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March 29, 2024

Grudging Praise, by Donu Kogbara

Grudging Praise, by Donu Kogbara

By this time last year, Tinubu had been declared the winner of the February 2023 presidential election and I was outraged.

Peter Obi had been my first choice. Atiku Abubakar had been my second choice and I was convinced that either Obi or Atiku was the real victor because I hardly knew anyone who had voted for Tinubu.

Also, because Tinubu had received so much support from the Independent National Electoral Commission and law enforcement agencies, it seemed to me that he was a beneficiary of massive rigging. Long story short, I was sure that the election result was fake and that a huge injustice had been inflicted on Nigerian voters.  

Furthermore, I simply didn’t think that Tinubu would be a good head of state. I thought he would focus on self-enrichment; and I often expressed these views in writing and on TV/radio programmes. 

But I DID say last year that if Tinubu proved me wrong by doing well overall or on certain levels, I would be the first to admit – albeit very grudgingly indeed! – that he had done well. 

I am still very unenthusiastic about the Tinubu presidency because the country is in terrible shape economically and the security crisis keeps worsening and there is too much profligacy at the top.  

However, I think it only fair that Tinubu be congratulated for  two    positives his administration has recently pulled off: Controlling the foreign exchange rate and banning ministers from travelling abroad.  

I have consulted a handful of friends who know about economics and none of them is an APC member but they have all said that Yemi Cardoso, the CBN Governor, is on the right track. So kudos to him.  

These are definitely steps in the right direction. Let’s hope that more steps in the right direction are imminent because Nigeria will surely collapse if the narrative doesn’t change drastically and soon.

Hmmm!

President Tinubu on 

Wednesday established a 31-man Presidential Economic Coordination Council comprising himself, the Vice President, Senate President and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, among others. 

Tinubu also established a 19-member Economic Management Team Emergency Taskforce which he mandated to meet twice weekly and submit a six-month economic intervention action plan.

I am very sceptical. Is this not window-dressing gesture politics? 

Does the President REALLY need yet another committee or taskforce or whatever? Are there not already enough bodies that can provide effective governance advice? Are there not several steps Tinubu can take NOW to deal with kidnapping, raging inflation, etc? Must he enter into endless weeks or months of discussion?

DONU’S WORLD

I have a new YouTube 

channel. It’s called DONU’S WORLD.

https://youtube.com/@donukogbara?si=bBm_IPdFZ_wUyKYq

Check it out every Friday to watch me talking about my life and issues that interest me. And please “like”, subscribe and share!

Today, I’ll be reflecting on the corrupt Nigerian establishment’s hypocrisy around religion and on HYPREP, an organisation that was set up to solve problems caused by chronic oil pollution in Ogoniland.

I talk about the fact that insatiable Fat Cats are further enriching themselves by greedily grabbing environmental remediation funds that were supposed to help my long-suffering Ogoni brethren.

The first alarm bell rang in my head in 2018 when the then Minister of Environment appointed a non-Ogoni company that had absolutely no media experience to become HYPREP’s media consultant.  

This kind of abuse of power has been commonplace since then. But there might be hope on the horizon. The current Minster of Environment, Alhaji Balarabe Abbas Lawal, is fairly new in the job. And according to some who know him, he is a serious-minded, reform-orientated professional whose heart is in the right place.  

I pray that he is able to curb the excesses of Abuja Big Boys and Gals who think that HYPREP should be their personal ATM machine. And that he enables Professor Zabbey, the Ogoni HYPREP boss, to do a great job and satisfy the desperate yearnings of our people.

My Favourite Edo Candidates

On September 2lst, 

residents of Edo State will go to the polls to elect a new governor and I am very impressed by the quality of some of the gubernatorial candidates – especially Olu Akpata, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, and Asue Ighodalo, a distinguished corporate lawyer. 

I know Olu well and have met Asue a few times; and they are both polished, articulate, immensely intelligent, professionally accomplished and self-confident for the right reasons.

They have never stolen a dime. They have never sponsored or benefitted from violence. They are citizens of the world who can represent their state with panache both domestically and internationally. They are the right kind of sophisticate who can learn from global best practices and deliver 2lst century solutions.

They are worthy successors to the incumbent, Godwin Obaseki, who is also several cuts above the average Naija politician.  

I hope that one of them makes it to Government House in Benin.

In the meantime, HAPPY EASTER TO YOU AND YOURS.

RESPONSES TO  donzol2002@yahoo.co.uk  or to 0805 404 6887. (TEXT ONLY). PLEASE NOTE THAT UNLESS YOU REQUEST ANONYMITY, YOUR EMAIL OR TEXT MAY BE PUBLISHED WITH YOUR NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS ATTACHED.

Please listen to my podcast AfricaHere&NOW.

YouTube.com/@AfricaHereAndNOWPodcast

http://Www.africahereandnow.com

It can also be accessed via Spotify and Apple podcasts

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