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Opinion: Ndi Igbo, Self-determination struggle and open warfare gaffe

Let me begin by saying, I’d long harbored a strong dislike for the Igbo. Or let me put it differently that I’ve always had an axe to grind with the Igbo.

And I think I’ve got every valid reason to.  

Thankfully, though, it’s all in the past now because a series of events have taken place in the course of time that has helped in smoothing out things.

Except that I’ve personally not been fully rehabilitated or compensated.

I could sense you’re interested in what the crux (es) of the matter is or are. I’m sure these you’ll get by the time you read through the entire post.

Trust me; it would’ve no bearing direct or indirect on the central ideas of this write up.

Late Ojukwu, the leader of Biafra struggle
While the grudge lasted, I use to think it’s my entire fault, though, that I dared to do the unthinkable by trying something whose time relatively is yet to come.

Like we all know, that ‘an idea whose time hasn’t come will struggle or become stillbirth at best, but the one whose time has come will be unstoppable.’

Their singular sin is that some Igbo elements conspire to violently deny me the one in a lifetime opportunity of marrying an Igbo girl, I so much loved from way back. And I’d sworn by my ancestors that no Igbo man will marry from my immediate family especially.

You might be tempted to think it’s my singular honor to decide for every girl child born into my immediate and extended family as regards their choice of who to marry or not to marry beyond given my candid advice. I might’ve been unconsciously stereotyping then. But I didn’t care one bit.

The gist is that when I was a young chap, I met an Igbo girl whom I loved dearly and was prepared to take a marital chance with.

But one day while we were playfully tugging at each other right within my uncle’s premises, she happened to sustain a minor bruise on one of her fingers. How it happened has remained a mystery.

I think one of her hands; I can’t remember which one now, caught corrugated zinc idling by the wall. And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  

When her family members saw the bloodstained bruise, they went gaga. In no time, they arrived in drove and immediately descended on me like locusts would on hapless crops.

In the midst of the brouhaha, I remembered confessedly telling them she is my girlfriend and that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her intentionally, but their aggressive disposition indicated that I should spare them such air splitting details.

They didn’t just gang up against me, they physically abused me. And as if that was not enough, they also clandestinely progressed to plotting to make me pay higher treatment fees at the chemist shop of another Igbo guy.

The saving grace, however, was that unknown to them, the chemist happened to be a true friend, underline that, for he did what true friends are for, by not betraying our friendship at the altar of the tempting lure of lucre by listening to their rallying cry for clannish unity to punish an erring Yoruba boy. He confided as much in me afterward.

I’ve been hurting ever since then so much that several years later, I was vengefully prepared to take my pound of flesh when one of them had what appears to be a singular misfortune of impregnating one of my beloved sisters. I was furious and spoiling for war.

But after much pleading and pressure from friends and family, who happen to know him well enough and did a marvelous branding job of him I suppose, my hard stance softened.

They impressed it on me in confidence that the boy is ‘of excellent character and from a good ancestry too. I think there must’ve been some kind of significant trade and traffic between them to have known him so much.

Curiously I eventually gave in, and today he’s perceptibly happy being married to my younger sister and into our family. It, however, came at no cut-throat cost because culturally, Yoruba don’t sell their daughters to the highest bidders. Instead, they would rather harp more on the need for the groom to take care of their daughters.

The most interesting thing, finally, is that today, in spite of my repeated vows to have my revenge, two responsible Igbo brothers are happily married to two lovely ladies from my family.

And I’ve not been disappointed ever since especially because the very boy sold to me has proved to be ‘a charming, good nature, easy going boy, and a pragmatic in-law too. Shout out to the Onuohas.

Today, it’s cheering to know that more and more intermarriages are occurring between the two ethnic groups. This I think is more symbolic of improved race relations between them.

Long before now, there appears to be a deep animosity between them as a fallout of the civil war experience.

And the fault line appears bound to widen as the day passes by because there are both spoken and unspoken screams of betrayal directed at the Yoruba for the treacherous roles their patriarch allegedly played during the war.

This perhaps explains the hostile reactions of the family of my then Igbo girlfriend. Yes. Things have drastically changed of late but there's still room for improvement because elements abound across the divides that still harbor old negative dispositions for whatever reasons.    

Now you all can be the judge if the temporary love lost is justified or not. I bet things would have been different if I had married the girl in question or another. At least I’d have had more wonderful stuff to write about today. Anyways, that’s it for the (hopefully useful) random bits of my life.

Now let’s quickly get back to the essentials of this write up. The story of Nigerian civil war is a well-documented one, and one which needs no revisiting in a manner of narration.

But each time I looked back, something keeps telling the Igbo had made a very wrong call not particularly because they went to war for independence after what appears to be a genuine grievance of persecution within the Nigerian space, but of their modus operandi.

Opinions are still divided now as of then if the events leading to the war itself are properly situated and interpreted.

For example, the coup or is it a revolution now led by Nzeogu has been described as an Igbo coup by other aggrieved sections of the country because as it played out leaders from other regions were murdered in a manner that suggests ethnic motivated assassinations.

So, that led to the counter-coup and eventually the war. There were series of other contributing incidents. But that’s not where I’m headed.

I’ve actually tried to juxtapose the war and other similar crisis Nigeria had experience, and I think the Igbo had the potentiality to drag the war for much longer than it did if they had taken the path of Guerrilla warfare and probably came out with something.

For instance, Nigeria is currently battling Boko Haram in the North-east whose goal is the same but differed only in approach and religious twist, and she had struggled and still struggling to win the war outrightly because the sect is fighting with Guerrilla tactics.

Though Guerrilla war is totally not unwinnable for battle-tested armies backed nonetheless by a united country, but nations who did will confess it came at great cost. It’s usually in the mode of Pyrrhic victories.

In this respect is the Guerrilla war waged by the breakaway Republic of Chechen in Russia. Yes. Russia won, but evidence abound it came at the cost of many troops and resources.   

There’ve been similar wars in many countries in Africa too, notably in Sudan, now divided into independent nations of Sudan and South Sudan respectively; and Eritrea fighting to secede from Ethiopia and has achieved remarkable success.

So, you can see why I think the Igbo made a wrong call by fighting an open war with the Nigeria state in its quest to become an independent state.

Honestly, Nigerian army (like any) would’ve struggled to go by its experience so far 
with the Boko Haram whose reported link with ISIS has made it more ruthless, had the Igbo gone for something similar.

For a country that produces Ogwunigwe (cluster Bombs) and missiles within less than two years of declaring independence from the Nigerian state certainly deserves praises.

Its defeat which came after three years of hostilities would’ve been a tough call if not an impossibility. 

With this, I’m not directly or indirectly promoting the cause of war.
For the umpteenth time, let me place it on record that I’m not a warmonger but a diehard advocate of peace and peaceful co-existing. Those who know me at close quarters can attest to that. 

I don’t even wish the country Nigeria, in spite of its many troubles, to get dismembered for anything except if it is the will of God.

That Nigeria is diverse in culture, language, religion and social beliefs is an understatement and can actually be strength in disguise. Clearly, therefore, cultural diversity in itself is not completely a bad thing if the experiences of other nations are anything to go by.

This tragically we’re yet to figure out much less maximized beyond occasional accolades from the sporting, thespian and musical exploits of our largely self-motivated teeming youths; for out of nothing they’ve created thriving industries which have continued to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s GDP.

But we can sure raise the bar across established and new frontiers waiting to be explored if we truly desire.

The point I’m trying to make with this narrative is that my dear country Nigeria in my opinion got lucky to still be standing as one united and indivisible country in spite of its many trials which includes but not limited to the civil war of the 60s. 

More so, because like I said earlier that the Igbo took the wrong path to fight the battle, imagine if they’ve adopted a clear alternative Nigeria probably would’ve been history.

That Nigeria, however, is still standing clearly present its people great or small with a golden opportunity to build a virile country where social justice truly reigns so we would never have to go back to the path of needless wars and strives.

It’s long been my conviction that the greatest challenge facing the country is social injustice and not any defective constitution needing to be urgently re-worked before peace and progress can be achieved like some have argued.  

So, to this end, I wish to praise the efforts of well-meaning Nigerians and platforms across the length and breadth of this country that have and are currently doing their genuine bits to promote the course of peace and to correct social anomalies militating against it.

This importantly includes but not limited to the ‘Ordinary President Ahmed Isa of the Berekete family’ on Human Right Radio in the FCT. He has been the voice of the voiceless and strength of the weak and vulnerable in society.  

The initiative is highly commendable. And I’ll love to see it replicated in all the geopolitical zones of the country to fast track and deepened the much-needed process of social healing in the land. So that all wars and strives will become a thing of the past not only in Nigeria but all over Africa.

Importantly to achieve this, all the institutions of state responsible for arresting, investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating on social disputes, civil and criminal cases must be strengthened continually with required funds and capable personnel to be able to perform optimally their statutory functions without biases or political interference. 

*Please note: This article was written primarily for educational purposes and self-development, and not to spite any group or make one looks as though superior or inferior to another culturally and otherwise.

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Opinion: Government and governance in Nigeria beyond violence marred political rallies and other such malaise!

Just yesterday, precisely on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb.10th,  2019, I received a call from my elder sister residing at Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, south-west Nigeria, who genuinely alarmed by incidents of violence which have reportedly marred some of the political rallies around the country.

Our discussions centered on the ones that took place in her immediate domain, Abeokuta, and from which as she puts it, fatal injuries to people occurred as a result of stray bullets from gunshots allegedly from hired hoodlums.

No doubt, it’d be expected that developments like this will create a palpable feeling of apprehension in the law abiding citizens all over the nation.

After talking at great length, she ended on a cautionary note that I should rather stay indoors with my family to avoid fallen victim to the violence that may likely take place during the conduct of 2019 general elections starting under a week from now.

According to her, the violence being recorded is a dress rehearsal to what’s likely to play out during the elections proper.  And her fears and concerns cannot be totally discountenanced. 

Indeed, we’ve been through this madness called electoral violence more times than we can possibly input a figure both in recent time and much earlier in our march to nationhood. So, you may ask, when are we going to get it right politically as a Nation? I wish I have got the answer!

But in allaying her fears, which is quite genuine from the tone of her voice as it were, I assured her that everything will be done not to put the life of my family members at a risk before, during and after the elections.

I also tried to play down the likelihood of whirlpool of violence sweeping through the sequence of the elections. I hope and prayed I’m not proved wrong at the end of the day because certainly, the obverse of it is what the people of this country deserve in this space and time. 

And more importantly that the violence so far recorded is the hatchet jobs of political hirelings who all this while have been idle and must be seen as delivering on their contracts by the desperate politicians across board.  I rounded off on a positive note by tutoring her that I see none of the politicians with the wealth at their disposal would wish Nigeria slide into climbing conflagration certain to consume their investments. None!

Needless to say that, though the government is a continuum, but Nigerian politicians have reserved as their stock in trade the use of violence and other instruments of intimidation to win elections and perpetuate themselves in power.

Whereas the people as the custodian of power hold the sacrosanct right to elect their leaders through the ballot box in a free and fair election but are being systematically denied such through a number of undemocratic ways.

It doesn’t end there. Nigerian politicians are also known to induce voters with money, which in sums is most ridiculous to the ears.

Meretricious souvenirs like a yard or two of Ankara fabrics, face caps and tops; and what critical political observers have come to categorize of late as ‘stomach infrastructure’ also widely circulated. 

Consumables like rice, beans, Sachets of tomato puree, and cloves of onions have been known to be distributed at ward meetings and other such political gatherings purportedly to mobilize supporters at the grassroots. The same people they’ve pauperized with their visionless and poorly thought out policies, programs and programmatic whenever they get into office. 

In all of these, the foundation is laid and have cemented over time such that the Nigerian electorates have routinely been denied the opportunity to robustly hear out and engage there would be representatives because the platforms that should guarantee that has been rendered non-conducive through planned and orchestrated act of violence and in most cases unavailable, or reduced to mere street to street procession by political flag bearers.

Also cannot be left out is the so-called debates which have caused more discontent in the political space because some flag bearers have been left out on the ground they stand little or no chance of making substantial impacts in the election itself.

And the said debates, from what many have seen of them, are nothing more that shunted question and answer jamboree because the flag bearers who featured do not have enough time to respond to the moderator’s questions unlike if it were a properly convened political rallies broadcasted live like it’s done elsewhere where we’ve adopted the presidential model.

Judging it from thereof, it can be said to have added little or nothing to the political capital of the few favored candidates beyond what people already know of them.

Another thing that appears to be stifling the process in terms of shopping for the right candidate elections after elections is the issue of a rotational arrangement by the political parties which sorts of allows the region whose turn it is to grandstand even if its candidate has performed below expectations especially at the federal level. Perhaps that will change now that we’ve two equally matched candidates from the north.

Not forgetting also is the worrisome absence of political ideology by which political parties are identified, and which has enabled Nigerian politicians to freely play the harlots after the ruling party eroding in the process the necessity and vital role a viral opposition plays in strengthening the political process of any country.  

There’s the challenge posed by a multiplicity of political parties instead of a manageable number, though, the electoral umpire by the act setting it up can apply the pruning shears should they not perform up to what’s expected of them. Still, like many political advocates have said, I’d prefer a situation where there are no more than two or three political parties.

As a consequence of all these, it is governance that suffers. After all, a politician who buys his or her way to elective office owes nobody anything, and the people also lack the moral right to demand performance. That being said would explain why we’ve so much of playing to the gallery across board by the political class for ages now. Politics as it is in Nigeria has been reduced to picnics at the public expense. The more, the merrier! And that’s tragic!

On radio Forum and elsewhere, it has also been sound out that the people take their leaders to task as regards the issue of bad governance. And I wondered how that could be achieved beyond the regular electoral process which enables them to recall elective officeholders if they’ve underperformed. At most, this has not been the case if what has happened in Nigeria over the decades is anything to go by. A case in point is that of Senator Dino Melaye whose recall process has proved problematic and inconclusive.

Concerning such only and until the various security and anti-corruption agencies like the police, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) and the Judiciary are totally weaned from the executive control, well-funded, politically neutral and up and doing shall we be able to take both elective and appointive public officials to task as concerned their actions and inaction in office.

To ask the people, pauperized and poorly educated, to take their leaders to task beyond these institutions whose primary responsibility it is constitutionally is demanding way more than enough from them. 

Though they have a role to play which comes by way of, but not limited to being critical of their leaders’ actions deemed to contradict their oaths of office and the sponsoring of bills or holding of peaceful processions to voice their discontent and grievances.

But for our democracy to grow in leap and bound like it is in other big democracies, it must, in the words of Charles A. Beard, be based on the principle that the issues of Nigeria life are brought out into the open. They’re to be fairly, freely and fully discussed; and I added, ‘in an atmosphere devoid of violence and other under-democratic malaise some of which I itemized above’.

Above all, Nigerian, especially the elites must demonstrate fully their love for this country and stop acting in manners which have over the decades portrayed them as foreigners, and indeed as conquering army of foreign legions they must be, with the ways they’ve shamelessly taken monies as booties belonging to all stashing it away abroad for the benefits of those governments, or stooges of some foreign agents of anti-development currently pervasive in the country. Then, Nigeria can truly and confidently aspire to greatness with its vast human and natural resources. 
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Faith Series: Word and Worship in the era of unrestricted access to multimedia Biblical texts

In the past, the Bible has faced tests of originality, internal consistency, the validity of some of its characters, recorded events and prophecies.

For instance, some bible critics cast doubts over the veracity of the character of Melchizedek, the king of Salem who is recorded as a priest of most high God without father or mother. Gen.14:18-19.

They also dismissed the parting of the red sea as most unlikely. Ex. 14: 21.

And last but not least, they considered an impossibility the idea that Christ ever walked on the water. Matt. 14: 25-26.

But like steel that has passed through the test of fire, the Bible has remained till date, unarguably, the finest of religious texts around and the most circulated too.

Its many counsels and principles have proven to be a dependable source of strength and succor to millions of humanity throughout the ages.

In recent times, however, the soft biblical copy has become a reality with technological advancement which guaranteed flexible delivery of Bible literature in addition to other scientific inputs that have continued to positively impact the growth of Christian faith.

They come in downloadable forms from the Google play stores and other similar platforms. In some mobile devices, they come by default.

This is in addition to other searchable online Bible resources that are readily available for the use of all irrespective of their Geo-location.

Incidentally, it has led to sharp disagreements among Christian faithful over its acceptability for worship and before God.

Some traditionalists or hard-line Christians believe the bible is most potent for worship and acceptable to God in its paper form.

They frown at the idea of reading biblical texts in soft formats through mobile devices at Christian meetings.

To them, it’s a sign of disobedience to God’s commandment and proof we’re living in end times as predicted by the holy book.

Above all, it’s to them an unforgivable apostate indulgence.

There is also another group with a moderate view who believe it can be used anywhere else but the church. You might want to ask, what difference does it make?
On the other hand are people with the liberal perception of things and who’ve relatively higher adoption level for technological breakthroughs or inventions.

They’re computer savvy.

Interestingly, this group also comprises the church leaders as well as the laity in equal proportion.

Many clergies can be seen these days ministering from the pulpit with a combination of some of the so-called apostate devices and other not so apostate public address systems like handheld or hand’s free microphones, sophisticated sound systems, and computers with Internet connections for live streaming of church programs to the global body of Christ.

And you cannot but agree that each is no less a product of advancement brought about by science and technology than the other.

Similarly, we’ve congregation members reading relevant verses from their mobile device.

Clearly, the perception you get from the use of one or a combination of these modern gadgets or media tools is that they’re for convenience and productivity in the matter of evangelism.

And not so much of disobedience to any stated or unstated law and statutes of God.

The position of these fundamentalists Christians can be likened to the case of the widely circulated directive many years ago by the founder and general overseer of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor W.F Kumuyi, that Deeper Life members should cast away their television set for it is quote on quote ‘a devil’s box.’

Though members of the public doubted the claim initially, but when members of the church began to cast their television set away in a show of compliance, then it became a matter of genuine concern for many.

People were of the opinion back then it was either a case of Christian religion orthodoxy stretched too far or a gross misconception on the part of Deeper Life members.

This is not far fetched, though, because we’ve heard of members of Christian congregation from around the world who were made to do crazy stuff by their pastors.

And they complied willy-nilly without deeming it wise to examine the validity or wisdom of such counsels or directives.

Many years later, members of public were proved right because not only did the Deeper Life members begin to get replacements for their castaway television set; the church itself became a joint forerunner in the use of more digital platforms for broadcasting their programs.

Today, like many other churches in Nigeria, Deeper Life regularly live-stream their programs from their Ayobo, Lagos, Headquarters to the world.  And they’ve remained modest too in all their operations.

What’s more?  Prayers of even nontraditional members online get answered equally and continually like that of all others.

And it’s all to the glory of God.

It might also interest us that there’re still church denominations in Nigeria which do not permit the use of Yoruba talking drums during their programs because according to them it is also quoted on quote ‘an instrument of the devil.’

The question that readily comes to mind now is that it is wise for faithful to be overly selective or prejudicial in their adoption of technological inventions that help to promote evangelism when it cannot be sufficiently established that it constitutes harms of any kinds to the body of Christ? 

A crash tutorial on what constitute media variety, technological determinism, and options available to the body of Christ!

Media are any the channels through which information are disseminated.

It ranges from the word of mouth to walls of buildings and rocks, to clay tablets, to paper, to instruments like drums, and gongs, to machines like radio and television, and to the ubiquitous like Internet-enabled mobile phones and computers, etc.

Media circles start from the moment anybody feels the urge to share a piece of information.
It’s followed by the designing of the message with the choice of words which give cognizance to the demographic and psychographic natures of the audience.

The third leg involves determining the channel through which the message will be conveyed which can be the word of mouth or any of the numerous others as chosen by the messenger.

The fourth leg is the reception of the message by the target audience.

Information circle is completed when the receiver of the message is able to make meaning out of it and feedback is conveyed.

It must be stated clearly that the information circle or process is complicated and continuous.

Each of the medium mentioned above signifies different stages of human technological advancement. 

Technological Determinism

Technological determinism is a reductionist theory that aims to provide a causative link between technology and a society's nature.

It tries to explain as to whom or what could have a controlling power in human affairs.

The theory questions the degree to which human thought or action is influenced by technological factors.

The term "Technological Determinism” was propounded by Thorstein Veblen and this theory revolves around the proposition that technology in any given society defines its nature.

Technology is viewed as a driving force of culture in a society and it determines its course of history.

German sociologist Karl Marx believed that technological progress leads to newer ways of production in society and this ultimately influenced the cultural, political and economic aspects of society, thereby inevitably changing the society itself.

He explained this statement with the example of how a feudal society that used a hand mill slowly changed into an industrial capitalist society with the introduction of the steam mill.

Langdon Winner proposes two hypotheses for this theory as follow:

[1] That the technology of a given society is a fundamental influencer of the various ways in which a society exists.

[2] That changes in technology are the primary and most important source that leads to change in society.

An offshoot of the above hypotheses which is not too extreme is the belief that technology influences the various ways the choices that we make and therefore a changing society can be traced back to changing technology.

From the above narrative, the idea that sticks out is that the bible is a piece of inspired information which God has purposed to communicate to humanity as a perpetual statute for them and the medium available then technologically was the paper scrolls.

And that’s exactly what he makes use of. He couldn’t have used any other means not relevant to the time. Besides, they don’t exist.

Doing that could’ve meant God courting failure. And our God is not a God of failure.

But as civilization progresses, the media available to man and God expanded to include radio, television, and the Internet for the propagation of his word and kingdom.
And he’s today using them to his greatest advantage.

Perhaps you’re not seeing it because you’re not perceptible enough or you’re deliberately not looking.

They, however, by no means relegated the paper to the background as an enduring medium of information dissemination.

To put it more accurately, the scope of information dissemination has expanded to include a hard and soft copy of instructional materials like the bible for our perpetual education and spiritual renewal.

Today as ever, all of the above media of information are used concurrently with one another for effect.

So, the paper is by no means superior to others or vice visa.

And so today, we’ve among others the option of reading our God through his creations onwards. Trust me: nothing can be more excellent.

But what’s wrong if the same inspired material is made available to the body of Christ alternatively in soft copy to what we already have as hard copy.

The one fact everybody both the fundamentalists and liberals must take to heart is that our God, evidently, is the master technologist and we’re only imitating him.

And the earlier we understand his mindset in all of these, the more we won’t be engaging in fruitless arguments and posturing as regards which is most acceptable or not for worship or God between bible in hard or soft copy.

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Opinion: What distant observers can’t seem to wrap their heads around with Lagos politics

Nigeria is in the thick of election preparations. And candidates across the various political parties have jostled to emerge as flag bearers for many of the available elective offices. 

Needless to say, the entire process hasn’t been without one shenanigan or the other. But overall, arguably, success stories can be said to be more than stalemates or failures.

With less than two weeks or so to the elections proper, it’s interesting to know that a couple of the states are still enmeshed in one crisis or the other particularly that of disputed primaries conducted by virtually all the parties to choose their respective candidates. Some candidates as we speak are still in the court slugging it out.

In a state like Zamfara for instance, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), will not be fielding any governorship candidate on the backdrop of a primary which according to the electoral umpire was conducted in violation of laid down rules and regulations.

Similarly, in Rivers, the party has not been able to successfully navigate the bitterly contested governorship primary. And unless the pending case in the court is brought to a satisfactory close, it may not field any governorship candidate in the state.       

In Ogun and Imo states, on the other hand, the outgoing governors are still disgruntled and sorely bitter and complaining after their respective anointed candidates lost out in the primaries.

The Ogun state governor, Ibikunle Amosun is reported to be determined not to support the party’s governorship candidate while being inclined to work for the re-election bid of the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari in an election, he’s also a senatorial candidate of the party.

Clearly, what you have there is a case of a divided house. It’s, however, remains to be seen if it would stand. Only the days ahead can tell. But the signs are not too positive.

In Imo, the outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha is not only disgruntled over what transpired during the governorship primary, he has been predicting doom for the party in the state in the coming elections.

Lagos state it must be noted equally had a near political mines experience in the process of conducting its governorship primary.

The governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who before then appears to be coasting home to victory unchallenged in his re-election bid for being widely acclaimed for his many urban renewal projects that cut across the length and breadth of the state.

During the same period, political stakeholders from outside the state, and from within the state, in particular, have been endorsing him in drove on the strength of his perceptible to the eyes performance. Under his watch, Lagos has become a huge construction site. And like I said earlier, his political chances seem cast in stone favorably.

But in a sudden twist, his political fortunes appear to have been hit by an unforeseen reactionary political tsunami. In a space of days, the ensuing meltdown seamlessly took away all his hard earn and much deceptive political capital.

And he was left alone and in the cold with no temporary succor of any kind. What went wrong? How did the shout of Hosanna change overnight to the tumultuous cry of crucify him?

This sad turn of event, no doubt, took many by surprise, and cause many a distant observer to wag their tongues about what they considered an injustice. But I for one wasn’t taken by stealth for the reason of his dismantling of the all-inclusive, effective waste management legacy of the Raji Fashola’s administration.

Lagos before you say Jack has suddenly become unpardonably dirty and it was down to his dodgy environmental policy or the lack of one. And secondly was his blind pursuit of vendetta against his predecessors and his many landmark achievements.

The political establishment in Lagos had also listed out some of his political sins for which he was being led to the guillotine to include his untrammeled individualism and gross disrespect for some of its chiefs.

He was equally accused of shutting all the channels of positive engagements to them; and this they opined impacted negatively on the grass root politicking.

Obviously, his re-election ambition presented a perfect occasion to pay him back. And he got a full dose of the same medicine he had administered on them over time.

Everywhere he turned at that crunchy hour, he met tightly shut doors of angry foot soldiers he had disdained before then but who could’ve been instrumental to his re-election chances. So all this while, he has been living in fool’s paradise and didn’t know it regrettably.

To cut the story short, it was the former Lagos State Commissioner for the environment, Babajide Sanwo-Olu instead who emerged as the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship flag bearer. 

And like a bad loser in the mould of Amosun and Rochas almost resorted to crying wolf for subsequently addressed a world press conference where he alleged that Sanwo-Olu was a wanted man in the U.S for drug-related crimes. But in the end, he realized the futility of his cause, congratulated the winner and has since been seeing raising his hand at party rallies as a sign of acceptance of defeat which is the hallmark of true democrats

And interestingly left to mourn with Ambode were the out of perspective distant observers. As they struggle to wrap their heads around the dynamics of the unfolding political event and by extension of Lagos politics, many had and still resorted to name calling in their pardonable ignorance.

They amongst others stoop so low as to call Lagos a Tinubu’s ‘colony’.  This is reminiscent only of the paid mouthpiece of the opposition party back then, AIT, which had in a manner of slavish hireling aired a defamatory documentary which portrayed the APC’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the lion of Bourdilon accusing him of many unverifiable political wrongdoings until they were put in their place by the court.

It’s long been in public domain they had to settle out of court, tendered an unreserved apology to the man, when it was glaring they have no sufficient evidence to defend their frivolous claims in the court when he slammed them with a multi billion Naira lawsuit. They ate the humble pie.

The governor, theses clueless outside elements and their insiders’ co-travelers faulted for choosing to dine with the devil with a short spoon and so they felt no pity for him. Tinubu cannot be the devil; and neither can he be a saint like any of us. I’m so surprised that even people who’re not so sure of their own righteousness can cast the first stone. It’s a pity!

Some even erroneously believe Lagos is a no man’s land. We all perfectly know where that treacherous assertion is coming from. But Lagos certainly cannot be a no man’s land. It was, is and will forever be a part and parcel of Yoruba homeland. It’s a historical fact and nothing can change it.

Lagos in spite of the ignorance of this motley crowd of wailers cannot be a Tinubu’s colony alone. It’s a home for all. It’s a state which ticks all the relevant boxes when it comes to development indices.

If I may ask, how can Lagos which boasts arguably the largest gathering of intellectuals in the country, the largest presence of media establishments- prints and broadcast and bloggers, largest community of business outfits and population be a Tinubu’s colony?  

No doubt its residents have unrestricted access to the information upon which to base their judgment politically and otherwise. They, therefore, cannot be Zombies without opinions; without a voice.

To characterize them so low is an insulting slap on the faces of the thinking men and women of Lagos, regardless of where they are from, who by their deliberate hard and smart efforts had built one of the most robust societies in terms of everything developmental and growing in the world.

Lagos today is the much-envied political-economic the melting point of Nigeria and one which the opposition has overtime been secretly eyeing to no avail. Do I need to remind us again of desperate efforts made by presidents Obasanjo and Goodluck?

The former seized its money after it created thirty-seven council areas with Tinubu as governor. The matter went to court and Lagos floored the federal government up to the Supreme Court. But he Obasanjo neither obeyed the Court judgment nor pay monies due to Lagos.

Mischievous elements argued he didn’t obey the court ruling then lest he’s seen as helping his own people to come up to par with Kano, a state with a similar population yet more local council areas.

After all, the government is about people and not land mass. But even if he didn’t recognize the council areas created what about withholding its statutory monthly allocations for years only for his successor, late president Yar’adua to pay the same money shortly after being sworn in. Isn’t that punitive! 

Yet the same man goes about these days accusing others of acting in tyrannical ways. And people give ears to his inconsistent ramblings like a man suffering verbal diarrhea.      

Tinubu as a leader and bridge builder per excellence is only a product of a combination of hard work and providence. His ascension to political prominence is not by accident. He’s not the lord of manor like a few had estimated him overtime.

People made him, and he responds accordingly to them in the most visionary, strategic and dynamic manner typified only after the one and only Yoruba sage and philosophical king, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory.

Above all, he’s got the character, capacity, and competence to occupy his eminent position. He’s in every sense quintessential a politician, and nobody can dress him down on the altar of cheap political jealousy or envy.  

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Opinion: Ending Obasanjo’s era as a constant 'catalyst' in Nigeria political evolution

From every indication, the coming elections, especially that of the president is bound to be the most keenly contested in Nigeria's political history.

This is because the two leading candidates are from the north which by existing Zonal arrangement should produce the president for eight years.

More so, the two are evenly matched in terms of popularity and other indices. 

However, opinions and views are sharply divided as regards what experts considered to be the basic requirements for choosing leaders.  And they are character, capacity, and competence.

Opponents of the incumbent, (President Muhammadu Buhari), agreed to a very large extent that he's got a lot going for him when it comes to character; they however argue he's grossly deficient in capacity and competence.

They pointed out his seeming inability to proffer lasting solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting the nation since assuming office from the economy, infrastructure, power, education, and insecurity to mention a few.

They scored him very low so far having romped to power on the mantra of change, and the resolve to fight insecurity, grow the economy and provide employment for the teeming youths of the country.

They somehow rubbished his acclaimed military experience as a ruse and are quick to describe his sojourn in government the last time out as a disaster of monumental proportion which tragically is repeating itself.

His military background and expertise, according to them, has so far had no meaningful bearing on the nation's fight against insurgents. The fight is far from over.

Boko Haram they insist still troubles the country's Far East and has recently killed over hundreds of Nigerian troops.
*Incumbent President Buhari and his vice, Prof. Osinbajo.
Armed banditry and other social vices have spiked in close to four years of his administration. 

All these they pointed out as proof of his chronic and incurable lack of capacity and competence.

Above all, they would not buy his administration's claim to have recorded substantial success simply because the dreaded insurgents no longer hold territories within Nigeria.

To them, he's not fit to govern and should be retired to Daura, his ancestral root to go and tend his cattle by the electorates. Let's wait and see if their wish will come true.

In contrast, the supporters of the challenger, Atiku Abubakar, are of the strong opinion that he ranks over and above the incumbent in the area of capacity and competence.

As for his character, they make a case for him that he's not entirely a bad product compared to the incumbent.  Everything is down to perception.

They based their assessment on the fact that he has done very well for himself in his private business endeavors, unlike the incumbent who publicly confessed he doesn’t know how to make money, since exiting public service decades ago. It's on record that he has chains of thriving businesses scattered across the country.

*Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate for the upcoming elections
But those on the opposing side had countered that the core of his wealth is from Nigeria's Commonwealth, after all, he has served in the custom.

They question the money he uses in building his business empire as proceed of various corruptly undertakings while in service.

That again is yet to be proved in any court of competent jurisdiction. And so far it remains mere hearsay or guesswork.

As things stand, the die is cast. And it's either the incumbent or the challenger. It's either the APC or PDP.

The reality that poses tragically of our political situation is that the numerous other political parties and their candidates have been eclipsed by the popularity of the two candidates and their respective parties. Interestingly, for some time now, politics in Nigeria has been reduced to a contest of popularity as against that of character, capacity and competence.

While the political battles rage on, people (the lowly and mighty) from the various political divides are already taking side and are vigorously campaigning for the candidate of their choice.  

The chief amongst them or us as you might want to put it is Olusegun Obasanjo, the two times former president of Nigeria.

Historically speaking, he has singlehandedly directly or indirectly influenced or superintended the ascension into the office of virtually every president Nigeria has had since 1999.

It might even be said that his colossal influence dates back to the second republic where he supervised the transition election that brought President Shehu Shagari to office in 1979.

But as a political catalyst, he has in a way had a hand in the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

And history also will credit him for pulling off some political drama that led to the ouster of Goodluck Jonathan allegedly because he did not honors or defers to him enough 'as the politically holy one of Nigeria' in the scheme of things while he held sway. 

Midway into this administration or thereabout, he suddenly woke from his political slumber allegedly due to the distraction of pursuing his Ph.D. program at the National Open University of Nigeria. (NOUN) to sound it out clearly that president Muhammadu Buhari must be removed from office for what he called 'the underperformance of his administration'.

And he specifically called for the creation of the 'political third force' to achieve that. Indeed, there were activities pointing in the direction of possibly birthing such expedient political force majeure. A number of novel names were reportedly suggested and it all looked destined to come to past.

But sooner than later it faded away and nothing was heard again. The idea died mysteriously you might say. And you will think the political old warhorse has given up, not true to type though.

However, only few days ago, he came up yet again with a 'sixteen page' statement which amongst other accuses this present administration of acting in the manner of military dictatorship and he expressly compared it to the era of former military junta, General Sani Abacha.

While thanking Buhari for his service to the nation in his capacity as the president so far; he, however, thinks he's too old and weak; and needed to be saved from his misery.

Above all, he believed Buhari lacks the requisite competencies to take Nigeria to the next level which interestingly is the campaign slogan of the administration. Like it was when he called for the third force, his concerned this time around has gained traction and generated debate needlessly.

He has in the heat of politicking for the 2019 presidency rated Atiku over Buhari just like he rated Buhari over Goodluck Jonathan in the lead to 2015 presidential election.

If Jonathan's sin was not consulting with him on a number of governmental decisions; Buhari's sin is that of old age amongst others.

The same Atiku whom like an elder that’s annoyingly drawing on the over-flogged proverbial benefits of experience he had vowed then never to pass in Otta apparently, because he failed in Minna after it was reported that Atiku has visited IBB in Minna purportedly to water the ground for his presidential ambition.

Today, perhaps because the ‘sun is about to set’, the two had mended the fence badly pulled down over their differences as president and vice president from 1999-2007; and Bishop David Oyedepo was the blessed peacemaker.

It’s not surprising, though, because like it’s said in the political arena: ‘there’re no permanent enemies but permanent interests.’ 

While the Obasanjo has every right to hold an opinion, political or otherwise, and a strong one at that being a former president, it's, however, high time Nigeria and Nigerians stop pandering to his political mind game consciously or unconsciously.

Experience has shown clearly that his choices have not always turned out to be the best for the country. If possible, therefore, Nigeria's electorates should vote another neutral candidate. But it's looking more unlikely given the available political indicators and calculations.

The fear is that we're bound to choose between two northerners and if Atiku wins, that might likely alter the existing political arrangement that the north will serve two terms of eight years and the south takes its turn.

He belongs to a new political party and may not want to respect that insisting he wants to go two terms too. And that might likely create another round of political tension in the country if what happened after Jonathan presidency are anything to go by.

Again, all this while Obasanjo has acted as the political saint and our messiah yet as it turned out all his anointed candidates have fallen far below great expectations Nigerian had of them.  

And from the way things are going for want of credible alternatives that might serve his desire to effect a change of guard in the polity, Atiku might just be another pawn in Obasanjo’s time tested political chess game.  But should it always be like that? The answer, definitely, is no.

The overriding idea behind this construct is that the choice of Atiku, Buhari or any other candidate as the eventual president of Nigeria should be down only to the merit of their case and not because somebody or group has endorsed them. At the end of the day, whoever wins will be answerable only to us and not to an impulsive and compulsive godfather like Obasanjo.

And to do this, continuous issue based engagements among the different classes of people and ethnic nationalities that comprise the country should be promoted. By so doing an era of Obasanjo or its ilk playing the gods over the political and economic destiny of Nigeria is brought to a close.



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