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IS NIGERIA BECOMING A BANANA REPUBLIC?

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Strange things are happening in Nigeria with such great rapidity and intensity that most normal people are asking questions in utter amazement. I was speaking to a group of young people last weekend in Enugu and many asked me very difficult questions about this Country: Is this Country cursed? What is happening? Is anybody running this Country? Who is safe in Nigeria now? Why are people like you not doing anything to change the dangerous course Nigeria is on? What else will happen in this Country before People like you take action? I could feel the anger and frustration in their looks and voices. They had many things bothering them and I tried to find out the issues uppermost in their minds. I noticed that their anger and frustration seemed to have been accentuated by the recent statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari( PMB) at the Commonwealth  meeting in London last week. He was reported to have categorized the Nigerian Youth as lazy, expecting hand outs from a supposedly ric…

PERPETUATION IN OFFICE: BUHARI ACTS TYPICAL

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In Africa, it is rare to find political office holders who voluntarily resign from office. African politicians cling to office against all odds. Some achieve it through changing the constitution, others through changing of political parties and a few through blatant seizure of power. Recently one Robert Mugabe, who ruled his country - Zimbabwe for 37 years was bent on seeking another term at age of 93 and if he failed, he would hand over to his wife - 'Gucci Grace' until the military intervened in a most sophisticated manner to ease him out. Some try to play God, believing that without them,the Country would fail, guys like Museveni of Uganda , Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Nkurunziza of Burundi, Biya of Cameroun, Derby of Chad and Bongo of Gabon.Even in very serious and debilitating sickness,some African leaders refuse to bow out,preferring rather to rule through proxies or to die in office.

Nigeria has been unlucky (lucky?)to have seen leaders who fit into this mode. Ibrahim …

LEAH SHARIBU ON MY MIND

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I was feeling low last week and began wandering what was weighing me down.
Yes my mother Madam Mathilda Nwannediya Ohuabunwa who recently finished her race on the Earth will be laid to rest this week's Friday - 6th of April 2018 in my home town- Arochukwu in Abia State. So it was natural to feel that was my problem. But I shook that thinking away because since our mother got called back to The Lord, my siblings and I had maintained an attitude of gratitude. After what our mother went through to raise twelve Children ( 7 boys from her womb and five other children from the womb of her mate) and lived to the ripe age of 90, we felt God had done so well for her and for us. And having come to that conclusion, we have remained upbeat as we prepared for her interment.

Later, it dawned on me that my mood was caused by the pain that I have had in my heart even before we heard of the dramatic release of the girls abducted by Boko haram from the Science  & Technical Secondary school in Dap…

AfCFTA: WHY IS NIGERIA HESISTANT ?

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Nigeria is the most populous Country in Africa with current population estimated at about 194 million growing at about 2.6% per annum. It is said that every one of Four black People in the World is a Nigerian.With an estimated GDP of $405 billion Nigeria is still the largest economy in Africa in spite of its recently ended descent to economic recession. So with the largest population and largest economy, it is natural that Africa expects leadership from Nigeria.
The discussions for the conversion of the African Union (AU) into a common economic zone like the European Union (EU)  had been going on since 2012 and actually intensified since 2015. Nigeria's current Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Dr Okechukwu Enalamah was the Chairman of the African Ministers of Trade (AMOT) that signed off the legal instruments establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), thereby paving the way for the Heads of States and Governments to gather in Kigali Rwanda lastWednesd…

OVERBURDENING THE PRESIDENCY & THE BBOG MOVEMENT?

Nigeria is in dire straits,especially from a security perspective. Everyday that passes, it looks like things are falling apart and the centre is finding it difficult to hold. I do not know how the government and party in power view this situation. Some how, it seems to me that they are essentially hoping that things will soon sort themselves out. But that strategy seems not to be working well so far and I am getting really worried that by the time this strategy eventually comes to work, things may have completely gone out of hand, because in the long run we would all be dead as the economists say. It is true that Nigeria has a high fertility rate, but the way Nigerians are being slaughtered everyday these days,soon we will begin to depopulate Nigeria at a rate much higher than the birth rate.
I do not think that this is a valid population control strategy. Boko Haram is bombing and killing daily and those they fail to kill, they abduct. The militant Fulani herdsmen have gone completel…

NIGERIAN POLICE, ROAD BLOCKS & THE EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

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Most Nigerians agree that we need change in many aspects of our national life and national institutions. But in my mind, if there is one place, we needed urgent and revolutionary change, it is in the Nigeria Police (Force or Service). This is because Nigeria Police is fully symptomatic of what is troubling Nigeria and therefore, if we get the Police right, many other matters will fall into place. For example, our perennial low position on the Transparency International globalCorruption Perception Index (CPI) is influenced strongly by the pathetic picture of our Policemen extorting money from drivers in the full glare of the public. It must however be pointed out that this seems to be an embedded culture of the Nigeria Police,which has long characterized the force, almost from creation.This matter has troubled me for many years and I had taken a few actions to see if I could help stop this practice without any iota of success while putting my life at risk.
First was as a primary school …

INEC: UNDERESTIMATING THE CHALLENGES TO THE 2019 ELECTIONS

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Last week the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released what looked like the Periodic Table which we used in the O-level Chemistry class to determine the valency of metallic elements, announcing the dates of elections in Nigeria up to 2043 or so. Some people saw this as a strategic and audacious move of projecting the future. Indeed INEC said they did this to bring some certainty to election dates in Nigeria. Many other commentators have mocked INEC for 'forming work', that is pretending to be working when actually there is no work being done. They think that INEC is leaving the substance and pursuing the shadow. Some think all this was INEC's response to the "effrontery" of the National Assembly in trying to change the sequence of elections in Nigeria. The executive is decidedly unhappy about this and it looks INEC has gone on overdrive to project the President's desire.  But there is little INEC can do, as it is their lot to implement the law…

AFTER CHIBOK, WHY DAPCHI?

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PMB's 3-point Agenda is facing very strong challenges from all sides. The President said his focus was going to be on the Economy, Corruption and Security. On coming to office, he promised to make the economy buoyant (including making the Naira equal to the US dollar). He was going to fight Corruption to a standstill or indeed kill corruption before corruption killed Nigeria and lastly to restore Nigeria's security and make it a safe haven for all. Recently we interrogated the 'doing well' of our economy and concluded that though the economy is recovering from recession, it is not yet doing well as unemployment, underemployment, misery index and poverty rate have worsened. The misery caused by the persisting fuel scarcity (Over 3 months now) is unrelenting, afflicting more of the poor and rural dwellers, affecting agricultural out put negatively. We have advised a single minded commitment to the implementation of the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) and a ful…

BABACHIR,BARU, MAINA & YUSUF: A BEWILDERING TREND

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One of the greatest virtues President Muhammadu Buhari( PMB) is associated with is Integrity. This popularly marketed virtue is the back bone of the faith Nigerians have in PMB to fight corruption. This was the primary promise made to the people of Nigeria and this was also the main reason Nigerians voted him into power. Therefore one would expect that the President would ordinarily not do or permit to be done anything that would impugn his integrity. When the story about his former SGF Babachir Lawal broke, following Babachir's indictment by the National Assembly, many Nigerians were shocked that it looked as if he was being shielded from facing the law. PMB quickly set up an- in house committee to investigate the indictment and he was soon absolved. But the National Assembly stuck to their gun, supported by the civil society and subsequently forced PMB to set up another investigative committee now headed by the Vice President. It took nearly six months for the report to be acted…