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Features: Nigeria and metaphor of Sodom



eatures: Nigeria and metaphor of Sodom: Nigerians in Nigeria

eatures: Nigeria and metaphor of Sodom: Nigerians in Nigeria

Many remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, but for those who do not, God was angry with the people of the two cities that were so endowed because of their sins.

God’s anger was so much that Abraham, whom He had promised inheritance of the earth had to intervene to enable the people escape the wrath of God.

Abraham, it was said, pleaded with God to save the people from the impending rage of fire because of the righteous among them, but when none was found, God unleashed punishment on the people and they perished.

The situation compares with Nigeria, a heavily endowed country, still struggling with poor leadership, especially since the return of civilian rule in 1999.

When the military regime of retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar hurriedly handed over power to civilians on May 29, 1999, to quench the anger of Nigerians over the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, the expectation was that in a short period, the lot of the citizenry would improve.

However, nearly 20 years after, many feel that the years of agitation for civil rule were wasted as their conditions had got worse with a high level of crime, unemployment, poverty, uncertainty, among others.

The military regime of retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, which lasted from Aug. 27, 1985 to Aug. 26, 1993, had promised so much for governance, especially with a long power transition plan but blundered with the annulment of the June 12 poll.

The seven-year transition period, which started with the inauguration of a Political Bureau on Jan. 13, 1986, held much promise because of the systematic approach adopted by the regime.

The regime had relied on the contributions of scholars and experts who charted a course for a clearer future, thereby giving the people hope of a sincere promise.

However, hope, especially among politicians, was dashed by the annulment of the presidential election and inauguration of an Interim National Government on Aug. 27, 1993.

The Interim Government was removed by the late Gen. Sani Abacha on Nov. 17, 1993 and heralded the rise in power of a despot who promised plural participation in politics, but instead plotted his way to remain in power.

The frustration and financial losses by experienced politicians suffered between 1986 and 1998 led to the emergence of new political actors in 1999, a generation schooled in the use of force rather than argument as a means of survival.

The generation comprised persons with limited intellectual prowess and a lack of respect for order and processes

Since then, key political actors have been associated with different kinds of crime, such as murder, robbery and stealing as well as cultism.

At the inauguration of the National Assembly in 1999, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari, was found to have forged the degree which he presented as his qualification to contest election into the National Assembly.

A member of the House of Representatives from Benue, Charles Abah, lost his mandate in the 2015 general elections after being found guilty by a court of forging the diploma certificate he presented to contest the election.

Former Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun resigned her appointment after admitting that her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate was forged.

Recently, the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, also confirmed that he did not participate in NYSC as required by the law.

Beside this, numerous state governors and key political actors have issues over their academic credentials.

Among them are Gabriel Suswam, Governor of Benue from 2007 to 2015; Godwin Obaseki of Edo as well as Ademola Adeleke, the PDP candidate in the Osun Governorship Election of Sept. 22.

Sen. Buruji Kashamu from Ogun is fighting to stop his possible extradition to the U.S. to answer charges of drug offences while he was living in that country.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki is facing investigation over the April 5 robbery attack in Offa, Kwara, where he was governor for eight years and has represented for another eight years in the Senate.

The Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, acknowledged taking oath in a shrine to enable him to become governor of Anambra in 2003, but the crisis which followed after his inauguration led to his removal from office in 2006.

Sen. Iyiola Omisore, a former deputy governor and candidate for the Osun Governorship Election, was arrested and detained in 2002 over allegations that he sponsored the murder of a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige on Dec. 23, 2001.

Some state governors have been accused of sponsoring state crime, such as hostage taking in the Niger Delta region, crisis between farmers and herdsmen in the North Central region, religious and ethnic conflicts like Boko Haram insurgency as well as the murder of political opponents.

Currently, former governors Jolly Nyame of Taraba and Joshua Dariye of Plateau are in jail for money laundering and fraud, while James Ibori of Delta and the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa completed their terms for similar offences.

Former governors Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State, Orji Uzor-Kalu of Abia, Ikedi Ohakim of Imo, among others, are facing trial for the mismanagement of the resources of their respective states during their tenures in office.

Numerous individuals who served as ministers of the Federal Government and commissioners at the state level have been accused of betraying their oath of office, while governance at the local government level is in disarray because of greed, corruption and incompetence of politicians.

The essence of politics is service to community by leaders who command respect because of their vision.

In Nigeria’s First Republic, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Obafemi Awolowo earned the trust of the people because of their vision of a prosperous independent Nigeria.

That era witnessed focused leadership which used available resources to set up enduring legacies such as University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University) and University of Lagos within six years.

These four institutions remain the guiding light for Nigeria’s dislocated education system.

The First Republic also saw the exploitation of the agriculture potential of the country by the regional governments for development.

The Second Republic, although short-lived, witnessed traces of focused leadership as some of those who guided the first era were still around to guide the younger who learned from them.

The era witnessed the establishment of state-owned universities to expand access to education to the youth as well as rural industrialisation, which was terminated by the military coup of Dec. 31, 1983.

Not so the Fourth Republic and thereafter, which has lasted longer than the previous republics combined.

The later period has been riddled with confusion and headed to nowhere.

The performances of leaders in the different eras have been reflections of the characters of politicians of each period and their upbringing.

In the First Republic the leaders were driven by passion to liberate the people from colonial bondage, similar to the attitude in the Second Republic when politicians wanted to free the citizens from the vestiges of military dictatorship.

Politicians since the Fourth Republic have, however, demonstrated poor breeding having participated or learnt from the military whose orientation is the use of force to secure passage.

Military dictatorship which lasted for 25 years manifested chaos, greed, incompetence and dislocation of the social order, and featured at the time majority of the current crop of politicians grew up.

It was an era when force was seen as right as those at the helm defied logic to achieve goals irrespective of the consequences.

Abraham intervened in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah after the people cried to him.

He believed that there were still men of honour and integrity whose innocence would save the people from the anger of God.

Like that era when God promised not to destroy the two cities if there were few righteous men remaining, can we find 10 good men among today’s crop of Nigerian politicians?

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2019: Ebonyi teachers mobilise for Gov. Umahi’s reelection



Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi

Ahead of the 2019 general election, teachers in Ebonyi have pledged to “sail or sink’’ with Gov. David Umahi in reciprocation of his support to their programmes and activities.

The teachers made the pledge on Tuesday when the newly-elected executive of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Ebonyi branch, paid the governor a visit and pledged to continue supporting his administration.

The union’s Chairman, Mr Egwu Elechi, said that the teachers would be the governor’s foot-soldiers and would work assiduously to ensure his victory at the 2019 gubernatorial poll.

“Since the reward for hardwork is more work, we join other well-meaning Ebonyians to assure that you will return to the Government House in 2019.

“Your administration has transformed the Ebonyi landscape to the admiration of all and made governance all-inclusive,” he said.

The NUT chairman noted that education had received priority attention in the state’s governance which had fetched the state several laurels in that sector.

“It is noteworthy that the state has not recorded any industrial action in the education sector among other sectors, since the inception of this administration.

“The government has placed high premium on human capital development and maintained regular payment of teachers and other workers’ salaries,” he said.

He thanked the governor for extending the government’s Christmas largesse to teachers which included the donation of 300, 000 bags of 5kg rice and N1 million to them.

“We appeal that you approve the implementation of our promotions as other ministries, departments and agencies have been enjoying theirs since May.

“Teachers also passionately appeal that you approve the pay-roll deduction of all our approved levies such as welfare dues, co-operative savings and Teachers Registration Council’s annual licence fees.

“We also request that you assist our principals and head-teachers by giving them running costs and providing them with essential aids,” he said.

Umahi in his response, hailed the teachers for their commitment, noting that they were not redundant and work whether there is money or not.

“We will pay special attention to our education sector vis-as vis our teachers who need regular training for optimum efficiency.

“We have a vision in 2019 where teachers and the government would collaborate, as they and the students would smile at the end,” he said.

He said that the issue of promotion arrears would be reviewed as the amount the teachers were agitating for was exorbitant and unrealistic.

“I don’t know anywhere in the country where Primary and Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) teachers take N334 million for one year.

“It is not good for the union to deceive teachers as I set up a committee on the issue which reported that such amount is not paid even in the Niger Delta areas where promotion is notional.

“Unfortunately in Ebonyi, we are shouting as if the end has come and I was happy that the organised labour was part of the committee that went round the country,” he said.

He donated N1 million out of the N2 million pledge he made to the union for the furnishing of its new secretariat and pledged to offset the balance and donation of bus in January 2019.

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Soldiers allegedly extort money from motorists in Cross River



Nigerian Army

Nigerian Army

Military personnel in a check point at Odukpani/Akamkpa road have been accused of extorting money from the commercial vehicle operators plying intra/inter states routes.

A Pastor with Redeem Christian Church of God in Awi parish, in Akamkpa local government area of Cross River State, Pastor Eyo Nsa told DAILY POST in an interview in Calabar on Monday that the incident occurred on Sunday morning when he was going to Church in Awi.

He said the major issue facing the commercial vehicle operators in Cross River State is the extortion of money by the Military along Odukpani/Akamkpa roads.

“The Military that mount check points Odukpani/Akamkpa roads ordered commercial vehicle operators to drop N100 at a Military vehicle parked by the side of the check point”.

According to him, “If any vehicle refuses to comply, such driver would be asked not to proceed on the journey and such car would be parked for sometimes with a view to punishing the driver and the passengers. In fact, they will not permit the driver to move” he stated.

Nsa who is a Merchant Navy Cadet said, “The funny aspect was that the drivers will stopped abruptly, jumped out of their cars and in a jive moved swiftly to where the army Hi-lux vehicle was parked and drop the N100 and rushed back to their cars and zoomed off.

“In the military’s car parked by the side of the check point, there was somebody monitoring the donation and if a driver has higher denomination, the soldier in car will offer the driver a change.

“Besides every other day, the one I witnessed was on Sunday, I was passing there to my church at Awi in Akamkpa when I saw this incident, I wasn’t pleased about it particularly, by this act perpetuated by the military officers which I have respected.

“I was in the bus when the driver in an effort not to pay the N100 zoomed off, the soldiers in a military Hi-lux parked on the road side, moved in a commando style and chased the vehicle.

“When they got to us (Our Bus), they ordered our driver to reversed back to the check point where they parked the car for sometimes. I went to them, I introduced myself as a cadet officer (Merchant Navy), they said, why didn’t you tell him to stop and do the needful,

“They didn’t allow us to leave. Apart from our vehicle that was held, they were other cars parked and this caused a traffic jam and a long hold up.

“I saw some drivers knelling down begging them, sadly most of the passengers were going to churches along Odukpani and Akamkpa while others were heading to other places within and outside the state

Consequently, Nsa said he told his driver not to beg them again and I put a call through to one of the officers he knew, because he was aware they are from 13 Brigade and the responds was that another person have reported the attitude of the soldiers there to the office.

“They military were summoned but they denied the incident saying that it was their sister military personel that extorted the money from drivers and not them” he said.

The man recalled that last month, similar incident occurred and it caused along traffic jam.

“One of the drivers who said the long queue was caused by the military was detained and I pleaded with them to release him and the car given that he was carrying corps members.

I saw corpers knelling down, pleading with them to release the car but became more aggressive. “That car carried some corp members, in fact one of them knelled down and pleaded, they now allow them to go” he again stated.

When DAILY POST contacted the Army Public Relations Officer, Major Grace Ngozi, she said she was outside Calabar and referred our correspondent to 13 Brigade operations officer, Dele Popoola.

“I am not aware, and in any case I am outside Calabar for an official assignment but an officer would talk to you on the issue” and she referred us to the 13 Brigade operation officer.

The 13 Brigade Army Operations Officer, Dele Popoola said I am going to investigate the matter immediately, “Thank you for the information, I appreciates it, I can assured you that I will get to the root of the matter, I will put people in motion to get them, though I am not aware of it but I will handle it immediately, thank you,” he stated.

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Buhari not in charge, Nigeria being run by many presidents – Secondus



The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has alleged that “cabals ruling Nigeria” are divided and confused.

Secondus said this while stressing that Nigeria was currently being run by a “college of Presidents as nobody is really in charge of governance in the country at the moment.”

He spoke at a town hall meeting of PDP presidential candidate with youths in Lagos on Monday as was reported in a statement sent to DAILY POST by his spokesperson, Ike Abonyi.

The PDP National Chairman stated that the “country was going down because nobody was in charge,” adding that the “cabals who hijacked the Presidency are divided and confused and Nigeria youths are the victim.”

He stated that “President Muhammadu Buhari is not in charge of the situation and does not know what is happening in the country.”

“Your President does not know what is going on, he does not know that killings are going on in the country from Benue to Zamfara.

“He is confused about what to do and has told the Governors that the economy is getting worse and he does not know what to do,” he said.

Stressing that the 2019 election would provide youths the opportunity to elect a President who can interface and interact with them, Secondus added, “a President you can touch, you can communicate with and you can feel.”

“Voting out the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2019, means a liberation for Nigeria youths and also a step towards getting the country out of bondage,” he said.

Secondus reiterated his earlier warning to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to save the country from crisis by conducting free, fair and credible election in 2019.

He urged youths to avoid the disgraceful roles they played during gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states in July and September, pointing out that in “2019 it’s not going to be business as usual.”

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