By Ikeddy ISIGUZO
One of my most confounding moments is when it is time to review Nigeria’s years of independence. So much has changed without the country making discernible progress in improving its people.
We have built on faulty foundations. When it is pointed out to us, we dig in with excuses and more excuses. We confirm it with the other excuse that “Nigeria is finished”.
Some think it is their role to finish up what has not been done yet – finishing Nigeria.
Nigeria is peculiar in everything she decides to do. Elections are a good example. They rule us, they ruin us. Every election we budget money, more money than the previous season – put this down not to inflation – we make new laws, and we invent meaningless catalogue of promises to assure the people that it would be the freest and fairest election in the country. Nigeria would be better.
The laws change depending on who must win. Nothing is left to chance in ensuring that the same laws we had hailed as the decapitation for electoral frauds dissolve to nothingness when tested with infractions against them.
The judiciary is no longer the hope of anyone unless the person can pay. Empty words like “lacking in merit”, decide cases that wrestle truth and technicalities to the ground. Law and order have died many times. We are deceived by the residues, mere glittering symbols of their existence.
What are laws if they are not implemented? What use are they when their makers place enough impediments on them? Would it not be better if we had no laws?
October 2023, could mark the beginning of the journey to the end of a lawful Nigeria. The start of Nigeria’s 64th year as a nation is filled with types of helplessness that make people give up trying.
The muted celebration of Independence Day would still be filled with the trite, tattered, prattle about how far we have come, how much we have done together as a people, and how we are on the way to becoming a great country. Of course, lies adorn with seeming patriotic flair.
Bolder patriots swell in pride when they call ours a great country. They never fail to remind us that every country has its challenges. We are peculiar. Our country has every challenge. It is not about to change.
Leadership has become a platform for adding to the challenges with an aplomb that drains more hope out of the system.
October would see more of those distressing decisions from the courts. We are left with no option but to echo, “as the court pleases”. We are not happy. The laws that we made, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that we funded with billions of Naira for the elections, and the judiciary that we just hoped would understand the call of the moment, have united in behaviours that have no thoughts for Nigeria, not the present, not the future.
Why were the 2023 elections so important? There could be many important answers to this question but they find a nexus on the imperative of rescuing Nigerians from the most unrestrained, tortuous, tormenting, and tumultuous eight years of their lives.
The chaos of the unbridled Buhari years would be felt for more years. Buhari was enthroned as President as if his eight years would have no consequences. The Buhari years have left us consternated though we are only in partial realisation of the hammered harms he did.
Buhari delighted in his devastations. Belated efforts to praise how he erected steady paths to Nigeria’s future are alarming as they are the latest indications that the unrepentant utterances of our former rulers point to their determination to do more harm than they succeeded in executing.
The pictures of a future in Nigeria are hazy from several angles. The foundations for Nigeria’s thriving trajectory, different from what we know, have not been laid.
Power is debased and limited if its essence is to add an extra line to one’s biodata. Many leading Nigeria, at different levels, are happy with logging titles that add nothing to improving our society. Power is the end for them.
Much of our 63 years were frittered in this manner. Resources, especially time, were wantonly wasted, leaving us decades behind other societies. Each year raises new issues. They are usually worse than the ones we refuse to confront in our understanding that we occupy positions to amass public resources for personal gains.
As anger, hunger, poverty, diseases, acute illiteracy, and the sharp divisions the Buhari years accentuated sweep through the land, it is harder to sustain attention on more than immediate survival.
No statistics capture the depth of the poverty, the stretch of despondency it has created, the unemployment, the hopelessness of millions not knowing if there would be another meal, and the dent they make on the few, who in their struggles, keep many others alive.
It will be expensive to take Nigeria, in good shape, to the next anniversary if everywhere the people turn, they discover that those who should serve them are increasingly not interested in how Nigerians survive.
Nigeria in 63 years changed without improving our communities and the people.
Uncaring leaders have harmed us to the point that wishing us a happy independence anniversary is like adding another nail to the ones fastening us to endless suffering.
GOVERNOR Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has a reputation for getting things done once he puts his mind to it. He has promised that “4,000 Imo youths will be employed in Europe” by December 2023. He has discussed this with some countries and the European Union. Once he gets the letters, Governor Uzodinma says, he will pay for the air tickets. At an average cost of N400,000 a ticket, Governor Uzodinma will need N160 billion for tickets alone. Congratulations Imo youths. There is no time to discuss other things N160 billion can do for Imo State. The Governor should not forget Imo Elders.
PUBLIC primary school teachers in Abuja have suspended their two-week strike, “over non-payment of their 40 percent peculiar allowance and 25 months’ minimum wage arrears for 2019 by the six local government council chairmen”. To those criticising the trending video of FCT Minister Nyesom Wike cooking for Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, did it strike you that Wike could be cooking the solutions to his travails in Abuja? How many Ministers have discovered the route to Gbajabiamila’s attention? Isn’t it time to give Wike some credit for being strategic?
NOBODY will draw me into speculating the whereabouts of the President. He went to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Did he say how long he would be away? What have you missed in his absence? Another fuel price increase?
It was a relief to learn that Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism, was not as gravely ill as publications alleged earlier on Friday. I wish her a quick recovery.
*Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues
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