Dear Bishop Oyedepo,
Based on the foundations of our faith in the Acts of the Apostles whereby as Christians we are urged by the living God to proclaim the Gospel with joy, great enthusiasm and minister to the poorest among us, I bring the word of God to you with respect to your decision to be part of the 2015 elections and what they hold for the poor and most vulnerable among us –the friends of our Lord Jesus, our Emmanuel-God among us.
Ordinarily, it ought to be presumed that as a Bishop of your Church that you are aware of this divine message, which rests on the divine unity of the Body Of Christ. But your recent decision which divided members of the Body of Christ in your Church-Winners Chapel, Ota, western Nigeria- when you openly asked them to pray for President Jonathan’s success at the polls, and, which led to the open resistance of your curious prayer point has justified this reminder.
Prior to May 29, 2015, Nigeria received numerous words of support and had the hope of better things to come from the international community, especially the United States of America. Then, America congratulated Muhammadu Buhari for winning the presidential election of March 28, widely deemed as one of the best conducted in Nigeria’s history. The United States released numerous press statements and maintained over the following weeks its decision to give maximum support to the administration of President Buhari in the fight against terrorism.
The level of hope Nigeria had from these was amazing and it made many to believe that Nigeria’s friendship with the United States, which soured during the administration of former President Jonathan, was on its way to positive renewal. Some of the facts that convinced several Nigerians then that the world’s super power had finally decided to throw its weight behind Nigeria fully included the invitation of President Buhari to Washington DC on Monday July 20, 2015. However, the invitation equally evoked apprehension in a number of Nigerians.
Nigeria has several development research documents that speak of ways to better manage the economy. But the problem has always been that leaders are often misadvised to adopt policies that favour the upper class. In most countries today, the economics of the middle class has taken the center stage. This is because if the middle class is doing well, the purchasing power in the hand of this class will make the economy to grow.
When in 1986, General Babangida introduced the famous Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), it was with good intention. But half way down the line of implementation, the programme was derailed by Nigerians who kept crying of the hardship the programme was putting the nation through. SAP failed because the visionary of the programme could not stick to his conviction.
I AM interested in President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to the United States last week not because of the over N2 billion allegedly spent or the long retinue of aides that tagged along with the official delegates. I am not interested in whatever controversy arose from the trip or the brick bats in the social media.
If anything, I think he made some points about the war against corruption in which he said even his party chieftains would not be spared. I cannot fault his recap of his manifesto that he would create jobs and check theft. His stand on homosexuality reflects national consensus and our collective culture and sense of morality. He also has a pass mark in the CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour. My question is, was the trip worth it, and at this time?
Some things are above partisan politics and this is one of them. Regardless of whichever political party we belong to we must all join forces and support the fight against Boko Haram. We must do this regardless of party affiliation because if we don’t Boko Haram will consumme us all, whether we are PDP, APC or anything else.
The United States government helped Boko Haram immensely by refusing to classify them as a terrorist organisation until 2014 and by refusing to sell us arms to fight them. Worst still, they imposed an international arms embargo on us so that we could not buy arms from anyone else in the international community. When asked why they are doing this to us they tell us that it is because of the Leahy Act which prohibits them from selling arms to governments that violate the human rights of their own citizens.
AMERICA has long been regarded as Nigeria’s strategic ally. In fact, Nigeria has essentially been modelled after the USA. When oil boom derailed our economy in the 1970s and 1980s, we set out to transfer the economy to the private sector. We removed government from the business of doing business. Before then in 1979, we had adopted the American presidential system of government. Our pretensions to being a non-aligned nation was effectively jettisoned even before the Soviet Union collapsed and conferred upon the USA, the status of the sole superpower and policeman of the world.
Buhari’s recent visit to the US was in line with this tradition. The trip was even more relevant in view of the perceived roles the US and its Western allies played in the downfall of former President Goodluck Jonathan, which made it possible for Buhari to emerge as the first opposition leader to beat a re-election-seeking incumbent in Africa.Our attachment to America became much stronger. In addition to being the biggest buyer of our mono-economic product – oil – Nigeria (especially its presidents) wanted to conform to what I describe as the Obasanjo doctrine. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo once said: “It pays to be in the good books of the big man in your neighbourhood. He can only help you”. Every Nigerian president from 1979 has tended to run to America to see its president and secure “support and assistance”. Since 1999, every president that has led Nigeria made a trip to the US. In fact, Obasanjo visited and received two US presidents – Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
Incontestably, politics in Nigeria at all levels and in every political party is based mostly on personal and inter-personal interests and considerations. In fact, hardly do people who enter politics do so with the objective to serve the nation but to serve themselves.
Few illustrations could throw more light on this assumption. For example, how many Nigerian politicians at every level have resigned from their either elected or appointed positions for the reason of their being accused of misbehavior?
Furthermore, how many politicians have decided not to run for positions preferring to yield to another person they may consider to be more qualified and is likely to serve the people and the nation better?
It is ironical that despite the raging public debate on whether or not to sustain the regime of fuel price subsidy, our government may have, regrettably, once more, inadvertently doubled the existing N50/litre subsidy. The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency’s template indicates that as at June/July 2015, the “subsidy free” price of petrol hovered around N140/litre; thus, the regulated pump price of N87/litre, implies that motorists currently pay over N50/litre less than the actual recovery price.
This shortfall adds up to almost N2bn every day, from the estimated 40 million litres petrol consumption. Consequently, subsidy may exceed N700bn annually and account for over 15% of the austere N4.5Tn 2015 budget. This bloated expenditure on fuel subsidy alone is certainly worrisome, particularly when the consolidated revenue allocations to key sectors such as education, health and transport fall below N800bn.
Flagrant disregard for court judgment is seen as a normal occurrence in Nigeria. In most cases, whenever the judiciary gave judgement against governmental authorities such as cases of fundamental human rights abuse by the police or military, such judgments are usually not enforced because of the lack of political will by the executive arm of government.
This, according to analysts, has contributed in no small measures to impunity and lawlessness in the country.
But that may now be a thing of the past with the wind of change blowing in the country, especially in Lagos State.
The state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode last week won the hearts of many when he announced that his administration would implement the verdict of the Coroner’s inquest on the September 12, 2014 building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which left 116 persons, mostly foreigners from South Africa dead.
The Coroner Court headed by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe,had called for the investigation and prosecution of the church and its contractors over its failure to secure the necessary permit and approval before commencing the building of its collapsed structure, which killed 116 persons, mostly foreigners from South Africa.
Those who hate history and have discouraged our schools from making it a compulsory course of study in our secondary schools should follow the interplay between Sambo Dasuki and Buhari’s men.
For many, it has gone beyond whether the DSS had warrants, or whether the former NSA had 12 vehicles and five armoured cars, or whether Dasuki had a right to wrap soldiers around his home, or whether his driver spirited away five million dollars, or whether he was guilty of treasonable felony, or whether he clucked peevishly at Chatham under Jonathan.
For many it is a story not of 2015, but of 1985. According to the story, Sambo Dasuki, then a dashing and ambitious army officer, led a group of soldiers to pick up then military leader Muhammadu Buhari. It was IBB’s coup. Sambo was IBB’s boy. The mission was to stop Buhari from firing IBB and a few other soldiers whose conducts were out of sync with the perceived moral gravity of the Buhari junta.
The government should put in place fiscal policies that will promote local production and create jobs
Against the background that the nation’s currency, the Naira, has been under intense pressure lately, there were expectations that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which met last weekend, for the fourth time this year, would take some fundamental decisions. But the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who spoke after the meeting, gave nothing away.
About two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari gave the clearest indication so far that he is not persuaded by the growing clamour for the removal of subsidies on kerosene and petrol. “I have received a lot of literature on the need to remove subsidies,” he said. “But much of it has no depth.” According to a press release from the presidency, he made this categorical statement after receiving briefings from senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies in the oil and gas sector.
This statement came as a major shock to those who had thought the removal of fuel subsidies was just a matter of when and not if, and who had indeed expected the president to swiftly dispense with the subsidies within days or weeks of coming to office. However, the statement was sweet music to those in favour of subsidy retention. I belong to the gutted camp. Though the president’s statement had a ring of finality to it, my sense is that President Buhari has not closed the book on this very important matter. In case he has, I will urge him to reconsider.
In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to probe and clean up the rot in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Department of State Security (DSS) has heightened its manhunt of NNPC corrupt officials. Media reports recently reveal that the Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemicals at the NNPC, Mr Ian Udoh and several others have been interrogated by the DSS and other anti-graft agencies 11 times since May over crude swap deals with traders. This has become necessary following deeper revelations of shady deals that have bedeviled NNPC over time. This is why any move to entrench sanity in the corporation is a right step in the right direction considering the urgent need to plug all the irregularities and leakages in the corporation.
Recall that during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, $20 billion was allegedly missing from the NNPC’s coffer. This was how far Nigerians knew. But latest revelations by the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by the Vice President, Yemi Oshinbajo, have revealed breath taking figures of corruption in the company. NEC disclosed that between 2012 and May 2015, NNPC earned about N8.1 trillion but remitted only about N4.3 trillion to the federation account. Apparently, it appears the more the company’s books are being investigated, the more mind blowing revelations are discovered.
IT is quite surprising how all of a sudden the so-called illegal Radio Biafra reportedly being operated by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, said to be resident in the United Kingdom, is increasingly becoming a source of serious concern to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, a section of the Nigerian Online Media and some Nigerian elements who are wont to believe that Ndigbo must always dance to their tune or do what suits their thinking and/or act in line with their personal and group expectations – so as to be qualified to be called good citizens of Nigeria or, better still, nationalists. What a beautiful nonsense!
Similarly surprising is the rate at which the operator of this now all-important Radio Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is being denigrated by the officials of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and their retinue of parasitic sycophants.
Mikel has been a subject of transfer speculation away from Chelsea but the player fondly called ‘The Catalyst’ has stated that he is keen at seeing out his contract Stamford Bridge.
One of Nigeria’s foremost celebrities, Onyeka Onwenu, has been accused of demanding and collecting kickbacks through her personal assistant, Chika Abazu, from a contractor employed to carry out renovation works at the National Centre for Women Development [NCWD], where she is director general.
The accusation was levelled by Joseph Nwakama, an architect with Solidmark Associates Limited, the company employed by the Centre to carry out the renovation of its guest house.
However, although it was established by investigators from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, that Mr. Abazu indeed demanded and received a total of N17 million bribe from the contractor, no direct evidence has so far linked Ms. Onwenu to the offence.
Three sisters whose father was deemed to be preparing to have them undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) have been made the subject of a new-style protection order aimed at stopping the practice.
The mother of the three girls, aged six, nine and 12, submitted evidence to the family division of the high court in London that the children’s father had been putting pressure on her to have the procedure performed on their daughters. Both parents are Nigerian.
Ceremonial robes, worn during the cutting of external female genitals, had been sent to her from the girls’ family in Nigeria, the court heard.
DAVID Runciman in his Confidence Trap, an interesting analysis of democracy’s toil through the prism of de Tocqueville’s reading of America’s democracy in the 19th century, underlines the views of Tocqueville on the advantage of democracy over autocracy. According to him “…the long-term advantages of democracy are not readily apparent. They can’t be grasped in the moment. They need time to reveal themselves.” In its crisis mode he noted that “Democracies are caught between their impulse to precipitate action and their instinct to wait. There is no equilibrium between these states of mind.”
The State of Osun under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola between 2010 and now approximates Tocqueville’s appreciation of democracy in America. Today, there are few governors in Nigeria well-loved by his people like Ogbeni. I was fortunate to witness his first inauguration and could vividly recall the ecstasy and frenzy of the day in Oshogbo. For the people of Osun, Ipinle Omoluabi, it was a new dawn. The bond between the governor and his people was massively displayed in his re-election. The election was a test of strength of people united behind their leader and irredentist central government. In that re-election exercise, over 700,000 voters turned out, amounting to about 54 per cent of the total registered voters, the highest recorded in elections in the country at the time and about 55 per cent of the valid votes sealed the mandate of the incumbent. Never in our history has a state election excited so much interest. It was a contest between good and evil but of course the people triumphed.
Occasional bad breath is normal but constant bad Breath is a problem. It may be caused by the foods you eats, poor oral hygiene, medical conditions, or other factors. Most often than not, bad breath can be an embarrassing problem.
Bad breath also known as halitosis, and is characterized by an unpleasant odour of the mouth. It can occur on occasion, or it can be a chronic condition. The symptoms of bad breath include unpleasant odour or taste in the mouth, dry mouth, or white coating on the tongue.