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Report of C-GATE Quarter 2, Year 2
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Report of C-GATE Quarter 2, Year 2
Comrade Debo Adeniran is the Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) and a public affairs commentator. He spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU on the South West Security Network, otherwise known as ‘Operation Amotekun’, and some challenges the outfit may face, even as he touched the Ondo and Edo states governorship elections that will come up later this year, among other crucial issues. Excerpts:
How do you see the formation of the Amotekun security outfit by the South West governors?
Operation Amotekun would have been unnecessary if the nation’s security had been effective. The regional security system became necessary when the people of South West became vulnerable to attacks by people they believe are strangers. They also believe that the security forces are strangers and do not know the terrain. Amotekun is home-based and understands the terrain. It is a necessary step.
What challenges would you foresee for the Amotekun project?
The first challenge is the problem that the Police, NSCDC and the Army may see them as rivals. They may see the Amotekun as taking their glory. They may therefore work at cross purposes. If the security forces and Amotekun operatives clash, that may make a mess of the objectives. Again, there is the problem of adequate training and equipment as well as the security of the Amotekun operatives themselves. If there is no rivalry between security forces, they may abet such attacks.
Already, the Inspector General of Police has threatened that there are certain categories of arms that will not be found with the Amotekun. Thus, they may be under the power of the herdsmen with superior fire power. They may also face the challenges of funding. The South West governors face a lot of financial challenges. If they are not paid by the governments, the Amotekun operatives may become criminals themselves.
Northern youths were said to have rejected the project. What is your take on the development?
But, the Arewa youths, through Yerima Shettima, has denied it. However, whatever fear any region has does not hold water. Each region had always had their security arms. The North has nothing to fear unless they have some criminals in South West who may be checked by the Amotekun. If the Federal Government fails to protect the people, the people have the right to protect themselves. Security is everybody’s business. Any part of the country that wants to set up security outfit is free to do so.
With the crises in Edo and Ondo APC involving the state governors, how do you see the governorship election coming in both states in the later part of this year?
Elections in Nigeria have not been without various forms of intrigues, horse trading and violence. The two elections may not be exemptions. Already, there has been no trust situation in both states. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal Government have the duty to protect the people. It should not go the way of Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, where there were a lot of instances of killings. Elections should not be seen as do-or-die. The people should not see elections as personal, but by convictions. Politicians should not trade in the blood of the innocent people to acquire power. Such things should prick their conscience. A number of alignments and realignments may occur. Political friends may become foes and political foes may become friends. If the government does not allow manipulations, it will be free and fair. But, a lot of political actors may want to foment trouble. Security agents should make security reign. They should work hard to pre-empt violence. Security apparatus of government are expected to get information in advance and nip crises in the bud. I don’t see any trouble if everybody do the required things at the right time.
Do you think that possible defection of both Godwin Obaseki and Rotimi Akeredolu would not adversely affect the fortunes of APC in both states if the crises in both states remain unresolved?
Cross carpeting is part of the political game in a multi-party democracy. People bring up allegations and counter allegations against people when there is an election. What is happening in Edo is an anathema. When the Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, got to office, he was sober. But, now, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, feels betrayed and that he is being edged out and reduced to nothing when he should be an asset. He feels he is a strategist that should be consulted. But, if Obaseki defects to another party, he may lose the election. Those edging him on do not want him to leave the party. They do not want to be in opposition giving what is happening in Bayelsa and the lackadaisical attitude of the governor of Rivers State. So, they do not want to leave the mainstream. Governorship is transient. If the governor is not careful, he will be the loser. It is proper for Obaseki to consider well before jumping the ship. It may backfire and affect his credibility.
In Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is already mending fences with the party leaders. Although, Alliance for Democracy is becoming more popular. But, if Akeredolu plays his card well, he may be forgiven. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu supports those in power. But, Akeredolu should not undermine the person of Asiwaju. Those he may anchor his support in Abuja may not be there for him. The former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, did not undermine the influence of his leader and the leaders of the party. Amosun did not defect to Allied Peoples Movement (APM) even though he supported the governorship candidate, because he knew the influence of the National Leader. That should teach Akeredolu a lesson. He should remain in APC and fight it out instead of remaining strong headed.
What is your take on the planned hike of electricity tariff?
The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has denied that. Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) can come up with surprises. GENCOS and DISCOs can, in fact, wield undue monopoly. The hike is wicked for people who are not enjoying constant electricity. They do not access electricity well. It is unfair for government to allow that. There is no reason for the agencies to overcharge the people. If they get constant light, people will be ready to pay. But, now, there is epileptic electricity supply as the whole country has no power. It is only a wicked government that will allow this. They should not overcharge people who do not have regular electricity, cannot do their business, suffer damages and spend more to maintain generators. Electricity supply cost Nigerian consumers more expenditure due to the multiplier effect of lack of electricity. No government should try it. Nigeria consumers should rise up against the planned increase. Nigerians should resist it and let the suppliers go to hell.
With crisis in the 2019 elections and the governorship polls in Bayelsa and Kogi States, what reforms would you advocate in the country’s electoral system?
It is beyond INEC to some extent. The National Assembly should rework the electoral law. The voter register should be electronic. Electronic voting should be legalised. If banks should use the BVN to regulate banking, voting should not be an exception. People should do voting from their homes, like banking. The voting number should not be duplicated. Anybody caught in manipulating votes should be barred from contesting elections. Those who participate in violence and killings should face the full wrath of the law. If the penalty is stiff and the judiciary does not back down, everybody will sit up. The lucre for political offices should be reduced. Salaries of political offices should be equal to those of public officers. They should not be given luxuries they cannot afford.
It pains people that the politicians are paid so much for doing nothing. Their salaries should not be more that those of Permanent Secretaries in the MDAs. People should not spend so much to cause brigandage if they know they will not be getting much. Those to be appointed into INEC should be above board.
The Professors used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are said to be making mistakes in calculations. What options do you think INEC has if they drop academics? Do you think the nation has enough experts to do the work instead of the academics?
You cannot have enough experts. People do not study elections in universities. The best we can have is the academia. The best thing is for INEC to be thorough. It is not the Professors that do the calculations. That is why we advocate for electronic voting system. It is those who work with the Professors that make the mistakes. If the votes are electronically calculated, errors will be eliminated.
What agenda would you advocate for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020?
President Muhammadu Buhari should strengthen the anti-corruption efforts and deepen the reach of the anti-graft system. President Buhari is doing well. But, there are a lot of detractors who undermine his efforts. He should ensure there is more publicity of what is being done to combat crimes and corruption. It takes a lot of efforts and patience to extract a virus that has ravaged the body. Corruption has taken deep root in Nigeria. Right from when the colonial masters left, we did not know the level of corruption until all the system began to collapse. It will take a gradual process to repair. People in government are used to our corrupt system.
Basically, President Buhari administration should be vigilant. Whistle Blowers should be well compensated and their payment made easier. Corruption cases should follow due diligence. He should establish anti-corruption courts for them to handle corruption cases. Adequate punishment should be meted to those found guilty. Their properties and assets should be confiscated. Those convicted should live the rest of their lives behind bars. They should be wearing tags showing their former positions and offences they committed and the jail term they are serving so that anyone coming to see them in prison will know what they have done. They should be in special prisons where students will go for excursion, with their names and positions displayed. They should be working in the prison or taught skills there. They can practice all skills in prisons. However, they should not be paid, but should be well taken care of so that they will be healthy to work in the prison. Lastly, President Buhari should constitute a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to evolve a national ideology to give direction to everybody. If the SNC is conveyed, it will give everybody a sense of belonging.
With Nigerians expressing worries over the rising cost of governance, how do you think this could be reduced as Nigeria moves into 2020?
About three or four years ago, we suggested that Nigeria should adopt what Senegal did. Senegal did away with their Senate and reduced the salary of their lawmakers. In Nigeria today, a lot of people see government as an industry and abandon their trade and businesses. They go into government to get rich. People attach themselves to public officers to get rich. That is why Nigerians are getting lazier by the day. It also accounts for the huge amount the lawmakers take, be it at the federal, state and even the local government level. Reducing cost of governance does not mean reducing the structure of government. The Senate does not do more than what the House of Representatives does. Nigeria can do away with the upper legislative house, since the House of Representatives is more representative of the people.
Each constituent should be able to take care of the representatives. It should be the responsibility of the constituents to determine what the salaries of their lawmakers should be. The constituents should be able to determine the take-home pay and allowances of the legislators and aides. The idea of government paying everybody huge amount at all levels has made people to become lazy in raising funds, even at state and local government levels. People in local governments should sit down and determine how to take care of their state lawmakers at both state and local government levels. Every state should contribute to the centre, every local government should in the same way contribute to the state. This should be the way to restructure the federation.
Some of us have suggested the scrapping of state governments, while the local governments should contribute to the centre. That is the only way to reduce cost of governance and people will be active in generating income. Everyone will know how to hold their representatives responsible accountable.
The National Assembly, especially the Senate cannot legislate themselves out of office and the executive cannot remove them from the constitution. That is why we advocate for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), which should be the beginning of true nationhood, instead we will continue to be a contrived geographic expression which people will not take care of. That is why we are advocating that President Buhari should convene a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to consider all systems, decide on revenue generation and allocations to different sections of the economy. This will reduce cost of governance. Although there will still be some oligarchic leaders who may want to control government, they could be checked, instead of the type of unitary system we are running now
By Ejikeme Omenazu 5:02 am , Sun, 26 January 20
Comrade Debo Adeniran, an activist, is the Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) and a public affairs commentator. He spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU on the implications of the Coronavirus pandemic to Nigeria as well as the resolution of the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), among other issues. Excerpts:
How do you see the way the federal and state governments have been handling the COVID-19 pandemic?
It is difficult to determine whether the handling is inadequate or not without engaging in a comparison with other countries. The index case could not have been discovered, but for the Lafarge doctor. We can talk of laxity at the entry point. But, the disease is new and there could not be symptoms until after some days. The best could have been to shut down the airports at the early stage. They ought to have shut down the airports long ago. A lot of people with the virus could have entered into the country undetected at the airports, just like the index case. Many could have also entered before the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus situation as a pandemic.
The Federal Government could have saved 50% of the cases, but former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement that the discovery of the index case was a hoax, just like Shehu Sani could have discouraged a lot of people from taking action. People should not do things because of political leanings, since they were not the ones that tested the patient. The media should not have amplified the cynical statements.
Patients cannot be exposed. The medical profession has a code of ethics. When the index case was declared free, it became obvious. Obasanjo and Shehu Sani could have discouraged the Federal Government from closing all the borders and airports and seaports. We have seen what has been happening to Italy, China and some other countries. We would have shut down the airports long ago.
Lagos and Ogun have taken precautionary measures to check the spread of the virus, especially Lagos, where the index case was discovered. But, someone came in, went to Ibadan and then to Ekiti, where he was discovered. It may not be the fault of the state governments, since it was not discovered at the airport. Health officials at the entry points at the expressways would have tested the people. Health officials should have been posted along the major expressways to examine people, especially those coming in from Lagos and Abuja.
Some precautionary measures have been taken in several states, schools shut down, stadia, sports events stopped. All these are okay. But, tracing the contacts may be difficult. Earlier, some lawmakers could not subject themselves to checks at the airports to their own detriment. They attended social gatherings. The carriers of the virus could have reduced by now with all the hints by the WHO, if Nigerians did not take things for granted. Nigerians themselves contributed to the problem.
Wash hand basins should be provided at public places. People could have been touched by a carrier. Costs of sanitisers have gone high. People do not want to engage in self quarantine because of their businesses. Government should make things available to those on self quarantine.
A lot of people live on what they get on daily basis. Aged people should boost their immune system and have sex regularly as well as engage in exercises. People should engage in self isolation. If they do not have to go out, they should stay at home. Government should do more enlightenment in market places and people should keep social distance and avoid handshakes.
Education on the virus is enough as all discussions in radios, television and newspapers is about the disease. But, we cannot overdo it. Markets should be open because people do not have enough money to stock food for a long time. Hoarding should be avoided. We cannot properly do self isolation when living conditions are difficult.
With one death recorded so far and the figure hitting 65 so far (as at Thursday), what more do you think the governments should do about the rising Coronavirus situation?
That the figure has risen from one to 65 is alarming. Even at that, there are a lot of hidden ones because flights still went on for a long time. Many carriers entered undetected. The country is vulnerable to the disease. The government should trace those who entered the country and ensure that even those in contact with them are quarantined for at least 14 days. From one to 65 in three weeks means that if we continue that way, in another three weeks, we may have 3, 400.
Nigerian has so far recorded one death, the carrier who died in Ekiti. The contacts should be quarantined. Atiku’s household should be quarantined. Yuguda is said to have self-quarantined himself.
Coronavirus has taught us good lessons. We can do with what we have. If we do not, people will perish. People should make alternatives to what we import. Some of us raised alarm about importation of finished products. Our refineries should be made to work we should produce what we need, including medically. We should not rely on foreign countries for our needs. It was not so in the days of our forefathers. We should be self-reliant. We should be self-reliant. We can develop our technology. We should stop borrowing from these countries, using our national resources as collateral, creating uncertain future for generations to come. We should stop medical tourism. If the airport had been open, Buhari’s daughter and Atiku’s son would have been taken abroad for treatment. Coronovirus has become a leveler of people.
Do you think the citizens and corporate institutions understand the seriousness of the pandemic?
For a long time, citizens stopped to believe the government. Cynicism has been there. The average Nigerians no longer believe their government. People are misled by people like Obasanjo. But, when they saw the number of corpses in China and Italy and other countries are locked down, people begin to believe there is a pandemic. People are not responding because they thought it is a ‘big man’s disease’ and the ravaging poverty is much. People are violating rules on buses. A BRT conductor was beaten up because he did not want to carry people who would stand. There are too many people on the road. When the government does the right thing wrongly, they make doing the right thing difficult, as it is the case in Lagos.
In several countries, food is given out freely and people are given money to survive. That is possible in Nigeria. But, the public officers make it impossible. When money budgeted for projects are looted, people are ready to die because they do not see any future.
What is your reaction to the reduction of petroleum pump price from N145 to N125?
It is good reference for government. Several occasions global oil price fell, government refused to change the price of fuel at the local level. The price reduction is not even the same proportion to that at the global market. But, it is nice. But, more incentives could be given by bringing down the fuel price. It should include diesel, kerosene, gas and other things manufactured from petroleum products. Government should bring down the price of fuel to the barest minimum. Everybody make use of petroleum products one way or the other. In Libya, people do not buy fuel at a time.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting global economy, with its effect on the Nigerian oil sector, trade and even construction, do you think the country’s economy will not slide into another recession?
It depends on how the country handles it. The recession will be global. The pandemic has affected all sectors. Nothing much is happening in the stock exchange. The world economy is at standstill. It will be a global recession. The bigger the economy, the bigger the recession. Saudi Arabia is not taking pilgrims. Rome is not taking tourists. Italy locked down its economy. People cannot import and export products. Ships are stranded in the seas. People should prepare for tougher time if the pandemic continues.
Government should look inwards to boost the economy. We can go back to the farms. If government utilises the pandemic well, we will suffer the pangs. What we need is mobility, which government should subsidise. The average citizens would have been taught to be stronger through self sustenance. People are learning that paid employment is not enough. There should be other means of affecting more increase. The pandemic is affecting individual economy. Government should find a way of helping those providing perishable goods. The pandemic may lead to more strife and uprising and further distrust of the government by the people.
How do you see the leadership crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC), especially as it concerns the position of the party’s National Chairman?
It is normal with the ruling party. It also happened to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at their own time, in many countries, when a ruling party is approaching an election year, there is bound to be a clash between those in power and those who want to succeed them. It happened to PDP. If APC does not take time, what happened to PDP will happen to it. The difference is that nobody wants to defect from APC. Those who do not want to be disciplined are vocal in the crisis. The same thing happens in the country. Oshiomhole is suffering what President Buhari and the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu are facing in the handling of those who want corruption to continue. Oshiomhole should apply more wisdom and diplomacy. The crisis may spell doom to APC in Ondo and Edo elections, as well as the 2023 general elections. The struggle for influence and support is the cause of the imbroglio. They went to court. That is the civilised way of resolving crisis.
Would you say the courts have not contributed to the crisis in APC, especially in Edo chapter?
It is still the courts that will regulate what is done wrongly. There were conflicting rulings among High Courts of equal adjudications, but the Appeal Court has doused the tension by granting stay of execution order. This has given APC opportunity to rework its system. But, for the courts, there would have been more crises. The developmental problems in Nigeria contribute to the way the courts work. There are problems of data sharing. This affects the courts. Lawyers know how to manipulate things for their selfish purposes. That makes it difficult for the courts to exonerate themselves from the crisis.
Do you see the crisis in Edo APC being resolved so soon?
The Bisi Akande Committee has given them the opportunity for reconciliation. A lot of compromise has been reached and suspended people have been reabsorbed. This is the opportunity for the Akande Committee to bring peace to APC.
What is your take on delisting of several political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the fact that the courts may make nonsense of the agency?
It is neither here nor there. If INEC has power to register parties, it should have power to deregister them. At any time the condition for registration are no longer there, or has degenerated, INEC will deregister. If you have members at the moment of registration and suddenly the members defect to other parties and the membership depleted, there is no point in keeping such political parties.
Some of the political parties are not working towards political stability. Many register to corner resources to themselves. Many of them do not have assets or offices. If INEC wants to register parties, they should have at least 1% or 001% of the population where they want to operate. Most of the parties lie to INEC when their claims are not verifiable. No ideological leanings. Conditions for registration of political parties are loose. That is why as many as 93 political parties were registered. If there is a clear-cut ideology, all parties with single ideology should merge. People should know what to expect from a party. When there is no membership, no ideology, no clear manifesto, why should we have different political parties? They only help to create administration confusion at INEC. If the courts base their rulings on the Electoral Act, INEC may win. The cases cannot make a mess of INEC’s stand. The condition for registration of political parties should be clear.
By Ejikeme Omenazu 5:03 am , Sun, 29 March 20
BEKO is a man of Dignity, a man that believe that there should be Egalitarian society, a man that work towards the enjoyment of right and benefit of Nigerians, no matter how low lay place that person his, he didn’t believe that somebody cannot get to the highest height of his potential, he believe that the resources of Nigeria is enough to give everybody that leverage that will help you or her to live optimum life to enjoy benefits of Citizenship, to enjoy freedom of movement, speech, economic, personal and cooperate economic development. He believe that Nigeria can be better ruled, he believe that we can restructure Nigeria in a way that everybody will have sense of belonging, so that is what eat in deep into us that we believe that we have to continue to remember the sacrifice he made.
He was described by the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka as the bravest of the brave, he had that extra dosage of courage with which he confronted the military regime no matter how powerful, no matter how daring, no matter how wicked, no matter how brutal they were he confronted them and was able to make some difference, he joined hand with others to ensure that every government, the successes government in Nigeria take the opinion of people into consideration before they implement policy and laws that have to affect life and livelihood of the people and that is what we believe should be carried it forward, our been to carry it forward we need to keep on reminding ourselves and to honor him because of his enormous sacrifices that he made towards the emancipation of humanity in Nigeria.
The specific thing that we would ask the government to do in his Remembrance is to ensure that electoral right that people reserve their right to, their political right to enjoy is made generally accessible to the people. Political leaders should not been seen to have been impose on people, the ballot of people should count and our leader should be accountable to the people upon which ballot they road to position of prominent and to power. They should ensure that the right of individual, community, children and women are not denied them and that is only way by which people can live full adequate and successful live.
Issue of Security
You see security will take care of self if economic reality is made generally accessible to people, if everybody has profitable economic engagement they are not likely to go into criminality, the security agency will do their work, the motor park portals they will do their work, drivers will do their own work, farmers will do theirs, everybody will get busy because they know that ultimately they are going to make profit from their daily tolls. All of you in journalism you will do your work because you will be well paid as at when due, teachers will teach what they are paid to teach because they are happy to do the teaching, student will be ready to learn because they will be motivated, now if all of these social economic indexes are made convenient for people to access criminality will go down.
Nobody will have a degree that he knows that he can make a living with will now want to leave the degree at home and get to motor park or go and carry gun in the jungle to say that he want to kidnapped, that he want put certain people in ransomed, or he want to disturb farmers from farming, that he want to take his own herd of cattle into cross farmers farm with the view to chasing them out of place, nobody want to do that. The reason why all of these security becomes issue is because government do not pay the right payum on the sanctity of human sustenance, if there is qualitative education, there will be qualitative services, there will be accountability, there will be transparency, there will be sense of belonging, there will be a nation whereby everybody will move away from rebellion to patriotism, if people move from the position of rebellion to position of patriotism they will ensure that government property are protected, they will be ready to be the whistle blower, they will be ready to ensure that nothing that belong to the state is badly utilize. Basically it is the socio-economic problem that leads to security problem and that leads to instability in the politics that is exactly what we are yearning towards.
Thank you for having me, thank you very much. First and foremost TI is like any other NGO like we have even in Nigeria, and the NGO can go to field to carry out a study, they can carry out a survey, they can carry out all sorts of data gathering exercises from various people and you remember that what TI said is that it base its own conclusion on perception, perception may not necessary reflect the reality on the ground, from selfish point of view The Center for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership(CACOL) has been supporting the fight against corruption in Nigeria and we have also been monitoring the achievement and losses. In 2011 we came up with a petition against the Former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Who collected about 26 million dollars from Julius Berger over the same case of Malabu and the rest of them to trial the same Julius Berger, nothing was done about despite the fact that we held a street protest and it was published in the paper.
In 2013 we did a protest match to EFCC Office in Lagos to submit a petition against Diezani Alison-Madueke to showcase all of the profligacy and all the kind of up seen opulence in which she and her family members were swimming in and nothing was done all those period, we had cases against the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and several of other people like that, nothing was done until when the present Administrative came and we know that they have convicted a couple of those who are either to consider to be above the law. Some former Governors who had been tried for more than eight years have been convicted, two of them in 2018 then one of them towards the tail end of 2019 and the one that was convicted in 2019 every skeptic has vow that Orji Uzor Kalu will not go to jail because he presented himself as son to the President and that because the chairman of the ruling party said that anybody that cross over his sin will be wash away.
Now when they now saw that i expected that the media will blow that to the high heaven, i believe that the present administration is fighting corruption more than any other administration before it. All the operationalization instrument preventing corruption BVN, TSA, FRC, SCUML, FTIU, so all of these were operationalized, it makes corruption crime to be difficult to commit. Now the perception is based on the information that is available in the public arena and a lot of people followed what you people report in the media electronic and print and you know those who are perpetrating corruption, they would want to under rate the activities of Anti-corruption Agencies and they are the most vocal. A government that want to avoid corruption, that government is not likely to bribe anybody to carry out certain propaganda, they will not need bribe people to skilled stories in favor of the authority and because this time around a lot of exposes were done in the area of corruption so it will sound as if it is now that the corruption crimes were been perpetrated even when they have been there several years back so when you exposing because hitherto corruption cases have been covered, they have been treated as family affairs within the political circle.
So now that it came over bud a lot of people will think that all they will perceive it as if the present system that is perpetrating corruption, for crying out loud the present administration has actually handed over many of those who are working within to the Anti-corruption Agencies for Investigation and Prosecution. Many of his predecessors have not done such a thing so we should give kudos. Like Gani Fawehinmi of blessed memory said that if you cannot contribute to the success of the fight against corruption don’t deride the little effort that is been made by government, that anytime any effort it’s made it will reduce the prevalence of corruption in our society. What would we ask individuals and the even groups to do is to try and show adequate appreciation of those that are fighting corruption, they should not deride the effort that have been made to the extent of making it look as if it is worthless then they should serve as identifier of corruption crimes if government is overlooking any corruption crime they should come into you the media, they should expose it with concrete evidence, they should also write petition even against Anti-corruption Agency that they are being selective.
But i tell you there is no administration that will not be selective, you will only select those who cases are actionable upon which investigation had been carried out and you know that is a winnable case before you select those that have remote evidence and witnesses. If there are no evidence and witnesses cases cannot go to court, criminal don’t give receipt so it is difficult to detect corruption crimes and to gather evidence and witnesses and witnesses are intimidated and they change their statement there is no way the process can continue and you know what is happening within the judiciary even the judiciary need to be sanitized the more.
The primary purpose of a government is to see that the security and welfare of the people are enhanced. The government claimed that is to enhance the security of the people but it forget about the welfare part of it. Instead of government to create enabling environment for job creation, the policy that is implementing seems to be destroying the existing environment even as difficult as it is, it destroying more jobs than creating it and once peoples job are taking away from them without replacement, what we are likely to witness is putting the security of the people in jeopardy meaning that the welfare of the people that is been taking away by government is likely to compromise the security of the people. I will elucidate, first and foremost the job of controlling the vehicular traffic, it doesn’t matter whether it is bipodal, tripodal or contropodar as in motor-vehicle, cars and trucks and all that.
For the government to streamline, make laws and implement those laws. There are traffic laws that are existing in Lagos State and there are traffic law implementation’s officers as we have it in Federal Road Safety Corps and the Lastma. All of this people are the ones that government should have faced to insist that they should implement traffic laws that regulate the operation of tricycles and motorcycles in Lagos State. It is government that registered this people for commercial purposes, it is the government that took the money from them, and the local government even takes rate from them on daily basis. What have they done with this money and as a matter of fact the money they took from these people would they return it when they chase them out of business.
Now a lot of operators of these categories of vehicles have invested so much, some of them took so much loans to procure their equipment with which they work; most of these loans will not be paid back in the way that the loaner has agreed with them. So what do they expect them to do? Many of them will become more desperate, many of them have families, they have children in schools, and they have those who will fall sick to take to hospital. All of these expenditures are available for the operators of these categories of vehicles to undertake, so what will they do? They will become desperate, they will become angry with government, they will become rebellious and that will lead them into committing crimes. So when the height of criminality in the crime riddled city like Lagos is heightened then everybody is at risk.
We do not believe that the government should put our life more at risk than it is presently. It doesn’t matter whether they say that there are some emigrants from other countries. We have immigration agencies that should control that and if this immigration agency cannot identify who is Nigeria and who is not and none of Nigerians are given license to operate motorcycles and tricycles in Nigeria then is that the fault of the operators? Why don’t they find a way of streamlining their operation so that everybody will be subjected to the same law and at the end of the day the security and welfare of the people would have been protected by the government? So is an admittance of governmental failure when they say they have to ban it because they know that most of those who operate these categories of vehicle are the poor people and the people are the lowest wrong of the socioeconomic ladder that is unfair treatment for the masses of the people that voted them into power.
Well it is going to reduce the capacity of investors to operate within the state because there are several state roads that are not motorable than the use of motorcycles and tricycles and those who are to work in all these workplaces and maybe industries that are to be established live in Lagos sub-hub where vehicular transportation is limited to those two categories of vehicles. Many of them will not be able to get to work on time, many of them will be discouraged from going to work, many of them will laze around at work because they will have trekked a long distances, that means there would be reduction in capacity utilization of the personnel, it will also reduce the amount of productivity at work and also the man-hour that will be wasted in so doing which could have been put in the productive activity of the workplaces will go to waste.
So basically that will reduce the pre-capital income in the state that means that the economics of the state will plummet to a level that will make the state more unbearable and not conducive for establishment of new businesses and a lot of business will also want to move out of Lagos because those tricycles and motorcycles created jobs where government has failed. Of course what even more surprising is that the cooperate organization that established motorcycles business and were licensed to carry business in Lagos at least three of them like Max ride, Oride etc. are being chased out of work and these people said they have invested more than $200millions on the business. Where do they want them to get the money repaid to the investors, so these are some of the implications long term implication of what the government is doing? The buses that were rolled out cannot ply nooks and crannies of Lagos and these categories of vehicles i.e. motorcycles and tricycles would have to get to the highways before they can access petrol filling stations where they could refuel their vehicles. Some of them would have to necessarily drop their passengers by the bus-stops where the bigger bus will operate. Now if they get there, all the enforcement agencies are already harassing them and confiscating their vehicles.
The first thing is for the government because 65 buses is just like a drop of water in the ocean when you compare it with the needs of Lagos dwellers for public transport system. What they need to do is to go beyond that, they should procure smaller buses that can ply all of these neighborhood roads, this road that cannot be access by big and long buses. Lagos state government should procure vehicles that would have 4by4 transmission system that can ply all of those gully, riddled roads that are yet to be fixed by Lagos state. What we said is that the state can make use of motorcycles and tricycles unnecessary if all there roads are actually motorable. It would serve a lot of purpose if those who are interested are given loans even if it is going to be interest yielding loans at single digit to people who want to invest in smaller vehicles that can ply nooks and crannies of Lagos rather than relying on 65 buses to add to what is already in adequate in Lagos but people needed to get to the official bus-stops even before they are able to access the buses that is rolled out until there is alternative for people to get there they have not done much to the welfare of an average Lagosians. The ferry services have designated areas where they operate. If the state wants to use ferry services as alternative means of commuting, they would have dredge all the canals in Lagos that will link every community together. I’m aware that there is nowhere in Lagos that ferry services wouldn’t have been able to operate if all the canals are made usable by the ferry owners. Apart from the government sponsored ferry services, there are people who want to invest in the ferry services but for now only very few places can be access by ferry; for example if you are moving from Ikorodu to Lagos-island, you are moving round maybe to some Riverine areas but internal water system has not been made motorable for watercraft to ply, for example somebody is coming to Agege what can ferry services do for them? If people want to get to places like Ojodu and all of those areas that do not have waterways but they have canals that can be dredge and water can be directed into them through which ferry services will reach everywhere. What the State Government is supposed to do is not to put the cat before the ox, what they should have done is to put the cat before the ox. They could have made all of these nooks and crannies of Lagos accessible by ferry services or by smaller vehicles but they had done was to come on hard on the poor just because they do not have the capacity to defend themselves in the magnitude that can jot government to do something that is better than what they are doing currently. Ferry services can only help when the waterways are motorable.
My reaction is that nobody should be surprise or taking aback by the submission of the Miyeti-Allah leader to the extent that they are the assailant that they believe that amotekun will come after if it is allow to be consolidated. They are the morroder that have been disturbing the peace of that part of the country all over the time that issue of banditry, brigandage and clashes between herdsmen and farmers have been coming up in south-western part of the country. And you know that several groups and persons in Nigeria has testify to the fact that Miyetti-Allah have been the rampaging morroders that have to be brought under perpetual check. They don’t want to be controlled, they don’t want to be stopped from the destructive activities they been conducting all over Nigeria.
They want to dictate the pace to every government ( Federal, State and Local government) on how to run the affairs of their territory. They want to tell traditional rulers and individuals in every communities how to run their life affairs. They want to operate within everybody’s territory, operating their economic activities without any legal restraint, rules regulation and other instrument that could control their activities. So basically that is the reason why they don’t want Amotekun to survive, meanwhile they are bearing arms, they are bearing dangerous weapons, they are attacking human being, crops, attacking families, and properties.
They don’t want anybody to check them, they want a police that they could control, they want a security apparatus that they can bring under their perpetual control that is why they are opposed to the inauguration of Amotekun that is(Western Nigeria Security believed that they should be ignored and the I.G of police should actually arrest them for questioning,why is it that they don’t want anybody to bring them under check.The question of politics and governance is not dependent on what kind of security arrangement there is, it is also not an index of whether a kind of region or a kind of zone is qualify to be president of the country or not.
What we’re talking about the security system should be allow to thrive so that there would be safety of lives and properties first, because if a human does not survive the kind of banditry and brigandage and insurgency that is ravaging different part of the country. He will not be able to think of contesting election, he will not be able to vote in an election, he will not be able to even witness the dawn of good governance if there is any.
I don’t agree with that, there is proper public awareness, it is a question of ego on the part of some government officials like the Attorney general of the federation who said that he was not consulted before the outreach was put together and there are a number of other public official, public servant who are saying that because they were not consulted the outreach should be dissolved and i don’t believe that security of lives and properties should be a subject of ego tripping.
That is exactly what we should remove, the public’s to be served are well aware of the import of Amotekun security system, they know what they are out to achieve, they know what advantage there is for an average citizen of the zone that is involved. So basically we cannot say the people are saying that they are not aware, it is some of those who would not want it to work that are claiming that the public are not aware. The public are even anxious to be part and parcel of the security outreach because they know the implication of it and they know that the time has come for south-western part of the country to safeguard his territory against invaders.
You remember one chance is usually committed by the use of Danfo whether registered or unregistered, several cars have been used even to bad car have been used to commit crime where riders were murders or robbed, trailers, tankers all of them there is none that has not been used to commit crimes, so basically it is no excuse for them to take care of it. What they needed to do is to strengthen the law enforcement agencies to be able to use their instrumentality to curb crime in our climes, of course the law enforcement agency also use Okada in their operations, that means they have higher technical capacity than the regular Okada riders, so Okada is the means through which emergency can be attended to especially when you have to commune from one location to the another.
Supposing somebody has health challenge and emergency health challenge in Ijaiye Ojokoro and has to be taken to hospital, there are several spot where motor vehicles are held up in traffic, it is only Okada that can take the narrow part and meander through the traffic to get to that destination on time, it is just the alternative means of circumventing the traffic snares that usually characterize pick hours in Lagos and it is a veritable means of getting people to their work place in good time. And talking about rural Lagos that is those who are living in sub-urban areas and had to trade within the urban centers, it is through Okada and tricycles that they can move from their sub-urban to the urban center and since there is outright ban it means that there is no alternative means for rural dweller to commute with the city, it means when motorcycles and tricycles brought them to the roadside, to the side of major highway they will remain there because in some eye brow area where this categories of vehicles has been banned there are usually no commuters buses and affordable alternatives through which people these people can transport themselves.
What the State Government need to do is to provide alternatives means of transportation for those who use it and alternatives means of business for those who use it as main source of income, it doesn’t matter whether or not those who are riding it are immigrant of other country, it is the Law enforcement agency that will be sensitize on how to identified them and may be extradite them, they can profile everybody that is riding Okada in Lagos through the licensing system, if that is done they will be able to remove the grain from the shaft and ensure that every other person that is operating any business in Lagos is law abiding and they are known to the law.
So it is no excuses, it is a statement of, it is deficit statement when they say that many of them are criminals they sneak out, whose fault it is that people are homeless, it is the fault of the same Government because the principal purpose of good governance is to secure security and welfare of the people. So they cannot not repudiate, abnegate there role and now blame the victims for the jeopardy that they suffer from out of mal-governance, so to some of us we believe that it is not a well cut out policy and it should be reverse.
Traffic rules with reckless abandon without considering the interest of other roads users, that is when LASTMA could have become a kind of revenue generation imposing fines and LASTMA should not even impose fines arbitrarily , it has to be based on laid down principles that will be agreeable to a cross-section of Lagos motorist. It is preposterous for the government of Lagos State to increase the revenue expectation/ target by LASTMA that is supposed to be a provider of Social Service for Lagosians. Even when they tow vehicles the cost of towing that vehicle should not be above what the going rate in the market of towing vans and because it should be a way of easing the burden of an average Lagos motorist not to add to it. Everybody knows what the economic looks like in Lagos today, many motorists are just managing to run their vehicles.
This is because government has not lift up to its expectation to provide public transportation for the average Lagos commuters. The urban buses/ transit buses that are supposed to be servicing Lagosians are not readily available and they has are not comfortable as expected to be. Hitherto when BRT was been introduced to Lagos State metropolis, the promise was that there will be a bus at each of the bus-stop by every 15 minutes but this is not to be, recently people have to queue unending at the bus-stops long queues, they have to stay in the sunshine, in the rainfall for so long. This is what force an average Lagosians to come out with their cars even if the cars are not as heavy as it should be they are forced to come with their cars and couples with the banned on tricycles and motorcycles, it makes traffic situations more chaotic when you have to go out during rush hours. Lagos should be more compassionate, they should be circumspect too, they should look at the situation of an average Lagosians before they impose taxes tariff on them. It is thoughtful on the part of government to make LASTMA a revenue generation in the first place not to talk of increasing their target revenue from above #600,000 to about #1.5billion, that’s unthinkable, that’s unacceptable to people like us.
Well I wouldn’t know but we will make attempt to resist it because it is an unjust law, it is not equitable, it does not put into consideration that Lagos State has not done much to alleviate the poverty of an average Lagosians, they do not provide enabling environment for small and medium scale businesses to strive, they do not fix their road to even make it easy for people to run their own vehicles, they do not do the needful to ensure that alternative means of transportation are convenient for people even the very services have not been serving people diligently. The train services has not been serving people diligently, the lite rail project that ought to have been delivered since 2013 is still under construction as we speak so why should LASTMA now become a revenue generating agency. It is unfair, LASTMA should remain a social service agency for Lagosians and that will be better appreciated.
We are quick to see somebody else mistake and not ours because the WHO actually said it is COVID DASH ONE NINE not NINETEEN that you people call it; you know that your own tongue is different from president tongue. So those who are criticizing him I wonder if that should be their priority because they too they have their own fault not the way the Europeans will call it, is the way that you people in your own dialect will call it. Everybody language is influence by his dialect I mean speech making of everybody is influenced one way or the other by his dialect but the NINETEEN that everybody is saying is wrong, it supposed to be COVID ONE NINE. I actually posted some extract from WHO website where they gave that acronyms they use for their social media as COVID DASH ONE NINE (COVID-19) not COVID NINETEEN. I think it is too inertly for people to be criticizing the President, I wonder if that is the way to do opposition if people want to criticize, it has to be on concrete issues or concrete errors or omissions from the duty bearers not about the way certain things were called, it irritates me.
It is oppositions that did it more and those who don’t like his face as if they know better, it is just like somebody that will say ‘sampion’, the other one would say ‘sampion’, the other one say it is not ‘sampion’, it is called Champion. So all of them might be wrong, everybody will now think they are better than the other it’s a dialect. Usually Hausa-fulani they hardly know how to call P they call it V sometimes the way they call D may not be clearly stated. It is their tongue, that was why i posted when i said some people we are making jest of it, I posted the extract of the WHO and many of us will arrogate ignorance.
1. How do you see the way a Federal and State Government handling the pandemic? With one death as it is recorded and the figure hitting 40, what more do you think the Government should do about the situation?
2. Do you think the citizens and corporate institutions understand the seriousness of the pandemic?
3. Don’t you think the poverty level in the Country is making the message of COVID-19 not to sink in?
4. What is your reaction to deduction of Petroleum pump price from #145 to #125?
5. With the Pandemic affecting the Global economic, will it effect on the Nigeria Oil sector, Trade, Building, Construction. Do you think Nigeria’s economic will not slide into Corona Recession?
6. How do you see the Leadership practices in APC especially as it concerns the position of the National Chairman, would you say the court has not contributed to the crisis especially in Edo APC?
7. What is your take on deleting of several political parties by INEC and the fact that report may make notice of the action of INEC?
8. Nigerians have been wondering why the Government should continue to drag the Nation deeper into debt to equate for 22.7billion dollars loan approval, what is your take on it?
Answer- Let takes it one by one, if not for the Lafarge doctor that discovered the symptoms and alerted the NCDC about it, so we could talk about laxity at the level of entry point that is Muritala Mohammed Airport where such a thing was not discovered but then there’s also a limit to which you can blame them because the disease is not likely to reflect on somebody and there may not be any symptoms for a couple of days before the thing becomes apparent. So a number of people can easily sneak through airport without anybody detecting it not even the thermometers that will detect it, the temperature may be normal in the early days of the disease so what could have been done would have been to shut down the airport immediately which was also not advisable at the inception of the whole thing until when the pandemic became apparently global affairs. We could also say that there is a negligence after the index case has been identify and the contact person has been also traced and the rest of them that it took too long, as a matter of fact all the airport were just shut down midnight yesterday, they ought to have shut it down long ago not to allowed anybody to come in again and there are a number of infected persons that are find themselves in the country after the pandemic has been declared by the WHO that is the unfortunate aspect of it.
Then so by and large the Federal Government could be rated as having scored may be on the scale of 10, may be about 50% they could have done much better if they took earlier precautions. Then it is still within the same country that we had Olusegun Obasanjo claiming that the claim of Ministry of Health to have identify an index case was a vast, was a gimmick to make money out of government covers, that was also supported by argument my of friends and a Comrade Shehu Sanni who was also said that it might be not real. Citizens should not do such a thing may be out of political considerations since they do not have contrary report and they knew they have not tested the identified patients to confirmed that he didn’t have the disease before they started talking at worst the doubt that was raised by Obasanjo was amplified in the media, the media ought not to have also amplified such a cynical statement, then when Shehu Sanni was saying that he wanted to see the person, see the face of the person, identity and all that, that is against the medical ethics, you can’t just expose a patient to the public like that because of the stigma that is likely to adhere.
At the end of the day when the man was healed they discovered that it actually real, somebody even said that he could have been paid to act the patient of the pandemic but from all indications that might not have been the truth because there are couples of others that are now come to the country with the disease so what Obasanjo and Shehu Sanni were saying could have also discouraged the federal government in taking that initial drastic action like shutting all the airport, all the entry point including the seaport and even land borders without waiting for further confirmation. What I believe is that as soon as that human breakout is made to the knowledge of the world and we saw what was happening in Italy, Rome, in different places, Israel, everywhere, and then we would have shut down all the entry point that is where the federal government missed it.
Now we also talked about State Government, many State Government are taking precautionary measures especially Lagos State where the index case happened and Ogun State where he moved into, I think they traced also those that got in contact with him and they were quarantine and many of them are fine nobody from that index was seems to have tested positive to the disease but in some other cases we got information that somebody came in spend 10 days in Ibadan before moved to Ekiti State, it was in Ekiti State that he took ill and eventually died. We do not have details of it, but then if he could be in Ibadan for that length of time it means that they didn’t discover him in at the airport and he have to move around, there is no means of discovering him if they could not discover him at the airport, it might not be the fault of the State Government but then there are certain precautionary measures that could be taken also which could be include manning the entry point even to the State.
The major entry point to Ibadan from Lagos is the expressway and there are places where they held official could be made to examine people may be even if it is going to be temperature or there are other means of identifying suspected victims so that could have been done, all the way that gets to Ibadan could have been manned into every state of the federation. During election they know how to put Law enforcement agencies into state where they do not want visitor to get into, they could have done the same thing mount health post at every entry point of all the state and ensuring that the people do not move so those initial if it was only limited to Abuja and Lagos by flight everybody that is coming from those two state could have been examined to know whether or not they are carrying the disease but they did has been done, we only prayed that he doesn’t spread to states where they are yet to identify them.
But then several precautionary measure has been taking in those states, many of the states of the federation have been locked down, civil servant has been asked to work from home, no gathering of more than 20 people, schools has been shut down all over the country, restaurant, stadia all of that, all sporty event have been suspended indefinitely, so all of these are precautionary measure which are okay but then tracing the contact person with those who carry it just like we said many of this big men will not submit themselves for examination at the airport that has affected the senators and of course they are leaking their wounds as some of them have been found to carry the disease.
Atiku son had been in Nigeria for some time and we were told that he actually went to some Night club and other gatherings including Jumat yet the father denied it, we are not sure until further evidence were produced, now a number of other people could have contacted the disease since it was not discovered early enough those are some of the negligence on the part of state and all in all we believe that we are getting to the groove just believe that instead of increasing the carrier of the virus should be reducing by now with all the hint that has been given even WHO that is zeroing on IG and the some of the other precautionary measure that could have been taking maybe people would have avoided it if they didn’t take things for granted. So Nigerian themselves are much of problem to a successful containment of the disease rather than Government, then government should ensure that there are wash hand basin with soap are made available generally in every public place.
Then for example prices of hand sanitizer has gone astronically up beyond the reach of an average person so if there is no soap and running water to sanitizes the hand and you cannot afford the cost of sanitizers you may be tempted to ignore the question of washing the hand and a lot of people think that unless they went to the airport, unless they rode in public transport and all of that they might not get it, forgetting that whatever they touch could have been touched by somebody who is a carrier of the virus, it doesn’t matter where the person is whether in public or private then a lot of people don’t want to engage in self-quarantine, self-isolation because of the nature of their business and of course it is understandable. What we believe government could have done would have been to make things generally available, the regular needs of a person general available to those who might have to quarantine themselves i.e. food, water and other things that they would require because some people live on what they make on daily basis, even if they suspected that they have the disease they won’t want to stay indoor because of the cautioned economy reality.
So if things get better, if government want things to get better, they have to intensify the advice that people should quarantine themselves if they suspect that they the disease. Then they say that those of you who above 60 should boost your immunity and you should engage in physical activities that will make you healthy and you should not let your health breakdown, so not many people are able to keep to all of these things but am like more or less self-isolation, I hardly go out I move from house to office, I wash my hand with soap, people should remain at home if they don’t have any important things to do outside. And really there shouldn’t be much to do outside, all hotels have been shut down one way or the other and market places and government should do more in the market places, they should go there and ensure that there is sanitizer, then social distance they should keep social distance of about 6feet around them. They said in Lagos bus conductor and driver should wear mask but they didn’t of course mask wearing should not have been recommended because you cannot presume that they have it and the way to do it, mask is for somebody who is bearing the disease not somebody that didn’t have because it can penetrate but then it will stop the discharge if the fellow should cough or sneeze, it won’t allow it to go far and once they don’t touch it, it is not that the virus moves on its own outside the body, it not going to move unless somebody carry it from that place to somewhere else that is why keeping social distance and knowing that it might have gotten to your hand don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth and all of that.
So these are some of the thing unless you have wash hands for about 20 seconds with soap and running water even in between hands or you use sanitizers, so all of these are good enough and the education is so much, there is no discussion on television and radio now that will not be gear towards the instructions and information about what to do and how do it, basically at that level they are doing more then you cannot overdo it, you can still do more and more. Market must open because people do not have enough money to stockpile food items in their homes but then the funny of some of the essential commodities should also be stocked. So everybody is trying his best, we should not forget that we are in third war front where things are relatively difficult for an average citizens. The figure has risen within two weeks from 1 to 40 is alarming meaning that if we are not careful or not even at that there would have been a lot of hidden ones that has not discovered because flight still got to Nigeria up till midnight of Tuesdays that means that a numbers of carriers would have come into the country and the reluctance of people to self-isolate also made the country more vulnerable to the poliguration of the disease.
So what we believe government should do is to make it compulsory for anybody they should traced all the addresses of those that are just coming into the country and they should insist that they should not go out until maybe about 14days after everybody that came in into the country within this period they should traced them and everybody that have contact with them should be quarantine too to be sure that they are not carrying the disease so that they will not infect the others. If we are going at that rate is exponential to the extent that if we look at from 1 to 40 within the space of three weeks, it means that if we continue in that way in another 3weeks we are going to have about 2,400 and that could be alarming we have recorded one death now of course may be one or two death because we are told that the carriers who went to Ekiti eventually died but they might say that he didn’t died from of the infection because further illness but then he was identify to be a carriers of it and now those who treated him needed to be quarantined and those of course they said they quarantine, the guy who drove him and one other person, so all of that are precautionary measure that could be taken wherever they have stayed including Atiku son and his household they should all be quarantined.
I am happy that the Bauchi State Governor Yuguda self-isolated himself because he said he had a handshake with Atiku son on the aircraft, that is the way leader should do, they should live by example and it is a good thing that has happened, good lesson that corona virus has taught us in Nigeria especially that we can make do with what we have if the world is not there now everybody has been shut in. If we don’t make do with what we have then all of us will perish so let people go and look inward, they should begin to think of how to make alternative avenue for what we import from those other countries, China is a major destination when it comes to importing things to Nigeria and some of us raised the alarm that look we can’t continue like this, we cannot be a raw materials country and we’ll be importing finished product everywhere. Now our refineries must be made to work, our food and beverages industry must be made to work optimally, we should be able to produce the food that we want to eat without importing from other countries, we should be able to train ourselves to take care of our medical and pharmaceutical needs so that we won’t need to engage in Medical Tourism anymore so that whatever we should not rely on any foreign country for anything that we need, it has happened before and it can happened again in the days of our Forefathers we didn’t need any other country to give us anything we were satisfy with what we have.
I think we should go back to that era where we will be self-reliance and we make do with what we can got even if we didn’t have Rechargeable lamps from China, we use our Lamps until we are able to discover others means of illuminating our houses and premises, if we cannot import electronics media and phones component from China we should make do with whatever we can get, if we can develop our own technology that will give us the impetus to develop our own technology to make our own phone, must we rely solely. Then we should stop borrowing from the foreign countries using our National economics resources as collateral that is also not good, is like creating a kind of uncertain future for the generation that would be coming behind us. It is a big lesson and its good for us as far as am concern am not worried about it yes we will take precautions but if it will come, it had to come and if we have to perish with it, if we don’t have money even if we have opportunity we won’t have money to travel abroad, if we can’t be healed in this country then we remained then.
If the airport had been open Aisha Buhari would have sent her daughter back to England or Europe or America for treatment, the same thing Atiku will not even allow his son to stay a moment here. Now the reality is down on them that they have to improve on our health care facilities here to ensure that there are occasion it is not all the time they would be able to use the opportunity they have, the enormous resources they have to oppress the rest of us, there are occasions when levelers like Corona virus will be coming, all of us would be lock up in our own country and that is good for us. I like it, I like Corona to remain for the next 5years let all of us be here, those who will die will die, those who will survive will survived, we should be able to rely on ourselves. The things is that since a very long time the citizenry have stopped to believe their government and the citizens has always been there when anything come from government or when there is a worldwide information get to Nigeria.
An average Nigerian build with cynicism and when leaders like Obasanjo are raising the cynicism to a higher level, a lot of people will be mislead and they will not take government advice seriously, they began to take government seriously when they saw the number of corpses that Italians and other countries apart from Chinese are taking for cremation on daily basis, they became afraid that some countries were completely lockdown of course very soon may be today tomorrow south Africa will lock themselves up in that country nobody will go out in some states in even Nigeria, nobody is allowed to go out. Basically the citizens didn’t respond on time up till now they are still not responding as much as they should respond because they believe that: Is a big man disease, they are ready to die searching for what to eat because of the ravaging poverty that has afflicted them over the time, if they would catch it, they will catch it, many people will do that, if we look at the directive in Lagos that conductors and drivers should be wear face mask and they should not carry more than two people per roll in their buses, they have violated that because there are too many people waiting for the bus, as a matter of fact, one bus conductor that is BRT conductor was beating up when he didn’t want people to take standing in the bus according to the guidelines because there are too many stranded passengers who wanted to use the bus and to ply the road.
If they make a rule and make it difficult for people to obey the rules that means that they have made doing the right thing difficult and doing the wrong thing become attractive. When the government made doing the right thing difficult it means that they have made doing the wrong thing attractive and that is what is happening in Lagos. Everybody is like doing the wrong thing because government does not put the right incentives in places for them to obey the instruction by government, in some places food are even distributed, money. I think in American they want to give at least $1,000 per citizens and all that, Nigeria can do similar things so that the whole forgetting their citizens to bank on what they can get from government which is possible so much money is been wasted on nothing and a lot of government officials who also be using the pandemic to make much money for themselves that is why things are going the way they are and I believe that with time water will find his levels. Some people are ready to die, they don’t care whether they contact it or not because they have no other things to fall back on, they don’t have food in the house, they don’t have money in their pocket, they don’t have even hope for their own future and that was the reason why you find a lot of banditry, brigandage, armed robbery, kidnappers and all of that in this country. Those who are doing that don’t mind what happened to them.
Fuel reduction: it is a good responses from government because there are been occasions in the past when the global oil price fell and government reduced the pump price of petroleum product even at that we discover that it is not the same proportion of reduction in the global price of crude oil that the government has done but it is a good thing that at least they responded to that extent that is okay. The citizenry should also benefit from the product that they have endowed with, so it is a nice thing to do but then more incentives can still be given by deliberately bringing down the prices of petroleum product even lower so that it will serves as one of the means that the masses will benefit from government and it would be some of those cushioned event including kerosene and gas that is petroleum product it will includes diesel, kerosene, gas anything that they use, that should also translate to other utensils that are been manufactured from the buy product of petroleum industry. So all of these would help people to enjoy their life better and it will help them to live relatively more comfortable during this trying period, so government should bring down the prices that is the only thing that can level up if they say they should bring down the cost of electricity, a lot of people don’t use public supply but for fuel, if you don’t have a car, you have Okada, if you don’t have Okada, you have to take Molue, you have to grind your pepper, generator one way or the other you need fuel product otherwise you will buy some of this manufactured plastics and the rest of them in the markets, if they bring them down to the barest minimum just like Libya there was a time that nobody bought fuel in Libya, everybody had direct access to it, Nigeria can afford to do it if they really mean to serve the best interest of Nigeria people.
Effect of Pandemic
Well it depends on how the authorities handle it, the recession would be global because it is not only in the oil industry that the economic will doomed it, it has affected manufacturing because nothing is going on in the manufacturing industry anymore. The banking if you listen to stock market, trading is not happening on the floor of the Nigeria stocked a day as we speak you can only do trading through electronic media and the rest of them and that is not helping the economics of the world not only in the Nigeria so there is likely to be global recession and there is hardly any countries that it will not affect because the bigger your economy is, the bigger the recession will affect you. For example Italy had been lock down since how many days now almost two weeks now, there are not doing anything even Saudia Arabia there are not taking the pilgrims that usually boost their economy apart from petroleum product, so then Rome they are not also not taking their tourist anymore because of that. For the first time Saudi Arabia didn’t allow people to come for Humarah that is for the first time in history so it will implement their economy by the quantum of money they normally got from the Humarah that people do, people don’t go out so they cannot bring in product, people cannot even take their our own product outside the country, ships are stranded, all the seas and everywhere, these are some of the indices of global recession that is forthcoming and everybody just have to get his mind prepared for the tough time if the pandemic does not go away within the next two weeks then it will affect everybody that is why I said that government should just look inward and see how he can boost the economic through whatever we can product here and make a use of it optimally to serve the best interest of the people.
We can go back to farm, almost everything we need to farm is available within our climes and if government can utilize it judiciously then we will not suffer the pains and pranks of hunger that is the basic thing once we are able to eat then every other problem has been reduced almost by half and then what we need is mobility from one part of the country to other which we have said that government should subsidize the cost of petroleum product once that is done the effect may not be so much. The average citizens would have been taught to become stronger in the way they carry out their economy activities and once they are able to self-sustaining there will be less pressure on the government and so with what is going on now a lot of people would have been taught one lesson or the other that paid employment may not be enough they have to engaged in other means of getting income of attractive to themselves that incase of emergence like we are there should be a fall back. For example is affecting us, we have restaurant we shut it down, they can’t operate, if you are a transporter except you are a defiant, if you are to obeyed the rules you won’t be able to take as much passenger as you are been taking, if you are market man, market woman and your market is shut down your perishables goods will be perished, it will affect individual economy there is no storage facility provided by government that is the direction the government should look at. That okay for those who are producing perishable good, what can we do to help them to store their goods like those who producing tomatoes, condiment, vegetables, groceries most of these things are perishables, if we don’t assist them to store it, they will incur so much losses and that will make them rebellious even against the government. So we would be expecting more strike, more agitation and so on and so forth, whether or not the pandemic goes away sooner or later so that will create more upright seen even further distrust by the people within the government and the people.
APC Crisis in Edo & National Leader
Well I think is normal with ruling party in so many countries when a ruling party is approaching a new election year there is band to be clash of interest between those who want to contest and those who want to influence the process to favor them and that is what has been happening in APC. It has happened in PDP before even before the change of guard and the if APC is not careful what happened to PDP will also happen to them but the reason why APC issue is different is that nobody is defecting in large numbers on like in PDP where majority of those that can command public respectability defected when the crisis lasted. So for them to wanted to change their leadership usually i believe that, that is the way those who don’t like to be put in check normally behave and they usually are in the majority and they are more vocal and that is what is happening in country itself, those who want to engage in corruption will always find a means of discrediting the system that tries to implement all the Anti-corruption rules they want to deal with a Magu, they want to deal with President and Vice -President, they want to embarrass them so that they will get angry and may be resigned or pander to their details and bend the rules. I believe that is what Oshiomole is suffering, Oshiomole might want to, anywhere you want to apply the rule to the letters the opposition is usually rise and that is what I think he is facing.
However a lot of diplomacy is required to bring everybody under perpetual control even those that are fighting for a change in leadership if they get the leadership are they sure the leader will pander to their details. If they come now the distractions will still continue, will be opposing to the new leadership that may spell doomed to the fortune of the party at the forthcoming election either the isolated election in Edo and Ondo or the general election in 2023. I believe that it is a kind of struggle for power, influence, recognition that lead to all of the inprobio so it is still day that they find in the middle road. It is a good thing they went to court instead of engaging in self-count that is a civilized way of dealing with trouble like that. It is still the court that will regulate whatever has been done wrongly and yes there are conflicting judgments or rulings at the level of two high court, the one in Abuja and the one in Sokoto but then the appellate court has to some extent doubt the tension, the cases are really different, the one in Abuja and the one in Sokoto, but it doesn’t really matter, the appellate doubt the detention by granting interim order a kind of stay of execution order they requested for and that has given the APC opportunity to rework his own administrative system to ensure that they become a solid platform again.
It is the court, it is not the making if the court has been there they wouldn’t had been, there would have been more destruction of the process in the APC, it does not matter the court doesn’t contribute really to their crises, it is those who approach the court that made it like that. The development problems in Nigeria contribute to the way court was since there is no data sharing process if there is a way that a court will verify that similar case had been taken to court of similar jurisdiction elsewhere, then the order court will not want to hear the case again but then lawyers no how to manipulate things to suit the purpose they want to achieve and that is why is light different in the case in Abuja and that of Sokoto makes it possible for re-court to exonerate itself from the crisis and the appellate court has done well by granting that stay of execution otherwise they will cause more crisis and the crisis would have also snowball into a maximum conflagration even in other parties. Normally in politics each opposing sizes want to outsizes themselves what i believe the appellate court accept is them to do give more room for the reconciliation committee that has been set up under Bisi Akande to have that precipice and that will grant them the opportunity to seek the two sides to get the two sides to a table and discuss.
A number of compromises have been suggested and as a matter of fact had been accepted if you see the vice-chairman North-West has come back to the poll that was either to suspended by Oshiomole has been recourse and one other member of NEC so all of those things are compromises that the ruling of the appellate court has endangered so that will give the right opportunity to Bisi Akande committee to do is own reach towards ensuring that peace return to APC to the ruling party.
INEC DELETING PARTIES
It is neither here nor there if INEC has the power to register political party it should have the power to deregister them, parties are registered base on certain condition if those conditions are fulfill at the initial stages they get registered at any time when those conditions are no longer fulfilled or become degenerated. For example if you are supposed to have members and the members move out of your party what exactly are you calling the political party anymore. If when you want to register you have members all over the country and by the time you operated for half a year your members degenerated to what cannot be discovered in any local government, it means that the condition that inform your registration has depleted and that means you are no longer instead of you making progress you are degenerating so there is no point in keeping such political parties that is my position. We have also caution those especially political parties look, you are not working towards political stability in this country many of them just register with the view to negotiating with their platform during election and corners, some they gotten resources to themselves, it doesn’t worth it and a quick perusal of some of these political parties, some of them don’t even have plastic chair in the so called office they don’t have any asset at all. Some of them don’t have offices in place where they claim they are operating granted that we have also suggested that it doesn’t matter if INEC want to register political party. They should look at places where they command respect at least they should have one percent presence of the couples within the place even if it is going to be point zero zero one percent of the couples within the area they want to operate as a members or as sympathizers but if they don’t have members what do they call political parties. Many of the political parties actually lied to INEC was done based on verifiable claims though it is good most of them are not based on any ideological lining so i believe that the condition. So I believe that the condition for registering of political parties is too loose that is why as many as 91 political parties could register, if the conditions makes it compulsory for them to have ideological background to based it on clear out ideological pedestrian and all of the political parties that whose ideological lining are similar should be advice to merge, if you want to be right be right, if you want to be centric be centric, if you want to be left be left, let it be clear people would know what they are expecting from you like in Labour part, Green party and all of that. There are clear at ideology but in a situation whereby you just come up with anything you don’t have membership registered that you can show and can be verify and you don’t have any deferring opinion on issues of governance, you don’t have programs and manifesto that are clearly different from others then why should they be different political parties let all of them combine and see how they can level up their differences and register as one political party. There is no point in having so many political parties doing the same thing and aiming at achieving the same thing only to just create administrative confusion at the INEC at the end of the day.
Thereby making Nigeria to spend much more money than they need and the truth is that if the court base their ruling on the electoral act, INEC may win so there is no way that the cases can make a mess up let everybody go back home and prepared well, I don’t subscribe to the fact that they should limit political party to a particular number but the conditions should be that there should be clear cut differences between party A, B, C and up to party Z if those differences are not cleared then they should remain the same political party so that is it.
It is unfortunate that we are misplacing our priority, it shouldn’t have been bad idea to have loan for the developmental project that can repaid the loan itself but we have so much money we have not collected, the remainder of Abacha loot is still yet everywhere, several others looters are filters away Nigeria resources into places. Have suggested that they collected those one first before they look for other loans but this loan have to tie the loan been sought target at 3 legacy project, the second Niger bridge, Lagos Ibadan express way and one another and we are sure that some of these Ministry are really working especially Ministry of transportation. I like what Amaechi is doing especially on railways that is also good if there is a kind of convincing evidence that the government will spend the loan in the right direction it is okay but what we would prefer is that the government should look inward to get all the loot and ensure that the loot applied judiciously into the developmental project that will favor the livelihood of the people that will come in that is the way I just feel.
There is nothing wrong in taking the loan but have to pay because some of these countries especially the China they will take over many of the cash cow in Nigeria if the loans are not repaid on time but the Nigeria can easily repay if the loans are judiciously applied, If it is not, government should do everything possible to ensure that nobody is allowed to embezzle the funds that will comes through loans and the safe guard that has been put on the ground like TFC, BVN, FRCN, ACTU, ICPU,SCMU. If all of these things are put in place then it will be difficult for anybody to steal the money that will be coming through the loans of course ACTU should ensure that moneys are applied for what they are meant if for those things are working there is nothing to be afraid of.