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2021: A New Year For Nigerians To Calm Down, Stop Wailing – Femi Adesina

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When the year 2020 popped out of the womb of time, nobody knew that it was going to be what Yoruba people call Ogbologbo. Rough and tough. Unpredictable. Hungry and angry, consuming anything and everything it could lay its jaws on.

Across America, Europe, Asia, Africa, indeed, all continents, time, like an ever rolling stream, has been bearing its sons and daughters away. They fly forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day.

And who or what is the Grim Reaper? It is called a pandemic. COVID-19. Like President Muhammadu Buhari often says, “you can’t see it, you can’t hear it, you can’t smell or touch it, yet it is there, wreaking havoc all over the world.”

COVID-19 is a Great Leveler. It has removed dichotomies between the First World and the Third World. Every country, no matter the level of your health infrastructure, suffers. In fact, curiously, those who were better prepared for emergencies are suffering more, even than Africa, Nigeria particularly, with severe health infrastructural deficits. God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. When a cow has no tail, it is God that helps it to drive away flies. That is Nigeria for you.

The Grim Reaper is a respecter of nobody. It takes the rich, takes the poor. It takes the old, and the young. It takes the brilliant, and the dullard. It is still around, stalking, predating, seeking who to devour. May God keep us from an enemy we can’t see, hear, smell or touch. Amen, somebody!

As 2021 rolls in, it calls for new priorities from us as a people. As Nigerians, people ordained by fate to inhabit the area of the great River Niger, we must pause and think, and reset our priorities.

When this administration first came in 2015, every of its move was opposed by the then freshly rusticated People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Spokesman for that party then was Olisa Metuh. If President Buhari inhaled, he didn’t do it well. If he exhaled, he was asked why he did it like that. If rain didn’t fall, Buhari did it. If it rained too much, Buhari o, Buhari o. If a man was like a stud in his home, it was Buhari. If he suffered loss of power, chai, Buhari o, Buhari o.

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Olisa Metuh led the charge of criticism. And he had good allies in millions of people, worsted at the 2015 polls, and who didn’t seem to realize that the elections had been lost and won, and power had changed hands.

As spokesman to President Buhari, I had the duty to respond to a good number of the criticisms. One tried to do it as decently as necessary. One day, they had been ululating over one flimsy matter, and I responded, wondering whether the professional critics had any other job at all. I told them that power had changed hands inexorably, and that they should be ready to cry for a long time, if it was the option they preferred. I remembered the reggae music group, Bob Marley and the Wailing Wailers. I borrowed the name of the band to describe them. Wailing wailers.

It caught on like wildfire. People latched onto it, particularly pro-Buhari forces, to describe the unrelenting critics. The epithet, which I originally used to describe Metuh and his rag-tag army, was eventually appropriated by everyone in opposition to the Buhari government, and they began to call themselves wailers. Well, if they loved the name, and had accepted it, what else could we do than to arrange a formal naming ceremony? We did, and rice and stew was very plenty.

They gave we the pro-Buhari forces a name. Hailers. While they wailed, we hailed. While they found nothing right in the government, they said we found nothing wrong, not even the tiniest jot nor tittle.

And so we have been coming since 2015. The wailers crying and holding their heads in grief, cursing and hissing like serpents, the hailers applauding the government and encouraging it to do better. Which side would you rather be? You know the answer.

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In the year of the pandemic, everything collapsed. The economy. Oil prices in the international market. Businesses. There were emergencies, with people struggling to balance between lives and livelihood. Budget projections became nonsense. There were lockdowns, and life was generally nasty, and unpleasant. In many countries of the world, the citizenry knew where their problems came from. But in Nigeria, the wailers attempted to change the narrative. Chai! Buhari! Buhari! Buhari oooo.

But in the midst of the challenges, with earnings at about one quarter of what we used to receive as a country, President Buhari gave a charge to the Minister of Finance: salaries and pensions must not fail, and funding of agriculture and infrastructure must not stop.

How admirable. What other evidence did you need to know that it was an administration that had come to serve, and not to be served? In the same situation, in another era, those in government would be lining their pockets, looting whatever was available, to provide for themselves and their families, against the rainy day. Buhari picked salaries, pensions, funding of agriculture and infrastructure.

Let us look at infrastructure. In 2020, the year of the pandemic (which is yet to abate), did you notice any reversal in the building of roads, rail, bridges, airports, and the like? A lull during the lockdown, but things revved up again. Second Bridge over the River Niger. AKK pipelines. Long abandoned roads. Airport projects. All proceeding apace, and most of them billed to be completed in the lifetime of this administration.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has given timelines on the completion of major projects in the country. Most of them fall within the first quarter of 2022, a clear year before the terminal date of the administration. You know what that means? 2021 is the year of work. Hard work, to deliver on the major projects by next year. Is it then a year to continue wailing? No. It is the year to calm down. A year for wailing wailers to find a vocation, and allow government to concentrate, and deliver on projects at hand. Anybody who loves the country must resolve to give government as less distraction as possible this year. Yes, there are challenges: security, economy, improving quality of lives. Lack of jobs. Inflation.. And many others. But is it the year to wail? No. We should rather hail, encourage government to do better, and engender better standards of living for Nigerians.

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So, what am I saying. No criticism in 2021? No. But let it not be a full time vocation, as it has been with some people. They will criticize the rail project of the government, calling it white elephant, but will be the first to hop on the trains, taking selfies in it. Wailers, calm down. Please, “be calming down” in 2021, so that government can function with less distractions. It is not the year to cavil, find unnecessary faults, and fill the land with lamentations.

May 2021 be a better year for us all. May we be kept, sustained, and taken care of by the divine powers. May insurgency, banditry, all forms of criminality come to an end. May we get out of the Hobbesian state of nature, where life is nasty, brutish and short. May we have more causes to hail, instead of wail. May we love our country, warts and all, knowing that no perfect government exists anywhere, at least, not one run by man. William Cowper said: “England, with all thy faults, I love thee still. My country.” We should also say same of Nigeria.

May it be a splendid year. And may Heaven endorse our amen. Again, amen, somebody!

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

 

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Opinion

CITAD Advocates Use of Technology in the fight against Insurgency

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Cigiya Citad Kano
CITAD Advocates Use of Technology in the fight against Insurgency
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CITAD Advocates Use of Technology in the fight against Insurgency

Abba Dukawa, Kano.

The Executive Director Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Engineer Y.Z Yau has said that Its seem like government and its security agencies failed to restore peace in the country, Instead, they seem to be in a debate among themselves as to who can offer the most ridiculous explanation of their failure.

According to him “we are all aware that insecurity across the country has made nowhere in Nigeria a safe place in the country as Kidnapping, banditry, secessionist violence have all become common place that peace is the only illusive constant.

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CITAD Lunching CIGIYA Android Application, To Enhance ICT Development  In Kano
Engineer Y.Z Yau made the observation in a press conference held at CITAD Kano office on Wednesday.

Explained that for the government to curtail the insecurity there is need for security agencies to increasing use of digital technology in term of intelligensia sharing among agencies to upfront merchants of violence in the country adding that reequipping our army and intelligence agencies who have been underequipped this approach will help in minimize the nation security challenge for quite long.

Saying if these criminals can wage a campaign of terror and violence using Technology and intelligence, this means that government’s’ counter insurgency must also turn to be based on intelligence, but we have not seen this in the way that army and other agencies are prosecuting the campaign against insurgents.

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Engineer Y.Z Yau added What government should do in adopting Technology and intelligence, need to develop, through consultation its Use of Technology for Counter Insurgency Plan and Strategy, Identity and address connectivity blind spots in the country, especially within environments where bandits and insurgents are operating

Cigiya Citad Kano

Cigiya Citad Kano

The statement further explain
developing a full characterisation of insurgents use of social media and track down their conversations using the identified markers and also need for internationally accepted standards, protocols for monitoring suspected insurgents
In doing these, government should not indiscriminately monitor citizens to trample and desecrate their right to digital privacy.

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People Don’t Get Over Their Problems By Running Away From Them. – Says Elempe Dele.

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Elempe Dele, Edo.
People Don't Get Over Their Problems By Running Away From Them. - Says Elempe Dele.
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People Don’t Get Over Their Problems By Running Away From Them. – Says Elempe Dele.

“To be careful about rhetorics from our leaders and even us concerning a looming civil war and or this country tilting towards a completely failed state is yet the best thing any patriot should do in an ideal situation.

However, the indices, statistics, and reality on ground must be looked at keenly so that we don’t try to wish away facts as if in them the truth of the sorry state we are will go away magically.

“I Stopped Prostitution When My Dad Showed Up As My Client”- Lady Narrates

People don’t get over their problems by running away from them, they face them squarely. In a country were over 100 people, including security operatives are either killed or Kidnapped on weekly basis cannot be said not to be at the verge of a civil strife of sort. In a country where each nationality is hoisting their flags and printing their own currencies in serious Secession bids cannot be said to be in a state of peace.

Elempe Dele, Edo.

Elempe Dele, Edo.

In a country where a quasi-state like Boko Haram and Bandits hold large swarth of the country as their caliphates, collecting taxes and recruiting the willing and unwilling, cannot be said to be tranquil.

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The misbegotten call those who tell it the way it is names of their own inventions, but they are those who live in lies and denials so we don’t really factor them into our candid national discussions. They are mostly small sects of blackmailers and gaslighted propagandists.

There is a simple curative lore to our problem; Buhari, who is totally absent, should resign from office with immediate effect and alacrity. He should handover to Prof. Osinbajo and let there be a convocation of a national conference to negotiate out our union.

The contraption does not seem to be working – since 1960, and it got worsened under General Buhari due to his nepotistic, tribalistic and religious tendencies. And on this basis, no united NIGERIA can be sort under him.

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Coupled with his ineptitude, clannishness, incompetence, ailment, absenteeism, he is not fit for the job, which he has never been fit for.

Nnamdi Kanu’s Audio Message Of IPOB, Incitement, Childish Which Lacks Intellectual Impetus. – Elempe

Nigeria is not a small sect of people where you oversee as a mujahedeen. NIGERIA is a vast multi-ethnic nationalities with different cultures, different religious and different resources. The people are generally rebelling against Buhari’s unforced failures.”

 

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Who Can Give Me Cooking Gas; Okay, Who Will?

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Who Can Give Me Cooking Gas; Okay, Who Will?

 

A sustainable energy security in Nigeria will require a deliberate effort by government to deal. It will require a leadership that keeps the citizenry at the heart of all policy framings and execution. God has, on His part, allowed the fortunes of nature to be prodigiously generous to us as a nation.

For instance, with a massive 187 trillion cubit feet of proven gas deposit, the nation stands as a prominent member of states endowed with abundant natural gas. We therefore have no business depleting our forests in search of firewoods and charcoal. Our gas-fired power stations equally have no business shutting down due to unavailability of gas.

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If gas is made available for domestic use, a lot of stress and dangers encountered in most rural homes would have been removed. Homes merely need to light their cookers whenever it’s time to prepare a meal. The day our nation succeeds in demystifying the secrets around gas – and in this case, gas for domestic uses, the world will stand still for us. As a matter of fact, we ought to start seeing at our enormous gas deposit as a national resource upon which solutions to many of our problems rests. This clearly is a matter of urgency.

Of course, it is not all gloom for the Nigerian liquefied natural gas. Mr President is doing a magnificent lot in trying to earn big dollars from gas. Although some consider it as an elitist project because some believe that the focus is not on our kitchens but on the other nations. It is difficult to disagree with mouthers of this concern given the challenges Nigerians perennially face accessing and enjoying what is theirs. But whether the philosophy of the project is elitist or populist, that our Country is pulling this off at this time is big news (reader may Google “Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano AKK” for more on this). And, frankly, this project is massive and cheering to the heart. It is a legacy project that a younger, vibrant and boundlessly ambitious successor should warm up to.

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Many believe that the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has eyes for youthful, resourceful and useful associates in governance that is indicative of what Nigerians are looking forward to. The attractions he holds for smart people offers a rich prospect for a well managed Nigerian energy mix. It is up to his admirers across the Country and around the world to stand strong and ensure he attains the golden fleece. They must resist the inducements peddled by corrupt billionaire agents of the power grabbing elites.

I ghọtara that kain thing, my brethren?

Oshaloto Tade Joseph

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