Friday, May 20, 2022
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DEBO ADENIRAN INTERVIEW ON LASTMA POLICY

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DEBO ADENIRAN

LASTMA POLICY
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.

DEBO ADENIRAN INTERVIEW ON AMOTEKUN

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DEBO ADENIRAN

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.

DEBO ADENIRAN INTERVIEW ON OKADA BAN

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DEBO ADENIRAN

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.

DEBO ADENIRAN ON TRAFFIC LAW

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DEBO ADENIRAN

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.

DEBO ADENIRAN INTERVIEW ON DIVERSE ISSUES

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DEBO ADENIRAN

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.

QUESTION
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.

LOAN
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.

21/3/2020

DEBO ADENIRAN INTERVIEW ON IMMUNITY

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DEBO ADENIRAN

That should be good enough for them even at the level of the executive it is an unfair law when it comes to equity. Now to extend it to the level of legislatures is taking unfairness to a new height, a new under-serving height because impunity will now govern our socio-political climes. The reasons why several former Governors are able to get away with glue murder is because when they were committing the crimes against humanity by embezzling the resources that belongs to all of us, they could not be checked by the law, by the extinct law so they have amount too wealth with which they could fight us when we raise questions.
That would be extended to the legislatures, if the bills scale through, there could be allowance for them to do a few things like whatever they says in the chambers should not be taking against them we allow that, but if we give them that immunity they will overstep their bounds, they will embezzle money, they will kill people, they will legislate nonsense and they will get away with it.

They will not be accountable to the people that sent them there, they won’t be transparent, already many of them collected constituency allowances they didn’t spend it on their constituency offices, they did not do anything to justify what they take, so that is when they don’t have immunity, when they could investigated and prosecuted yet they want more and people like Bukola Saraki would have acceding hide under immunity clause for the period he was Governor and the advantage he had in the National Assembly was what he used to also evade justice at different levels.
If he had immunity he would have been committing further atrocities, it is the deterrent he got that by share prosecution that the anti-graft agency summon together to bring him before justices that reduce the amount of atrocities that he committed in his days as the chairman of the National Assembly and President of the Senate. So if you give them an inch they will take a yard, give them a yard they will take a mile. So we should not give them that inch so that at least we will be able to monitor them within the limit that the law permits us to monitor them and there would be checks and balances at the end of the day that is my stand.

If they have, if immunity is extended to legislature is going to take away some of the powers of the Anti-graft agencies, already their powers has been truncated, has been reduced by the immunity that is protecting the executives from prosecution and the executives have on their own, extended it to the level of investigation so they don’t submit themselves for investigation not to talk of prosecution. The same thing will happen at the level of legislative edge if they allow to also enjoying the immunity why they remain in the office. It is unwarranted, is unnecessary, it is bastardisation of the principle of equality before the law. And check and balances will be difficult because the judiciary will also ask for immunity for their leaders.
If that is done gradually it will percolate to the level of Local Government, the Chairman and the Counselor will also ask for immunity and gradually members of the National Assembly and State Assembly will also ask for immunity, it would then means that none of our leaders could be held accountable for their stewardship while they remain in office, that is inequitable, that is undemocratic, that is lopsided and it should not be acceptable within the committee of men and women.

Held on 25/2/2020

DEBO ADENIRAN response to question about the delay of Repatriation of the Corrupt Leaders

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DEBO ADENIRAN

Answer-The main thing that is stopping the repatriation is the inadequate commitment of the countries where Nigeria fugitives that are running away from their well-deserved trial for corrupt practices put Nigerian youth into. The countries are usually reluctant because they’re enjoyed the benefit of the loot that the Nigerian looters keep in their countries and they are not fully cooperative when it comes to extraditing them. The repatriation of Nigeria fugitives that are running away from trials for the corrupt crimes they have committed has been like that because the countries where they are granted residence are always reluctant to release them because they are enjoyed the benefit of the loot that have been kept in safe haven in their countries.

The countries are not unaware that those individuals couldn’t have owned the money in their various financial institution through legitimate means, they knew that it could have been stolen money from Nigeria but because they want the money to work for them for some time they are lackadaisical about cooperating with Nigeria towards repatriation of the money and extradition of the fugitive that have stolen it and they are hiding it in their country. They are also not in a hurry to let Nigeria have the benefit of those loots so that Nigeria will remain perpetually underdeveloped and they would be able to keep lauding it over Nigeria as one of the third world country that will be unable to develop its own industry so that they would keep on using Nigeria as a source of raw materials while they would be shipping their finished products to Nigeria as a veritable market for all the junks that they manufactured in their countries. So it is also because the Global Organisation UN has not given tits to several extant conventions that could have compel those countries to repatriate the stolen goods and money and extradite those who stole them through the mutual legal assistant treaty that we entered with many of these countries, at least Nigeria has mutual legal assistant treaty with UK, Switzerland and few other countries where some of the fugitives are hiding.

It is deliberate on the parts of those countries to deny Nigeria the benefit of his own wealth that’s why they are reluctant to extradite them and the corrupt elements that are hiding in those countries are shameless set of people who are not in a hurry to clear their name of corruption charges that are hanging on them. They know that Nigeria laws against corruption criminals is still very weak especially when it allows them to enter into plea bargaining that will lead to little of no conviction at the end of their trails so that they will be seen as just the regular political elite in Nigeria. So they know that there’s no stigma for stealing in the Nigeria status growth, that Nigeria status growth will not confer any stigma on them so they can still walk the streets free men and women even if they don’t clear their name forever, basically that might be the reason.

Another question was asked stating ‘should the Federal Government be blamed for it? HOC responded by saying not so much so we blamed the countries where this people are hidden and the weak international laws that should safeguard the interest of members countries that are not made effective by members countries too. The only area where we could blame the country that is Nigeria for is that the effort being made to get these people extradited for trial seems to be very weak; there had been adequate advocacy across the globe on the need to extradite these fugitives back to Nigeria to face trial. Places where protocols were to be observed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice seems not also be in a hurry to get the protocol fulfilled so that these people would be transported back. However, it is the bottle neck that the resident countries for the fugitives dated that’s causing the long widening and ungulating protocol that the attorney-General is not in a hurry to go through.

Can Judiciary Be Blamed For The Delayed? It is not the case of those who have run outside the country, it is those that are within the country and are undergoing trials that we can blame the judiciary for. Yes to some extent actually more of the fault of the litigant the accused persons who have identify lawyers that have perfected the strategy of delaying cases and like i said the other time, many of them are not in a hurry to clear their names of the culpability or otherwise of corruption crime that are hung on their neck because the law does not shame adequately until recent times most of the judgement, punishment melted out on them are like slap on the wrist kind of punishment which didn’t deterred them from committing corruption crime.

So basically it is really some judicial officers not all of them, we know that some judges are corrupt and they also give room for the criminals to escape justices. And some lawyers and their consultant and alter-egos who will find every loophole to use technicality or may be delay tactics to prolong the adjudication into the cases. And that is why Orjis Okalu case took about 12 or more years, Jolly Iyanme and Joshua Dariye took nothing less than 8years of trial because of the delay tactics. They use all strategies and tricks under the heaven to make sure that the case didn’t progress in court despite the new administration of criminal justices act, they didn’t allow it to work the way the trackers of that laws have suggested. So basically it is not the court most of the time delayed it but some judiciary officers and the litigant themselves you know they much money with which they can bribe everybody to cause unnecessary delays and adjournment in their cases.

Judgement of Death Penalty? Ordinary I didn’t support the death penalty because when the wife kills the husband and the state kills the wife, the children would be left to suffer on their own and the country would have lost two man power so that is two human resources that could be useful to Nigeria. Nobody is completely useless not matter how criminally minded he is they only needed to be properly trained. If somebody kills you don’t need to kill that person because of whatever potentials that he or she has could be useful even when you sentence such a person to life imprisonment that would have been okay. But i don’t believe that it is the delayed that lead to death penalty, it is the fact that when you killed somebody the meditated murder the penalty in our status quote is death that was what has been handed down on her. Yes it doesn’t matter what leads to the altercation or to the struggle that lead to death of the husband as long as it has been proven that she actually stab him to death that is the judgement prepared by our laws of the land so she may not be able to do otherwise, it is after thought that she came up with so argument even when it has become a possible for us to hear from the other side and you can’t just take one side of the story no matter how palatable it sounds, the other party have the opportunity of explaining his own side. There is no good reasons why anyone should take the life of another because that means that all the right that the dead had have been put to perpetual jeopardy you can’t defend any right when the right to life has been taken so that is why we believe that the maximum sentence is to dead. The Nigeria should review his death penalties law to reflect the needs of the country for human resources and the man power development.

Removal of Service Chief? I think each service chief has about two years tenure and these people have spent more than 4 years in offices and they are due for retirement and i would not know why the president his still keeping them. Am not of the school of thought that because they have runs out of strategies, ideas to secure Nigeria, we have not find it easy since a very long time to curb securities issues like; brigandage, banditry, herdsmen, insurgencies, militancy, outright terrorism and all other. It has always been with us and it was even fiercer during the last administration before the present than now because a lot of people have argued that may be more people have been killed, I don’t believe so because in those days territories were claimed by the terrorist, we have issue and now and then we know that the caution of issuer may not have been easy if they are no foreign backup against Nigeria those that wouldn’t want Nigerian to successed.

And you also know that the kind of bitter politics that we play in Nigeria could give rise to sabotage. So the opposition may be deliberate in empowering the bandits and the insurgence and all of them to sabotage the effort of the government. Remember that until when the borders were closed the issues of clashes between farmers and herdsmen was everyday issue but that has come down drastically when the borders were closed. Then that will give flesh to the argument that some foreigners could have being the one that are invading Nigeria’s farm in review to driving them away from their farm so that their won’t be enough produce and if their no enough produce we may want to import from neighbouring countries and we will still result to Petrol-dollar instead of Agro-dollar that the government says is working towards on. So basically we can’t rule out the possibility of sabotage when it comes to insurgency but then there must be a wisdom behind the drafters of the law that gives two years tenure to service chiefs, once it has lapse, may be you renew it and it has lapse again then you don’t need to keep on keeping them.

We may not be totally inform of what the President or Commander-in Chief consider to have retained them but if he doesn’t want to tell us we will only raise our own argument that their tenure has expired and the normal thing to do is to change them. If there are any objective reasons why he wants to retain them he should let us known so that our analysis of issues around it will be more objective. I believe that we have only one Nigeria Army and Nigeria Armed Forces so they are still from the same forces that we are going to draw more new Officers that will mount various position although there could be internal rancour among the Services if it was time to promote them and they don’t get the promotion well that may be a disadvantage but until the Commander in Chief tell us why he still retaining those people may be its from his own assessment having the benefit of high sight as a former military officer and Head of State he might know and he might have discovered that those are the best hands he could use for now because if he changed them and anything should go wrong, he also the chief accounting officer for everything that happens in this country and he will also take the blame so he might be thinking it time to do what is considered to be needful.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A COLLOQUIUM HELD IN HONOUR OF COMRADE DEBO ADENIRAN AS PART OF ACTIVITIES TO CELEBRATE HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY.

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A COLLOQUIUM HELD IN HONOUR OF COMRADE DEBO ADENIRAN AS PART OF ACTIVITIES TO CELEBRATE HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY.

UNDER THE AUSPICES OF DEBO DISCUSSIONS – Dialectical Extrapolation on Babelian Oddities
THEME: LAUNDERED LOOT AS POTENTIAL FOREIGN RESERVE FOR AN ECONOMY: WHAT LESSONS FROM NIGERIA’S ABACHA
DATE: 15th May, 2020 TIME: 12 NOON

PREAMBLE
The colloquium was held at the Talk Hall, Angle 1706, Sango- Otta in honour of the Comrade Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) as he marked his 60th birthday. Due to the need to observe social distancing and other protocols introduced by the Federal Government’s to prevent the spread of the dreaded Corona virus only about 15 participants were at the Venue. Most of the discussants joined the colloquium online via Zoom. DEBO Discussions is a regular interactive forum inaugurated on the day and is meant to hold at regular intervals as a retirement engagement by the Celebrant. The forum is meant to find meeting point on what is said, promised or meant by duty bearers (ruling elites) and what is understood, expected or desired by right holders (the citizenry) on socio-economic and political issues at different levels of government in Nigeria.

During the discussion, some observations were made by participants concerning the looted funds in Nigeria.

OBSERVATIONS
1. That there had been too much emphasis on the late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha’s loot whereas there are still many more looted funds stashed away in foreign banks while the culprits are moving about freely just because they are still alive.
2. That other past heads of state who are suspected of looting public treasury during their tenure in office should also be probed and their loot equally recovered
3. That such recovered loot could be used to provide critical infrastructures for the country.
4. That it is unfortunate that some of the petitions submitted to anti-corruption agencies by civil society organizations were not investigated.
5. That foreign countries that received these looted funds always paid back such funds without interest despite using them to develop their economies but give stringent conditions to repatriate the recovered loot.
6. That our foreign reserve is denominated in U.S dollars while America’s reserve is denominated in Gold which makes it less volatile like the U.S dollar.
7. That the youth of today are not showing much interest in assuming leadership positions.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Participants at the colloquium recommended as follows:
1. That the various petitions against corruption submitted by civil society organizations should be investigated while indicted culprits be properly prosecuted, their loots recovered and adequately punished.
2. That our leaders must be responsible, transparent, accountable and be just while holding public offices.
3. That anyone who has been accused of any corrupt act should not be allowed to contest public offices in any part of the country.
4. In view of number three recommendation above, the participants were of the opinion that our judicial system should be empowered to facilitate quick dispensation of justice especially on corruption matters so as not to deny innocent people their democratic right.
5. There is an urgent need to give the right education to Nigerian youths and re-orientate them so as to sharpen their leadership skills and prevent them from being perpetually enslaved by the ruling class.
6. The participants also encouraged the youths to know and bn always aware of their roles in the society.
7. It was also recommended that the discussion should not be limited to an online event and that it should be held at regular intervals.
8. That those guilty of corruption charges should be seriously punished and sanctioned so as to serve as deterrent to others.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, participants at the colloquium commended the organizer of the colloquium for using the occasion of his birthday to discuss an issue that is so germane to national development and congratulated him on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

PARTICIPANTS AT THE COLLOQUIUM
1. DEBO ADENIRAN
2. RT. HON. ADEYEMI IKUFORIJI (Former Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly)
3. Mrs. ABIMBOLA JUNAID
4. COMRADE DIDI ADODO
5. BARRISTER FEMI FALANA (SAN)
6. COMRADE MARK ADEBAYO
7. COMRADE OLAWALE ISMAIL
8. MRS. ABIMBOLA ADEGOKE ADEBAJO
9. MR AKIN AWOKUNLE
10. AREMO KAYODE MICHAEL
11. BABAJIDE
12. COMRADE (BARR) FEMI ABORISADE
13. JULIET ISI IKHAYERE
14. KOMOLAFE TEMITOPE
15. OKECKUKWU NDIRIBE
16. PELUMI FAULKNER
17. EGBINOLA BUKKY
18. ADESANMI ADEJOKE
19. AWE OLUWASEUN
20. TOLA ORESANWO
21. LANRE LEGACY ADELEKE
22. COMRADE LEKE ADEBANJO
23. Ms GBADEBO OMOTAYO
24. MR MUIDEEN OYEWOLE
25. COMRADE ABIODUN AREMU
26. MR FAWOLE RAPHAEL
27. CAPTAIN OGUNBIYI ABIODUN
28. OYEDEJI BOLADALE
29. EDU ALFRED
30. ALFRED AKEREJOLA
31. MR IDOGA ISAAC
32. MOTONI TAYE
33. OYEDOKUN FLORENCE
34. KOLA ARE
35. TOPE SOYOMI
36. OGBENI KOLAWOLE ISOLA (Represented Rt Hon Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker Ogun State House of Assembly)
37. OLASUPO OMOLUABI
38. TAJUDEEN O ANIMASHUN
39. HON KEHINDE JOSEPH (Represented Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly)
40. COMRADE TUNDE ABIOYE
41. ADENIRAN BOLANLE
42. MAJOR JIMOH OLEGBILE
43. MR MUSIBAU OGUNLADE
44. MR OLAWALE SHOROYEUN
45. MR AKINNIYI SUNDAY
46. MISS TITILAYO KOLAWOLE
47. MR CHRISTIAN JOHNSON
48. MISS OMOLARA ABDULATEEF
49. MRS ADIJAT
50. MR TAIWO DAVID
51. ALHAJI WAHAB NIRAN ADEWOYIN
52. COMRADE OLA AGBOOLA
53. MR KABIRU
54. CHIEF JELILI ADELEKE
55. MR ARISE ADELEKE
56. MISS SAIDAT IDOWU
57. ALHAJI ABIODUN OLAJIDE
58. MRS OLUYEMISI ABIODUN

Signed:
Tola Oresanwo
On Behalf of the Organizing Committee

CORNERING 60 AS A SOCIAL GADFLY

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DEBO ADENRIAN

14th May, 2020 Press Statement

CORNERING 60 AS A SOCIAL GADFLY

It was fortuitous that he was born shortly before the Union Jack was lowered in the most populous black nation in the world, one of Nigeria’s longest serving social activists and Executive Chairman of Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran seems to have his pathway in life already cut in struggle of sorts as the journey of affirmation of his own portion was greatly defined by what actions he could take to not jeopardize his role in life against the existential realities of his time and place. Born into a family of 9 children, the fifth in line and for parents that were largely peasants with major preoccupation as farming in Iresi, a small town in Osun state, he instinctively knew education must be a fancy and springboard towards whatever providence laid in front of life sojourn.

Since a sister was already attending primary school, he decided to push himself into school even without the prevailing rituals of parental accompaniment, raising one of his hands to touch left or right ears, etc. and resolved to begin classes early enough in 1965 as a five-year old. Incidentally, his parents wanted more of him on the farmland before he would grow up enough to start schooling like most others in his age-grade within the metropolis. The presence of a bully that was in same class and quite bigger and older finally ensured he waited till following academic session before he could start his academic sojourn at Baptist Day School, Iresi still at a tender age of six years old. This was followed up by an admission into Baptist Secondary Modern School as an existing post primary school in the town. He later applied and completed his Grade 2 education between 1973/74 and finished in 1976. Against his parents’ objection for further education to the paucity of funds, he sought admission to Ogbomoso High School but later settled for Odo-Otin Grammar School that was later closed down by the then Western state government. At a time, he, like others, were asked to bring his parents to the school as he wrote to mirror things happening in the school under the pseudo name, ‘Pen in my blood’ that also x-rays inadequacies of administration in the school. He therefore had to ‘rent’ a parent, Prince Abidoye, Uncle to former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Through sheer determination and grit, Debo Adeniran, pursued his dream of higher education by self- sponsorship, albeit with support from his siblings, and attended Adeyemi College of Education, Ile-Ife in 1984, almost simultaneously with part-time (Distance Learning) classes at University of Lagos (Unilag) WITH Biology as a course of study. He was a Reggae musician and a member of the Rastafari movement, Rainbow Organization of Rastafarians of Nigeria (ROOTRON) where he met and became friends with late Rasta Kimono, Black Rice (Black O’ Rise), Olusegun Maiyegun (RedDrum) and many others. He was later introduced to Fela Anikuapo-Kuti (Abami Eda) and made to do his musical rehearsals at the shrine and later met with Dr. Bekolari Ransome-Kuti with whom he immediately got closer like fish takes to water. One of the remarkable steps that catapulted him to reckoning as a force within the Nigeria’s Human Rights group was when in late 80’s Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB, the then Nigeria’s maximum military ruler was to be made the ‘Jagunmolu of Ibadanland’ by the Olubadan of Ibadan. He, with the late Gani Fawehinmi as his lawyer, challenged the proposed conferment in court as he insisted that Babangida had not done anything worthy for such recognition in Yorubaland or Nigeria as a whole. Before the case could be heard at the Federal High Court, Ibadan Debo’s part of Oyo state was carved out and named Osun State. That smart act by the self-acclaimed Evil Genius removed Debo’s locus standi to institute the action. This was at the same time that Mr Debo Adeniran was also collaborating with many other frontliners, like Alao Aka-Bashorun, Dr Friedrick Fasehun, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Comrade Ola Oni, Kanmi Ishola-Oshobu, Prof Toye Olorode, Dr Oladipo Fashina (Jingo) and the rest of the Ife Collective, Baba Omolola, Bamidele Aturu, Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, SAM, Femi Falana, and many others to protest the clampdown on activists, ostensibly over their opposition to IMF-induced Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) an its anti-poor conditionalities.

A veteran of many agitations to make Nigeria’s ruling class more accountable and responsible, he suffered many detentions and inhumanity, especially from the military, which he insisted has no business with governance and should return the country to a democratic order to birth rule of law rather than retroactive decrees that rarely satisfy conditions for accountability, equity and openness that remain natural ingredients for good governance and societal progress. He co-founded and served many mass-based organizations like: –
➢ National President, Youth Environmental Programme for West Africa (YEPWA)
➢ Pioneer Secretary-General, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR)
➢ First General Secretary, Gani Fawehinmi Solidarity Association (GFSA)
➢ Inaugural Assistant General Secretary, Campaign for Democracy (CD)
➢ Founding General Secretary, Movement for Yoruba Autonomy (MOYA)
➢ Principal, Grassroots PowerPoint Institute for Political Education (GPIPE)
➢ Head, Strategy Committee, Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG)
➢ National Coordinator, Child Help in Leadership, Democracy Rights and Education in Nigeria
(CHILDREN) Project
➢ Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL)
➢ National Chairman, People’s Action for Democracy (PAD)
➢ Founding Member, SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG)
➢ Founding member, National Intervention Group (NIG)
➢ Head Consultant, First Faculty Ventures (FFV)
➢ Chairman/CEO, FirstFun Ventures
➢ Editor-in-Chief, Corruption-Watch

With the rapid depletion of the pool of Activists or what could be termed as conscientious objectors in the country and apparent disinterest in speaking truth to power by the holloi polloi or same elements that suffer serious jeopardy due to maladministration, occasioned by economic mismanagement and despoliation, we appreciate the goodness in having a rich reservatory and encyclopaedia of modern struggles in reinventing Nigeria. As he celebrates his silver jubilee today, 15th May, 2020, it offers the younger generation of Nigerians a rich opportunity to reflect on the right values of Hard-work, Honesty, Boldness, Resilience and Focus as against the get rich syndrome that seems to override all interests and considerations today. Just as that revolutionary Africa author, Frantz Fanon noted, “Every Generation, must out of obscurity, discover its mission, and either fulfil or betray it.” This admonition is moot when the youth as compelling majority of Nigeria, reflects and resolves on redirecting their purpose towards achieving the much needed and true change for Africa renaissance….

60 Hearty Gbosas for Debo Adeniran, the living anti-Corruption crusader in our today’s troubling nation.

Ikenna Aghagbobi
For: Coordinator of Media and Publications, CACOL

CACOL ESTABLISHES ITS C-GATE ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGNER IN VARIOUS LGAs IN LAGOS STATE

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOl has inaugurated its Good Governance, Accountability, Transparency Education (C-GATE) programme in ten units from various local government areas, LGAs, in Lagos state.
In a release issued by its Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Debo Adeniran he noted “ this inauguration is a culmination of various activities hitherto embarked upon towards taking full ownership of the fight against corruption in the country. It would be recalled that since the advent of this democracy which many observers, nationwide and internationally, prefer to describe as a civil rule rather than true or wholesale democracy, successive governments have enacted one law or policy programme to fight the menace of corruption. Incidentally, none of this policy formulation has been able to effectively tackle corruption in a very radical and ground sweeping manner, devoid of sentiments, cherry-picking or favouritism to provide enough deterrence that would at least, discourage majority of our public office holders from corruptive acts. This programme is for our anti-corruption educators at the grassroots, which was aimed to watershed our onerous assignment of stamping out corruption out of Nigeria’s body polity.
In Nigeria today, the effects of corruption has been felt and identified as a major cause of why we remain a mono-cultural economy, why our refineries were destroyed and we have become the only oil-producing nation without a single petroleum refinery with just campaign promises that have remained a pipe dream and nothing but ‘political promises’ till date. Up till this moment, Nigeria has no single law that empowers our anti-corruption agencies on inviting and interrogating those that are suspected of living above their means to either explain the source of such sudden wealth or forfeit same. All this has further confirmed our fear and suspicion that, as the conscience of the nation, the civil society (of which the Media is an integral part) cannot and must not leave the fight for eliminating the ugly ogre of corruption from our social space or at least, reduce it to the barest minimum. It is in this wise that CACOL has initiated this programme, which has been running concurrently in both Lagos and Osun states, to take the fight against corruption from the same elites that are responsible for our economic woes and social miasma, and owns the fight for necessary result and effectiveness.

The CACOL boss added, “Consequently, this event climaxed series of enlightenment and education on what constitutes corruption, how to identify, shame and shun it; as well as best ways of engaging our budding public office holders from campaign stage to assumption of office at various levels. Ten different units were instituted and given their authority banner (s) to show their authenticity of CACOL’s insignia. With this formal inauguration of ambassadors or foot-soldiers of CACOL’S anti-corruption campaign, the aim is to ensure that Nigeria does not remain the same in our crusade for a sanitized and corruption-free society.”

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