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Femi Fani-Kayode Campaigns for the APC February 24, 2015

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New Ad Alert: Femi Fani-Kayode Campaigns for the APC, Jonathan Won’t Like This| WATCH http://omojuwa.com/2015/02/new-ad-alert-femi-fani-kayode-campaigns-for-the-apc-jonathan-wont-like-this-watch/

REGIME OF CONFUSION AND UNBRIDLED DECEITS by @eggheader February 13, 2015

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REGIME OF CONFUSION AND UNBRIDLED DECEITS

by

Egghead ODEWALE

Last Wednesday (11/02/2015), the President in a media chat with selected journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja attended to questions bordering on various issues that affect Nigeria and the polity. If anything, rather than clear the air around the issues raised, the president merely succeeded in adding to the confusion and aiding the distrust that already pervade his administration. Particularly, through his own whims and grimaces, he offered Nigerians another opportunity to re-assess his sentiments and the thinking around government quarters with respect to those important national issues.

JEGA’S TENURE

Even if Mr. President is no longer disposed towards Jega, he should be told that he cannot remove the latter from office until the expiration of his tenure on June 30. While responding to questions during the media chat, President Goodluck Jonathan opined that he held constitutional powers to appoint or remove the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega. He said, “…if you ask Jega, he would tell you. I appointed all the Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners in INEC. They are my appointees. So, if I feel that Jega is not good enough for obvious reasons, then I can by that provision of the constitution, that gives the person power who appointed him the power, to remove him. But I have not told anybody that I am going to remove Jega”.

I think it is unfortunate that despite all the years spent in public service, which invariably is his main claim to suitability for the highest office, Mr. President continues to commit such solecisms on issues that draw obvious references in the Constitution of the Federal Republic as well as from legal texts, history and tradition in public office.  To wit, the Constitution is clear on the powers for appointment and removal of the INEC Chairman and head and/or members of other federal agencies duly listed in S153, Chapter VI, Part I(B). Listed at S153f, amongst 14 other federal agencies (S153a-n), the Commissioners at INEC, including the Chairman (S161) “may only be removed from that office by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or misconduct(S161d)” as clearly enumerated in S157 of the same chapter of the Constitution.

With all the human and financial resources at the disposal of Mr. President, one would expect that he has unhindered access to the best advice or ideas that you can imagine. He should, by now, know that once nominated, ratified by the NASS and appointed into office, it has gone beyond his powers to sack any of the Commissioners at INEC, including the Chairman. What do his aides viz: Attorney-General, Special Adviser (Legal) and his personal lawyers, tell him with respect to his powers in this instance? I wish that he be so reminded and that he must immediately withdraw his embarrassing comments but also ensure he guarantees the tenure of office of the INEC Chairman and his Commissioners. This call has become imperative in light of the coordinated orchestrated attacks on the person and integrity of Prof Attahiru Jega by the President’s men, friends and party.

I am sure that Nigerians have not forgotten how the president in two instances overreached the powers of his office in the removal of former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. This is a man who claims not to apply more than 40% of the powers of his office yet has consistently misapplied or misappropriated such Constitutional powers. A president who touts separation of powers should be mindful that the exercise of certain powers are subject to the ratification of the relevant arms of government. Despite being a major beneficiary in both instances, if the removal of Salami and Sanusi did not cause him enough political heartache, Mr. Jonathan would know that the country is at that point where the inkling of any unwarranted suspicion of the electoral process can inflame tenebrific clouds over the nation. My reproof is for him to price the crisis very well before he procures it.

INEC AND MILITARY DO NOT CONSULT THE PRESIDENT

In another instance and in a clear attempt to scorn S158(1) of the Constitution, Mr. President intoned what seemed like a complaint stating “In 2011, INEC didn’t consult me.” May I make it clear to Mr. President that the ‘I’ standing for ‘Independent’ in INEC is not a pejorative affixture but one whose ramifications have been stated and founded a backbone in S158(1) of the Constitution. Sir, INEC is not expected to consult you more especially when you have a vested interest and you’re a contestant in the elections. Nonetheless, this does not in any way preclude you from providing all necessary administrative supports to ensure hitch-free elections as against the slipshod manner in which your security chiefs have reprobated relevant provisions of the Constitution.

Contrariwise, the same is not correct for the conduct of the Service Chiefs who seemed to have turned the president to not more than a ‘figurehead’ Commander-in-Chief by his own admission. In the selfsame chat, the president suggested that, “I am not the Chief of Defence Staff that wrote the letter…. the security services did not consult me. Of course, I was not consulted and did not want to be consulted”. With no other person than the president who should double as the Commander-in-Chief now openly admitting that he was not consulted before the security advisory to abort the initially proposed February elections was passed to INEC, one must be deeply worried that the security services no longer subscribe to or are no more under the firm control of civilian authorities as expected in a democratic dispensation and as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

Whereas the Chairman of INEC claimed during his infamous press conference that he received a security caution from the NSA, President Jonathan has not apportioned that claim to the Chief of Defence. Staff. We are left as a nation with nothing more than frenetic jitters to demand the truth with respect to the author, nay Constitutional coupist(s), of the missive that eventually occasioned last Saturday’s involuntary postponement of the elections.

It should bother all men and women of good conscience that the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and the Service Chiefs have become too powerful that they contumaciously usurp provisions of the Constitution and contemptuously disregard constituted civilian authorities and no less than the man in whom the sovereignty of Nigerians has been vested till May 29th, 2015. By his own very admission, President Jonathan has not only demonstrated his infirmness to continue to hold office as the President and Commander-in-Chief but also exposed the NSA and Service Chiefs as abusing their offices and irresponsibly abdicating the lawful security tasks assigned to them thereby making them, incompetent to continue in their offices.

Of course, the president showed a deceitful befuddlement when he later admitted that, “as Chief Security Officer, of the Federation, I have an idea” of the memo sent to subvert the original plans toward the February 14th national elections and February 28th state elections. This development where the president vacillates or prevaricates unsurely publicly, has given rise to a situation contrary to known practice where it is now the NSA and Service Chiefs who give assurances with respect to the ‘inviolability of next advertised dates’ of the General Elections.

USE OF GOVERNMENT RESOURCES FOR CAMPAIGN

With all gusto, President Jonathan declared, “In 2011, INEC didn’t consult me (before shifting the election). If they had consulted me, I wouldn’t have wasted my time and government resources. For any trip I make, I know what the government spends”. This is a clear testimony from Mr. President that he has been applying government resources to his political campaigns. Whether in periods of surplus or time of austerity, such wanton misapplication of official resources for Mr. President’s personal political activities is totally uncalled for. If for nothing, this puts additional unnecessary pressure on dwindling government resources.

One would expect Coordinating Minister for the Economy (CME), Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to immediately commence the implementation of her austerity measures from such wasteful endeavours that eat into government expenditures.

I think it behooves a punctilious leader and one who has the interest of his people at heart to do away with such unnecessary draw-downs on public funds.

MORE REASONS FOR POLLS SHIFT

If the inconsistency of the NSA’s original claims for the calls for polls shift with those of the service chiefs who claim inability to protect the polls was anything to go by, Mr. President debunked all of these when he asserted that “Yes, the Boko Haram is there; but also the tensed factor in the country. When INEC came up with the dates for elections, there was no much threat and the security agencies saw a lot of red points and they believed elections should be shifted, otherwise the whole country would go into flames”.

A president who has already claimed not to be consulted in serious matters of national security declares that some other “tensed factors” was responsible for the polls postponement, then we may begin to demand further explanations; what items constitute these tensed factors? This latest suggestion is an unambiguous confirmation of what we have always maintained that Mr. President and his band of appointed security chiefs take Nigerians for a ride as they wish. Nigerians are reminded how the clamour for polls shift started with the NSA under the pretext of rate of PVC collection, then to the irresponsible claim that the security agencies cannot guarantee security for the elections and now the president himself cited tensed factors. At some point, the government through the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), resorted to scaremongering when Mike Omeri avows of plans to blow up polling units across the country. A threat to which his government’s only response to avert the envisioned carnage was to collect signatures from Nigerians across all 774 Local Government Areas

Nigerians should demand to know the truth as these indications call for concern regarding the genuineness of the new dates announced for the elections. Nigerians are already exasperated and having to endure a grueling campaign schedule is bad enough. President Goodluck Jonathan and his men should save the nation the distressing troubles of going through this cycle again, because suddenly, the electoral developments have become a déjà vu reminiscent of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s series of aborted transition programmes. Nigerians are forewarned to beware

APC is for change and fairness by @elrufai February 5, 2015

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Address by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, OFR at the Kaduna South Zonal Rally, Kafanchan, 04 February 2015

After several days of campaigning across Southern Kaduna, our overwhelming impression is one of gratitude to the good people of the zone. We have been encouraged and excited by the warmth of the reception we have been accorded everywhere, and the willingness of the people to embrace our message of change. On behalf of the APC Kaduna State Campaign Council, I say a heartfelt thank you to Zone 3. There is no doubt that we have a solid, state-wide constituency for change and Southern Kaduna has this week emphatically proven it.

Kaduna State needs change. We must reset the dynamics of governance.We will place at its core a commitment to fairness and the promotion of harmony amongst the diverse peoples of our state. We must build a Kaduna State that treats all of its residents as equal citizens. It is a fallacy that any one part of a community can sustainably progress by holding back or repressing the other. Our destiny is to work together to bring progress and development, to secure our communities and to empower people to make the best of their talents.

Our programme of change is clearly aimed at improving security, building human capital by focusing on education and healthcare, focusing on key infrastructure, including roads and water supply, jobs and a new industrial strategy.

We do not underestimate the challenges, but your votes will give us the mandate we need to make governance work for the people. You have rejected the lame arguments of those who have tried to divide us along ethnic or religious lines. Our people have clearly rejected that as the refuge of incompetent people with no record of performance. You have also seen through the deceit of people who only thought it fit to condole with you over the killings and insecurity as elections loomed.

Empathy cannot be commodified, it is not a feeling based on expectations of reward, electoral or otherwise. Rather it is an obligation of governance, a duty of political responsiveness anchored on refined human character. This same people have also promised you a university and a new state, two months to the elections. You know they cannot be trusted.

We recognise the role that mass media has historically played in forming cohesive communities, fostering harmony and uniting peoples. Kaduna State cannot be whole when a government neglects to treat it as a unified broadcasting space. An APC government will end the information dichotomy which has seen our state not having a state-wide public broadcaster whose signals can be clearly received in every inch of the state. If elected, we will unite our state by making our public radio and television accessible to every part and every resident of this state. Services of Kaduna State Radio and Television that have been cut off in Southern Kaduna will be revived as a priority item.

Yet despite the passion we have seen, and the incredible support demonstrated, the job is not yet done. To deliver change we all must first collect our PVCs and turn up to vote, and guarantee by our conduct an atmosphere of peace and calm.

We ask once again that you give our party,the APC, your vote at all levels. We are ready for the responsibility of governance.

Let’s make Kaduna great again!

THE END OF A STINT by @eggheader SEUN ODEWALE October 15, 2014

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My brother and friend writes as Dr. John Kayode Fayemi’s governorship journey comes to a close.

Happy reading…

THE END OF A STINT by ‘Seun Odewale

Today, as we take our final bow and depart from the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, I recall that date four years ago when the Court of Appeal, holden in Ilorin, gave a resounding ruling declaring Kayode Fayemi as the duly elected Governor of Ekiti State, after a grueling three and half years of legal scrimmage.

Developments, days, weeks and months before this ruling, had elicited a lot of despair among the population. Obviously, this necessitated the acclaim that greeted the announcement of Fayemi as the Governor of Ekiti State, and understandably, the expectations – possible and plausible – that the new government will in no time resolve or bring to an end ‘ALL’ the sufferings of the people and take Ekitis to their long longed Eldorado.

Definitely, that Eldorado was not to be, but there is consistent concurrence from every quarter that Fayemi has not only discharged himself creditably well, but also advanced the cause and course of Ekiti significantly positively. Now, those who expected that the Ekiti man or woman should have expressed gratitude only through immediate electoral votes might have missed the point but that is a topic for another day. What is evident is that the last four years in Ekiti has witnessed a nonpareil development driven governance that has impacted on all layers of the society and in all nooks and crannies of the state or even beyond. Yours sincerely has been a proud member of that winning team!

From my initial appointment as the Personal Assistant to the Governor to my latter day redeployment as the Deputy Chief of Staff, I occupied an integral but strategic position within the outgoing administration. Sincerely, I have been more than privileged to serve under a Kayode Fayemi administration. And even a greater privilege to have worked with or meet all the wonderful folks that have ensured that my tour of duty was worth the while. These are by no means limited to those physically present in Ekiti alone. To mention names here would be to enact an epistle of inordinate length. I know I have gleaned or gained different things from different people, each to varying degrees, but no matter how smidgen, I cherish and appreciate every token of support that I have received, either within propinquity or from far flung places.

In equal measure, I must pay especial tribute to all our traducers, those who even in dying will never see any good citation to applaud. Ironically, they make us tick. Unbeknown to them, those unwavering admonitions and criticisms became the fillip with which I continually gauge, amend and improve on my person and on the inputs I made at every opportunity during my tour of duty. Perhaps, one would have been carried away in self-affectations of goodwill, but you constantly kept the lid on our conducts, policies and programmes. More than anyone would think, I believe you deserve my utmost recognition for willingly maintaining the socio-political equilibrium within which you are definitely indispensable.

At this point, I must thank all those that have helped me one way or the other to wade through these past years, while I also like to apologize to those who I might have offended – usually inadvertently – during the discharge of my duties. For those in the latter category, I am sure you will understand with me that those offending moments were never deliberate but also that sometimes, difficult or unpalatable decisions/utterances must be made to achieve needful progress. Again, I unreservedly apologize.

I am not unmindful that the next couple of days and weeks will open the vistas for ceaseless assessment of our conducts in office in the past four years, I wish to assure everyone that I shall continue to present myself to such ongoing public scrutiny as is expected of my person.

I thank you all as I must now journey into another productive future of unending opportunities.

Egghead Odewale

Oct 15, 2014.

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES – JONAH THE SLEEP MASTER October 9, 2014

Posted by seunfakze in EDUCATION.
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It was one of those days when a terminal examination had just held. My friends and I, over-joyous at the concluded examination whilst excited about freedom of two weeks, resorted to the game of football. I was just 12, and for teenage boys my age; football is one of the few things that gives us joy.

I assumed my number 9 role amongst my favorite team that day, and as usual, we outplayed other teams set after set. We played football till about 5pm when we all called it quits. I was tired. I was happy. I was tired. Such complementary feeling does football bring for teenage boys.

Getting home, I found the keys at its hiding place. My siblings had gone to church and thankfully, my parents were not yet back. I went to the bathroom, soaked myself in the bath and after about 30 minutes; sauntered into my room and slept off. Door opened.

I slept off and happy we’re my dreams. I dreamt of football, winning many rounds and being carried shoulder high along our trophy. Smiles all over my face, unequalled joy over my teams glowing faces. And then the bangs came. First, faintly and then loud and repeated. I jolted, from my sleep, awake from my refreshing dreams.

I turned. Twisted. Trying to make sense of the noise. “Who is that?” I queried. “Come one stand up and open the door, you silly boy” one of my elder siblings replied. I strolled to the living room, opened the door and behold; the whole neighborhood.

Some had been banging my window, while others had been hitting the door. I saw clubs, metals, and all necessary object that could wake me up from the dead. The look on my dad’s face; indescribable. Today I thank my heavens for those neighbours who were around to restrain him from giving me my first beating.

Whilst I was enjoying my sleep for over one hour, my neighborhood had been in disarray; in fact I heard a lot thought I could not be in the house oven how much noise they had made. The only assurance they had I was in was because they could see me lying in bed from the window (my door was open).

I apologized and went back to bed, but not stern warnings of not repeating any such in the future.

The life of a teenage African…

‘Seun fakuade

#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS: CALL FOR GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION October 7, 2014

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CALL FOR GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION,
OCTOBER 11TH -18TH, 2014
#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS  NOW and ALIVE!!!!
 
October 14, 2014 makes it exactly six (6) months since 276 girls were abducted by the Boko Haram sect from their school – Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria.  The Boko Haram Sect  leader claimed responsibility for the mass kidnappings in a video where he informed the world that he plans to sell the girls into slavery. Till date, not one girl has been rescued, save for 57 girls who escaped on their own, while 219 girls still remain in captivity.
As the United Nations marks the International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October, we, the #BringBackOurGirls movement and the families of the abducted girls, are calling for a Global Week of  Action from 11th to 18th October 2014, to mobilize everyone around the world to demand for the immediate rescue of our Chibok girls and end this humanitarian tragedy. 
 
It is undeniably apt that this year’s theme for United Nations International Day of the Girl Child: Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending The Circle of Violence, coincides with this period when we all are still agitating for the immediate release of our innocent Chibok girls who are victims of the violence being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria. These are adolescent girls who, against all odds, sought education in order to be empowered in their bid to become responsible leaders of the society. Our world must not forget them.
 
How can the world move on without 219 promising young women whose zeal for education should be an example for girls everywhere in the world. We cannot afford for girls and parents anywhere in the world to be forced to choose between education and personal safety.    
 
We therefore make this global call to all political leaders, the United Nations, civil society groups, religious leaders, development partners, celebrities and all well-meaning individuals to come out en-masse during this Global Week of Action and raise their voices to demand renewed actions for the immediate rescue of our Chibok girls. We ask that various on-the-ground activities and the social media be used to show support and solidarity for #ChibokGirls 
 
We wish to further call on the Nigerian government and other Governments lending support to the rescue operation to intensify any actions already being taken to achieve quick result of the immediate rescue of the Chibok girls.
We encourage friends of our #chibokgirls around the world to hold vigils in Communities; and where possible at Nigerian Embassies in your countries. Please help spread the message to pupils and students in schools; To people at churches, mosques, and temples! Please call on your leaders to do everything possible to help #BringBackOurGirls NOW and ALIVE!!!

Signed

1.      Reverend Enoch Mark – parent of two girls in captivity
2.      Pindar Dibla – parent of a girl in captivity
3.      Ishaya Abana – parent of a girl in captivity
4.      Emmanuel Mutah – parent of a girl in captivity
5.      Ishaya Benawi – parent of a girl in captivity
6.      Oby Ezekwesili – co-convener [obyezekwesili@aol.com]
7.      Maryam Uwais – co-convener [maryamuwais@leapafrica.org]
8.      Hadiza Bala Usman – co-convener [hadizabalausman@yahoo.com]
9.      Saudatu Mahdi – co-convener [saudatu@yahoo.com]

 

#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS: 100 DAYS – THE NIGERIAN CITIZEN WILL NOT BE SILENCED July 22, 2014

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Wednesday, July 23rd will mark 100 days since 276 girls were savagely abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State. 57 escaped and 219 remain in captivity. The families and community have suffered deep anguish seeking effective rescue to end the peril that befell their daughters who had gone to school in search of knowledge.

In those 100 days, the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign has focused on creating awareness of the abduction to ensure that it is a priority issue requiring action and compelling the right sets of action for a positive outcome. We have engaged various stakeholders – the Presidency, the National Assembly, the office of the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defense Staff, the Borno State Government & other State Governments, ECOWAS member countries and UN agencies to name a few.


Through our various meetings, our singular message has been to demand that the Federal Government perform its fundamental duty of ensuring the security and the welfare of its citizens. As we denounce the wave of terror and insecurity across the country, we continue to demand that the Federal Government deploy its resources to ensure that the missing girls are brought home, and the errors leading from three-weeks of delayed action are remedied.

Citizens who have insisted on standing with our girls and ensuring they are not forgotten are heartbroken that our daughters and sisters are about to spend 100 days with their evil captors.
To amplify our voices in demanding that these girls be brought home now and alive, on the 100th day, there will be a variety of activities around the world. These include:
• Ibadan: Press Conference at the BRECAN Centre at 10 am

• Abuja: Special sit-out ceremony at the Unity Fountain at 3 pm

• Lagos: Remembrance service at the Wall of Missing Girls at Falomo Roundabout at 4pm
• New York: Candlelight vigil at the Nigerian Consulate at 5.30pm.
There will also be events in India, Pakistan, the UK and most world capitals where there are teachers’ organisations in partnership with the UN Special Envoy’s Office of Gordon Brown. Organisations participating are World at School, Girls not Brides, Global March Against Child Labour, Walk Free, Educational International and ITa.

The continued pattern of intolerance to the activities of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign is at variance with our effort to promote healthy civic engagement by citizens to strengthen the resolve of government to rescue the girls.

As days become weeks and months and our girls are separated from their parents and their community, our singular focus remains on their safe return in the shortest possible time.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Signed:
Hadiza Bala Usman, Abuja
Oby Ezekwesili, Abuja
Aisha Oyebode, Lagos
Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Lagos
Betty Anyanwy-Akeredolu, Ibadan
Amina Hanga, Kano
Eleanor Ann Nwadinobi, Enugu

#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS: DEMEANING THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT July 16, 2014

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, MORALITY.
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Dear Mr President,

I am compelled to write given the recent spate of attacks and spurious statements by your media aides and security operatives alleging the hijack of the BringBackOurGirls movement – a citizens collective effort to stay vigilant on the kidnapped girls. I belong to this movement in my capacity as a citizen of Nigeria, and I feel deeply insulted that some of your aides have either acted in their own capacity or succeeded in misleading you through deliberate misinformation about the movement.

Last week, Ms Marilyn Ogar, in her characteristic manner, called this movement a franchise; a statement which I consider highly derogatory and unsavoury. Unfortunately, she cast serious aspersions on the integrity of those who constitute the movement in Nigeria and worldwide. The leadership of the Abuja chapter of the movement has clearly disproved these allegations but I keep wondering why you allow such untold misrepresentation to go on under your watch.

Only recently, precisely 15th July, 2014; one of your senior media aides Dr. Doyin Okupe alleged that Ms Obiageli Ezekwesili instigated the families of the kidnapped girls from attending the meeting you scheduled, whom you had only recently deemed fit to meet after 92 days.  I am quite sure Ms Ezekwesili, who remains one Nigerian with incorruptible integrity and who desperately wants these girls rescued, will never resort to such act as portrayed by Dr Okupe. Moreover Mr President, history bears witness that it took you 3 weeks before you acknowledged these atrocious kidnap; and all of us are aware of the arrest that befell members of the movement after the scheduled meeting they had with your wife, the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Patience Jonathan. Personally, it is not far-fetched why they will ignore your meeting: the precedence of denial, intimation and arrests of members of the movement is telling.

I find it utterly disrespectful that consistently, Dr. Okupe’s characteristic name-calling, character assassination and pedestrian outbursts keep mocking the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The letter, which was widely distributed in the media, was attributed to have been written by you; but I am certain the person of the President of Nigeria will never write such.Whatever the grievances Dr. Okupe has with Ms Ezekwesili, the office of the President should not be reduced to such dance of shame in the media. Honestly, I keep wondering how you will allow yourself and your noble office to be such ridiculed by such dramatis personae as aides.

Regardless of the constant attack and publicity strategy of the establishment to frustrate, derail and divide us; we stay strong and committed to demanding that the girls be brought back alive. I am aware of the complexities that may be involved in securing the release of these girls, which consequently may have prevented an open and transparent citizens interaction. However, the fact that we disagree with the secrecy involved in the attempts at rescuing these girls that does not give any of your aides the right to castigate us and demean our persons using all of the channels of manipulations it has.

Mr. President, you swore an oath to the security and welfare of the Nigerian people. Not only have you consistently failed in this regard, but Nigeria’s security incompetence during these trying times have occurred despite appropriating the highest resource in the budget to security (about N3tn in 3 years). Mr. President, based on the sustained captivity of the past three months following these girls kidnap, based on the insecurity challenges of the past years under your watch; no other institution of government has terrorized Nigerians psychologically than the Federal Government of Nigeria.

 

 

ANOTHER FLASH IN THE PAN? @MedviewAirlines July 12, 2014

Posted by seunfakze in MOTIVATION.
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The first time I heard about Medview Airline was Wednesday 9th July, 2014. My return flight had been booked for an EbonyLife TV event in Lagos. My first reactions were of disbelief and fear, ones which are not totally different from Nigerians who either have a regular airline or those who have experienced constant disappointments from Nigerian airlines with peculiar penchant for not keeping to time. Besides, owing to my slight phobia for flying, I was a bit disappointed I would not be using my accustomed airline but trying another one. I shrugged off my fears, packed my bags and prepared for my trip the following day.

Thursday. I arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport 2 hours before time, and checked in. It was a bit comforting to see my brother Japheth Omojuwa at the airport; apparently we travelled for the same event and we were booked on the same flight. Having missed each other for months, we quickly settled in to serious discussions about our society and the huge challenge before our generation. Our flight was scheduled for 9am, and the airline surprisingly announced our boarding on time.

By 9am, we were on our way to Lagos, refreshment was light but tasted good. We arrived as scheduled in the flight details. We went for our event, finished and left for the airport for our 5pm return flight to Abuja. By 4:30pm, exhausted, hungry and definitely looking forward to the snacks served while airborne; we were checked in and we waited patiently for the 5pm flight. This is where the problem started.

The 5pm flight was delayed for 45 minutes, which left us a bit worried. It is understandable when we had other engagements in Abuja, and besides; we were seriously hungry. By 5:45pm, another announcement explained “Medview flight to Abuja has been delayed for another 45 minutes”. At this point, Japheth and I decided we would get some food before we die of hunger. We left for KFC, met some friends over lunch and chatted about 30 minutes away. Before this, we realized there was a Medview plane around and wondered why we were not boarding already.

On our way back in, we noticed some angry voices from the Medview stand and so we made an approach. We found confusing messages from apparently distraught passengers “the flight had been cancelled” “the flight has been rescheduled” “funds will be refunded”. Since we could not get an official information from the airline, I quickly sent out tweets asking friends for a link to Medview Airlines. I got responses and quickly sent tweets to the airline. I was pleasantly surprised to see the response from the airline within minutes where they reassured us the delay was due to technical challenges with the available plane. Many passengers threatened fire and brimstone whilst others asked for a refund as they had appointments. Only one pressured for and got a refund, others waited.

By 7pm, we were told and promised that the other plane would arrive by 8pm. However, to my utter surprise, (as this is not customary with similar Nigerian airlines with delay peculiarities), we were all taken to a restaurant where passengers were treated to sumptuous meals. Mixed feelings. Japheth and I had just had lunch some 2 hours earlier, but we took time and had some drinks with snails. (smiles).

As scheduled, the plane arrived by 8pm wherein we were informed and consequently prepared to board. By 8:40pm, we were all on board and the flying crew took turns in apologizing about the hitch and delay caused. My interview with other passengers revealed that Medview ALWAYS fly as scheduled and that they, as regular customers, were surprised of the disappointing delay they experienced that day. Online commentaries also revealed the same opinion about Medview. Although this is peculiar with airlines commencing new services in Nigeria, I hoped that Medview airlines would actually set out to make a serious difference in the aviation industry where constant disappointments with scheduled flights and bad customer service was a normal thing. The following day, they checked up on me and apologized again for the delayed flight; whilst appealing to me to always “fly with us”.

As someone who had experienced serious delays from Nigerian airlines (with my worst with Aero contractors which took me to Lagos around 1:30am for a 5pm flight), I was pleasantly surprised at the professional disposition, and responsive customer service relation from Medview Airlines. It will be totally unjust not to write about my experience with Medview Airlines. I do hope this attitude will continue for a long time and perhaps help build their brand as a reliable airline to always fly with.

Time will totally justify Medview Airlines – if truly this is a new beginning to  a sustained customer friendly service or just another flash in the pan.

John Kayode Fayemi – Spearheading Ekiti’s Renaissance July 12, 2014

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
3 comments

It is easy to wear the deportment of detachment when Ekiti State is mentioned. Well, that used to be the state synonymous with pandemonium and violence; and until recently very bad road networks and stunted growth. Home to about 2.6million Nigerians, Ekiti state is located deep in the heart of Western Nigeria, a hilly state (from where its name is reputedly derived) and is home to some of the nation’s most prominent and eminent Professors.

It is humus ground for rumour mongering as well as active political awareness amongst citizens. Ekiti citizens know their rights, always have a point to prove, always have a say; and their political sagacity cannot be underestimated. In other words, they are politically opinionated and socially republican. Besides, historically, you will do well to remember that the sweeping tide of 1966 and the downward turn of Nigeria began in 1964 during the Omoboriowo crises of Ijero (then in Old Ondo State).

Ekiti State has passed through years of turbulence. That is no longer news. Any avid follower of the political terrain in Ekiti State will easily recount the number of Governors (elected and imposed) and Administrators that have since occupied the exalted leading position since its creation as a state in 1996. What is not news too, is the years of economic pillage and erosion of values that has confounded the state, and in turn worsened the social value fabric that once stood the state up as an ideal model of respect, love for elders, industry, amongst many others.

It is my duty to visit my state every quarter, an act much necessitated by my parents living in my country home. During these days, I take time to go around the communities and see firsthand the travails and experience under democratic rule. On these visitations, I have been engrossed with stories of unfulfilled promises by politicians (as is usual in Nigeria) and frustrations amidst growing apathy amongst the citizenry. It seems, after all, that settling with under-performing leaders seem to be the new turn in our democratic dispensation.

Year after year, I have seen deplorable roads; abandoned projects (sometimes from previous administrations), sub-standard white elephant projects, and above all, grand-scale cover up of corrupt practices. As a young Nigerian with deep interest in policy research, advocacy and social entrepreneurship, I became attracted to the administration of Dr. Fayemi (whom I found a breath of fresh air given his civil society foundations, political meteoric rise to leadership and undoubtedly his academic background).

However, my love for advancing development across Nigerian communities led me to criticizing him heavily in his first year of leading the ship in Ekiti State. It seemed there were several stumbling blocks towards development in those early days under Kayode Fayemi and my generation, being in haste, spared no effort at pointing them out in their colours and shades. The traffic delays caused by rocks being blasted while travelling the then Ifaki-Ado road during construction, and the lethargic handling of the road caused me much anguish and I spared no words in describing the administration of Kayode Fayemi as “slow, much unfocussed, and a leadership committed unfortunately to another set of construction jamborees”.

I am aware how long it may take a State as landlocked as Ekiti, and as cash-restrained to advance in the path of development as seen in other developed communities. My difficulties in understanding the mind of such a visionary as Kayode Fayemi was also compounded in the fact that he is not a showman who advertises what he does. After being frustrated with the hooliganism which Mr. Ayo Fayose’s administration heralded, I feared the worst in 2011 and most of 2012; thinking Dr. Fayemi was much disconnected with the travails of the common man in the state. I was wrong. I was invited to Ekiti state. My online vituperations, having caught the eyes of some of Dr Fayemi’s team, heralded my first visit to the state in 2013.

I got the ROADMAP TO EKITI RECOVERY, and began a tour of the state to verify the claims made by the administration. Ekiti state is taunted as having the most open and accessible leadership. I have that verified. Not only was I able to visit commissioners and query their policies, decision-making processes and projects; but I was given free access to take pictures, make my criticisms without any sense of trepidation or harassment. It is naturally difficult to have your say at “Men In Power” in Nigeria, especially where sycophancy and hero worship reigns supreme. Unlike previous administrations too, he completed the projects left over by the administration of Gov. Segun Oni.

It takes a visionary to understand that leading a poor state out of the doldrums require more than paying monthly salaries (which take an estimated 87% of monthly revenue) and drinking Alomo bitters by the roadside. Borrowing N25bn altogether from the stock market is not only commendable, the systematic monthly deductions towards repaying the loan has enabled the state pay about 60% of the total bond sourced from the stock market. Detractors are quick to point at this borrowing, but anyone adept at development will know it is a no-brainer.

That Dr. Kayode Fayemi is a visionary is no longer news to most of those who know him or those who have been unbiased in assessing his style of leadership. I had a 19 _ minute critical discussion with him around 2am and I must confess he is an amazing workaholic. It is admirable to see Nigeria still has men of sterling qualities in leadership especially one whose monthly allocation remains the 35th (out of 36 states in Nigeria. I have visited the roads, the hospitals have been refurbished (never touched in 18 years), the educational institutions wear new looks & new infrastructures where necessary, I have seen the ICT revolutions in Ekiti (which was foremost in Nigeria and quite unknown unlike Opon Imo), the tourism revolution, the revived industries (previously abandoned), the social welfare scheme, amongst many others.

Were the re-election to be based on compelling issues and critical reasoning alone, Dr. Fayemi would not have to campaign. Unfortunately, Nigerian politics currently run on propaganda and populism. Were he a populist, there are no reasons Ekiti people, and indeed the world should not be aware that Ekiti State operated and sustained the first ICT revolution in schools in Nigeria, nor are there reasons why the Ire Burnt Bricks factory’s revival and expected ROIs should not be much taunted; nor the world class tourist center at Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort much publicized; the Legacy projects, the unveiling plans to make Ekiti the “Bangalore of Africa” amongst many amazing projects.It was under Fayemi that I discovered that construction companies do have bonds with banks that require them to repair roads within a specified timeframe if such roads have cracks/flaws else the bonds can be revoked.

Commendable improvements under Fayemi include the social welfare scheme for elders, the revival of the Ire Burnt brick Factory (which will have an estimated N1bn yearly ROI), the massive agricultural projects (YCAD), the transparent spending mechanism (FoI, FRA) and several gender empowerment laws. There is huge disconnect of information amongst the citizenry in Ekiti. This should not be. This would all have made it easy for Governor Fayemi not to stress himself too much on reelection. Nevertheless, I can appreciate his reticence and his complete focus on the job while also taking into consideration the wear such PR efforts may take on the small budget Ekiti has.

The dream of EKITI RECOVERY towards “MAKING POVERTY HISTORY” is a laudable dream that cannot be realized in just 4 years of administration. If we must be honest, we need a sustained, completely competent team who understands what it requires to make this dream a reality at the helm of our affairs. This is why Ekiti state must never return to the hands of Alibaba and his thieves no matter the cost.This is why Ekiti sons and daughters, at home and abroad, must unite and do whatever is required, by all means possible to sustain the mandate of Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

It will be disastrous to think that Ekiti state will find such peace, clarity of purpose, openness, transparent spending, and visionary leadership under Mr. Ayo Fayose – the much-touted spendthrift of Ekiti Politics regardless of whatever claim of repentance he may have. Governor Kayode Fayemi gives me hope, gives Ekiti State hope, and I daresay Nigeria as a whole. Going by Nigerian standards and expectations, there is no reason a state with such low income/revenue should have such advanced development like Ekiti does. States with much succulent income have no excuse for less! JKF, as he is now popularly called, revalidates my new found hope that social critics and civil society activists can combine ideological principles and idealistic leanings with the maneuverings that politics bring. June 21 will remain, for a time to come, the most memorable day in the history of Ekiti State when we eventually re-elect Dr. Fayemi, thereby sustaining the vision and pride of the South West region, and of Nigeria as a whole. That is my hope in this present democratic practice we are wading through.

7th June, 2014

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