The Akwa Ibom chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), has debunked the purported expulsion of Sen Ita Enang from the party.
Mr Umoh Ekop, the Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area (LGA) APC Chairman, said this in a news conference in Uyo on Thursday.
Ekop said that those behind the purported letter of expulsion were alien to APC.
He said that at no time did Enang committed any offence that should warrant an expulsion from the party.
“Ordinarily, we will have allowed the said publication, knowing that it is meaningless and does not have the weight capacity of distracting the party nor the Distinguish Sen. Ita Enang, who is the backbone of the part in the LGA and state levels.
“For the sake of the public, who may be misled to believe this lies from the pit of hell, we want to put the record straight, that Enang is still a member of APC, Eastern Ward 2, Ibiono Ibom LGA of Akwa Ibom.
“We have not receive any news or petition from the Ward Chairman of Eastern Ward 2 against him at any time.
“Enang is the only light and voice of the party at the local level as well as the known voice in Akwa Ibom that has always been speaking for the party,” Ekop said.
He added that the former presidential aide has been a very dedicated, committed, and sincere member of APC who has been querying the opposition on the issues of transparency with public funds in the state.
The chapter chairman said that the purported expulsion was the handiwork of mischief makers and also an insult to the entire Ibiono Ibom LGA.
He urged those behind the publication to tender an unreserved apology to Enang within 72 hours.
Also, Enang had in a statement earlier, described the expulsion as fake news and that should be discarded.
He urged party leaders and teeming members and all Akwa Ibom people to ignore it and continue working with him for the interest of the party.
“I have just seen one fake news on the social media on my leadership and status in Akwa Ibom APC.
“I urge all leaders and teeming members of our great party to please ignore same and continue working with me and all other party leaders and members of the party for the success of the Party in all the elections.
“I urge our members to please cooperate and work together to receive our President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and our Presidential Candidate, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Sen. Kashim Shettima and all our Party National Leaders in the State APC Presidential Rally coming up on Jan. 30 at Uyo.
“We should please focus on mobilising for the rally and not be distracted by irrelevancies,” he said.
The organizing secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Ayodele Adewale on Thursday declared that the bullion vans spotted on the eve of a 2019 election at the residence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu actually missed their way.
The APC chieftain submitted that the vans had no business at the Bourdillion residence of the former Lagos State Governor on that day.
Defending the 2023 presidential candidate of the APC further, Adewale said Tinubu didn’t invite the vans neither did anyone in the house invite them.
He added that he was at the Lagos Bourdillion residence of Bola Tinubu on the day of the bullion van saga and there was no money in the bullion vans.
Naija News reports he made the submission during a live interview on Arise TV’s morning show.
Watch the video.
A former member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Hajia Najaatu Mohammed, has claimed that some northerners are plotting to make Senator Kashim Shettima president if the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, becomes incapacitated.
She told This Day that some northerners urging Tinubu to continue with his presidential ambition so his running mate can replace him if his health fails.
Naja’atu, who had recently resigned as the APC campaign organization director for civil society, disclosed that some supporters of northern extraction are banking on Tinubu’s eventual incapacitation so that Shettima could assume office as constitutionally stipulated.
While stating that the northerners are banking on his ill health, Mohammed said: “They just want to push him for them to be the president. It’s not even in his interest.”
She added, “Some people from Maiduguri called me today (Monday) asking, ‘Hajia, why did you do this? You have now punctured our interest. Our son is going to be president, and you’re talking like that? After all, look at Tinubu; he cannot do it. We’re all for Kashim. You have not done well for us.”
‘Buhari Not In Charge’ – Ex-APC Chieftain Reveals ‘Prime Minister’ That Runs Presidency, Nigeria
Speaking further, Mohammed claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t care about the economy, security, or who succeeds him as president.
She stated that despite briefings from all security agencies, the president doesn’t care about the dangers of a Bola Tinubu presidency, given his alleged health challenges.
She alleged that Buhari’s grandnephew, Yusuf Tunde Sabiu is the ‘prime minister’ of Nigeria who runs the presidency, adding that the president is not in charge.
Naja’atu said: “In the first place, Buhari does not care about anything. He had never cared. He doesn’t care about the country, nor is he really in charge. He has thrown the country to the dogs. He has a prime minister in the name of his nephew—grandnephew Tunde.
“Whether we want to believe it or not, Tunde is the de facto president. I know that even the service chiefs report to him. Tunde is Sabiu. Do you know him? He’s called Tunde because he was named after Tunde Idiagbon.”
Some Nigerians in Bauchi State have rejected the All Progressive Congress (APC) and embraced the Labour Party for the birth of a New Nigeria.
Naija News reports that Peter Obi, his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, and other chieftains of the party stormed Bauchi State on Thursday for the presidential campaign rally and to woo residents ahead of the forthcoming election.
The campaign rally witnessed a large turned out of supporters shouting and chanting ‘Obi, Obi, Obi’ in excitement.
An epic statement was made at the rally as the people burnt their brooms, symbolizing their break away from APC.
This is coming a few days after the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, held a campaign rally in the state and it ended abruptly over power issues.
The announced extension of the tenure and reappointment of the Lafia, Nassarawa State-born retired 20th Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar Adamu is patently and outrightly unconstitutional, illegal, and even immoral. Adamu had served Nigeria for 35 whopping years, when his tenure expired on February 1, 2021, by effluxion of service years in accordance with extant laws. He had given his very best, which though hardly above average, was miles apart and far better than his disastrous and highly political and politicised Niger State – born predecessor, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.
He duly retired on February 1, 2021. Is Adamu the only qualified Nigerian to be the IGP in a country of about 2010 million people? Didn’t the president and the presidency know very well before now that his term was due to expire by effluxion of time on 1st February? Why was this self-imposed sense of urgency that has now enlisted a fire brigade approach, which is patently unconscionable and unfair to servicing police officers, who look forward to occupying the now vacant position?
This was how they promoted and egged on Mr Ibrahim Magu, ex- Acting Chairman of the EFCC. They said only him could be EFCC Chairman and could therefore act in office forever, till kingdom come, in an acting capacity, notwithstanding his two- time rejection by the confirmatory authority, the Senate of Nigeria. The rejection was based on a damning report by the same Government’s secret Police report (the DSS), to the effect that Magu suffered serious integrity test.
It is now Adamu. The same forces, the sectionalistic, prebendalistic and nepotic forces are at work. They have already flown the kite that the president will appoint the next IGP simply on merit. Of course Nigerians now know that merit is a cruel euphemism for a Northern Moslem. Is this how to grow a pluralistic country? Didn’t they see the rainbow coalition and “Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colours” represented by Joe Biden’s cabinet?
Sections 214,215 and 216 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act are quite clear that any action by Adamu after February 1, 2021, is null, void and of no effect whatsoever. Section 215 (1)(a) provides: There shall be- (a) An Inspector-General of Police subject to 216(20 of this Constitution shall be appointed by the President on the advice of Nigeria Police Council from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force. The same Section, 215 (3) states that: The President or such Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorize in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.
Section 7(6) of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, provides thus: “A person who is appointed as the Inspector General of Police Shall hold office for four years”. Section 18(8) of the same Police Act 2020 states: ‘Every Police officer “Shall” on recruitment or appointment, served in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attain the aged of 65 years, which ever one is earlier. The use of the word “shall” by the statute makes it impossible for the tenure of IGP be extended by any person.
In IBRAHIM & ORS. V. AKINRINSOLA (2010) LPELR-4144 (CA) conveys a peremptory and compulsory meaning. See National Bank of Nigeria V Alakija (1978) 9-10 SC. 59, Achineku V Ishagba (1988) 4 N.W.L.R. Pt. 89 p. 411- Ishola V Ajiboye (1994) 6 N.W.L.R. Pt.352 p.506.” Per RHODES-VIVOUR, J.C.A (P. 5, paras. F-G).
The president cannot therefore administrately amend the Police Act, 2020, by extending the tenure of the IGP. The executive does not make laws.It executes laws made by the National Assembly, as provided for in section 214 (2) (a).
By the way, when last did we hear Mr president convey a meeting of the Nigeria Police Council as provided for in section 27 of the third Schedule to the 1 1999 Constitution? That council comprises of Mr president as Chairman, all the Governors of the 36 states, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP.
What we have seen all along is Mr president solely appointing an IGP and also solely elongating his tenure in a most unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, capricious, whimsical and arbitrary manner. We must learn to be followers of laws and not men, a country where we build strong institutions and not strongmen.
Chief Ozekhome (SAN) is a human rights activist and constitutional law expert
President Buhari jetted out to Senegal where he plans to participate in Dakar International Conference on agriculture after commissioning some landmark projects in Lagos State last Tuesday. That he was undertaking the trip even as fuel scarcity which started towards the end of last year bites harder once again confirms his failed administrative style of ‘delegation by abdication’, a euphemism for absence of governance. Probably humoured by his “loyal gatekeepers” serving other tendencies in his government, Buhari on whose table the buck stops as an elected president, has continued to behave like a feudal lord presiding over the affairs of his subjects. Unfortunately, this was the messiah his people craved and voted for only to be only to be left at the mercy of wild wolves who fraudulently swear by his name.
Buhari’s unnecessary trip at a period many Nigerians were spending the night on queues while struggling to procure government’s N160 per litre subsidised fuel at between N184-N400, perhaps explains why he lost the goodwill of millions of his fellow compatriots. But then this has been the feature of Buhari’s close to eight years reign.
Miyyetti Allah wrote him a 72-page letter even before his inauguration in 2015, threatening to make the country ungovernable except their demands of free open grazing all over the country was met. Buhari left the fate of besieged Nigerians in the hands of Miyyeti Allah sympathisers and his “loyal gate keepers” serving other tendencies in his government. Even as they unleashed terror killing 72 in one day and confiscating conquered subsistence farmers territories, Buhari could not resist quoting his ‘loyal gatekeepers’ herdsmen sympathisers who had blamed the victims for being bad hosts and for altering the old colonial grazing routes.
Buhari’s “loyal gatekeepers” similarly had the last say on the issue of open grazing. Southern and the Middle Belt states banned open grazing. The Northern Governors Forum, according to Nasir El Rufai also “took a position on open grazing as not a sustainable way of livestock production”, adding that his own government had already embarked on a N10b ranching project, backed by CBN with N7.5b.”
Yet President Buhari ignored the National Economic Council (NEC)’s 2018 National Livestock Transformation Plan (NCTD), a N179 billion 10-year initiative, to embrace in May 2019, his “loyal gatekeepers’ controversial Rural Grazing Area(RUGA), most Nigerians believed was designed to compensate immigrant Fulani herdsmen involved in mindless killing and confiscation of victim’s landed properties.
It is also on record that Nigerians vehemently opposed rehabilitation and compensation of repentant killer herdsmen as proposed by Sheik Gumi and some of the president loyal gatekeepers. As it has turned out, the latter’s specious and iniquitous position has since become part of government policy thrust with disastrous consequences for the nation following coordinated and targeted attacks by terrorists on military formations and prisons.
Set in his ways, President Buhari has also adopted the above template for addressing the ongoing fuel crisis. He has since November last year left Nigerians at the mercy of those holding them hostage viz: the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
MOMAN attributed the lingering fuel scarcity in the country to high costs of vessels and inadequate trucks to deliver petroleum products from depots to filling stations across Nigeria. They claim ‘high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on their operations with ripple effects on the pump price.’ They complain of “inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver products from depots to filling stations nationwide”.
Unfortunately, the marketers did not tell Nigerians what happened to old trucks in use or if there has been an increase in consumption despite head of Custom’s dismissal of current bandied figure of consumption as a scam. They complain about high cost of dollar making Nigerian consumers to wonder if naira has ceased being a legal tender especially since the product in question is in Nigeria.
The NNPC, perhaps Nigeria’s greatest scourge, on its part blamed the fuel queues in Lagos, Abuja and other states on some ongoing construction projects which caused diversion of vehicles. Since NNPC could not even maintain its depots, MOMAN’s chief executive officer, Clement Isong, claimed it was “working with the NNPC Ltd. to improve the distribution of petrol across the country by “doing depot to depot check-in and check-out to enhance efficiency, in addition to logistic supply meetings with NNPCL”.
And this is as IPMAN also linked the distribution crisis to the vandalism of depots belonging to the NNPC Limited. IPMAN president, Chinedu Okoronkwo also explained that since 80 percent of NNPC depots have been vandalised, the product is now being kept in the depots of private individuals, who bear the cost of transporting the product from the ports to their depots.
Spokesmen of these institutions have continued to speak from both sides of the mouth. For instance, while scarcity persists despite the government’s repeated claims it had enough petroleum products in stock, the industry’s regulatory body, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), spoke of insufficient supply. IPMAN also announced through its deputy president, Zarma Mustapha that the volume of products supplied to marketers at the loading points has dropped by about 50 per cent. But he then went on to accuse the private depots of contributing to the nightmare of consumers for “not giving the product as it is being regulated by the NNPC”.
Of course Nigerians are being swindled. How does one explain MOMAN’s apology to Nigerians for the pain they cause Nigerians, and their declaration that “Our members have again agreed to extend depot loading hours as well as keep strategically situated service stations open for longer hours to ease access to fuels for our customers”? Where, if one may ask, will the new supply come from?
But if anyone is still in doubt as to those holding us hostage and their long term objective, MOMAN provided that by declaring that “A final resolution to these challenges will be the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to encourage liberalisation of supply and long-term investments in distribution assets…urging the government to work towards this end goal”.
For 15 years of PDP politicians’ reign, private depots were the major channels for defrauding Nigeria. Close to eight years of Buhari and his loyal gatekeepers’ government of change, Zarma Mustapha has also fingered them as biggest source of leakage. The difference however is that under the Jonathan presidency, we were treated as citizens while under Buhari and his “loyal gatekeepers”, we are being treated as subjects.
The objective of both regimes however is the same: fleece Nigerians while both suffer from the same affliction – absence of governance.
A leader like Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand doesn’t come in tens. Not even in twos. And so, it was such a bright day on October 26, 2017, when she took office as New Zealand’s Prime Minister.
She was 37 years old and also the youngest head of government at the time. What’s there not to love?
But now, more than five years later, she has announced the withdrawal of that special light as she resigns the position, stating that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to carry on in office.
“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple,” she said.
Leaving office citing burnout is not what politicians do often, but leaving office at 42 when you are almost certain to win at the next general election definitely leaves many of us from the continent with a certain level of bewilderment.
When Ms. Ardern said politicians are human and should therefore know when it’s time to quit, one was glad, for her sake, that her audience was far from Africa. A number of our leaders would have laughed her off.
Home to the oldest and longest-serving presidents and heads of government, African leaders and even the followers will probably never be able to understand what Ms. Ardern meant by burnout.
Burnout means, for example, that 89-year-old Cameroonian President, Paul Biya, should have been long gone and spared himself and his country that pathetic performance at last December’s US-Africa summit where after being towed on stage, and wired to speak, he was still asking himself where he was.
“I didn’t ask to be here,” Biya told a bemused gathering, and then added drowsily as the boom mic was being fastened, “I’ve become a celebrity!”
Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, reported as one of the first African leaders to ever resign voluntarily from office, stepped down only after 21 years, and he was about 63 years old. With that, Ms. Ardern would have done four terms and more.
Another, of course, was Nelson Mandela, who without even the slightest pressure from any quarters declined to run for a second term. But then one can also argue that age was no longer on his side, and that the tank was inevitably empty.
We can also mention one, two or even more scattered on the continent’s political landscape but the rarity of it all makes Ardern voluntary resignation our own modern-day unicorn.
Nigeria’s former President and Mandela-wannabe, Olusegun Obasanjo, became military head of state at 39. Twenty-three years later, he ran for office as civilian president and won. He ran for a second term and won. And then after exhausting his constitutional two-term limit, deployed foot soldiers who splurged nearly $500m in a futile bid to secure a third term, according to the book by Chidi Odinkalu and Ayisha Osori, Too Good to Die.
Of course, the world has also seen outliers like Winston Churchill who became British Prime Minister at 66 and was re-elected at 77. The Ardern message is not necessarily about age, else Liz Truss who became Prime Minister nearly 20 years younger than Churchill wouldn’t have been such a disaster. Nor is physical condition necessarily a barrier as the extraordinary record of US President and paralytic, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, showed.
It’s about moments, about knowing when to say, enough, for the greater good.
Ardern’s resignation caught many unawares, especially when all she has come to represent in the past five years is weighed in.
In 2017, at a time when the United States of America’s 45th President, Donald Trump, was inspiring the rise of far-right leaders such as Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, a different type of leadership sprung up in New Zealand.
She joined the Labour Party at the age of 17. After graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001, Ms. Ardern worked as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark. She later worked in London as an adviser in the Cabinet Office during Tony Blair’s premiership.
In 2008, Ms. Ardern was elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth. She was first elected as an MP in the 2008 general election, when Labour lost power after nine years. She was later elected to represent the Mount Albert electorate in a by-election on 25 February 2017.
As her tenure as prime minister ends on February 7, it appears that Ms. Ardern has become a victim of her own success.
And, yes, she has had an amazing run as a leader in today’s world.
But perhaps, her handling of the COVID-19 crisis will continue to separate her from many others. When the pandemic broke out, she listened to science and locked down early and strictly. And when vaccines became available, New Zealand’s vaccination drive was matched by only a few countries. These measures made New Zealand record one of the fewest transmission rates and COVID-related deaths.
She left the hyped super powers gasping and trailing behind her and her country as they dealt with increasing body-bag numbers.
But the world we live in is a strange one in that Ms. Ardern’s exemplary leadership during a global health crisis also earned her more than a few new enemies.
Quoting data from Newhub, The Guardian wrote in June 2022 that threats against the outgoing prime minister almost tripled over three years. The data showed that she received 18 threats in 2019, 32 in 2020, and 50 in 2021.
The threats, police records show, were mainly from conspiracy movements and anti-vax groups.
These people went to the extent of occupying and attacking parliament and calling for Ms. Ardern’s public trial and execution. One fellow even posted on YouTube that he had a legal right and obligation to assassinate the prime minister!
When she was confronted with the Christchurch Mosque attack, a mass shooting committed by a far-right extremist in March 2019, her deft and quietly revolutionary crisis management skills earned her global accolade.
Her handling of the Christchurch shooting got noticed around the world, especially her ability to articulate a form of leadership that embodies strength and sanity while pushing an agenda of compassion and community which she herself termed “pragmatic idealism”.
Ms. Ardern’s effort to regulate firearms since the Christchurch attack has been met with vehement, bitter and bigoted opposition by far-right rebels and their co-conspirators.
Every of Ms. Ardern’s actions, including when she retreated to the back of the room to breastfeed her three-month-old child, has been dangerously blown out of proportion with unnecessary scrutiny by a section of the New Zealand media loyal to the extreme right wing.
Understandably, her successor-in-waiting, Chris Hipkins, has vowed to protect his family from what he called the “abhorrent” abuse that his predecessor received while in office. He told Ardern’s bullies that, although he would become “public property” as prime minister, his family wouldn’t be.
Ms. Ardern’s “sins” may never be forgiven by her adversaries and she may require a special type of security arrangement for herself and her family after February 7. The good news, however, is that New Zealand’s conspiracy theorists and their far-right anti-vax friends in the media would have to search for new prey.
Ms. Ardern said she was looking forward to finally getting married to her partner, Clarke Gayford, and also to later this year when her daughter, Neve Te Aroha, starts school.
Hopefully, her assistants and cyberbullies will allow her to enjoy her new life outside politics.
But head or tails, her immediate family – partner Clarke Gayford and daughter Neve Te Aroha – appears to be the biggest gainers of Ms. Ardern’s decision to relinquish the reins.
It will be a year in a few weeks since Russia stormed Ukraine in a war Ukraine did not want and for which it was least prepared. And when you would think calm was around the corner, as in the nature of all storms, the Russian storm began to rise and escalate. From usually a small almost inconsequential beginning, a storm gathers strength as it develops. The core storm and the supporting subsidiary winds are gathered into one force. Driven and thrown up. Empty drums are driven, first rolling at a terrific speed and noise, and like an aeroplane shot into the air. Sands and pebbles are blown in a blinding rage and demoniac velocity. Waters are muddied and polluted. Trees are shaken if not felled, and ripe as well as unripe fruits fall.
The picture of a natural phenomenon called storm in a desert or hurricane in the temperate region is the same as the seemingly artificially induced storm called war—in the present time Russia-Ukraine War: meetings and resolutions; war machine which includes propaganda, and the operation itself—soldiers armed to the teeth in war fatigue, and bombardment, destruction, casualties and fleeing into safety for dear lives, all encapsulated euphemistically described as campaign raids!
Let’s recall, Russia-Ukraine hostilities began when trigger-happy and ruthless war monger Mr. Putin massed 100,000 troops to Ukraine borders. He told the alarmed world that the troops were there only for drilling and he was going to call them back to their barracks. To the chagrin of the world, but more to the uninitiated, within a few days later, Russian tanks were driven into Ukraine with Putin giving all kinds of unconvincing reasons to fair-minded observers for the invasion.
I have been following the Russian-Ukraine War very closely and how I wished the protagonists knew what burden of guilt they have been heaping on themselves and the dire consequences awaiting the aggressors and their supporters. Threads of retributive justice bind all until every guilt is atoned for and the minutest dust is severed. In the operation of the self-enforcing Law of Reciprocal Action each person, or collectively as a nation in multiple measure of each party’s contribution, here or hereafter, in the dark region of the beyond or when back here on earth, pays severely for his part.
The airwaves and other media portals have been filled with stories of seeming gathering of powerful weapons of destruction to take on Russia in the defence of Ukraine. The United States and its allies sent heavy weapons to Ukraine. The US has $16.8 billion in weapons and other aids. With its allies, Canada and Australia, the US planned to send what they term ‘advanced M777’ howitzers which have longer range than Russia’s similar gun. On Tuesday it was reported that Germany was sending Leopard 2 tanks; the United Kingdom was deploying 12 Challenger 2 heavy tanks, its own brand of Germany’s Leopard. Dutch and Polish leaders have announced plans to do the same—the assembling of weapons undoubtedly signaling the pathway to the possibility of a Third World War. What with the times in which we are bringing to bear on her characteristics of acceleration and intensification of events, an unprecedented awakening pressure on and separation among mankind even in opinions. According to the enlightenment of these times, the unique Star, The Great Comet riding under the wings of the Holy Spirit, the Justice Arm of the Most High, is descending with its purification gale to sweep through the entire earth, the consequences of which will change the face of the world.
The frightening state of the world has been brought about by the often mentioned aberrant conduct of mankind. How can anyone hope to pass with the mindless destruction of property and lives being inflicted on Ukraine and in our own land remorseless killings, kidnapping and banditry. Since the behaviour of man has not changed a jot to the extent of being filled with utter disgust for the aberrations, respite may not be foreseen in the horizon. The scenario can be likened to the predicament of a man who is flung off a conveyor belt. Provided he makes every effort to regain his balance he will continue to be thrown off and will be harmed to the extent of breaking his arm, leg or back depending on the depth of the fall and the point of impact—that is unless he behaves himself on that belt; unless he cooperates with the conveyor belt by learning and adjusting to its rules. The conveyor belt will not be stopped on account of any person who ought to sit balanced on it and in cooperation with it, but chooses to disregard its rules. And pleading is not the answer. Ignorance of what is required, that is of the law, as lawyers would say, is not an excuse.
We are familiar with the workings of a conveyor belt at airports and belts in mills or plants. However, a majority of us do not recognize this in mechanism of life and we elect not to do so. Otherwise, how can we see our world as one without rules except those drawn up by us which in a majority of cases do not accord with the conveyor belt rules of life? The conveyor belt rules are permanent. They are points of reference; the yardstick by which all other rules must be judged. They are accessible; they are simple. In contrast, the rules we fashion are impermanent, subject to changes and amendments. They are inaccessible and complex, products of limited understanding. The rules are made for a world of which they are not its makers, and there is the assumption that its Maker has no need to draw up rules on how He expects His work to function. He is accorded less wisdom than the auto-maker who prints manuals to guide users of his automobiles.
In the Russia-Ukraine War as in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) we may not know enough and so it will be hard to apportion blame as such. Only observations can be made and these are even skin-deep observations. To be able to apportion blame, there must be a standard against which all happenings are gauged, a standard that is changeless; a standard that is universal and accessible, that is beyond the reach of political and economic changes, revolutions, upheavals, earthquakes or drought; it is absolute standard for all times. That the world is divided on what is right and who was wrong even if unequally, is proof that the world has not come to the recognition of that standard, and where it may have been recognized certainly by an insignificant handful, it has not been met. The standard has existed in all ages—eternally. It is the Truth Itself. Truth comes only from Above. Thus standards, virtues come only from Above. They cannot go from below up. They cannot emanate from mankind. Human beings can only receive virtues, recognize them, adapt them as their standards.
They cannot receive standards with their brains but their being, the true being, the true being within them, the ability they carry deep within them, ability which goes beyond the confines of this world, not being of this world. Man himself, is the animating core. This is why, because our schools and colleges are principally to develop the brains to impart skills to fend for oneself, these colleges cannot teach the truth. It can be recognized there as elsewhere because it is universal and accessible to all, including those outside colleges. Any wonder we are struck by deep and refreshing wisdom from even farm hands that never saw the walls of these colleges. The point being made is that since many a human being has neglected to grapple with truth, he has deviated from it, and is lacking in virtues. Consequently, he is brutalized, and unfeeling. So, he goes to war; he resorts to killings, kidnapping, terrorism and banditry. Since his misconduct even when expressed is attached to him, he is burdened by seeds of continual misbehaviour—wrong concepts, actions and statements. These, hitherto inactive in him, are now being driven into activity. All that is dead shall be awakened, it is said. That is, all that slumbers in a person shall be animated, unhinged so that its author can experience the consequences of his wrong actions and opinions. The experiences may bring him pains, sorrow, war, and when he does not, any longer, enjoy the experiences, he moves away from them, from the causes out of disgust. Will the Ukraine victims of the Russia-Ukraine War or the war in DRC (Democratic Republic Of Congo) not wish that an end be put to the hostilities in their lands not a day longer?
With our brains, we arrange, put together and elucidate what is discovered. What is discovered is already in existence. It is only uncovered. We may use the intellect to arrange, say through manufacturing, fashioning to facilitate our lives in what we call technologies. But technologies in themselves do not make man nor do they improve his character or quality of his worth. Thus technology without character leads to destruction, to a feeling of might being right. And we can read this from the arrogant conduct of Putin’s Russia. It brandishes its arsenals to exhibit might, and to destroy in apparent pursuit of expansionism. The only facility equipped to recognize what is right, what is noble and virtuous is the animating core of each of us—which recognition comes to it by its nature and relayed through the intuition, its voice. As this core is developed, it gains in clarity of recognition.
The stages of development are marked by epochs during which we are permitted new and higher revelations and recognitions of the truths of life. That core is man himself and is to direct our lives, itself the receptacle for guidance from On High. Our intellect being its instrument is to be directed by it. The reverse is the case today. Thus the primordial ordinance has been disarranged by we human beings and the intuition is no longer allowed its role; it has been cut off and with it its guidance. Consequently, mankind are wholly dependent on themselves and their limitations.
The whole world is standing in a new epoch, epoch of knowledge and one in which through the power of the Holy Spirit and its Messenger, The Great Comet, it is an epoch in which judgment is being released, in which cycles are closing, the end going back to the beginning. When frayed nerves are calmed and there is stock-taking, the magnitude of the devastation that is taking place will dawn on the world, particularly in Ukraine, the country most hit and which has a rebuilding to do. It is a pity! It is a pity–a great pity!
George Okoro and Ayo Olukotun
Two great men whose paths I had the fortune of crossing and who were very dear to me and to whom I owe a huge debt of grateful thankfulness have departed earthly life. They are George Okoro and Professor Ayo Olukotun. George Okoro was my teacher my boss while Ayo Olukotun was my close colleague. When I was publisher of National Compass, Olukotun was chairman of the Editorial Board. It was not at the Compass that our paths first crossed; it was in the Sunday Times at Kakawa Street. He was our reporter in Ibadan and I was a sub-editor, with Dipo Ajayi from Lagos Weekend in the saddle, holding fort for Gbolabo Ogunsanwo who was on vacation. Since I had the responsibility to gather stories in addition to my normal schedule of cleaning up copies and prepare them for the works, we had no choice but to relate very closely, sometimes with shouting from me. It was a short spell. So when we met at Compass we were no strangers to ourselves. That was where our interactions became enriching and impactful. Prof. Olukotun as is demanded of us by the profession, read voraciously, and this was reflected in his language. One could not but be struck by the freshness of his language and robustness of his thoughts. Never for him a tired word. He was cerebral. And he had those sunshine smiles to beam and could laugh effortlessly, the later an area in which we shared credentials and so drew closer still.
(Full tributes to both men next week as I had the deadline signal ticking).
In running a business, there are three fundamental characteristics anyone will put forward before hiring a 21st-century CEO. These important characteristics are, among others, Capacity, Energy, and Integrity. Nigeria, as one of the most prominent economies in Africa, has seen the worst times since 1961 during which period almost all sectors of its economy are plunged down, from education to infrastructure, security, and health and the overall economic fortune has remained downward. Today, Nigeria is on the verge of change, one in which the decision to appoint the next CEO of the Nigerian PLC is very essential for its future, its survival, and the prosperity of its people.
With so many challenges facing this nation at this time, a nation which happens to be Africa’s most populous country and the country with the highest number of black people in the world, there is a need to elect a president who has the capacity and experience to go out there and get the ball rolling immediately, not a trial and error situation.
The CEO’s position is a unique opportunity that has been underutilized by previous presidents and presently, Nigeria stands at a crossroads of great opportunity, but also great risk. For instance, managing Zenith Bank Plc. from the head office as a top executive board member and managing its Oyo state branch as state manager are two different things. So, to achieve good results, you need a person who has managed a bank from a top executive position, with a diverse experience in all strata. From human resource management, people’s management, health care, staff management, economic and financial management, understanding the infrastructure deficit in all 36 states; someone with vast knowledge of ethnic diversity, knowing that the north, east, south or west have over 1000 ethnic groups, knowing that Mr. Mohammed is different from Mr. Chinedu in Onitsha or Mrs. Bunmi in Ibadan, and having a zero-ethnic attachment to any of them, treating them all as one Nigeria, such a person is very important and needed at this time.
The CEO of Nigeria Plc. Requires to be someone who has global experience and knows the difference between having a conversation with a Chinese president or a South African President, someone who understands international politics from a global perspective, this person is different from managing a state with 20 local governments. With such high stakes and the highly competitive nature of leadership in a country like Nigeria, it is paramount for an aspiring CEO or presidential candidate to be a person of Capacity, Energy, and Integrity. These are the fundamental things anybody must use as a benchmark in picking the next CEO of Nigeria PLC.
The issue of Capacity is the competency to pilot the affairs of the country seamlessly, having a clear strategy, and the propensity to use subsidies for production as against consumption. The country needs a CEO who makes a difference, someone with the capacity to grow the country and reshape its economy, and someone who can take charge of our most important resources and partner with other oil-producing countries to “squeeze” it to its highest potential. A leader who can seat with foreign communities and institutions negotiating for the social and economic benefit of the Nigerian PLC.
If Nigeria was a branch or state office and we are trying to manage an Ogun or Kano state, then going below the belt can be overlooked. A national Plc., a national bank, a national industry, or a global organization would never settle for less whilst picking a quality leader to lead their company up the radar, they all have a strict policy to ensure only quality men with excessive from a senior national management level, the right capacity, and the experience to ascend the National throne.
Regarding the energy required, to think that managing a WhatsApp group with 250 people is draining, and tedious and requires a lot of sleepless nights, not to talk of managing a Nigerian PLC. It requires someone who wakes up by 5 am and does not sleep till 2 am, someone who is ready to go to work mentally sound and physically agile, someone who can hold meetings for long hours until the work is done, someone who is so energetic that you can wake him in the middle of the night for National discourse and emergence occurrences without him feeling overwhelmed. You can’t manage a complex country like Nigeria without energy and a high frequency of mental stability.
Nigeria needs a leader who is mature in mind and young at heart. Here is where Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who is not only physically fit but mentally aware of all corners of this nation, and can hold conversations without diverging and confusing the difference between agriculture and science comes in handy. As for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it would have been a different conversation ten years back; maybe we would not be having this discussion, seeing that Bola Ahmed Tinubu a young and vibrant governor of the great Lagos state whose mental and physical capacity was not questioned at that time. As we are currently seating on the edge of this new and crucial century, let’s all take time to reflect on how far we need to go and how best we can get there fast.
Lastly on Integrity, for over 50 years Nigeria has earned over $1 trillion from natural resources, but do we honestly look like $1 trillion has passed through this nation? Corruption and impunity has been the order of the day, so in picking a president we need to choose someone that has integrity. Warren Buffet said “when you are trying to elect a leader, where you don’t find integrity but you find capacity and energy, take capacity and energy because you can checkmate integrity. Though, they’ve been questions on the integrity of both Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu, nobody has been able to bring them to justice or convict them for any wrongdoing. This is a source of concern of matters of integrity. A man of integrity but lacks in capacity and energy only benefits himself, but a man with capacity and energy with no integrity can appoint men of integrity and the country at large can put checks and balances in place to ensure integrity is upheld. However, a lack of capacity and energy will hurt the country.
To his credit, Atiku Abubakar as a former vice president of the federal republic of Nigeria created not less than 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect ones. The innovative-minded icon also transformed Nigeria’s telecommunication sector, in his words “In 1999, Nigeria had less than 500,000 telephone lines. By 2007, we had grown that to over 50 million.” Numerous associations have described Abubakar as one individual who contributed to the development of higher education on the continent of Africa. “No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to the progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar,” the NPCA said. This was after, in 2012, when Abubakar donated $750,000 to the National Peace Corps Association in the United States, “to fund a new initiative featuring global leaders who will discuss Peace Corp’s impact.” None of which his competitors have ever done.
Atiku created a legacy in the banking consolidation process, which was the first big step for Nigeria’s economy during his tenure. He was able to get all the ministers to pledge their support for the appointment of a Federal Banking Commission, which ensured the stability of Nigerian banks today. His tenure saw the most stable forex regime, not what we have experienced so far during the APC rulership where the dollar rose from $180 to over $750. Either through the president or as a vice president, Atiku was part of the team that assembled what is arguably the best economic team ever in Nigeria. It was made up of young, world-class professionals some of whom are now political leaders, governors, and world leaders in their own right.
Atiku Abubakar’s achievements are glaring and go on to say, that in a complex situation where we have poor infrastructure, weak healthcare system and struggling educational system, unending crime, and terrorism, Poor human capital development, inconsistent economic policies and corruption, Atiku Abubakar is fit to tackle all issues and lead Nigeria into the promised land.
Former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has appointed Prof. Usman Yusuf as Special Adviser on Community Engagement to the Atiku, Okowa Presidential Campaigns.
In a letter, personally signed by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku charged Yusuf to use his vast experiences and contacts to effectively discharge the responsibilities of his office.
The professor by the appointment was charged to provide Advisory services on community engagement related issues by identifying community-based organisations (C30s) for necessary interface with local communities, organising creative programs and events regularly with relevant stakeholders of the local community with the goal of galvanising support for the PDP candidate and ensuring victory in the election.
“He is also charged to build strong relationships with local community leaders, community-based organisations, gender and various age groups in the grassroots for the propagation of Atiku’s plans and ideas so as to ensure acceptability and necessary support in the local communities,” a statement explained.
Yusuf was the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The Professor of haematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation and an alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University had in a recent interview opined that it would be difficult for the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu to campaign in the southeast. He had written several articles in support of the candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar and has been generally seen as a strong supporter of the PDP candidate.