Nigeria is at a crossroad. The enemies of peril have gathered around, ready to devour the little sanity restored in the eight blissful years of APC presidency. In the North, religious extremism borne out of misinterpretation and misrepresentation have taken toll.
The war with Boko Haram have become a global nightmare, despite reasonable success on the side of the government. The country, more than ever, is polarised along religious lines, with counter accusations greeting the front pages of national dailies. The present government of Muhammad Buhari has done a commendable job of attempting to return the country to its past glory. However, more needs to be done. More than ever, Nigeria needs a messiah that will build heavily upon the giant strides made in the last 6 productive years.
Many people beg to ask the question, who is that worthy candidate?
It is our understanding that Nigeria needs to go back to its past and ask disturbing questions least to find out why things are not going as smoothly as expected. The solution to Nigeria’s leadership lies in the ability of its citizens to look back to their glorious past and come up with seeming explanations as regards who was a good leader and what constitutes excellent leadership.
It is glaringly clear that the present model is no close to taking Nigerians to the promised land. The country needs a cosmopolitan administrator, who understands the reality of both local and national outlooks.
History has laid bare before us, the happenings of the past and the tactics of men of the old. The criteria for leaderships are almost always universal, with a few changes in priority here and there. These criteria most often, constitute learning, insight, honesty, sincerity, versatility, listening ears, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, bravery and availability.
To the sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, as articulated in his Tanbih al-Ikhwan, there are no qualities indispensable to leadership than learning and yearning to associate with its bearers. This is in tune with the ideas of universally acclaimed men of letters from the plains of Gibraltar to the borders of Mogadishu.
It formed the basis of the leadership concepts of scholars from Nizam al-Mulk, Al-Farabi to Niccolo Machiavelli, author of the classic, The Prince.
Who then fits this universal leadership formula? Certainly, that will be a difficult question to answer, considering the vast population of Nigeria and the many honourable gentlemen, virtually unknown in the nation’s political arena. But then, like a 19th century scholar said, we prefer the usual to the unusual, since the usual is what we want to elucidate”. The ideal candidate is none other than the infamous Yariman Bakura, Alhaji Sani, former governor of Zamfara State, known widely as an unrepentant democrat and man of learning.
For those who know Yarima, this is no surprise, as his reign as Governor and many of the brave decisions he took, to give his constituency what they wanted without fear of libel, had established him as one of the most honest and forthright politicians the nation has ever seen.
We need to see beyond the surface disturbance to reach the crux of the controversies surrounding the political journey of this illustrious son of Nigeria and why he is the saviour Nigeria now needs. The Yarima is evidently a good student of history and politics. As governor, he swore to serve and protect the interest of his state. This explains his reaction to their clamour for the Sharia.
That mischief makers politicised the issue and depicted Yarima as a religious chauvinist, just because he implemented the Sharia, famous for its just and universally ideal content and within the purview of the nation’s constitution, was not a surprise to the fair-minded. Agents of mischief ignored the fact that the Sharia was not, is not, and cannot be an attempt to impose Islam on any part of the country. It was a reaction to the popular call in the North, aimed at garnishing the present model with a system indigenous to its recipients.
Yarima’s attraction was to its call for justice, fair play and equality.
Yariman Bakura is evidently aware that states are built on justice not religion. His pioneering launch of the Sharia was thus based on an understanding that no single system today is sufficient to chart the right path for humanity. Even Western capitalism with its liberal tendencies, borrow from some of the social investitures of Socialism. Communist countries, like Russia, also borrow what they consider useful aspects of Capitalism, especially as regards economic formulas the world today has embraced Islamic sukuk, as a way out of a threatening global financial mess.
The implementation of the Sharia in Zamfara, was not all about implementing punishments as many would love us to think. It was about mixing two systems to arrive at a hybrid appropriate for this time. It was accompanied with a tenacity to develop infrastructure, reduce crime, breed confidence, create unprecedented tolerance.
It is no surprise that Yarima was able, through a traditional approach to, for example, get more parents to enrol their children into Western schools.
The state policies enacted, convinced traditional scholars they matter, thus the reason they doubled on their efforts to expose their listeners to the fact that knowledge is universal. They lectured citizens about the contribution of famous Muslim scientists like Ibn Sina and Ibn Firnas to modern sciences. Had this model survived, the Boko Haram menace would not even have arisen. Nigeria needs a leader with this type of training, who would integrate the old and the new, through productive policies that would check extremism and create bridges across regional divides.
It is in light of this that Yarima Support Organisation pledged to support and promote this noble son of the soil.
YSO will endeavour to unearth many of the social and economic strides Yarima made as governor of Zamfara state and former Senator. His mission and vision, if elected as Nigeria’s president, would certainly move the nation forward and see it rub shoulders with countries like Malaysia and Singapore. He has the will, the learning, the insight and the global recognition.
No Evidence Kwara LG Funds Were Diverted: Judicial Panel
Allegations that the Kwara State Government diverted or deducted N300m monthly from local government funds since May 2019 to date are null and void, panel of inquiry on the finance of the 16 local government areas has said.
The panel also said it found no evidence that the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration has borrowed to pay salary or pension since it was inaugurated on May 29, 2019.
“We want to state categorically that there is no evidence either oral or documentary to support the allegation of N300m monthly deduction from the local government funds by the state government. The allegation of such deductions is therefore baseless, unfounded and false,” its chairman retired Justice Mathew Adewara said late Wednesday when the panel submitted its report to the Governor.
AbdulRazaq had on August 11 inaugurated the panel to investigate the allegations of diversion of local government funds or borrowings from the bank to pay salaries of local government workers.
Justice Adewara said a total of 35 witnesses testified before the panel while several documents were produced and tendered by them. He said the panel also visited some of the local governments to see what projects they have done as had earlier been submitted by the director of personnel management (DPMs) who appeared before them.
The report of the panel meanwhile has found that the state government “does not deduct money from the SUBEB account while salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff are paid as and when due from May 29 to date”.
Adewara said the panel only received a memorandum from the Elite Network for Sustainable Development (ENETSUD), adding however that the questions the civic group raised in its memo were “all based on incomplete information sourced from the internet and social media.
“Meanwhile, all the grey areas have been thoroughly thrashed out to the satisfaction of Mr Suleiman Oladimeji (of ENETSUD), having been confronted with the documents earlier submitted to the panel by the Kwara State Ministry of Finance.”
The report meanwhile confirmed that the last administration took two separate loans in the name of the local governments: N4bn and another N1.6bn.
“The past administration obtained a loan of N4bn from a commercial bank for payment of two months arrears of salaries of local government staff. It was this loan that the Local governments were repaying at monthly instalments of N317m. The loan of N4bn has been fully repaid in September 2019.
“There is another loan of N1.6bn also obtained by the past administration while the repayment of the loan is ongoing and will terminate in August 2022. It means therefore that the present administration inherited the obligation to repay the loan.”
The committee meanwhile urged the government to ensure “monthly publication of the total wage bill, IGR and expenditure at the state and Local government levels. This, we are sure, would guarantee accountability and transparency which will enrich the integrity of the government in the minds of the people; thereby preventing future reoccurrence of doubt, allegation of financial misappropriation emanating from the people against government.”
Justice Adewara commended the Governor for his boldness to direct a probe of his own administration — a development he asserted was new to the country.
“We commended Your Excellency’s courage to set up the panel to inquire into the finance of the local government from May 29 to date, which is the same as setting up a panel to investigate your administration,” he said.
The Governor, for his part, commended the panel for accepting to serve the state in such delicate capacity.
“We believe that the document you’re submitting will enrich us. I never authorised the deduction or diversion of any money and so nothing could have been so diverted,” he said.
“However, it was important to clear public doubt when allegations came that we were diverting some money. That was the essence of setting up the panel to see if there has been any anomaly as alleged. Your findings and recommendations will help us to strengthen the civil service both at state and local government levels, especially how funds are spent and managed.
“We campaigned on not interfering with local government finances and since we came in we have not done so. If anybody has done so it was without my knowledge. The local governments do not need my approval to spend any money. The main interface between the state and local governments is when the commissioner of finance and planning goes to Abuja for FAAC meetings, comes back and meets with the local governments that this is what we got for you from Abuja. That’s where it ends.
“Truly, we appreciate what you have done. We will go through your recommendations properly and implement them. Just as we set up this panel, the state house of assembly set up their own and I also invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to come in and investigate the issues. That is ongoing. I thank you for your time.”
The eight-member panel comprised people drawn from various walks of life, including retired Justice Adewara (chairman); Mrs Halimah Bello (DSS); Mrs Titilayo Adedeji (CSOs); Barrister Aisha Bello Mohammed (NBA); DSP Adekunle Iwalaiye (police); Mohammed Baba Ibrahim (ICAN); Alhaja Asmau Apalando (NLC); and Barrister S.K Grillo (Secretary).
Mob Attacks Fed. MOW, Fire Service Over Failure To Quench Fire In Kogi.
By Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.
Angry mob early morning on Saturday attacked the Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Fire Service over failure to quench fire that engulfed the multi billion naira ‘P — LINK’, an electrical and electronics super store in Lokoja, Kogi state capital.
The super store located on the popular IBB road in the state capital is alleged to have gutted fire following intermittent power outages at about 10.30 pm and continued to burn till the next day , despite efforts of sympathisers and volunteers.
Irked by the absence of fire fighters from both the state and federal fire fighters, some youth constituted themselves in to a mob and launched an attack on the Federal Ministry of Works situated directly opposite the scene of the inferno.
Both the Federal Ministry of Works and Fire Service which happen to be in the same premises were vandalised and property worth millions of naira including office equipments were allegedly destroyed.
The mob was also alleged to have uprooted the pole hoisting the national flag and went ahead to shatter the window pales of the mosque in the federal ministry’s Lokoja office.
All efforts to reach the Kogi state Commissioner of works, Engineer Abubakar Ohere, or other relevant officials of state ministry of works to comment on the incident and the alleged failure to discharge their responsibility and raid on the federal Ministry of works tailed as all phone calls were not answered.
However, officials of the federal ministry of works and fire service have confirmed the attack and vandalization of their facilities by the suspected mob, whom, they alleged acted in ignorance.
The officials who spoke under conditions of anonymity, said normally the federal fire service in the state is to compliment the state fire service, but was handicapped due to breakdown of its machines.
“It is true that irate mob attacked the federal fire service in Lokoja over the fire incident that raised down the P-Link super store, but it is on record that the federal fire service has always performed its duties, until when our vehicle got damaged due to an accident in the course of duty and has been taken to Abuja for repairs. This office should not take blame for the unfortunate incident”, the official stated.
The owner of the mall, Mr Peter Ojuneme, who expressed shock over the unfortunate incident, thanked the people of Lokoja and the Kogi state as a whole for their support, sympathy and encouragement, calling on relevant agencies to investigate the cause of the inferno to avert future occurrence, not only to him, but others.
Bauchi State Govt. Debunks Online Newspaper Publication Over Sacking Of Head of Service, Says Reports Mischievous
By Yahaya Idris, Bauchi.
A Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Bauchi State, Mr. Mukhtar Gidado, had denied an online Newspaper Publication allegedly stating that Governor Bala Mohammed has “sacked” Alh Ahmed Abubakar Ma’aji, as Bauchi State Head of Civil Service.
According to the statement: “For the avoidance of doubt and in order to put the records straight, it is imperative to clarify that at no time did His Excellency, Governor Bala Mohammed sack the immediate past Head of Civil Service. Alh Ahmed Abubakar Ma’aji, rather has reached the normal retirement age on Friday 25th September, 2020 haven meritoriously served the State for 35 year”.
“The news report is therefore a misrepresentation of the press release earlier issued conveying the appointment of the Acting Head of Civil Service Dr Bala M Lukshi .
The Governor’s Media Aide call on media practitioners to always cross check their facts before going to press for proper and effective information dissemination. He stated.
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