vote for the eventual winner. Although the Court of Appeal later reversed the nullification, it became a moot point in Nigeria’s electoral history that partisanship by otherwise neutral royal fathers could serve as undue influence in an election.

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ASUU crisis: Let’s bring in Governor Okorocha

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:21 am   /   Comments

cartoon-asuu

As if some other unions buy this principle of the power of democracy, the idea of solidarity action is gaining ground by the day on the ASUU issue. Already, 2 other powerful unions are warming up to join the strike. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) was the first to show concern.

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Fighting for allowances in Nigeria

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:29 am   /   Comments

PHCN

The nation-wide strike action embarked upon since last Tuesday by the National Association of Resident Doctors has expectedly made its painful impact on Nigerians. The doctors are angered among other things by the failure of government to observe the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) agreement reached between government and the doctors. Briefing the media during the week, the President of the Association Dr. Jibril Abdullahi explained that his Association had given government uptil September 30, 2013, to resolve the issues involved but that it failed to do so. He added that the Enugu State Government also failed to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for his members in the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital.

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Government 419 Biometrics

  /   in Nigeria Today 7:07 pm   /   Comments

FRSC CORPS MARSHAL, MR OSITA CHIDOKA NAN photo.

The need to identify every Nigerian citizen does not call for lengthy explanations. It is therefore in order for the Nigerian Identity Management Commission whose mandate it is to do so to take steps which it considers necessary to meet the mandate. In this age of technology, the commission would probably have the right to acquire the biometrics of all citizens.

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Nigeria beyond Politics

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:00 am   /   Comments

VOTERS

About a month ago, the Nigerian Guild of Editors held its Annual Convention in Asaba with the theme ‘Nigeria beyond Oil’. It is noteworthy that the conference took the form of a crusade to get the nation to diversify its economy and stop its over reliance on oil. For this reason, this column commended the move especially the pivotal role of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State. Considering that the crusade will evolve a plan B for even development of the nation, the need to evolve such initiatives in all sectors cannot be overemphasized.

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Police: Beware of PDP!

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:02 am   /   Comments

File photo: Police officers

One of the issues yet to be appropriately addressed in our democratic experiment is the insulation of societal institutions from partisan politics so that they can effectively perform their statutory functions. The failure to do this has been due largely to our inability to observe the fine divide between the ruling political party and the government of the day.

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Hearty congratulations to PDP

  /   in Nigeria Today 12:17 am   /   Comments

PDP Special National Convention: Delegates casting their votes at 2013 PDP Special National Convention . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

The Special Mini Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fill some positions in the party’s National Executive has come and gone. Whether or not the party deserves commendation can be viewed from two standpoints. The first and perhaps the more obvious is that which believes that to congratulate the party on the event does not in essence arise. This is because there was nothing special about the convention as its title tended to impute. The correct title should have been “PDP Repeat Convention”.

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