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Showing posts from January, 2015

ONGOING ELECTIONEERING CAMPAIGNS: MATTERS ARISING

The 2015 Electioneering campaigns are in full bloom. There is excitement in the air but there is also palpable apprehension. The campaign machines are rolling across the Nations, to and fro, leaving behind plenty of dust, a lot of shouts, plenty of sense and a lot of nonsense. The Nigerian physical space is filled with Banners and posters and the air waves are reverberating with plenty of music, dance and drama. In all of this, a lot of people are doing brisk business and money is changing hands with great velocity. I must say that I am really enjoying the general festive atmosphere, as serious work has been suspended till after February 28th.

Taking a critical look at how the campaigns are going, some matters have arisen and somethings do not add up . Indeed some are of grave concern, because no matter what Party or what candidate we support, Nigeria belongs to all of us, and every Nigerian is an equal stakeholder. It is therefore important that Nothing is done or said that will im…

NIGERIA: COUP PLOTTERS, MILITANTS, TERRORISTS & DEMOCRATS

Among Christians, there is always this discussion about which is the greatest sin. Many will argue that all sins are equal because they carry equal consequence. The Bible says that the 'Soul that sinneth, it shall die'. But one group of Christians still insist that some sins are worse than others. To buttress their stand, they quote where Jesus said that all sins could be forgiven, except that, committed against the Holy Spirit or what some call blasphemy. So in their opinion, the greatest sin is that against the Holy Spirit, because it cannot be forgiven. Too bad then for all the false Prophets who lie in the name of the Holy Spirit. Some commentators have suggested that one father Mbaka who operates from Enugu belongs to this group. Me, I do not know...oo, only God knows those who are His and those who worship Him in Truth and in Spirit! This same group asserts that even when one commits sins that can be forgiven; they still face repercussions that follow every sinful act. T…

REFORMING THE PRACTICE OF POLITICS IN NIGERIA

I had always felt that there was something wrong with the way politics was practiced in Nigeria.

First, I had thought that Political Parties were formed by groups of individuals who shared common ideologies that were distinguishable. In which case the ideology of one party was different from that of another party at least in some significant aspects. In the United States for example, the ideology of the Republican Party is distinguishable from that of the Democratic Party. One Party supports Big Governments while the other espouses small government, one party promotes the greater control by government of businesses, the other promotes divestment of government from businesses and prefers that the factors of Production are left in the hands of the Private Sector. Or the difference between the Labour and conservative Parties in the Uk, where one party promotes full employment and full availability of social services to all citizens while the other insists on allowing market forces deter…

MY WISHES FOR NIGERIA IN 2015

We must really thank God that we survived 2014, both as individuals and as a Nation. The Out gone year was a busy one for the Nation. There was so much to cry about and some opportunity to rejoice. In my view, three critical issues characterized the Year: the continued onslaught by the Boko-haram Insurgents and the overall feeling of insecurity engendered in the Nation, the escalation of Political activities as Nigeria prepares to go to the Pools early in 2015,and the significant drop in the price of Nigeria's main export, crude Petroleum with its destabilization of the Nation's Economy. The Federal Government announced a new austerity regime as the year closed, signposting a tough year ahead. During the Christmas and New Year celebrations, we all received and sent goodwill messages to our friends, acquaintances and Family and some to our enemies as well. In addition, many of us have made our wish lists or New Year resolutions. I am using this opportunity to make my wish list …

THE SIGNS ARE OMINOUS: NIGERiANS PREPARE FOR A ROUGH RIDE!

Those who know me or who read my writings will agree that I am very optimistic about this Country. I believe in the resilience of the country and its ability to withstand centrifugal forces trying to tear the country apart and abort its destiny of leading Africa and the black race.But I must say that I am worried with recent developments in the Polity. The signs are omnious and troubling.

First, the onslaught of the terrorists is not abating. The terrorists are bombing and killing themselves and many innocent Nigerians. They are also capturing and occupying territories in the North East Nigeria, precipitating the highest level of internal displacement of Nigerians since the civil war. Many Nigerians are truly troubled with the apparent difficulty our Security forces are having in halting and dismantling this vicious rebellion. To put it mildly, Nigerians feel despondent and helpless and are wondering what next we need do to resolve this seemingly intractable national challenge. It w…

HOW & HOW NOT TO SURVIVE THESE AUSTERE TIMES

Last week I admonished Nigerians to prepare for a rough ride ahead, given the Security,Political and Economic challenges confronting our Nation, one climbing on the back of the other. As I had predicted, some salvos were fired during the week by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The naira was devalued, though I hear that my brother, Dr Nnanna, Deputy governor designate of the CBN, says it is not a devaluation. May be we can call it a steep depreciation of the Naira. Today the dollar is exchanging for more than 180 naira in the Parallel market. The interest rate was adjusted upwards,prompting immediate review of the pricing of most bank loans and creating new nightmares for the industrial sector including the SMEs. With depreciation of the dollar in an import dependent nation and with rise in interest rates, it will not be long, before inflation will begin to inch up. The consumer at the end of the day will bear the full brunt of these austerity measures.

I had planned to do a follow up …

HOW MANY MORE NIGERIANS MUST BE KILLED BEFORE WE DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER NIGERIA ?

Nigerians truly amaze me. Many of us are in denial that this Country is facing what may turn out to be the biggest civil war ever. I am terribly amazed that some ' well meaning legislators" think that there is no need to continue with the state of emergency in the three frontline states in the war. So what do they want? A relaxation of the emergency rules of security and other governance and human rights abridgements and a return to normal state of things in those States? It was very appalling for me to watch these 'patriotic' legislators argue with passion that the emergency status must be halted and reversed. And then with a snicker in their faces, they referred the President to a section of the constitution, which he could rely on "if he so wished" to fight the insurgents. Indeed, it led me to conclude that there is really little understanding of the deep challenge that this country is facing. In the first place, the emergency status was reluctantly appro…

NIGERIA'S GENRE OF DEMOCRACY: A VERY COSTLY PROPOSITION

Can anybody tell me why the two dominant parties in Nigeria, PDP and APC decided to hold their conventions on the same dates( 10-11 Dec) in Nigeria's Political and commercial capitals, Abuja and Lagos respectively. Was it a coincidence or a deliberate plan? Is it part of the struggle for power and supremacy? They literarily shut down the two cities, effectively paralyzing meaningful economic activities. They caused so much agony for any one who had business to do in those cities. Many Roads were blocked and the rest were congested with vehicles.

Though no official work free days were declared, there was little work in the Public sector most of the week especially during the Conventions. Many Civil servants could not get to work as they were blocked especially and those who managed to force their way found that they could not be productive. Most of the Public servants, from Ministers to the permanent secretaries and to all the advisers and assistants; all the political appointees…

NIGERIA'S GENRE OF DEMOCRACY: A VERY COSTLY PROPOSITION

Can anybody tell me why the two dominant parties in Nigeria, PDP and APC decided to hold their conventions on the same dates( 10-11 Dec) in Nigeria's Political and commercial capitals, Abuja and Lagos respectively. Was it a coincidence or a deliberate plan? Is it part of the struggle for power and supremacy? They literarily shut down the two cities, effectively paralyzing meaningful economic activities. They caused so much agony for any one who had business to do in those cities. Many Roads were blocked and the rest were congested with vehicles.

Though no official work free days were declared, there was little work in the Public sector most of the week especially during the Conventions. Many Civil servants could not get to work as they were blocked and those who managed to force their way found that they could not be productive. Most of the Public servants, from Ministers to the permanent secretaries and to all the advisers and assistants; all the political appointees of the Pre…

BUDGET 2015: IF I WERE YOU, I WOULD REALLY ENJOY THIS CHRISTMAS !

In this column over the last few weeks I had counseled my readers that they should brace up for a rough ride ahead of us. Now the nature of the rough ride is becoming clearer by the day. When I wrote last on this, oil was selling about 78 dollars to the barrel. But as I write this it is selling about 58 dollars to the barrel. The Government had reduced its benchmark for the 2015 budget from 78 dollars to 73 dollars and then to 65 dollars and was forced to stop chasing the receding tide at that point.

During the week, the Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME), presented the 2015 budget estimates to the National Assembly and subsequently to the Nigerian Public. Despite the spirited effort of the Minister to look cheerful and project a positive outlook, the whole excercise was sobering . She must be wondering why all this is happening under her watch. After promising the Nation that she was working to take the capital budget back to about 40% of the total B…

THIS CHRISTMAS I TRAVELLED BY ROAD AND BY TRAIN: CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

Like most of my kinsmen, the wise men from the East, we have to go home every Christmas. Though for some, especially my Anambra brothers, that has not been the case in the last few years. For them, the fear of Kidnappers has become the end of wisdom. Kidnappers reigned unchallenged for many years. It was not originally a home grown idea. The 'boys ' from Niger Delta invented it in Nigeria but it became big time business in the South East Nigeria. At one point, you could get a victim released by sending a recharge card and in one occasion, the guys returned change as I saw one policeman do recently. Kudos to the Governors of the South East for confronting the kidnappers and getting them to surrender! Infact when you leave Lagos up till Ijebu Ode, you will hardly see police Check points on the road, from Ijebu Ode to Ore, you will see one or two. From Ore to Benin you will see three or four. From Benin to Onitsha, you will see five or six. But From Onitsha to Aba or from Aba to …