By Ogiemwonyi Osazuwa, Edo.
The continue existence of the Covid-19 pandemic is not in doubt, my concerns and doubts arise from the manner in which the Nigerian Government handles it. Nigerian Government is expected to do things differently to tackle the second wave of Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians understand this corona-virus and our leaders must therefore tackle it the “Nigerian way”.
Although the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria are doing its best to contain the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, however their best are not good enough.
The Federal Government and the 36 State Governments should intensify actions to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
More have been said on Covid-19 preventive health measures and Nigerian Government has been trying to keep Nigeria safe with theoritical approach rather than practical approach. The effect on this is that the Nigerian Government is doing the same thing but expecting different results.
In less than five months Nigeria came out from partial lockdown and Nigeria is on partial lockdown again. As of today, several states across Nigeria are on partial lockdown. And Federal Government is considering ban on some countries.
Apart from COVID-19 screening centres that were closer to the people during the first wave of COVID-19, and the setting up of isolation centres across Nigeria, the Federal and State Governments are doing little work to contain COVID-19 in the second wave of the pandemic, through theoritical approach.
It is theoritical because the Government’s approach is majorly on paper. With very little or no practical approach to make the country work amidst the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Government should as a matter of urgency shift her attention to practical approach in fighting against the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Evidently, behavioural change which is natural to human has proven to be one of the best ways to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Rather than lockdown the country in one way or the other either through partial or total. The Federal Government in collaboration with the 36 States of the federation can employ Coronavirus Taskforce Team to enforce Covid-19 protocols-compliance across major sectors in the country and Coronavirus Ambassadors to engage in frequent Coronavirus sensitization campaign across the country.
With this practical approach, Nigeria economy will not be grounded with partial or total lockdown. And there will be no room for total lockdown.
Again, where necessary the Police force etc can work in synergy with the Covid-19 Taskforce team to achieve the set goals and objectives.
Moreover, Mobile court can be provided in strategic locations across the nation to handle Covid-19 violation to serve as a deterrent to others.
While the Government at various levels continue to revamp testing laboratories and isolation centres. And also continue to motivate the frontline health workers and encourage people to take advantage of the health facilities in their localities.
No doubt, this practical approach can contain the spread of Covid-19 without partial or total lockdown. It will create jobs amidst the pandemic and recession, and it will enable Nigeria economy to grow.
It will also bring Coronavirus sensitization campaign closer to the people and help in winning the war against the virus.
Together, we can set Nigeria free of Coronavirus. It begins with the leaders…
Ogiemwonyi Osazuwa writes in from Edo State.
Lessons from Anambra Election and Beyond.
By Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere
One time PDP Publicity Secretary in Edo State who was also a member of the Presidential Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta and Chairman, Edo State Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere, has added his voice to the growing philosophical, moral and legal perspectives concerning the Anambra State election where Prof. Soludo of APGA won convincingly.
“The Anambra State election holds many lessons for us, and we must take them seriously. First, let me use this opportunity to congratulate the winner of the election, Prof. Charles Soludo. He was very impactful during his time as the Governor the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and hope he will use his wealth of experience in the economic world to help develop Anambra State.
“From what was experienced in Anambra State election, I am optimistic that we might be nearing the desirable point of free and fair election in spite of associated imperfections, the electronic transmission of results in real time being the game changer. Gone are those days where ballot boxes are snatched and votes are thumb printed in some hollow chamber by hoodlums.
And in my insistent prophesy, I see President Buhari sustaining this tempo until the 2023 presidential election where conducting a free and fair election without the interference of Federal Might would be a lasting legacy he would want to live behind as he departs after 8 years in power.
“In 2020, PDP won the Edo State gubernatorial election where the electronic transmission of results was first officially used amid the fears and hope created by the Edo State APC in the social media that Buhari will use Federal Might to help rig the election in favour of APC. This never happened; people went to the polls to vote their conscience devoid of any interference from the security agents.
Immediately after the election, President Buhari congratulated the winner, Governor Godwin Obaseki. To me, the conduct of the election was a statement of intent by Mr. President even when some analysts opined that his allowing for free and fair elections after 2019 is as a result of self-centeredness and Culture of Abandonment. In as much I won’t discount their relay due to what was witnessed in some elections prior the 2019 presidential election, I however want to commend and appreciate him for turning a new page by advocating and conducting free and fair elections which will further deepen our democratic process. When the people are allowed to freely make their choices without being forcefully aided by state security agents to do a certain bidding, democracy is enhanced. This is so because the ritual rounds of choosing must be done in a certain way that will not suggest coercion.
“And for those governors and members of PDP who had decamped to APC hoping to profit from the notoriety of election malpractices, which is often in time pass aided by security agents, must have sober reflections going forward. It is no longer business as usual. To seek for an election reelection, one must appeal to the voters, not the president to muster the use of Federal Might.
“We must continue to drum support for the INEC and encourage their innovative ideas with the use of machines and gadgets to enhance elections in Nigeria.”
The Idea Of Permanent King Makers And Reality In Democratic Politics.
By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe Esq
Leadership in politics is earned, not demanded, and it is certainly for a season. It is also a universal truism that democratic politics abhors autocracy, absolute overbearing leadership and despotism in whatever shape or size.
The duration of leadership tenure and control may depend largely on individual foresight, integrity, credibility and level of performance in public service and assigned responsibilities in state or national scheme of things.
Researches premised on comparative political leadership tenures revealed that a leader may or may not necessarily be a king maker. Non king makers have the trust of their followers, same as political king makers.
King makers are in the upper class of political leadership. Their words are laws, commands/orders are to be obeyed strictly by supporters and loyalists. Dogged leaders are sometimes referred to as political demigods. Whereas, a political leader within a group may just be a mere figure head whose orders may or may not be obeyed strictly by members.
A political group leader is influential to a certain degree, but his or her directives and orders are in most cases subjected to further directives or approvals by king makers within a larger political group or family. This arrangement is common and universally acknowledged in the political space.
All leaders, be it a small or larger group leader gradually fades away in style due to unavoidable emergence of new political forces, and it starts by mild conscious and unconscious confrontations which usually present the leader for proper scrutiny in the public court. His or her integrity and credibility may be questioned from time to time, as negative results emanates from public service records and lack of moral justifications for actions and inactions.
Various studies and comparative analysis have shown that verified evidence of unscrupulous financial dealings, looting of public treasury, overbearing dominance and negative influence in the political arena tending to show deliberate greedy posture, intention to perpetually dominate and control the political space for life; may be resisted by some or majority of enlightened supporters and loyalists, leading to gradual repudiation of earned political leadership.
Another reason linked to leadership tenure extinction is the rise of potential new leaders who are desirous of controlling the political space like their godfathers. This group usually break away to form alliances with familiar powerful forces in the political system to weaken the credibility and integrity of their overbearing godfathers and leaders.
Political scientists and researchers at Havard Institute of Politics found out in their multifaceted researches that political leadership tenure may also terminate due to prevailing political and economic realities, deliberate actions and inactions of frustrated loyalists who sometimes act as betrayals/traitors, as well as, the introduction of new voting patterns and improvements in electioneering transparency, fairness and credibility.
And as supporters and ambitious loyalists align with these new trends and other emerging political forces, absolute control of power by political godfathers begin to depreciate, new leaders will automatically emerge to takeover and dominate the political space. These facts are responsible for defections from one political party to another, alignments and realignments with strange or known political forces by loyalists in search of relevance, political power and greater leadership roles.
In Nigeria, political leadership tenure extinctions are real, and available records revealed that no political leader have been able to position himself or herself as a king maker for life, attesting to the results of studies conducted pointing to show that there can be no permanent king maker in the realm of politics.
In fact, a complete success story of any visionary and dogged political leader, governor or president should begin with his or her socioeconomic policies and programmes which positively impacted lives, infrastructure development and should end with the testimony of key roles played in the selection, electioneering victory and inauguration of his or her successor.
Failure to successfully control the political system in collaboration with other leaders to install a successor amounts to colossal failure, and may be politically damaging to the leadership pedigree and credibility of the outgoing leader, governor or president.
Any leader or public office holder that knows his or her onions must do everything and anything possible to play leading roles in the choice, electioneering victory and inauguration of his successor.
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Studies centered on political transmission of power in constitutional democracies around the world attests to these facts. And any leader, governor or president who is unable to play substantial leading roles in the selection and inauguration of a successor automatically terminates his or her leadership tenure on the day of handover of political power. It can be very frustrating and painful, and must be avoided.
Leaders like Balarabe Musa, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, late Chief Adedibu of Ibadan, Solomon Lar, Dr Saraki of Kwara State, Late Chief Bola Ige, and many others were great political leaders but had to at one time or the other relinquish absolute political control to some of their key supporters and loyalists, though not willingly but through the persistent determination, struggles and sagacity of enlightened loyalists.
No political leader can avoid loosing grip of absolute political control, it is a matter of time. And in our political milieu bedevilled by massive corruption, treasury looting and deceptive politics, leaders are bound to forfeit substantial part of political control and less patronage as soon as they end their tenure either as a Senator, governor or President.
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Therefore, the idea or notion that a particular leader has the uncommon capacity to perpetually or permanently retain the status of absolute king maker for life in Democratic Politics should be discarded. It is clearly unachievable based on the outcome of series of studies conducted globally by political scientists.
A wise leader knows when to step aside, and be satisfied with the status of an elder statesman devoid of overbearing dominance.
In all the States in Nigeria, including Delta State, the situation is the same. There were leaders who held sway at one time or the other in the political system from 1960 to1999, but had to unwillingly step aside due to reasons adduced above, for new breed of leaders who were their loyalists, associates and supporters to take control. This clearly corroborated results of studies conducted that there can never be a permanent king maker in politics.
Political Leaders emerge and fades away with time, no matter how powerful they may be. It is universally referred to as political leadership tenure extinction, occasioned by old age or unscrupulous financial dealings, fractured and/or questionable moral integrity arising from available public service records, deliberate overbearing, uncomplimentary leadership dominance and negative influence in the political cosmos.
Finally, political actors must of a necessity accept the fact that results of researches have shown that political leadership tenure extinction is real universally, and there is little or nothing any autocratic leader can do to retain the status of permanent or supreme political king maker in the realm of partisan politics.
This is a universal truism, no permanent king makers in politics.
About the writer; Dr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe Esq, is a renowned political communication strategist, a lawyer and Chairman, Coalition for Media Politics, CMP. He is also a member of the International Communication Association, ICA, and Full Member, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, NIIA.
Kogi Reps, Halims Speaks on Why he Demanded For Genuine Corporate Social Responsibility for his Constituency.
For over the decades,the people of Ankpa federal Constituency of kogi state was bedevilled with high-handedness both from federal government,state and private investors over their natural mineral resources with coal being a major deposit in many parts of the area.
This neglect spanned through the military administration,civilian regimes without concerted efforts by governments, stakeholders to come to the aid of indigenes, through either government intervention or Corporate Social Responsibility CSR by public and private entity, as well as well placed and influential individuals in the society.
It is on record that the Eastern region,South- East geo-political zone and South- South were developed with the concentrated coal deposits in Ankpa federal Constituency, mainly in Okaba,Odagbo and it’s environs.
The many decades neglects that had turned the Eastern part of the country to home away from home,still left the original inhabitants of the mineral resources with lack of portable water, dearth good and motorable roads,no clinics or hospital,no befitting classrooms from primary, secondary and other special projects ,as well as adequate compensation.
Aside provision of social services,many of the communities were left overtime with varying degrees of hazards against the people rather the glory and benefits attracted by other mineral producing areas in Nigeria.
Highly placed public officials both at the local ,state and federal government saw nothing good at improving the welfare of the people of this vulnerable areas,or attract government attention ,even though,efforts may be made without results.
This development that had left the people of Ankpa federal Constituency pauper for years, resumed over the years without efforts to rehabilitate the victims of all round of neglects,this time around with a wholly private sector divestment under the supervision of the federal government.
With lackadaisical attitudes from people’s representatives at all levels that had graduated to connivance between the companies and top government officials, the federal lawmaker, representing the area, Rt. Honourable Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali has taking the bull by the horn through demands for compensation and all round development of the areas prone to mineral exploration.
The major explorers of Ankpa Federal Constituency namely Dangote conglomerate and Zuma that had deliberately abandoned the communities were giving a marching order to initiate major social intervention while appealing to government to also initiate policies and programs that will mitigate the critical conditions of the people were minerals are being extracted.
Halims exclaimed that the volume of damage, social decadence,economic downturn created by the exploration in recent time is unquantifiable and beyond the reach of a federal lawmaker, whose constituency projects is spread across the three local government areas of Omala, Ankpa and Olamaboro local government area of Kogi state.
He advocated special funds a the same time special attention to mineral producing areas like Ankpa federal Constituency particularly as the raw materials of coal excavation from the area are being used as finished products to many export commodities.
This decision and campaign embarked upon my Rt Honourable Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali is patriotic and statesmanly,coming at a time the world is passing through series of health hazards of Covid-19, economic recession that had eaten up to the crescendo.
The settlers and indigenes are predominantly subsistent farmers and engaged in self sustenance business like small and medium scale businesses,and should be encouraged through government efforts in that regard.
This will reduce poverty , ameliorate hardship and critical living conditions among them and by extension other communities.
The provision of portable water,light, hospital, good roads and other life touching activities cannot be overemphasized,as both public and private organisations are expected to contribute their quota in their own way to give the ruralites a sense of belonging.
Rt. Honourable Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims has taking the lead both in action and awareness,all hands must be on deck to rescue the people of Okaba, Odagbo and it’s environs from environmental hazards and degradation not only through creating social safety nets,but providing outlets of engagements and employments to the populace.
Abubakar Yusuf,Is A Journalist, Writes From Abuja.
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