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Friday, 21 September 2018

Allegory of a Waterlogged Country By Emmanuel Onwubiko


Today’s (Friday September 21st 2018) mainstream newspapers competed amongst themselves on which should decorate their front pages with photograph of the vice president Professor Yemi Osinbanjo and the governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Obiano paddling a canoe to inspect some communities in Anambra state in South East Nigeria submerged by huge floods.

This dramatic photograph of Professor Osinbanjo as well as other video recordings of the sad incidents of massive floods in most parts of Nigeria paints Nigeria as a waterlogged nation. As much as these political boat riders put up appearances of dejection and wore mournful looks as they stroll around to see for themselves the direct impacts of this environmental disasters made worst by poor planning and lack of sustainable floods defences, the millions of Nigerians who are now internally displaced persons know that surely they may never receive any relief materials to cushion their loses.

These political dignitaries from Abuja and Awka who wore protective jackets and reportedly took time to also interface with the local populace affected by these floods of overwhelming scale but who unfortunately are in a part of the World whereby the institutions of government mandated to play the role of first responders have often failed to effectively discharge their duties for which billions of tax payers’ money are sunk each year. As Yemi Osinbanjo toured the floods affected areas, the national emergency management agency under his control was nowhere near those areas.

These failing first responders are the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its miniature opposite known in some states of the federation as the State Emergency Management agency (SEMA).

In the case of NEMA, which is directly under the supervisory purview of the office of the Vice President, the agency is swimming in the floods of managerial incompetence, contract scandals and corruption at the highest level resulting in the alleged misuse of nearly N6 billion.

The incompetences and inefficiency weighing down the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) attracted the attention of the federal legislators but the newly appointed political administrators of this hitherto efficiently administered agency are members of the untouchable class with support from the powerful cabal running the Presidency in Abuja. With this political back up nothing good can come out of any oversight investigation of this rapidly failing agency. The current President has demonstrated a high disrespect for the institutions of the legislature and the judiciary. The tragedy is that Nigeria or much pf Nigeria is under massive scale of floods but the institutional mechanisms for mitigating the consequences of these natural disasters are not functioning optimally.

The dramatic fact is that the heavens has opened up and the rains have come down in torrents and because the riverine communities are such that lack infrastructures to stave off the consequences of these seemingly unceasing rainfalls, the poor populations are put at risk of death and the total destructions of their farm lands and housing assets.

The problem of flood disaster is not limited to Anambra or Imo state whereby the governor Mr. Rochas Okorocha was credited with an unscientific statement that the Imo rains are acidic and have washed away all the roads his administration constructed in the last seven years.

But such far and near communities found in Kogi, Niger, Katsina and Bauchi states have been devastated by the natural disaster aided to inflict maximum consequences by the twin evils of political corruption and poor infrastructures.

In the case of the communities in Niger State bordering the River Niger, the consequences extended to the health status of the inhabitants because the floods have inflicted such health issues such as waterborne diseases to an extent that international broadcasters have flooded the communities to focus their reportage on the emerging health emergency. The World has also been put on notice that waterborne diseases are in resurgence in Northern Nigeria.

Global television stations operating from United Kingdom, China, Germany and the United States of America are known to have covered the health emergency in Niger State that resulted from the flood disaster.

In a story filed in for BBC by a reporter Mayeni Jones, the BBC reports that floods has destroyed homes and farm land even as the reporter noted that there is now a health warning after the floods.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the Nigeria’s Ministry of health was reported to have issued a warning for a number of waterborne diseases. A national disaster was declared in four states after over 100 people died from floods.

“With stagnant water in many of the affected sites, the authorities are concerned about the spread of diseases such as cholera and typhoid”.

The CDC, according to BBC, has issued a number of advisories, including avoiding using flood water to drink, wash dishes or prepare food. But locals in Egagi Village, Niger state, say they have little choice but to use the flood water, as they have no other water source.”

In Katsina as well as Bauchi state, the floods swept off hundreds of houses just as dozens of persons were killed. In the 776 local government area councils getting clean drinking water is a big deal even as people rely on stagnant streams for their sources of drinking water and for such other environmental sanitations. You keep imagining the essence of a national water and rural development ministry that gulps several billions to maintain yearly but yet much of Nigeria is without clean drinking water.

As I watched the sad ordeals of our fellow humanity swimming in the flood waters and facing imminent health emergency, the question that follows is why the institutions created to cater for the basic needs of agro-allied industry within the states which is in the concurrent legislative list have all but failed to carry out their duties. You then asked what the Ecological fund is used for.

Reading through part two of the second schedule in the constitution, and especially from section 18 of the second schedule which provides thus: “Subject to the provisions of this constitution, a House of Assembly may make laws for the state with respect to industrial, commercial, or agricultural development of the state.” Section 20 then affirmed that “For the purposes of the foregoing paragraphs of this item, the word “agricultural” includes fishery.

The perennial floods that have swept all through the divergent states of Nigeria have adversely affected the fishery sub-sector.

Section 36, part 1 of the second schedule however exclusively states that the responsibilities for maintaining safety and security of the maritime area lies with the federal government. This means that the federal government needs to play pivotal role in ensuring that rural dwellers who live in riverine communities near the River Niger are protected from the devastating consequences of the floods.

This is what that second schedule, part 1,  section 36 states: “Maritime shipping and navigation, including – shipping and navigation on tidal waters; shipping and navigation on the River Niger and its affluents and on any such other inland waterway as may be designated by the National Assembly to be an international waterway or to be an inter-state waterway; lighthouse, lightships, beacons and other provisions for the safety of shipping and navigation; such ports as may be declared by the National Assembly to be Federal ports (including the constitution and powers of port authorities for federal ports).”

What any careful observer will however decipher from watching the news item on the flood disaster in Nigeria as relayed to the world by British Broadcasting Corporation, is that millions of Nigerians are at the risk of suffering large scale waterborne diseases but sadly the federal and state governments have not made practical arrangement and have not put logistics in place to prevent the health disaster from becoming a full blown emergency. The health sector is facing a national emergency due to collapsing health facilities just as government officials travel to foreign jurisdictions at public costs for their healthcare and without any form of functional health insurance scheme in place in Nigeria, millions of Nigerians die for treatable diseases such as the waterborne diseases that have surfaced as a result of the massive floods.

If you compare the quality of responses you get from such nations in the Western societies such as the United States which usually suffers from major natural disasters and then look at how the victims of disasters in Nigeria are left to their cruel fate, you will then understand the import of classifying us who inhabit the Nigerian space as inhabitants of a third world country.

In the United States of America, there is a functional Federal Emergency Management Agency known as FEMA. Appointments into FEMA follows through global best practices and square pegs are put in square holes.

But in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency is never seen as an institution whereby only experts with relevant compentences should administer but rather as jobs for the political stooges.

The difference shows whenever there are natural disasters simultaneously in U.S.A and Nigeria as it is now. We are poles apart.

We in Nigeria are left to wallow in agony as if we are in the era of Noah who constructed an arc for selected few in the Holy Bible whereas others were swept off by biblical floods.

In the United States, the institutional mechanisms are effectively activated to ferry to safety citizens who may be in harm’s way. Warnings are read out on major broadcast stations and emergency rescue workers are mobilized to physically bring out citizens from such flash points before the floods or typhoons arrives.

In Nigeria what you read on pages of newspapers are discordant tones emerging from different quarters warning rural people to find their ways to higher grounds.

These insensitive and irresponsible warnings from the Nigerian government deliberately fails to note that millions of Nigerian rural populace are too poor to read newspapers, watch televisions or listen to radios since electricity supply is next to zero to almost all rural areas.

Even those rural people who have the fortune of having people in the urban areas who would read about these warnings, these are very poor people who are unsure of how to evacuate themselves to higher grounds.

You then begin to ask what kind of misfortune is this, that you have a bunch of people in government who don’t care about your wellbeing but who will only show up for photo opportunities for the media for the purposes of propaganda.

Nigeria’s ecological fund is operated as a cesspool of corruption whereby the presidency officials use the fund to engage in political campaigns and care less about the citizens who would swim and perish in the floods that have become a yearly occurance. This is not how Western civilizations handle disaster relief responses.

In America, President Donald Trump is at the head of the teams that coordinate emergency rescue missions to assist citizens affected by natural disasters.

The center for American progress conducted an analysis and found that the federal government – which means taxpayers – spent $136 billion total from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2013 on disaster relief. This adds up to an average of $400 per household per year.

In America, the congress as a legislative and oversight institution monitoring public expenditure, it has operational and funding autonomy.

Under such tightly monitored atmosphere of transparency and accountability, there is no room for public office holders to steal from fund meant to cushion the effects of natural disasters. Americans just like British do also have functional health insurance schemes.

The Guardian of United Kingdom did a report it carried on Monday December 28th 2015, whereby it states that the cost of United Kingdom floods topped $5 billion British pounds.

Financial Times reported that in just one particular year, the government of U.K spent $735 million British pound on building new flood defences and maintaining old ones.

What then is the state of preparedness in Nigeria to respond to floods? Why do we have to wait until housing assets and human beings are swept away by floods before we throw money at such problems that we could have mitigated but chose to let it happen first? What is the role of states towards emergency management and the training of people of their respective states on measures to stay alive during emergency? Must Nigeria continue to exist like an epic story of the allegory of the waterlogged countrysides?

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs @www.emmanuelonwubiko.comwww.huriwanigeria.comwww.huriwa@blogspot.com.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Politicians redefining hypocrisy By Emmanuel Onwubiko  


I begin by making a personal confession so as to make full disclosure about my position on participation in qualitative and transformative politics as a Nigerian.

My confession is that I am a robust and firm believer in the political philosophy of Plato, one of the best known original thinkers from Ancient Greece.

Plato’s political philosophy is encapsulated in his recommendation that only philosopher – kings should wear the toga and leadership garb of political office holders since decision making and implementation to improve the living situation of the nation state and the citizenry can best be piloted by the best and those vastly knowledgeable about virtues. Plato made an allegorical comparison of leaders with sailors and affirmed that sailing a ship takes skills and competences and not a popularity contest.

For Plato, competence should be the qualification for leadership.
Argued differently, it can be stated that Plato’s political concept is governed by his well-founded apprehension that if the knowledgeable and competent persons abandon the field of governance in the hands of nitwits and never-do-wells, it follows therefore that the nation state would not just be ruined but the educated and technocrats stand the risk of being led by idiots.

As a student of Plato’s political school of thought, I do not share the general fallacy in Nigeria that politics is dirty and should be left for cultists and armed thugs.

However, believing in the genuine concept of Plato’s political thoughts is not the same as living in self-denial in such a way as not to acknowledge the rapid devaluation of politics and governance in the twenty first century Nigeria.

The fact that is indubitable is that the political or ruling class is dominated by persons who were railroaded into offices and recruited without any form of adherence or respect for the best global practices whereby only the best should be good for leadership. Nigeria is one place you see an old retired military General who overthrew democracy and ruled without a constitution for twenty months over 30 years ago was still railroaded into office of President of a twenty first century Nigeria. Nigerians ironically puts new wine in old wine skin and hope to witness technological advances even when an analogue person is at the helm of affairs in the country. This is existential hypocrisy at its apogee.

Nigeria of today has reached a climax whereby those who wield political powers at different levels have started redefining hypocrisy and falsehood to look like acceptable statecraft and those who should speak out are afraid of losing out in the bonanza of sharing national cake with Mr. President as chief cake sharer.

I will begin my conversation from the part before getting to the whole which implies that I will analyze the political health status of local government's tier of government vis-à-vis the state which is the second tier and then round up at the center which is the Federal Government.
And I ask: what does the constitution recommend as the best form of government in all levels of governance?

Section 14 (1) gives us the clearer picture of how and in what form should governance in Nigeria be patterned after.

That section says: “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a state base on the principles of democracy and social justice.”

For the avoidance of semantic gymnastics, let me state that the framers of the constitution told us that the application of the word “SHALL” means that it is obligatory and binding on all authorities and persons.

Section 1 of the constitution also offered the aforementioned extrapolation when it states thus: “The constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the federation of Nigeria.”

Dwelling on the examination of the constitutional format of the governance process and system in Nigeria, will logically take us to what the constitution stipulates as how local government administrators ought to be selected and or elected.

In the light of the above intellectual conundrum, we will refer to section 7 of the constitution which states unambiguously thus: “The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the government of every state shall subject to section 8 of this constitution, ensure their existence under a law which provides for establishment, structure, composition, finance, functions of such councils.”

But the crop of governors we have had since the return of democracy in 1999 have also exploited the weakness of the state houses of assembly to emasculate the independence and democratic system of governance at the local councils. This was also this Supreme court's interpretation of section corruptly obtained by the thieving governors which depicts the state assemblies as enjoying the powers to exercise the ways and manners of running the councils to such an incredible extent that those who understand simple English grammar are left wondering how on Earth can any sane being interpret the clear intendment of the section 7 of the constitution which states that democratic choices of leaders of local government councils ate guaranteed.

The governors have successfully elevated hypocrisy to an art form in such a way that local government area councils in their respective states have all been operationally and financially weakened through the running of what they roguishly termed state local government’s joint account which is a cesspool of corruption and a channel through which council fund from Federation Account are laundered and stolen.

It has now become fashionable to notice that most local government area councils are administered like the colonial outpost of governors.

It therefore follows that the killing of democratic governance structure at the local council level has bred widespread poverty at the rural areas which are homes to about sixty percent of the population of Nigeria. Poor local government governance means dysfunctional infrastructural facilities and ballooning poverty.

The demise of local government councils has resulted in phenomenal rural to urban drift which has distorted urban planning in the respective state capitals and has increased urban poverty.
At the state levels, political godfathers have always made sure that only their foot soldiers are manipulated to win the juicy slots of governors and for the duration of the stay in office of these governors, the majority of them usually deliberately fail to develop and transform the state of infrastructure in their states.

The collapsing and failing state of infrastructures in these states come about because of the criminal collusion of the members of the house of Assembly populated by contractors affiliated to the governor.

The states of the Federation of Nigeria is afflicted by the ghost of self-centeredness even as the welfare of the citizenry becomes secondary to such an abusive level that the electorate are only good for what these politicians have now baptized as stomach infrastructure.

The system of administration of stomach infrastructure flows from the governors who operate like emperors and goes down to a few poor people through some bogus schemes supervised by the wives of governors. The devaluation of good governance inevitably comes from political hypocrisy.

Political hypocrisy breeds nepotism and nepotism breeds corruption just as corruption leads to the erosion of integrity in the system and erosion of integrity in the system gradually leads to a general state of dejection, failing infrastructures, mass poverty, high crime rate and frustration which spirals into breakdown of law and order by even those clothed with the powers to enforce the provisions of the constitution.

Political hypocrisy at the state level has assumed frightening scale to an extent that state governors who are about ending their second term of four years are using all unlawful means to manipulate their stooges and in the case of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha plans to install his son-in-law as his successor in office and sponsor his wife to run for office of house of representatives and himself to retire as senator representing his Orlu Zone.

In Lagos, the reign of a strong godfather known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu has become formidable because he picks and choses who becomes governor of Lagos state.

The political hypocrisy in the state dovetails into the hijack of all juicy offices by the state governors who dishes out patronage and favours to his boot lickers and in the case of Lagos state, the godfather is the chief revenue collector or so it is alleged. The political godfather of Lagos also installed his wife Remi Tinubu as senator representing the biggest constituency in Lagos.

However, the biggest arena for political hypocrisy is at the federal level as it is now.
The head of the executive arm of government is president Buhari who has subscribed to the provisions of the constitution.

This same holder of the office of president who took an oath firmly holding on to the Holy Scriptures of his religion, to abide by the tenets of the constitution, has been found wanting on many fronts such as nepotism which offends the presidential oath of office.

President Buhari has also failed to comply to section 14 (3) on the necessity of observing the federal character principle in the area of appointments just as his administration has been accused of concentrating all the juicy offices and projects to his state of birth which is Katsina.

The head of the executive arm of government is seen manipulating security forces and anti-graft agencies to embark on politically motivated witch hunt of perceived opponents just as these attacks have escalated with just few months to the 2019 polls.

Nigeria has never witnessed the scale of naked partisanship displayed by the police and all the anti-graft bodies and most especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which has an acting head that was seen been decorated with a campaign badge of the incumbent president who is running for re-election for a second and final four years tenure.

The lack of transparency and accountability has become so clear in such agencies like NNPC, Nigerian Ports Authority and the Ministry of Aviation whereby over N2 billion was frittered on the so-called branding for a proposed national carrier that has no single plane only for the same administration to postpone the inauguration indefinitely.  Governance at the federal level now resemble the modus operandi of organized crime gang.

The father of all political hypocrisy is that the two successive budgets have provisions for halting medical tourism but the president and his family members travels to Germany and UK for healthcare and the incompetent minister of health sees nothing wrong in this.

The Nigeria of now has indeed redefined hypocrisy amongst the political class and hypocrisy has become a political religion for the current government.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCITION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs @www.emmanuelonwubiko.comwww.huriwanigeria.com; www.huriwa@blogspot.com.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Buhari's Ten Million Imaginary 'Millionaires' By Emmanuel Onwubiko


Early in the morning of Wednesday September 19th 2018, I switch on the television and proceeded to channel 306 on DSTV/Multichoice satellite network to let my little Son NaetoChukwu Nnadozie watch the beautiful programme for Children packaged by the publicly owned British broadcasting media house otherwise known as BBC, but my Son opted to leave the room for the parlour to link up with the Mother who was preparing stuffs for his pre-school session.

I then switched on to a Nigerian owned television to listen to the 7am news but was immediately irritated by the soft tissues of fabricated falsehood that was packaged by the Nigerian Television Authority as a news item whereby they told the broad daylight lie that the current Federal government of Nigeria has made the claim of driving ten million people out of poverty. Deep inside of me, i knew this was a primitive lie from the pit of hell but i waited to see if the claimant would reel out verifiable data to justify this monumental embarrassment of waking people up with heavy dosage of lies. This empirical data was never shown but it was a wishy -washy politically correct propaganda meant to massage the ego of Nigeria's emerging dictator in civilian garbs. I will show proofs to show that these ten million ex-poor people now transported to the World of prosperity by government only exists in the warped imagination of the government official who authorized this unsubstantiated claim. As God would have it, a text message just popped into my phone. The following was the message which was clearly a distress message from a relation of this writer who is a graduate.

She stated thus: “Brother, good morning. How is mama? Please support me financially sir and connect me with any work sir. Thank you sir.”

The above was a text message that dropped on my phone from a cousin who lives in Awka, the Anambra State Capital. Mrs. Amaka has just left her husband with her three children because the husband Mr. Obinna is unable to meet up with basic funding obligations to keep body and soul together.

Another save my soul message also came in as I began scribbling this piece and in this message the sender is someone who lives in Enugu and has just left the university with distinction since four years ago but can’t find work after her mandatory service to Nigeria under the National Youth Service Corp scheme (NYSC).

In her set, there were about ten thousand freshly minted college graduates and out of this phenomenal number, only an infinitesimal percentage managed to find job in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Miss. Genevieve the ravishingly beautiful girl who is in her early twenties, read economics and from interactions, she shows evidential proofs of someone at home with her field of study but she has no employment.

That text message from her made me to immediately put up a call across to her to find out if she has a kind of self-employment that she has engaged herself in so as to escape from the trap of been trafficked for sex abroad as is the case with hundreds of thousands of girls in her age grade.

Mind you, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on human trafficking recently ended a working visit to Nigeria and from my interactions with her at a forum organized for leaders of credible civil society groups in which Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) was invited, she disclosed that Nigerian youngsters stand the risks of being trafficked for sex slavery in Europe because of a combination of forces of unemployment, insecurity and political instability that prevails in virtually all parts of Nigeria.

This young lady who holds the high profile position of special rapporteur on human trafficking (Maria Grazia Giammarinaro) was very forthright and brutally frank in pinpointing the major factors responsible for human trafficking just as she underlined poverty as one of the fundamental causes.
Her fears have severally been validated even from official quarters such as the statistic released by National Bureau of statistics which paints gloomy pictures of widespread unemployment affecting mostly the young people.

The young people in Nigeria clearly constitutes nearly sixty percent of the whole national population of Nigeria.

It therefore follows logically, that if 60 percent of Nigerians can’t find employments, it means that Nigeria is gloomy, dangerous and is in imminent risk of economic collapse.

Poverty, dejection and hopelessness are existential realities of our time in Nigeria. This is why it shocked most discerning and thinking Nigerians when the Nigerian Minister for budget was quoted as claiming without any shreds of empirical data, that the Muhammadu Buhari’s government has taken ten million Nigerians out of poverty. For a start, the ministry of budget and planning is a scam. This is because political leaders hardly implements budgets to the full. In the last 20 years of democracy, successive and the current Administrations have not successfully implemented any annual national budget to appreciable percentage. Budget is called appropriation and it is constitutional. But officials violate with impunity the provisions contain in every yearly budget. From this background, most Nigerians often take with a pinch of salt any unscientific claims emanating from the federal ministry that supervises the violations of a basic law such as the yearly appropriation Act of the federal republic of Nigeria. The claim of producing ten million millionaires literally, to most Nigerians is fake and unverifiable.

The question that this claim triggered, is to determine the precise location, identities of these mysterious ten million “Millionaires” created by the current administration. Are these ten million millionaires recently minted by Muhammadu Buhari's administration located in outer space or in this nation of Nigeria weighed down by grave uncertainties? To show that this claim is false, we visited the National Bureau of Statistics to know the number of hitherto employed people who lost their jobs due to economic recession.

A total of 7.956 million Nigerians became unemployed between January 2016 and September 30, 2017, data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows.

This unemployment report survey for the third quarter of 2017 released by the NBS on December 22, 2017 puts the number at 7.956 million more than the 8,036 million it stood in 2015 Q4.
The bureau in the report stated that the number of Nigerians that became unemployed rose from 8,036 million in 2015 fourth quarter to 15.998 million in third quarter of 2017.

The report said further that between the second quarter and third quarter of 2017, the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million to 111.1 million.

“The unemployment rate increased from 14.2 per cent in Q4 2016 to 16.2 per cent in Q2 2017 and 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017. The number of people within the labor force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.

“Total unemployment and underemployment combined increased from 37.2 per cent in the previous quarter to 40 percent in Q3 2017.

“The labor force population increased from 83.9 million in Q2 2017 to 85.1 million in Q3 2017. The total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) declined from 52.7 million in Q2 2017 to 51.1 million in Q3 2017.”

NBS in the report blames the increasing unemployment and underemployment rates on Nigeria’s fragile economy despite the exit from recession. The report explained that domestic labor market is still fragile and economic growths in the past two quarters in 2017 have not been strong enough to provide employment in Nigeria’s domestic labor market.

“An economic recession is consistent with an increase in unemployment as jobs are lost and new jobs creation is stalled.

“A return to economic growth provides an impetus to employment. However, employment growth may lag, and unemployment rates worsen especially at the end of a recession and for many months after,” the report said.

During the third quarter of 2017, according to the report, 21.2 percent of women within the labour force (aged 15-64 and willing, able, and actively seeking work) were unemployed, compared to 16.5 percent of men within the same period.

The report also noted that underemployment was predominant in the rural areas as 26.9 percent of rural residents within the labour force in were underemployed compared to 9 percent of urban residents within the same period.

The federal government however told crude lie when it claimed that it has moved 10,073 million Nigerians from poverty to prosperity.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, made the claim while speaking on arrangements for the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit held at the conference room of the ministry in Abuja.

He said the achievement is one of the key priorities of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, by investing in the people.

According to him, the government had provided 8.96million school children under the home grown School Feeding Programme; over 297,000 poor and vulnerable Nigerians supported with cash transfer of N5,000; successfully  disbursed more than 308,000 loans of N50,000 under  the Government  Enterprise  and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and 200,000 young unemployed graduates empowered through the N-Power scheme , while  over 308,000 had been selected for consideration for the second  batch.”

Whilst the current government was busy dishing out lies regarding some mysterious ten million new millionaires that emerged as a result of the direct impacts of the economic programmes of the administration, those who should know however reminds us that Nigeria has enterred a tragic position in the World as the nation with the largest concentration of absolutely poor people. Mind you, World Bank says you are absolutely poor if you can't afford to generate $2 USD per day which means that virtually all the government paid employees who earn the minimum wage of N18,000 monthly are absolutely poor.

In The Guardian newspaper of Wednesday September 19th 2018, we read that rapid population growth in some Africa’s poorest countries could put future progress towards reducing global poverty and improving health at severe risk, a report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has revealed.

Co-Chairman of the foundation, Bill Gates, said in the Foundation’s 2018 Goalkeepers Report launched a day before the newspaper's publication that young Africans were inheriting a continent where fewer and fewer people have to struggle to survive and could instead devote their energy to planning and investing in the future.

However, the report disclosed that demographic trends show that over one billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty in the past 20 years, but added that population explosion, particularly in Africa, could be a challenge the decline in the number of extremely poor people in the world, and it may even start to rise.

Nigeria was said to have taken over as the country with the highest number of extremely poor people, according to a report by Brookings Institution, thereby overtaking India with a population of 1.3 billion people as against Nigeria’s 200 million.
According to the report, the number of Nigerians in extreme poverty increases by six people every minute.

“Population growth in Africa is a challenge,” Gates said on telephone about the report’s findings.
It found that poverty in Africa is increasingly concentrated in a few countries, which also have among the fastest growing populations globally.

It projected that by 2050 over 40 per cent of world’s extremely poor people will live in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

On the best ways of tackling the growing population and poverty challenge, Gates said improving access to birth control was key, adding that this should be combined with investment in health and education of young people.

“The biggest things are the modern tools of contraception,” Gates said, adding: “If you have those things available, then people have more control of spacing their children.”

The report, tracked 18 data points on United Nations development goals, including child and maternal deaths, stunting, access to contraceptives, HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, financial inclusion and sanitation.

In its family planning section, the report called on policymakers to empower women to exercise their right to choose the number of children they could have, when to have them and with whom.

The U.N. data has projected that Africa will account for over half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050, while its population is projected to double by 2050 and double again by 2100.

Aside poverty, insecurity and threats of Islamic terrorism constitute grave challenge thereby making it difficult for millions of Nigerians to break out of the terrible poverty trap.

Security in Nigeria is catastrophic, so says United Nations even as it states thus: "In Nigeria, the number of security incidents rose considerably. Among these was an attack on the town of Rann in Borno State, which claimed the lives of 10 people and wounded many others. Ten other suicide bombings and four attacks as well as IED explosions were recorded in Borno and Yobe states, targeting civilian and military infrastructures, predominantly in communities hosting the displaced".

The UN said also: "Meanwhile, the Government has continued to report progress in its efforts to neutralize the insurgency but the frequency and manner in which attacks are being carried out suggests the situation is going to worsen in the coming weeks".

The conflict, it says, has resulted in the deaths of more than 20,000 people and the displacement of millions in and out of the country since it started more than nine years ago.

The UN said: "In Maiduguri and Damaturu, road travel has been suspended for all United Nations (UN) staff but for its part, the Maiduguri-Bama-Banki axis was reopened after four years of closure. UN staff will continue to access Bama and Banki from Maiduguri using UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights. (Nigeria Situation: UNHCR Regional Update 01- 31 March 2018.https://reliefweb.int)"

*Emmanuel Onwubiko heads the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and blogs @ www.emmanuelonwubiko.com; www.huriwanigeria.com; www.huriwa@blogspot; www.queenzblog.com.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

HURIWA to heads of courts: You have failed to defend justice *Lambasts President over Finance Minister’s replacement.


Vexed by the lack lustre and lackadaisical attitudes of the heads of the three mainstream Courts to the flagrant violations of subsisting court orders by President Muhammadu Buhari, a pro-democracy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has tasked them to defend the integrity of the court system. 

HURIWA challenged the Chief Justice of Nigeria Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen; President of court of Appeal Mrs. Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, and Chief judge of federal high court Mr. Adamu Abdul-Kafarati to work as a team and support the head of the judiciary in Nigeria being the Chief Justice of Nigeria to fashion out a sustainable response mechanisms that could compel the head of the executive arm of government to comply with all binding court orders to avoid the collapse of constitutional democracy in the Country. HURIWA insists that the hierarchy of the judicial system in Nigeria is needed now more than ever to show courageous leadership by standing on the side of the constitution to demand strict adherence to the tenets of the principle of rule of law because allowing the naked desecration of the temple of justice by one branch of government and to continue to pretend that all is well will not augur well for sustainable democracy. Democracy it argues survives when all the primary drivers of the process are compelled by all lawful means to comply with the binding rules governing constitutional democracy and most especially the rule of law.

The group specifically condemned the heads of the different courts in the country for doing nothing whilst the head of the executive arm of government continues to disregard court rulings which amounts to an unconstitutional conducts, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the President of Court of Appeal and the Chief of Federal High Court are collectively charged to salvage the image of the court system and restore it to its constitutional pride of place.

In another development, the group has faulted the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to pick the reported  step sister of the Kaduna state governor (Nassir Elruffai) Zainab Ahmed a Fulani like himself as finance minister after the resignation of the immediate past Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun who had to leave following swirling allegations of certificate scam.
The Rights group criticized the President for concentrating key and strategic beats in the hands of only a section of the country just as it accused the President of nepotism which violates section 14 (3) of the constitution.

“Why should this government concentrate the most important appointments in the cabinet such as Finance, Defence, Justice and the entire internal security team in the hands of a section of Nigeria and alienating others. This divisive tendency is a grave threat to national security and the survival of our union as a united political and sovereign entity?”

"Total control of all security infrastures and the concentration of same in the hands of the President's kinsmen who share same religion is a constitutional abomination which must be aborted forthwith just as HURIWA cited the replacement of a competent acting Director General of Directorate of State Security Services Mr. Mathew Seiyefa with a retiree from Kano state Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi".

The Rights group which carpeted judges heading the diverse segments of the judiciary in Nigeria for failing to exercise their powers such as boycotting all cases filed by the presidency and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation until such a time the president complies with half a dozen binding bail orders in favour of erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Shiites Islamic Movement, Ibrahim Elzaczacky, cautioned them that time is not on our side to stop the coming catastrophy that may come by the persistence of these cumulative breaches of the principle of rule of law. 

"How does the chief justice of Nigeria; the president of court of Appeal and Chief Judge of Federal High Court feel every day they go to work to realize that the head of the executive arm of government has consigned several binding judgments of courts to the dustbin of impunity? Why not embark on peaceful boycott of cases instituted by the President? What is the essence of operating the institution of the judiciary when the holder of the office of President picks and chooses which decisions of the courts to obey?"

Referring specifically to the Chief Judge of Federal High Court, HURIWA asked him to worry more about how rulings of the different divisions of his court are rubbished by the President instead of dwelling on such sensational issues such as banning judges from issuing ex parte injunctions in political cases.

“We have just read that the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, had barred judges of the court from granting ex parte orders in political cases and even gave a deadline of October ending to judges to conclude political cases with likely effect on candidates in the forthcoming elections in the country but we are asking him to work with the other heads of the Court system together with the head of the Judicial arm of government to restore respect and credibility to the Judiciary already rubbished by the serial violations of court orders by President Muhammadu Buhari."

Nigerian Political godfathers at War By Emmanuel Onwubiko


The typical Nigerian campaign circle revolves around the influence or formidable reach of the persons who parade around as the political king makers or what is generally termed as political godfathers.

Looking at it from another perspective, one can assert that the single issue that has come to define and dominate the typical electioneering or campaign periods in Nigeria right from post-independence period has up until 2018 has always been the conversations around the influences and powers of political godfathers to successfully hand pick their stooges who would be anointed to run for one political office or the other. Politics is obviously the biggest business in Nigeria because the wieldets of political powers at the centre determines who gets what because the redistribution of national wealth is skewed in favour of the less than two percent of the populace that constitute the power making elite. These persons hold courts in their magnificent private mansions erected from the resources of the entire federation whilst they were actively controlling the topmost echelons of political power. In retirement out of political offices these persons ate still regarded as king makers of political godfathers. Some have regional control of their spheres of influences whilst others are in charge all around the country. The self centred interest of these tiny political cabal have unfortunately become the center of attraction during political campaigns. These godfathers with national influences are usually visited by persons seeking the tickets of the two dominant political parties of PDP and APC. These godfathers sometimes combine their positions as traditional and religious leaders and essentially most of them have linkages to former powerful military Generals. The military called the shots in Nigeria's politics for nearly three decades. 

In other words, what is conventional about campaigns in civilized societies like the United Kingdom, Germany, much of continental Europe and United States of America is not what worries aspirants to political offices in Nigeria.

In those Western civilized entities, those who seek for elective offices, have it at the back of their minds and indeed within their subconsciousness that the welfare and wellbeing of the people of their respective nations define the Kernels of their campaigns. 

Even in the United States of America whereby there are popular voters and the electoral college which can be likened to an exclusive class of political elites or elitist constituents, the people and what will make them generally happy and to live meaningful lives is at the core of their campaign messages.

In our contemporary times, we can speak about certain influential families in the United States of America for instance that can be likened to members of political dynasties by virtue of their remarkable successes recorded in such families in terms of the caliber of office holders from such families but by and large there is an absence of political godfathers. There are such families like the Kennedy, the Bush; the Clintons. John McCain Who recently died from brain cancer was an institution politically. 

For instance, if political dynasties or godfathers were to be instrumental to who picks the tickets of the two major parties of Republican and Democrats, then a rookie and total outsider like Donald Trump could not have succeeded in becoming the candidate of the Republican party who proceeded to win the election by trouncing/defeating the democratic party that presented Mrs. Hilary Clinton who can be considered as a member of one of America’s illustrious political dynasties. Hilary became both a Senator representing New York and the Secretary of state during the Barack Obama's Presidency. Obama was an unknown quantity when he emerged the first ever black American President which tells you that the voters are the real owners of the sovereignty of the USA. 

In Nigeria, you need the backing and supports of political godfathers to stand a fighting chance of standing for elective positions of all categories even for such a lowly rated political position such as that of local councillorship.

Development economists as well as political analysts, have come to reckon that the over bearing influences of these godfathers are to be blamed for the sorry state of our politics. Political godfatherism has stiffled democracy at the local government level even as godfathers in the 36 states who are governors violate the constitution with impunity by hand picking their errand boys and mistresses as council officials even as the revenue from the federation account that should go directly to the local government ends up in what is called joint accounts which are stolen by most governors. 
Nigeria’s politics suffer from the suffocating forces of lack of good governance, lack of transparent recruitment processes and the emergence in key positions of persons not sufficiently equipped and trained to control the different levers/platforms of political power configurations.

Rights from the pre-independence epoch to this contemporary time, the Nigerian political environment has been populated by crass opportunists and persons who at best can be described as belonging to the third eleven, that is if we are to assume that the political leadership map is like that of a football team.

The issues of corruption, collapsing infrastructures and poor governance records characterized by political instability, economic challenges and general state of insecurity that confront Nigeria as I write, can be traced to the overwhelming dominance of political godfathers who determine the fate of all political aspirants rights from the local councils up to the office of the president which is the highest in terms of control of the executive arm of government. These godfathers corner all the juicy contracts to fix the infrastructures and can as well deliver poor jobs or no jobs at all even as their stooges holding political offices lack the will power to demand accountability. The people are made to behave like mere spectators even whilst their commonwealth are shared by these opportunists and predators. 

For instance, in 1999, Northern born military generals such as Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar, and many others were instrumental to the anointing of the erstwhile military head of state in the 1970’s General Olusegun Obasanjo who was freed from an illegal imprisonment to become the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and for delivering him as the winner of the election that heralded the transition from military to civilian era.

The former military general, who served two terms between 1999 to 2007, then chose his successor in the person of the younger brother of the military General who was his military Chief of General Staff when he (Obasanjo) was military head of state in the mid 1970’s. Umaru Musa Yar’adua died before the end of his tenure making room for his vice Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to succeed him with the backing of the traditionally known political godfathers including the general Obasanjo who had initially picked him to become the vice president to the then governor of Katsina state Umaru Musa Yar’adua who was railroaded into office as president. Jonathan then proceeded to win a fresh term as president in 2011.

In 2015, the then erstwhile military head of state who has continuously been recycled within the corridors of powers from the 1970’s, General Muhammadu Buhari was sponsored by top shots and godfathers such as Senator Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Bukola Saraki and several other rebellious governors who moved from the ruling PDP to form a coalition called All Progressives Congress.

As preparation begins for next year’s poll, the influences of these political godfathers have even become much more forceful even as in many instances, these godfathers are currently waging political battles of supremacy with those surrogates and stooges they imposed as political office holders in all the mainstream and regional parties. 

In the ruling All Progressives Congress, even the incumbent picked up nomination form of N45 Million bought and paid for by some political godfathers who detailed their errand boys and girls to deliver the forms at the presidential villa. A story was even told that the errand boys/girls who delivered the Presidential nomination form to President Muhammadu Buhari were given generous transportation allowances from the Presidential treasury. 

However, the incumbent president has behind him all those same political godfathers who had bankrolled his first campaign prior to his pyrrhic victory in 2015. The PDP parade too many of those political godfathers who hitherto conspired in 2015 to deliver victory to Buhari. These godfathers are battling for presidential ticket in PDP because their erstwhile party APC has shut them out and has conceded the ticket to the incumbent. 

There is however too many dimensions of political battles between political godfathers and their hitherto political sons and stooges.
In Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Kano and to a large extent, in Sokoto, the political godfathers are baying for blood and for a perfect revenge of perceived lack of loyalty by these stooges they had supplanted in offices.

Mr. Godswill Akpabio who won election as senator to represent his side of Akwa Ibom had installed someone perceived or alleged to be his business front who was a top executive of Zenith Bank Mr. Udom Emmanuel as his successor in office as governor. For three years, rumours of discord between the godfather Mr. Akpabio and his god son Mr. Emmanuel became sensational.

The battle between the Akwa Ibom godfather and his godson led to what is now an open confrontation following the departure and defection of the godfather to the party that produced the president which also calls the shots regarding who would be arrested and prosecuted for alleged financial crimes by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC).

Akpabio is alleged to be facing multiple charges of fraud amounting to over N100 billion USD but his hurried departure to All Progressives Congress is interpreted as his last ditch effort to avoid going to prison.

Akpabio’s defection has opened the political battle fronts between himself as his former trusted ally and the 2019 poll is expected to be topsy truvy.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not in good terms with his political god son governor Akinwunmi Ambode of lagos state.

Tinubu has reportedly asked his boy Mr. Ambode not to run for a second term and has anointed another of his boy Mr. Jide Sanwolu to replace Ambode. But the Lagos fights of the political godfathers are in two dimensions. Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola whom he brought into political fame are now rivals in such a way that Fashola has now become a godfather who has picked Femi Hamzat to run for office of governor to challenge Tinubu’s estranged boy Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

In Imo State, the battle is between Rochas Okorocha whose eight years’ stint in office has witnessed the worst kind of misrule, is propping up his son-in-law Mr. Uche Nwosu to succeed him.

Rochas however faces stiff fight both within the APC and the external camps made up of PDP and APGA, a party that has witnessed phenomenal resurgence in the South East of Nigeria.

These fights of the political godfathers are about who would gain access to the resources of the people to embark on widespread plunder and looting. The welfare of the people is none of the business of these predatory political godfathers. 

Political godfathers behave true to their name.
‘Godfatherism’ is a term used in Nigeria to describe the strongman – dominated politics in the country (Albert 2005, Animasawun, 2013; Orji and Uzodi, 2012). Onu and Biereenu – Nnabugwu (2008, P.57) assert that ‘politics is seen as means of attaining wealth than as a process of service’ and that ‘godfatherism in Nigeria politics is behavior in which economically, politically, and socially well-placed individuals influence political, and economic processes (see Joseph, 1987).

The way to end the influences of godfatherism is for the electoral process to be reformed to make the role of money insignificant and to return sovereignty to the people of Nigeria in line with the constitutional provision. 

These reforms of the electoral system must happen so that only those persons who are ready to serve the people selflessly are recruited by the electorate to occupy public offices. The fight to achieve these reforms will be bloody but it seems the people of Nigeria are not ready to wage the battles of our life time but are busy chasing after bread and butter and most electorate have started selling their votes to these same predatory political godfathers. A political revolution is needed and Nigerians need persons of exceptional charisma to mobilize them to take back our country. 

"For good governance to prevail, the consent of the people that make up the political community must be obtained before establishing the political community. Note that in multiethnic and multilingual communities, this is one major step towards good governance. It is source of instability and strife where neglected. The essence of consent is strategic to good governance. It is the bedrock for defining basis of association in political community. It is a leverage for discussing and agreeing upon the covenant between the people and there would be leaders. It offers the opportunity of defining the agenda of governance. The minorities in the political community in the covenant are assured of their political rights. The sharing of power among the component or units of the political community will be given exhaustive definition" (See the book; 'Good Governance theory and practice' by Samuel Anayochukwu Eziokwu). 

I share these same sentiments. Nigerians please wake up and repossess your country.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko heads the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and blogs @www.emmanuelonwubiko.comwww.huriwanigeria.com;www.huriwa@blogspot.com.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Politicians Should Stop Using Youths as Thugs – CAN President ...Lack of Patriotism is Responsible for the Nigeria’s problems ...Shun political violence – Saraki tasks Nigerian youths


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has tasked the political leaders at all levels to involve the Nigerian youths in the nation building instead of using them for thuggery and all forms of electoral malpractices.

The Christian umbrella that made this clarion call also charges the Nigerian youths to be patriotic, dedicated, hardworking, committed, optimistic, focused and hopeful in all their endeavour if they must be relevant as the country is facing a lot of challenges threatening her stability.

Speaking at the official inauguration of the new leadership of the Youth Wing Christian Association of Nigeria (YUWICAN), the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle decries the menace of unemployment in the country despite the potentials of our youths due to lack of visionless leadership and how politicians have been misusing them for selfish reasons.

Said he, “Election is coming, campaign has begun. I call on all our politicians to stop using our youths for violence and electoral manipulations. God has deposited a lot of potentials in our youths with a view to using them as builders of this country. The politicians should stop misusing them. I call on all Nigerian youths especially the Christian youths to shun all electoral violence and manipulations.”

He also reminded those playing leadership roles in the Church to regard their tasks as sacrifices to God instead of seeing their works as channels of enriching themselves.

Speaking on THE ROLE OF CHRISTIAN YOUTH IN NATION BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT, the Director of National Issues and Social Welfare of the Association, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Stephen T.V. Adegbite who was the Guest Speaker asks the Christian youths to be involve the political process as part of their responsibilities in Nation Building. 

“Youths must seek to participate in government, politics and policy formulation. We must shelve aside our responsibilities of joining mainstream politics and forming healthy and progressive alliances among ourselves and participating in all issues of national interest. 

“Service and sacrifice to the country and fatherland in the spirit of true patriotism must be a front burner in the heart of every youth. This means the country’s peace, sanity and orderliness should be the utmost desire of every youth. By way of responsibility, the participation and involvement of the Christian youth in nationalisation is mandatory.

“It is also evidence that patriotism is the first trait lacking among Christian youths. For any nation to move forward, the people and most especially the Christian youth must love their country unconditionally.

“All the evil that befall befalls this country, like corruption, terrorism, ethno religious crisis are as a result of lack of true patriotism. If we truly love this nation, we will do anything to protect her interest and we will have in mind that Nigeria is bigger than any individual or institution.”

In his own remark, the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki appeals to the Nigerian youths to say NO to all forms of violence in the coming general election.

Saraki who was represented by Senator Philip Tanimo Aduda as one of the awardees said, “I call on all Nigerian youths not to participate in any electoral violence as we are drawing closer to the 2019 election. They are welcome on board in the building of our country and we promise that we will not fail them.”

He used the opportunity to solicit for prayers and support in his bid to become the President of the country next year.   

The new leadership of the YOWICAN includes Apostle Nyeneime Andy (the President), Pastor Adegbegi E. Ayodeji (Vice President), Pius Peter (Assistant National Secretary), and Miss Ekom Ladi Lydia (Treasurer). Others are the National Directors; Ama Kalu, Okoye Paschal, Isaiah Tovishede, Kenny Steve and Ibrahim Istifanus Tal.

Other awardees included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the CAN President, Dr Ayokunle, the Chairman, Northern CAN Pastor Yakubu Pam, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and a few others.

Signed
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant ( Media & Communications) to CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle
Friday, 14th September, 2018.

Kemi Adeosun should be prosecuted; *Condemns sack of DSS Acting DG/Nepotism in replacement:


A prominent pro-democracy and non-governmental group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has dismissed the reported resignation over certificate scam of minister of finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun as an insufficient remedy for her alleged indiscretion just as it has canvassed her prosecution for forgery.

Besides, HURIWA has expressed shock that President Buhari still keeps his senior Special Assistant on public prosecution Mr. Obono Obla despite his indictment for parading fake WAEC certificate as attested to before the National Assembly by the hierarchy of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said the slow action of the President in showing the way out or toleration of persons with alleged questionable credentials has absolutely destroyed any claim of his government waging war against corruption because a government cannot claim to go to equity with tainted and soiled hands.

HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf also condemned Buhari’s persistent violations of the constitutionally guaranteed federal character principle as enshrined in section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

Section 14 (3) provides that: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”

The Rights group said the recent gale of appointments into the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Security Minting and Printing Press in which persons of Hausa/Fulani Moslem extraction were made violates section 14 (3) of the supreme law and is a precursor to the well founded plots to rig the 2019 elections in favour of the incumbent who is Fulani from Katsina State. HURIWA condemned the rising trend of nepotism and sectionalism even in the building of strategic federal government funded infrastructures like Railways; Transportation University and dams in only Katsina state which is discriminatory against the rest of Nigeria and amounts to a constitutional breach.

HURIWA which calls the removal of the most senior Director of DSS – the Bayelsa State born and of Christian faith, citizen Mathew Seiyefa to bring in a retiree from Kano State Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi by president Buhari and the appointment of his kinsman -Alhaji Abbas Umar Masanawa from Katsina to head Nigerian security printing and minting company in an election period when the agency will most likely coordinate the printing of sensitive electoral materials including ballot papers for the 2019 election is not only immoral but a total breach of the federal character principle of the constitution and should be voided.

On the rumoured resignation of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun on the strength of a court case against her over her purported parading of fake exemption certificate not issued by the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), the Rights group has asked the management of NYSC to immediately drag her to court so she is sanctioned if found culpable or for the Attorney General of the Federation to do it himself or grant a fiat to a private entity to prosecute her over alleged forgery.

“We are of the considered opinion that the Federal Ministry of Justice or the NYSC must institute a legal proceeding against the Minister of Finance since the NYSC has ruled that the exemption certificate could not have come from them. “Her reported resignation if proven is neither sufficient nor has it paid for the severity of the alleged crime”.