A new way for Nigeria
Submit your ideas. Your input is what keeps this going.
THE DORA REBRANDING OF NIGERIA IS NOT A BAD IDEAR BUT SHE SHOULD REBRAND THE LEADERSHIP FIRST.WHAT A SHAME IF AFTER TWO YEARS ALL THE PROMISES OF THE PRESIDENT IS NOTING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT.
Nigeria as a country need rebranding and the politicians need reorientation and retraining otherwise no matter the efforts put in to change the system will not work.but with collective efforts of the youths and the women especially nigeria can be a different place.Good governance is very important to a decent society where there will be freedom,justice and most importantly peace to everyone.The youths must do something to organise rather than argonising.The President Yaradua cannot solve the huge problems confronting the country so long as he is still close to the thieving ex governors and politicians.he should come and learn from Ghana and south africa.
‘Many Nigerians would live abroad that see to it that Nigeria is rescued from a ‘democratic despotism’ and mindlessly greedy leaders. We need to seek knowledge, a new way forward for our coun try. Change needs to come to Nigeria’
‘Nigerian students need to speak up, we need to engage in intellectually stimulating discussions on Idealogies, strategies that will bring about the desired development’
‘It doesn’t take a century to bring about change. Making electricity available to Nigerians is not rocket science’
What we need is good governance and accountability. Let Nigerians especially our leader be accountable for their deeds and Nigeria will be rebranded. She should be sincere in her purpose and Ekiti saga has really shown that there is no sincerity of purpose. Again let her starts from the top to herself and then others will follow
The ordinary Nigerian youth will continue to fight his/her way out of poverty through creativity,IT etc
THE JOHNBULL SYNDROME
Remember that song we sang with glee to the sound of drumbeats and disorderly stomping of feet? By we, I mean those of us who are products of the Nigerian public primary school system of years past. And the song in mind is the one about Johnbull’s father lamenting that he sent his son to school yet the poor boy came back unable to spell his own name. The question that lurked in the corner of our minds then was: How did it get so bad for Johnbull? Did the teacher’s mother die the day he enrolled in school? Maybe he lost his writing slate. Maybe there was a bully in his class and he couldn’t concentrate for fear. The name seems rather long for anyone to spell anyway. But even then, to be unable to spell one’s own name? To our innocent young minds then, it was as outrageous and scandalous as could be. I don’t think we ever quite pinpointed Johnbull’s problem and we didn’t give much thought to it at the time because Johnbull was largely an abstraction.
Having left primary school more than two decades ago, I now deal with products of the same system on a daily basis as a lecturer. I have since solved the riddle of what went wrong with Johnbull. This is no mean feat I have achieved and the secret is this: I met Johnbull in person. Understatement. I have been surrounded by him and his female twin for some years now!
The single most important thing a child is supposed to exit the gates of a primary school with is basic literacy. In the Nigerian context, at least until the triumph of our nationalist brothers who believe we should be training our engineers with the Yoruba or the Ijaw tongue, literacy would mean the ability to read, write and speak the English language fluently enough to be able to cope in later years and in the higher classes in which the language of instruction is English.
Our entire education sector has known quite a bit of collapse in the past decades. So we speak of a “fall” in the “standard” of education. By making such a generalization, we miss a much more serious and fundamental dimension of the problem. At the core of the general fall in the standard of education is the problem of the complete ruin, the damage, the assault and subsequent battery done to the very concept of literacy as doled out by our school system. A moral and social spoilage – apparently brought on by unprecedented advancements in western prosperity and technology and the globalization of everything from our drinks to our bank accounts – afflicts this present generation of youth the world over. Even almighty United States is complaining about the falling standards of their children’s academic performance. The same problem exists in the U.K., France, Kenya and several other advanced and not-so-advanced countries. To imagine that our educational system somehow has something in common with these countries’ in terms of falling standards is to indulge in daydreaming. The problem at hand in Nigeria is much more serious.
The failure of our public primary school system today is such that most of its
end products would qualify for the tag ‘illiterate’ in many other countries. Johnbull
cannot be said to have had a substandard education. He is simply an illiterate! An
illiterate will normally mean a fellow who has not been to school but Johnbull’s
peculiarity is that he has actually been to school. The inevitable question then is:
Is something wrong with the school or with Johnbull?
Those who should know better tell us that as long as a child is not mentally
retarded, every child is a language genius, able to learn and master several languages
at the same time. Nigerian public primary school graduates today are either suffering
from some kind of mass mental retardation never seen before in history or the school
system is failing badly. It is to me the most serious infrastructural problem we are
facing. The classroom is no ordinary place. It is a sacred temple of both personal and
national development. From it flows either the mediocrity or the excellence that will
permeate the very fibre of society for decades and decades to come.
As I know you expect me to, I blame the military for watching our educational
system go to ruin during those crucial years they spent in power. But a look at the past
decade of Ghana-must-go democracy has not done much to steer us in a different
direction. No major move has been made to find out what are the things missing in
our public schools that makes every parent who can afford to do so walk right past
them and take their wards to those choky private schools mushrooming in pretty much
every garage in the neighbourhood. We have launched many a program and tried
many cosmetic approaches. We have argued for example on whether our children
should start with nine years of elementary school or six years of primary school. We
have pondered the more appropriate tag for these classes – is it Basic 1 to Basic 6 or
Primary 1 to Primary 6. We even spent some time wondering if it would not be better
to privatise the entire system and stop bothering our heads about what will happen to
the poor and the lowly – those who will not be able to afford a school owned by MTN
for example. Nobody gets results in the education sector with these cosmetic
solutions. Johnbull will not spell his name because a program of whatever name
was launched in Abuja.
Unfortunately too, the educational system is one you cannot fast forward so as
to get results that you can use for your re-election campaign in four years’ time. Very
much like the economy and several other things that require building to last, the
school system can only be improved by good policies practiced consistently for many
years, even decades. While the improvement takes a long time, dividends of such
improvement take even longer to see. A certain state consistently ranked really low in
WAEC results. A governor came in there and began calling for change within a year. Now, the state in question is a southwestern state in which school principals
generally keep cheating minimal during O’ level exams. Every educationist knows
that you cannot significantly improve O level results within one single school session.
Much of what an SS2 student’s O level result will look like is already fixed. This
governor implicitly mandated and even sponsored mass cheating during the
next exams and the state moved from the thirty something position to less than the
tenth position! Needless to say, this feat made the list of points scored for his
campaign. However, the man did nothing to about the cracked and collapsed walls of
the state’s primary schools. He did nothing about the fact that no single public
primary schools in the state is connected to electricity. The hostels in the state’s best
boys’ secondary school has windows that have no mosquito nets while most of the
classrooms in the state’s best girl’s schools have no windows and doors. School
principals heaved a sigh of relief when the governor was eventually impeached.
A knotty part of this issue is the quality of teachers. It amounts to self deceit
for anyone to fail to acknowledge that school teachers today are not what they used to
be. The reason is not far fetched. The unwritten rule all over the world is to engage
the best brains of each generation to train the next. But the dynamics of a free market
economy dictate that the highest paying employers snap up the best brains around.
Teachers have consistently ranked among the lowest paid civil servants working
under the worst conditions. They can boast of the worst office facilities in the civil
service. Their retirement conditions can be said to be among the worst as they wait the
longest to get their pension and gratuity. To attract a first class university graduate or
a distinction graduate of a college of education with these conditions of service is no
more than wishful thinking. Even average class graduates avoid the profession like a
The result? We now have only the poorest, most rejected higher school
graduates flocking to the classroom to teach our children. Another side of the story is
the fact that since the teaching trade has become so maligned, all sorts of people are
allowed to sign up to be trained as teachers. The conditions for entry into Colleges of
education have hit rock bottom. The JAMB and post-JAMB cut off points for
education faculties in our universities are the lowest. Even worse is the so called
Sandwich programs run by money seeking, underfunded government universities
around the country. The programs are meant to train teachers up to the degree level by
making use of the long holidays from around August to October. In reality, these
programs are the very definition of compromised standards. In a time when strikes
and other conspirators often manage to batter school calendars unrecognizable,
Sandwich programs continue undisturbed whether there is only a month available for
the ‘long’ holiday that is supposed to be a Sandwich semester or a week. Johnbull’s
march has just begun.
Dealing with Polytechnic and University students on a daily basis, I cannot
shake the feeling that a good number of them are barely literate. Most of them show
enough promise to be in my class. But there is a kind of shadow over their thinking
that tells me certain fundamentals are missing. How do you explain a student who
solves mathematical Physics problems beautifully but never includes the traditional
lines that tell the examiner what he’s doing and why. Only when he is forced to
include those lines did the examiner discover that he cannot spell words and phrases
like substituting and dividing through. In a certain university, administrative staff of
their admissions office noticed that newly admitted students coming to pick up their
admission letter often take several sweaty minutes to write the sentence Original copy
received by me and to sign their name. They soon found that it was not the broken
air conditioning that caused the sweating. Their new students simply weren’t literate
enough to write that simple sentence without help. Some of them actually ask
permission to go and write it outside!
A student with problems of literacy is a student with all manner of problems.
He or she will have problems with the basics of every subject. Good literary skills
are about the only skills needed to excel in a number of art subjects. It is the only
reason a science student like me could make an O level distinction in a subject like
Economics despite all the unseriousness with which I handled the subject till a few
weeks before the final exam.
As our public primary schools continue to graduate Johnbulls and teacher
quality gravitates towards the abysmal, we need to prepare ourselves for the new
social structure that is bound to emerge when the children of the rich, trained in the
Corona schools and Covenant Universities have to compete for jobs alongside those
of the poor who were taught at L.A. (Local Authority) schools by Sandwich
graduates and in the Jangirofa State Universities built for them by our ever so
magnanimous political leaders who want education for all by 2020.
I agree with you, it is not rocket science but the will to provide it is what is missing. There are too many vested interests. Think about it, if electricity becomes constant, who will people like Otedola sell diesel to? The importers of generators are these same vested interests so in simple words, these folks will do anything to make sure there is no change in the status quo!!
Mr Pat as long as my comment won’t be offensive and rude,please do not censor them, i am just speaking like every young Nigerian on the street tired of the situation of the country.
My Idea for Nigerian now is a Revolution! These politician would not change unless you teach them a lesson.
Nigerian need a Revolution now and soon,it would happen, no matter the might of the military or how many of us they kill,it would happen.
I have seen it and it’s not going to be child’s play.
Revolution is underway and every Nigerian citizen should be read to make a sacrifice.
Soon ill give more info on the movement.
It would be very good to have the profiles, the products, the investment plans and the capacity of the production industries that would like to invest in Nigeria on this site to attract Nigerians to this site, from there they would know why they have to make sure the right person is on seat come 2011 to bring this positive change. And companies that want to post their profiles must be real and show Nigerians how they intend to creat jobs for youths of this country who have been frustrated to internet scam (Yahoo-Yahoo).
Nigeria is a very interesting country,our leaders don’t know what to do with the country,so they just make it up as we go along,our policies don’t last for more than maximum 1year,before another policy maker develops a “brain wave” and brings in a new and more vibrant idea,now all we hear is rebranding,i can guarantee you that in 2years time this would have being a forgotten idea only to be replaced by something new!You doubt this?just think about all the policies we have had in the last 8 years,DIFRRI,SAP,NEEDS,SEEDS,BETTER LIFE,POVERTY ALLEVIATION,e.t.c. what has all these done for us?we still don’t have light,Lagos-Benin road is still bad,level of poverty is still high,unemployment is still high!I don’t want to be pessimistic but the reality we have facing us is that our leaders are overwhelmed by the many problems of governing a country this great!!!!
Come to think of it our leaders not knowing what to do with the country,do you know why? 1)They have thought of the purpose for which the geographical location called Nigeria was created? 2)they do not know the reason for our Independence and why we fought for it.
Let me say this “Abuse occurs whenever we don’t use something according to its creator’s intentions, In other words, if you don’t know the purpose for something, you can’t do anything other than abuse it no matter how good your intentions maybe.
Our country is has been abused by our leaders because they don’t know the purpose for the nations exist.
Unknown purpose always waste time and gives the possibility of danger.
It has been said that evil thrives when righteous men keep mute. We cannot make the federal government wage sincere war against corruption our docility, apathy or even being fraudsters ourselves. We must speak out, we must mobolize,through the internet or other means legal.
Every little write-up from you on how to fix back a corrupt nation (Nigeria), reveal your good desire for Nigeria. In the word of Thomas Babington, “Timid and interested politicians think much more about the security of their seats than the security of thier country.” represent more of the character of an african state. It is rather unfortunate that after 10years of purported democracy, the nigerian state have not beable to produce selfless leaders and where this is absent, the populace suffers.
I think without prejudice, i am a strong believer in your school of thought that “We must enact laws making it mandatory for elected officials to patronize ONLY Nigerian hospitals, fly ONLY Nigerian airlines and for their children to attend ONLY Nigerian schools. That way we ensure they feel the pains of the ordinary Nigerian living on less than a dollar a day, creating in them the political will to fix Nigeria. As the beauty of democracy is in the process of election, the strength of an organisation is not in the wonderful plans it has, but in the implementation of such. It is said people dont do what you expect but what you inspect.
If you (Pat) did not out of dissatisfaction of the performance of the Nigerian leaders, take a critical assesment of what they dont do well, an average mediocrity leader would have assumed that he has done well. I think the Nigerian people has to be educated enough, not only in the class room to understand what the leaders supposed to do and have not done, so we could challenge them to do so or quite (Wright of Mandamus. How would you convinced a man to fix hospital that he is not using or have any business to do with? How do you compel a man to fund education when his kids are schooling abroad? or what sense will it make to corrupt leaders who benefit unjustly from the importation of generators talking about electricity? no, i think until a law is made that will compel all our leaders to use our hospitals, schools, airlines etc less it may take nigeria longer than 200years to become a developed economy or to reach our day-dream called vision 2020.
‘In addition to supporting Prof.Utomi for 2011, we need to lead the crusade for social reconstruction, attitudinal change and an immpassioned sense of unflinching patriotism. We must strive to keep the promises in our National Pledge. We must bake the National Cake instead of eating it and the time to start doing that is now’
The bestselling satire Animal Farm by George Orwell has been on my mind much of recent. The most poignant point of that iconic novel for me is the point where the animals looked back and forth from their leaders – the pigs – to the humans visiting the farm and failed to see any difference. Considering the fact that the saga began with the pigs actually leading them in a revolt against the original tyrant, the human, or should we say inhumane owner of the farm, this melding of identity is nothing short of a disaster for their revolution. As an impressionable teenager reading the book in the 80s, it nearly brought tears to my eyes.
Today, a similar Orwellian phenomenon observable in this country threatens to bring the tears back. As I watch the trends in this nation over the past decade of democracy, I am unable to correctly identify many players in our political class and this is alarming.
Abacha is the past leader we love to hate. He was the tyrant’s tyrant. The most dovish, most apologetic among us have failed to defend him successfully. He killed and he maimed. He blatantly disregarded all the rules that made the nation a nation. The nation became his personal property and the national treasury his private bank account. We are not likely to see any like him again, even if we wished for it. Rewind back a little and you get to the Maradona himself. His regime remains the most painful broken promise we have ever suffered. He spent several billions pursuing a transition to civil rule that he never meant to deliver. He got us talking endlessly but still did what he wanted. He merely stepped aside but has been frustrated at every attempt to step back.
To rid ourselves of these political misfits, we took to the streets, went on strike, prayed ourselves hoarse (man, did I pray in those days!) and some of us, many in fact, did not come out of it alive. Many took bullets from ‘unknown soldiers’ and many more were sentenced by Kangaroo courts. Here we are with the democracy we fought for. They say what you see is what you get. The problem is, I don’t recognise what I got.
To begin with, I look at the people who seem to be reaping the ‘fruits’ of our democracy and somehow, those who fought for it are missing. It all began when the man who emerged as president is the one who famously declared that the man who won an election that involved 14 million Nigerians “is not our messiah”. This reminds me of the fate of Snowball in Animal Farm. Suddenly, Napoleon was “always right”. Check out the names of those who have been forcefully relegated to the role of ‘opposition’ despite the will of the people being tilted towards them. It is these same people who proudly bore the tag of ‘opposition’ to the Abacha and Maradona regimes. The sadder part is the fact that they’re still ‘opposing’ the same things they did in those days.
Today, the Nigerian Labour Congress is holding rallies against tyrannical government policies. ASUU is on strike as I type this. The minimum monthly wage is so low it cannot feed a bachelor for two weeks. Electricity? Not Yet Available. Our roads? Well, much like in the early 90s. Elections? A nightmare. The police? Well, they don’t take N5:00 anymore, so there’s an improvement for you!
If a man went into a coma in 1993 and woke up this night, he will only wonder about why the ‘generals’ on TV are in agbada. He will wonder why the newspapers are referring to the recent civil resistance in Ekiti as an election. He’d be mystified at a governor Oshiomhole, but seeing Femi Falana and Kayode Fayemi speaking grammar in front of TV cameras with a battalion of godogodo breathing down their necks, he will heave a sigh of relief and smile to himself. Good old Nigeria! He’d proclaim.
As for me, wide awake all this while, I look back and forth from our present ruing class with their bloated bellies to the past leaders in uniform and alas! I can’t see much difference!
Dear Prof. PU,
I know this doesn’t buy me anything, but i want you to know that as much as the course of the Nigerian state continues to be a priority to you, there are hundreds of youths around here that echoes your undaunting support towards the libration of our dear and only country, and are willing and ready to stand by you come 2011.
I am Afolabi Shola, a patriotic Nigerian. Student of business information technology, Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences majoring in information systems security. I currently live and study in Helsinki, Finland. Also one of your followers on twitter http://twitter.com/shoneils Unfortunately, I missed out on your most recent visit to Helsinki- very sad!
I have read with delight and much enthusiasm, most of your articles on your blogs and even your comments on twitter. I couldn’t agree any more with the facts you raised and your plans are seriously interesting. I just cannot afford to be left out.
Sir, with great humility and respect I, on behalf of several Nigerian youths currently studying and residing in Finland wish to unofficially inform you that you’re the man to lead the country to the promise land thus you have our vote in anticipation come 2011.
Just recently, i have talked most of my friends into understanding who have the desire to lead our dear country justly and with competence. At the mention of your name, non hesitated but simply show their admiration and belief in you; they firmly agree to support your yearnings and aspirations. I honestly did not have to talk too much. They just figured out themselves.
Well, as a self taught computer scientist, I believe action speaks louder than voice. I have plans on setting up an association that creates awareness and informs youths alike of your views. For now, the ideas are still coming in from two of my other friends and I did get you informed as soon as we collectively come to a suitable conclusion on how to preach this course.
In case you don’t know I have come across several blogs, notes on facebook that are making the mention of your name as the leader. I believe the voice of the people is the voice of God.
We shall together fight for the course of the Nigerian state. We wont sleep nor slumber no more. Its hight time we woke up.
Long live Nigeria!!
We shall together fight for the course of the Nigerian state. We wont sleep nor slumber no more. Its high time we woke up.
I think it may be good if we can talk the Children parliament into making a call for Electoral reform.
If diffrent groups like undergraduates (NANS), teachers, lawyers etc can call for it, it may help.
The idea is to turn the call into National Anthem
I am used to hearing a lot of these conspiracy theories on power distribution/generation. These so called many vested interests don’t live in isolation, it may seem easier on them but they are still bothered by noise and carbon pollution from these generators. Think about it? yes, if electricity becomes constant, Otedola will find something else to sell to us. He is a capitalist and we are a consumer nation. The importers of generators will take advantage of their first name “importers”! Yes, they will IMPORT air conditioners. I assure you that there will be no vacuum!
We heard these with Nitel and its telecoms shortcomings. In simple words, “nothing in this world is in a permanent state of condition”.
I am for a complete revolution in Nigeria.this call is specially so seeing that our so-called leaders have trained themselves not to learn from history. Whwn we have a bunch of idiots at the helm of affairs of government,what do you expect. Check it out,most countries that are experiencing wealth and porsperity have undergone one revolution or the other and if we as a nation must follow suit,we must have to do the same.it’s so shameful that true leaders have been locked out of the polity,all we have is a nation with a cabal of politicians at the helm of affairs.
God bless Nigeria.
New Nigeria; Our Responsibility
Is it enough to merely claim that young people or youth in general are our future, to make the future happen? Many more than just words, the future needs to be supported in an effective sustainable way so that it can happen. Today, Nigerian youth are facing so many constraints, brought about by unfavourable and corruptible leaders, right from independence till date. Indeed, the current predicaments facing our nation Nigeria are affecting young people even harder, and they don’t seem to see any end to it. Even worse, the youth are victims of these collective stigmatization and oppression, which consider them more as a threatening category than as a group to bank on for the future. Some think they are dangerously perverted group, example is the militant in Niger-Delta, while some think they are people messed up by ethnicity or culture e.g. Bakassi boys in the eastern region, O.P.C boys in western region and the Arewa boys in northern side of the country, Nigerian youth are accused of being the root of all the corruption happening all around the country. They are unfairly blamed for all predicaments, especially armed robbery incidents, rapist among the youths, money laundry a.k.a. 419, thugery, street fight, lawlessness, etc. and yet Nigerian youths are as silent as the grave. Again, can Nigerian youth be a source of future prosperity of this Nation, or can Nigeria youth take a committed drive towards a new Nigeria we all have been dreaming of. Should we give up hope about the new Nigeria because the old one have been messed up and it all seems help is not coming from any where, not even from our so called fathers and mothers that we have tried for almost50 years from independence, and what we received from them is brutality, and oppression from both so called military and civilian government. I see no more govern from our government but what we see now is cornering public funds to their private account. Former president and head of state have beginning to be counted among African richest and even among the world’s richest, while 80% of the population have no shelter, three square meal or five percent of this population dying of different disease daily.
Is therefore a high time we stood against the corrupt leaders, against the oppressors that oppressing us, against the ruler of darkness called the ruling party or the federal government, time to rise up to discuss and define our own projects for the future of our great nation NIGERIA. It has been said and acknowledges that no conscious act aimed at improving human life can be successful, if it is not guided with knowledge. We therefore call upon the human right activists both old and young, men of God, and other volunteers from all kind of professions, and individuals.
To crown it all we have set to begin our campaign for project NEW NIGERIA from the universities down to primary level.
But now the question is why I am so concern about the Nigeria students and youth? I am concerned about these set of people because, several opportunities have been given to our fathers and mothers to reshape the nation they have spent so much to destroy by their selfish ambitions, but instead of reshaping they destroy it more.
FEW REASONS OUT OF THE VAST OF THEM WHY YOUTH MUST TAKE OVER FROM THE OLD AND CORRUPT LEADERS:
1. Looting of nation treasury for their private use instead of enjoying what belongs to us
2. Bad road network instead of a better road network that can stand that of Singapore
3. Fountain of crime instead of fountain of knowledge
4. Training and equipping of the youth for thugery and later become a notorious armed robbers after they might have failed to deliver as they promised these used and dump youth (criminal) rather than equipping them for better tomorrow
5. Poor educational system with a very high school fee instead of free and quality educational system they promised even in our constitution
6. Oppression, political killing here and there and sporadic shooting of an innocent people from the police officer have become an every day routine instead of us leaving in a peaceful environment
7. Government properties have suddenly become their inheritance
8. Our economy has become so bad that Nigeria with so many resources is now rated among the poor nations. What a shame
9. Sorry to say, we suddenly lost a democratic government to a 419 government. Money bag senators and reps is what we parade as honourable
10. Special dogs have been trained for thorough searching mainly because of Nigerian before you can be allowed in, in another nation, what a bad image they have given our generation and generation unborn, but with God we shall reverse the case.
11. Indirect slavery called NYSC. But why not NYSC since the proper facilities were not provided for us to used in school, the only place we can get them is outside the school but congratulation for those that came out well, but to those who did not my sympathy to them if they are still alive and I sympathize with the family of that have gone to complete their youth service other side
12. Police force and all other armed forces have been raised and trained to be human hunter rather than being our friend
13. They have turned our Nigeria into a lawless nation
14. The rate at which people died everyday have become immeasurable with the rate at which we give birth “Why?” Because our security is not guaranteed any longer
15. Low standard of living is still better than the lowest standard of living, this we have just discovered
16. Our street gutter have become a pool of blood caused by the thugs, assassins, and armed robbers
17. Unemployment is no longer a problem; we have learned to live high under empty pocket.
18. High number of graduate every year but few of them were educated, because result now is what money can buy no longer a study to earn. But do you blame teachers or lecturers? If you blame them we will soon be in strike if at all we are not in it now ask them the cause of the strike, they will give a good reasons for this phrase “result for sale”
19. Do you still border about electricity? I doubt you don’t, you don’t expect light when darkness rule. But soon God the Light Himself will step in to rule
Again I asked are these our fathers and our mothers, is this God original plan for Nigeria ? men who suppose to be our messiah have become an agent of Lucifer. Can anything GOOD come out of Nigeria again; can we stand to cry unto God as orphans without fathers and mothers? Now arise and cry to God for deliverance O’ Nigerian youth from wherever you are, NEW NIGERIA IS AS SURE AS THE DAWN, so arise
Arise O’ Nigerian
Arise O’ ladies and gentlemen of this blessed nation Nigeria
Arise with us O’ LORD OF HOST
Arise O’ Lord our God and stand by the oppressed
Arise and hacking to our cry
Arise Oh Lord arise and establish a NEW NIGERIA we all have being waiting for. ARISE!
let our waiting never ends in vain but the waiting of our enemy shall be in vain in Jesus Name.
NEW PEOPLE! NEW SPIRIT!! NEW NIGERIA!!!
Fortune Omuya Salawu
Dear Prof Utomi,
I am delighted at this opportunity to share my thoughts on the state of our great nation and thank you for this forum. I believe in what you are doing and would support you and mobilise others to do so when the time comes.
With what we have witnessed in the past elections, is it likely that you would be given the chance to win even if the people do vote for you? What can be done before that time to ensure that elections would be free and fair and the right people would be allowed to contest and win if voted for?
I agree that so much has gone wrong in this nation Nigeria and that there is a need to urgently do something to address the ugly situation.
It is also true that our present and past leaders are mostly to blame for the problems.
When I consider the state of the nation and the fact that things seem to continue going from bad to worse without any visible solution, I get really concerned at what the position would be in a few years if nothing is done.
It is good to know that there are credible Nigerians who are willing to salvage the nation by having solid plans they intend to implement when given the chance.
It is also encouraging to know that some youth are as concerned about what is going on as the older people and are willing to work to see that the present state of things change for better.
Personally, I am ready to contribute to turning things around – one way of doing this is by speaking out against all the evil I see and I try not to contribute to the problem.
At the moment I am planning to start working with youth especially those from less privileged background. Most of them lack opportunities that are taken for granted by so many. A discussion with many of them show that they have lost hope of things improving. They believe that there is no point trying to change anything. For them, if they manage to come out of school they take their destinies in their hands and try to make a living through any means. For them the end justifies the means, they are not really bothered with things because they feel no one is interested in what happens to them. For this class of youth, what they need is hope that things can be better but they have to be willing to make some form of sacrifice to make it happen.
I believe this nation has what it takes to be a great nation, but for that to happen, we the people must be ready to work for it.
God bless Nigeria!
I still believe that our electoral process still remains the greatest obstacle we have towards a sustainable economic development and advancement. A state where the leader is not a choice of the people but an imposition on the people will never get it right. The leader doesnt have any sense of responsibility towards the led. Compare the states where there was free and fair elections to others where the Governors were imposed on the people, you will see a mile of difference.Better still compare Nigeria and Ghana. I leave that to your Judgement.
Emmanuel Ejim-Emekah at 10:06pm July 10
Good day Prof. I have not missed reading the articles on your blog since I discovered it. As no one is perfect, I do not expect you not to make mistakes. But I believe you are well read and exposed based on your write ups.As such, I expect that you state facts you must have crossed checked before going to press as most of us look up to people like you. Please do you have the statistics of the pay of Nigerian Army officers? And if so, do you truly believe they are well paid? This is in response to the phrase below which is an extract from your write up today. “The police will not come in contact with any
money or contract however each police man will be well paid in the same
manner as an army officer (not other ranks) is paid.” I anxiously wait for your response. Thanks
Dear Professor Pat Utomi,
This is a well written article, and I will like to make some contributions to what you have already stated.
When discussing about foreign aids and foreign direct investment from developed nations to semi developed and underdeveloped countries, it is necessary that we understand some key terms which are frequently used international trade and globalization forums. The examples of these key terms are Pareto efficiency, Kaldor-Hicks compensation, mobility of labor, transfer of technology, and agglomeration. The understanding of the key terms would let us interpret the actions and policies the advanced countries implement towards less industrialized countries such as African and South American countries.
Pareto efficiency is a concept developed by Vilfredo Federico, an Italian economist. The advocates for a situation where by everyone benefits from international trade without anyone bearing the burdens of international trade. Vilfredo argued that international trade is good only if international trade will make everyone involved better off, and it makes no one else worse off after the trade. However, this is not technically possible. This is the reason why developed countries subscribe to Kaldor-Hicks compensation principle after the First World War.
Kaldor-Hicks compensation principle states that compensation should come from those countries that were made better off as result of international trade to those that were made worse off due to exploitation of international trade. This simply means that countries that benefited from international trade should compensate the countries that bear the burdens of international trade. The developed countries understand that free and international trade result to unbalanced economic efficiency and unequal income distribution within and outside the boundaries of the countries. This is reason advanced country (economy and military world power) established World Bank, IMF, Red Cross, UNICEF, FIFA and other international organization to compensate the burden bore by less developed countries and developing countries as a result of international trade. For example, the exportation of commodity products is the major source of revenue of most Africa countries. The commodities are normally in their raw nature. Because Africans lack technology expertise, Africans cannot play games with the raw materials they have in their own possession. The advanced countries buy these raw materials, and they can perform what it called “Product Differentiation” and branding after transforming the raw materials to finished goods. The cost of differentiating and branding these commodities to finished or process products changes the value of these commodities astronomically. This accounts for the reasons why we would always be indebted to advanced countries. We would always accrue foreign debts even if our debts were forgiven in every 25 years interval. Most African countries are exporters of commodities (primary goods) and consumers of high technology goods (manufactured goods).
The mobility of labor which is also called “Brain Drain” syndrome could be classified under Kaldor-Hicks compensation principle. This is because as result of the robust development in advanced countries. The advanced countries are in need of experienced doctors, university professor, soccer players and the rest to help them in building and maintaining their exploding economies. Most professionals immigrated to advanced countries because these developed nations were willing to pay higher wages and salaries for their services. The advanced countries expect the immigrants to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate by remitting funds to their home countries. International trade and globalization is centered on free movement of labor, capital, and technology with one country to other without barriers. The $4 billion Nigerians in the Diaspora remit home annually is typical example of a form of compensation to Nigeria for her loss in international trade. On a reflection note, most of these Nigeria professionals studied or acquired their foundational education in Nigeria at free of cost or cheaper cost. They do not have students’ loans they need to pay. It has never come to their minds to not set up endowment funds for the primary schools, high schools or universities they attended while they are in Nigeria. I understand we cannot coerce anyone remit money or contribute to any endowment funds, but I think Nigerians in the diasporas have the moral responsibilities to do the right thing. I know few people that are given back to Nigeria in their own little way.
The key strategies to the economy growth in India can be tie to technology transfer, agglomeration, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The transfer of technology expertise from developed countries to underdevelopment is very important for the economic growth and development of any country in this 21st century. The first phase of what does place in India was technology transfer which is also called “Reversed Brain Drain or Brain Gain” syndrome. They India policies makers westernized most of India strategic sectors. There was reforms health sector, aviation sector, education sector and others sectors. This gave way for agglomeration. The agglomeration led to Foreign Direct Investment in India. The kind of agglomerations we have in Nigeria is computer village (Nigeria’s Silicon Valley) and Alaba market. I do not think that no sensible investor would invest in computer village and Alaba market (the pirates’ den)
In summary, the financial institutions in Nigeria should invest retailing sector of the economy in order to sustain growth model in country. The retailing industry is a sector that has not be tapped into. If the banks can finance the construction Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes type of franchise in Nigeria, the retailing can be quoted on Nigeria Stock Exchange and capital can be raise by issues shares to the general public. In case the private sector cannot do this on their own, I will suggest that the creation of a joint venture which would involve both government and private partnership.
There is no doubt that foreign aids are good for Nigeria and Africa as a whole, but we have to be creative enough so that we can attract foreign investment across the global into our economy. We can only achieve this when the government provides necessary superstructures and infrastructures to aid economic growth and development. A country with stable economy and good governance is a potential destination for Wall Street investors’ and emerging economies’ destination.
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Adeyinka Adelekan writes from Pennsylvania, USA.
Please,i have some urgent and classified information about the coming 2011 Elections,can i have some peronal acssess to contact you,i beleive you should hear this for your ears only,Thanks–Michael
Aunty Dora is just deceiving herself if she feels anybody believes she is doing a good job,because come to think of it,is Nigeria’s problem a psychological or physical problem?is the Lagos Benin road really that bad or we just feel it is bad?are we leaving in darkness or we just feel that there is darkness all around?are our schools under funded or is it just our feeling?are our hospitals no better than mere Chemists without drugs or its just our minds playing tricks on us?So how can she rebrand a market that would never sell even to the people who claim to own it?She can do all she wants,but it would be hard to sell to an American the possibility of Osama Bin Laden loving America and Americans!!!!Heaven help us all!!!!
Please read this post once posted on a Nigerian website.
Papino, its not really a Northern preference, just my humble realistic analysis of the Naija that I know. Are there southerners that are qualified to lead Naija? Ofcourse! But most of them can only win elections in an almost ideal Naija world. People like Duke, Utomi, Ukiwe are qualified but the truth is that they cannot realistically win an election (even if it is free and fair). Southerners are not as politically educated as the North. We also do not have the homogeny that they have. Yes, southerners may be more exposed to western education but politically we are still neophytes. The grassroots are really the ppl that register and stand in the hot sun to vote for their popular candidates. The southern elite are very good at writing articles and speaking grammar and playing divisive politics. Politics is abouit seeing the big picture. Buhari has yet to collect his presidential forms but he is already actively involved in getting the Northern grassroots to register with INEC. Most Southern candidates will depend on rigging, connection to OBJ (a la Odili), their perceived wealth etc
Duke and Odili just declared their intention….Marwa started as far back as 2005 to go on a nationwide consultation for the presidency, Atiku has had a presidential campaign team since 2003, C’mon politics is not about wishes, it has a lot to do with strategies.
Example: PDP has 17 presidential aspirants. The Northerners are IBB, Marwa, Kontagora, Gusau, Gana, Muazu, Markafi, Adamu of Nassarawa, Yar Adua,maybe Atiku, …the reast are Southerners. Trust me, before the Dec 14 convention, this seemingly fragmented North will become monolithic and probably agree on 2 or 3 strong contenders that can deliver the ticket to them and believe me, a strong SWOT analysis on each cand’s acceptablity will be done but I can vouch that the number of the Southern candidates will keep increasing and nobody will step down for the other thus effectively splitting their votes.
It doesn’t end there, the North will ensure that people like Gusau/IBB/Marwa emerges in PDP for the millitary angle, DPP fields a great technocrat, AC gets a thoroughbred politician like Atiku…..
The sad truth is that unless OBJ rigs for a southerner albeit a qualified one, there is presently no Southerner that can carry the day.
-Without Yar Adua group backing Abiola in the SDP convention, he would not have won the party ticket.
-Without Atiku/IBB/Danjuma backing OBJ, he would not have won the PDP ticket.
Sentiments aside, Nigerian politics is a lot of long term planning, hard work and horse trading, are we disciplined enough in the South?
P.S Note that ppl like Duke and Utomi are very sophisticated and so will appeal more to the elites, who unfortunately do not take voting seriously. Marwa and sorry to say IBB will inspire an area boy or market seller to stand for hours to vote for them. Like I said, when Nigeria is able to give all her citizens good education, then perhaps ppl like Duke may be able to win National elestions. A typical comparism is Nollywood movies…the sophisticated elites complain of poor production and demand hollywood standards and cinema quality movies but the truth is that they are not the real buying market. It is the bus conductor, the market woman etc who wants to unwind at the end of a tiring day that mostly buy the movie because it tells their story and they can forgive its percieved flaws
Dear Prof Pat Utomi
I have read severally about you and your life’s work and want to encourage you and your colleagues like Ruben Abati of Guardian to keep doing what you know how to do best which is being the heart of the average Nigerian.
I live in Ghana and daily read about the rot that Nigeria our beloved country is gradually turning into and wonder if those in power ever have the fear of God in them.
I clicked on send before finsihing my comment above.
I am so ashamed at the treatment Nigerians are made to live with on a daily basis outsides our shores as some of them have turned into common criminals.I am by no means making excuses on their behalf but believe strongly that if we had a functional government and some little basic amenities in place such as hospitals and schools as well as electricity then most of these people would gladly return back home to make the best use of skills and talents they might have acquired in life for the betterment of their lot.
Take a trip to Dubai and see Atiku in his house at Jumeira and wonder if that man has any soul.Has it ever occured to him what Dubai would be like if its leaders did exactly what he and his cohorts have done and are still doing to Nigeria?Would there be a Dubai or an America for them to run to or stash away all their loot?
For the average Nigerian their consoloation is in the fact that these people would one day die leaving behind all they have sold their souls to the devil for.
Long live Nigeria
It is with great pleasure that I write to you today as a fellow Nigerian laden with the responsibility of confronting the issues of our times and making it a better place.
First, I want to salute your courage in the Nigerian political arena, your decency, hardwork and consistency. I have carefully followed your professional and political life and consequently fervent prayed that one day, very soon we will have the opportunity to have you as President.
I see in you that ability to deliver the promise and destiny of Nigeria.
Having started with words that may seem flattering, let me tell you why. Of all the leaders in Nigeria, you are the only person addressing the real issues of overall development of both manpower, business opportunities and infrastructure. You see the ability of the Nigerian. Personally, I have worked in about 4 worldclass organisation and there was not even one that I have not found a Nigerian in prominent position. Doing the right, the right way and at the right time.
I think Nigerians need to have a rethink about the quality of men and women(irresponsible men and prostitutes) we allow to lead us. Currently and in the past we have had men who I can only talk about mad. People have spent lots of time analysing these individuals with respect to their bad deeds and ineffectivemenss but this effort in my opinion is directed at the wrong issue. The fact is that, the only reasonable explanation for these destructive actions can only be madness.
Solution. Two things: People need to be sensitized about the history of successful nation. The only common denominator is a sweeping revolution. This must happen if Nigeria is to move forward on step. Secondly, the continuos belief that God will one day come down from heaven and free us from these carbals will not happen. God has so enviably blessed and empowered Nigeria to solve its problems already.
It is left for us to wake up this sleeping giant before he dies in his sleep.
One thing is sure, soon and very soon we will be free and God willing the day is near. Keep up the good work Prof., and never for once think your effort is invain. History will remember you.
May God open our eyes to see the power he has paced in our hands, and strenghten us to do the right thing. Amen!!
“WHEN THIEVES ARE CELEBRATED”
Uncle Pat, the above quoted title of your article of 10 July’09 is a major tool in the joyous work of raising our terribly low national (soci-political) consciousness.
That article should be made to confront every Nigerian daily. Revitalizing of virile student unionism as antidote to the fratricidal cultism should be seriously considered as a vehicle in achieving the imprinting of the above message in the consciousness of over 140 million Nigerians before the 2011 election.
I dare request that you develop a robust SWOT analysis of Nigeria. This could be made to reflect time horizons ( Pre-Independence, Post independence, Post civil war, etc).
The above SWOT analysis may serve in various ways of leading to the crystallization of various institutional challenges inherent in our economy and the identification of the resources (human & material) necessary for the execution of a new Nigeria come 2011. Otherwise, we will have a stalemate arising from the old rumps using the poor institutional infrastucture to frustrate any angel in ASO Rock.
what is good about nigeria now is the distegration . the tribalism and religion,culture and tradition of people is a thing that has no natural cure.north for northerners,south for southerners,west for westerners and east for easterns, good bye nigeria state.
The media is said to be the fourth estate of government.
This means that the media has a responsibility to the general public to keep the other three estates of government honest.
SO my Question is has the Nigerian Media failed in her responsibility to the people?
you have all these wonderful ideas, but it seems you have not been able to build the grass root movement needed to effect change in Nigeria. I think you should learn from President Obama’s political play book. You should start recruiting volunteers to expand your grass root movement, recruit volunteer precint captains and foot soldiers. Encourage your supporters to host introductory and fund raising parties for the man they believe in. If you don’t start doing these now, then removing the current criminals in power is going to be a very difficult challenge.
A case for a meaningful electoral reform.
The level of turnout in general elections in Nigeria over the years, which is encouraging, points to one fact: That Nigerians prefer the democratic system of electing their leaders over any other form practised in recent years. This explains why they always head to the polls with great expectations, but it must be acknowledged that this expectation has never been met even once, at least in my life time.
These disappointment does not call for a change of system, but a commitment by the players to building a more durable and transparent system that meets these expectations of Nigerians. Bearing in mind that not even the great democracies around the world started out great, they evolved over the years through their commitment to reforms. The disappointment may have been of lack of progress in governance, but the greater one is the lack of any visible commitment to improvement and transparency. Thus it is fair to say that most, if not all, the problems that were dominant in our political system at the start of the present experiment in 1999 are still there, if not increased.
It is thus very important that as the legislature considers a reform of the electoral system that they aim at creating a system with more level playing field that will enable a fair electoral outcome. The inbalance in our electoral system is the most contributor to the wide gap between elected office holder in the more advanced democracies and ours, for while office holders in these countries know that they drive their power from the voters, it is not quite same in our system. Thus, it is most urgent that we move towards a more transparent system, for until there is a fair system that makes office holders pay more difference to their electorate while carrying out their duties by being result oriented ( not slogans), there will hardly be any meaningful human and infrastructural development. It is hard to point to any blissful end to the current system; it’s only prolonging disillusion and disorder.
The lawmakers may well consider some changes in these, which played significant roles in our political system: nomination of party standard bearers at all levels, voter registration, campaign spending and contributions and legal fees in electoral disputes.
Let’s start with the current method of electing party candidates, it will be delusional to think that a system that when simplified amounts to a few kingmakers distributing party nomination to their cronies/loyalists will ever lead to progress now or in the future. One may ask, why should an elected office holder be concerned with carrying out his/her duties in a way that has maximum positive impact on his/her constituents if it’s in direct opposition to what the kingmaker wants (i can assure you it’s always so), when the party nomination and in large party the general election proper does not depend on these voters/constituents? I will be interested to get a reasonable answer! The truth is that until party candidates are nominated by all voters in the constituency, who belong to the party , in a election conducted by an independent electoral body, INEC in this case (yes that same one), it will be hard to see why any politician should focus on working for the people and not self interest and his/her kingmaker. After all we say that ‘he who pay the piper, dictate the tone’, let’s make the voters the pay masters, and thus dictate the tone.
Then there is the problem of voter registration. The practise has been to rush to register voters just few months before the election, which breeds a lot of problems that includes voter’s inability to get their registration/voter card before election, mistakes in voter identity, multiple registration, cost and lots more. While this was good for a starting point, one sees no reason we have not moved on to a more continuous process, that provides an opportunity to people to register through the years before election at the INEC offices in each local government, with a deadline before the election. In these offices a database of voters for all voting stations within the local government are maintained. This system allows a voter to register at his/her convince and have his/her voter card in time for the election, while also allowing INEC officials to do a better job of registration and distribution of voter cards and also eliminate the need for registration if one have not changed location. The problem of taking care of people who are not able or willing to travel the distance to register , will be taken care of by having a more limited registration centres within towns within the local government months before the election or by rotating INEC registration staff for say a two weeks exercise for town through the years before election. This method surely reduces the huge cost that is needed to organise the crash registration exercise as we do have now and at the same time produces a better result. Then during the party nomination/primary elections, we could go with having voters indicate their party preference in a separate database and thus only allowed to vote for their party nomination or voters indicating the party to part-take in during nomination. In either case a voter has the chance of part taking in only one party nomination. This of course, could vary from state to state to better serve each state depending on its geography and make up, since we have a federal system. If well designed and applied, this kind of method will reduce, if not eliminate, the influence of kingmakers and enhance the influence of voters in deciding their leaders.
There is also the issue of whether elections should be for the highest bidder. This will not have being much problem if not the question of how the funds for this bid are generated. Currently, our system as it operates today, when simply put is just a case where a candidate with personal wealth and wealthy friends out bids every other person in the field. This is exactly the major problem in our system. Upon reflection, one wonders how a rational person, no matter how honest and morally upright, can invest ( yes that’s what it is) say 50 million Naira (think of Mr Okorocha with all this investments in past elections, Mr Andy Uba distributing over 200 vehicles to party members in Anambra), to win say a governorship , presidency or to be a senator that pays less than 16 million Naira over four years, and not recouping his/her investment? The number doesn’t add up and I see no one who can do it in any country, not just in Nigeria. Another look at the system as it is now, will pop out this question: Do we believe that somebody who contributed say 100,000 Naira to a benefactor’s election without expecting anything in return? Again, how can one campaign and defeat a setting governor or president with access to state fund for his/her re-election, no matter how poorly he/she has performed and how unpopular he/she is? A serious answer to these is a reform of the electoral laws that fixes these flaws that drag the whole system down. A reform should look at ways for capping the highest total amount an individual can spend in his/her election campaign, the highest amount of contribution to an individual candidate and party and also separate the personal ambitions of elected office holders and the tax payers fund. It is an aberration, immoral and nonsensical that a politician will pursue their ambition with fax payer’s fund, especially and in spite of the fact that these tax payers disapproves of the job performance of these politicians. Any system without a level playing field through which non performing office holders are voted out, will never work and will in the long run lead to violence and disruption.
Another very disturbing practice within our system that needs fixing is the issue of legal fees due to election disputes and other associated election fees. What obtains today is a case where one rigs an election, got sworn in and then use tax payers fund to sustain his/herself in office. It is not surprising then that most elections, which have great rigging imprints, are never overturned. While one will not make the claim that this is the only reason (loopholes in out law that makes it hard to prove malpractices plays a large part and should also be fixed), using an unlimited fund, meant for service provision to the people, to prolong trails such that an opponent without access to such unlimited fund usually withdraws. This has proved a good strategy (remember Mr Ngige) that just few with enormous personal wealth can overcome- Mr Obi comes to mind. The law should look at requiring such legal fees due to election disputes and even ethics be funded by those who believe in the candidate, with a cap on the maximum total. This allows only candidates with large following, thus could raise larger fund, to win elections and also to be able to sustain their case in court. A requirement such as this levels the playing field and thus encouraging a fair election.
Meanwhile, a reformed electoral system should better equip INEC and the general public to bring fairness to the system to political process. The general public by not unknowingly sustaining a non performing government and also having access to all information about any contributor to any candidate, should they wish to inquire. INEC by requiring all candidates to update all their financial record (with names of contributors, detailed record on how and where it was used). It makes more sense if a reform produces a system that treats campaign contributions are not treated as a private property, but a public property that should never be used for private purposes. This makes it important that at the end of a political career, a candidate returns all remaining fund to the public (INEC in this regard)- the idea of treating campaign contributions as private property creates a moral hazard , such as Mr Yar’adua enlisting campaign contributions as his personal property in his asset declaration. If such continues, it will then not be surprising if soon we start having people pretend to be running for office, raise lots of money, only to drop out with millions in the bank!
For us to get to an electoral system that is fair to all parties and players, that meets the expectations of our people and best serve them will not be easy, but not impossible. It will only be hard, if not impossible, should we refuse to continually innovate and reform.
Over the years we Nigerians has been very indifferent to the political process, neglecting how it affects our daily lives directly and the direct threat it posed to our individual future and probably wishing that one day the heavens will open and those charged with captaining our ship to posterity will become sensible and sensitive to our need, but we fail to notice that buried in the history of these democracies around the world that are admirable, was a struggle to create it. A fight fought by their forefathers, should will then choose to emulate what we admire, we should also be ready to fight for it. At least one does not expect a sitting president, governor or legislator to sign a bill that removes his in-built advantages without a huge public pressure and mass mobilization.
We can choose to hand over to the coming generations an improved political system from what we inherited from a former generation, a generation Mr Soyinka called a wasted generation, if we are ready to fight for it or we can choose to sit and complain and then pass an inefficient system , with window dressing to the coming generation-i can assure you they will not be grateful for it.
Rebranding should not be TV or newspaper event. The leadership must show commitment to this cause and purge themselves of corruption before evangelising to Nigerians. Does the ordinary Nigerian have money to push cocaine, foreign bank account to launder stolen money or wealth to bribe INEC and rig elections. I do not believe the rebranding thing because it is another avenue to loot. Those criminals up there should deliver to Nigerians, the basic needs and stop deceiving themselves
read and see how others look at us http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/stevecoll/2009/08/pakistan-and-nigeria.html#comments
There is need for a mass movement to push through the good governance idea. This must go through the fabric of the society from the ward levels.
One of the priorities for any modern day manifesto is education. Our public school need to be revamped through massive rebuilding of school that befits education.
Our people as well need re-orientation. We have accepted corruption as the norm. Efforts must be geared towards redressing this.
The Police service need to be revamped with the aim of making it more professional. All force men must undergo psychological test to determine their state of mind for policing.
Massive job creaion opportunity abounds in the security services, Information Technology, Industries. Corruption must be tackled head on to make the state function the way it should. Budget process and tendering procedure has to be revamped.
The local government system is not wolrking to tghe benefit of the people. The massive amount going to the LGs are just money down the drain, there must be a chnage of policy in policing how LG operartes and strong accountability and perfomance policy must be in place to check the morass at that level.
As a future President of Nigeria,how and what ways can you help save the lives of these Nigerians about to be executed in Libya.
I believe you have to start demonstrating the kind of Nigeria you have in mind if vooted into power.
And i am of the oppinion that for your campaign to gain credibility among Nigerians especially those at home you have to engage more on people oriented projects.
I think getting involved in securing the release of these Nigerians would go a long way in getting the much needed awareness you need.
If Bill Cliton can go to North-Korea to secure the release of those two jailed journalists i believe you can also do it.
Looking forward to a Better Nigeria.
Earth, a Shopping arcade and all nations are its decorated shops
Recently the Government of Nigeria has launched an image correction campaign that aims at wiping out the wrong image that some people seem to propagate about this great country. However the exercise has drawn a barrage of criticism from quite a few people. I have been living in Nigeria for past few years and I feel that the branding exercise is a step in the right direction. I want to tell with full conviction that my support to the campaign is based upon healthy logic and lengthy research.
All nations need to be branded because nations compete with one another for several things. If the world has become a global market then the nations are the brands that compete with one another to get the most Television rating points (TRPs) on this amazing television that this globe is. Nations must compete to get the maximum hits in this world of internet marketing and all nations must vie with one another to get the maximum footfalls in the crowded shopping mall that the Planet Earth represents.
It is impossible to achieve the maximum TRPs, the most hits and the highest footfalls if you aren’t even a brand.
Let me explain this further. A place in the UN security council, a seat in the elite G-20, a status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) with other nations are some of the positions for which nations compete with one another, knowing or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously. Nations compete for foreign investments, for foreign tourists and nations do launch campaigns to imbibe a sense of confidence and goodness among its own citizenry. This is what precisely the “Good people, Great Nation” campaign aims to achieve.
Nations as Brand
Different nations have tried to brand them differently. As I rattle these motifs that have come to be associated with these countries, let me say here that these themes started as a ploy for attracting the tourists and the travellers of this world but soon these themes became the face of their respective nations.
So you have Malaysia which is “Truly Asia”; Croatia is “The Mediterranean As it Once Was”. Kenya is the “Magical Kenya”. Thailand is “Amazing Thailand”. And Senegal is “The Land of Teranga”.
Look further in the encyclopedia. Google for more nation-brands and you find that Venezuela is never alone. It is always “Think Venezuela”. Romania is always “Simply Surprising”. South Africa is always “Alive with Possibilities” and India is now “Incredible India”
So is it not time that Nigeria also gets a theme?
But most detractors of Nigeria have always been calling it a land of corruption, a land of people who make a living out of Yahoo scams. The propaganda has been so shrill that I am afraid that even the average Nigerian has come to believe it!
So it is very timely on the part of the Nigerians to say, “Hey Guys. Stop painting us in such bad light. We are good people and a Great Nation”. This I believe is the right branding strategy for the time being.
The Economic significance of a nation’s Brand Value:
Let us take a hypothetical case to know how important branding is for a nation. Imagine that a large food processing company targets the West African market to set up a huge factory to cater to the growing demand in the region. As there is an ECOWAS treaty among the countries in West Africa, the stuff produced will attract ZERO import duty if it is manufactured in Nigeria and is exported to any of the ECOWAS nations. The market is largest in Nigeria and the logistics cost of moving goods from factory to the markets would be lower if the factory were in Nigeria. So it is very easy to say that the company would set up its manufacturing base in Nigeria. The truth however is that the company may choose to go to Ghana.
Why, you may ask?
Why not? The manufacturer would tell you.
It is a matter of image. People perceive Ghana as a more stable country. Nigeria is perceived to be a nation where thefts, robberies, day-light murders are common place. Foreigners have this image but this image is not formed on any research. It is based upon media reports and is a product of collective lamentations of Nigeria’s own children about how bad their country is! The image that goes around in everyone’s mind is that Nigeria is a country where ten fraudulent activities take place every 2 seconds, where billions of Naira are spent on maintenance and upkeep of roads that exist only on papers, where pothole filling passes for borehole digging, where contractors use one part cement and mix it with ten parts of sand to build the housing complexes and where every email offer that comes to your inbox is 419!
There can’t be better theme than “Good people, Great Nation”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nigeria is a nation of honest, sincere and hard working people. In my four years in Lagos and around, I have roamed around everywhere. I have been to the Seme Border and the Idiroko Border. I have been to Ajah and I have been to Epe town. I have slept in Ijebu Ode and I have played in Agoshasha. I have been to Abule Egba, Abule Taylor, Shasha, Aguda, Ijebu Mushin, Siun junction, Ikorodu, Ejigbo, Mosimi, Pagbon, Adatan and Lafenwa. I have been to Ajegunle and I have been to Ijanikin. I have moved around in Okada, in a yellow taxi and in my new cool Toyota. I haven’t felt one bit unsafe anywhere. Well I have felt unsafe in Lagos as the daylight begins to fade but I have felt the same way in many other nations!
I have gone about being myself here in Nigeria, just as I did it in India. In a fearless and ethical manner. I have sought help from complete strangers and got it for free.
I see the poor of Nigeria toiling the same way they toil all over the world, from Malaysia to Pakistan; from Iraq to Turkey; From South Africa to Brazil. If all Nigerians were making a living out of fraudulent activities then we wouldn’t see the street hawkers running hard to sell their wares, sweating profusely under the harsh sun. We won’t see the farmers who give us our daily yam and we won’t see the workers who rise at 4 am to be in the office by eight. And most people of Nigeria are like this only. Isn’t it?
So if a country has 90% of its population which is hard working and honest under some of the harshest economic conditions then why shouldn’t such a country be called a Great Nation? Nigeria is a country inhabited by great people and Nigeria’s people are some of the Best people in the world. And that is why none can stop me from calling this country, a Great Nation.
Is it not ironical that a certain small cold country in Europe, where corrupt people from all over the globe stash their ill gotten wealth is considered a paradise on earth?
And people raise alarm when someone terms Nigeria as “Good People, Great Nation”.
This is what I mean by the term, “Travesty of Justice”.
So “Good People, Great Nation” is a natural slogan for Nigeria. There is no hyperbole here. We are not saying that Nigeria is “Best People, Greatest Nation”. We know that no single group of people can lay a claim to being the Best people. No country is full of angels and hence no single nation can call itself the Greatest Nation.
We should be happy with the “Good People, Great Nation” theme. We should believe in it and we should respect this theme.
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
We need more than just electing president to solve the problems in Nigeria,we need a social movement that can deliver Nigeria from this shackle of death been plan by this present political class in our country.A movement like those that fought for Independence because our country is going through colonialism of the Local Elites which only can be broken by constant information and reorientation of the people so that we can fight this present evil institution that has been planted in Nigeria
‘The decision by the president to receive treatment in Saudi Arabia,exposes the hypocrisies of Nigeria’s successive governments about the health sector. It goes to show that OUR CITIZENS who are plagued by terminal diseases may die, if they… can’t afford to travel abroad.This must stop. Advocacy must start now. 2011 IS AROUND THE CORNER’
Dear Prof. I have dropped copies of halogen magazine in which a piece written on you and good dream you have for nigeria can be made a reality. they were dropped at 6, balarabe musa close. please find time to read it and let us have your view as to how the magazine can aid your passion for a better nigeria. stay blessed. as for the so-called leaders littering and loitering the corrdor of powers, t is just a matter of time before the change wind will blow them off.
Until we as a Nation and voting members of the public begin to question why the same people who “Sell” us better health care facilities still have to travel to other Countries to seek decent healthcare, the trend will never change. However it is Unfortunate that this tide will not change for the foreseeable future as it has become something to aspire to. The same person that should question this occurence also wonders when he/she will be able to earn enough so he too can go abroad for healthcare and send his kids to school overseas. While i am in no position to question how anyone should spend their hard earned money, getting basic healthcare abroad should be down to choice/individual preference as opposed to necessity.
Thank you prof for your efforts to make the country better. I read your posts on Facebook and you are really saying the right things and approaching it with the right determination.
Can I please ask you to encourage your teeming fans to stop talking down Nigeria? It has become a favorite hobby of Nigerians to forecast doom and gloom for the country and to prophesy a break-up. Isn’t it sad that Nigeria has become a country where most of the educated people prefer consipracy theories rather than facts on the ground?
I started a blog to help bring this to the notice of people. You can read it at http://optimist-4-naija.blogspot.com/
Thank you, God bless you and God bless Nigeria
I want to use this opportunity to welcome all our new members on board and to also humbly request that they invite all their friends to support the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Recommendations by signing on to this group NIGERIANS SUPPORT JUSTICE UWAIS ELECTORAL REFORM COMMITTEE REPORT or click on this link to sign up.http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=62336057668&ref=ts#/group.php?gid=62336057668
The next general elections in 2011 will go along way in deciding our country future as a nation and an entity. Therefore this is no time to be on the side line or continue with our usual “siddon look attitude”. We can only avoid the dangers and consequences of becoming a failed state if Genuine Electoral Reforms are carried out timely in a very honest and transparent manner before the next general elections in 2011.
President Umaru Musa Yar,Adua on May 27,2007 during his inauguration knowing fully well that he rode to power on a stolen mandate and in an effort to garner credibility and legitimacy for his Tenure decided to set up an Electoral Reform Committee to proffer for recommendations on how Nigerians votes will truly count in future elections. This committee under the Chairmanship of Retired Justice Muhammed Uwais was made up of Nigeria best brains cutting across the Academia, Government, Professional Bodies, Judiciary, Civil Society Organisations, Media and Labour. It is however interesting to know that the committee Report has since been submitted to the President(close to a year) who due to lack of political will and selfish interest of the hawks surrounding him in the misrule,misgovernance and plundering of our common wealth has developed cold feet towards the acceptance of the committee work and the full implementation of the committee recommendations on Genuine, credible and sustainable electoral reforms
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JUSTICE UWAIS ELECTORAL REFORM COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS.
Some Members of this group have made request for key recommendations of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Recommendations to be made available to them on the group page. In response to these requests, I wish to implore all those who want a soft copy of the full report to send the secretariat an email at any of these email address:email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The key recommendations are as follows:
1. INDEPENDENT CANDIDACY
Section 65(2) (b) and 106 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to make provision for an individual to run as an independent candidate
2. PROCEDURE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF INEC BOARD:
For the above the National Judicial Council should:
A .Advertise the positions, spelling out requisite qualifications
B. Receive applications/nominations from the general public
C. Shortlist three persons for each position
D. Send the nominations to the National Council of State to select one for each position and forward to the Senate for confirmation.
3. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OF INEC CHAIRMAN AND BOARD MEMBERS;
The Chairman and members of the INEC Board may only be removed by the Senate on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council, (NJC) by two –third of the Senate which shall include at least 10 members of the minority parties in the Senate.
The Election Expenditure and the Recurrent Expenditure of the INEC offices (in addition to Salaries and allowances of the Chairman and Board members) shall be charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.
5. DATES OF ELECTIONS:
Section 132(2) and 178(2) of the 1999 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to appoint a single date for Presidential and Gubernatorial elections which should be held at least six months before the expiration of the term of the current holders of the offices.
Similarly section 64(1) and 105(1) of the 1999 Constitution should also be amended to appoint a single date for national and state assembly elections which should hold two years after the Presidential and Gubernatorial elections
6. ELECTION TRIBUNALS:
A. The number of Tribunals should be increased by reducing the number of Judges that sit on the Tribunal from 5 to 3,so that more Tribunal can be established per State
B. In order to minimise the filling of frivolous petitions, the electoral Act 2006 should be amended to provide that if a Petitioner loses a case, he should be ordered by the Court or Tribunal to bear the full expenses of the Respondent.
7. DETERMINATION OF ELECTION PETITION:
The 1999 Constitution should be amended to specify the period for considering petitions as follows: “THE DETERMINATION OF CASES BY TRIBUNALS SHOULD TAKE FOUR MONTHS AND APPEALS SHOULD TAKE A FURTHER TWO MONTHAS, A TOTAL OF SIX MONTHS”
Finally, permit me to quote the words of the Group mentor Comrade Emeka Aneke “One’s home can only be burgled if a Burglar gains access, so also, the way we can have treasury looters plundering Nig is by letting them in through flawed electoral process.
To stop the looters, pls support the Justice Uwais Electoral Recommendations.”
SAVE NIGERIAN FROM CIVILIAN DICTATORSHIP,SUPPORT THE UWAIS REPORT
We are collectively and individually guilty of this ugly picture that now haunts us. Back in the 60s, we had about 6000 Nigerian undergraduates and this ragtag army was a strong voice in the polity.Sadly,today we have over 35,000 undergraduates in UNILAG alone and not even a whisper can be muttered by this complacent generation. What are the procedures for recalling an inept representative and how many of these people we are complaining about have we initiated moves to recall? Rebranding Nigeria is a mere spill over effect of the consolidation of the Nigerian laundry men and women(Banks). When did a Nigerian Bank Finance a project that eventually impacted the life of Ejiro in Warri, Musa in the surbubs in Kano or John in Isale Eko? Agriculture is neglected, yet corporate Nigeria spends millions funding Big Brother Whatever, Youth development is non-existent and we expect to have peace in our posh houses. Why cant the National Assembly concieve the idea that if children of all public office holders are mandated by law to attend public schools and go for medicare in public hospitals that a giant step would be taken to fund education and health care adequately.Whatever happened to the Power Probe? “Hon” Elumelu had been taken care of and it makes me ponder what “Hon” Ette is still doing in the floor of the house after renovating a house at a cost that can build 10 blocks of 20 classrooms in 30 schools. Posterity will judge all of us and I have the conviction judgement day is by the corner
i Keep Thanking God for the life of men like Prof. Pat Utomi, i consider him a bridge between two generations. and i hope that the younger generation which i belong to will buy into his ideologies for one reason at least, “leave a better Nation for Generations Yet unborn” that will be a worthwhile legacy to leave behind.
in pursuit of this Ideological revolution being led by Prof, i have Dedicated my Blog to the struggle!!! http://ifeakandunnoli.blogspot.com/2009/07/se-na-so-we-go-de-dey.html
MUCH ADO ABOUT DEFECTION….written by Omogbolahan L.A Babawale, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja Part 1
The spate of defection/decamping by political players and which has gained prominence in Nigerian politics is an age long syndrome. It dated back to the 2nd Republic when the Premier of the Western Region then, Chief Samuel L. Akintola, in the heat of a serious crisis that rocked the Action Group (AG-a Pan-Yoruba political front) under the headship of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo defected and formed a new party-The Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP) which later was to over government from the AG-led government of Chief Awolowo.
Ipso facto, the political arena has continued to witness the power –play of all sorts. The current Republic is not left out of the menace. The polarization of Alliance for Democracy (purportedly the followers of Awo’s credos), a party that ushered in the South-Western governors in the 1999 general elections. And just like the Awolowo/Akintola feud of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, the Bisi Akande/Akinfenwa leadership tussle caused a major setback for the party which eventually led to the breakaway of some notable political juggernauts in the Yoruba caucus. And so was the emergence of the Action Congress under the headship of Chief Bisi Akande.
The fact remains that a good number of reasons account for the prominence of this political aberration which is becoming a cankerworm in our political life.
Just like some political analysts x-rayed what led to the collapse of the 1st Republic; prominent among the factors given was the lack of political culture among elites to sustain democracy. The desperate attempt bring into play, various ideologies characterized by self-ego, rather than unity of purpose. The failure to play the game according to the rules as well as ethno-cultural inclination of individuals and groups. The world itself is dynamic, so is the Nigerian political terrain continue to align itself with its dynamics. A sitting governor for instance continues to remain in power as long he has the state machineries at his beck and call. However, when the situation seems going out of hand and thus he is seen to be losing grip of his return ticket consequent upon conundrums between him and the party.
Godfatherism is as old as politics itself in Nigeria. There are political players who do not aspire or contest for any elective office (s), yet they dictate the pace in the political stadium. They tell who gets what, and in return, they partake in the sharing of the public resources. These so-called godfathers fix whoever they want (godsons and daughters) into office as long as they play by the rules. On the contrary, the office holder/seeker pays the ultimate price! Facts are not far-fetched. The case of embattled ex-governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed Ladoja and his late godfather, Chief Lamidi Adedibu is still very fresh in memory, so also is that of Zamfara State governor, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi and his former predecessor and political godfather, Senator Ahmad Yerima.
One other key factor is ungratefulness on part of the office holder. More importantly is the case of the Bauchi State governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda and Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State. These are people whom when they were dropped by their party to contest for governorship election of their individual state, sought solace in All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and People’s Progreessive Party (PPA) respectively and was warmly welcomed. But alas, they turned and bit the fingers that fed them!
It is so disgusting that within the spate of two years, the duo of Yuguda and Ohakim could forget the humiliation they went through in the hands of PDP. As for Yuguda, Bauchi State was almost turned to hell when there signs that PDP was at the height of rigging the election again! I read recently in ‘The Nation’ of Tuesday August 11, 2009 (page 16) where a group of sycophants under the auspices of New Face Organization in the FCT (NFO-FCT) issued a communiqué signed by its coordinator, Victor Assam, Publicity Secretary, Greg Nwaowa, just like one Nwosu wrote on page 20 of the same paper, all pointing to the fact that Ohakim should not be crucified for decamping. If Kalu as a sitting governor then could defect from PDP to form PPA, that nothing stops Ohakim as well. But one thing they failed to understand was the antecedents that culminated in Kalu’s action.
A report from some quarters did say that Imo state did not vote for party, rather, they voted for the personality of Ohakim. The question now is if PPA had not provided the platform for him, how would he have been voted for? The bottom line is that it was morally wrong, for whatever reason (s), of him to spite on the face of his benefactor. Shikena!
Only recently did the national chairman of PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor said PDP was going to rule for 60 (sixty) years! Nigerians took the statement like a child’s play but what we are witnessing today is a manifestation of that statement. Part of the strategy is to turn the country to a one-party state and this is obviously working in some quarters. Not too long ago did Yar’adua give two of his daughters out in marriage to two serving ANPP governors, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi and Isa Yuguda of Zamfara and Bauchi States. And what was the aftermath of that? Defection! Funny though, but it is the home truth………
For Mr. Utomi’s candidacy to be viable, he needs to be more visible than he already is. I know that he is a nice guy but in Nigeria’s politics, nice guys always finish last. Unfortunately, our public are so gullible, they favour flashy and corrupt types which explain why corrupt elements dominate our government. Nothing would please me more than to see Mr. Utomi being more vociferous and in the vanguard of speaking out against the evils we read about every day. Instead of people like me writing commentaries that go nowhere beyond the allafrica.com that are hardly read, we expect credible and responsible leaders like Pat being our voice, on TV, Radio and print media, challenging the status quo and these hooligans passing as “leaders.” The Nigerian public need to know of the alternatives that are out there besides the usual suspects. Pat should be bold enough to organize loud public rallies in major cities to denounce govt brainless policies and recommend credible alternative ideas of his own that resonate with the youth and middle class which form the majority of our electorates. If I did not run into this blog on Sahara reporter by accident today, I wouldn’t even know that he has this blog and all these great ideas. But why bury them under a this shade – how may Nigerian domestic electorates have access to a computer? Pat needs better sloganeering and visibility than this medium has to offer. As a Professor of Political Business, he ought to first conduct a demographic survey of the Nigerian electorates, followed by a focus group per each demogrphic to determine what appeals to that target audience and via what medium. That is how Obama started. Pat could forge a friendship with Obama’s campaign organization to see if they can be generous enough to share some pointers woith his own campaign team. What works for Obama in the US may not work in Nigeria given Nigeria’s public lack of technological advancement in communication. Yet, we desperately need a good, transparent, proactive, and transformational leader like Utomi but it will take a cunning planner that is crazy like a fox to outthink his opponent and beat them to the punch at their own game – that is what most progressive thinkers in Nigeria are lacking – the burning desire to win at all cost and to take no prisoners. The corrupt elements are good at this and they will always win, as a result. Pat, it is not too late yet. In the next few months, I expect to see you leading public debates on pressing issues of the day challenging the incumbent administration and introducing your own vision for the country with a mega-phone and standing on top of an SUV at major open-air public market. This approach will certainly attract crowd and reporters that will carry your message to a wider audience. If you do this 2ce a month, per city across the entire federation for the next year and half, you will begin to make a difference, gain name recognition, and respect that money can’t buy because the Nigerian electorates are not that stupid, they just need to be adequately informed about who is out there for them how your plan is credible and different from the corrupt ones they are used to. Good luck.
I am ardent reader of Prof. Pats postings on facebook and I well agree with a lot of people that think that this man and his ideologies are the tools we need to effect a change in our generation. Like Prof, I believe that nobody will change our nation but ourselves and if we want to effect this desired change we will need to take the bull by the horn. I think we should begin to sensitize people and let them know what they can do to see the much talked about change.
I suggest we (those that are passionate about this) should begin to hold events in which we could relate this our passion to our fellow young people and believe me, our passion will begin to rub off on them.
I am looking forward to putting up one of such events very soon and I wish I could get the likes of Prof. as a guest speaker in the event.
That you speak the truth fearlessly is without question, that you thoroughly understand the problems and have solutions as expressed in your writings is also without question, but where I have questions sir, is how do you really intend to convince people to come out to vote when there is the concrete belief that votes will not be counted?
I want to suggest that public speaking by you and volunteers should start immediately.These volunteers have to be taught on how to sensitize people and make them passionate. The people are aware of the problems and angry but most have resigned the situation to fate. How do you get people to wake up from this apathy?
I am also happy that you have taken advantage of the internet, but how do you get those who don’t have access to the net impassioned about you like I have and countless others? There is so much to be done and we have to start now.
I read with interest your recent post about Mr. Aonodakaa. Thank you for being direct and educational on the issue.
If my knowledge has not failed me I believe that Chief Abiola also returned to Nigeria after his failed bid as the democratically elected President when the election was overturned by the then President Babangida. I remember very well that he was arrested and jailed and later died in prison. If this account is correct that will make him the fourth person with courage to return to his country fully aware that his detractors are still in power and fully aware what they might do to him if he returns.
I remember meeting Chief Abiola’s son at the Oakland Airport while he was in detention and asking how his father was doing. I remember Kola telling me that his father is not a coward and that Chief Abiola said only a coward will run away and hide when millions of Nigerians are looking up to him to stand and fight.
He might have lost the fight, but his memory lives on in the continuing battle to rid Nigeria of immoral leaders. Chief Abiola’s words through his son resonates with me and I will forever remember those words.
Looking forward to receiving you in Detroit.
Sorry to divert from the matter under discussion, I wish to have an audience with Prof. Utomi on some burning personal cum business issues.
I would be happy if Prof. would oblige me as it is all in our effort to ensuring a better Nigerian society
Pat, we need to be get really practical in ensuring a free and fair election in 2011, if we wait for this Government to reform the elctoral system, we will be greatly disappointed. My idea is that we get commited people with hidden cameras to monitor and record occurrences at each polling station in the federation, and make it as evidence in election petition tribunals. we can brainstorm on better ways to get this done.
I am sorry to digress from the discussion. I have searched for other meaning of getting in touch with you Sir, but I couldn’t that is why I am using this medium.
I am writing on behalf of the Spokesman Communication Ministries, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, the Publisher of “The Spokesman” magazine. The Spokesman Magazine is a quarterly Christian magazine that features hope inspiring articles from the President of the Spokesman Communication, Rev. (Prof.) Greg Erhabor and other contributing columnists. The focus of the next edition of the magazine which is coming up in October is on “How Nigeria can be transformed” and we are planning to publish the opinions of Great Nigerian Leaders on different topical issues related to the transformation of our Nation. We regard you as one of the outstanding Nigerian Leaders that has made a significant impact in the landscape of this nation that is why we would like to get your opinion on the following topic: “How Nigeria can Experience Social and Economic Transformation”. We will appreciate that your contribution be formatted in the following ways:
• single line spacing and Arial (11pt) or Times New Roman (12pt) should be used
• article should not exceed two (2) pages because of space constraints.
You can get more information about Spokesman Communication Ministries from our website – http://www.spokesmancom.org. You can peruse a copy of “The Spokesman” magazine on this webpage: http://www.spokesmancom.org/magazinehome.php
We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you very much and God Bless.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO RESOLVE THE NIGER DELTA CRISES
Before the period for the illconceived amnesty runs out, my advise to Prof. Utomi, is to call a press conference together with Afenifere – the Yoruba social group, Ohaneize and other Nigerian politicians with high repute and demand for the following:
1) Complete and unconditional withdraw of Joint Task Force from the Niger Delta with immediate effect – before October 4, 2009;
2) Yaradua should publicly tender an apology on behalf of the north and the military for all the inhuman crimes committed aginst innocent Nigerians and Nigeria – including murders, embezzlement, deliberately conniving with foreigners to rob Nigeria of hundreds of billions of dollars and weaken her – and for making Nigeria a failed state despite the enourmous amount of human and mineral resources the country is bestowed;
3)Yaradua should publicly tender an apology on behalf of the north and the military for all the attrocities commited in the Niger Delta by them (the north and the military) against the indigenes – including failure to punish severely multinational oil companies for the mass pollution of their lands and the unprecedented level of poverty in the region despite the fact that Nigeria earns more than 80% of its foreign revenues from this region. And for the hypocrisy of the north who squandered billions of dollars of the region’s resources in building a new capital, Abuja, an elephant project, from scaratch, for themselves while the bonafide owners of the resources wallow in abject poverty.
4) Yaradua must agree to stand trial after the completion of his term for ordering his mad soldiers to massacre innocent and harmless Niger Deltans whose only crime was their audacity to demand for justice.
5) Convoke a National Sovereign Conference (SNC) where all political, economic, cultural and social issues – including the willingness of various ethnic groups to remain in the same country with the north.
6) Conduct a COMPREHENSIVE audit of the oil and gas in the Niger Delta (guidelines are provided in part 8 of my series “How the Niger Deltans can get their freedom the action plan!” available on nigeriavillagesquare.com
A STITCH IN TIME… By Omogbolahan Lookman Babawale, Abuja
The journey of a million miles begins with a step and not until the first step is taken, the journey is as good as a mirage. I have keenly followed your views, submissions, opinions as well as perspectives, not only on Patitospost but also on Facebook. Great ideas, I will say! The fact that I read those submissions of yours with keen interest and rapt attention has made me decided that aligning with your vision might not be a wrong step after all. Albeit, I am a Muslim but I believe changing a decayed society should be a collective responsibility devoid of sentiments in all ramifications; sex, tribe, religious inclination, political affinity or what have you. Hence, my decision to endorse your clarion calls on Free and Fair vote via web.
However, prof, candidly speaking, I think it will not be out f place if we (supporters of PAT) bare our minds on happenings around us and as issues bothering on our national socio-political, economic notwithstanding educational lives evolve, we should be able to key in ourselves into the dynamics of a Nigerian society plagued by lack, penury, want, destitution and avariciousness to mention but a few, a resultant effect of PDP-led leadership embedded in malfeasance and with utmost impunity. One thing that is certain is that as far as PDP is concerned, 2011 elections are as good as concluded. Just like the same way the party (PDP) is sponsoring the factional chairman of All People’s Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie to disintegrate it (APGA) in order to pave way for a smooth take over from it in the forthcoming 2010 governorship election in Anambra State. Unfortunately for PDP (and forgetting the law of retribution), its house is divided against itself as reflected in the number of candidates (with everybody hell bent) jostling for the coveted seat of the number one citizen in the state.
Sir, as said in the first line of the first paragraph of this write-up, time aint no friend to any right thinking Nigerian who desires a change of the extant inhumane and anti-masses policies and polities of the incumbent leadership of president Umar Musa Yar’Adua, more importantly now that 2011 is much more around the corner. As a matter of fact, the number of days to the general elections is less than or equal to 514 days. So, the need to map out all-encompassing strategies to outsmart the seeming intractable PDP cannot be over-emphasized. It is my view that consultations, tete-a-tetes, fora nonetheless seminars should be organized periodically to sensitize the minds of ordinary Nigerians on one side and to garner ideas on the other side. The process should not be ONLY an African Democratic Congress (ADC) affair. Everybody that can key in into your vision irrespective of their political cum social affiliations should be allowed to submit ideas.
The fact remains that majority of Nigerians are tired of the whole situation, except of course those that are beneficiaries of the ORDER. It is high time Nigerian took their destinies into their hands. We need to device mechanisms through which our resources, human and materials, can be harnessed and tailored towards retracing our lost GLORY as bequeathed to us by our founding fathers. There is no doubt that the country is headed by a non compos mentis, who does hardly make decisions except and including those which are foisted on him by his sycophants within the corridor of power. And unfortunately, the friends and allies of the president who expectedly are to give useful advice to him on policies that will be beneficial to the ordinary Nigerians are beclouded by egoism as against altruism; I as against we (Nigerians) and self as against us. The time has come that Nigerians stand our feet and say NO to PDP’s oppression. It’s time we said NO to economic doldrums. We must say NO to educational imbroglio. No, to socio-political imbalance. No, to infrastructural decay. We must get it right now because procrastination is a disease that wanes determination. Prof, posterity shall judge us if we fail to act now. You need to create a wide network that will serve as a hub across the six geo-political zones. The number of people that will carry out the work at the start does not necessarily matter. Victory is never a function of number. It is a function of determination. Remember the small but mighty David and the gargantuan Goliath in the Bible, so also is the story of 313 Muslims against the 1000 non-believers in the earliest stage of Islam. It is now or never!
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I would like to suggest that there is need for you to get the Nigerians in Diaspora involved. They are waiting to return home to a changed country. They can be useful in influencing their loved ones at home to not sell votes, to stand up for what is right etc. It would go a long way.
I would love to hear a cmapiagn called.. Change, Yes We shall!! to change us Nigerians we must start to make people see how great and wonderful our country can be…a land or milk and honey and only we can change ourselves.. leave behind the past, learn for the present and move into the future…where there is plenty for all.. each and everyone .. Cause the bitter truth is that Nigerian is a country with more than enough… there is more than enough for us all… More than enough if we are governed well…
Yes We shall change – .. we are saying, we can we are saying we will change and not tomorrow but right now!! In teh 1980s we were a nation that did not queue up, then we changed ( unforyunatly by teh show of force, showing we can change if we put our mind to it. yes we shall change show how .. to not take bribes, not sell votes, and most of all live within our means.. The ills in our counrty is cause many do not live within their means and keep coveting, and when they have more than enough, they want more, all to show off not because of necessity…in fact it comes to a point where too much is ugly!
With all due respect Sir, I do not think you have to be the President to be our leader. Here’s a few things I have come to know about the Nigeria mass in my (some might say) inexperienced 25yrs of existence: We’re poor, ignorant, selfish, and in the dark (yes! PHCN is making sure we don’t know of the few things the media and good people of influence, like Prof. Pat Utomi, are trying to show and offer Nigerians). Putting all these attributes of the masses into consideration, all the wealthy politician has to do is move around Nigeria, leaving bags of rice and the likes behind their trail with a promise of more to come to win hearts and votes. Who do you think will be voted for even without the ‘rigging’ factor? He that goes around feeding the ignorant mass prior to election, or he who goes on Tv (which the masses do not have access to) and talks about his plans of a better Nigeria? Sir my advice to you at this stage is to concentrate your efforts on building the Nigerian youths. The youths are lost; we need someone to show us the way, groom us, and assure us that we are important to nation building (believe me not a lot of youths know this). You want a sneak peek in the lives of the Nigerian youth? Here’s one; we are more concerned with what Jay-Z will wear to a concert in Tahiti than the importance of Yaradua’s visit to France. That needs to change, and it needs to change now! I have so much to say, as I’m sure a lot of Nigerians do but at end of the day we sound like voices in the wilderness with no audience. Here’s another thing to rob you of some sleep; I concluded my Youth service in March ’09 and till date still unemployed (some are in worse situations); and in about an hour my phone’s battery goes dead and I’ll be cut off from happenings and contributions like this, until about 7:30pm when my father (whom I’m still heavily dependent on) gives the order to
start the meagre 2hrs daily consumption of power from our generator, which is what we can afford!
CHEKWAS OKORIE: ADAMANT FOR A PURPOSE
I have closely followed unfolding events in Anambra state politics since the days of former governor Ngige and its attendant politicking. The ‘poli-thinking’ and ‘poli-tricks’ that envelope the camaraderie among the different interest (political) groups. This evidently was revealed in the circumstances that surrounded d ouster of ex-governor Dr. Chris Ngige. The PDP in its unguarded move to punish one of its own, who seemed ‘recalcitrant’, then, painstakingly provided the platform for All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA to occupy the government house. And ever since, there has been serious thinking and ploys to wrestle power from the incumbent government. A lot of permutations and combinations by the PDP all in effort to take over from APGA.
Luckily enough, the party (PDP) saw an ample opportunity in the crisis rocking the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA in the state, cashed in on that to create a more rumpus scenario within the party. PDP saw wisdom in sponsoring the expelled national chairman of APGA, chief Chekwas Okorie to create tension within the polity. The belief is that once APGA as a party is destabilized, the ‘floor’ presumably will be wide open for PDP to play its usual game. The first joker was when Okorie asserted in a press conference that the decision of the ‘kangaroo’ APGA national congress he convened, and which purportedly reinstated him as the chairman of the party against a substantive court order superimposed any other pronouncement by any law court. It was reported that Chekwas Okorie was expelled from the party following allegations of gross indiscipline and financial improprieties.
The party, as reliably gathered had to show him the door it became glaring that Okorie was a cog in the wheel of the party’s progress. One report even had it that he (Okorie) was the only single signatory to the party’s account even though there were two other signatories (the national treasurer and secretary). He was the only one signing the party’s cheques as evident in the banks’ revelations. So, the party had no option than to strictly apply the sanctions as provided by its constitution, hence, the reason he was ousted.
But alas! PDP, known for its shamelessness through its stooge and the only personality in Nigeria that is above courts’ pronouncements, a professor of pharmacology, Maurice Iwu in a desperate bid to actualize its (PDP’s) plot, has continued to show the whole world the stuff he is made of through his hanky-panky actions and inactions in the case involving Chekwas Okorie and APGA. Do you blame him after all? Of course he is duty bound to carry out instructions of his benefactor –PDP to the letter. While he (as the INEC chairman) gives recognition to the Chekwas Okorie-led faction of APGA , his decision to give Victor Umeh, the subsisting chairman, #6m subvention of the party speaks volume of his hypocrisy! Professor Iwu is hanged between his conscience and the contract he signed with PDP.
Unfortunately for PDP, while these entire ‘abracadabra’ were going on to disintegrate APGA; its own house is divided against itself! This overtly is shown in the number of candidates struggling for the seat of governor with all interested individual hell bent. To demonstrate further PDP’s moral recklessness, the ward congresses held in Anambra were turned to arena of war and pandemonium, as it is its usual peculiarity throughout the nation. Even the Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswan saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the execution of the event was greatly disappointed at the level of desperation people could be in the quest for power. He left the state in utter amazement. He was reported to be flabbergasted that somebody could even offer a #1billion bribe to influence a ward election! What a shameless PDP! Yet, our comatose Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC under the almighty Farida Waziri did not see any reason why such an individual should be interrogated.
Just yesterday, I was surprised to hear one of the gubernatorial candidates under the platform of PDP in Anambra state, and a serving senator, sen. Ikechukwu lamenting seriously on the conduct of the PDP ward congresses held in the state and the power play of millionaire stalwarts in the party to pervert the wish of the people. Even the immediate past senate president, Sen. Ken Nnamani openly opined in a programme organized by Channels TV on Thursday October 1, 2009 tagged ‘Channels Forum’ that PDP (a party he belonged to anyway) as the ruling party has failed the system in all ramifications. He cited the statistical analysis of United Nation as also postulated by US Secretary of State, Sen. Hillary Clinton on the rate of poverty which rose from 40% in 1995 to 75% in the 6-year rule of PDP.
Okorie should know whatever benefit he has enjoyed or that he is promised by PDP to create commotion in Anambra state, no matter how far it may take, posterity will judge him.
….if you can, you will…Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org
I commend the Government for agreeing to sign the long overdue agreement with our varsity lecturers.This will help to reduce the brain-drain that we have experienced as a Nation.
If the Government implements the Agreement,we will experience rapid transformation in our Nation’s varsity system,because any Nation that invests in Education is setting the pace for the future.
Saudi Arabia,India,Brazil,South Korea, and even Ghana,understood this and implemented strategic education policies that have seen them produce competent and dynamic human resources,today.
Nigeria is blessed,we have the money and resources,so Pres Yaradua should implement Strategic Education policies,that involves building sophisticated Universities of science and technology,increase funding of researsh institutes,universities,polytechnics,colleges of education,and secondary schools.
Sustainable Development comes,when the Educational system is given the value it deserves.So i believe it is time for government to implement,and no longer pay lip service to the development of a sustainable educational system.
REBRANDING THE RIGHT WAY
I was an ardent supporter of Prof Akunyili when she came up with the idea of rebranding. This was informed on her antecedents. She had a label of excellence. However I am disillusioned because her rebranding is focused in the wrong direction. In NAFDAC her approach to tackling the menace of fake drugs was dealing with the principals/profiteers of fake drug on one hand and public education on the other. I thought she was going to take the same approach in “Operation Clean Nigeria”. I thought she will adopt mass public education. Educating Nigerians on standing for our right and putting in place process to facilitate that. I thought she will fight the rogues at the cabinet table. She would tell then the stench coming from the executive chambers is damaging our collective image. Unfortunately she is now very comfortable with the stench and probably has joined them in the farting competition. She has chosen to buy large quantity of deodorant spray to mask the stench. She has not realized that the combination of the pungent odour from the king’s chamber and lavender scent of the cosmetic spray is even more nauseating. Despite all entreaties to point her in the right direction there is no sign she is or will be repentant.
What shall we do?
We need to star proper rebranding that will empower Nigerians. One pillar on which the campaign for electoral reform should stand should be mass public education. There has been a lot of effort, albeit wasted talking to the crowd in the “white sepulcher” (sorry “White House”) in Abuja on electoral reform. I think Nigerians are the ultimate decider. Let us put resource into mass literacy on electoral matter. Let us put in place means to empower ordinary Nigerians in every town and villages. This is the only way we can plunge the wealth of the looters. The Ubas, Adedibus residue and their likes we cannot match “rice for rice”, “amala for amala” but an enlightened populace is antidote to their method.
Prof Utomi and others that have been involved in campaigns will have more knowledge of funding and the difficulties. Their advice is welcome. This is my suggestion.
The best way is to set up a collective financing model. This will give a sense of belonging to each contributor and prevent hijack by the enemies within. Let us use your electoral petition register to start with. Each person should contribute his/her widow’s mite to fund the campaign. No big money please!
Project Nigeria – Believe!
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I thought your readers may be interested to know that a new report detailing the Nasir El-Rufai saga has been published. You comments and perspectives would be most welcomed.
Thank you kindly,
A new generation of Nigerians cannot afford to think in this North and South mentality. i note your use of the term North and the demand for the North to appologize to Niger Delta. it is a shame that we still think in this terms. OBJ sent in JTF i guess he is from the North. Governonr Alams, James Ibori, Odili and co who are destroying the people of Niger delta they must be from the North too. The man stealing money in my local government in Ondo state is not from the north. we must wake up to the realities of our problems and stop this hateful comments about ourselves. tribalism and racism are one and the same. we cannot celebrate an Obama voted in by white men and then begin to think in tribal and regional terms and yet want to be a great nation. if you belong to the generation that wants to fix Nigeria, you must divest yourself of regional sentiments. our people are suffering all over the nation and they are all our people just as all the thieves are from all our tribes. None of us chose which tribe we will be born in. That decision was made by God and you cannot hold any man down for that.
What is the plan for 2011? my question is how many people in our villages know Pat Utomi. if we really desire to have a great leader in 2011, there must be a plan of action in place by now. if you have one please can you let us know what we can do to help. There are too many Nigerians who want change but there is no one steering the ship and we refuse to join camps with the destroyers of our land.we are willing to work and give our lives for the nation but there must be a plan and i believe it is achievable if we seat and work it out well ahead of time. we can beat them to their own game and save our country. God bless Nigeria
I agree with Debola. What’s the plan for 2011? When we know the plan then it’d be easier for us to strategise. We’re all disguted at the state of things, but our input will only be valid when it aligns with the grand strategy…what is the grand plan?
You can check out my blog at http://www.blackinspire.com
An evening with Prof Pat Utomi
The eponymous hero of the evening, Prof Pat Utomi, sauntered onto the stage, a sitting room at 35 Adeola Hopewell Street – professionals who live there had invited colleagues and friends to a monthly get-together on entrepreneurship and leadership. Awaiting him was the audience, a motley of young professionals, itching to douse their thirst for learning at the fount of a sage.
That evening, he devolved his experience: from government house, as special adviser to President Shehu Shagari; to the classroom, as professor of Entrepreneurship and Socio-Political Economics via the boardroom, as chief executive of Volkswagen. He’s described, alas, by some, as a political upstart; often mistaken as the owner of Lagos Business School – though he is now, after several failed attempts, referred to as a director at the School and was once rumoured to be one the richest men in Nigeria – he only had $2,800 to his name at that moment.
His animated speech, names of intellectual and political heavy weights kept dropping, was laced with self-deprecating anecdotes. During the question and answer session he would listen with uninterrupted attention. His answers revealed the congruence of his words, actions and motives – the investment of his reputation and knowledge, buoyed by a never say die mind-set, in public and private ventures.
Earlier, an all too familiar dismal situation, the resource curse, had formed the backdrop of the evening’s get-together. Increasing oil wealth is surging Nigeria’s reserves towards $60 billion – it’s projected to hit $100 billion by year end. Contrasted with the palpable poverty in the country, a disruption of the ideal sets the stage for a tragicomedy.
Social restraints are declining: kidnapping in the Niger Delta is a boon for the hunter and a bane for the hunted. Rancour over the new allocation of the federal account distracts attention from flailing infrastructure – the health sector starved of funding, blithely distributed booty in 2007. What then, is the catharsis that will purge or wean the economy off oil wealth dependence?
Certainly not the current grab and run culture, a corollary of values, which today is marked by what Prof Utomi calls the ise kekere, owo nla (small work, big pay) mentality. A compulsive hustle for lucre or money making (what then is the function of the mint?) that is in fashion – movement without motion.
Nigerians, particularly those at the get-together, caught between the tragedy depicted by the condition of Nigeria’s prisons, and the theatrics of Mr Rule of Law are far from amused. Rather, there’s that unsettling option to siddon and look. In the absence of locally generated electricity, we’ve been tapping current from the Obama phenomenon. But, sooner than later, it will result in either high or low voltage – burn out or waning enthusiasm, which returns us to reality.
Bleak, cold reality? Prof Utomi did his best to thaw the audience’s frozen perspective. He sees a sunny future, so bright he needs sunshades. Yet, from the searching gaze and questions, the audience yearned for more; a formulaic anodyne to be constantly injected after going through the throes Nigeria keeps subjecting people to. Prof Utomi’s prescription: deferred gratification, ditching an instanta or fiam outlook to life. No mean feat. Stacked up against a prevalent me, myself and I mode, which is as old as the hills, being urged to be consumed by an entrepreneurial spirit was a tough sell. Shakespeare describes self-love in his play, All’s Well That Ends Well, as “… the most inhibited sin in the canon.”
Still, the audience bemoaned how conventional wisdom espoused get rich or die trying. But Prof Utomi’s conviction held sway; entrepreneurs, purveyors of value creation, go against the grain, are honest, frugal and prepared for the long term. In summary, what sets them apart is the knack to identify and bridge, along the continuum of Maslow’s pyramid, society’s unmet needs.
Tayo Fagbule, Ibadan
This plan would provide for street improvement allocations beyond the traditional through a MSP [merchant service provider] 1. While 3rd party processors have the benefit of Popular but once it takes over trend setting monarchy then it becomes a problem.
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