Abiodun Komolafe

Abiodun Komolafe

Michael abiodun KOMOLAFE is a native of Ijebu-Jesa, Headquarters of Oriade Local Government Area in Osun State.
 
He attended St. Matthew's Primary School, Ijebu-Jesa; and Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School, Ijebu-Jesa. He then proceeded to University of Ilorin from where he graduated with Bachelor of Science, B.Sc. (Hons), degree in Statistics in 1997; and, in 2003, he bagged a Master of Business Administration, MBA, postgraduate degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Komolafe is also an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chattered), AMNIM.
 
He was at one point or the other Editor-In-Chief, National Association of Statistics Students, NASSEB, University of Ilorin Chapter; Editor-In-Chief, Faculty of Science Students Association, FOSSA, University of Ilorin Chapter; Editor-In-Chief, Student Union Government, University of Ilorin; and Editor-In-Chief, Association of Master's Degree in Business Administration Students, AMBAS, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Chapter.
 
Apart from his work experience which cuts across the divide of Charity (or Non-Governmental), public and private sectors, Komolafe has since 1997 been a regular contributor to national and international dailies and newsmagazines on issues of national and international importance.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 06:13

The succession battle in Osun!

Let  me  start  by  declaring  that, no  matter  the  difficulties  encountered  on  Osun  State's  journey  to  greatness, I'm  of  the  tribe  of  Caleb;  a  harbinger  of  good  report  and  nothing  seems  capable  of  obliterating  this  perception  buttressed  by  what  is  on  the  ground.

Having  said  that,  let  me  also  confess  that  I  did  not  originate  the  title  of  this  article.  It was  a  product  of  interactions  between  passengers  in  a  commercial  bus,  yours  sincerely  inclusive  -  on  a  recent  trip  from  Ijebu-Jesa  to  Osogbo  in  Osun  State.  The  discussions  went  back  and  forth  until  the  discussants  decided  to  look  ahead,  post-Rauf  Aregbesola's tenure.  By  way  of  illustrating  my  stand  further,  may  I  state  that  I do  not  have  any  clue  on  the  incumbent  governor's  preferred  aspirant;  not  even  the  colour  of  his  fabrics.  In  any  case,  it  is  not  my  call!  I listened  with  rapt  attention  as  names  of  both  pretenders  and  genuine  aspirants  were  mentioned  one  after  another.  And,  finally  on  this,   let  it  be  known  that  I  have  come  across  diehards  of  the  incumbent  governor  who  are   prepared  to  stake  their  lives  for  performance  as  the  most  important  deciding  factor.  I  have  also  seen  some  'bread-and-butter'  Gentiles  and '10-for-10 kobo'  hypocrites  -  quite a few of them -  whose  joy  is  in  doubling  the  people's  troubles.

All  said,  there  is  a  great  political  battle  ahead  in  Osun  State  and  only  the  Strength  of  Israel  knows  how  it  will  end!  Already,  posters  of  different  shades  and  colours  have  started  competing  for  available  space  in  the  state;  with  the  political  atmosphere  gradually  heating  up  with  melancholic  provocations; and  tempers  supposedly  flaring  with  grandiose  bellicosity.  There  are  cracks  here  and  there  within  the  parties.  These  may  eventually  lead  to  realignments  here  and  there.  Some  aggrieved  politicians  from the  ruling  party  are  talking  in  the  same  tone  with  some  disgruntled  members  from  the  inveterately  enervated  opposition  and  its  crude  appendage  of  unreconciled  dancers  and  clappers.  That  the  battle  ahead,  therefore,  has  the  capacity  to  be  fiercely chaotic, even  giftedly bitter is a  forgone conclusion!

Also, with  the  loss of power at the centre by the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, followed by  last year's  demystification of Iroko  in  neighbouring  Ondo  State, and, lately,  the  tragedy of depletion that  has struck  its national membership base like a plague, it may not be out of place to say  that  All Progressives Congress, APC, as  the only  party  standing well in Osun State, is  not unlikely to repeat  the  feat of August 9, 2014. Besides, with some  great jobs done by the  current administration, especially, in  areas  like infrastructure development, road  construction, agriculture  revolution, investments in education, and  its  huge  contributions to the political stability and economic growth of the state, coupled with other legacy interventions scattered here and there, the clock is likely to tick in favour of a successor committed  to  following in the footsteps of the incumbent governor and most invariably endorsed  by  him.

Well, while  political  permutations  may  not  translate into  outright  victory for the ruling party or 'by any means necessary' for the opposition, one cannot but wonder when idle and unrewarding sobriquets like 'Home-based', 'Lagos-based', 'Osun Abroad', 'Pathogens',   'Awon  Omo  Online' (Yahoo Boys),  and  'Atohunrinwa'  (Hinterland dwellers)  criminally  crept  into  Osun  State's  political  lexicon. Among other premises which paint a rather frightening picture  of  a  society  that  is  lacking in the use of  its  conscience  are  zoning  (that  it  is the  turn of a certain Senatorial District  to produce the next governor);  current  economic  realities  (trying to make Osun the Guinea pig of other states); as well as primordial anxieties about current administration's  capacity  to  complete  ongoing  projects  before  leaving  office.

Henry Brooks Adams describes politics as "the systematic organization of hatreds." I  have  once argued  that  the  Nigerianness  of  politics  in which  every  negative  thing  is  not  only  a  right but  also  a  command  is one  that  makes  one  angry,  sad  and  sympathetic.  Otherwise,  exploiting  'Place  of  Residence'  as  an obstacle to one's political aspiration in a state of  his  birth  is tantamount to asking  Donald  Trump  to  uphold, even  unleash  the  full  force  of  his  travel  ban  order  on  Nigerians living  in  the  USA   for  the  pointless   excuse of 'dollar'  flight from America  to  Nigeria. It  is  like driving  the  highly-technical   Julius Berger  out  of  the  country on the fallacious reason of 'naira flight' from Nigeria to Germany. For  instance,  who is  a  'home-based'  politician  and  who  are  'Atohunrinwa' ?  What are the characteristics of  'Awon Omo Online' and  what does  it  take  to  be  deregistered  from  the  cult  of  'Osun Abroad'?

At times, Nigerians are too greedy, and, in the exact sense of  the  word,  deficient when confronted  with  reality. That's  why  some  people  may  never want to  learn from Lagos State's story of success. Aregbesola  is  not  an  indigene of Lagos State. Yet, he was a two-term Commissioner in the Bola Tinubu-led  administration.  I am  sure  the  experience he gained  from that duty post  has helped  him  in  successfully  steering  the  affairs  of  Osun State away  from the  paranoiac edifice  of  plunder, wastage  and  malady  that  was  once  its  defining characteristic.  Rotimi Agunsoye,  also,  an  indigene  of  Osun State,  once  served  as  Commissioner  for  Local  Government  and  Chieftaincy Affairs  in  Lagos  State.  As  we  speak,  he  is  a  member  of  the  House of Representatives, representing  Kosofe  Federal  Constituency of  Lagos  State.  Dele Alake (Ekiti),  James  Faleke  (Kogi), Idowu Ajanaku (Ondo), and Ben Akabueze (Anambra) are  other  examples of deeds  which  have continued  to  speak  Lagos  State. So, if our sons and daughters  could serve  and  excel  elsewhere, what stops them  from  giving  their  best  to  the  state  of  their  birth?

In  Dwight  Eisenhower's  words, "the  history  of  free  men  is never  really  written  by chance  but  by  choice;  their  choice!"  At  a  time  like  this,  exploiting  the  global  glut  as  a  fig  leaf  for crucifying  the  current  administration  can  be  likened  to  a  divisive  falsity  that  doesn't  offer  an  example  of  faithful  commitment  to  democracy  as  the  best  form  of  government.  For  example,   Saudi  Arabia,  with  not  less  than  18%  of  the  world's  petroleum  reserves  and   world's  largest  exporter  of  petroleum,  has  not  been  spared  the  aftereffects   of  the  oil  price  plunge  that  has  for  some  time  bedeviled  the crude  oil  world.  Same  goes  for  India  which  imports  not  less  than  70%  of  its  crude  oil  requirement. Essentially  therefore,  if  the 'gold'  in  Saudi  Arabia,  with  about  12.9%  of  the  world's  oil  supply  to  its  credit,  could  rust,  then,  pity  the  'iron'  in  Nigeria,  which  produces  only   about 2.7%  of  the  world's  oil  supply.  By  extension, pity  a  state  like  Osun  which  has  for  a  long  time  depended, largely,  on allocations  from  the  centre.

May  the  Lamb  of  God,  who  takes  away  the  sins  of  the  world,  grant  us  peace  in  Osun  State!

*KOMOLAFE  writes  in  from  Ijebu-Jesa,  Osun  State,  Nigeria  ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

020, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Monday, 18 July 2016 08:07

In fairness to Governor Aregbesola!

Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s stewardship in Osun State has been generating all manner of comments in recent times. From the indefensible, infantile, misinformed and misguided viewpoints to the impressive analyses of his actions and inactions, the comments reveal a lot about this man of many parts who has not only done very well for his people, but has also been fair to all sections of the state in his policy implementation. Although Aregbesola is frequently the butt of criticisms, there is no doubt that he means well for his people and does what he sees to be in their best interest at all times.

While some of the electorate’s high expectations from Aregbesola’s second term in office have, to an extent, not been met, it is glaring that Nigeria is experiencing grave socio-economic difficulties from which Osun State is not immune. The situation of the state and the entire country is getting precarious and urgent steps need to be taken to address the problems. Problems of corruption, looting and mismanagement of funds and their disastrous consequences have virtually brought Nigeria to its knees. Worse still, unable to translate her childhood success into adult glory, Nigeria has become a terrain where misconceptions and logical inconsistencies are elevated as the best strategies for survival. That has always been the story of Nigeria.

In responding to the peculiarities of the moment, however, I have no doubt in my mind that blackmailers who once relished making distasteful comments about Aregbesola would by now have started counting the beans of their collective selfishness, while those who, out of pure mischief and political miscalculations, presented his government as lacking in speed and vision, would have been found out as pathetic naysayers whose negative pronouncements cannot change the people’s views about this remarkable governor.

The governor deserves commendation for his sound economic decisions that midwifed a fresh agenda for value-based leadership in Osun State, especially, at a time that “stomach infrastructure” has become the parameter for gauging performance. He deserves appreciation, not only for making the best use of the opportunities that these hard times present, but also for using his immense experience to help a great number of his people and for making the state among those to be reckoned with in matters of good governance. It is, indeed, gratifying that his prescriptions for the problem of unpaid salaries have now become a template for dealing with that issue in other states of the federation.

In fairness to Aregbesola, Osun State has in the last six years been led on the path of good governance marked by transparency, prudence, high level of probity and accountability. With this in mind, the reason the governor is being used as a scapegoat by some comic heroes and surrogate actors is difficult for me and many other stakeholders in the state to grasp. For instance, since agriculture was seen as a viable alternative to oil, Aregbesola’s government has succeeded in revamping farm settlements and ranches for animal production. Thousands of hectares of land were cultivated by the government to aid massive food production of crops like maize, beans and melon. In order to meet the school-feeding needs of children who consume over 150 crates of eggs per week, as well as other nutritional needs in the state, his government embarked on poultry farming and cocoyam cultivation. This is in addition to the sum of N851, 669, 532.53 given to farmers as loans under the Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP) 1 and 2 Schemes. Through QIIP, fertilizers were sold to genuine farmers at subsidized rates. Pesticides were also made available for the purpose of boosting harvests. O’Honey, O’Ram, and O’Fish schemes have also been reinvigorated with a view to meeting the needs of the people.

With the present paucity of funds occasioned by dwindling allocations from the Federation Account and the sharp drop in Internally Generated Revenues (IGR), Osun State government has built over a thousand kilometres of roads across the state. Ongoing are about ten different projects traversing different parts of the state. Among them are Old Garage – Ila-Odo/Kwara Boundary Road; Bis iAkande Trumpet Bridge; Gbongan – Akoda East Bypass; and Olaiya – Odi-Olowo -IsaleAro Road. While Ataoja High School is completed and waiting for commissioning, Osogbo Government High School is almost completed and will hopefully be commissioned in the coming weeks.

But, important as these achievements are, there is still room for improvement. After all, the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) in the state won the confidence of the people on the platform of a set of promises which must be fulfilled. As I have always said, preparations for the next election started the very day the last election was won and lost. Impliedly, for Osun State, the road to 2018 actually began on August 9, 2014!

Therefore, even as we appreciate the trees and green pastures in Nigeria’s polity, the possibility of failure should continue to challenge the government towards tackling the immense religious, social and economic problems that have become an unfortunate blot on our democracy. The hijab brouhaha, rightly described as a pseudo-storm, is not an exception! Not only that, the people need to be reminded that this unfortunate pass is not peculiar to Osun State. It is being championed by some people in high places, for pedestrian reasons and transient pleasure. In spite of this temporary setback, the state still has potentials for greatness.

May powers, assigned to siphon the dividends of our hard-earned democracy, BACKFIRE!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


abiodun KOMOLAFE,
020, Okenisa Street,
PO Box 153,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Monday, 18 July 2016 07:31

In memory of Nigeria's future!

"The future comes slowly, the present flies and the past stands still forever."

                                                                                                       - Johann Friedrich Von Schiller.

Baring any unforeseen circumstances, Nigeria's journey to 2019 has already started and one can only wish the country well!

Having run its first full-circle four year-term, 2019 will put to test the capacity of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to renew its contract with Nigerians as well as the opposition's ability to reassess itself, especially, in the light of significant challenges of poverty, unemployment and ethno-religious fundamentalism currently confronting the country.

Well, while some of us on this side of the divide may not be seeing what others elsewhere are seeing in terms of the epileptic existence, structural weakness and economic vulnerability that have unfortunately-yet-understandably taken the shine off this administration, that Nigerians are hungry and that President Muhammadu Buhari needs to put some smiles on their faces before the situation gets out of hand is no longer in doubt. As it stands, there is too much anger, which typifies the frustration of the people; and there's too much capability to deliver violence in the midst of little or no tolerance. Perhaps, the more reason there are so many deaths in the land.

With the benefit of hindsight, the 2015 presidential poll was a battle fought, largely, between a "populist appeal" and an "outlandish profligacy". In that election, Nigerians saw in Buhari a clear, credible, reliable, forward-looking and development-oriented leader who would not only give the arrogance of office and insolence of power that had taken the better part of former President Goodluck Jonathan's government a run for its money, he was also seen as the preferred brand who possessed an enormous amount of political capital to take key transformative decisions that would positively affect the fortunes of the downtrodden. Little wonder the former president was bent on capturing power by any means and at all costs. Though the rest, as it is often said, is history, the reality in this widely-diversified, ceaselessly-varying, half-organized and half-conscious society of which the electorate forms a part, is that Nigerians are always at home with "the concept of change in the metaphysical sense but not in any way that hurts them and their families or friends." This is where the problem lies and this is why the government has to do more in terms of communicating well with the citizens if it is indeed interested in retaining the electorate's confidence in 2019.

So far, so fair for the tragedy of victory which is much more than its defeat! Key indices have so far attested to how the worst of Buhari's government could be preferred to the best of Jonathan's. But that is not what we are saying here! The rate at which Nigeria is going is very worrying and something needs to be done to salvage the precarious situation. Precisely, the Nigerian naira is in bad shape, revenue generation is proving to be pressingly challenging even as the country is seeing a lot of household and international debts. Oil production recently sank to as low as 800,000 bpd even as government revenues have declined by more than half of what it used to be, pre-Buhari era. While it cannot be denied that this government has done some good job in its anticorruption crusade, it needs to be noted that less than 10% of our collective patrimony can actually be attributed to this socio-economic malaise while a greater percentage of the rest is siphoned out of the country by multinational companies with little or no effort by the government to remedy the situation.

In the first quarter of 2016, Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was said to have contracted by 0.36%, the first negative growth in many years. During this period, unemployment rate stood at 12.1%; underemployment, 19.1%; and youth unemployment, 24%. Even, in crime rate, Nigeria ranks 'high up' there, Boko Haram terrorists and Niger Delta militants being her 'prized' jokers! As a matter of fact, Nigeria was said to have had the highest case of kidnapping in 2013 and 2014, after equally-endowed countries like Mexico and India. Threateningly too, she's found a 'comfortable' seat among world's most dangerous countries like Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea and Libya. And, as if these are not enough, the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen have 'spiced' our broth as world's fourth most deadly terrorist organization!

In his remarkably personal book, 'How will you measure your life?' Clayton Christensen describes management as "the most noble of professions, if practised well." Christensen might be right, at least to the extent that "no other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility, be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a bigger team and a bigger purpose." But then, I doubt if those who contended that Buhari was too old a warhorse to lead a country as vastly endowed as Nigeria on the road to socio-economic recovery were not too enmeshed in the intricacies of inanity to have realized that the major contenders for Barrack Obama's throne are also drinking from the same cup of age with our president. On the other hand, while other candidates were unadulterated lightweights who merely wanted the electorate to learn how to pronounce their names, those who opposed the emergence of Buhari as the preferred choice in the last election have so far fallen short of telling Nigerians in what garb an alternative to Jonathan would have appeared.

Yes, Buhari did inherit a past laced with selfish whims and inevitable traumatizations. Still, he can explore the womb of his party's deliberate strategies, even the unanticipated alternatives that have so emerged, to create a future of opportunities and prosperity for Nigerians! The bitter truth is that a government that fails to adequately cater to the needs of its citizens will sooner than later provide space for the people to go haywire. So, the earlier the president realizes that the honeymoon on Nigeria's Qadesh-Barnea adventure is over, the better for Nigeria. To the best of my understanding, the people are not asking for too much from this government. Their only demand - and, a legitimate one at that - is some relatively strong amount of confidence, happiness, and self-esteem, not dissatisfaction, frustration or ingratitude.

If Zaire, Congo, Guinea, Benin Republic and Zimbabwe are instances too distant to cite on how political battles are won, on the strength, not number, of political parties, Benue (April 11, 2015) and Kwara (September 24, 2015) are two freshly unambiguous lessons on how a people, badly battered by hunger and avoidably bruised by poverty could rise beyond political sentiments to make a statement. Ours need not be like that popular actor who decided to apologize to her 'big auntie' for not being with her in her time of need only after her 'big auntie' has accessed afterlife! If Singapore could rise above the vagaries of a developing country to become one of world's great success stories in one generation, that it is achievable in Nigeria is already conceded!

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


abiodun KOMOLAFE,
020, Okenisa Street,
PO Box 153,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 19:36

Buhari and the tragedy of politics!

"He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles."

- Harry Emerson Fosdick.

I am a professed and an active Buharist and I am glad I made a wise choice! Impliedly, given the opportunity again, I will not hesitate to repeat my preference for Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria's president.

With that said, one cannot but be worried about the direction in which Nigeria is headed. That there is a cloud of darkness surrounding the country is no longer in doubt. No thanks to the impunity of the Jonathanians which turned her into a veiled entity, unworthy of incense.

As things stand, Nigeria's foundation is not only threatened with predictable consequences, its economy is also castrated. The masses are in total hardship, toiling and suffering; and it seems as if the spirit of Saul is pursuing our David! In this 'fantastically corrupt' country, demigods and untouchables in high places who once stole Nigeria blind are using Nigeria's money to torment Nigeria. And it is as if their Cain is plotting to assassinate our Abel! Civil servants are living in avoidable stress and agony; and it's as if the Pharaoh which knew Joseph has passed! Though we seek to behave as a country run by laws, there's an increase in electricity tariff without any corresponding increase in its availability. As if to compound our woes, our intelligence system has become so weak that criminals' propensity to succeed in their acts has increased. As such, rather than collaborate, our security agencies find it more convenient to compete for recognition and attention.

A recently-released Livelihoods and Economic Recovery Assessment 2016 report on the North-East of Nigeria is not only revealingly disturbing, it is also symptomatic of a looming disaster unless urgent steps are taken to reset the button of Nigeria's socio-economic situations. According to the report, unveiled by the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) in partnership with Oxfam Nigeria, "46 per cent of households in that part of the country borrow money to buy food; one economically active member of a household sustains 2.3 non-active members, while a majority of them do not have sufficient food supply." It did not end there: "41 per cent rely on alternative health care, 21 per cent have migrated to other locations, while 20 per cent send their children out to work and beg. 11 per cent support a member with a mental or physical disability, while 21 per cent include, at least, one member with a chronic illness."

In another report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, inflation in April 2016 jumped to a nearly six-year high, shooting up from March's 12.8% to 13.7%. Elsewhere, government's promise of better days ahead has been likened to the promise of a fully-loaded duplex in a highbrow city centre to a poverty-stricken family, whose immediate need is food for the belly. This is the sorry state of our country and the story continues!

Inadvertently or in-house, Nigeria has fallen on hard times and it's time we reawakened our collective preparedness to confront the situation and chart a new way forward. Currently, the future gives very little hope for any meaningful change unless very concrete and urgent steps are taken to salvage the situation. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, politics in this part of the world is not only seen as the art of the possible, it's also regarded as war by other means. Perhaps, it is the opposition's somewhat better understanding of the texture of Nigeria's politics that has catapulted it into presenting the ruling party as one of  'pick and choose'; and its leaders as mere noisemakers unmeritorious of administering a country as vastly endowed as Nigeria.

To the opposition, the race to 2019 started the very moment it lost the last presidential race. Which informs all manners of unethical tactics by bad actors and vulgar heroes to re-seekrelevance in the consciousness of the people. From loungers'incitement of the people with nauseous and unrhymed lyrics; to the shadow-chasing, noise-only wailing wailers' peddling of half-truths and outright falsehoods against the Buhari-led administration, the tenuously stalemated opposition seems to be leaving no stone unturned in its desperation to recapture power. Unfortunately, however, it's as if the ruling party is still in its first day in office, endlessly-yet-needlessly savouring the joy of victory. And that's where the problem lies! Indeed, this is why this administration needs to increase its speed with unquestionable courage and uncommon amount of guts.

Goodluck Jonathan's government has died of its own free choice. May its carcass continue to find peace in its pieces! But then, how did we get here and why has Nigeria suddenly become an 'until it happens again' country, sanctifying the footprints of her conquerors? Why is our economy dollar-determined and why does it look as if the poor is beingunnecessarily taxed in order to fund government's stimulus packages? Taking the issue beyond our current cut, what can the president do about the Delilah at the door, waiting to betray Samson to the Philistines; and the crowd of pharaohs who, out of pure mischief and political miscalculations, is carousing the exigencies of intellectual acrobatics and deliberate distortions to cause disunity among Nigerians?

To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians do not hate this government per se. Instead, it is because their expectation of the dividends of 'Change' are taking somehow too long to come to fruition. In like manner, it's not that some notable achievements have not been recorded in the life of this administration. Rather, it's because bad news travel fast! For instance, they are quick to insult our collective intelligence by accusing the president of courting Fulani herdsmen for ulterior intentions without mentioning that herders terrorism is a new phenomenon which neighbouring countries are also grappling with. They are also good at regaling us with moonlight tales on the parlous state of the economy without conceding that corruption as the mother of recession was actuated by the immediate past administration.The tragedy of our politics  is that Nigeria is blessed with anintelligent-but-value-starved political elite who thrives in throwing confusion into the midst of the electorate with a view to making them too oppressed to take intelligent decisions. I've had cause to ask Buhari's traducers if Nigeria under Jonathan wouldn't have collapsed but none, so far, has been able to supplysatisfactory answers beyond their Israel's quest to continue slaving in Egypt.

Pain nourishes courage! But are the gods angry with Nigeria? No! The gods are not! Instead, at the end of the tunnel is the exhilaration of victory! After all, Buhari has with invincible determination and measureless vigor applied himself to the crisis of value, compounded by crisis of structure, currently threatening her sovereignty. Yes, there's a wilderness! Yes, there's a desert! From an analytical perspective, the God who created the garden also created the wilderness. But, if all we see is a desert without rivers of water, then, there is a problem!

In any case, given the prevailing circumstances, is one year enough for the president to "dream the impossible dream,  fight the unbeatable foe and reach the unreachable star"?

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

020, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Thursday, 28 April 2016 22:39

Buhari: Who is sabotaging the sheriff?

BONNIE Honig, political theorist and author of 'Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy' wrote: "Democracies must resist emergency's pull to focus on life's necessities (food, security, and bare essentials)" as they "tend to privatize and isolate citizens rather than bring us together on behalf of hopeful futures." Emphasizing the connections between contemporary food politics and the infrastructure of consumption, among others, Honig argued that though "good citizens with aspirational ideals" are needed to make good politics, infusion of citizens with idealism is also a product of good politics.

Nigeria's 2016 budget impasse, which has not only left the political actors in mirthful mistrust of one another but has also reduced the electorate to mere spectators, watching in utter bewilderment, refers!

All things considered, our major priority beyond the billions of naira approved for various portions of the budget is how the contents of this working document will in the end be utilized in a way as to mitigate the sufferings of a vast majority of Nigerians who had, with the commencement of this administration, expected programme redirection and policy implementation that would vigorously improve their standard of living. As things stand, Nigerians are no longer interested in moonlight tales on the impunity that took the better part of our immediate past or the flourish of trumpets that heralded Muhammadu Buhari into office as president. After all, Nigerians were not unconscious of what the future under the now-expired Goodluck Jonathan administration possibly portended before they decided to speak with their thumbs a year ago.

Archbishop Adewale Martins beautifully summed up the mood of the moment when he noted: “There is too much despondency, poverty and suffering in the land, and if care is not taken to remedy the situation, the people will one day stand up and revolt because their expectations from the government have not been met." Needless to repeat that Nigeria currently suffers from dwindling resources in the face of unshrinking responsibilities, a huge corruption scandal and an opportunistically overstretched texture of Nigeria's politics. Gold diggers and fortune seekers are at work and a resource-rich nation like Nigeria is now an island of violence in a sea of poverty and squalor. Civil servants are frustratingly panting under the pangs of unpaid salaries and power has become so epileptic that, at a point in our recent history, generation reportedly accessed Ground Zero. No thanks to a national crisis orchestrated by Jonathan's inability to picture into the future!

In a country that has become gradually concerned with power to the exclusion of human welfare, long queues at petrol stations are unwilling to abate even as Nigeria has fallen to 67th position in FIFA’s ranking in football, a game in which she used to dominate the space and dictate the tune. In the midst of these, some witches, wizards and professional worriers whose surprising view of history is wrapped in a dubious fig leaf of reality have been waxing so lyrically in their call for naira devaluation without rethinking more forcefully that ours is a consumer economy. That's how bad the situation has become and only God can save us!

So, call it 'Quick fix democracy' and you may not be far from it! From the look of things, Nigerians want Buhari to act Moses on the rock at Horeb, not minding what became the fate of the creature for taking the credit, instead of ascribing glory to the Creator. Even without understanding the circumstances that have dragged us to this pass, it is their belief that former President Jonathan has been shown the way out and all his imperfections are long gone with him. 'It could have been worse'! Yes! But, in their festive estimation, a victorious All Progressives Congress (APC) ought to have known that it was not beyond the capacity of a defeated People's Democratic Party (PDP) government to emplace thorns and thistles on the path of the incoming administration and that a government worth its mission would have taken preemptive measures to nullify the counsels of the wicked.

Anyway, Buhari's globally acknowledged resolve to achieve a moral and an ideological victory over the debris of the dreams of the now-imploded PDP remains unshaken. For a fact, this straightforwardly great and startlingly special sheriff has started well and it is only a matter of time before his combination of confidence, political savvy and strategic analytic reasoning starts yielding fruits. But, despite the president's efforts at putting Nigeria back on the world map, there are still some nagging questions that have refused to go away and it is quite interesting that efforts to search for suitable answers have ended up in more questions. For instance, who is sabotaging the president in his efforts to unleash his rod of change on Nigeria’s socio-economic sentiments with a view to bringing forth their increase and who will stop powers that stopped Jonathan from stopping Buhari in his quest to actualize a Greater Nigeria dream? Who's the Haman hindering Nigeria's Mordecai from accessing his King Ahasuerus and who is acting Balak in Buhari's desire to serve as balms for woes to the hungry and the depressed? If the most crucial and the most important time for a leader to show his true worth is in the face of adversity, who's the Judas on Buhari's path to redirecting the country along the line of equality, liberty and solidarity?

Expanding the argument, why has the town refused to compensate its dwellers and why are those who wear the gown messing up their present even as they make no preparation for the future? Why has our democracy been grumbling in conflictual cleavages of dishonesty, incompetence and contrived promises and why has Nigeria become a stratified capitalist society comprising the "small flies" whose "socio-economic conditions reveal little or no inter-generational mobility relative to their parents" and the "great flies" who "abuse their positions for private gains"?

Wait a minute, have we ever attempted to interrogate the circumstances that threw up Ayo Fayose and Nyesom Wike as candidates of their party and how they eventually 'won the race' as governors in their respective states? What of the duo's vexatious roles in Alli Modu Sheriff's emergence as the substantive chairman of Nigeria's major opposition party and the trio's common denominator as political heavyweights? As a matter of fact, where lie the place, space and roles of a violent extremist Public Liability Company erroneously referred to as Boko Haram in all of this?

On the whole, Nigeria remains a worthy light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel project, in spite of the crisis of value, compounded by crisis of structures, that currently threatens her existence. All the same, as Nigerians are expecting the president to experiment the miracle of the Marriage at Cana, another critical area that has of late become Nigeria's defining identity is the activity of Fulani herdsmen. And, while it may be convenient for us to problematize our assumptions, I doubt if there is any significant difference between Boko Haram terrorists who waste precious lives in Damboa and Fulani herdsmen who kill poor farmers in Akure. It is therefore my sincere wish that the president would without further delay rise to the strategic imperative of unimpeachably confronting this affront on our collective humanity before it gravitates into a dangerous platform for hypocritical application of ethnic idioms as a means of extending political mileage and re-strategizing access to power.

In the final analysis, it's time Nigerians came to terms with the fact that terrorism is in and of itself a victim of more than one script!

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


abiodun KOMOLAFE,
020, Okenisa Street,
PO Box 153,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 13:53

Matters arising on Osun LCDAs

It's no longer news that some 31 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), 3 Area  Councils and two Administrative Offices were recently created in Osun State  by the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration. As Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in the Bola Tinubu-led administration when Lagos State had its LCDA experience, one can safely state that Aregbesola has garnered experience sufficient enough to help him drive the newly-created lower-tier administrative units in Osun State.

At a period of global financial failure like this, fears on the part of the people cannot be said to be misplaced. It is therefore comforting to know that the governor has assured Osunians that the new councils were created primarily to bring "development to the people", manage "the markets", and generate "more revenues, amongst others." Good also that he has allayed the fears of human and material resources with which to power the third tier of the administrative structure, taking into consideration the socio-economic and geo-political realities on ground in the country. With these additional administrative council areas in place, one expects that local government administration will be brought nearer to the people.

Again, while not conceding its comparative edge in administrative purposes over the building of a pattern of dominance, it will also go a long way in removing some of the inconsistencies and confusions associated with local government administration. And, since the system is participatory in nature, opportunities for broadening the potential for societal capacity building, accountability, transparency and openness cannot be overlooked. Above all, the glorious roles of our traditional rulers as the embodiment and custodians of their community's customs and traditions, which successive constitutions have tragically failed to appropriately clarify, will by this laudable step become enhanced.

However, beyond the politics and emotions usually associated with great ideas like this, the question before careful political observers is: has the governor breached any law of the land by creating these lower administrative centres? In my unlearned estimation, the 'inchoate' judicial pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Attorney General of Lagos State v Attorney General of the Federation (2004) 20 NSCQLR 90 on the operation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State and, by extension, Nigeria has settled that! This is even as Nigerians are of the view that the refusal by the National Assembly to do the needful as required by law tends more towards the political than the  altruistic.

I have commented in one of my previous interventions that being a governor and a paymaster is a matter of choice. Without doubt, each has its rewards. But it depends on how one wishes to live and be remembered! Harvey Firestone put it beautifully when he wrote: "The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." Needless to repeat that Aregbesola has opted for the noble path of serving his people with all of his might and has so far discharged his responsibilities creditably. Essentially, while the benefits derivable from the governor's action should not be lost on Nigerians, kudos must be given to the government that has, in spite of all odds, been struggling to meet the demands of its people, especially at a time when what comes into the state's coffers from the Federation Account is not even enough to pay for 20% of the state's workforce.

Progressive-centric propensity notwithstanding, sentiments and emotions are essential ingredients of politics.  So,  how long is an 'inchoate' journey of Local Government creation and who do we blame for the fate of Lagos State? why are we our own enemies  and  where are those powers that are using the good things of life to deny the South its pride of place in Nigeria? Even, if our fathers have eaten sour grapes, for how long shall the faults and evil propensities of the parents, not only transferred to the children, but also punished in them? Where are the popular superstitionists and  perennial deal-fixers who are using the good things of life to curse us in the South? In like manner, where are the professional pacifists who see and take Osun State as a gorgeous hall and concert room where sorrows are carelessly  danced away? As a matter of fact, who would ever have thought that the road linking Ijebu-Jesa with Ijeda-Ijesa which had become impassable to motorists since the early 1980s would take more than two decades to fix?

Olusegun Obasanjo spent eight years as Nigeria's president but ended up as the worst enemy of the South. Goodluck Jonathan, another victim of good luck, spent six years without caring a hoot about righting the wrongs of  his lord and master.  Ernest Shonekan who, from all indications, was only anointed for snail and tortoise assault on our psyche did not even stay long in office to fulfill his pseudo-democracy destiny.

Come to think of it, close to threescore years after independence, Nigeria remains a strange nomenclature mendaciously concocted by her colonial manipulators. Like a barber's chair, motioning perpetually without any monumental movement, dear country is fast becoming a disintegrating enclave, a culture of discordant policies and a hutment  of prosperity in a quicksand of adversity; nothing but a game of dubious smartness, or smart dubiousness. Little wonder every shed and hamlet in the North is shredded as Local Government Areas while towns, even cities in the South are falsely lumped together as one Local Government. For instance, I observed during my national youth assignment in 1997 that what constituted Talata Mafara and Bakura Local Government Areas in Zamfara State hardly extended beyond Talata Mafara and Bakura townships and I doubt if the situation has changed.

A country without values has no future. What more? Democracy allows for openness and inclusiveness. In other words, while it may be difficult to have a proper grasp of the nature, structure and texture  of political patterns  and trends without understanding her colonial legacies, it is only when the vestiges of inherited colonial structures and legacies are exorcised that an independent Nigeria can become truly redirected along the principles of justice, efficiency, equal opportunity and "freedom in socio-political relationships." Stated in clear terms therefore, if creation of LCDAs is at a time like this in the history of Nigeria capable of meeting the governance and development needs of the people, what stops Aregbesola from acting in the interest of his people?

May powers, assigned to rubbish our founding fathers' efforts, backfire!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

020, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Friday, 19 February 2016 04:14

A Word for President Buhari

FOR those who care to know, I am a passionate supporter of the Muhammadu Buhari cause and that position is not about to change! As a matter of fact, my preference in the March 28, 2015 Presidential Election through which Buhari eventually became Nigeria's first opposition candidate ever to defeat an incumbent president, was a product of my convictions and until I have sufficient reasons to change course, my preference remains on course. Be that as it may, surprise will be the appropriate word should I fail to make the list of the 'Cult of Wailing Wailers' as a result of this piece which I believe is in the overall interest of my country.

Whichever way the pendulum swings, the good news is that, within a very short time in office, Buhari has, to a great extent, succeeded in rescuing Nigeria from the jaws of a predatory elite and a band of merit-devalued interlopers who have for close to two decades deprived Nigeria of her gold and silver. However, this is not to say that I envy the president, not even with the scourge of impunity that has turned Nigeria into a morass of incensed screeches where priorities are misplaced with unimaginable perfidy and, responsibilities, shifted with unrivaled pomposity.

Like the Biblical ten plagues, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, passed through our land and all we could feel were pinches of hypocrisy and pains of stagnation. Its bunch of yo-yos insulted our collective intelligence with unimaginable artificiality and its crop of educated-but-politically-incompetent hands, "celestially" endowed to take care of the downtrodden, only used their "celestial weapons" to mortgage our commonwealth. And, as if the gods were angry, meanness replaced magnificence; and, in place conviction, we had deception.

Buhari's victory at the poll is no doubt a great opportunity to reposition the ruling All Progressives Party, APC, as a party of principle. It is also an opportunity for the progressive class to truly rediscover itself before the next General Elections, especially, if the ruling party must retain its relevance in the consciousness of Nigerians. As things stand, there are folks out there in whose eyes the only difference between the badly-degraded PDP and the victorious APC is Buhari. Well, maybe one or two other genuine hearts here and there. But they are as scarce as hen's teeth! Added to this is the opposition's reported huge investment in a mass of experts in the spread of hate messages against the president but, from the look of things, it is as if the president's strategists and publicists have forgotten that lies, when told too often, have the capacity to carouse the exigencies of truth. In my candid opinion, this is unhealthy for the party that wants to move beyond where it currently holds sway to the upper realm!

Needless to repeat that the president's efforts at recovering part of Nigeria's stolen loots is already yielding fruits. Nonetheless, concerted efforts should be made towards preventing the anti-corruption war from being a temporary reprieve. This is why, apart from building it around structures, not men, Buhari must also endeavour to reform a zigging-zagging judiciary that is at the moment misconstruing the people's tall level of tolerance for short memory. He must strive to put in place workable structures that will prevent our monies from being indescribably stolen and indiscriminately stashed abroad. At least for once in the affairs of this great country, our destiny as a people created by God should stop being in the hands of Pharisees who value passion of power above logic of reason and Princes of Sodom who cry even when they don't have tears.

Some governors' sojourn in denial with threatening jaunts of antiquated illogicality notwithstanding, except Nigeria's socio-economic landscape which is currently playing host to the fury of a global meltdown receives anointing for improvement, it stands to be seen how most of the states can survive, post-Buhari's First Term in office. For instance, no fewer than four out of the six states in the Southwest are as we speak in arrears of several months of workers' salaries and allowances. Other zones, including the Federation, are not faring any better. No thanks to an economic malaise that has taken hold over the national economy.

Without mincing words, it is my hope that Buhari would do well for progressive politics by departing from the old, cruel culture of taking the needs and expectations of its followers as a four yearly-ritual in which, immediately their votes are captured, counted and credited, they become aberrant artefacts whose 'phones will no longer ring' until it is another election year. Yes! In their attitude of pettiness and little traditions, some among them may wish to gloriously access the Promised Land without painstakingly encountering the Red Sea while, like the children of Israel, others may prefer serving the Egyptians to dying in the wilderness! But, like it or not, since politics is a numbers game, the president will be in a better stead with the wisdom of Solomon, not the tact of Jeroboam!

Again, that Buhari has done well for himself and for the country is no longer news! If he maximizes the momentum, the president may become to Nigeria what Abraham Lincoln is to the United States of America. Like Buhari, Lincoln had governed America at her most difficult time. Apart from leading his country through its bloodiest civil war, Abe Lincoln also saw it through its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis. Not only did he abolish slavery, he also strengthened the government and completely rescued the economy from the bottomless mess into which it had previously been plunged.

Like the Lincoln-era America, Nigeria's current challenges are not only monstrous, they're also hydra-headed. The country is currently contending with its bloodiest non-conventional war ever even as Barrabas and disaster capitalists who masquerade as leaders have reduced dear fatherland to a rustic cave of impiety, stymied development and inverted values. Coincidentally, the 'bureaucracy' which quickened former President Goodluck Jonathan's administration journey to the golgotha is still in Buhari's government, almost a year after, doing new things the old way and it's as if the president is comfortable with their services. On the other hand, those 'Change Agents' who committed so much in terms of human and material resources into making the Buhari dream a reality have for close to a year been waiting in the wings to contribute their quota to the development of the polity or, as the case may be, replenish their barns. Indeed, this is where the president has to proactively rise to the occasion in order to avoid any possible backlash which may be unpleasant to the ruling party and unproductive to the country.

Ernest Benn describes politics as "the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." But what is so special in progressive politics that politicians always find a place of refuge in it? Even in its "comfortable and ill-defined" state, how does a progressive party manage its successes as well as prevent abuse of power in politics and government? And, with the kind of our politics and the attitude of politicians in this clime, is any politician worth dying for? As a matter of fact, is politics worth dying for, let alone politicians?

Like Teddy Roosevelt, Buhari will be writing his name in gold if he is able to champion noble aims that are in agreement with Nigeria's socio-economic and geo-political realities. And who knows? With zealous vigilance, our president may end up as another "ultimate pragmatist" and an "epitome of a president who endured personal loss, political attacks, and the prospect of presiding over the dissolution of the country, yet persevered and triumphed."

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

abiodun KOMOLAFE,
020, Okenisa Street,
PO Box 153,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

 

Friday, 05 February 2016 13:34

You Need Money? Sambo Dasuki As Prayer Point

Nigeria is a troubled entity and only the Stone of Israel can rescue her!

As a matter of fact, I never knew Nigeria has gone totally bad until a neighbour reprimanded me for being a Sambo Dasuki-basher. Not unaware of my shortcomings, the neighbour in question advised that, instead of partaking of the Dasuki jest, I should ask God for my portion of the "anointing hands" of the former National Security Adviser (NSA) that "squander without care or regard for consequences.''

Without doubt, there is a Dasuki in all of us and that's why Nigeria is in ruin and rot. It is as a result of the Dasuki in our leaders that corruption has messed up Nigeria's socio-economic settings. It is also the reason behind our beating a wall with the hope of transforming it into a door. Not quite long ago in the life of this country, the 'prayer point' was Muhammadu Buhari who, in spite of long, tortuous and tricky trials, became the first opposition candidate ever to defeat an incumbent president in a general election. Then, Nigerians appreciated the place and space of providence in the affairs of man. But, less than a year after, Dasuki has tragically become the man to beat!
For all I care, Dasukigate, as it's now known, is a lesson for leaders who revel in puerile religiosity and wildly unrhymed poetry. Juxtapose 'Sambo Dasuki' with, say, 'Andrew Azazi' and one can hardly imagine the outpouring of reactions, especially, from some sections of the country. Unlike Giovanni Martinelli, the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli who, despite repeated threats to his life, preferred martyrdom to betraying his community, Dasukibetrayed his people for thirty shekels of silver and the story has been one of unutterable desolation, indescribable poverty and wanton destruction of innocent lives.

As at last count, the former NSA was alleged to have illegally enriched 21 individuals and companies to the tune of N54.659 billion from the $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase, an amount said to be "more than the 2015 Zonal Intervention Project budget by 2.829 billion Naira." More revelations are not unlikely! But, could anyone have blamed him? In a country where people with neither decency nor honour dictate the pace of affairs; where conspicuous underachievement, unsolicited anxieties and struggle for power crudely compete for space; above all, in a colony of devils where violence is used to resolve violence, where then lies the quest for communal togetherness?

Nigeria, as we speak, carouses the exigencies of flat growth in food production. The economy is in a bad shape. Our facilities are fast decaying even as people are dying in our ill-equipped and ill-resourced hospitals. Research has shown how 62 people have as much wealth as half of the entire world population, a situation which constrains one to ask: how much money in this world does a man need to be happy? Nigeria is currently ranked world's 136th most corrupt country and 10th biggest exporter of Illicit Financial Flows (IFF).

So far, so worse: about US$157 billion was estimated to have illicitly left the country in the past decade alone. These are not fairy tales but facts on the ground more so as these figures are not plucked from the sky.Coincidentally, corruption hits hardest at the poor who make up more than half of Nigeria's population. Here,while the just who hold honesty as the truest test of virtue suffer, the crooked who covet our patrimony with brazen ignominy live in opulence. Still, the poachers and swallowers of our immediate past continue to loiter around the corridors of power, needlessly inflating their sacrilegious egos with Jacobinistic tales while the masses gestate their existence in a landscape of kaleidoscopic trappings littered with testimonies of privation. And it is as if the gods are angry!

That Nigeria is one of the products of the "global meltdown" is no longer news. No thanks to the political confusionists and economic rapists whose moral incompetence responsibly disqualifies them as tutors in a viable institution of morality. Talk of civil servants whose salaries and allowances remain unpaid. Sad that this unfortunate situation has made it 'convenient' for some governors to become 'lone rangers'.While some states have had its workforce relieved of their duties for reasons not unconnected with salaries and allowances, parents and guardians in some others are finding it difficult to have their children and wards return to school because they can't cope with its financial implications.

Olu Falae! TonyAnenih! Tanko Yakassai! But atwhat stage did those we had hitherto looked up to as men of honour stopped numbering their days? On the other hand, who told Jonathan that he was the best thing to happen to Nigeria's democracy and that his reelection was all the country needed to overcome its self-inflicted challenges? Which prophet asked him not to faint or falter; that, in spite of the damage done to his party's rank and honour, a ragtag army of rapacious loyalists were all he needed to win the March 2015 battle for Aso Rock?

In any case, let's assume for the purpose of argument that 'arms funds' and 'security votes' were 'same of the same'; and that the former NSA was the former president's 'Disbursement Officer'. The question still remains: when did the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)become the Clearing House for the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and what was Dasuki's Approval Limit' as Jonathan's 'Mr. Spender'? In a country where poverty increases with the same proportion as the national budget, how could N2.1billion have willfully exchanged hands between former NSA and, say, Raymond Dokpesi without the former president's formal approval?

"Great things", according to William Blake,"are done when men and mountains meet." Good that Buhari's attempt at strengthening the country's anti-corruption is not synonymous with "jostling in the street."Good also that the military, paramilitary organizations, among others are already drinking from the president's cup of anti-corruption disposition. Like King Hezekiah whose resolutions were based on the convictions of his faith, events in the last few months have presentedthe president as a man of uncommon courage,a sure symptom of manly tenderness, native elegance of soul and a strong believer in the Rule of Law.

Thank God Buhari is confronting Boko Haram terrorism with the fierceness of his roused sentiment.While this is a plus for the fight against corruption, some rough edges still need to be polished in order to tame this cankerworm that has remained a cause of poverty and instability, especially, in third world countries.

However, even as the president strives to meet the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance, theneed to set the records straight with regard to the US$20 billion allegedly missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC account cannot be more apt than now. Not that alone, while there's an urgent need to give teeth to the Freedom of Information (FoI) Law, Nigerians expect neither let nor hinderance in the prevention of the incidence of illicit financial transactions as well as dealing with them when and where they rear their ugly heads.

In the words of Napoleon Hill, "the starting point of all achievement is desire." According to Hill, "weak desire brings weak results."Like Hannah whose vow was capable of making life miserable for Samuel, there are lots of Sambo Dasuki out there whose capacity to make governance an unworthy venture is unbounded. Generally speaking, while the president may not be able to direct the wind, he can assuredly adjust the sails.

Essentially therefore, apart from reforming our justice system which is currently plagued by complexity and atrocities, religious bodies also have important roles to play in the task of rebuilding this fractured entity. John Cardinal Onaiyekan rightly captured the mood of the moment when he called for "more synergy between government institutions and religious institutions." But how far our lords spiritual can go especially in a clime where jaundiced propositions catalyze the exacerbation of unmerited solidarity and where men smile with unequaled certitude but revolt with unenviable exactitude remains to be seen.

All the same, in your best interest, won't you rather pray for your portion of Dasuki's 'anointing hands'?

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 09:19

The Real Bailout Aregbesola Doesn't Need!

"A Federal Government that can neither count nor number, incapable of enforcing the law when public property is stolen or misappropriated, indicts itself when it denies the states their due on the grounds that they are misusing public funds."  -   Odia Ofeimun

Oke Epia's article, entitled 'The Real Bailout Aregbesola Needs' (Thisday, September 19, 2015), refers.

In the article, Epia presented a rather vague view of the national crisis occasioned by months in arrears of unpaid salaries which unfortunately spread its tentacles to Osun State. To start with, Epia's article was not worth more than 'news recap', an 'item only fit for the shelf' in that it neither made any new revelations nor presented lofty ideas on how Nigeria can overcome this avoidable challenge.

Without being immodest, keen observers will admit that, for sixteen years, 'Big Brother' Nigeria operated a 'State of Emergency'-kind of democracy under the curious grip of a 'big' party called the People's Democratic Party (PDP). While PDP ruled, big as our problems generally tended to be, so also did we have at the helm of affairs a 'bigger' party which generally purported to be on top of the general situation even when the situation was either generally undefined or grossly unaddressed. It was such a Baba Sala-induced pedagogy that one was tempted to wonder when the Reich doctrine actually got imported into the country. This got to a head during Goodluck Jonathan's presidency.

Under the immediate past government, Nigeria became the "Broederbonder's bad dream", a nation oppressed by the theatrics of the "sharing of the national cake, economic growth, bickering for power and other material things". Supercilious extravagance, oppressive externalism and sadistic exposition of democratic inequities not only became the order of the day, they were also taken to ridiculous heights. PDP's conceited network of 'Hands of Esau' clappers and hangers-on that could better be described as Alli Baba's forty thieves got to work and the country went gaga! Because Osun State found itself in the Jericho called Nigeria, it couldn't but partake of its challenges!

Much as time and space may not permit me to give a blow-by-blow account of how far Governor a Rauf Aregbesola has gone at repositioning the state within a very short period of five years, it is on record that, immediately the governor came on board, he hit the ground running. As a leader who's neither ignorant of his mission nor unmindful of the 'crawl, walk, run' system that has for long been the lot of the state, Aregbesola decided to assert his constitutional authority and moral éclat. Even in the midst of unwarranted interferences and melancholic provocations from the villainous opposition which thoughts and deeds were as wildly disillusioned as they're vilely trifling, the governor rose above the clouds by taking competent decisions that effectively rescued the state from becoming 'a war-ravaged territory'.

While Epia's ignorance on Aregbesola's personage may be excused, let him be told in clear terms that the governor remains a great motivator and an epitome of humility. He is never a man of the past but an embodiment of a hopeful future. Though a good Muslim, Aregbesola is a man of dogged determination whose activities transcend the realms of religion, culture or race. He is always concerned about the poor - "those who are in distress and often lack what is basic ...; the most underprivileged, who lack what they need to lead a dignified human life."

Now, let's focus on the essentials! First and foremost, Epia accused Aregbesola of being "foggy" or 'lacking' in foresight for blaming "stumbling oil prices for defaulting on wages", I may not know where the writer hails from but I pray he'd not be an indigene, even a resident, of any of the states in Yorubaland where issues bordering on  'fogginess' have practically been similar in structure and texture. For example, when pensioners in Ondo State protested the inability of the Olusegun Mimiko-led government to pay the backlog of gratuities and pension allowances to its senior citizens, Kayode Akinmade, the State Commisoner for Information, hinged its 'fogginess' on "dwindling revenue from the federation account as well as low internally generated revenue." Abia's 'fogginess' for non-payment of salary to almost all its parastatals centred on "the drop in the federal allocation". Ditto for Ekiti State. As we speak, I doubt if the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Polytechnic, Ibadan Chapter, has called off the industrial action embarked upon by its members to press home its demand for non-payment of five months' salary arrears by Oyo State Government.

Thank God: Aregbesola "spearheaded the clamour for", and eventually succeeded in securing, the "bailout to distressed states that could not pay workers' salaries for months on end." That in itself was a clear demonstration of leadership. In like manner, that more than 20 states applied for the bailout loan in the first place was an attestation that Osun was not the only state battling with the salary issue. This is why exonerating former President Jonathan's 'Power' party from the mess in which the country presently finds itself can only amount to whitewashing historical records.

On the purported delay in disbursing the loan for its intended purpose, Epia also goofed. I am sure Epia cannot claim to love Osun workers more than Aliyu Wabba, National President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) who only last week clarified issues relating to the state of the bailout fund.

On the roles of religious bodies in the unfortunate salary saga, Nigerians will not forget in a hurry the roles played by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Osun State Chapter, during last year's governorship election. But Osun-CAN wasn't God; and couldn't have been God anyway! It only tried to play God. But since God would always be God, the people won! Have we also forgotten how, in a 'Show of Shame' rather than a 'Show of Solidarity', one Ben Murray-Bruce promised to donate his 'Wardrobe Allowance' to Osun workers at a time a section of workers in his native Bayelsa State were victims of unpaid salaries? Needless to comment on Bishop David Oyedepo here until, possibly, the religious leader deems it fit to open the "gates of hell" for those who refused to make former President Jonathan's reelection a dream-come-true!

In the words of Alexander Graham, power "exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it." That Aregbesola is a man with "tainted political reputation", one who "has emerged as a Janus-faced progressive politician not different from the conservative lot he loves to pillory" is only in the satanic imagination of those who have lost touch with the moral altitudes and rectitudes identifiable with development politics. Without a shred of doubt, if, in the village of the blind, one-eyed is king, many states in the country would wish to have such 'one-eyed' like Aregbesola as their governor. After all, only a wise 'one-eyed' king of perpendicular uprightness and a saint of success like Aregbesola would have so succeeded in actualizing the visions of our forefathers for Osun State.

Again, is the governor defaulting on his campaign promises? I say, decidedly, No! Some even said Aregbesola has been running Osun State from Cuba. But, here lies the essence of the Freedom of Information, FOI, Act. Again, this simply attests to how lazy and shoddy some people can be in doing their job. Otherwise, a commentator worth his profession and mission would have invoked the Act on the Embassy of Cuba in Nigeria with a view to finding how many times Aregbesola travels to Cuba in a week.

Available indices reveal that Aregbesola has taken the state from its previous parlous state to an enviable pedestal where investors are willing to put in their money and go to sleep, hoping to reap bountifully at the end of each financial year. Besides, if Aregbesola's sin is the purchase of a helicopter, these elements need to know the cost of the helicopter vis-a-vis benefits accruable to the state from therein. Epia should also be in a better position to tell Nigerians why the Jonathan-led government refused to grant Osun State the needed security code through which its surveillance function would have been implemented as well as its current deployment.

Some even accuse the performing governor of being 'reckless.' Fine! But, if Aregbesola is the only 'reckless' governor among Nigeria's 36 states governors, how come more than twenty states were, as at May 29, 2015, having challenges with salary payment? How come more than 18 States have so far accessed funds from the Federal Government's Relief Package specially meant for that purpose? How come the Jonathan-led Federal Government was, between 2010 and 2015, borrowing to augment salaries of its workforce and how come some Federal Government workers are still being owed up to 8months arrears in salaries? Again, how has a state as resources-challenged as Osun been coping with a monthly wage bill of N3.6billion when indeed, monthly allocations from the Federation pool have for more than a year been less than N3billion? How has the state been servicing other areas of its financial needs as well as carrying out important development programmers that have placed it on the world map?

Lest I forget, I had expected Epia to mention the 'travails' of Justice Folahanmi Oloyede in his better-consigned-to-the-dustbin epistle. I'd expected him to pitch his tent among those who hold the view that Oloyede is being 'witch-hunted' for 'speaking truth to power.' I'd expected him to liken her "whistleblowing" action to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi's expose on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a cesspool of corruption under the watchful eyes of Diezani Allison-Madueke. Above all, I'd have loved him to place the embattled judge among the 'anointed daughters of Osun State' who should neither be touched nor done any harm. But Epia failed in that mischievous duty; and he'd have fatally shot himself in the foot!

Still on the salary issue, I am neither an economist nor an employee of Osun State Government. So, I may not be in a position to rationalize reasons with regard to why all the backlog of promises have not translated into lorryloads of cash for its civil servants. Nonetheless, even my unEconomics brain is not dull to the possible dangers inherent in sudden injection of huge sums of cash into an already-threatened economy.

Be that as it may, we need to ask ourselves some fundamental questions: how much is Osun State owing its civil servants and how much was accessed in form of bailout from the Federal Government? What is the state's staff strength and how far can monthly allocations from the Federation Account, plus internally generated revenues, go in permanently solving the state's salary problems? As things stand, are there other sources of revenues open to the state to cater to its needs, apart from the aforementioned? Will it ever be worthwhile of the 'Land of Virtue' to go back to the Federal Government, cap in hand, to plead for bailout or is salary cut or outright reduction in staff strength the way out?

Again, if an airport project is such a bad and an unprofitable venture, why is a state like Ekiti embarking on it? If presentation of parents' tax certificates is incongruent with the dictates of democracy as some people are wont to claim, what then do we say of the conditions attached to Ondo State's 'Kaadi Igbeayo'? So, if answers to these questions are in the negative, where then liesOsun State's succour and which route will it take? In my considered view, this is why understanding on the part of all those who mean well for dear state should be preferred to collapsing into any endless giggles by some political town-criers whose ultimate goal is to derail a performing government.

Let me by way of conclusion state that those who take decisions in confusion may end up making mistakes. In this wise, one "real bailout" which neither Aregbesola nor the good people of Osun needs is pity. No! Osun doesn't need crying wolf where there is none. Essentially, if the garrulous opposition and its accomplices cannot give kudos to the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for rising to the occasion of clearing the Augean Stable incompetently brought upon Nigeria by Jonathan and his gang, they should stop playing the ostrich by selfishly domesticating a national crisis to Osun State. The fact remains: in spite of the complexity and the technical nature of the challenges currently confronting the state, the governor remains on course and our state is working. As a people destined for greatness, we are not running under the pressure of struggle. Instead, we are moving, steadily and consistently, on the wings of grace.

Politics aside, Aregbesola has by his performance set a new standard for future occupiers of Bola Ige House. With technocrats, drawn mainly from across Southwest, forming the intestine of his core staff, his style of governance is said to be robust. Roads construction is terrifically done and they are there for all Thomases to behold, In the area of Health, the governor stands shoulder high above his peers and contemporaries. So, rather than insult our collective intelligence, Epia and his pushers should join hands with the peace-loving and focussed governor in his efforts at leaving Osun State better than he met it. Staying filthy and miserable simply because our people have chosen not to submit won't help their jaundiced cause. As I've stated in one of my recent interventions, if giving Osun State such a monumental facelift as has never been witnessed in the history of the state amounts to recklessness in the eyes of the enemies of progress, the governor had better continue to be reckless!

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

020, Okenisa Street,
PO Box 153,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Tel:- +234 803 361 4419 (SMS Only) 

Thursday, 17 September 2015 03:21

Anti-corruption war: Standing the test of crime

By sheer providence and People Power, the progressive camp is now at the helm of affairs in Nigeria. May God's name be praised!

For sixteen years, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) ruled Nigeria like a party that was principally inspired by the ideology of corruption. Like a disaster destined to happen, the 'Power' party embarked on a 'Voyage Of No Discovery' and it was as if the gods were angry! Now, the rest as far as the derailed, tired and expired party is concerned, is history!

Everything considered, the ruling All Progressives Party, APC's festival of champagne-popping and glasses-clinking is not misplaced even as war on corruption as one of its cardinal promises is not unwelcome. But everything in life has a price attached to it; meaning: for the next four years, APC will be in the eyes of the storm. Which also means that the party may choose to make things better or leave the stage even worse. With the former option, President Muhammadu Buhari has got a lot on his plate. No doubt about it! He's had to do a lot within a very short period of four years to bequeath to Nigeria a country that works. So much might have been achieved by the president's 'body language' but, as we know, assumptions don't count in governance, especially, in a situation where schemers whose corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry are not prepared to give up. However, discerning minds will admit that APC is, as it is, marked by a very delicate political composition. From Olusola Saraki's legislative ambush; to the palpable fear of the president and his Northern colleagues possibly running Bola Tinubu out of political relevance, the ruling party is in for some interesting times.

In any case, it is music to the ears that the president has promised to wage a real war on corruption, that ""impairment of integrity and an insidious plague" that has already driven the country from the position of decency into the abyss of normlessness, "thereby causing a lot of suffering, deprivation and death." But Buhari's capacity to tame the lion has never been in doubt. He is a man of impressive intellectual gifts, extraordinary moral courage and profound spirituality. As things stand, the president is the symbol of progressive politics in Nigeria. He is the new wine in a 'Change' wineskin who comes into presidential office with characteristic modesty, moderation and the 'primacy of public interest.' Unlike his first shot in power which was marred by 'with immediate effect' and 'it is decreed' policies, the Buhari of the 21st century Nigeria is a witness to the marvels of democracy, one who has been healed of the deafness of dictatorship and the muteness of being closed in on himself.

In his Goodwill Message to the 2nd Plenary of the 2015 Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Buhari describes corruption as the "main reason why a potentially prosperous country struggles to feed itself and provide jobs for millions." Needless to repeat that corruption is symptomatic of Nigeria''s nationalized malaise and epitomizes with merciless severity the physical decay and the loss of innocence bedeviling her geo-political, socio-economic and ethno-religious contiguities. It affects our daily lives, lowers compliance, distorts the level-playing field and can affect how we interface with the people. When corruption takes over the affairs of a country, standards get compromised and values become eroded easily; quality of service and infrastructure is reduced and budgetary pressures, both on public and private establishments, increase insanely. This monster drains a country's tank of joy, prevents initiatives, stifles growth, harasses destiny and transports problems to a tomorrow that is even far away.

Corruption is as generic in dimension as it is legion in operations. Civilian sleaze! Spiritual morass! Executive deception! Legislative graft! Electoral treachery! Judicial trickery! There is geriatric corruption (as in government being piloted by old and tired hands); and there is psychological chicanery (like the providentially endowed Niger Delta region where indigenes produce more but eat little). We have monarchical deceit (as in the case of a former president trying to unconstitutionally perpetuate self in power); and there is ethnocentric speciousness. We have professional corruption and there is public service venality. The list is endless!

We can indeed talk nineteen to the dozen at synonymizing, synchronizing, replicating, rationalizing, even politicizing meanings, extra-meanings, anti-meanings, or counter-meanings for this cankerworm. The bottomline is that it is a global disease which dates back to the Adamic Age. Remember Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Abraham and Hagar the Egyptian, Esau and Jacob, David and Bathsheba, Ananias and Sapphira, Sanballat and Tobiah, and Judas, to name but a few. Former President Alberto Fujimori of Peru was forced to go on exile after Vladimiro Montesinos, Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional boss and Fujimori's ally, was implicated in corruption-related scandals."

In 2002, Germany''s Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping was replaced for taking payments from a Public Relations consultant with links to the arms industry. In 2004, Alain Juppe, former French Prime Minister, was barred from holding public office for a decade after he was found guilty of corruption. Geoffrey Robinson was suspended for three weeks from the House of Commons over a £200,000 payment from a company owned by Robert Maxwell, a Labour tycoon. And, Illinois' former Governor George Ryan was "convicted over contracts deals leases." Yasser Arafat, Lee Kuan Yew, Rolandas Paksas, Saddam Hussein and Jacob Zuma did not escape the cruel fangs of this heinous crime. In Bangladesh, security and judiciary are costly policies; education is at its ebb and provision of social amenities is as scarce as water in the desert, courtesy of the 'all-pervasive' level of corruption.

On the home front, Nigeria, as we speak, competes favourably with less-endowed countries like Guinea and Guinea Bissau on the Corruption Perception Index. Incidentally, she also ranks as one of the eight countries in the world with the highest rate of trafficking. That is why former President Olusegun Obasanjo deserves commendation for his achievements in his anti-corruption campaigns, notable among which was the establishment of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, (with old, tired and unsung hands in charge); and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, (with youthful-but-now-stigmatized technocrats in control). But, a more important arm like the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, is in sleeping mode, the passive seriousness with which EFCC has been discharging its duties has no doubt left quite a lot of Nigerians with conflicting emotions on how the Commission has suddenly become a presidial assemblage of weak and willing tools in the hands of a cabal. That is how bad the situation has become and one can only wish Buhari well in his efforts to give the anti-graft body a new lease of life.

Life is cheap in Nigeria! Incidentally, her 'your-god-shall-be-my-god' judiciary has become so bastardized that only the rich and the powerful can access justice. The poor and powerless can go to blazes! Have we for once asked why Obasanjo''s ship of anti-corruption war didn't get to the dock before berthing? As a matter of fact, it is not that Nigerians are sinners or that civilized countries are saints. The difference however rests with the rewards and sanctions. For instance, the way China deals with corruption certainly leaves nobody in doubt as to where the country stands in its anticorruption war. But, in Nigeria, it is a different ballgame. In the world we live, when a president told a stunned people that he'd not fight corruption by putting the people behind bars, the people could only marvel at their leader being a poor student of history and International Relations.

The onus therefore lies on APC and Buhari to learn from history and be methodical in preventing Suharto, Marcos and Sese Seko from resurrecting as Nigerians. And, in doing this, that war must –and must be (seen to be) total, not selective. As the party in power, APC must avoid the corruption of "lopsided" appointments but must courageously and creatively identify solutions that reinforce peace and justice. In particular, Buhari must neither play politics to the detriment of policies nor consider doing the needful as a crime. He should understand that posterity, not any transient powers, will hold him responsible for the success or otherwise of the enormous responsibilities bestowed on him by providence.

As a 'converted democrat', Buhari may also need to be reminded that a society without values is a sterile society. Put bluntly, one way of measuring the competence of a progressive party is in its serving as an apostle of laughter where sorrow seems prevalent and succour where soreness appears imminent. Unfortunately, however; and sadly so, majority of Nigeria's political actors are unfeeling in attitude and perfidious in disposition. They are none but mere jutting men camouflaging as democratic heavyweights. They smile with unequalled certitude but revolt inwardly with unenviable exactitude! That has been our lot in Nigeria! Of course, that is why we always gauge the worth of our religious leaders only by the sonorousness of their voices, the flashiness of their cars and the fatness of their Bank Accounts.

The friar of Burnous Aires was said to 'forgive too much' because "Jesus Christ has set a bad example"! A successful and an effective war on corruption demands sanctions that can serve as deterrents. It demands retraining, retooling and re-kitting of our law officers. It involves a reform and a review of relevant laws which must not see government only barking but also biting. Where the existing laws are weak, let them be strengthened; and where they are currently inactive, let them be activated. With the recent stripping of Otto Perez's immunity and his eventual detention, Guatemala has also set a good example for others to follow.

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

020, Okenisa Street,
PO Box 153,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Tel:- +234 803 361 4419 (SMS Only)

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