8th Assembly3

Knowing when to say less

ONE theme that runs across the entire spectrum of public administration is that leaders should say less than necessary because power cannot accrue to those who squander their treasure of words. Essentially, the more you speak, the more likely you are to make mistakes. And words are like the toothpaste – once you press it out of the tube, it cannot be put back. In the words of Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), “It is even more damaging for a Minister to say foolish things than to do them”.

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Paternity and maternity leave to the rescue: The Lagos and Enugu States Initiative

FROM the rural frying pan to the urban fire, the average Nigerian has been virtually an endangered specie. His life has been characterised by continuous struggle – he has to struggle even for those things that citizens of other countries take for granted and, which they get as basic rights.
If a man must struggle through school and finally graduate into unemployment; if the system is such that enables the few lucky ones who are said to be working to be owed backlogs of salaries, sometimes for upwards of 24 months; and meanwhile retirement has become a death sentence as many pensioners have perished, “waiting for the dead-man’s shoes”, as it were, then, there is something fundamentally wrong. And in our type of situation, every window of opportunity should be explored to the limits.

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All hail this toddler @ 55?

IT would be uncharitable to say that Nigeria has made no progress since independence. That would be wishing away all the massive expansions to our highways, airports and seaports; plus the fact that at independence, we had only a single university but we now have a multiplicity of universities and other tertiary institutions. We also built a befitting National Capital, which is now far removed from the susceptibility of enemy attacks from the sea, air and land.

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Residents of Sebiotimo street, Agege, checking for their Permanent Voters Cards at  ward 5, Agage Local Government in, Lagos state,  yesterday [08-11-14]. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

A nation in the claws of over-registration

ONE disturbing trend is developing in Nigeria: We are caught in the claws of over-registration, thus reducing every Nigerian to a number. He is a number on the assembly-line; on the pay-roll; on the school register; in the tax office; on the voters’ register; in the banking hall; in his political party; and, indeed, he is a number everywhere!

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Compensating the Victim: Agenda for Legislative action

OUR Justice System as currently structured is patently unjust and leaves much to be desired. The thought of any change here must begin with a critical examination of the relationship between society, the criminal and the victim. For now, Nigeria is one country where the victim counts for nothing. Elsewhere, people have realised that society has no justification whatsoever to keep taking from the victim without giving back to him.

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PEACE COMMITTEE—President Muhammadu Buhari flanked by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Sultan of Sokoto (5th R) while Chairman, National Peace Committee, Gen. Abdulasalami Abubakar (4th L); President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor (4th R); Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah (2nd L); the Catholic Bishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan (3rd R); former president, Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs. Priscila Kuye (3rd L); Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Bishop Nicholas Okoh (2nd R); Retired Justice Rose Ukeje (R) and Publisher of Vanguard, Mr. Sam Amuka (L) with others during an audience with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

Thou shall not steal: Whither the National Peace Committee?

THOU shall not steal”. As expressed in the telling chapters of the Bible, this is the eighth Commandment of God, the disobedience of which has, from early times, been visited with grave consequences as happened when King Ahab of Israel and his wife, Jezebel, caused Naboth the Jezreelite to be stoned to death so that they could take his land (I Kings 21:1-19). By God’s decree, Ahab and Jezebel were paid back in their own exact coins.

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Candidates writing the UTME at the University of Abuja, Saturday.

Examinations and WAEC’s misplaced aggression

IN whichever direction we look, we see the Nigerian student short-changed. He is thoroughly repressed and at times, he becomes an endangered species. He can only cry out at a cost that is too high to pay – the moment he is labelled outright recalcitrant, he is doomed or he could flunk all the courses of those he raises his voice against. By the time he has 10 carry-overs, he is clearly at the verge of withdrawal.

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Who is afraid to borrow?

WHEN we hear some Christians praying that God should make them lenders and not borrowers, we think they are short-changing themselves and restricting their chances to smaller opportunities, for in today’s world, most viable projects are financed on borrowed money.

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Women and children fleeing from Boko Haram attacks sit at Kabalewa Refugees Camp, Diffa in Niger Republic, on March 13, 2015. Governor of northeastern Nigerian Borno State Kashim Shettima recently visited refugee camps where Nigerians fleeing from Boko Haram Islamists attacks are sheltered in Diffa province of Niger Republic. More than 13,000 people have been killed and some 1.5 million made homeless in the Boko Haram conflict since 2009, while recent cross-border attacks from Boko Haram bases in Nigeria on neighbouring countries have increased security fears.  AFP PHOTO

Compensatory justice for women

WE claim in the abstraction that people are born free, but they are everywhere in chains. Until recently, the woman’s place in Nigeria was in the kitchen. Women were bogusly labelled homemakers – only expected to go to church and pray for the family; come home and cook the meals; and stay at home to take care of the children.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari: Making haste slowly

To such Nigerians, since President Buhari was sworn into office on Friday, 29 May 2015, his ministerial list should have been submitted to the Senate on 30 May 2015 for confirmation on the 31st. Since they were racing against time, it would have made no difference that at that particular time the nominees would have been confirmed by the Seventh Senate.

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