Marriages Acceptable In Nigeria

Marriage was defined under Hyde vs. Hyde as the voluntary union for life of the woman to the exclusion of others. The above definition relates to marriage under the Nigerian Act. However, under the customary law, marriage is defined as the union of one man and his wife or wives. From the above definition, it thus states that under customary law unlike marriage under statute, a man is allowed to marry more than one wife.

All over the world, marriage is the root of a family; it is only by marriage that a woman can obtain the right to be supported by the man. As soon as a woman is married, her domicile change with that of her husband and this has a significant effect on her legal status. Marriage is a union of a man and woman to become husband and wife. For a marriage to be statutory, the marriage must be lawful, it must be with the consent of both parents and the parties involved. There are four (4) main types of marriages in Nigeria.

Customary Marriage: This is also known as common law marriage. This marriage is done based on the customary law in Nigeria. This involves the payment of bride price. What is a bride price? It is any gift or payment, in money, natural products or cowries or any kind of property, to the parent or guardian of a female person on the account of a marriage of that person which is intended or has taken place. In most Nigerian tribes, the bride price is paid to the father of the bride and it’s often tagged the completion of an engagement. Like in the case of Okpanum vs. Okpanum 1972 and Section 361 of the criminal code act, it’s a punishable offence with seven (7) years imprisonment for any person who with the intention to marry a female person of any age or to cause her to be married by any other person takes her away or detains her against her will.

Traditional Marriage: This is a kind of marriage whereby, the groom brings all that have been listed in the bridal list to officially knot nuptial ties with the bride. In this kind of marriage, the groom comes with the entire members of his family, friends and well wishers. The bride’s family performs the traditional rites and officially gives the bridegroom their official blessings. And before the traditional marriage, comes the introduction. The significance of the introduction is for both families to get to know each other properly and the bride price is then discussed.

Religious Wedding: This is either Christian marriage or Islamic marriage as it is affiliated and done in accordance to the religion. The marriage is a divine union, thus it’s backed up in the spiritual realm. The white wedding as it’s mostly called is supposed to be the combination of the religious marriage and the wedding reception party. But some people these days skip the religious wedding and instead have a court wedding and then have the reception party. For a religious marriage to be legal, it must be licensed and recognized by the state.

In Muslim marriage, the payment of a Saduquat (Sadaki) must be received. Usually, churches that conduct weddings need to get approval from the state. This way, a person having a religious wedding doesn’t have to go to the court to register and collect a marriage certificate; this is made available through the church.

Civil Marriage:  This kind of marriage is also known as court wedding. In this kind of wedding the couples register the marriage under the Marriage Act of Nigeria, with a marriage certificate upon its completion. This kind of marriage is compulsory, as it ensures the security of the woman and the children. Court wedding is bounded by the court register and the court has to check if the parties are deemed to have the capacity to marry and if they have the court requirements. Some of the requirements are; Age, Consent, Subsisting Marriage, Kindred and Affinity.

Statutory marriage is compulsory in Nigeria and it’s done with little or no income and it saves time.

Six Types Of WhatsApp Group Admins

Joseph Warungu

Based on my own and other’s experiences, I have been examining six different admin models as I decide which one to emulate.

1: Digital Dictators
These are power-hungry admins. No-one elected them, but everyone fears them.
They run the group like a fiefdom. Any attempt to introduce a subject or point of view that does not glorify their ego is tackled viciously.
They will not let anyone leave the group.
If you try, you’re added straight back! I call this house arrest.
A West African friend told me how a digital dictator of his group was accidentally relieved of her admin powers when she lost her phone.
She pleaded with the interim admin to readmit her on a new telephone line.
As soon as she assumed her executive WhatsApp powers, she instantly ejected the acting admin from the group.
It took the intervention of a senior military officer who is a silent member of the group to plead for the poor member to be readmitted
2: Echo Makers
These are admins who love the sound of their own voice.
They’re often found in small WhatsApp groups with only a handful of members.
A man stands in front of a shop window displaying mobile phones on 1 October 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.Image copyrightAFP
I belong to one such group that was created for a training exercise after which most members left.
But the admin can be heard every few moments bellowing down the Whatsapp corridor: “Good morning happy people! Just to wish you a happy day!”
But there’s no response. There’s no-one here.
All you hear is the sound of the admin’s voice echoing back and forth with one triviality after another.
3: Mafia Managers
These are not really admins. But they are the power behind the power.
They broker relationships in the group; they determine who belongs and who doesn’t.
When their interests are threatened, they step in stealthily and take charge with sharp knives in the form of a subtle post here and a sharp hint there that leaves no doubt as to which direction things must go.
4: Rebel Rulers
These are admins who forget they are the leader.
People walk while speaking on the phone on 1 October 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.Image copyrightAFP
They’ll be the first to post disturbing images, stir up rebellions amongst sleepy members and be the life of the party.
They crossed from street activism to “state house” but forgot to leave their placards behind.
5: People Pleasers
These are the opposite of “Digital Dictators”. They embrace the world.
They have a laissez-faire approach to the office of the WhatsApp administrator.
Which means the group is often noisy and chaotic; no-one is in charge and rules are not enforced.
As a result, their powers are usurped by scores of aspiring admins.
6: Grammar Grabbers
These are misplaced teachers. They relish posts that come with spelling or grammatical mistakes.
They will grab such offenders and take them back to pre-school by the ear.
Woe unto you if you cannot tame the spelling abilities of your smartphone.
They are also the moral detectives of the group and any content that threatens the minds of grown-ups is seized upon with speed.
A colleague, who is newly married, once sent a rather explicit message of the plans he had for his wife after his birthday dinner.
But he got his contacts mixed up and the message, intended for the wife, went to his mother-in-law.
Such misposting is Christmas dinner for grammar grabbers!

Adapted from Joseph Warungu’s ‘Letters For Africa’ for BBC Africa

Combating Lassa Fever Outbreak

With the trend of things now, the fear of Lassa fever seems to be the beginning of wisdom. And despite the assurances from the Federal Government that all is well, many have continued to live in fear and rightly so as the available statistics of cases are staggering. There have been confirmed cases in Bauchi, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun, Rivers, and Taraba states with recorded deaths in Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Plateau states among others.

The disease which got its name from Lassa, a village in Borno State where it was first identified in 1969, occurs more in the dry season than in the rainy season. It is caused by a species of rodents called the Natal multimammate rat, the common African rat, or the African soft-furred rat. The Lassa virus is transmitted when the droppings, that is the urine or faeces of the rat – the natural reservoir for the virus – comes in contact with foodstuffs or in the process of the rat accessing grain stores, either in silos or in residences.

The rodents live in houses with humans and deposit excreta on floors, tables, beds and food. Consequently the virus is transmitted to humans through cuts and scratches, or inhaled via dust particles in the air. In some regions these rodents are also consumed as food. Secondary transmission of the virus between humans occurs through direct contact with infected blood or bodily secretions. This occurs mainly between individuals caring for sick patients, although anyone who comes into close contact with a person carrying the virus is at risk of infection. Nosocomial transmission, that is the transmission that occurs as a result of treatment in a hospital and outbreaks in healthcare facilities in endemic areas represents a significant burden on the healthcare system due to the high infectivity, morbidity and mortality associated with it.

In the early stages, Lassa fever is often misdiagnosed as common cold, typhoid or malaria, and as a result, many patients fail to receive appropriate medical treatment. Making a correct diagnosis of Lassa fever is made difficult by the wide spectrum of clinical effects that manifest, ranging from asymptomatic to multi-organ system failure and death. The onset of the illness is typically mild, with no specific symptoms that would distinguish it from other febrile illnesses. In 80 per cent of cases, the disease is without symptoms but in the remaining 20 per cent, it takes a complicated course. It has an incubation period of six to 21 days after which an acute illness develops.

Early signs include fever, headache and general body weakness, followed by sore throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea in some cases. After four to seven days, many patients will start to feel better, but a small minority will present with multi-organ involvement. It can affect the gastro intestinal tract causing nausea, vomiting and stooling of blood as well as difficulty in swallowing; cardiovascular system symptoms include hypertension or hypotension as well as abnormal high heart rate and shock. In the respiratory tract, the victim experiences chest pains, cough and difficulty in breathing. The virus also causes difficulty in hearing, meningitis and seizures. Other symptoms include oedema, hypertension, bleeding and shock. Death from Lassa fever most commonly occurs 10 to 14 days after symptom onset. Non-specific symptoms are facial swelling, and muscle fatigue, as well as conjunctivitis and mucosal bleeding. And one of the hallmarks of Lassa virus infection is the absence of functional antibodies during acute infection.

As mentioned earlier, clinical diagnosis of Lassa fever infections is difficult to distinguish from other viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and from more common febrile illnesses such as malaria, but, Lassa fever is most often diagnosed by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assays (ELISA), which detect IgM and IgG antibodies as well as Lassa antigen. Reverse transcription – PCR (RT-PCR) is routinely used for confirmation of cases. The virus is excreted in urine for 3- 9 weeks and in semen for three months. No vaccine for Lassa fever is currently available for use in humans.

There are three ways by which the virus can be treated and also prevented from further spread. These are implementation of barrier nursing, which is isolation of victims, tracing of people that have come in contact with sufferers as well as the initiation of treatment with the only available drug, Ribavirin. The latter is only effective if administered early, within the first six days after disease onset.

Therefore, it is essential that preventive measures be put in place to prevent this fatal disease. Firstly, the primary source of transmitting the disease to humans should be prevented. This can be possible through avoiding contact with rats – particularly in the geographic areas where outbreaks happen. Putting food away in rat-proof containers and keeping your home clean help with discouraging rats from entering your home. Using these rats as a source of food is definitely not recommended. Trapping around and in homes, may help to reduce rat population.


Snake Venom And Jerry Cans By Azu Ishiekwene

We’re back where we used to be many moons ago. Shortages and long petrol queues have resurfaced and there’s no sign that things would get better any time soon.

If, however, promises could fill the supply gap, we would be drowning in petrol. The first clear sign of shortage started in December 2017, nearly three months ago.

After the Federal Executive Council meeting of December 6, two days after the queues had stretched to the front door of the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told journalists that, “The Council gave the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, marching orders that this petrol scarcity should not last beyond this weekend (December 10) and they are going to work very hard to ensure that it is curtailed.”

The queues got longer.

On December 14, 2017, the queue stretched up to Kachikwu’s backyard. He told journalists that he had assured governors of the 36 states that the ongoing fuel scarcity will end in 48 hours. Quoting Kachikwu, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said, “The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources assured the Council that within the next 48 hours fuel supply would be restored nationwide.”

Again the queues got even longer.

At this point, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, the man who has the sole responsibility to import petrol and who authorises regular text messages that vessels laden with petrol have flooded the high seas, waiting to supply, stepped in.

After the public had spent the Christmas waiting hopelessly at petrol stations, Baru spoke on December 27.

“I promise by weekend,” he said, “most of the abrasions we’ve been noticing will disappear. You could see that we’re winning the war. The fuel queues have significantly subsided in Abuja; in Lagos, they’ve almost become non-existent, and of course, we’re pushing it to the other cities as well as to the hinterlands.”

Beyond the window dressing in Lagos, the queues got longer elsewhere from Abuja all the way down to Baru’s village in Jama’are, Bauchi State.

After President Muhammadu Buhari’s apology in his New Year day speech regretting that Nigerians had spent the Christmas and New Year holiday at petrol stations, the government responded in its now familiar style: it set up a committee on January 2 to deal with the problem.

To show that this was not just another committee, but a committee’s committee, the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, inaugurated this committee on behalf of the President.

After the inauguration of the committee comprising stakeholders, Kachikwu, the head of the committee, said, “We needed to come together to analyse what really went wrong. Like we know, for over two years, we have been out of this fuel crisis. Everything has been working well. NNPC has been managing the situation properly. And suddenly there was this gap…We want to find a lasting solution to the problem. That is what the committee will come out with in its resolutions tomorrow.”

Put it this way. It took Kachikwu three weeks after he made his first statement on December 14, promising to end the scarcity within 48 hours, and all the high-level promises that followed, to find out that the system was broken and there was a gap that needed to be fixed.

The JAMB snake, which swallowed N36 million, obviously does more than rob the country of hard cash. It may have also robbed the NNPC top hierarchy of their collective memory. No one remembered that the moment NNPC completely took over the business of importing petrol while retail prices remained fixed, the value chain from import to distribution and storage, would be disrupted.

But no matter, what has Kachikwu’s super committee done? Only he and members of his committee know what is contained it the report that he promised would end the shortages.

On the streets, the shortage is getting worse and price surge in the black market has submerged anything conceived in the report of that presidential committee.

So, the National Assembly stepped in. on January 25, the Senate gave NNPC a seven-day ultimatum to end the nonsense. The Senate committee on Petroleum Resources headed by Kabiru Marafa, said, “During our recess, the committee moved around some cities, including Abuja and Lagos, to ascertain the situation on the ground. When we thought we were making progress, we just realised that queues were resurfacing in fuel stations”

Senate President Bukola Saraki then rapped the gavel on seven days for NNPC to fix the problems.

That deadline expired over two weeks ago and the petrol queues have grown worse. The Senate may not have noticed because senators use wind-powered cars or have petrol dumps in their backyards.

But it’s a bloody mess on the streets, even for consumers who have grown used to hardship. Sale of petrol in jerry cans along the roads and in front of petrol stations has become a cottage industry, while those who should solve the problem are driving around on full tank supplied from the official petrol dump.

In another place, something dramatic happened. A member of the House of Lords in the UK and minister in the Department for International Development, Michael Bates, resigned his appointment over what by our own standards of public office, is trifle. Lord Bates said he was “thoroughly ashamed” at not being present in chambers when a colleague raised a question on the floor that required his answer.

Not that Lord Bates killed, to which we might even have said, “Thank God it’s 73 persons only, not 74”; or that he caused widespread public suffering through malicious negligence, for which we might even have invented excuses of tribe or religion. He just resigned for being late, though his resignation was later rejected.

How many failed promises will it take to deal with the petrol shortages? If the venom of the JAMB snake has not infected of those who run NNPC, they would have seen by now that the price cap is not working.

The government may continue to bury its head in the sand, but as long as the landing cost of petrol is N26 more that the pump price – and it has been so since the price of oil climbed above $50 per barrel – no marketer will put a penny into importation.

In case the folks at NNPC have forgotten it might be useful to remind them that there was a time when they also said the scarcity was caused by marketers who were hoarding petrol, as if the 200 million litres of underground tanks owned by filling stations across the country were built for fancy.

It would be a bitter pill to swallow, but until the government restructures NNPC and scraps the price cap, the petrol queues will grow until every polling booth is filled with angry consumers with jerry cans waiting for politicians to come and ask them to vote next year.

As for where the government is getting the money, whether it’s from an undisclosed account managed by the NNPC or from “under-recovery,” the truth will come to light, soon.

Rochas, Should Zuma’s Statue Continue To Stand In Owerri? BY Erasmus Ikhide

few days ago, the statue fame vanity of a governor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha was further mocked by his people with the statue of a man supposedly erected and defecating on Douglas Avenue, Owerri. The inscription on the effigy reads: “After una go say APC Governors no dey try. Finally, Rochas Okorocha has erected the statue of a man defecating along Douglas Avenue. The statue was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari”.

The caricature of a defecating man in Owerri is in consonant with Imo State people’s rejection of the erection of President Jacob Zuma’s statue and others that guzzled five hundred and twenty million naira of tax players’ money of Imo and other citizens alike. The defecating man’s effigy is a laud denunciation of Mr. Rochas’ unpopular decision to assault the sensibility of Nigerians with the shadow of an unwanted, corruption, sexist and bloodcurdling President of a foreign country, including Imo state’s indigenes resident in South Africa who are being slaughtered on a daily basis, without Zuma lifting a finger against it.

As I said earlier, the statue of a corrupt Africa President in Nigeria perforates whatever anti-corruption crusade or posturing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government under President Muhammadu Buhari and in Imo state, governed by an (APC) governor. It’s smacks of indolence, recklessness, graft and lack of emotional intelligence in a state where the governor has been unable to pay workers salaries running into dozens of months, where pensioners could not draw their retirement benefits running into years!

Even at that, why would Governor Rochas desecrate the land of the noblemen like late Sam Mbakwe and many more with the statue of a misogynistic renegade who has come to symbolize corruption in his country and Africa? What will now happen to the Zuma’s statue in Owerri? Will it keep standing why the real Zuma has been rejected and dethroned by his own people in his own country?

Yesterday, Mr. Zuma, whose reputation has been tainted by claims of corruption, was forced to step down by the African National Congress (ANC) party. His disgraceful exit from power was an ignominious end to his nine years in office occasioned by strong disagreement with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor and the new head of the ANC.

Many graft allegations against him have centred on the three Gupta brothers, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose Zuma’s ministerial appointments. Yesterday, police raided the Johannesburg home of the Gupta business family, which is accused of overseeing a web of corruption under Zuma’s rule. Police said three unidentified people had been arrested in investigations into “Vrede Farm” — allegations that millions of dollars of public money meant for poor dairy farmers were siphoned off by the Guptas.

It’s common knowledge that Zuma had been pushing for an exit deal that included covering his potentially ruinous legal fees from prolonged court battles against multiple criminal charges. One case relates to 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power. Zuma’s reign has been marred by slow economic growth, continuing racial inequality, record unemployment that has fuelled public frustration and xenophobic execution of other African migrants engaged in legitimate businesses.

But Mr. Zuma is a hero of some sort in Rochas’ reckoning. He’s Rochas’ corrupt hero in a ruinous continent where corruption is the air political leadership breaths. Curiously, African Union (AU) has designated President Muhammadu Buhari as its anti-corruption hero — a man with looting credentials that can only be compared with his late principal, the late Gen. Sani Abacha. The national assembly which ought to be calling for Mr. Buhari resignation and prosecution is itself deeply involved in corrupt practices much more than the Presidency itself.

To make matter worse, Governor Rochas is one of President Buhari’s closest confidants. That’s why Governor Rochas had the effrontery to endorsed his son-in-law as his successor in next year’s gubernatorial election. Rochas, at a meeting with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Owerri Municipal Council Area, shoved down the decision to impose his Chief of Staff and son-in-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu down their throats because he has “the qualities of an ideal leader”.

The governor boastfully exerts arrogantly: “The monumental achievements of my administration will not be left in the hand of anyhow person. The governor did not tell us whether his Chief of Staff also advised him to build a wasteful statute in honour of Jacob Zuma as one of his (COS) “qualities of an ideal leader”. By the way, is Mr. Rochas qualify to talk about the ‘qualities of an ideal leader’ given his failed promised to Imo State people and his earlier pretenses to fix Nigeria’s legion of crises, if voted as president.

Rocha’s governorship has been everything but ‘monumental achievements’. Imo State Stakeholders, under the auspices of Concerned Citizens of Imo State, accused the governor of ‘monumental fraud’, tyranny and virtual looting of the state’s treasury. According to the group, there is no parts of governance structures that have not been ruptured by Governor Rochas’s destructive and rampaging antidemocratic machine.

As 2019 approaches, Imo people and Nigerians must look beyond innately corrupt leaders or political and minds manipulators who harp on the ignorance of the masses for the enhancements of their personal gains. The people of Imo State have to do the needful at this moment — pull down the roughish Zuma’s statue — since the South Africa people have dethroned Rochas’ idol of corruption. Governor Rochas Okorocha and his company are typical examples of how not to be a leader. They should be dethroned like his idol of graft in South Africa.

On Buhari and Tinubu: ‘If you love me love my dog’

The Hausas say ‘ba’a neman kare ranar farauta’; -which is that you do not wait till the day of hunt to look for the dog of hunt. And worse still if the ‘dog’ you look for is the one you have neglected since after the last successful hunt. Because by then such a ‘canine’ may have either grown frail and weary from physical neglect, Or, it may, in fact, have grown sated with grudge and resentment –from the bitterness of neglect. Thus one way or another, the next hunt is threatened, either by physical inability, or yet by the malevolence of unforgiving mind. But luckily dogs alone are the most un-likely ever to harbour a malevolent spirit. Dogs do not become malevolent even to their un-kind masters. Or so said the Austrian zoologist, Konrad Lorenz  that: “There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.”

And so in a sense, the parable makers are not altogether right: you can in fact look for a ‘dog of hunt’ even on the ‘day of the hunt’, provided only that the dog has not grown frail and weary from physical neglect. Because then it may not be able to hunt. And this is exactly what the President, Muhammadu Buhari is now doing, seeking out his Party’s Leader the Asiwaju, Bola Ahmed Tinubu only when the political hunting fields have started buzzing with the braying and snorting of fresh games. It is amazing that Mr. President still trusts in the hunting prowess of the Party’s once neglected ‘greyhound’. That Buhari believes Tinubu has still neither grown frail and weary from political neglect, nor has he grown sated with grudge and resentment, is quite interesting to know. Ant it appears with these two (Buhari and Tinubu), just when you think you have known them enough, you are just starting to know them: if you think that Buhari is the veritable ungrateful political ‘hunter’ who seeks out his hound only on the day of the hunt, then you should know that Tinubu is the quintessential faithful canine who has his eyes always on the game of hunt and not on the hunter.

Tinubu is both an excellent political ‘dog of hunt’ and a smart, puny little ‘dog tail’ all rolled up in one. He knows exactly when to play the happy-tail-wagging spaniel. But he knows also how, even as the lone Alsatian of his ruling party, to sometimes tactfully allow himself to be wagged by the puny, little ‘tail’. The moral being ‘wag when you have to wag, and be wagged when you have to be wagged’! With Tinubu, both roles are aptly in the political detail –always. Knowing when and how to stoop to conquer. And knowing when and why sometimes to grandstand to overcome. For as they say, “you cannot teach an old dog new tricks”. Interestingly, there is not a whimper anywhere, now that the Jagaban is re-confirmed as the only Hercules capable of cleansing the Party’s Augean Stable. There is no objection from any quarters. The objections will come only after the Asiwaju has cleansed the    slimy Stable  and has set up the dinner table. Then in unison they’ll rise to show how he is not gifted in the art of culinary dishing. But you see there is no ‘night’, the Hausas say, any bleaker than a bat has always known.

Tinubu has seen it all.  Above all, he has fathered a peaceful political revolution in Nigeria, which has not only shattered the myth of the invincibility of incumbency power, but which has also saved the nation from the malignance of a ruinous era bent on balkanising our country. Yet, he was assailed thereafter even by upstarts beautified by the political feathers that he had woven. Did they not say that he was the leader? The courageous Jagaban? The one who led from the front? And did he not lead them from the front? Selflessly investing his time, his energy and his  resources? Did we not see, from the pre-natal stages, the singular efforts of Tinubu corralling several ideological eggs into one political embryo, to give life to a new mega-party around which both progressives  and even  repentant fascists for the first time cooperated, to enact the parting of our political Red Sea? Did Tinubu not traverse the length and breadth of this country, building strong bridges of geo-ethnic and geo-political consensus? Did Tinubu not put his life on the line to take on a desperate PDP incumbency? But just after he had set the political dinner table, did we not see them all turn vultures and hyenas against the Jagaban?  Did they not say that although he was an excellent political chef, yet Tinubu was not to be trusted to dish from the table that he had set? Did they not say that he wanted to install a puppet leadership for the legislature. Well then, he was prevented from installing  a ‘puppet’ leadership for the legislature. But did the ‘change-era’ that his revolution midwife eventually get the kind of legislature that it deserved?

The Hausas say ‘wanda ya qi sharan masallaci, ba zai qi sharan kasuwa ba’: who will not sweep a place of worship, will soon scrub the market place. But they also say that ‘angulu bata san kudin doki ba’ –meaning ‘the vulture does not know the price of a horse’. But it knows best how to feed from its carcass. Every dog they say has his day. And now they are coming back to where it all started. From the Jagaban. The Path-finder. They might as well name him what the Yorubas call ‘Aboaba’ -the one to whom all rebels must turn.

The APC edifice is an axial structure. And whether or not they like it, Tinubu continues to remain the crooked-looking head-corner-stone that has been keeping it from crumbling. The opposition has done all that it can to pull the Tinubu carpet off the feet of Buhari’s APC. They have cajoled and they have lobbied. They have blackmailed and they have intimidated. They have name-dropped and they have even appropriated his hallowed mouth to chew political garlic. They have given this ‘dog’ every bad name in the book, to hang it. They have failed. The Tinubu dog will not run with the hare and then hunt with the hounds. The patient dog they say, eats the fattest bone. But come to think of it between Buhari and Tinubu there is no ‘dog’ and there is no ‘hunter’. They are each other’s dog and they are each other’s ‘hunter’. Now’s the time for Tinubu to play Buhari’s ‘dog of hunt’: by corralling all the APC herd into one grazing reserve, for the President. On election day, Tinubu will be the ‘hunter’, while Buhari on the ballot will be his veritable ‘hunt dog’-to win the vote. So now, if you ever thought Buhari and Tinubu are like ‘chalk and cheese’, immixable, you are dead wrong. They have always been  like ‘gin and lime’ –inseparable. And their political message has always been one: ‘if you love me, love my dog’.

Unexplained Wealth Order: ​Taking Note Of The New UK Law By Paul Olanitan

In our secondary school days, those unfortunate enough to lose their belongings would be admonished: ‘Lost property….Careless owner’. The United Kingdom government is planning to teach many high net worth Nigerians and some members of our middle class, a financially painful school lesson.

In recent years, the UK had one of the best performing property markets in the world. It was buoyed by inflows from Russia, China, Dubai and Nigeria. With high global oil prices, the new class of super-rich were feted and courted by the British with few questions asked as they snapped up attractive UK properties. But there were warnings that all was not well. In March 2015, Reuters cited the UK as a haven for illicit funds.

Transparency International’s executive director, Robert Barrington, said in 2015 that, “There is growing evidence that the UK property market has become a safe haven for corrupt capital stolen from around the world, facilitated by the laws which allow UK property to be owned by secret offshore companies.” Over 36,000 properties in London, mainly in highbrow areas, are said to be owned by offshore companies. Various reports cited London as a money laundering haven, but the UK government was conspicuously silent on the issue, turning a blind eye as millions of dollars poured in.

Sceptics may suggest that the UK government is looking for how to fund the bill for its Brexit divorce from the European Union or to finance its budget deficit. Whatever the reason, the new UK law that introduces ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders’ is a carefully devised move that could see a massive transfer of wealth from Nigeria and the countries mentioned above to Britain.

There is a special focus on politically exposed persons, but there is an implied presumption of guilt for non-politicians too. Interestingly, the orders can be obtained even if the property was purchased before the law came into effect and it does not matter where the property is located, whether or not the person resides in the UK or whether there may be other persons who hold the property.

From January 31, 2018, new powers have enabled the UK government to query ‘Unexplained Wealth’ and seize asset whose funding source cannot be explained. UK courts can grant Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) and forfeit property for which the owners are unable to prove the source of fund. The properties will be transferred to the UK government and sold to fund their law enforcement efforts.

Whilst the narrative in the UK is that the plan is to tackle Russian oligarchs, Nigerians will undoubtedly be affected due to their love for all things British, and the threshold is just £50,000 (N25 million). According to a British law firm, Mishcon de Reya, the requirements for obtaining the UWOs include that “there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the known sources of the respondents’ lawfully obtained income would have been insufficient for the purposes of enabling them to obtain the property.” There is a special focus on politically exposed persons, but there is an implied presumption of guilt for non-politicians too. Interestingly, the orders can be obtained even if the property was purchased before the law came into effect and it does not matter where the property is located, whether or not the person resides in the UK or whether there may be other persons who hold the property. In summary, it will be relatively easy for the UK government to secure these orders against foreigners.

Those who have followed that standard advice to have two or even three layers of nominee ownership to shield the identity of the true owner will find themselves as targets. This standard structure, advocated by offshore specialists who set up trusts in Mauritius, British Virgin Islands and other havens, will not offer protection against UWOs if the ultimate owner cannot explain the source of funds. The UK has already put in place the Beneficial Ownership register for Overseas Legal Entities. This means that a Nigerian who owns a UK property through a Mauritius based Trust, for example, could see their names exposed and therefore need to prove the legitimacy of the source of funds.

However, thankfully, for Nigerians there is a way out. This is one of those rare situations, where Nigerians should be extremely grateful to their government.

Nigerians should run, declare and regularise their tax status, so that the UK’s Unexplained Wealth law does not become an unexplained loss of wealth. Anyone ignoring this threat is doing so at his or her own peril.

The ongoing Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme’s tax amnesty is a potential escape. VAIDS allows Nigerians to regularise their tax status but importantly it entails an asset declaration. This basically allows citizens to restate their income and asset over the last seven years and beyond. There is, therefore, hope of a valid defence against an UWO application. If a Nigerian is confronted with an UWO action, but had declared the asset and paid the right taxes no matter how many years after the purchase, it will be hard for the UK to justify a seizure.

Without the tax amnesty, Nigerians would be at serious risk, scrambling around to procure backdated tax clearance certificates, which would be readily disregarded by the UK courts on the grounds that there would be no evidence of tax payment in the year under question. Of course, VAIDS was not designed as an amnesty for looted funds or hot money but it could offer a very valuable protection.

Nigerians have traditionally not paid taxes and have never been asked to fully explain their income. That era is over forever and with the volume of investments in the UK property market, we are particularly vulnerable. For the UK government to dispute the validity of a VAIDS declaration that Nigeria has accepted and on which taxes have been paid, would violate the bilateral tax treaties between the two countries and would mean the UK questioning the legality of the Nigerian government’s ongoing tax amnesty.

My simple advice to my fellow Nigerians first, is to thank President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic management team for this timely intervention but ask for an extension of time. Secondly, Nigerians should run, declare and regularise their tax status, so that the UK’s Unexplained Wealth law does not become an unexplained loss of wealth. Anyone ignoring this threat is doing so at his or her own peril.

Before The Next Round By Edwin Madunagu

I am inviting our country’s popular-democratic forces, especially the Nigerian Left, to join me in looking back once again. We have to look as the Nigerian state and the various fractions, factions, groups and blocs of the ruling class now begin to take the country through another political turbulence that will end in a reconstitution of their political representation. It is this reconstitution of its “political class” that the ruling class calls election.

This opening clarification leads to an opening proposition, namely: That if the Nigerian Left consciously, responsibly and seriously adopts electoralism, it is only its participation in elections as a tangible, coherent and relatively independent political force that will begin to introduce real and unexpected contradictions in elections. A real contradiction in this context is a contradiction with both reformist and revolutionary potentials. And I say “relatively independent”, rather than “independent” in describing the popular-democratic forces’ electoral participation because I do not, ab initio, rule out the possibility of alliance which, if it is real, imposes limitations on the freedom of all sides in an alliance.

Historians of independent Nigeria’s electoral politics usually begin the narrative from the federal election of December 1959. This was the election which the history books say determined the power structure which British colonialism left behind as it withdrew from Nigeria on October 1, 1960. Between that election and now, 58 years later, Nigeria has had nine other federal or national elections: 1964, 1979, 1983, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. Leftists had participated in all the 10 elections. And, by Leftists I mean, broadly speaking, socialists as well as progressives and radical democrats who, even if they are not socialists, are not anti-socialist. The central question here is how Nigerian Leftists have so far participated in elections.

This central question may be put in context by locating each of the 10 federal or national elections in the political period it belongs. Nigeria’s First Republic is generally understood to be the period between October 1, 1960 and January 15, 1966, the date of the first military coup d’etat. This designation has come to stay although Nigeria did not become a republic until October 1, 1963, three years after independence. Only the 1964 election falls into the First Republic. Similarly, only the 1983 election falls under the Second Republic (October 1, 1979 to December 30, 1983). The Third Republic, defined only by when it ended (November 17, 1993) and not when it started (when, please?), had no election within it.

The Fourth Republic, the current one, started on May 29, 1999. Four general elections have so far taken place in this period: 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. The remaining four elections, that is, those of 1959, 1979, 1993 and 1999 do not belong to any of the four republics and may be called transition elections. The first of the four was conducted by the British colonialists, while the other three were conducted by military regimes: General Olusegun Obasanjo (1979); General Ibrahim Babangida (1993) and General Abdulsalami Abubakar (1999).

For the Nigerian Left, the 1979 general election marked a sharp and tragic turn in the trajectory of the country’s electoral politics. In the first place, the huge material/financial conditions placed on the registration of political parties almost automatically ruled out genuinely Leftist parties. In the second place, the elimination of independent candidacy placed a stiff choice before intending Leftist candidates and unregistered and unregistrable Leftist parties.

Nigerian Leftists participated in the 1959 transition-from-colonialism election in one or more of four forms: as members of large and well-established ruling class parties; as members of small self-determination or radical-reformist parties; as members of small Leftist parties; or as independent candidates or supporters of independent candidates. The large ruling-class parties were the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) led by Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (later, the National Council of Nigerian Citizens) (NCNC), led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and the Action Group (AG), led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. In the last decade of de-colonisation, that is, (1950-1960), these three parties, especially the AG and the NCNC, had received large numbers of young Leftists, including Marxists and labour activists, who had been dislodged from their independent formations by colonial repression. The Leftist entrants into the AG, with support and encouragement from Awolowo himself, transformed the party ideologically.

The small radical parties included the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) led by Mallam Aminu Kano, and the self-determination parties included the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) led by Joseph Tarka. While NEPU was allied to the NCNC, UMBC was allied to the AG. Each alliance fielded a single slate of candidates. The small Leftist parties only participated in the election symbolically and for ideological and educational reasons.

In the 1964 federal election, the only federal election that took place in the First Republic, the 1959 forms of Left participation again appeared. By now the Leftist parties and groups had increased and enlarged. Beyond this, however, was a new development: a number of Leftist parties, including the Nigerian Labour Party (NLP), joined the AG and the NCNC in an alliance called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA). This was a mega-alliance whose component members included NCNC, AG, NEPU, UMBC and NLP. The alliance survived the December 1964 election and the supplementary election of March 1965. It then went on to fight the very bloody October 1965 Western Regional Election. The mass uprising generated by the last election led directly to the January 15, 1966 military coup d’etat.

The 1979 general election was a transition election: transition from the 13-year military dictatorship (1966-1979) to the Second Republic (1979-1983). By then several things had changed: the country had moved from the parliamentary to the presidential system; parties now had to be officially permitted and registered to participate in the contest; only very rich parties or parties of very rich people could satisfy the conditions for registration; participation as independent candidates had been abolished; and elections had become much more corrupt than they were in the First Republic.

For the Nigerian Left, the 1979 general election marked a sharp and tragic turn in the trajectory of the country’s electoral politics. In the first place, the huge material/financial conditions placed on the registration of political parties almost automatically ruled out genuinely Leftist parties. In the second place, the elimination of independent candidacy placed a stiff choice before intending Leftist candidates and unregistered and unregistrable Leftist parties.

This strategic change, if adopted, frees you to seek alliances. For accessible historical illustration: First, check China in the years between the Japanese invasion and the end of Second World War. The alliance in mind here was the one between the Chinese Leftists and the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang).

This choice can be put like this: “Abandon your electoral ambition or come and seek a chance in one of the registered and registrable parties”. In the third place, since the big registered parties knew that the unregistered leftist parties and candidates could not participate in elections without coming to them, they imposed tough conditions on collaboration. The main condition invariably was: “Withdraw publicly from your platform and publicly join us. But you must join us as individuals, not as groups”.

This situation may be summarised this way: From the 1979 general election onwards the genuinely Leftist parties could participate in electoral contests in Nigeria only by liquidating themselves as they were and as they presented themselves. It was then that history presented the silent revolutionary alternative: “But if you must still participate in Nigerian elections, then you must adopt, or rather, return to, dialectics. That means: differentiate between form and content; or rather, while retaining the revolutionary content, adopt two forms – one for elections and the other for the permanent democratic struggle of the masses.”

This strategic change, if adopted, frees you to seek alliances. For accessible historical illustration: First, check China in the years between the Japanese invasion and the end of Second World War. The alliance in mind here was the one between the Chinese Leftists and the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang).

After this, turn to the post-Second World War history of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island and check the alliance between the various wings of Irish nationalism.

For contemporary illustration, turn to South Africa and check the Tripartite Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Now That 389 Councillors Have Been Sworn-In

By Sodiq Yusuf

Tuesday, the 6th of February, 2017 will go down in the history of the State of Osun, when the first set of parliamentarians at the local government level, the first in the history of Nigeria’s 19 years of democratic dispensation were inaugurated by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Although, controversial to many of how a government will run at the grassroots with only councillors and not the customary local government “Chairman” that is from the culture of the Presidential system of government practiced in Nigeria since 1999, the system has fully taken off in Osun without any aberration to the constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended).

Section 7 explains it all why the present government in Osun decided to take this into consideration before setting the agenda for the take-off of the parliamentary system of government at the local level of governance.

According to Governor Rauf Aregbesola during the ceremony, “The process culminating in today’s ceremony is in fulfilment of Section 7 (1) of the Nigerian constitution that requires that ‘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 the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

“You will recall that in 2012, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria asked for memoranda on the review of the 1999 Constitution.  A 15-man committee was set up in Osun under the chairmanship of Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji to aggregate the opinion and views from the state. The committee held public sittings for three weeks during which members of the public, institutions, non-governmental organisations and others made their various submissions.

Aregbesola Speaking After Swearing In The Councillors

“In the end, it was the overwhelming wish of the people, as stated in the committee’s report, that parliamentary system of government be adopted at all levels of government. What we have done therefore is to defer to the wish of the people in their clamour for parliamentary system of government.”

“Secondly, parliamentary system is more democratic, compared to the executive, in that the executive system tends towards dictatorship, arbitrariness and absolutism, since power is concentrated in one man’s hand, with little or no check. Whereas, in a parliamentary system, the executive emerges from and is formed in the parliament, making the members of parliament to be members of the executive as well and the leadership of the executive to be first among equals, primus inter pares.”

Going by these words by Rauf Aregbesola, the councillors that emerged after a keenly contested election on January 27, 2018, following many years of delayed tactics employed by those who are afraid of their inevitable defeat and rejection at the polls in the grassroots have the constitutional mandate to serve their people passionately without due hindrance from the law.

Now let’s go into the benefits as highlighted by the Governor, “because the executive members are appointed from parliament, a lot of cost is saved, compared to when fresh persons have to be appointed as ministers, commissioners, chairmen of councils etc. This system also saves campaign cost and reduces the impetus for corruption considering that a candidate only need to campaign in his or her constituency, unlike in the executive system where a presidential candidate must tour the whole country and a governorship candidate must tour the whole state while a chairmanship candidate must tour the entire local council.”

A cross-section of the councillors

According to him “The final reason parliamentary system is preferred is that it affirmed the supremacy of the political party. The party is an institution that is greater than an individual.  It is a body that personifies the views, ideologies, beliefs and tendency of a political association. When a citizen joins a party, it is because he or she agrees for what it stands for. Indeed, parties campaign for elections on the strength of their tendency and field candidates that embody and will represent the party in every way.”

“This brings stability, reliability, predictability and order to the political system. This is why studies have consistently shown that parliamentary systems are more stable and less prone to corruption, compared to the executive system.”

The Governor had strong words for the 389 councillors and their responsibility in government. He harped on three things, environmental sanitation, market stability and revenue generation. As if he knew what was on my mind, we all know the problems associated with these three areas especially at the grassroots.

Another Set of the New Parliamentarians at the Local Government Level in the State of Osun

There is no doubting the fact that Osun is the most urbanized state in Nigeria, from Osogbo to Ile-Ife, Ikirun, Ilesa, Iwo, Ede, Ejigbo, Ila, Ikire. And with the drive of the O-Clean initiative of the present administration, one needs to point out the fact that most areas in Osun are not living up to expectation in terms of environmental sanitation.

The councillors should see themselves as agents of change to make for a cleaner environment, cleaner markets and sane atmosphere.

They must also make sure that markets are viable to ensure that the internally generated revenue of their respective councils. IGR is necessary at this stage of governance when the state finances are at a low ebb. Revenue Generation of councils must rise at this point in time. Councillors and their chairpersons must see governance as a duty and call to serve their people.

Aside revenue, they must be agents of change at their level. They should always strive to provide succour and relief to their people’s feelings, yearnings and aspirations. The state of things at the local government level has not been rosy since the last elections in 2007. Many have not been able to direct their concerns to elected representatives since there have not been elections. The council managers and executive secretaries have tried their best but people still want those they elect to be in power.

Now that the 389 councillors of Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices are in office, they must see governance as their responsibility, cater for the needs of their people and most importantly, have listening ears to the yearnings of their people.

They should see this as a call to serve just as three years is by the corner!

Obasanjo, Babangida, Atiku, And Buhari: A Brand In Crisis By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Nigeria’s contemporary political history is as fresh as the morning newspapers. Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, and Muhammadu Buhari the erstwhile military dictators and civilian presidents and ex- VP Abubakar Atiku, are responsible for the chronic instability of our past. As dictators at different times in our political experiment, they alternated our civilian rule between democracy and dictatorship, and between different forms of pseudo-democratic rule. They created new political and economic uncertainties from which we’re yet to recover.

These old authoritarian and totalitarian rulers prefer a weak, unstable, dilute, democracy full of inadequacies. Politically, Obasanjo, Atiku, Babangida, and Buhari belong to the dead, old undemocratic system of the past. We must avoid and resist them like a dissident stream by any means necessary. Today, our young men and women grapple with serious social, and economic problems caused by the old brigade of these military rulers. Our youths are systematically excluded from policy decisions. They failed to marshal the energy, creativity, and talents of our youths to address multiple inequalities and discrimination they face.

The policies pursued by the governments of Obasanjo, Atiku, and Babangida, enabled them to amass outrageously large portion of Nigeria’s wealth. The hands of Buhari’s inner circle of Abba Kyari, Mamman Daura, and Tukur Buratai are stained with corruption. The result of large-scale corruption and unsolved socioeconomic problems produced a difficult present and uncertain future for our youths. Despite the energy, creativity, resourcefulness, and passion of our youths, they are largely excluded from political processes, economic projects and programs. They continued to be subject to age-based systems of authority. Our youths are the motor of tomorrow’s economic takeoff. Obasanjo, Babangida, Atiku, and Buhari: a brand in crisis.

This old brand created poverty and economic inequalities and insecurities which in turn creates “traps of disadvantage” which push our poor youths and the most marginalized others to the bottom and keep them there for ever. Our youths are denied the forums and opportunities for political participation and influence. They are woefully underrepresented in influential government positions and in hierarchical systems that favor the old rulers.

The old hypocrites keep saying “our youths are the leaders of tomorrow.” But tomorrow is never now. It’s time that our youths turn tomorrow into today. Old men only dream dreams, but young men see visions. There’s a difference between dream and vision. A dream is only what could be. Vision is what would be. Consider: Aguiyi Ironsi was 42 when he became head of state. Yakubu Gowon was 32 when he became head of state. Murtala Muhammed was 37 when he became head of state. Obasanjo was 39, Babangida was 44, and Buhari was 41 when they became heads of state. Audu Ogbe was 35 when he served as minister for communications. At 70, he’s the minister of agriculture. These people have consumed both the future of Nigeria and our youths. There must be an end to the insanity.

This is what goes on in civilized democracies: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 45, France President Emmanuel Macron is 40, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 37, Estonia Prime Minister Juri Ratas is 39, and Liberia President is 51. Nigeria is behind human race.

2019 will be a watershed moment for Nigerian youths. The youths have been uniquely disadvantaged by the economy. They are the impoverished generation. The youths have come to realize that Nigeria needs economic, social, and political rebirth to pull them out of the wells of poverty and unemployment. The old politicians are too backward, primitive, greedy, and wicked. They lack the creativity, the energy, the knowledge, and the exposure to make Nigeria work for Nigerians especially the youths. The youths are the revolutionaries for our urgent socioeconomic and political renaissance.

For 2019 presidential elections, it’s going to be a new democracy where our youths will take over the reins of government. These old leaders of discredited undemocratic regimes have no place, no role in 2019 democratic Nigeria. They are not needed. They are not wanted. They are expired liabilities. They need not apply!

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A Thousand Yoruba Proverbs For Baba Buhari

By Lasisi Olagunju

What kind of king uses his finger to clean his anus, uses it to pick his nose and then proceeds to pick his teeth with the same finger? That is what we see when the one we trust shocks us with a dingy behaviour. Saintly President Muhammadu Buhari has replanted an uprooted diseased tree in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). His people say it is to make the place healthier! Could it be that some people are not what they claim to be? That favoured tree, omo, is chosen for gbedu, the palace drum, because of its integrity. And we saw bigger trees in the forest before we settled for this Buhari variety to build the royal drum. Now, can you hear the eerie sound that comes out of his gbedu?

The king farts and we smile and congratulate him. It is a symptom of healthiness. And the king’s health is the health of the kingdom. Now, should the king up his game by defecating right there on the throne? Should a king so spoil himself luxuriating by defecating in his royal apparel? No man becomes sweet-smelling by shitting in his pant. The palace bean cake is made of excreta and the clean king loves its taste; but the palace cannot be merry in its stinking majesty. No.

Hundreds who voted for character in 2015 are re-examining their thumbs. Did we make a mistake? Should one struggle with character the way a borrower fights with his unfit garment? Is it not only a borrowed pair of trousers that is felt too tight at the waist? Did the preener of that election dress his ugliness with face powder and anoint himself with camwood without taking a bath? And we didn’t notice!

A king’s honour is his armour. The farmhouse adds to the farmer’s glitz and glamour. Our palace has become a buffet of intrigues and holy sleaze. But the king insists the horror we see around him is purifying. His plantain is going bad but he says it is ripening! Who is that farmer that sets his hut ablaze because he wants to kill a bush rat? This king sets the house alight because he wants to cleanse it of a bush rat, he says. What would he have done if the enemy had been the rattle snake in the crevices of the sharpening stone? Sometimes when a king does not know when to stop chasing phantom foes, he breaks his wrist chasing the mouse in his bedroom. And truly, our elders say all true leaders do not beat the communal drum so hard that it is torn. An elder that spoils the fun in dance steps and drumbeats loses his age. Lost is the elder who divorces a horse rider in order to marry a pedestrian. I see in Buhari’s disdain for his party, its manifestoes and chieftains. The baking of self and class destruction.

Am I talking too much? When a man sets his farm beside the king’s, chances are that the king’s hoe could give that person’s toe a bloody nose. I also know one does not contemplate the world in silence and yet become victim of the king’s sword. But is it not said that silence is the foundation of ill luck, of bad luck and of misfortune? There are several heads in the shrine of the palace, majority of those skulls are of the innocent who kept quiet when silence wasn’t golden. It is not every time when the family head shits in the sauce pan that you see and keep quiet. That is why these thousands of nuggets are placed before Buhari, the one with our power, to pick and chew.

You are called a character fashionista but look at your palm oil jar: it is corked with a smelly rag. What beauty reeks in stinking filth and insists clean men caress her? It has been one day, one scandalous controversy in the house of integrity. When the village fashion icon is seen in rags, should the village edge him on until he enters the full market stark naked? The shame of nudity goes not just to the unclad; all who watch the obscene share in the blot on common decency.

That NHIS matter, why did Buhari do that? Should a man who is accused of theft be seen dancing with his neighbour’s lamb? Critics of the king say he is not against graft if it is committed by favoured men of the palace. They say the king condones any shit provided it is from the anus of his kith and kin. And they cite examples which the king’s doctors couldn’t cure with the usual spin. And now this NHIS thing!  And this is an anti-corruption government. When a lamb insists it is a he-lamb, let it not come forward without horns on its head. A chief hunter with a toy gun is a fake. That one with a wooden gun is not a hunter. At best, he is a clown entertaining the bored. When you make promises of integrity and fairness, you don’t go sleep with harlots of filthy existence.

At the beginning of this marriage, loud promises were made. Have those promises been kept? They said it is too early to ask. The wife is still promising she will birth male and female even after months of due diligence in the bedroom. She asks the worried household that the last wife who was sacked, what did she deliver in the 16 years of its noisy copulation with the husband? This APC is working hard to bring forth viable offspring, not nitwits of the 16 years before her entry. Her efforts are not felt for now because of the witchcraft of the first wife.

The narrative is that the PDP is the bloodhound. It sucks in the unborn to shame the pregnant. Even with witch-hunting exercises routinely staged, that evil party is still changing costumes, joining the chorus to condemn its own years in power. So, for Buhari and his APC, the mosquito of expectations that perches on their tender parts must be crushed with care. Patience is, therefore, the keyword here. Buhari’s people are still not tired of saying Nigerians are very impatient. But should I tell them what they don’t know? Their hero is that loud farmer who farms by the roadside. When you farm by the roadside, our elders say you must be seen working day and night on the right things. Otherwise, every dog and every goat will mock your indolence and failure. To replace the fulfilment of those effusive promises of 2015 with fresh 2019 promises must attract ridicule and rejection. You cannot do that. You cannot also tell us you have delivered the goods using some unintelligible jargons. If you do this, we will remember the proverb of the one with a dead manhood whose vibrant children reside beyond the seas.

A king belongs to all. That is what makes the town calm. Where the king fetes his household and flogs other compounds, there will be uproar in series. Buhari rules with only his far northern brothers. But his men tell us he rules not with his omo iya. They say the ones who share the king’s powers among themselves are just his half-siblings and their look-alikes. That is the narrative from Aso Rock. The men from Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and from Kebbi are not Fulani like Buhari. They are what? We are not told. But a king who picks all his chiefs from only his royal lineage will rule alone. He cannot benefit from the varied wisdom of the community. He cannot sleep and close his eyes from the blinding flashes of his indiscretion. Did our elders not rebuke that elderly glutton who thought his throat was the only road to Oyo? The greedy elder carries his own load home. Who would carry the basket for the aged who eats without looking at the yawning mouths at his back? Should he, at all, expect the deprived to assist him with the burden? That is why elders must not perform oro with the indiscretions of youth. Unfortunately, we are told that the one who is greedy, covetous and clannish won’t know his illness until he is told. And who tells him? His kinsmen. They are the ones who hold the mirror for him to see his ugliness. Could that be why General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida wrote those lines to General Muhammadu Buhari?

Yesterday’s promises belonged to that distant year called 2015. There are fresh baits in the deep of 2019. But is it not true that certain table manners suggest you are okay with what you’ve had? Among such are belching and farting loudly to disconcert the host. It is like you ate, farted and washed your hands and now you are talking about eating more. The food providers must quickly usher in new customers. Age, in its advanced form, always deflates ability. The white man designed retirement age to save the tired worker from his greed. The tired who loathes retirement is like bat, the only animal that eats until it vomits. Bat can’t stop and won’t stop, but must you join his Tortoise on this journey to disgrace? The hawkish bird of prey called kite can hunt and it has proved its prowess with chickens. Going forward in this bad weather is kite going for the snail. It is an overreach.

Proverbs are the horse of admonition. Admonitions are also the horse of proverbs. The wise and the knowledgeable are the only ones who dance to the beats of counselling. May this king not be like the last addled swimmer who misbehaved at the River Ogun. Yemoja, the river goddess, swept that one away