Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

NIGERIA-ONE YEAR OF BUHARI-A SUPPLEMENT -illustration-courtesy:Glitter Graphics

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NIGERIA: ONE YEAR OF BUHARI – A Supplement.

– THE ISSUES; THE VOICES – FOR THOUGHT

GRAPHIC COVER FEATURE-nigerian-girl-with-flag

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Stop complaining about Crude price, Jonathan left you $30b, Obasanjo tells Buhari

 PointBlankNews  Reporter

March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Ex President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked President MuhammaduBuhari to stop using dwindling crude prices for lack of performance.

According to Obasanjo, he met worse when he took power in 1999, but made the best of it.

He reminded Buhari that unlike his administration that met a paltry $3.7 billion, in the coffers, Goodluck Jonathan left behind a whooping $30 billion.

He said “When I assumed office in 1999, I inherited $3.7 billion in reserve, while Buhari met $30 billion, almost 10 times of what I met then, and the price of oil then was $9. When it got to $20, I was dancing. know the price is down now and with time, it will jump up again. What Buhari is doing currently is preparing ground for Nigeria to take advantage when it goes up again.”

Obasanjo expressed angst against those asking him to account for recovered Abacha loot, describing them as illiterates and silly people.

Obasanjo, who stated this in an interview, weekend, said the role of his office was to facilitate the recovery process and not how it was put to use.
He said: “They said the money recovered from Abacha, I should account for it. What stupidity! The man who asked for it, the man who gave the judgement or who answered them are all silly, with due respect.

“I don’t keep account, all Abacha loots were sent to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and every bit of it was reported to Minister of Finance. My job was to write where we can get help to recover the money.

“Every penny that comes out of it went to CBN, so if they want to know what happened to the money, they should call CBN governor or call the Minister of Finance.

“But again, it shows ignorance, total ignorance, which is lacking and you wonder, are these people educated? They can also approach the man who helped us in recovering process to give the list of
money recovered and where he took it.

                     ***               ***               ***

The Nigerian State is heading for the rocks, please re-direct her – OKOGIE pleads

Archbishop Emeritus of CatholicArchdiocese of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, yesterday urgedPresident MuhammaduBuhari to return to his inaugural address to the nation, incorporate his ruling party’s blueprint and redirect the ship ofstate or risk a revolution.

“The swearing in of the APC government last year was perceived as a major milestone in the people’s quest for positivechange and improvement in their quality of life. But a year later, thousands of workers are being laid off every day, the value of the Naira is falling drastically, while many states are owing their workers many months of unpaid salaries,”

Okogie told newsmen in his Archbishop’s Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, as part of preparations for his 80th birthday and his 50th priestly ordination anniversary.“There is a popular saying that tojaw jaw is better than to war war,I am aware that the Niger Delta Avengers have reeled out a number of conditions to be met before ceasing further attacks onoil installations. I am equally aware that President Buhari has vowed to deal decisively with themilitants,” he maintained, addingthat just a few day ago, the Nigerian military stormed Gbaramatu Kingdom in search of ex-militant, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

“While condemning the disruption of our oil facilities under any guise, I equally want to, stress that the use of military force is not a solution,” Okogie said, insisting that option of military would only worsen an already bad situation.

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COVER FEATURE.

THIS IS NIGERIA – HEART Of The EARTH

As the Buhari Administration Marks One Year in office, wither Nigeria?

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N I G E R I A
The Package; the Problem; the Prospect
NIGERIA. At first glance, you see a wobbling setting with Deficiencies under 3 major Umbrellas:
* Corrupted SOCIAL fabric,
* Corrupted, Misguided POLITY,
* Lack of SPIRITUAL Consciousness
These deficiencies are skin-deep only; top soil stuff. And just as the “liquid gold” flows in abundance deep under the Nigerian soil (the solid gold is not left out – it abounds in Ilesha etc), so it is that under Nigeria’s skin lies a formidable Inner Golden core of physical, material and Spiritual strength and significance.
The 3rd. Surface Deficiency is the key. The Spirit controls the Physical. In Creation, what is NOT SEEN is much more in quantity and in essence than what is SEEN.
What you see of Nigeria is an infinitesimal fraction of the true Total NIGERIA behind the veil. From the shaky, sometimes ignoble structure and carriage, will emerge, in the fullness of time, the real NIGERIA of her original Divine status, power and consequence – to the world.
When the 3rd Deficiency is righted (AND THE KEY TO RIGHT IT IS INSIDE THE NIGERIAN), and when Nigeria’s Spiritual repository is positively and adequately activated and orientated, ALL other Deficiencies will be righted:
– Honest, God-fearing Leaders of Good Purpose emerge;
– All resources are judiciously harnessed for the peoples benefit
– The average Nigerian backs up his Hard work with Honesty of purpose;
– The average Nigerian believes in, and loves himself and his motherland;
Nigeria becomes the Greatest Nation on Earth!
****** ****** ******
THIS IS NIGERIA

*** THE PACKAGE

LOCATION
Nigeria is in West Africa. The geographic coordinates are: 10 00 N, 8 00 E. Nigeria’s borders are: Niger Republic on the North; Cameroon on the East;the Atlantic Ocean on the South; Benin on the West.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Official Name :Federal Republic of Nigeria
Capital: Abuja; note – on 12 December 1991 the capital was officially transferred from Lagos to Abuja in central Nigeria; most federal government offices have now made the move to Abuja (estimated population 310,000 in 1998). Lagos is the former capital (population 7.1m; 1999 estimate). Lagos remains the country’s Commercial capital

STRUCTURE
36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory (Abuja). The states are: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara

ETHNIC GROUPS
There are more than 250 distinct ethnic groups in Nigeria, making it one of the world’s most ethnically diverse societies

LANGUAGES
English (official); Major languages are Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Fulani. There are over 200 other languages and dialects.

RELIGIONS
Major ones are Muslim and Christian, both of which account for about 80 % of the population. Other indigenous beliefs about 15%.

NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
MINERAL RESOURCES
Petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, natural gas.
LAND & CLIMATE
LAND
Total Area: 923,770 sq. km. / 356,700 sq. miles
Total Land Area: 910,770 sq. km. / 351650 sq. miles (the rest is water)
TRINITY SETTING IN NIGERIA.
The names of the major rivers that flow through Nigeria are the river Niger (which is where Nigeria gets it’s name), and the river Benue.
TAKE SPIRITUAL NOTICE HOW THE TWO MAJOR RIVERS – NIGER AND BENUE FORM A THREE-PRONGED STAR AND DIVIDING THE NIGERIAN LAND SPACE INTO THREE REGIONS. NORTH, EAST AND WEST.
The ‘end’ region where the Niger river meets the ocean is commonly referred to as ‘Delta’.

POPULATION
Estimated at 170 million. It is the most populated country in Africa. Its population is extremely diverse with well over 250 ethnic groups, some numbering fewer than 10,000 people. Ten ethnic groups including Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo, Kanuri, Tiv, Edo, Nupe, Ibibio and Ijaw account for nearly 70% of the total population.

The Federation of Nigeria achieved independence on 1st. October 1960.

NIGERIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM

  1. Arise, O compatriots,
    Nigeria’s call obey
    To serve our fatherland
    With love and strength and faith
    The labor of our heroes past
    Shall never be in vain
    To serve with heart and might
    One nation bound in freedom,
    Peace and unity.

2.Oh God of creation,
Direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youths the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign
.
Before Nigeria’s independence, the British National anthem was used at festivals and official ceremonies. Shortly before independence, a new anthem, written by two British ladies, was adopted as the new anthem. This was then again changed in 1978 to the above. The National Publicity Committee organized a competition for a new national anthem. The final words (listed above) were formed from the entries of the best five picks: John A Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B A Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P. O. Aderibigbe. The music was composed by Nigerian Police Band, headed by Ben Odiase.
THE NATIONAL PLEDGE

I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful, loyal and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory
So help me God
.
***

THE PROBLEM

POST INDEPENDENCE

THE FIRST REPUBLIC
Between 1960 and 1966, Nigeria was under civilian rule. Tafawa Balewa of NPC continued as the federal Prime Minister also becoming Minister for foreign affairs and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of NCNC succeeded the pre-independence Governor-General-representing the British monarch as head of state. This continued until October 1963 when the country adopted a revised constitution and Dr. Azikiwe took office as Nigeria’s first President. The major problems that confronted the federal government within the period were threats to federal unity evidenced by ethnic rivalry, factionalism and the desire for autonomy within the federal system. This led to the formation of various political groupings and political alliances.
ERA OF MILITARY COUPS
The period between 1966 to 1979 was characterised by military intervention, takeovers and civil war.

THE CIVIL WAR
The Nigerian Civil war erupted in 1967 when the military governor of the Eastern Region, Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu announced the secession of the Eastern Region and proclaimed its independence as the ‘Republic of Biafra’ on May 30 of the same year. During the civil war, military casualties reached an estimated 1,000,000. Biafran civilians died mainly from starvation as a result of the federal blockade.

POST-WAR ERA: THE 3 R’S
– RECONSTRUCTION, RECONCILIATION AND REHABILITATION.
A 12-state structure proposed by Gen. Gowon -intended to produce larger representation for ethnic groups other than the big three- came into effect in April 1968 and after the cease-fire in January 1970, East Central State was reintegrated into Nigeria.

Coups and Counter coups continued till 1979.

THE SECOND REPUBLIC
The second republic headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari spanned the period 1979-83.

DEATH OF THE 2ND. REPUBLIC
THE MILITARY BACK IN POWER
Presiding, nevertheless, over a country that was more bitterly divided than it had been at the inception of the second republic, Shagari was deposed in a bloodless military coup, led by Maj.-Gen. Muhammed Buhari-a former military governor of Borno and federal commissioner for petroleum during 1976-78- on December 31, 1983.

This signaled off another series of Military interregnum till 1999.
THE ABORTED THIRD REPUBLIC
NIGERIA BECOMES A PARIAH STATE
In the hope of restoring the country back to civilian rule, the AFRC created two new political parties: the National Republican Convention (NRC) led by Bashir Tofa from northern Nigeria and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) led by Chief Kashimawo Olawale Moshood Abiola, from the southwest, both, wealthy businessmen. The imposition provoked wide spread criticism. The SDP, led by the late Chief Moshood Abiola, obtained majority votes in the June 12 1993 presidential elections. Nevertheless, Nigerian’s hopes for a return to civilian rule were dashed when the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the results of the national elections after votes were counted.

GEN. ABACHA’S DEATH
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC
General Abacha’s death in June 1998 was seen as a blessing in disguise as the country under a transitional government of Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar organized hasty Elections and handed over power to a democratically elected government under the leadership of former military head of state, Retired General Olusegun Obasanjo. Since then, the country has embarked on a series of reforms geared towards the consolidation of democracy and for that matter, good governance.

OBASANJO WEATHERED THROUGH
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo again won the 2003 General Elections and ruled for his second term in office to 2007, giving way to the emergence of Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua as the President at the 2007 General Elections.

THE MILESTONE: FIRST CIVILIAN–CIVILIAN HANDOVER
The 2007 Elections were the first in Nigeria in which political power was successfully transferred from one civilian Administration to another civilian Administration. Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was sworn in as Nigeria’s Executive President on 29 May 2007.

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the country’s Vice President ably stepped in on behalf of his sick boss and immediately President Yar’Adua was buried,

ECONOMY
An Overview
Nigeria has a dual economy with a modern segment dependent on oil earnings, overlaid by a tottering neglected traditional agricultural and trading economy. At independence in 1960 agriculture accounted for well over half of GDP, and was the main source of export earnings and public revenue. The oil sector, which emerged in the 1960’s and was firmly established during the 1970’s, is now of overwhelming importance to the point of over-dependence: it provides about 30% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 70% of budgetary revenues. Competition between ethnic and regional groups for power and access to the country’s oil wealth are increasing in intensity to date.

NIGERIA-POOR AMIDST HUGE RESOURCES
The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter, now imports food. Based on GNP per capita, Nigeria is among the world’s 20 poorest countries. Economic growth since the early 1970’s has been erratic, driven primarily by the fluctuations of the global oil market. During the 1980’s and 1990’s Nigeria faced growing economic decline and falling living standards, a reflection also of political instability, corruption, and poor macroeconomic management (most notably the failure to diversify the economy).

AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY & FISHING
This sector has suffered a relative decline because of the dominance of oil in the economy, but it still accounts for 33% of GDP (1997) and provides employment, both formal and informal, for a large majority of the population. Attempts to revive agriculture have been insincere and largely unsuccessful. Arable potential has been put at 25% of total area, of which about 12% is cultivated.

INDUSTRY AND MANUFACTURING
The industrial sector contributed 4.8% to GDP in 1998 and employed 8 % of the workforce. Emphasis has shifted towards more low-cost, integrated, high value-added industries which rely on local rather than imported raw materials and capital goods, and on shifting production away from Lagos. Although it has benefited since 1985 from lower exchange rates, industry is still vulnerable because of the high proportion of imports among its inputs. Manufacturing is dominated by light consumer goods and is oriented towards import substitution. The adverse general situation in the country and low demand has pushed the estimated capacity utilization rate below 30%.

MINING AND SEMI-PROCESSING
Nigeria used to be one of the largest producers of tin in the world, with production based around the highland district of Jos. Production collapsed from an average of 10,000 tonnes per year in the 1970s to 300 tonnes in 1995. Tin reserves are estimated at 16,000 tonnes. Independent estimates place iron ore reserves at 800 million tonnes, averaging 37 % metal content. Iron ore mining began in 1984 and 1989 reported a stockpile of over 500,000 tonnes. By 1997, it was unlikely that iron output was more than 50,000 tonnes per year. Iron ore deposits are being exploited with the long-term aim of supplying the requirements of the national steel industry. Deposits of uranium, lead, zinc, tungsten and gold are not yet exploited.

There are 65 sites in Nigeria where gold has been located. By mid-1999, field appraisals had recommended nine as being ready for exploitation.
The petroleum sector is the mainstay of the economy, contributing about 30% to annual GDP, about 70% to government revenues and accounting for virtually all foreign exchange earnings.

At end-1998, total oil reserves were estimated at 22.5bn barrels, sufficient to give close to another 30 years of output.
Nigeria ranks as the sixth largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and by far the largest in Africa.
Proven and probable reserves of natural gas stood at 3.5 trillion cu metres (124 trillion cu feet) at end-1998 – making Nigeria’s deposit one of the largest in the world. Natural gas production in 1998 was 5.2bn cu metres (184.6bn cu feet), a rise of 0.9 % on 1997 output. The US$569m Escravos gas project became Nigeria’s first gas exporter in 1997. A West African gas pipeline, at an estimated cost of US$260m is planned, which will supply natural gas from the Escravos field to Togo, Benin and Ghana.
The US$4bn Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Scheme, Africa’s single biggest engineering project, started producing liquefied natural gas at the plant at Bonny Island, near Port Harcourt, in 1999, then civil unrest in the Niger Delta region interrupted production.

GOVERNMENT FINANCE AND FISCAL POLICY

Since 1995 the governments have been making moves towards deregulation of the economy, privatization and exchange-rate reforms. The two-tier exchange rate system was abolished by the government in January 1999 and the price of petrol was reduced by 20%; in May 1999 a bill was passed to pave the way for the privatization of major utilities. But the country remains at crossroads in its economic policies, facing a choice between further liberalization and greater reliance on the private sector, or remaining dependent on the public sector. Nigeria’s wide-ranging privatization scheme was behind schedule, it had failed to reach agreed policy targets set with the IMF. Opposition due to the loss of sources of patronage is considered to be an important factor in the slow pace of privatization.
In January 2001 the government announced a new poverty reduction programme– the Poverty Eradication Scheme– to which US$231m was allocated. Poverty Alleviation Programmes  introduced by some regimes had fallen far short of its aim to create a total of 200,000 new jobs. Meanwhile, the struggle to reduce the fiscal deficit and restore macroeconomic stability.

HEALTH – FACILITATOR FOR WEALTH
Provision of services is generally poor and has worsened in recent years. Figures for social indicators have likewise deteriorated in recent years: Nigeria is now among the world’s poorest nations, with GDP per head of US$883, measured at PPP, in 2000, compared with an average for low-income countries of US$2,030. Life expectancy at birth is 51.6 years. Nigeria is placed 148 on the Human Development Index for 2002.
SECURITY SITUATION
The major threat to Nigeria in terms of its security situation, bar minor border disputes, lies in its fragile political and economic unity. This is exacerbated by the twin factors of wide-spread poverty on the one hand and an abundance of oil in the territory on the other – both of which factors lead to an intense competition for resources between Nigerians and foreigners alike. But a new wave of terrorism was unleashed on Nigeria by the Boko Haram sect which has killed thousands of Nigerians in cold blood.
Whilst much of the political intrigue in Nigerian politics is contained within the framework of Nigeria’s federalist politics, potentially strong destabilizing influences exist within the broader fabric of Nigerian society.

FURTHER MILITARY INTERVENTION UNLIKELY
The possibility of a further Military coup d’état in Nigeria seems unlikely in future, as Democracy celebrated 17 Years of uninterrupted existence (1999 – 2016). The armed forces have, in a very real sense, grown “coup weary” and the shape of the political landscape does not lend itself to the successful installation of a military government. It seems more likely that ethnic, religious and regional tensions will persist, that these will play themselves out in a bloody manner on an intermittent basis, but it is hoped that the influence of central government and the emerging middle ground of Nigerian politics will make the dissolution of Federal Nigeria a remote possibility.

*** THE PROSPECTS
The world never relents in broadcasting it from the roof-tops!: That NIGERIA. Is a wobbling state with Deficiencies under 3 major Umbrellas:
– Corrupted SOCIAL fabric,
– Corrupted, Misguided POLITY,
– Lack of SPIRITUAL Consciousness …
Before you begin to write off Nigeria as a Failed state and shed tears for Nigerians as a doomed people, take a look at some factual citations which form part of the Inner personalities of Nigeria, Motherland Nigeria – the Heart of the Earth:
• Nigeria is the sixth largest oil exporter in the world (How much do we earn from oil alone each single day?!).

  • Nigeria has the second largest deposit of Bitumen in the world (second only to Canada)
  • Nigeria could be the third largest exporter of gas in the world (reserves greater than that of oil)
  • Nigeria could be the largest producer of palm produce in the world (That honour today belongs to Malaysia which picked her first palm oil seeds from Nigeria in the 1960s).
  • Nigeria could be the World’s Number one producer of cocoa (That position belongs to Brazil today)
  • Nigeria has one of the World’s largest expanse of cultivable land area coupled with conducive, Agriculture-friendly climate all year round
  • Nigeria has one of the most physically and intellectually enterprising assemblage of peoples the world over (Nigerian scientists continue to make waves on the world scene, while at home, entrepreneurs are working hard, toiling day and night…)

THOSE RESOURCES ARE REAL AND THERE – WAITING FOR THE DIVINELY-INSPIRED, ANOINTED LEADING HAND TO PUT TO USE. Now, cast your inner eye ahead and see the fullness of time when it shall come to pass and we have a ‘LEE KUAN YEW’ emerge at the helm of affairs as Leader in Motherland Nigeria to take a bold grip of, and marshal the Material, Human and Spiritual resources in the land, manifesting the greatest good for the greatest number of people! (To refresh your memory, Lee Kuan Yew was the legendary leader of Singapore who in 31 years transformed his country a poor, Third World nation which has no natural resources into a prosperous, stable First World nation).

“NIGERIA – Great Nation; Happy People”. The one who made that declaration is not seeing the present political stage and actors, BUT already seeing a ; LEE KUAN YEW’ at the Driver’s seat of the Nigerian ship of state; he is not seeing the wobbling and fumbling, but seeing the Divinely-inspired bold grip of a visionary leader(s) on the resources for the greatest good for the greatest number of Nigerians; he is not seeing the National Deficiencies, but looking beyond it; he is seeing the nation’s complete metamorphosis to the Desired state. He is not seeing a population deep in Religion with no Righteousness, but looking beyond that to Nigerians becoming Spiritually conscious – faithful to their gospel; reaping the full blessings.
“NIGERIA – Great Nation; Happy People”. The one who made that declaration is not seeing the present political stage with the actors, BUT seeing a LEE KUAN YEW in action; he is not seeing the National Deficiencies, but looking beyond it; he is seeing the nation’s complete metamorphosis to the Desired state. He is not seeing a population deep in Religion with no Righteousness, but looking beyond that to Nigerians becoming Spiritually conscious – faithful to their gospel, and reaping the full blessings thereof.

“Great nation; Happy people!”. And you better not snigger! The speaker is not seeing disillusioned Nigerians wallowing in poverty and near despair in the midst of plenty. He is seeing the emergence of hundreds of thousands more of the Murtala Muhammed, Obafemi Awolowo, Emeagwali, Wole Soyinkas, Prof. Awojobi, Pastor E. A. Adeboyes, M.K.O. Abiolas, Mike Adenugas, Kanu Nwankwos, Gani Fawehinmi, Aliko Dangotes…And he is seeing the remaining millions of Nigerians on the streets comfortable with full access to the essentials of civilized living – with full opportunities, fulfilled and happy.
THE PEOPLE – INDUSTRIOUS, RESOURCEFUL, OUTSTANDING
Nigerians are one of the most resourceful in the world. One of the most physically and intellectually enterprising assemblage of peoples the world over (Nigerian students, scientists, sportsmen, and other professionals, continue to make waves on the world scene, while at home, entrepreneurs are working hard, toiling day and night…)
Nigerians are found in every country of the world – studying and working. And wherever they are, many of them make their mark – spectacular, positive marks.

In many countries where many Nigerians excel, they are better known, appreciated and revered by their host-nations than they are by their own countrymen at home (Most Nigerians at home do not even know these outstanding, world-acclaimed Nigerians exist!)

Professor Wole Soyinka in 1986 emerged the first African and black worldwide to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He won it outright: he did not share it with anyone else.
In the same 1986 that Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature, another Nigerian creative writer, Professor Chinua Achebe emerged third position (Second Runner-Up) in the same Literature Nobel Price race. Professor Chinua Achebe is one of the world’s most respected authors, with his first novel, Things Fall Apart having enjoyed translation into about 50 modern languages between 1958 and 2008. In 1989, Dr. Philip Emeagwali won the highly coveted Gordon Bell Prize for developing the fastest computer software in the world. The prize (equivalent to the Nobel Prize) is the most prestigious in the computer industry worldwide’. Do not forget also, Professor Chike Obi, Uthman Dan Fodio, Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Bishop Ajayi Crowther…Nigeria won the very first Under-17 FIFA World Soccer Championship in 1985. Nigeria was the first African nation to win the Soccer gold in the Olympics (Atlanta ’96). The list is endless. These are the Nigerians of the Spirit and Body of Nigeria. These encapsulate the Nigeria in every Nigeria

NIGERIAN MANUFACTURES TELEPHONE HANDSETS
On September 8th. 2009, it was reported in the media that the world now has a Made In Nigeria mobile handsets. Federal Minister of Information and Communications Professor Dora Akunyili was a proud official at the historic occasion. The Nokia and Samsung of this world watch out!

CHRISTIANS IN ARDENT, SUSTAINED PRAYER FOR NIGERIA
Nigeria has been going through tribulations since independent in 1960. Manipulation and Suppression of the popular will of the people in Elections; Military coups and counter-coups; a bitter civil war; annulment of the peoples’ popular mandate; oppression and deprivation of the masses, making them paupers in the midst of economic plenty; glaring corruption in every facet of social life… Now there has been countries which had blown up and disintegrated in the face of tribulations which were not half as provoking as Nigeria’s. You had not thought of WHAT it is that has sustained Nigeria, the heart of the Earth through them all? Well, it is the PRAYERS of Christians.

SPECIAL INDEPENDENCE 2009 PRAYER
I can reveal to you that all members of the The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Worldwide embarked on a special Fasting and prayer session from September 28 to October 4, 2009 FOR NIGERIA. The General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye (Nigeria’s Number One Living Legend) made the charge to members at the September 4, 2009 Holy Ghost Service. The general population of members embarked on the Fasting and Prayer session for SEVEN days breaking at 6p.m. each day. But the Church officials will have an all out, FIVE-day uninterrupted Fast-Prayer session from 29th. September to 3rd. October, 2009.
Nigeria’s glorious dawn would come sooner than the world expects.

GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S TRANSFORMATION AGENDA
President Goodluck Jonathan won the presidential election in 2011, and lined out an aggressive Transformation Agenda in all the socio-economic sectors.
Even amidst the turbulence of the North East caused by the renegade group, the Boko Haram, President Jonathan finally began the reformation of the Power, Agriculture, Educational, Tourism, Political Reform sectors – to mention but a few.
NIGERIA – The Greatest nation on earth, when her time comes. And you had better not snigger or scoff. Why? Get the world map spread out and take a good look. Well, what do you see? Nigeria pulsates at the heart of Africa and Africa straddles the centre of the world. Therefore, Nigeria is the heart of the world.

NIGERIA. Let us take the sing-song again:
– Corrupted SOCIAL fabric,
– Corrupted, Misquided POLITY,
– Lack of SPIRITUAL Consciousness …
Now, do you still have any doubt that these deficiencies are skin-deep only; top soil stuff? And just as the “liquid gold” flows in abundance deep under the Nigerian soil (remember, the solid gold is not left out – it abounds in Ilesha etc), so it is that under Nigeria’s skin lies a formidable Inner Golden core of physical, material and Spiritual strength and significance.
The 3rd. Surface Deficiency is the key. The Spirit controls the Physical. In Creation, what is NOT SEEN is much more in quantity and in essence than what is SEEN.
What you see of Nigeria is an infinitesimal fraction of the true Total NIGERIA behind the veil. From the shaky, sometimes ignoble structure and carriage, will emerge, in the fullness of time, the real NIGERIA of her original Divine status, power and consequence – to the world.
When the 3rd Deficiency is righted (AND THE KEY TO RIGHT IT IS INSIDE THE NIGERIAN), and when Nigeria’s Spiritual repository is positively and adequately activated and orientated, ALL other Deficiencies will be righted:
– Honest, God-fearing Leaders of Good Purpose emerge;
– All resources are judiciously harnessed for the peoples benefit
– The average Nigerian backs up his Hard work with Honesty of purpose;
– The average Nigerian believes in, and loves himself and his motherland;
– Nigeria becomes the Greatest Nation on Earth!

  • BABATUNDE FANIYAN,

From the Editorial Desk, THINKER’S DIGEST.

Lagos, Nigeria.

May 29, 2016

 

 

***               ***               ***

A SALVO FROM A BIG CANNON

NIGERIA IS NOT WORKING, NEEDS RE-STRUCTURING – SAYS ATIKU.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday (May 31, 2016) urged Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari a “pass mark’’ for his efforts in the first year of his administration.

He made the call in Abuja at the launch of a book titled “We Are All Biafrans’’ written by Chido Onumah.

According to Atiku, who was chairman at the occasion, of the five areas the Buhari administration pledged to face, he has accomplished two and should be encouraged.

“He promised to look into issues like power, insurgency, unemployment, corruption and diversification and if you are to take two out of five, you can give him a pass mark.

“He has dealt with corruption and with Boko Haram. For power, give him time,’’ he said.

Atiku said that power supply issue was complex, adding that unless the Niger Delta issue was resolved Nigeria may not get electricity soon.

“I think the Niger Delta should be handled with a stick and carrot approach.

In 2007, before I ran for president, I met with various stakeholders on the Niger Delta issue and they came up with a policy.

“Part of the recommendations was that the ministry be moved to the Niger Delta and not Abuja. We have had administrations that did not do their homework on the Niger Delta.

If I had won, I would have sold 10 per cent shares in the NNPC; that will give me 20 billion dollars which would build infrastructure for the Niger delta but we will always end up with accidental leadership“.

“Bring peace and development to the Niger Delta then they will stop blowing up pipelines. Then, we will get gas and then power can be stable but until then, we will not get it.’’

Other recommendations he gave for a better Nigeria were “a smaller, leaner Federal Government with reduced responsibilities. This means devolution of powers and resources to states and local governments.

“State and local governments should control education, health, agriculture, roads and other infrastructure.

“A TRUE FEDERAL SYSTEM will allow the federating states to keep their resources while the Federal Government retains the power of taxation and regulatory authority over standards.

“The result will be a political and governmental system that empowers local authorities and gives them greater autonomy to address peculiar local issues, while enhancing accountability and contributing to the general good of the country.

“Such a robust federal system will reduce the tensions that are built into our current over-centralized system,’’ he said.

The former president also preached AUTONOMY FOR STATES, a tax-centred revenue base, enhanced, diversified economic activities and productivity in order to enlarge their tax bases.

He also proposed an end to the indigene-settler dichotomy, the creation of a state police to complement the federal police and help in the fight against crime.

He called for a RESTRUCTURING OF THE COUNTRY, saying “Nigeria is not working as well as it should and part of the reason is the way we have structured our country and governance, especially since the late 1960s.

“THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS TOO BIG AND TOO POWERFUL RELATIVE TO THE FEDERATING STATES. That situation needs to change and calling for that change is patriotic.

“We must refrain from the habit of assuming that anyone calling for the restructuring of our federation is working for the break-up of the country.

“An excessively powerful centre does not equate with national unity. If anything, it has made our unity more fragile, our government more unstable and our country more unsafe.’’

He said that restructuring would promote healthy rivalries among the federating units and local authorities “thereby making us richer and stronger as a nation’’.

The author of the book said that he believed in true federalism and that the 214-page would sensitise the reader to note that most, if not all, of the problems of Nigeria were located in the way the country was structured.

A journalist, blogger and human rights activist, Onumah called for a look at the socio-political restructuring of Nigeria to ward off “a looming catastrophe that could endanger our collective well-being’’.

  • News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

 

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ANOTHER SALVO
THE APC AND GBENGA ADEBOYE’S MASQUERADE

Thirteen years ago, Gbenga Adeboye passed on to eternity. He was laid to rest in May 2003. An indigene of Ode-Omu in Osun State, he was known for several rib-cracking jokes and his radio programme on the then OGBC 2 FM Station had everyone in the South West glued to their radio sets for the duration of the show.

One of the best stand-up comedians from this country, Gbenga Adeboye once shared a joke about a white tourist that came to Abeokuta during the Masquerade festival. As he took the ‘Oyinbo’ man round the ancient city, they came across a masquerade performing magical acts on the street. His drummers eulogized him as follows:

You can’t do like your father
Or can you do like your father?
If you can do like your father
Stand on your head and dance
“.

In response, the masquerade stood on his head and danced and everyone hailed him.

Suddenly, the drummers changed the drum beats:

If you can do like your father
Do many acrobatic display in a jiffy

In response, the masquerade did several acrobatic displays to the admiration of everyone who shouted and hailed him.

But the drummers were not finished yet.

They beat the drums again:

“If you can do like your father,
Let someone bring out his gun
And shoot you and you must not die

As if on cue, a young man stepped out from the crowd with his dane gun aimed at the masquerade. The masquerade was unperturbed. The crowd went into a frenzy as they shouted, “Shoot”. In defiance, the masquerade also approached the man with the gun and screamed, ‘Shoot me’.

“Gbuaaaa!”, the dane gun boomed. There was silence in the crowd. But the masquerade did not fall but rather kept on dancing. There was another shot, “takooo” but the masquerade shook himself and danced more vigorously.

The singers and drummers kept hailing him in ‘nines’  and ‘tens’ (ni mesan, ni mewa). The drummers changed the beat as they erupted in the masquerade’s praise:

We shouldn’t envy a child because he resembles his father
This masquerade resembles his father too much
We shouldn’t envy a child because he resembles his father.”

The white tourist became so excited! He had never seen anything like this before. “Oh I love Africa. This is beautiful”, he said. Excitedly, the white man brought out his own pistol so as to test the masquerade. He walked towards the direction of the masquerade with his pistol drawn while everyone hailed the masquerade and urged the oyinbo to shoot. On seeing the white man, the masquerade quickly called his “atokun” (the person who controls his movement) aside and asked quietly in his usual guttural voice,  “Atokun kilo nsele? This whiteman is a member of our team ni?” (Coordinator, what is happening? Is this white man a member of our team?).  The Coordinator said no. Then the masquerade retorted, “And you are standing there watching while he attempts to shoot me with a real gun? Na Sango go kill you? No let am shoot me o”. The masquerade started pleading.

While the conversation went on, the drummers kept drumming:

“Do it
That is what a man does.
Do it.
Do like your father.”

The masquerade then turned to the drummers and shouted, “E no wan better for una ni? Did you ever see an oyinbo man shoot my father? E ya were ni?”( Did you ever see my father shot by a white man? Are you crazy?).

It was at this point that Gbenga Adeboye intervened and told the masquerade, “But you’re from heaven now –(masquerades are referred to as “ara Orun” – meaning citizen from heaven). Why are you afraid of the white man’s pistol? Patapata you go back home”.
The masquerade replied by appealing to Gbenga Adeboye, “Haba Buoda Gbenga, you don’t know me again at Adatan. I am Ojelabi the son of Egunleti resident at Adatan in Abeokuta. I’m not from heaven o! Tell your friend not to shoot me o, na beg I dey beg una o. The man wey shoot the other time na band member o, we don rehearse for house o, na only etu dey hin gun no be bullet o, my children are young o.”(The man that shot me initially is my band member and we did a lot of rehearsals at home before trying the trick. It is even only gun powder that is in the gun. There are no bullets there. Please, my children are young).

AS FUNNY AS THIS STORY IS, it reminds me of the situation of this APC government- before the (2015) Elections and after. The APC masquerade was full of tricks and promises right before the election. To them, if terrorist attacks lasts beyond three months, the Commander-in-chief must be culpable and may even be a major player. To the former opposition candidate who is now the President, there was nothing like subsidy. The former Lagos State Governor and now the Minister of Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola wrote quite a few ‘take-aways’ and in a 2014 speech, he said, “I agree that it is possible to generate electricity and to make sure that everybody in this country has electricity. I agree with you it is simple with what we have done in Lagos within the areas where we are constrained showed that it can be done. But the only way you and I will have electricity in this country is to vote out the PDP. Unless you vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC to change an inefficient government, it is going to be difficult to have electricity.” The former opposition party heavily criticized the railway coaches and even called it “locomotive” derisively. They promised bullet trains when they get to office.

Little did the crowd of uninformed and deceived observers know that the plot was well rehearsed by the APC’s masquerade (and the collaborating Team). Of course, you know the type of people who follow a masquerade. Babatunde Raji Fashola could come and give his acrobatic ‘take-away’ dances because he was on a familiar terrain –(making “acrobatic promises” because, like Gbenga Adeboye’s masquerade, they were performing amongst their collaborating team). Truth be told, is there really anyone who would not give a good account of himself with the resources available to Lagos accompanied by the efficient propaganda machinery of the Lagos-Ibadan press? Even Ambode is lighting up Lagos now.

Unfortunately, Babatunde Fashola is now better known as the Minister for Darkness. His masquerade capitulated in front of the white man’s pistol. The collaborating team has dispersed; propagandist acrobatics are now over; Reality has now dawned on them). Fashola cuts a pitiful sight nowadays as he often had to explain away why Nigeria’s power output fell from 5,000MW to zero megawatt twice recently or the inability of the power stations to get constant gas supply or why the tariffs had to go up.

Lai Mohammed now understands that running a propaganda machinery is different from running the Ministry of Information. He has now been subjected to the same treatment he subjected others to in the recent past.

With the white man’s pistol now facing the APC masquerade (from all over Nigeria), suddenly they know Oil Subsidy which they initially didn’t acknowledge as existing now had to go. Rotimi Amaechi can now see clearly the trains he once called locomotives. Fashola now understands the challenges of distribution and generation and has toned down his rhetorics. However, the crowd is already in a frenzy and all they want is a performance. The masquerade has over-promised. It just can’t afford to under-deliver. To the crowd, if the masquerade could face the dane gun, it can also face the pistol.

Truth be told, governing a complex entity like Nigeria is not a child’s play. The interplay of forces demand that wisdom and caution are applied in several situations. Sitting in the driver’s seat will give the driver a vantage view he could never have as a passenger.  After about a year, reality is setting in. Very soon, the crowd will discover that after all, the masquerade is actually a human being and not a heavenly being.

We miss you, Olugbenga Adeboye.
#Copied from the facebook page of Prince Charles Orode Jibromah.

 

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ANOTHER SIDE-VIEW

BUHARI: BEYOND THE IRON AND STEEL

By Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President

THEY WERE CALLED THE UNSMILING DUO. In his first incarnation as Nigerian leader, the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari was paired with another top brass military officer, Babatunde Idiagbon, who was the number two man. Smile was alien to their lips, laughter a total stranger. They had a job to do, which was to rid the country of corruption, crime and indiscipline, and anybody who didn’t fall in line was liable to being dealt with. And summarily too. Laughter was, therefore, a distraction.
Buhari was reticent, Idiagbon, taciturn. A fearful and fearsome combination. Do the crime, serve the time was their motto. Manifest indiscipline, even in something as pressing as answering the call of nature, urinate by the roadside, and you can’t tell anybody it was the work and of the Devil. They would tell you the Devil does not pee. Vandalize public utilities? Twenty years in jail. Traffic in cocaine? Goodbye to the world. Nigeria was being whipped into line, and no mistake. But that nirvana lasted only 20 months, and forces of reaction struck. The regime was toppled.

THE SECOND COMING

Along the line, Idiagbon went the way of all flesh.

But 30 years later, Providence brought Buhari back to the number one position. Did Nigerians who were of age forget the reticent, ramrod straight man from Daura? No. The mental image they had (and still have) of him, is a man of iron and steel, a new sheriff in town, who whips all malefactors into line. A forbidding man who rarely smiles, and who never enjoys the music of the soul; laughter. Such frivolities are for the flippant and unserious. True? Not so. Yes, there is iron and steel in President Buhari, which makes him able to set his face as flint against the corrupt, no matter who such person is. The iron makes him abhor indiscipline, the steel compels him to crave order and decorum at all times.

But is the man all iron and steel?

Follow me, as I let you into another vista, another side of the essential Buhari. The human side, flesh and blood.
By Wednesday, June 1, it would be exactly a year that I started working with the President as his adviser on media and publicity. And I have seen him in many moods: sober, pensive, business-like, and light, yes, easy, jocular mood. This President enjoys good laughter, and, indeed, has a rich sense of humour.
On resumption day, I met the President at Defence House, his temporary outpost, while the Aso Rock presidential villa was being renovated.
“Chief Adesina, welcome,” he said, as he extended his hand to me. We both burst out laughing. Of course, I was no chief. Simply Mr. And the President knew it. He was only pulling my legs.
Having waved me to a seat, the President gave me what can be called the rule of engagement, which would guide my service to him, and to the country.
“Tell me the truth always,” he declared. “That is what I want from you. The truth. I may argue with you, you know I am a General, but please argue with me. If your argument is superior, I will bow to it.”
And the President has lived up to his word, one year down the road.

On his very first day at Aso Villa, I had approached the President, saying it was necessary for him to visit journalists covering the seat of power at the Press Gallery. He agreed, and strolled from his office a few minutes later. In his first coming, the then General Buhari was not known to be enamoured of the Press. He enacted Decree 4, which was meant to protect public officers against false accusation, and two journalists were actually jailed under the decree.
For President Buhari to then visit journalists in their gallery on the first day at the presidential villa was, therefore, historic. The true democrat was here. After his remarks, soliciting the support of the press men, he shook their hands one after the other, making witty remarks. When Juliana Taiwo Obalonye introduced herself as representing The Sun, the President said:”Warn your cartoonist. Warn your cartoonist. My chin is not as long as he usually draws it.” Loud guffaws from everyone.
He had one thing or the other to say about almost all the media houses present. It was an evening of conviviality.
There were two instances when the President exhibited good humour at what could potentially rile someone else. Following his many overseas trips, which have been unjustifiably criticised in the media, there was a cartoon in a newspaper, which said when a country elects a nomadic Fulani as President, how would they expect him to sit in one place? The President laughed and laughed. He even told the story to some people who visited him later in the day.
On another occasion, somebody wrote an opinion piece with the headline: ‘When will President Buhari visit Nigeria?’ Rib cracking laughter was what it elicited in the President. The writer was insinuating that the President was more abroad than at home, and whenever he came back, it meant he was visiting Nigeria. But since the President knew the purpose behind his foreign trips, he rather laughed off the cheeky newspaper headline.
Have you heard the story of the German sentry? The President loves to tell it. The first occasion I heard him relate the story was when the Peace Committee headed by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar visited him. Also in the team were people like the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar 111, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, and many others. They had come to appeal that the anti- corruption war be waged within the ambit of the rule of law. The President listened patiently, and then responded:
In the military, there used to be this joke about the German sentry. When a sentry is on duty, and he heard any movement, particularly if it was dark, he barks out. ‘Who goes there? Advance to be recognized.’ With his gun at the ready, he interrogates the person, and if he tells an acceptable story, he waves the person on. But when the German sentry hears movement in the dark, he lets out a volley of shots, and then shouts:’Who went there?’ Of course, he knows he has killed the person.”
The President explained that when he came as a military ruler, he was like the German sentry. ” I packed all the people who were suspected to be corrupt, and kept them in protective custody. And I told them they were corrupt, until they could prove themselves innocent.
“But now, under a democratic setting, I see corrupt people going around in Rolls Royce, but they remain innocent, until I can prove them guilty.”
Of course, the President and his guests laughed heartily.

From time to time, President Buhari grants interviews to television stations at home and abroad. And they have to fit their microphones on his dress. Whenever the interview is concluded, the President would fiddle with the microphone, which had been passed under his dress, and then exclaim:”Can somebody disarm me, please?” For a retired army officer, that is quite creative, and it causes people to laugh.
The President notices everything, even the seemingly insignificant. One day, I was in a Yoruba native dress, with a cap which was rather big for my head, product of a tailor who was too generous with his fabric. When the President saw me, he said:”Adesina, this cap is too big.” I was surprised at his attention to details. Or talk of Bayo Omoboriowo, the President’s personal photographer. Typical of his young age, Bayo loves multi-coloured socks, which may, or may not rhyme with the colour of his clothing. And he would wear trousers that are several inches above his shoes, thus displaying Joseph’s coat of many colours, which his socks are. That has become his trademark. And then comes in Bayo one day, donning sober socks like people of my generation would wear. To our amazement, President Buhari said:”Bayo, you are not wearing multi-coloured socks today. What happened?” General laughter.
In 1985, while he was military head of state, Nigeria won its first Under 17 World Cup title. Thirty years later, under President Buhari, Nigeria won the same laurel again. The day the trophy was handed over to him, the President admired it, turned it from side to side, and then submitted:”Soccer loves me.” Really true.
Those who think President Buhari is all iron and steel and nothing else have not experienced what I did in 2013. My mum had passed on, aged 75. We planned a commendation service for her in Lagos, and I had invited a number of people, Gen Buhari included. As I stayed with my siblings at the gate of the hall in Alausa, welcoming people, an SUV drove in. The door opened, and a man alighted. Who was he? “General, you are here! You came all the way from Kaduna!” I exclaimed. And he gave that smile that often makes him look like a child, without guile or trickery. Simple, trusting. He said it was his pleasure to come, and he sat through the Christian service. Didn’t some people say he was a religious bigot? Bigotry sure needs to be redefined.
The same thing the President has done this week. Peter Claver Oparah is a dyed-in- the-wool Buhari supporter. His mother died and was buried just yesterday in Imo State. When I told President Buhari that one of his most ardent supporters had lost the mother, he sympathized, did the family a condolence letter, which he personally signed. How very human!
Last Decembr, I told the President that it would be good if he made personal calls to some of his faithful supporters, to wish them a merry Christmas. He agreed. We compiled the names. Rev Moses Iloh. Rev Chris Okotie. Barrister Monday Ubani. Chief Duro Onabule. Gen Sam Momah (retd), and many others. The President spoke with them one after the other, laughing and making them laugh at the other end. Then, he told me to include Dr Tunji Braithwaite in the list. I quickly called journalist and activist, Richard Akinnola, who gave me the man’s number. The President and Dr Braithwaite talked for a very long time, and it was mirth all the way. They kept laughing. Unknown to the President, it was a valedictory call. When Braithwaite passed on about two months later, the President told me he was glad he had spoken to him that December night. It was their last conversation.
My sister, Professor Foluke Ogunleye, died in an auto crash last December. The President read of the tragedy in the newspaper, and placed a call to me. He was quite sympathetic. It pacified me a great deal, and reduced my status as a wailing wailer.
Give me a stern President. We need such. But also give me a human and humane President. We equally need such. All these are embodied in Muhammadu Buhari, the man whose footprints would be indelible in the sands of time in Nigeria. He would bring change, and the change would be enduring.

 

COMPILED BY:

BABATUNDE FANIYAN

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