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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

HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL’S DISPLAY OF COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, AUTHENTICITY IS WORTHY OF EMULATION

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HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL’S DISPLAY OF COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, AUTHENTICITY IS WORTHY OF EMULATION

 

 

There are three broad set of qualities we the electorate must expect our politicians to display: Competence, integrity and authenticity. For a politician to be authentic, he or she must be judged to be in touch with the lives and outlooks of ordinary people.

Every good politicians place more relative importance on integrity traits while Journalists value competence most. The personality and qualities of every political leaders has long been acknowledged as an important element of politics and influence on political attitudes and behaviour of our leaders.

The need to explore the structure of citizens expectations towards politicians personality traits and relationship between these expectations and political trust is very much important. To distinguish Authenticity from integrity associated with honesty, being true to principles, Keeping promises and competence associated with Skill, effectiveness, getting things done in a proper way. It would seem appropriate to focus on the human dimension on whether politicians are seen to be in touch with ordinary people, accepting of themselves and others and to also understand everyday life of the people they represent.

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These qualities are what you will see in HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL because he is that good politician and our prospective Member of House of Representatives that is more confident and straightforward in his dealings with his people, he is more open to new challenges that is currently facing our people.

Hon. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is a leader whose display of Competence and integrity is what other politicians need to emulate in order to make things better for the people they represent. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is that man with good political leadership Skills that will prove to us to be a successful leader if given the opportunity to represent us at the green Chamber of National Assembly. He is an astute politician who can easily distinguish between success and failure. He has a visionary dream for our constituency and Also understands how to turn his vision into success stories. Hon. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is a responsible leader that will give high regard for morality, law abiding with no tendencies to corruption. He is a man whose greatest strength is to derive Joy in serving his people in every aspect of life in such a way that will make his followers have trust in him. The very best way for a good politician like Olobatoke Segun Samuel is to build trust and to also display good sense of Character and qualities composed of Values, beliefs, trait and skills. Hon. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is a good politician who have a thorough Knowledge and up-to-date information about Kabba/Bunu/IJumu federal constituency where he is going to contest an election to represent us at the green chamber of National Assembly. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL is a well discipline personality with selfless service that will make live better for our people through so many sacrificial and humanitarian services to the downtrodden. He is that politician that will leave his constituency better than before if elected. Greatness is within reach of a good politician like HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL who consistently do things to transform the lives of his constituents.

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He is a leader who always aspires to be a great politician that must have the ability to find and analyses problems in his constituency and find the best solutions for all these problems as there is no problem in this world without solution.

We put our trust in God almighty to give us a good leader like OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL to lead us come 2023 by his grace.

Together We can make SOS for Reps, our Collective Project a dream come true.

God bless the entire people of Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency.

Signed:
SOS MEDIA TEAM
04/10/2021

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Opinion

“Your Excellency Sir, Kindly Beam your Inspection Compass on Okene Water Project” – An Open Letter to His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello

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“Your Excellency Sir, Kindly Beam your Inspection Compass on Okene Water Project” – An Open Letter to His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello

 

An Open Letter to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, theExecutive Governor of Kogi State

 

 

Your Excellency sir, kindly beam your inspection compass on Okene Water Project

 

 

Written by: Bello Abdulhameed Ivavah

 

 

Your Excellency Sir, I want to use this opportunity to once again appreciate you for your avowed determination to revamp the erstwhile decrepit state of infrastructure across the state. Also appreciated is your recent and timely effort to tour and assess the ongoing projects within and outside Lokoja, where you commended and condemned appropriately their respective handlings by contractors.

Your Excellency, you would remember that in your effort to ameliorate the suffering of the masses and improve the well being of citizens especially in Kogi Central, you graciously contracted Okene Water Board project in your first tenure which was backed up humongous sum of money. The news that Ebira people would have potable water in their households gladdened their heart and affirmed that you are truly son of the soil who knows the yearnings, aspirations and sufferings of his people.

Unfortunately, this has become a tall dream as the much-needed water project has been subdued callously by mindless and inhuman corruption, avarice, self aggrandisement, parochial interest , egocentric and diversion of funds by some of your trusted Lieutenants in your first tenure.

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As an objective individual and a core DATA BOY and a promoter of your government , I have taken much of my time to critically analyse the administration under your watch. I have drawn this distinct and unequivocal facts that you are indeed a developmentalist, a project warrior and a succor vaccine for all infrastructural decay. You have worked tirelessly to ensure that long after you leave office, your signature projects live on. However, as a leader, we know that you are not omnipresent but some of your lieutenants saddled with this responsibilities of executing tangible projects are misusing funds to the detriment of the people of Kogi State with particular reference to Okene Water project, thereby eroding your effort

Needles to admit here that it would be a collective slap on our face and generational insult if decades of acute water scarcity across Ebiraland cannot be addressed squarely before the end of your eight-year tenure. It may amount to leaving your abode in ignoble filth and stench thinking that unknown sojourners would clean the mess. This is practically impossible because charity they say, begins at home.

As a leader on whose shoulder the destiny of the state is squarely placed at this material time, the accolades and knocks of this administration lie on your personality and we know that to avoid untoward situation especially as regards execution of the water project, you swiftly constituted the committee which has obviously failed in their assignment.

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Your Excellency sir, It is very unfortunate and disheartening to notify you that the said “water board” in question is still in shamble state and total comatose despite your effort, thus the victim of such area are still suffering from acute water supply of which our prayer points right now (which may not be granted) is for God to sustain the raining season longer than before. Dry season is near and Ebira women will soon resume hunting for water in the mountainous and upland topography amidst wanton case of kidnapping! Just like you expressed displeasure over the shabby handling of Kogi State Specialist Hospital yesterday, I use this opportunity to implore you to call all actors, saboteurs and enemies of Ebira people that were involved in the water project to account for their embezzlement.

Your Excellency, this call for accountability is imperative because the only achievement of those involved in the water project is to procure fake pictures to mislead you to believe them that the project has been successfully implemented and completed to the benefit of the people that it is meant to served. While in reality the people of the central are in agony, crying out aloud that this time is the best time for solutions, and this ugly scenario is capable of eroding your good legacies in Kogi Central, Your Home Town!

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While in actual fact, there is nothing on ground to justify the huge sums released to the committee for the execution of the project, it is against this backdrop, we condemn in strong terms this broad day light failure, robbery and insult on the intelligent people of Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Your Excellency Gov. Yahaya Bello I wish to as a matter of urgency plead with you to take a bold steps by visiting the area for inspection to see the true state of the project to enable you take inform position on the way forward and ask the committee to give an account on how the huge sum was spent with little or nothing on ground to show for it, contrary to their report and claims that the project have been completed.

Your recent condemnation of substandard execution of ongoing renovation on Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja has once again reiterated your passion for tangible development and that propelled me to write this letter on behalf of the entire Ebira people who are gnashing their teeth as a result of painful pangs of acute shortage of potable water. We hope and anticipate for plausible solutions as soon as this piece gets to you.

Bello Abdulhameed Ivavah
Writes from Ajaokuta LGA
The Home Of Steel
28th Sep 2021

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Opinion

Obaseki and The Psychology of Manipulation.

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State
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By Isaiah Jesuobo, Benin.

During the Obaseki’s administration in APC, the governor accused the leaders of the party of asking him to share Edo State money meant for development, and that when he refused, the leaders instituted fights against him.

This narrative sold like wildfire as it was in the lips of all well-meaning Edo citizens. The people forgot that even when he said he didn’t want to share the money with the leaders, we didn’t see any development; there were no roads being constructed, no employment into schools as some had just or two teachers from SS1 to SS3, no signature projects, public hospitals were without doctors and nurses.

All we were seeing were rampant MOUs gulping millions, decaying infrastructures, noise of probe in loan deals he was part of, demolitions, empty talks, audio claims, theoretical paperworks.

Even when the leaders of APC asked him to name those who asked him to share Edo State money with them, he went mute. It was obvious afterwards that it was a lie.

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On this note, in 2020, he was screened out of APC by the gubernatorial screening committee and was accepted by the notorious Secundus led clique for pecuniary gains without informing the stakeholders in Edo State, without the interrogation of his person or what he had done in the state after four years that would have merited his admission into the party.

Fast forward to a year later, this same Obaseki who one said he would never share Edo State money with politicians accused PDP members of collecting money from him in billions to acquire the gubernatorial ticket. Again, when asked who and who collected money from him, he went mute in his contradictions as usual.

It has become apparent that Governor Godwin Obaseki works on the emotions of the gullible masses and those political profiteers to twist and turn narratives to suit his inabilities. And this is one of the characteristics of a dictator.

Obaseki is very manipulative in his scheming, calculative in his craft and media-sarvy in his shrewdness.

Manipulation, as used by Obaseki, is the exercise of harmful influence over others. People who manipulate others attack their mental and emotional sides to get what they want.

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The person manipulating — seeks to create an imbalance of power, and take advantage of a victim to get power, control, benefits, and/or privileges at the expense of the victim.

After bringing APC leaders to public ridicule, his next target audience is PDP members who left their umbrella to go into the rain to welcome him to their fold. (He never appreciated this act.

He paid aides can openly come out to say he was never a political orphan) His intention is to manipulate the public to thinking his failures not being able to constitute his cabinet, appoint aides, conduct LGA elections and even keep the various promises he made in 192 wards has to do with PDP and his leaders who has refused to allow him dominate the party the way he did in APC.

It’s only fools and their likes that can buy into this story: we have told him to appoint only all his men, the new PDP, into his cabinet without considering us from the old PDP, but he should do so quickly as his actions and inactions are becoming embarrassments to the party, PDP. He didn’t promise to rule over only his party men, he promised he will govern over the entire Edo citizens. The public, irrespective of their political affiliations, is disenchanted that a year after election, they have been blanked out of governance rather, the government is chasing shadows on how to force vaccinate the people against their wish.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

Gov. Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor, Edo State

As we speak, his rating has nosed-dived and that of PDP. The party its members must continue out against Obaseki so that the public can separate his personal failures from that of PDP he has taken up arms against or else, going forward, PDP will fair well in subsequent elections, which Obaseki won’t care about as he is not a member of PDP, it was just a vehicle for him to achieve his inundate ambition.

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