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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Opinion: Shehu Barau Ningi: A lightning out of the Dark


In a country where the political class is notorious for hanging on to officialdom by any available means possible.whether it is reasoned or not.

A syndrome frequently refers to as sit-tightism by various commentators on African nay Nigerian political affairs.

A peep into Nigeria history no doubt would supply ample examples to illustrate
this sordid norm.

And when it has become almost too convenient to generalize on all of the many condemnable social-political and economic ills bedevilling it; a rare type to the contrary suddenly came through.

Lest the introductory narrative get rather proverbial and the point missed.

I think I should go straight into the crux of the write up.

On the 22nd of December, 2016,  a certain Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi, the now former commissioner of budget and economic planning in Bauchi state shockingly resigned from his position.

Citing amongst others,

1) The marginalization of his person and by extension his office,

2) The exclusion of the Ningi emirate constituency from the recently awarded series of roads contracts in the state, and

3) The sidelining of his supporters who were instrumental to the emergence of Alhaji Muhammed Abdulahi Abubarka.as the governor during the last election.

4) He also accused the governor of being the mastermind of the present intra-party crises currently rocking the ruling party in the state, the APC.

And ending it all on a warning note that if things are not reversed in time the party might fall to shock defeat in the next elections.

While these are mere allegations and weighty awaiting substantiation in the coming days.
I am certainly not here to serve as his gratuitous mouthpiece because that is not my responsibility as a social critic.

I am simply commenting on just another political development which is of special interest to me and perhaps any other perceptible analyst because it throws up some moral indices grossly lacking in our national body polity.

So I would want to stick to my define role and nothing more.

Having said that, my primary interest in this case goes beyond the series of allegations he leveled against the governor both in his resignation letter and the subsequent press release to that effect.

Nor the political interplays which led to it.

Neither is it about who is right or wrong.

It nestled,  however, on his courageous ability to honorably resign his position instead of continuing to pad the already bad situation as alluded to in his resignation letter like the mainstream Nigerian politicians would do ordinarily.

Or alternatively wait untill a bad situation becomes worse untill given the boot by the state chief executive.

Though it might look like this opinion piece is covertly being used to praise a man I scarcely know beyond the said news reportage.

While I affirmed unequivocally that the contrary is the case.

I nevertheless would still mark him for some word of deserving eulogy; and my reasons are quite simple.

Alhaji Ningi, inter alia, has successfully given the lie to the widespread notion which even this writer equally held that Nigerian politicians will never resign from their exalted political positions appointive or elective.

For the reasons of political visibility and the pecuniary pecks that comes with such offices.

Though his types come in short supply in today's Nigeria where stomach infrastructure now ranked higher than physical infrastructure.

With this singular action, Barau Ningi has not only proved many people wrong; he has actually warm himself into the good book of many Nigerians who are unrepentantly skeptical of their leaders being capable of exemplary and bold decisions such as this.

I doubt if he would be proved wrong at the end of the day on some his assertions but I want to give him kudos for having the courage to call it quit with a system that he believed is working at variance with his values, expectations, good judgements and constituency.

So he is eminently qualified to be characterized as a political rare breed.

And an icon of moral integrity and political fidelity worthy of emulation by the upcoming youths of this country.

A lightning out of the dark! May his tribe increases!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

*Updated* Opinion: Ndi Igbo, The Right Race and The Rest Of Us.

Face of the Igbo Nation, Late Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu

Nigeria, going by the available records is a country of some 500 or more ethnic nationalities.

Mention, of course, must be made at this juncture of the dominant three namely Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo.

Also deferentially referred to as the three legs of the homely hearth that will never
allow the pot of soup spills its content.

Fifty six years on, how true that is is yet to be seen.

By implication also, this no doubt is a guarantee recipe for a homeland bedevil by unending commotion, suspicion and rivalry.

Having said that, Nigeria also means to different people different things.

To the optimistic or fatalistic flock, Nigeria is a product of divine arrangements and exceedingly blessed.

But to the unrepentant pessimistic train, it is a product of cursed historical accident from which nothing great can never come.

On the 1st of October, 2016, as a matter of yearly ritual, Nigeria celebrated its 56th independent anniversary.

As expected, the occasion calls for both low key fanfare and critical evaluation from every of its citizens regardless of their socio-political and economic stations.

More so, because it is happening when the country is buffeted by economic recession, and a prolonged war to secure its corporate identity from any alteration as been attempted by the the lawless religious sect, Boko Haram.

Like commentators on a football game just ended or continuing, Nigerians from all walks of life see, remembered and recorded differently with or without the benefit of hindsights.

While their attack or praise rhetorics on the game do not in anyway deny the fact that there was a game. Its rather a reflection of deep-seated ideosyncracies, biases or realistic view of events of our national life.

So, the differences lie but in the depth of details as captured or omitted by the individual commentator and the multifarious ethnic groupings.

It is also a function of relational dynamics like statesmanship, political relevance, elective status and all such.

In truth, public functionaries regardless of which ethnic stocks they are drawn from are like the proverbial Chief priests in African Traditional Religion circle, to whom negative expressions must never be attributed.

Invariably, on a day like this, diplomatic commentaries are a routine rather than an exception where fair, frank and free analysis of events are required.

Of course, those with contradictory views are either hushed up or given a total blackout.

Thanks, however, to the social media for coming to their participatory rescue.

Taken metaphorically also for a man in polygamous marriage whether by accident of history or providence, the general consensus was and still is that Nigeria has not been well treated by his many ethnical wives.

And he too in turn has not been fair to all in terms of just and equitable distribution of opportunities and rewards vis-a-vis what each brought into the matrimonial commonwealth.

It is, however, more than ever safe to say it has been a near disaster for the more than half a century of one of the most promising political union ever consummated on the face of earth.

The blame game: An historical perspective.

The question as to who and what is responsible for the country's parlous state of affairs is one that is ever generating debates and heated too.

Accusations and counter accusations between the  North and the South are the order of the day.

At different times also down the line, severing the head has been touted and vigorously pursued as an option in dealing with its many lingering developmental migraines.

Humanly speaking, It is always convenient to blame others when things go wrong while overlooking our contributory roles.

In the case of Nigeria, almost every ethnic group are in the habit of insisting the fault is others.

While some have since realise the futility and near suicidal implications of their exit agenda; others are still nursing similar plans yet on a morning like this.

But can anyone blame the ethnic agitators? Maybe not. After all, the British which colonized us have successfully exited the European union (EU) through a recent referendum.

Providing referential precedence for others to follow despite the incomparable political and economic circumstances.

The various attempts to jump the ship of Nigerian state.

The North was the first to tow the line of pulling out of Nigerian uneasy union but was talked out of it when confronted with the dire consequence of their foolish contemplations.

First, theirs is a classical case of a wife who was doubtful of the future of the man she is about to get married too.

But now that the much underestimated and maligned man has turned the corner of relative success and her statutory benefit is ever assured; she stuttered and shuddered at even passinglythe mention of a dismembered Nigeria.  even passingly

She has become wiser and  ever willing to stay in the wedlock with all its abusive, fissile and acrimonious tendencies.

She has also become an abiding advocate of the "One Nigeria; One destiny" slogan. Its now commonplace to hear opinion leaders from the repented North chorus: "Nigeria unity is non negotiable" every now and then.

Despite the fact that history is replete with ample examples to suggest that nothing in life is indeed impossible.

What is more, she is ready to persuade and where necessary coerce others to stay on while the problems bedeviling the household remain largely unresolved.

To her, repeated calls for Nigeria's re-federation and restructuring are nothing but songs couched with sinister motives compared to the present cut and join arrangements which has continue to stifle creativity, growth, justice and peace.

Fostering, instead, bread and butter piece meals; and abysmally failing to deliver on its highly anticipatory greatness vis-a-vis it vast human and jeweled earth potentials.

Ignorantly, the idea whether to the stratified or monolithic North is seen as being skewed against it even before the facts are in.

Next in line are the Igbos, led by a certain Odumegwu Ojukwu, a young, hotheaded and swashbuckling military officer.

Coming on the heels of rife ethnic suspicion, real and perceived injustices done to the region of which they too partly were a trigger albeit innocently.

But regrettably, they cannot be talked out of what appeared to be a suicidal mindset by well meaning Nigerians which include Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka to mention a few.

Because despite the contagious enthusiasm of winning there is, however, an overwhelming proof that the goal was based on hunches and not backed by evident preparations and availability of necessary firepower.

The resultant war was a classical example of unequal oppositions ranged against one another and its outcome reveals exactly the same.

In recent times also, there were resources based ethnic agitations in the South-South region of the country which was a culmination of over five decades of activism against environmental degradations as a result of oil exploration activities.

Though it was at a time exacerbated with the killing of the Ogoni nine by the Abacha regime but later was doused by the presidential amnesty of late president Umar Yaradua.

Today the trouble is resurgent through proliferation of ethnic militias whose modus operandi is economic sabotage through wanton destruction of oil and gas pipelines which has negatively impacted the nation's economy.

In the midst also, secession has been touted as an agenda too.
In more recent time also there is a value laden conflict Up North spearheaded by the Boko Haram. A sect which ostensibly is averse to anything culturally West.

Yet they are making good use of technological and scientific advances champion by the West in their dastardly operations.

And as at today there is an on-going military campaign to put an end to the malaise couched with secessionist agenda.

It is on record that the Boko Haram sect is trying to create an Islamic Emirate and had even hoisted their flag in some of the places they have captured.

But the military has so far been able to significantly decimate them and force them into a fast retreat.



But the war is not over yet!

From the foregoings it is clear that almost every region and tribe in the country has given it something to worry about since its consummation in 1960.

The North with its traveling and growing colonies of beggars which have continue to constitute nuisance on major towns and cities nationwide.

Irresponsible child bearing and its corollary Almajeri evil.

Rampant religious crises with its heavy human and material collateral destruction.

And a large population of illiterates unhelp ever by the few thieving and self serving Northern elites.


The Yorubas with their bloated ego as the most educated people in the country. Always going about with hubris air of intellectual superiority and putting everybody down at the slightest opportunity.

And our Igbo friends, give it to them. .. educated, enterprising, industrious, well travelled and still traveling.

But just like the rest can never be absolve of complicities which have led to real and perceived anomalies seen in the system.

They gave us the civil war. But today a section is bitterly complaining of the evil Boko Haram activities have taken its toll on our already depleted commonwealth.

But chooses to be silent on their equally confrontational and distracting ethnic agitations through instruments such as IPOB and MASSOB amongst others.

One more thing, they remain as yet the trojan horses of the Nigerian market place taken everybody for a ride with their rapacious profiteering tendencies on top largely fake articles of trade stockpile in their mammoth warehouses scattered all over the nooks and crannies of the country.

Almost everybody can remember how their iconic and diligent daughter,  late Prof. Dora Akunyuli, the former NAFDAC Boss fought her own on the established fact that they were behind fake and expired pharmaceutical products imported into the country.

And this is just one of the many summary disservices they are doing this nation they deem crawling and stifling of their of inate ingenuity.

What is more, they even sent hire killers on her trail.

The saving grace was that they did not succeed.

Having said that it is then worrisome to note their overly Jeremiad raising the roof at every formal and informal forums.

They cried and lament over so many things which they detailed as evils the Nigerian nation has done them.

It includes but not limited to political marginalization, calculated restrictions in the marketplace, killings targeted against their stock especially in the North concluding agonizingly inter alia that the Ndi Igbo is the most hated race in Nigeria.

And endangered specie who endanger no one.

What do they do?

They organize forums where they commune together lamenting their woes and wailing like a people on forced exile and dreaming of going back to their lost home.

But nothing can be further from the truth than this hasty self justifying conclusions if juxtaposed with the realities of their socio-political and commercial activities within the Nigerian space.

In spite of these weighty evidences of being just another clog like the rest in wheel of Nigerian progress; they would insist no one points it out to them nor demand from them a change of attitudes.

They are right and others wrong on all issues bothering on Nigeria's pitiable situation domestically and internationally.

That is where lies their most undoing and for which they are constantly crossed with others.

And until their is a change nothing definitely would change in their political fortune especially.

And no fora lamentations would solve it. None!
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Poetry: A Memorial Sermon


Once more, our sincere condolences
To Nigerians, the Nigeria Medical Association;
And the Adadevohs at home
And abroad. May the interval widens
Between this painful death and another;
And let for whom the bell shall tolls next
Be the very old ones, our prayers!
Beloveds, we are all here gathered to celebrate
And not to mourn the life and time
Our dearly beloved deceased. Who,
Shall we briefly go down memory lane,
Was a medical trojan, patriot, and life mummer per excellence;
Audition in absentia by fate;
By the tragic playwright, Patrick Sawyer.
In what was a beautifully scripted piece
From downtown Monrovia, Liberia.
A quarantined carrier secretly escaped!
Tendentiously billed for therapeutic premiere in Lagos, Nigeria.
So your death has a diplomatic touch, Ameyo!
Diplomatic complicity, breach of ECOWAS protocol.

                                                                  Scene.

Monrovia, Liberia in the throes of Ebola pandemic!
Global readiness challenged; attention focused. Aids flooded in.
Medic sans frontier in protective jackets everywhere.
Infected citizens Liberian came in droves.
Quarantines, Medical personnels, and facilities overwhelmed.
Diplomatic missions lost their immunity.
Examine every sick for symptoms; for different strains.
Hope rising? Cure not in sight yet.
A Liberian diplomat diagnosed infested, quarantined.
But manage to escape for lack of trust in the system.


                                                                    Scene.

Kings' way Medical Centre, Lagos.
The escapee diplomat walked in;
His medical condition concealed.
And the goals was two:
Partly hopeful of cure;
Partly with deliberate intentions to infect others;
And trigger national emergency alert.

                                                                    Scene.

Doctored by our unsuspecting, and very professional Ameyo.
Seeing through the wilful deceptive smokescreen
Of a diplomat patient from the pit of hell.
Promptly alerted the authorities. A call to action
To which their was a massive national response.
But she was already infected,
And so became Nigerian first Ebola tragic heroine.

The lesson:
Death is a debt;
And when the drawer would come it would come.
But we take solace in the fact that our sister
Died a honorable death in the service of humanity.
And she was gallant too.
May her gentle soul continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord.

                                               

. For Ameyo Adadevoh



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Opinion: Forget The Recent Presidency's Tinubu's Patronage, The Yorubas Are Already One Leg Out Of The APC' Troubled Family


For a very long time now, the rumour mills have it that its no longer at ease in the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) with particular reference to the fact that things are no longer rosy between president Muhammadu Buhari and one of the party's founding fathers in the person of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Various unconfirmed sources have it that both leaders are giving one another a wide berth for some irreconcilable political differences.

Things came to a head in the countdown to Ondo state governorship election especially during the primary where incidents of disagreements amongst the party bigwigs was widely reported.

The election, though, has come and gone but the dust generated by the well managed intra-party crisis has refused to dissipate despite efforts in that direction.

Instead, the Governor elect decided to refuel the simmering fire of discord by conspicuously omitting Tinubu's name from his transcript of acceptance speech lending final credence to the existence of cracks within the party.

He claimed in the speech that 'it is pointless looking for political godfather where neither none is needed nor existed.'

An open air reproachful reference to no other person than Tinubu in the light of his position on the Ondo governorship primary which produced the governor elect, Rotimi Akeredolu.

A calculated damage control measure taken.
In a swift move by the presidency through the senior special assistant to the president on media, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Tinubu was eloquently described by the president as a "priceless asset"  to the party. While also underling the pivotal role he played during the formation of the party which of course is common knowledge.

In the said press release, reports of feuds between the president and Tinubu was not only categorically denied; it was also described as mischievous and fictitious creation of the wicked imagination of the peddlers.

He also put the records straight that Tinubu did not work against the party before and during the election.

For a politician of Tinubu's stature, he could not have done such giving the prevalent political configuration.

To the politically shrewed as well, this is nothing more than a lethal patronage by the president well advised by his political advisers.

Aptly worded no doubt but it was not a success at all because it could not shroud what is already made apparent through actions and utterances of elements within the party.

While credit was giving to the president's men for delivering on Ondo election; Tinubu was in contrast named as one of the big losers in the said election by a section of the post election analysts.

Tinubu, a political general with armies shrinking by the day?

There is a believe in some quarters that a planned and deliberate attempts are being made by forces within the party who shuddered unending about the ever growing political clout of Tinubu which must be curtailed at all cost.

To do this, they cited series of appointments so far made by the president which seems to include names of Tinubu's political godsons with whom he was either relatively estranged or disagreed.

Two, mentioned was made also of other appointments without deference to him across board throughout the entire South West geopolitical zone.

A move the school of thought sees as targeted at stripping away at his influence through appointments given to power blocs and caucuses clearly at variance with him.

Tinubu and the people's moving sympathetic association and rich.

Another school also believe that in the midst of this political shinanigan and betrayal
Tinubu yet is enjoying an unprecedented level of Sympathy from his people.

Accusing fingers are being pointed at the North for its dirty roles in rubbishing their son for the well documented nationalistic role he has played in building Nigeria's first virile opposition party, and enthroning one them aand this government.

And they have resolved not to abandon him like carrion for the political vultures cum opportunists currently parading the corridors of power to have him for a feast at a time like this.

Like it was done, they vividly remembered, to one of their proud son, Chief MKO Abiola the widely acclaim winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election despite his many years of loyal association and political comradeship with elements from the North who nevertheless thought it uncharitable to sacrifice him on the altar of their selfish ethnic hegemonic agenda

"A wayward child they insist cannot be abandon as meal for the Tiger".

Tinubu must not be abandon at this trying time conceded he has made, albeit not deliberately, a political miscalculations.

While they presently call for increase vigilance, they are more than ever willing to go to any lenght with him aa far aa repositioning the Yorubas political fortune is concern.
And then those who currently work in the government can keep their plum jobs if they so choose.

But in any hope outside forces are wanting to use the current men as foot soldiers in subsequent elections should the Yorubas decide to pursue a different course of action.
They are more than allowed; its their political rights.and choice to make.

After all, even through Awo's time as opposition leader people have always worked with the central government and that has not made them influencers of note of the region's politics.

And he never lacked political armies to prosecute his Yoruba agenda. So will Tinubu even if the core of his loyalists defected to the mainstream for the the lure of lucre and trappings of federal officialdom.








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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Poetry: Futofukusu Ode.


Nigerian Soldiers clearing the Sambisa forest in the North-East of  Nigeria.

I love and respect the Nigerian troops,
For many are their heroism attained and victory scoops;

I know their virtues and their valor,
As such I bring them this consecrational
honor;
I know also that they can achieved anything except impossibilities;
When I remember their gallantries putting down wars and hostilities;
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Poetry: Salutations To The 'Shekere'.


Shekere,

Robed in beaded garment,
Scorns with passion the mourners train.
With its multitudes of joyful strain,
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Short Rhyme For The Nigerian Rapper, Falz by Deji Olaluwe



Now I'm paying attention, Falz,
Now I'm paying attention. And I'm so so impress'd...
Don't know where I've been looking;
While the storm of your career was slowly brewing.
Now that you're in my long distracted face,
I'm so freaking amazed;
Just the other day I saw you and Phyno kill it with Karishika;
And true its no wonder the fame and money're coming quicker;
I also saw you and Sinmi's collabo's entry;
And It was such a balling Chemistry;
Now I'm just back from tracking your little source,
And it points the way to the present with a force;
With your work rate and style,
Like its f**king bitches they would make my Niggas get high;
Falz, Keep punching your weight in the industry
For the Karishikas have bowed and endorse it.
Cos that's your safety petitions to the Lord;
And he's answered you and that's all.



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Poetry: Tribute to King Sunny Ade on his 70th birthday



Your success story inspires me, King Sunny Ade.
Your courage delights me, even today.
From a quickened beginning primed in visionary defiance and risk.
And chasing your dream,
you were so hopefully brisk.
Where instead of the college and the degree,
And its accompanying glamorous filigree.
You simply went for the Orpheus art
Exuding the confidence of someone who has found his treasure path.
Not long after you returned home with the Guitar
And the first Record in hand and your determination intact.
Indeed, you jolted the royalty in Ondo;
But the reception was massive and there is nothing the realm can do
Sooner,  our faces would behold the charming crown Prince;
So lovingly, so masterfully caressing the String.
Decades on through song after song;
You have waxed lyrically evergreen and strong.
Like a Nightingale. your enchanting voice fills us with delirious joy;
And your dancing feet left us captivated and buoyed.
Today, there is no doubt you are truly blessed and fulfilled.
The overarching rewards for talents professionally revealed.
Those bags of tricks-  a well kept secret and the laureled exploits
Is nothing a kid not embolden can lightly resorts

The rest ....... is a frighteningly awesome career!


How time, when having fun, flies.
'Open sesame' and seven decades slowly dissolved with glorious highs.
Roll out the drums and the dance, O ye Nigerian muses.
And let your voices be heard among men and women and in their great cities.
All pay homage.... The king is Seventy and still counting.
And the Poet too, rejoices with him, on this day, with no rudely ranting.
Those who did yesterday know what it means to be in musical Hades alone.
I am wiser; so I align myself with the throne.
Let the King reigns!  ....."Two hundred years equal one year"
All hail the King; the King of WORLD BEAT! Respect, I am out of here.

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Opinion: Gernot Rohr: Off To A Roaring Start!




In the process of selecting the Coach of the Nigeria national male football team, the Super Eagles, shortlyafter the unceremonious departure of the temperamental and no nonsense Sunday Oliseh, not many Nigerians give the applicant Gernot Rohr, the heck chance of a pick from the few names that were then being bandied in the media.

And a number of reasons can be adduced for this. But one that readily comes to mind is the fact that, he is the odd one out in terms of popularity of all the names mentioned then. It would be recall at some point that names like 
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Opinion: Is Yoruba Nation's Return To The Political Opposition Trenches Any Imminent?


Historically speaking, the Yoruba nation is Nigeria's hotbed of opposition politics. It particularly gained its most memorable traction with the formation of the Action Group (AG) on march 21,  1951 by the legendary politician, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo,

 arguably from the UK domicile Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Egbe Omo Oduduwa,formed with other like minded people while he was a law student in London in the 1940s

Without trying to over romanticized the past those, unarguably, were the glorious days of politics of western Nigeria Vis-a-vis the many landmark developmental contributions to national socio-economic progress and drive for greatness. 

The Yoruba nation then, made many giant strides that were the envy of other regions locked in some healthy developmental competitions to be the first with top notch dividends of our then nascent democratic sojourn.

With the first experience beginning in 1959 and terminating in 1966 on the back of series of momentous national events namely the botched Major Kaduna Nzeogwu led coup d'tat, the subsequent counter coup, and the civil war which effectively ended in 1970. Not forgetting also the infighting within the Action Group (AG) itself being one of the triggers that led to almost all of the events mentioned above.

And the second beginning with the transition to civil rule program of General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1979 through 1983 when the military boys retook power from the allegedly corrupt civilian administration of Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagarii.

In the two instances cited above, while the nomenclature of the opposition party at the heart of this discuss changed from Action Group (AG) to the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN); Chief Obafemi Awolowo remains all through the quintessentially unblemished embodiment of its ideologies mind, body and soul. Agreed there were pockets of other opposition parties in existence then but none came any close to the Action Group in term of leadership, follower-ship and depth of intellectual wherewithal. 

This, definitely, has a far reaching impact on the serial successes of the party. Needless to say he was the most visible alternative voice to the government at the center immediate post independence and much later.

His well documented robust analysis of programmes, programmatic and policies of all the governments he opposed was nothing but admirably nationalistic, deeply intellectual, and politically enriching to the national experience. His discussions were always reminiscent of a man who knew that government and governance are all about the people with whom lie sovereignty, trust and delivering on electoral promises. Above all, they were filled with genuine cries for the drowning soul of a nation in need of urgent rescue.

While his developmental exploits pre and immediate post independence were a riveting topics to all avid students of history; this humble writer is a proud beneficiary of his free education policy during the second republic. And I can safely testify to some of the near perfect educational provisions that we enjoyed back then as being unmatched by any latter day governments both at the federal or state levels even with the best of intentions.

Even after his passage in 1987, repeated efforts by some of his avow loyalists and admirers to re-enact some his achievements ended with little or success. Especially from 1999 when the republic transitioned successfully from military to civil rule once more under the watch of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.

But one thing remained constant and that is the place of Yoruba nation as an exemplary opposition enclave of sort and it is not simply to antagonize the center just for the sake of blind antagonism. Chief Obafemi Awolowo ensures that and till today it has become part and parcel of almost every Yoruba persons.

The why and how of the extant change mantra?

All that, however, was to dramatically changed with the realignment of political forces in the opposition with the sole aim of capturing the center prior to the general elections of 2015. A development which was a significant departure from the age long norm the west is known for. It must be acknowledged that the incident somehow answered to the long standing undercurrent aspirations and clamor of many who saw the need for some form of political integration or if you like adventurism into the center. 

The center they strongly argued overtime is awash with juicy opportunities which the west cannot continue to deny itself access to. A divisively combustible sentiment which even Chief Obafemi Awolowo had contended with with violent fissile implications in the rank and file of his political movement way back. The break away of Sir Ladoke Akintola's faction of the Action Group (AG) in 1962/63 crisis is a case in point and not unconnected with conflict of principles over the desire of the former to align with the center. A drift to which Awo was diametrically opposed.

And at the center of this latest ambitious scheme is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. A professed Awoist. A political strategist of no mean repute. 

It is on record that he brokered the merger of the opposition parties sacrificing his personal ambition, wealth of experience, money and persuaded others to tow the same path.

The result was the birth of All Progressive Congress (APC):from elements from Action Congress (ACN), Congress of Progressive Change (CPC), and splinter groups from both the All Progressive Grand Alliance:(APGA) and the People Democratic Party (PDP).

The hurried political marriage became an instant object of lurid narratives because it paid off with near landslide victories across board. As at the last count, the new political party captured the center in addition to winning twenty six out of the possible 36 states of the federation. It also got the majority in both national legislative houses.

Naturally, one would expect a deliberate drive towards consolidating on the hard won gains of the new party. One and half year on after the historic feat there appears, however, to be some subtle promotion of agenda other than those which brought the progressive forces together in the first place. 

To every discerning political observer, almost brazen efforts are being made on daily basis to sideline elements within the ruling party who are the power brokers and repository of ideas and opinions and sacrifices that significantly drive the first electoral victory.of opposition party in Nigeria. In this respect, various commentaries are pointing in the direction of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the ruling party the All Progressive Congress as being betrayed.

Evident cracks in the walls of the ruling party?

If recent events are anything to go by, then the rumour of cracks in the walls of the ruling party is nothing but true. To further highlight this chasm, only some weeks back, there was a solidarity march in Lagos and its environs by Tinubu's abiding loyalists over what they termed deliberate efforts to sideline him from the scheme of things within the ruling party. 

Speaker after speaker during the rally spoke vehemently against plots to ridicule their political Godfather and by extension a proud Yoruba son in spite of his labor towards building the party. They also vow to take the solidarity march across the length and breadth of the Yoruba homeland. Nothing so far has been done in this regard.

This is coming several months after a hint of discontent was first dropped by the south west members of the ruling APC at the party Zonal retreat held in Ibadan, Oyo State. In the said meeting, wails of marginalization of the region in the scheme of things echoed through the venue which caused quite a stare. Appeals were subsequently made for calm and understanding of stakeholders from the Geo-political zone with assurances from the president's men that the zone grievances would be looked into.

Similarly some of the chieftains and governors elected on the platform of the party especially from the South West were conspicuously missing at the flag off rally of APC governorship candidate in the upcoming governorship election in Ondo state.

So, what does this portend both in the interim and long term for the political destinies of the Yoruba race?
In the light of the above scenario, people are beginning to sense that nothing really has changed in the fortunes of the region since its foray into the center. Instead, all the zone has gotten for driving the change process are repeated stabs at the heart of its core interests, aspirations, loyalty and values and above all appointments not proportional to what it has contributed to the new party. A repeated sting of betrayals.

This no doubt calls for urgent evaluation of the existing merger to see whether it is sustainable and if not what the next line of action should be. Two options, however, are available from all political permutations. 
One is forging a new alliance with the aim of competing for national relevance going forward. And two, the return of the region to the opposition trenches abandoned only as recently.
The later from all political calculations stands a realistic chance of success. To embrace another alliance at this junction is like walking into another political quagmire similar to where we have found ourselves. 

At the present, high level consultations, reportedly, are on going among political actors and traditional leaders across the length and breadth of Yoruba homeland with view to determining what line of action to follow preparatory for the 2019 general elections. Except something drastic happens that sincerely address the real and perceived complaints of the region, a return to the opposition trenches is looking more like it.

This no doubt will be consistent with available historical patterns in Yoruba land and it would be fait Accompli. After all, if going forward is no longer realistic; backward reintegration becomes the most feasible option.


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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Poetry: The Trump President

In the best traditions of American democracy
which is largely issues based and rich.
The clouds of their ambitions loom,
and the storms of their eventual campaigns gathered
for a fiery roll out.
Their campaign trains moved from state to state;
county to county; and city to city.
Like two able political Generals taking to the battlefield,
with their Armory loaded to the hilt;
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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Poetry: Horses's Tail


                               
With eyes set on distance of the race,
He breezed through articulated semesters 
Of the way towards the honor’s mark

Ambition sweet-earned as meal full-done alone,
Cooking alike for drooling mouths
Of hungry old and the young 
Aligned with imperative lifelong learning
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Poetry: A Vision Of War


Suddenly, from the distant of the skies,
While the night was slowly darkening in its stride;
We heard a loud bang and boom as of big big Batteries firing.
And we saw huge flashes and fireballs as of mighty Artilleries battering.
And the people panicked and gathered in small circles;
And not a laughter crackled;
And they talked of seeing marching troops. 
As the tremor rattled within our comforting room; 
And we feared for the worst of an approaching doom.
Which after all but turned out to be rumour scoops.

But athe huge fireballs flared and the shells shattering
From the city's garrison’s own malfunctioned armours.
Hell seemed to be on the loose with the wicked flying rumours
Of an invasion that ashore are a foreign legions.

While the city reeled in dreadful rumours of a false war;
And its mass of children and women scampering for safety and all
From the flickering fire only to meet their watery dooms at Oke-Afa.

 Dedicated to the victims of Ikeja cantonment bomb blast of Jan. 27th, 2002.
       
                          




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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Opinion: “Change Begins With Me? Why Not, If Not!'


The deconstructing and constructing Buhari on the 8th of August, 2016, simultaneously launched the national re-orientation campaign, code named, " Change Begins With Me"  
and the Kick Against Indiscipline brigade in continuation of his war against corruption as promised during his electioneering campaign.

And expectedly, a flood of reactions have continued to trail the exercise..
But before I go into the reactionary bolts and nuts of the matter and by extension the proprietary or otherwise of the slogan.
I would like to briefly refresh our memories with some historical facts regarding the anti-corruption crusade of the man, Buhari.

To be sure there is no deviation whatsoever in all of this, let me state once more that Buhari's campaign tripod remains Security, Economy, and Corruption.

It is noteworthy also that his current effort is coming exactly thirty one years after a similar campaign was embarked upon when he was the head of military junta that ruled Nigeria between 1983-1985.

Needless to say the exercise then generated a lot of uproar and criticism. 
It was particularly unpopular because the task force were notorious for subjecting erring members of public to dehumanizing punishments such as flogging, frog-jump among others; and with military ruthlessness and efficiency too.

Many notable politicians were thrown into jail albeit without trial.

Despite the sustained outcries, however, It would also be recalled that some noticeable level of successes were equally achieved in form of orderliness at motor parks and other public places.
There was also the palpable fear that one might get caught if one gets involved in one corrupt act or the other.

But no sooner than the smiling gap-toothed evil genius took over powerall these gains were summarily thrown into the garbage bin thereby paving the way for what can best be described as planned process of institutionalization of corruption in Nigeria.

Regrettably, this happened when the people were increasingly becoming amenable to the target attitudinal changes of the government.

The rest, like they use to say, is history.

Nigeria from then on simply barreled down the path of willful self destruction carefully mid-wife by the leaders.

And the followers simply followed
Here we are again still grappling with the same social, political and economic woes that have always  bedeviled us as a nation. Not forgetting also the myriads of collateral damages these have continued to wrought in the polity.

In fact, as of today, corruption has become a dreaded beast walking on four legs and in the broad daylight too.

Thereby making sustainable people oriented developmental projects difficult if not impossible to embark upon much less completion.   

There's also the queer air of competitiveness about it; as public officials now see illegitimate wealth acquisition as a thing of pride. Indeed, they are practically wrestling among themselves as to who can steal the most.

Worryingly,  it sooner became a case of if you can't beat them, you join them.

But in my quiet moments I use to imagine what could happen between then and now had we sustained the fight against corruption and kept faith with Buhari.  Certainly, Eldorado would have been a child's play developmental wise.

Having squandered that window of opportunity, we can only but hope that another will stroll in our path someday.

And it did after a prolong evident lack of political will by successive civilian governments to take on the dreaded monster called corruption; someone in the person of Muhammadu Buhari boldly stepped forward offering to help in taming the wild beast.

Standing on a conservative, strict and moral high ground unmatched by any leader in Nigerian political firmament past or present.

Evidently, the long awaited titular Eagle has finally landed; and ready to swoop on the its targets. 

Expectedly so. there were panics within the polity concerning what is to follow particularly by people who have skeletons in their public service cupboards. A good case in point here was the false alarm raised by Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan that Buhari if voted president will clamp many people including her husband into jail. 
And for no just reason whatsoever she seems to be saying!    

It was false simply because her likes had not committed many untold financial infractions against the Nigeria state with which they had hoped to go Scot free. But predictable enough, the result of the election was a foregone conclusion and they have been outsmarted by the Nigerian electorates. 

So far, Buhari has been true to his anti-corruption war cries and a record number of impressive results will witness any day to this since assuming power.

Now to the reactions.

The efforts so far in part has been applauded by the patriots who see it as right steps in the right direction.
While another group that can best be likened to the biblical tribe of (Sanbalat and Tobias) see it among others as nothing but an outdated measure of tackling corruption in modern era.

As if that is not enough; they also alleged that the fight is selectively targeting opposition politicians. 

While a safe haven is provided to equally corrupt elements within the ruling party and those who as recently found shelter in the party.

They also labelled the fight as an abominable recourse to an ineffective militarized modus operandi of the past by an administration grossly lacking in innovative ideas, sophistication and vision.

The detractors In their characteristic fashion vociferously cajoled, mocked and threatened urging the labouring builders to come down from their high walls and cease their rebuilding plans simply because the approach is conceptually flawed, old fashion and not in alignment with their self righteous vision.

This is no surprise because it would have been a misnomer if everybody both wise and the foolish; the weak and the strong; the educated and non educated; had embraced the initiative without a heckle of dissension.

Not to talk of the corrupt and their paid apologists or beneficiaries if you like who had held the country hostage for God known how long now.

After all, we all are not expected to sleep with our heads pointing in the same directions;  says a Yoruba adage.

While nothing can be more appropriate than the " Change Begins With Me" slogan of this administration which I believe was crafted to let people take ownership of the fight against corruption from every little corners of their corporate and private lives.
In a repeat of the 1985 scenario. 
Instead, I have, however, noticed some level of unacceptable scepticism and cynicism by people who ordinarily should know better refusing not only to embrace the call to action by the federal government but dedicating their time and intellectual labour to discrediting a well intended program of action for urgent national rebirth, progress and prosperity.

And the reasons are not far fetched if what the country had recently experienced especially since the return to democratic rule is anything to go by.

With the facts coming to light after books of various transactions were opened revealing a massive looting of our commonwealth by public officers entrusted with it.

Among others, many see the 'Change Begins With Me' campaign as asking for too much from them after having being subjected to many traumatic years of misrule by largely self serving successive administrations. 

In the light of this, many would rather prefer that the change mantra of the present administration actually begins with the politicians and leaders; and not the pauperized down trodden mass.
Change they argued should flow from top to bottom and they are right in their demand.

For instance, the demand I think should not be made on the people to cut down on their spending because the country is in a dire economic strait while leaders across board continue to bask in perceptible affluence and surplus.

In fairness to the hard hit mass of our people, I honestly think they are more than ever before right in demanding greater love, responsibility and accountability for the country from their leaders.

But while the demands on the leaders were legitimate and timely;  it also BEHOVE on the followers to demand on themselves to continue in the path of  CHANGE which they urgently wish to see in the leaders.

Change, we have heard times without number, is the most constant thing in life.
Its all about us and visible in things around us. It's an irresistibly organic and elective process which can either be painless or painful.

While everybody desires to get better at what they do and  to live in a better country where things worked for the good of all.
It is then surprising that the same people are reluctant to personally be the unsupervised, unforced change agents for the future they really want to see and live in.
Though things might be difficult today, but I believe if we all key ‘into this window of opportunity presented by Buhari  and let the “change truly begins with us”; things surely will turn around for the country.

But if we should allow the noisome armies of looters distract us from our visionary hope and goals, the consequences can only best be imagined.   

I pray we would not repeat the mistake of the past by following deceptive smiles of our enemies while ignoring the truthful stern of a man with the track record.  Change of course is process and not an overnight adventure.

And why not if not it should begins with me!  






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