December 1, 2013
His political rivals made a pungent remark that “he is a virus in the ruling party” only for the person in question to confirm that he is truly a virus. But when he replied, he simply said that he remained a positive virus. Who is the virus politician? It is the National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who insisted that he was a necessary virus for the entrenchment of democratic culture, discipline and good governance in the party and the country. This reply came in response to the statement of the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who said Tukur must be chased out because of the virus in him. Does anyone pray for another person to contact a virus? Sworn enemies do and that was what exactly happened when Tukur hoped that Lamido would soon catch this necessary virus for the good of the PDP and the country. In a statement issued by his Media Assistant, Mr. Oliver Okpala, Tukur added that “if the virus had spread enough, the likes of Lamido would not have walked out on the president of the country and other party leaders during the party’s last convention”. The bottom line is that virus is virus. Alhaji Tukur keep the modifier, either positive or negative to you.
HOUSE OF REPS MEMBERS AT A SESSION
Developed countries have continued to lecture Nigeria on the way forward for a vibrant economy. That’s not surprising when China identified four evils bedevilling Nigeria as feudalism which it stressed promotes indiscipline, extravagance and corruption, poor leadership and party system as well as weak institutions. A top official disclosed this to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, during the latter’s visit to the Foreign Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, China. Mr. Ai Ping, the Vice Minister, International Department of CPC Central Committee, told the PDP Chairman that the ability of China to conquer the four evils with capacity to limit the progress of any country was the reason his country has risen from poverty to prosperity, all within a period of 40 years. Mr. Ping also urged Nigeria to take a cue from sister countries like Ethiopia and South Africa, which had made progress-oriented reforms. Mr Ping boasted that “In China, we always have more solutions than problems. All the changes we have had in China came through reforms and reforms should be an ongoing process. So, China and Nigeria can forge strong partnership while exploring areas of cooperation which would be beneficial to the two.” Alhaji Tukur, you don hear and act but do that responsibly. Let the aspect regarding China’s capacity to limit other countries progress sink into your head.
It was Olusegun Agagu, then DejiFalae and now Deji of Akure, all indigenes of Ondo State. Death seems unstoppable as it claimed the life of Oba Adebiyi AdegboyeAdesida (1950 – 2013), Afunbiowo II, who joined his ancestors at 63. The traditional leader, who was also the Chairman, Council of Oba in Ondo State died at about 2.00am on this day after battling with medical complications which might have been caused by lung infection. The Sao of Akure, Chief Moses Adebayo made a formal announcement of the passing away of the Deji. Following the development, the popular Oja Oba Market, on the Oba Adesida market, has since been closed according to tradition and may not be opened until a regent is installed.
December 2, 2013
Social media has its good ways too. Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole employed a widow, Mrs. Joy Ifijeh, whom he upbraided penultimate week, and whose goods were seized by men of the War Against Indiscipline for obstructing traffic on Mission Road in Benin City. The governor announced the job offer to the woman, in addition to a N2m grant for her to get a shop and trade during a breakfast meeting with her at the Government House. He disclosed that her job would be to join the state’s War Against Indiscipline in the campaign against street trading and to keep the state clean. The governor, who again apologised the widow said “When you put your goods on the road, a vehicle can run into you. Some people have been killed in that manner. I am really sorry.” This incident came after the video of the “go-and-die” statement went viral on social media. Perhaps the governor couldn’t take the embarrassment anymore. Anyway, some women might trade on the roadside and pray for the governor’s visit. Well, sha Mrs. Ifijeh, the widow thanked the governor for the gesture and promised that she would be part of the fight to keep Benin City clean.
December 3, 2013
The Federal Government claimed it had deposited the N200bn promised as funding to universities in an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Senior Special Assisitant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. DoyinOkupe and the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, said the amount is for the renewal of infrastructure in the nation’s public universities. Okupe, on his own part said everything that needed to be done has been done. According to him, many of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities have been agreed upon at the 13-hour meeting the union had with President Goodluck Jonathan which ended in the early hours of October 4. “At the end of that meeting, the government proposed that everything that has been agreed should be put in a Memorandum of Understanding and that the two parties should sign. But the leadership of ASUU declined and said instead of that, they would rather have a letter expressing everything that has been resolved therein, and that will suffice for them.” He stressed as always that the attitude of the ASUU leadership showed that the seed of discord and evidence of bad faith already existed. But I don’t think that was necessary. “It is unfortunate that somebody died but notwithstanding, that cannot be a justification for delaying the implementation of an agreement for 21 or more days”, he said, can you hear that, I comment my reserve. Okojie, in his own perspective said the money had been deposited in CBN. Further that the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had confirmed to him that the money had been deposited in the CBN. But that was just an ear say, I think eye saw is better.
December 4, 2013
The funeral ceremony for the late Prof. Festus Iyayi began on this day in Benin, with a solidarity march by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and civil society groups. Members of ASUU in their hundreds from other universities joined their colleagues in University of Benin to pay their last respects to the late Iyayi. The march which began at about 10am, included five kilometres walk to the residence of the late professor. Addressing the participants at the residence of late Iyayi, the chairman of ASUU, UNIBEN chapter, Dr. Tony Monye-Emina described the deceased as one of the country’s number one fallen heroes and a hero of ASUU struggles. Monye-Emina said the march was the beginning of activities to mark the exit of the late professor. Also, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) addressed the crowd as he vowed that recklessness on the roads by government officials was brought to an end and he has been mandated by ASUU and Iyayi family members to challenge the ‘murder’ of Iyayi in court. On the ASUU strike then, Chairman ASUU, TASUED chapter, Dr. Adebayo Akinsanya said “We are fighting this cause for posterity and for the future of education in this country; we are confident that we will win”.
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) said about 362,112 public officers are yet to declare their assets, as stipulated by the code for public officers. This disclosure was made by chairman of the bureau, Sam Saba in Abuja during the 2013 ministerial press briefing, where he gave an account of the bureau between 2011 and 2013. He said about 867,378 assets declaration form were issued to public officers, with only 505,266 duly returned while the remaining officers don’t give a damn about it. Of those that returned theirs, only 5,208 were verified among which were those by ministers, governors, deputy governors, commissioners, secretaries to state governments and other top officials of federal, states and local governments. Mr. Saba further revealed that 278 petitions were received from the public, with 67 investigated, 96 closed, 40 kept in view and none referred to the tribunal. The CCB boss, however, warned public officers who failed to honour their invitations for verification of their assets to comply, if they had nothing to hide or otherwise, they would forward such cases to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for prosecution. Saba also raised alarm over security threat to asset verification officers of the agency by probably ‘I don’t give a damn’ public officers who could have made anticipatory declarations. He further stated that lack of project vehicles and poor funding were challenges confronting his organisation.
CHAIRMAN OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT BUREAU, Mr SAM
December 5, 2013
After several rumoured news of his death, the great Madiba finally passes on. One of the most revered statesmen in Africa, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. In a statement broadcast by South African Presdient, Jacob Zuma who announced Mandela’s death reads in part “Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause. This is the moment of our deepest sorrow. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Yet, what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.” Definitely, the death of a global citizen like Mandela generated millions of condolences from world leaders, well-known icons and even ordinary individuals who have heard of the name, Mandela. Here in Nigeria, political leaders made remarkable comments of his struggles and what he stood for. President Goodluck Jonathan described Mandela’s death as the loss of one of history’s “greatest liberators”. He said, “Mandela was a source of inspiration to the oppressed peoples all over the world. His death will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent. The indefatigable spirit which he demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations”. Similarly, prominent political officers in the country made this kind of noteworthy statement, but the question arose there from, who is Africa’s next or better still Nigeria’s Mandela? As the Great Madiba joins the Pan-African ancestors, we voice that he should inform Dennis Brutus that under the jackboots of our own African leaders we now live and that there is no sun on this rubble after rain. Papa Africa, do tell Achebe that everything has fallen apart and things are no longer at ease. Great Madiba lives on. Rest in Peace…
December 6, 2013
And the fans’ prayer has been answered as Nigeria was not drawn with the dreaded football team, Brazil. Instead, the African champions were drawn alongside two-time world champions’ Argentina, Iran and newcomers, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The four countries were collectively placed in Group F at the final draw held in CostadoSauipe, Bahia, Brazil. From Diego Maradona to Gabriel Batistuta and now Lionel Messi, Nigeria have never had it smooth with Argentina at the World Cup level, losing to the South Americans by the odd-goal 2-1 at USA’94 World Cup, 1-0 at South Korea/Japan 2002 and 1-0 at South Africa 2010. However, Nigeria’s assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi, says he is happy to draw Argentina once again, saying Iran and Bosnia were the teams which could spring surprises. For Nigeria’s head coach, Stephen Keshi screamed “Argentina again? There is no easy group. I think they are the ones to be worried about us this fourth time”. The Super Eagles will open their campaign against Iran on June 16 and take on debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina five days later. Nigeria will complete their group assignment on June 25 against Messi’s Argentina. Super Eagles, soar higher!
Why so much denial of rights in an institution which should raise people to fight for the right of others? Or “Why pay so much for no comfort at all”. Why apprehensions like these emerged could be traced to the suffering and smiling lifestyle of students in Nigerian Law School. As gathered from a reliable source, each student in the law school paid N295,000 as school fees for a session. The breakdown of the amount should pay for tuition, accommodation and medicare among others. With a current student population of 5,500 across the six campuses in Nigeria and each paying N295, 000, the Nigerian Law School must have raked in over N1.6bn from the intakes!. The routine of a student in the Nigerian Law School goes thus: A student must be in class before eight to start the thumb-printing exercise for class attendance which usually takes an hour 30 minutes; settles down in an over tired air-conditioner, poorly-ventilated and over-crowded lecture hall at 9am; take a 30minutes break at 12:30; stop lecture at 2:30pm and queue for another one and half hours to thumb print again. Leaves the lecture hall by 4pm. That’s for the learning condition that seems truly and very poor. How about accommodation, water, electricity, security and medical care? Hmmnn, the revelations are gory! On Lagos campus currently, 10 students occupy two rooms and share one toilet and bathroom. What of students replicating the lives of destitute as they dwell in uncompleted buildings or shelter. For water, Enugu and Kano campuses’ situation are worth revealing. Taps don’t run in the hostels rather most students employ the services of ‘Mai ruwa’ to fetch water. Even at that, such water aren’t safe for drinking. For power supply, “the school will only put on the generator for three hours in the evening after which we are left to manage ourselves”, Magi, a female student reported. Apart from the gates manned by some corporate security guards, the Law School appeared not to live with the reality of the current security demands in the country. Since students have no identity cards, it was easy to get into the campus and mingle with them without anyone suspecting. What is more? You could never imagine a student fainting as a result of overcrowding in the class and yet could not be treated by the school clinic. Instead, she was rushed to a private hospital for medical attention. Students purchase drugs with their money as the clinic could not boast of drugs requested by students. Fainting occurs occasionally in the lecture theatre. Hmmnnn, the plight of students in Nigerian Law School deserves attention but the culture of silence and intimidation on their campuses remains an obstacle to alter the status-quo. Students are wronged with threats of not graduating or ‘not-fit’ to be called to the bar should they stage a protest or talk about such worrisome conditions. What an irony in an environment advocating for justice and sanity!
December 7, 2013
UTME forms are on sale, we must make our money irrespective of ASUU strike. The Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Prof. DibuOjerinde explained that despite the ongoing strike action by members of ASUU, the activities of the board would not be affected, especially as it concerns the sale of forms for 2014 Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Prof. Ojerinde made the disclosure while responding to questions on why JAMB embarked on sale of forms when the last batch of successful candidates were yet to secure admissions into the universities, said the strike would not deter JAMB from its sale of forms, noting that the universities would know how to handle the situation. “JAMB cannot wait for the universities that are on strike; after all, private universities will also have to admit and we cannot stop the exam unless we don’t want private universities to admit”, Prof Ojerinde said. It would be recalled that the UTME platform had collapsed matriculation examinations into universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, another reason advanced by JAMB for the sales of JAMB forms despite the strike by universities. To prospective university students, you better be decisive in your choice of institution. Calendars of some universities have been seriously altered and thousands might not be admitted.
December 8, 2013
Nigeria has no great politicians, so said the number one political animal of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan. Don’t blame him; he tried to be sincere for the first time in office. He did not exempt himself from that category but one thing I certainly need to ask him is if he is only ascribing his comments to the present politicians or he also engaged the past and late politicians. Those you already know, the real nationalists, so, no debate, no arguments. He made this statement at a memorial service organized at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja, in honour of the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95. The president observed that it would be easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for Nigerian politicians to be truly great in the mould of the late African statesman. “We intimidate, we threaten, we show hate in our communication. These are not the virtues of great men. They are certainly the vices of tiny men”, thank God you know.
December 9, 2013
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal has said President Goodluck Jonathan is encouraging corruption in Nigeria with the ways he is handling corruption cases exposed to him by the National Assembly. The Speaker, while responding to questions after he presented a paper entitled: ‘The role of legislature in the fight against corruption in Nigeria” at a one-day roundtable to mark the international anti-corruption day, organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja said ‘The President’s body language seems to be encouraging corrupt practices in the country”. According to him, “Take the subsidy probe, the pension, the SEC probe and recently the bulletproof cars case. After the House of Representatives did a diligent job by probing and exposing the cases, you now see something else when it comes to prosecution.” He said the president has no business in setting up committees or duplicating efforts to other anti-graft agencies when the straightforward corruption cases arise. The House of Representatives boss remarked that “For us In Nigeria, the reality that no greater challenge than corruption confronts us as a people is not in controversy” and submitted that “The lower chamber of the federal legislative body is currently working on some proposals for the reform of laws regulating the activities of anti-graft agencies with a view to reinforcing the independence of the agencies administering these laws including their mode of constitution and disbandment. I wish, therefore to call on members of the NBA and indeed all Nigerians to prepare to buy into these reforms by making their inputs now or when the time comes for public hearings”.