By Steve Osuji
THE WEEK OF FORTUNE SEEKERS: In established corporate bodies, department heads are supposed to give weekly updates in management meetings. You are allowed to state that there’s NOTHING TO REPORT. It’s often better to do so than to put others through the pains of repeating what you reported the last time. It says something about your managerial acuity to have to repeat yourself at a management meeting.
This is not to suggest that it was a blank week. Just that there were no public activities of high impact to the state last week. We cannot present the breaking floodgate of visitations to the Presidential Villa as important state activities. No.
For instance, so much photo show was made of the visit to Aso Rock, by two Igbo politicians – Ayim Pius Ayim and Olisa Metuh. Ayim was senate president in an era when that chamber would be described as a chamber of treachery and subterfuge. It was a time that gave us the odious political phrase: “banana peel.”
Ayim was later to become the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) under President Goodluck Jonathan. Metuh was the last powerful Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the party’s most inglorious times under the same Jonathan.
It is uncertain whether both men have been able to extricate themselves from matters of official corruption of the ballistic kind for which they have been dragged by the anti-corruption agency.
In decent climes, these men would be in political hibernation but here we are, a people without any moral or ethical scruples whatsoever. They pose with the president who himself can’t hold a candle to them.
So here we are, they are the first to arrive at the dinner table and the presidency rolls out the entire romp of the presidency in gay photo opportunities. The Presidency was agog – big men of the opposition party and men of the troublesome Orient!
They are supposed to be PDP bigwigs but they are at heart, fortune hunters. I wager they had lists and bid documents in their pockets. They posed as Igbo heavy weights but they are mere duodenal politicians, men of straw who can’t win a straw vote among their kin. Opportunism had no greater guile.
Among other visitors to the Villa are executives of strategic businesses. They are calling early to show support and throw their ugly weights as they had done with every new government since 1960. The Shell crew was one of such business crews last week. MTN too.
TWO PRESIDENTS CAME CALLING: It’s quite telling that the first two visitors of a presidential calibre that came calling since President Bola Tinubu was sworn in are from Guinea Bissau and Benin Republic. That’s where we are now…
President Umaru Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau is currently head of ECOWAS and he was probably in Nigeria for a pre-conference consultation. Patrice Talon of Benin on the other hand was probably in to see Tinubu over the adverse effects the fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria has brought upon his country and people. Well, let’s call it a diplomatic call all the same.
THE GREAT TAX BINGE: It’s unsettling that President Tinubu had the presence of mind to set up a panel on tax revenues drive last week. Headed by a tax shark, Taiwo Oyedele, he has pledged to double tax collection from N10 trillion to N20 trillion in just three years and N32 trillion before the end of his first tenure.
It’s rather unsettling that Tinubu would be quick to impanel a bloodsucking tax body and not a palliative measures panel against subsidy removal. It’s uncanny that the President cannot spare a thought for the masses of Nigerians who are being immiserated daily by his mindless policies.
Tinubu’s mindset is to squeeze every kobo from the hands of the poor people and put it in the hands of the rich and party stalwarts. To prove that Tinubu is not a man of conviction, what he is doing today is the direct opposite of what he preached about 10 years ago when President Jonathan tried to remove the so-called fuel subsidy.
Hear Tinubu in January 2012: “(Jonathan’s) Government would have us believe that every hardship it manufactures for the people to endure is a good thing. That is a lie. The hardships they thrust upon the poor often bear no other purpose than to keep them poor. This is such a time.”
It’s indeed a time of soulless and unmitigated wickedness against the people. All Tinubu cares is to win the face of the West. It doesn’t matter that additional 65m Nigerians are going to be swept into poverty by the end of the year.
Who voraciously impose taxes and harsh market policies in an environment lacking in electricity supply, public water and no social safety net of any kind. To think that a government is more keen on doubling tax revenues in the poorest environment in the world!
DOUBLE WHAMMY FROM THE ELECTION TRIBUNAL AND EU ELECTION REPORT: It was anticlimactic for the APC and INEC as submissions closed at the Presidential Election Tribunal in Abuja last week. APC and the Tinubu legal team didn’t have much to report. No witnesses would show and INEC had no evidence of results to present. Nigerians are still waiting to see the results produced by the president INEC announced.
Then the European Union election monitoring team as if on queue, weighed in with a most damming report against INEC and the ruling APC. What a week it was.
ONE MAN SHOW CONTINUES: We shall not rest until Tinubu constitutes a cabinet. The singular reason is that it’s not only inefficient for one man to be running a country, but it’s also inherently dangerous. Cases of corruption and all manner of official malfeasance are rampant even with an executive Council how much more when there’s none? As has been said here several times, any serious president or governor would pick his team two weeks after the inauguration.
We hear the list is with the DSS for screening. We wonder why we bother as the worst rogues amongst us still manage to slip through the screening into the cabinet every time. What choice do we have being caught in this treacherous bind? Enjoy your week.
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Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States
The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.
The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.
In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.
Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”
“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.
“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.
“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”
Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”
Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life
Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.
Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”
Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.
The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.
While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.
According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.
The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.
“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.
“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”
Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.
Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.
The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.
Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).
Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks
The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.
The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.
Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.
CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.
Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.
DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.
Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.
Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.
Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.
ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.
CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.
CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.
The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.
CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.
- Source: Independent