Nigerian Affairs

“With the downturn in the global prices of oil, we now have to prospect our solid minerals. We have to return to agriculture. Mining and agriculture are our hopes now. We will welcome investments in these areas. We will appreciate an in-flow of more resources and expertise to help us achieve our objective of economic diversification.”President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria speaking to Council of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Indeed, Nigeria has no other choice than to “massively” invest in agriculture and solid minerals so as to address the current oil downturns facing the…
When Wole Soyinka wrote his best seller titled, "The Man Died" nobody but Soyinka himself knew for sure who he was talking about. Most people guessed, however that the fictional character had to be a political leader in Nigeria. When Tom Brokaw, the retired anchor of NBC Television in the United States wrote his book titled, The Greatest Generation" which became an instant best seller in Barnes and Nobles and most bookshops all over the United States we all knew he was thinking of many of the founding fathers of America and certainly not about the current generation of leaders…
That the Nigerian President Buhari travels abroad frequently is beyond doubt. As of the last count PMB has made 16 abroad travels in 8 months in office which is about one travel ever fortnight. He has been to 26 countries and since membership of United Nations is 193 countries it will not be long before he completes his world discovery tours. Why is the president going on these trips? It should be the question not the frequency of the trips. And the answer is the nature of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. He is a lonely and lonesome gentleman who listens to…
Sunday, 21 February 2016 01:53

Can Igbos thrive without belief in God?

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Date: February 20, 2016 To: Daniel Akusobi From: Ozodiobi Osuji Subject: The consequences of godlessness Daniel, I have been following your write ups (at Facebook) regarding the existence or lack of it of God. If I may summarize your take on the subject it is as follows: there seems no evidence that God exists; the world is unfair and some people stick it to others; rich people take wealth that ought to belong to all of us and use it at our expense; in Nigeria, the empire of thieves, a few criminals in government steal all the wealth of the…
Friday, 19 February 2016 04:14

A Word for President Buhari

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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…
A government of change must approach its policies, its budget, and its pronouncement, from a new angle. It should start from thinking outside the box. The 2016 Ministry of Works just announced is a mere new wine in old wine bottles. It is not thinking outside the box. All the roads improvements that will take up to 95% of the budget are roads existing now and those roads are zonal roads. It is why they are perceived as favoring the SW and that perception is fully justified. Take Lagos-Ibadan expressway. It links states in the SW and stops. A comparable…
President Muhammadu Buhari is the custodian of Nigeria’s democracy. He may also be the greatest threat facing that nascent democracy. The pillars of democracy are individual freedoms, rule of law, people’s involvement in the decision making process either directly such as in referendums, or petitions or indirectly through their elected representatives. Any other form of governing that is not built on these pillars is not democracy. I am afraid that this administration is moving away from these fundamental principles. Take the case of Nnamdi Kanu. All the principles have been violated. The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was…
On January 24, 2015, the news came that the Federal Government had hiked the pump price of kerosene, from N50 to N83 per litre. By that, the government has, in fact, removed the "subsidy" on kerosene. Curiously, this new pump price, according to the template released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), applies only to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)'s outlets. In essence, other filling stations in the country are at liberty to sell at varying higher prices. And this they will do in an outrageous manner. Prior to this hike, the official pump price of kerosene…
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 06:06

The Money Laundering Act and its discontents

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Late last month, President Muhammadu Buhari sent two executive bills to the National Assembly that border on the government's commitment to strengthen the fight against corruption. The two bills are the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Bill (2016) and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill (2016). Coming this early in the life of the administration, and in the heat of the government's momentous anti-corruption campaign, the submission of the two bills was not an ordinary government business. It was symbolic; it signposted, to some extent, the future of the war against corruption and the much needed political will…
President Muhammadu Buhari is roaming the world capitals cap-in-hand begging for loans to help fight Boko Haram and to fight corruption. And every once in a while he would mention boost the economy. In these rare occasions where he accepts that the Nigerian economy is in danger, his main focus has been on the two pronged wars he is determined to fight and win. One of the reasons for this posture is that they are what the developed nations want to hear. But are they what Nigeria needs and wants? At what prices? To answer the last question first, the…
"We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe It is appalling to know that Nigerians are now polarised into two main caucuses, which is not even anywhere near political, but rather individualism, and most times bordering on ethnic lines and religious affiliation - the Buharists and the Jonathanians - as if these are the most important situation and life-changing experience we need now. The Buharists, if I may try to define it, are those who the supporters of ex-President Jonathan derogatorily refer to, as those who insist that President…
In the first part of this article, I examined some of the criticisms and weakness of the 2016 FGN Budget presented by President Buhari to the National Assembly on Dec. 22, 2016 which is currently being debated in the National Assembly prior to approval and passage into law as the 2016 Appropriation Act. In this second part, I will make some recommendations to inform the amendment of the Budget and to improve future budgets and the budgeting process. It is my hope that the National Assembly and the Presidency will consider these recommendations as part of Citizens’ input into the…
My first posting in the Federal Civil Service from January 3rd 1968, was to the civilian section of the Federal Ministry of Defense at the Republican Building in Lagos. My title was "Assistant Secretary" in charge of Army Matters. I served briefly under Alhaji Damcida as Permanent Secretary and later on under his successor, the dapper don lawyer from Ilorin named Yusuf Gobir who died a few years later. Prior to that I was the first recipient of the British/Canadian Legion Scholarship first awarded in 1963 to children of the Nigerian veterans of the Second World War in 4 West…
Monday, 08 February 2016 11:58

Requiem for a Hero

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“I was actually in that valley on March 28, 2015. I did not want Nigeria to slide into a theatre of war, with his fellow county men and woman dying, and many more pouring into other nations in Africa and beyond, as refugees. In fact, it became so disturbing that some interest groups in the United States began to predict indeed, many Nigerians did buy into this doomsday prophesy as they began to brace themselves for the worst. As the President, I reminded myself that the Government I led had invested so much effort into building our country. I worked…
Friday, 05 February 2016 13:34

You Need Money? Sambo Dasuki As Prayer Point

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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.…
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 11:37

Concussion (2015 film) is a Nigerian

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Poser: How many Hollywood movies have been made about the lives and achievements of Nigerians who have made one impact or the other on the world stage, with big name actors like Will Smith taking the role of the Nigerian achiever, and Alec Baldwin in a supporting role? I am still struggling to come up with one, but please, if you know of any, kindly correct me. I did not know about this film called Concussion, until a few evenings ago, when my wife and I decided to go and watch a movie, as we usually do most Sunday evenings…
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 19:24

Who succeeds Awolowo between Tinubu & Mimiko?

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I state up front the stark differences between the three dominant tribes of Nigeria and their views on monolithic leadership. The predominantly Muslim Hausa/Fulani come first on that score card in my book. They are closely followed by the predominantly Catholic Igbos of the Southeast. The Yorubas who are more diversified in their religious faith come a distance third If you ask the Hausa/Fulani who was their leader pre and post Nigeria Independence, they would not think twice before they tell you it was Sardauna Ahmadu Bello. The Igbos would tell you it was Ogbuefi Nnamdi Azikiwe. The Yorubas would…
A Review of the 2016 FGN Budget and Recommendations for Improvement: Part 1 By Dr. Emmanuel Ojameruaye The objectives of this article are to analyze the 2016 Budget (Appropriation Bill) of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and` offer recommendations for improvement. In this first part of the article, I will examine some of the weaknesses of the Budget, while in the second part I will make recommendations for amending the Budget before it is approved and signed into law as the 2016 Appropriation Act. Introduction: The 2016 Budget got off to a very rough start. The journey began with…
Saturday, 30 January 2016 18:46

On the gathering Biafran storm

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Apparently Many Igbos Take This Biafra Thing Very Seriously! Ozodi Osuji People are really different! In college (university) I reached the conclusion that all black Africa needed to be united in what I then, and still, called Africa Federation (AF). I visualized one African country encompassing all black Africans, all countries under the Sahara desert (I did not care much for the Arab part of Africa, North Africa). In so far that I had dreams for Africa's glory I imagined how a united Africa can be governed well. Given my wishes, folks like Kwame Nkrumah, Sekeou Toure, Franz Fanon, Aime…
For months His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been shopping for a judge who would do his bidding. He has found one to his liking (See the “The Will Newspaper report below”). Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday refused to grant bail to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and founder of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and his co-accused. The Justice’s reason: While rejecting the bail application of the accused persons, the judge held that they were not entitled to bail as they failed to show that…
By Wednesday, April 1, 2015 when Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 2015 presidential elections, the rainy season was already here with us. And as all keen and informed observers of Nigeria’s power sector were already fully aware, at that particular season each year, we usually witnessed some improvement in electricity supply due to the increase in the water level usually witnessed at our dams; and 2015 was certainly not going to be an exception. While the APC and its supporters were all over the…
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 22:01

The Oluyemi Falae that I know

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I have known Chief Samuel Oluyemi Falae for 60 years. We were born in the same town. He is a few years older than me but a good friend of mine and a man I look up to. I knew him when nobody had any inkling at all he would ever make it to the level he did as a child of Destiny and a star performer from our own neck of the wood in Ondo State. I once wrote to defend Chief Olu Falae on his role in the structural adjustment program of the Ibrahim Babangida's Government many years…
I believe that Boko Haram (BH) is now actually defeated. I know I made fun of the announcement when it was made around December 31st 2015. It was President Muhammadu Buhari's (PMB) deadline for defeating BH. But here it is. We no longer get daily announcements of BH's destruction of lives and property. PMB has redirected his focus to Biafran agitators and threatens to annihilate any uprisings in the Delta Region. His attention is now focused southwards. The defeat of BH calls for more questions. Who defeated BH? How was the defeat accomplished? Is Nigeria now at peace? Who defeated…
Saturday, 23 January 2016 14:29

Can grandiose Igbos govern themselves well?

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Igbos have no historical experience of governing themselves as one political unit. They had village and or town level political units. They have never had Igbo wide governments (except the one imposed on them by the British...before the British they essentially had only the most primitive rudimentary governments, village governments). Generally, each Igbo man is egotistical, grandiose and does not subjugate his ego to obedience to other people. Therefore, it would be very difficult for Igbos to have an Igbo wide government and make it work. Their egos need to first learn to obey laws and live within larger political…
Saturday, 23 January 2016 03:41

Corruption fights back: EFCC vs a reactionary elite

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By Chido Onumah & Godwin Onyeacholem Slowly but steadily, the ultra conservative wing of Nigeria's largely self-absorbed and callous elite is spoiling for a fight. And it's all about the renewed war against corruption which has induced in this group an emotion that can only be described as culture shock. As a result, the unconstructive and clearly combative reaction to a development that ordinarily should be applauded and encouraged by anyone who means well for this country is no less unexpected. Now that it appears that the war against corruption is getting some traction, unlike in the past when only…