Permit me to use this opportunity to air my views on the political jamboree that have commenced as the 2018 Osun gubernatorial election draws closer.
In other climes, electioneering and politicking are done based on issues before, during and after the political party primaries. Aspirants tackle each other based on issues, what have been left undone, what should be done, commendations and criticisms where necessary.
The contrary seems to be the case in ours and yet, we claim to practice the same democracy.
Though, we cannot compare our own to democracy in advanced countries but nevertheless, our politicking and electioneering campaigns should be issue based rather than engaging in political and character assassinations and the outright snuffing out of life from intending candidates and their supporters.
Politicians go about arming their foot soldiers with weapons of different assortments and they go about town, scaring the opposition.
When certain aspirants loose out in their party primaries, the next step taken is to decamp in order to get the same ticket from another political party.
Our democracy is still nascent but our nationhood is not. A person who is 58 qualifies to have grown, used to it and mastered the process perfectly, hence, our politicians should learn from their friends in developed democracies and start to ask questions on how they achieved it in their countries.
No democracy is perfect, but at least, some of the flaws associated with it can be reduced and even done away with.
Ekiti and the case of Opeyemi Bamidele is a typical example. Why the violence?
It is my prayer that as we elect the next governor of this state in September, there shall be a smooth election and also, a smooth transition by God’s special grace.
World press freedom day proclaimed by the United Nation General Assembly in December 1993 is observed every May 3 to further promote press freedom and protect journalists, some of those who lost their lives in carrying out their constitutional duties. It will be recalled that the world press freedom day came into existence after the death of some journalists and photo journalists in suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan. The journalists had gathered to report an initial suicide bombing before another suicide bomber who pretended to be a journalist detonated a bomb which killed several press men.
World press freedom day is a reminder to governments of the need to respect press freedom.
According to the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ), there have been 32 journalists’ deaths in 2018. Although, no death has been recorded in Nigeria, that is why Nigeria was ranked 119th, next below Afghanistan in the 2018 World press freedom index. The world press freedom index shows the level of freedom afforded journalists and news organisations and the government efforts to respect the freedom.
Information gathered across the world reveals that at least, 32 journalists are currently detained in Egypt with 22 of them without charges. Mahmoud Hussein, an Aljazeera journalist has spent more than 500 days imprisoned in Egypt.
Almost 14 Turkey’s respected newspaper were said to have been found guilty of terrorism charges in Turkey because of the country stifling of the media and criminalization of their journalistic works. Over 120 journalists have been jailed since the coup attempt in July 2016, as well as at least 180 media organisations closed down with spurious and baseless accusations of plotting to overthrow the state and terrorism offences.
World press freedom day is a day of support for media which are targets of the restrain or abolition of press freedom.
Therefore, the press freedom entails issues of media and transparency of the political process, the Independence and media literacy of the judicial system and the accountability of state institutions towards the public.
In view of lack of indiscipline among some students in secondary schools in Osun State and other part of the country, in spite of the efforts of government, there is need for government to, as a matter of utmost importance take more drastic action, with a view to checking such cases.
A situation whereby a secondary school student will continue to abuse a teacher and as well confront him or her openly is unacceptable and this portray total lack of indiscipline and unruly behavior on the part of the students.
I would like to suggest the overhauling and restructuring of our education policy by the government and other stakeholders in the education sector as this measure will tend to curb the excess of students to some extent.
It is in my view that the free education policy adopted by some state governments across the country is no longer feasible, as students believe that since they are not paying for their education, they have nothing to lose, forgetting that they are toying with their future.
If school fees are introduced in secondary schools, it would enhance the standard of education, as parents and guardians would be committed to educate their wards on how to behave well in schools and the society at large, while the majority of the students would also have senses of belonging.
Experiences have shown that when you have a level of commitment in terms of payments of fees to the education of your children, you will have ways of continuously educating your children and monitoring their day-to-day activities, which would in turn guarantee discipline among the students.
Besides, the authorities in the education sector must be serious and firm, by ensuring that any student who misbehave is summarily suspended or given immediate expulsion as this will serve as deterrent to others.
I have to also suggest that government should introduce an effective orientation campaign, among the parents guardians and students so as to keep them informed on the importance of education to their future.
Of recent, the growing unrest and indiscipline among students have become matters of great concern. Students’ unrest is not confined to Nigeria alone, it is a worldwide problem.
There are agitations, strike, boycotts of classes etc in schools, colleges, polytechnics, universities and other educational and training institutions now and then, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree is a case study.
Students’ unrest is a great threat to our education system, training programmes and development, as the students gratify in violence, arson and destruction of valuable property. They use unfair means to get through tests and examinations, insult their teachers, threaten their invigilators and abuse other staff members of their institution on any pretext. They want more freedom, rights, be it legitimate or illegitimate.
These undesirable activities and indiscipline seem to have been allowed to go on unchecked, case study of what happened recently in the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke where some members of a confraternity struck and took lives of innocent persons.
If the security agencies refuse to check the activities of these groups, the whole education sector and training system would soon be paralysed. It would penetrate into the very vitals of our national ethos and development, as unrests among students reflect the prevailing dissatisfaction, disillusionment, frustration, dejection and hopelessness.
The students, the serious one with proper orientation and guidance are now frustrated, they feel insecure as far as proper learning environment is concerned.
There are many factors contributing to this dangerous occurrence, ranging from out-dated and defective system of education and examination, rampant corruption among teachers and other members of staff through nasty factors like nepotism, favouritism and bribery.
Therefore, the way forward is that our youths should be kept busy with creative, truthful, relevant, social and academic activities and their minds should never be allowed to remain idle.
Proper employment opportunities should be created for them and there should be no political interference in educational matters, just as the legitimate demands of the student community should be met promptly without any delay.
My country, Nigeria is filled with diverse mineral resources and we have grossly enjoyed the proceeds from the sale of crude oil being one of our major revenue. However, Nigeria has continued to make little or no progress in many areas and it has become the dream of the younger generation of the present Nigeria to be part of the nation building in no small measure. I desire that this great country will not continue to live in the midst of plenty and yet suffer from penury. The economy of any country is the base of its development and yet the country has not got it straight on this crucial matter.
Economic issues are real life issues and without increased strength to attain the status of developed or real developing nations, we may continue to live in poverty. What saddens the heart is that many Nigerians are living below one dollar per day and the currency has lost it values. My dream in this regard is to see to the balance of trade that is required for any developing economy. When the imports keep increasing and there is only one major commodity to export we are far from the Nigeria of our dream.
I would encourage the teeming youth to see agriculture as a great ladder towards economic independence because as it stands, Nigeria is yet to be financially liberated.
In addition to the above, industrial development will go a long way to reduce unemployment, encourage entrepreneurship and reduce importation of foreign products.
“The young people who were born after and during the civil war do not know the history of Nigeria. The civil war between Nigeria and Biafra ended in 1970. We are now a sovereign state of Nigeria.
“But there is nothing wrong if a group agitates for a state but you cannot do so by confrontation in a sovereign state of Nigeria. It is treason. Biafra ended with the civil war in 1970. The Federal Government should detain and charge him (Nnamdi) for treason. I am an Igbo man and a Nigerian. You cannot be agitating for a state within Nigeria adopting confrontation.
“When the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike’s mother died, I was then the Secretary General of Onahaeze and pleaded for his release from detention to enable him bury his mother.
“I was among a private delegation, led by the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije, to Uwazuruike. We told Uwazuruike that you cannot be talking of a sovereign Biafra inside a sovereign Nigeria’. Nnamdi should be charged for treason but his undue detention without charge cannot be supported.”
– A former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya
In all things, I am grateful to God always! I am thankful to Him, my Shield and my Navigator!
This evening on my way back home after hours in the traffic, along Ilo-Ajegunle Road, I branched into a gas station to fill in the fuel. Just as I pulled back into the road, alone in the car, a couple of commercial bike riders popularly called “Okada”, were ahead of me speeding, just about then, a woman crossed and the rider tried to swerve to the right and the woman went back to same direction, the rider tried again to flip the bike handle back to the left, unavoidably, the woman collided with the bike. The woman went flat lifeless and the two other passengers on the highway injured severally all in the middle of the highway.
Heaven knows, if I had been distracted a second, I would have run over the body of the woman. God really helped me, I quickly wheeled to the median wall and pulled by the service lane ahead, to come down and lend hands to rescue those lying on the road, acting a Samaritan!
Alas,just about when I was locking the door and alighting,some four bike men and miscreants have suddenly been surrounding the car . “Yes, you can’t go”. “You hit them.” “Come and carry your meat”. Several untoward utterances were coming from their guts! Immediately I became angered and emotive, I shouted back at them, even in my native dialect, mi Olorun laa ko ba hin! Ira Jere! Se oju rihin ni mo ko lu han?
And the passers-by and shop-owners about that spot trooped out to my defence that I did not get near them but were knocked down by the bike man.
My people, I could not hide my temper I moved towards slapping one of them. The teeming crowd just prayed for me,”E ni ri ogun akoba ooo”. I made a detour, instead of getting near them to assist as I had wanted,I left them and entered the car.
I just thank God for His mercy. He drives with me always. Oro ti a o mowo mese, o ni kan wa oooo. I cannot thank God enough.
Those who thought that the salary palaver in Osun and other states owing workers will disappear with the bailout funds should have a rethink because it will not. Workers and pensioners have been restless for the past one week, expecting to be paid the bailout received recently.
The governor, however, has insisted that payment would be made only after the completion of the verification exercise. True, physical verification has ended but the result is still being collated and the report yet to be submitted, which should form the basis of the new wage bill.
I agree with the governor that ghost workers should not receive the jumbo pay. From investigation, it has been found out that the beneficiaries of payroll fraud in cooperation with the opposition PDP have been blackmailing the governor to heat up Osun and incite workers against the governor.
Secondly, it was the workers themselves who asked for the verification exercise after disputing the N3.6 billion wage bill the government claims it pays every month, it was never the governor’s idea.
A lot of misinformation has been going on and many innocent workers have been deceived. The N34.9billion bailout received from Abuja represents three values. The first is for salaries for February to June 2015, the second is for pensions covering the same period while the third is for the completion of specific projects, ongoing or new. These funds are not transferable. So it is not true that all the N34.9 billion is for paying salaries and pensions arrears.
The question which has engaged the governor and for which he has proposed half salary for senior staff is what happens after June? Given the dwindling oil receipt and N2.3 billion allocation from Abuja for July, what will be the state of Osun’s finances after the deductions for the bailout loan kicks in? It simply means that Osun’s allocation will be less than N1billion. So where do we go from here? Should we eat everything now and go hungry later or spread what we have to last us longer?
While we still debate this, this is the moment of clarity for the governor and I daresay the workers too. The present wage bill of N3.6b is unsustainable; something must give.
The governor must reduce the wages and pensions bill in the state to a maximum of N1.8 billion. The current workforce of 35,000 is too large and unsustainable. There must be a shift in the anti-development thinking that makes people to say that Osun is a civil service state, or the civil service is the only industry in Osun. This type of thinking will lead to nowhere. The civil service is an instrument of service delivery and not an end in itself. On no account must the government spend more than 40 per cent of the state’s resources running government. This takes courage.
If it were in the private sector, the workforce would have been right sized as back as 2013 when allocation fell from N4.6 billion to N2.6 billion and nobody would be accusing the governor of owing workers eight months salary.
The governor keeps giving assurances that he will not lay off workers. This amounts to living in denial. The bottom line is that he must live within his means. Therefore, he must be prepared to right-size and cut down on wages, especially of the top civil servants who gulp most of the wages or continue to pile up debts and crisis. May God give him the courage to do what is needed.
Thank God my six hours on the new farm today was successful, I am proud to say I am a Farmer. Livestock and Fish farming is a very tedious one,moreover when you do everything manually. Mechanised farming is the best but Nigeria is a lucky nation where all what you have is natural, devoid of chemical.
As an environmental, human and anti-corruption activist, Farming should be seen as a fundamental way to build a non-oil based economy. Kudos to Prof. Omotoye Olorode who initiates me into farming. Chief Gani Fawehinmi Maize Farm along Akure road in Ondo and Tuns Farms owned by my benefactor, Asiwaju Olatunde Badmus were the two farms where I developed to a true farmer.
As a livestock and fish farmer , I have no regret for being a farmer, it is self independent and self reliance, my two farms today is a testimony that hard work and consistency pays.
My farms has also generates employments to the glory of God and the benefit of mankind, this is what sustained our activism over the year and the reason why I can path way with anybody who infringe on my core principle, a man without principle is like an uncharged phone.
I consider myself one of you, and God knows I am in spirit, struggle, pain and hopeful perseverance. Our governor has decided to make 5,000 of us street and government building cleaners. This was contained in an urgent promo published across all dailies this Friday by Borno State Environmental Protection Agency Coordinator, Nasiru Surundi. They say we are to be cleaning shops, markets, streets and government offices as “street vanguards” for N10, 000 monthly.
I know 100s of thousands of us unsecure youth are in desperate need of money, but I write this letter to ask you if what you want and think you deserve from your administration is to be hired by the government as cleaners? If government offices are dirty why do they not get on their fours and clean it themselves as public servants handsomely compensated for next to nothing?, is a question we ask.
Dear great youth. If we do not stand for ourselves, no one will. I commend you as I always have for being the patriotic ones who believed and who paid the ultimate price, fought and died to save your communities when the army ran; saving the capital Maidiguri as a home for you and displaced millions. Had it not been for you, Boko Haram would long have captured the entire State long time ago. As reward for this alone, if money was all that mattered, you deserve the yearly N50 million budgeted without condition! Not to be disrespected and told to be street cleaners. We know how these very officials have plundered 100xs as much for doing nothing other than putting us in harm’s way, aiding and abetting Boko Haram while failing to feed, arm and support us who fought them.
Dear comrades. I urge you to stand for your rights along with your dignity. The two go hand in hand. Our patience cannot be bought with a mere 5,000 of us being humiliated with N10,000 each when we know what we deserve and what has been stolen from us, can it?
If N300, 000 is invested in small enterprises it yields 4 permanent jobs on average worldwide! That’s about how much our government intends to use to buy two of us’ loyalty over a year span in stipends. If our government had a true conscience, will they not use this same money to invest with us rather in aiding us procure what it takes to set up small businesses whereby the same funds for just one year will get 10,000 of us permanently employed and small business entrepreneurs? Of course, with some of us deciding to run street and building cleaning enterprises that may hire Nasirus to do the cleaning, at our own volition? But this government has lost its ability to think.
This government that begs for an amnesty for Boko Haram so their sins can be covered; a recurrent pattern in Borno where and why Mohammad Yusuf was allegedly killed to cover their sins, is at it again. I am not even sure in their proposition for an amnesty for Boko Haram they have written that Boko Haram killers should be made street cleaners after pardon. I bet you in that proposal they gave Buhari, they opted for the surrendering terrorists to be shipped abroad to aviation schools, whereas they are so insolent to declare they want their brave sons who did what the army would not, to be street cleaners….ad this while mercenaries are still being paid to fight the fight we fight, for $400 (N100, 000)/ day. And then they ask why there is terror in Borno. No it is not because of poverty; terror has absolutely nothing to do with poverty! The terror is the child of the corrupt cluelessness, insults and injustice.
Proverbs 22; HCSB: 22 “Don’t rob a poor man because he is poor, and don’t crush the oppressed at the gate, 23 for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.”
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A): “The Prophet (pbuh) sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.” Volume 3, Book 43, Number 628: Sahih Bukhari.
This is my word to you.
We will shame our adversaries. I believe I can count on you.