What in the world is the former minister of aviation up to? Is he desperate for another political office or he is simply reading a self-made script to appease the government to drop all charges against him? I find his intrigues hilarious, comical and intensely cynical.
Fani-Kayode, alias FFK, has no reason other than those mentioned above to exhibit an atheist-like behaviour. If the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for whatever reason, should project this man as their new image maker or director of publicity, then it’s obvious that the ruling party has entered a desperate mode.
It is not out of character for the former minister of aviation to sing, and most times, sing out of tune. But, then, when the tone gets so high, unmelodious and coarse, there is every reason to find out the unnecessary increase in volume.
We are all familiar with the old tale of how Alfred Nobel saw an obituary about himself – his brother, Ludwig died and a French newspaper erroneously carried it about him. He was described as the merchant of death for inventing the dynamite – his most famous invention. He got scared and thought of a pragmatic way of keeping his memory alive in the minds of millions long after his departure from mother earth. He instituted the Nobel Prize for physics, chemistry, literature, peace. The Swedish Central Bank later added economics.
It is a well-known fact that businessmen in Africa are complicit in the propping up of dictatorships which is worse than dynamite. One businessman concerned about leaving a lasting legacy is Mo Ibrahim. He made his fortune from the telecommunications sector and decided to give back to the continent by instituting the most expensive prize in the world – The Mo Ibrahim Prize to recognize and celebrate African leaders who have developed their countries, lifted their people out of poverty and paved the way for the prosperity of their countries and by engaging them positively with public roles after they have left office. The prize comes with $5 million to be paid over ten years and $200,000 for life thereafter.
The altruism of the founder is not in doubt but is the prize attractive enough to stop the looting and sit-tight mentality of the continent’s rulers? The misrule of the likes of Charles Taylor, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Sani Abacha, Macias Nguema, Omar Bashir, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Idi Amin, Hosni Mubarak, King Mswati 111 and so on made them multi-millionaires and billionaires by any currency standard makes the prize money not even enough for a decent meal. Pardon me to say Excuse my French!
All the states under the control of the All Progressives Congress, APC, will declare two days as work-free to enable voters collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC), the party said Friday.
Speaking at the party’s Presidential Campaign rally in Lagos, Segun Oni, former Ekiti State governor, said that the work-free days would be before February 10.
“This is to enable people who have not taken their permanent voters’ cards to do so,” said Mr. Oni, APC’s Deputy Chairman, South.
THE Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria and Nigeria Society for Physiotherapy have resolved to invite their members in the private sector to join the ongoing strike of health workers under the auspices of JOHESU in the next few days if the federal government fails to accede to their demands by the first week of February 2015.
Rising from a consultative meeting over the weekend, the President of PSN, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, indicated that his colleague Presidents of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists and Nigeria Society for Physiotherapy after a holistic evaluation of the JOHESU strike are of the view that the health workers strike does not worry government, since rather than resolve and issue enabling circulars in line with the 12-point demand of JOHESU, the government at both federal and state levels have been busy campaigning while substantial fatalities continue to be inflicted on consumers of health in Nigeria.
A statement signed by Akintayo reads: “In the reality that health services have collapsed in all the Federal Health Institutions and major secondary healthcare facilities in all the states of the federation, one would have expected an intervention of the Federal Government. This clearly confirms that healthcare has not and can never be the prerogative of doctors who in the past never failed to remind Nigerians that they were jack of all trade who could render services of other professionals.
“The private sector strike will be phased as we shall in the first instance invite practitioners in the FCT, Abuja to withdraw services for a few hours for successive days before we shall extend the same to all the 36 states in view of apparent government insensitivity, which is both deplorable and lamentable.”
“In similar spirit, we call on the over one million members of JOHESU at all tiers of government including federal establishments, the 36 states and the FCT, as well as the 774 local governments to boycott the 2015 elections alongside their dependants, since government and the retinue of politicians know next to nothing about the golden nuggets of good governance, as sanctity of life counts for nothing to these people.”
– See more at: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/news/national-news/196176-private-sector-members-to-join-health-workers-strike#sthash.Ikms4YN0.dpuf
EVEN as melodramatic as election times are, there are often red lines never to be trampled for the sake of the health of the polity. This, tragically, appears meaningless to many Nigerian politicians. In a political climate where issues-based campaign has been wanting and power, a tool for the allocation of values, has transformed into a tool for primitive accumulation of resources without genuine productive output, thereby reifying politics as the only game in town and an all-comers affair, it is hardly surprising that this tragedy has befallen Nigeria. The language of campaigns has been obscene and the conduct of politicians has been unedifying. The result is a foul political climate seemingly populated by the dregs of the society and which can only yield poor outcomes in terms of personnel recruitment for leadership.
•As ‘private military experts’ arrive to train Nigerian soldiers in counter-terrorism
•Pretoria threatens to arrest them on return home
Nigeria and South Africa may be heading towards a fresh diplomatic row after about 100 South African ‘private military experts’ arrived Abuja to train Nigerian soldiers on how to confront the Boko Haram terrorism.
The South African government is opposed to the arrangement, calling the ‘military experts’ mercenaries.
It threatened to arrest them on returning home.
With the stark reality that Nigeria’s oil deposits will in the near future dry up staring coldly at the nation, no one was surprised that President Goodluck Jonathan prioritised agriculture since the inception of his administration. I belonged to the group of people, who doubted the workability of the move, given that past administrations had displayed so much lip service in that regard.
Called the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the goal was to add extra 20 million metric tons of food to Nigeria’s domestic food supply by 2015; there was absolutely nothing on ground to convince me that the vision would be realistic. Four years after that road map commenced, those of us who dismissed the presidential pledge, have been so amazed by the startling discoveries we made in that regard.
Saying that the progress in this sector has been remarkable, is to say the least. Even at the risk of making extreme exaggeration, no administration in the history of this country has given so much attention to agriculture since 1970. The innovative electronic wallet system has empowered 10 million farmers with access to subsidized high quality seeds and fertilizers.
Nigerian voters will have an opportunity to assess those seeking their mandate to administer the affairs of the country as presidential debate has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 3 as part of the build-up to the February 14 elections.
The debate, initiated by and ARISE Television and Channels, and THISDAY and Guardian Newspapers Limited on behalf the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), is scheduled to hold at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The February 3 debate is coming on the heels of an earlier attempt by the Nigeria Election Debate Group to host a presidential debate, which is currently mired in controversy following the rejection of the invite to participate by the presidential flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, alleging unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by its key organisers against the party’s corporate interest.
Birds eat grasshoppers , yet Igbos say any grasshopper that meets its death at the hands of an okpoko (a particularly noisy bird) must be deaf.
If Biafra and its aftermath and its lessons are too distant to caution Nigerians, then Rwanda, and its graphic elaboration of the limitless boundaries of human depravity, a manifestation of a strain of spontaneous but highly contagious affliction of a compulsive obsession to hate and kill, must always jolt.
The virulence of that affliction in comparison to Ebola virus disease is made clear in the death toll of over 100,000 in just 100 days while Ebola with all its dreadfulness has killed about 8000 throughout this epidemic that has lasted more than a year now.
Some would say that Rwanda was not particularly about elections but it was about power struggle accentuated by ethnic rivalries. Rwanda should serve enough horror to deter those who have, out of desperation or ignorance, chosen to inflame divisive passions. That notorious picture of stacked skulls of thousands who were killed should never be forgotten.
The writings of Peter Enahoro who turned 80 recently played a part in my taking to journalism. I interviewed him in 1979 when he came back from a 13-year self –imposed exile. I also interviewed him in 1981 when he launched ‘Africa Now’, a pan African news magazine. These two interviews reveal a bit about his person and his craft. I have taken excerpts from them as my tribute to this icon of African journalism. Enjoy!
A lot about Peter Pan has changed over the years. He is heavier and slightly less gregarious. But his wit and humour coupled with his clarity of thought and expression—the ingredients that got him to the top at such a young age—are still very much with him.
A conversation with Peter Pan is anything but boring. The way he switches from serious issues to banalities is so smooth that it is almost imperceptible. And when he is in a happy mood, you have to hold your sides to prevent your stomach from bursting.
Peter Pan was in one of those happy moods last Friday. And he had every cause to be. For the first time in over 20 years of active journalism, his own publication was launched at the Federal Palace Hotel before the cream, the Nigerian press and society.
In the heated conversation that lasted over 20 minutes, the pro-Jonathan militant was non repentant and aggressively supported his campaign for the continued reign of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
He mentioned Fulani.
I asked what the poor Kanuri fishermen and farmers of Baga had to do with a so-called Fulani thing.
He responded that the killings were in the north and he had no business or care about that. He further cited wars in other places and the example of Libya and the sack of Moammar Gaddafi.
So, that constipated, arrogant and obnoxious blubbering militant, who seems to continuously consume extra bowls of foolish every morning, has taken it upon himself to attack General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma GCON FSS psc (rtd)?
Recently, General Danjuma ‘rightfully’ advised the Nigerian authorities to consider arresting some militants for making provocative pronouncements on the 2015 elections and threatening to plunge Nigeria into chaos, if President Jonathan was not re-elected come February 14th.
The militants General Danjuma was referring to included, the loudmouthed budding sociopath, who is the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Victor Ben Ebikabowei, a.k.a, Boy Loaf, Government Ekpudomenowei, a.k.a., Tompolo, and some other individuals.
“This intervention has been provoked, not so much by the ambitions of General Buhari to return to power at the head of a democratic Nigeria, as by declarations of support from directions that leave one totally dumbfounded. It would appear that some, myself among them, had been over complacent about the magnitude of an ambition that seemed as preposterous as the late effort of General Ibrahim Babangida to aspire yet again to the honour of presiding over a society that truly seeks a democratic future. What one had dismissed as a rash of illusions, brought about by other political improbabilities that surround us, however, is being given an air of plausibility by individuals and groupings to which one had earlier attributed a sense of relevance of historic actualities.”- Prof. Wole Soyinka
Looking at the horizon of Nigeria’s political pedestal, it is clear that Nigeria is in serious trouble. Serious trouble, because they have been offered two decadent and reeking eggs from the same gallinaceous bird. It is not by happenstance that Nigeria has found itself in this situation. No, it is not. It is because this is the destiny of a country in which no one has any faith but on which a few placed the hope of looting and cannibalizing. It is this cannibalizing that will eventually guide Nigeria to the port of its destiny through balkanizing.
While campaigning for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket sometime late last year, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar came up with what I considered the most fundamental statement I have heard from any Nigerian politician on how to redirect our economy and put public finance on a path of sustainability. He pledged that if elected president, his medium-term (a four-year period) strategy would be to ensure that recurrent expenditure is financed fully with non-oil revenue while every kobo earned as oil revenue is devoted to investment in infrastructure, security, education and health.
Highlighting his plan, Atiku said: “Oil revenue is highly volatile and exhaustible. We must have a plan to wisely use it to build capacity for the future – invest in infrastructure and in the people — and not consume it today. We would also encourage all state governments to set an agenda and timeline within which they would no longer depend on oil revenue for recurrent expenditure. Our regional governments did not get oil revenue but massively developed the country. We must return to the responsible path. The FGN would develop an incentive system (grants-in-aid) to encourage states which are succeeding in making the transition. This agenda is fundamental to motivating all tiers of government to develop the non-oil sectors of the economy and hence diversify the economy.’’
Although I was not in the country at the time, when I read Atiku’s proposition I thought it would set the agenda for the electioneering process. I imagined that the media and other political contenders would take him on so he could elaborate on how he would do it and in the process create the basis for fighting the election on a contestation of ideas. But nobody challenged Atiku and I am beginning to doubt whether he himself reflected much on the idea. Now that the elections are over, I believe we should reopen the debate which is central to the future of our country…
This serves as a companion to my recent commentary on slumping oil prices. As hoped, that prior intervention helped stir discussion on the critical issue of our economic wellbeing and the best policy direction to take in order to ensure that well-being. I would like to expand the discussion from the recessionary effects of decreasing oil prices to a more general discourse on macroeconomic policy and the main objectives of the said policy. Several reasons spur me in this direction.
First, falling oil prices constitute a clear and present danger. This alarm should wake us not only to the proximate threat but also led us to reappraise government macroeconomic policy anew. Even absent the challenge of lowering prices, our economy is aptly characterized as a surfeit of idle capacity, unemployment and poverty. Second, the different policy directions that are possible must be starkly placed before the Nigerian people that they may decide upon which path they would place their economic destiny.
I n t his r egard, w e m ust d efine t he objective of macroeconomic policy then determine the best policy mechanism to reach the desired point. This delineation is essential. Because we always talk about the economy we assume everyone desires the same outcome. This assumption is equal parts naïve and dangerous. Economics is not a science in the same degree chemistry or physics are. A human invention, economics is shaped more by the ebb and flow of human nature than by unbendable natural law. Economic policy is more a matter of subjective preference than of inexorable conclusions. Conservative mainstream economists tell us differently. They want us to believe their prescriptions are the only plausible ones. Only one road exists: theirs. They don’t want us to seek alternatives because they are afraid of what we might learn and how that might affect our heretofore-blind obedience to the subjective biases they parade as objective science. They are afraid that if we reject their economic model that they may lose their elite position.