By Yinka Odumakin
TOTALITARIAN and arbitrary rule became part of the fight against COVID-19 on Saturday with lawyer-Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State pulling down hotels in the state.
In a clear military-style, an order was issued on Saturday and the governor was personally on duty to supervise the demolition of two hotels in Rivers State for alleged breach of the state’s Executive Orders to contain coronavirus.
The destruction, on Sunday, of both properties, Prudent Hotel, Alode and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne, both in Eleme Local Government Area, is a new low in executive recklessness by those who don’t even know there is a difference between military rule and democratic governance and can still afford to practically be shaving heads of people with broken bottle across the streets.
“The Government has no alternative but to apply the Executive Order I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I told all Traditional Rulers and Council Chairmen to ensure no hotel operates in the state,” said Governor Wike.
“We are not saying it will be forever. This is to reduce the cases and check the spread. Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, you know we are not discriminatory. We said if any hotel operates, government will bring it down.
“We are doing what we told people we were going to do. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Look at the rate of infections, most of these people are found in hotels. The infected man that died was at Mingi Hotel in Rumuomasi. Due to that contact, we have had other seven cases.
“People should help support government for Rivers people to be safe. Security council will meet to review strategies and achievements or setbacks, moving forward. All we are doing is to protect our people.”
He further stated: “People talk about hunger, but only the living can discuss hunger. We will continue to work to protect our people. What we are doing is to tell the people that the State Government is serious to ensure we defeat coronavirus”.
Listening to Wike, you are most likely to be persuaded that he is concerned about the spread of coronavirus in Rivers State and would want to put an end to it in a day if gra-gra can do. But we are dealing with a pandemic that has no cure or vaccine. Even the disease control boss admitted on TV that 90 per cent of those who recovered were not given any medicine. So, what is the basis of making yourself the accuser, the judge and the executor rolled into one? What is the essence of separation of powers?
If an hotel operator violates ban on operation, seal up the place and add fines. But to pull it down? It’s like beheading a man for violating curfew. What is remedial measure in such a maximum measure? Where do we come across these maximum rulers on both sides of our zoo that give our politics a bad name and this strong feeling there is no redemptive factor for our polity left and right?
How do we bend to these small gods that they begin to see themselves as big gods? How do we raise small men to the point they see themselves bigger than the whole system and no longer appreciate the difference between right and wrong?
I remember that afternoon in 1996 when Chief Gani Fawehinmi led a few of us to sit and face Abacha tanks in the Yaba area in Lagos. I ask myself today that if the police guy behind the tank had been mad enough to shoot, would one have been dead for the nonsense going on in the land?
I am one of those who can rescue Nigeria
Dear Mr. Yinka Odumakin
ON a second thought, I decided to send you another e-mail to tell you that I am one of those who can rescue Nigeria.
All economists are Marxian (Galbraith, 1967). That is, all economists like Karl Marx (1867), believe that once capital is invested, growth ensues. The claim is a fallacy. Abramovitz (1956), Solow (1957) showed that capital investment is not the primary source of sustainable economic growth.
My research in historical and logico-mathematical perspectives showed that mere capital investment does not promote sustainable economic growth and industrialisation.
Sadly, Nigeria’s four national plans 1962-1985 and the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, 1986 to now, were all based on the fallacy that capital investment promotes growth. The fallacy of capital investment has made Nigeria a people fetching water into a profusely leaking water-tank or one trying to fetch water with a basket. What is your background, sir? Learning is the primary basis of sustainable economic growth and industrialisation. Promoting mass learning is our hope.
I send you herewith, a copy of the memo I sent to CBCN recently.
Professor F. E. Ogbimi.
By Professor F. E. Ogbimi
I HAVE conducted a decades-long curiosity driven research aimed at explaining the primary basis of the present global distribution of wealth and power and understanding how a nation develops.
I decided to inform you of the potential of my research results helping to solve the central social, economic and political problems facing our nation Nigeria.
I have tried through various means to reach governments of Nigeria over decades about the need to do the things that promote progress in nation-building, but it does appear that our governments are not there or that Nigerian governments are not sufficiently organised to enter into correspondence with citizens, or governments are not interested in doing things that lead to progress in nation-building and are only there to deceive the people and make money.
I am through this memorandum urging you to lead the Catholic Church to appeal to the present government to do the things history and science have shown enable nations to achieve rapid capability-building growth and industrialisation as solutions to unemployment, poverty and high crime wave.
My research methodology combined two types of research. These are: 1) examination of history and 2) logico-mathematical analysis or explaining the science underlying the human development process.
Our historical analysis showed that there are principally two types of nations on the earth today. These are: 1) the poor nations with agricultural/artisan economies and 2) the rich nations which are industrialised or have technologically advanced economies. History reveals that the industrialised nations were also poor and had agricultural economies for centuries. The question that readily comes to mind is, how did they become transformed?
Western intelligentsia/intellectuals and their African students claim that it is through capital investment that the West became industrialised. They are wrong. They lack a sense of history.
They are not aware that in the feudal age in Europe, land was the only resource available then. The king and nobles ruled. The lord of the manor owned the land and those who did not own land were slaves (serfs) who worked for the lord of the manor and were protected by the lord in return in violent Europe. Also they are not aware that the banking and financial industry in the West is a fruit of the industrialisation there.
The lack of historical sense on the part of those planning for Nigeria is the reason Nigeria has been throwing money at every problem without solving any for almost 60 years.
Our scientific research revealed that industrialisation is a learning and capability-building process. Every human being is born as a crying baby. The baby soon begins to babble (learns how to talk) and acquires the capabilities for talking. Every other capability is acquired through learning. If a nation manufactures automobiles and other scientific products, the citizens must have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills.
Similarly, if a nation plans to manufacture certain products, it must educate and train its citizen to acquire the relevant knowledge, skills and competences for producing the products. A baby who could not babble grows up to be a dumb adult. In the learning process, learning intensity determines the rate of progress.
High-intensity learning leads to rapid growth and development. There are four aspects to learning. They are: education, training, employment and research. Education alone does not build a nation rapidly. Education alone co-exists with mass unemployment and poverty; education must be complemented with training to realise the special role of learning in promoting national development.
Our research on the variables that determine the state of an economy, showed that employment, productivity and inflation levels determine the health or status of an economy. However, employment level (in quantity and quality) determines the state of productivity and inflation.
Our theory revealed that the higher is the level of employment (in quantity and quality) or the larger the group mobilised for learning in an economy, the higher is the productivity and rate of transformation.
This analysis showed that the Nigerian economy is very weak because only very few people are involved in learning (education, training, employment and research) and too few people are applying high quality knowledge. The mass unemployment in Nigeria is only a symptom of the stagnating (sick) economy.
It requires a very large input of learning people to inflate it like a football and become alive. We may liken the heathy economy to a well-inflated football.
Whereas the well-inflated ball is filled with high-pressure gas, the healthy economy is filled with highly knowledgeable, skilled and competent persons.
Nigeria in the context of our simile is an economy that is sick because it is devoid of the large number of highly knowledgeable, skilled and competent people that make it bounce. The Nigerian economy may also be likened to a patient too sick to eat in the normal way; it needs to be fed intravenously. In inflating a football or tyre, we may use a small hand pump, a big hand-pump or the motorised pump.
The higher is the pumping rate, the sooner the ball or tyre attains the desired pressure. The Nigerian economy needs a very large number of the people learning (in education, training, employment and research) to become alive, achieve capability growth and industrialisation.
China after wallowing in poverty under kings for about 3000 years was lucky to have Mao Zedung as its leader in 1949. He mobilised the entire nation for learning (education, training, employment and research) and industrialisation. Every able-bodied Chinese was mobilised in the national learning mobilisation. The Chinese economy began to grow 17 per cent. Unemployment, poverty, high crime wave, etc., disappeared immediately from China…