SETTING AGENDA FOR THE BUHARI LED GOVERNMENT IN THE YEARS AHEAD.
By Professor James Adejoh
As we congratulate the Buhari led government for one year in office, many may want to say that one year is too short a time to a assess government and others may want to also argue that it is also enough time to evaluate how well a government has fared. While we give kudos to the APC led government of President Mohammadu Buhari for the landmark achievements recorded over this one year. We urge him to remain focused and resolute in the implementation of his programs and policies for the people of Nigeria.
Nigerians must realize that, “Rome was not built in a day”. The challenges before the present government are enormous. We do not expect the president to do the magic of undoing all the damages that had been done to the economy, security, education, health and other vices almost immediately. He needs time and Nigerians must join hands with him to return this country to the part of honour so that we can together reap the dividends of democracy.
Worthy of commendation is the fight against corruption that has led to the recovery of stolen funds and the prosecution of some Nigerians over looted funds. There is no gainsaying the fact that, some level of sanity has returned in both private and public lives of Nigerians. It is no longer in vogue to share public funds and divert into private pockets while the masses watch helplessly and wallow in abject poverty. It is my wish and that of many Nigerians that the President should sustain these efforts and pursue this goal to a logical conclusion.
The President’s efforts in the area of ensuring security of lives and properties has been unprecedented within this one year. The reputable achievements in the area of liberating our people in the North-East from the hands of Boko-Haram insurgency is worthy of commendation, as well as his efforts at securing the lives of Nigerians generally through the different security apparatuses all over the nation. While we commend the President and all the security agencies for all the good job they have done, we continue to urge them not to relent in their efforts but continue to sustain these efforts until we achieve the desired goal.
In the area of attracting foreign investors to Nigeria and improving the image of the country before foreigners , Mr. President also deserves a lot of commendations in this regard. His travels to different nations of the world has attracted a lot of foreign investors into the country and they are now reassured of conducive environment for their businesses. This is why the fight against insecurity must continue for the foreigners to be rest assured of their safety. As we join President Buhari to celebrate one year in office, and also mark Democracy Day, we congratulate him over these laudable and landmark achievements. Nigerians are happy and we pray that the almighty God will grant you the wisdom and strength to deliver to the people of Nigeria the dividends of democracy.
As we mark your one year in office as well as Democracy Day, there are a number of teething problems that you need to address in their order of priority in the months and years ahead.
The President must do all within his powers to reduce the hardship faced by the common man by putting in place policies and programmes that will alleviate the sufferings of the masses. The setting up of the committee on minimum wage by the government is laudable as well as the social scheme introduced in the 2016 budget. This will go along way to cushioning the hardships currently faced by the common man. He should also come to the aid of workers and pensioners who are currently facing untold hardships as a result of backlog of unpaid salaries. Many have died, some are sick with little or nothing to pay for medical treatment and many more are unable to meet with their responsibilities to their immediate and extended families. While we are commending President Buhari for the initiative of providing Bailout Funds to the States, the truth remains that there are still backlog of unpaid salaries to Workers in some of the States on account of the empty treasuries that many of the state governors met on assumption of office and the indebtedness of the States.
As we commend the President for attracting foreign investors into the country which will provide jobs for our teeming unemployed youths, we must also think of empowering them locally by way of establishing small scale industries that can also provide jobs for them. Their gainful employment can take them off the streets. In this regards, Agriculture which has been the leading provider of employment in Nigeria in the sixties and seventies (60%) need to be made more attractive to the youths. While we appreciate the government and Ministry of Agriculture for the revolutions currently going on in that sector, energies must be channelled towards the provision of inputs and other necessary infrastructure that will take Agriculture from the subsistent level to large scale farming for export purposes and processing of agricultural products in Agro-Allied Industries to extend their shelve lives. This will go a long way in solving the unemployment problems and diversifying the economy so that we will not depend on oil alone. In this regard, government, private individuals and corporate organizations alike must put in a lot of energies if we must solve the unemployment problem.
The decay in our educational institutions especially the public institutions that are the hope of the common man cannot be quantified. Many prominent Nigerians of today attended public primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and paid little or nothing to be educated. So many others enjoyed scholarships that saw them through their educational career within and even outside the country. Today, the common man is at the mercy of private practitioners that have invaded the educational sector at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Many of these private practitioners see education as business and they enter into it with the sole aim of making profits. A lot of people today patronize them because the public schools are no longer what they are supposed to be due to years of neglect and poor funding. Education has therefore gone beyond the reach of the common man as many cannot afford the exorbitant school fees and different charges imposed on the common man in these private schools.
The President has to come to the aid of the common man by ensuring that the Ministry of Education regulates the activities of these private practitioners to conform with standards set for them. Efforts should be directed at providing adequate funds, relevant infrastructure and employment of qualified teachers to ensure that the public schools return to their lost glory. In doing this, the common man can send his children to public schools at subsidized and affordable rates.
The issue of power is critical to the development of any nation. We have grappled with the problem of energy for many years. Despite the billions of naira sunk into the energy sector, today, the problem of irregular power supply still stares us in the face. Without constant supply of electricity, it is difficult for this country to have the desired technological advancement that we so much long for.
It is in the light of these developments the current effort of government in attracting foreign investors into this sector and sourcing for alternative sources of energy is commendable. The government should sustain these efforts if Nigeria must advance in the area of industrial development.
The controversy in the oil sector with respect to the price of fuel has also raised a lot of concerns by Nigerians. The current increase in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria has brought a lot of hardships to Nigerian. Prices of other commodities and transport have sky rocketed. While the increase in fuel pump price may help to ensure the availability of the products and also stop diversion of fuel to some extent, government should also make efforts to introduce palliative measures that will reduce the hardship of the common man.
In this regard, the committee on minimum wage as well as the social security scheme in the 2016 budget must be implemented speedily to forestall further hardships on the part of the masses.
In the areas of social amenities, while we commend the government for the efforts made so far, we urge government not to relent nor renege on their campaign promises to the people. A lot of energies should be directed at provision of portable water, good roads, regular supply of light, hospitals that are well equipped with the necessary equipment, personnel and drugs, good schools, among others. A great number of Nigerians are not government workers. They engage in businesses and they pay taxes. The government also owe them the duties of providing these social amenities and infrastructure that can make life comfortable for them. These indeed are the dividends of democracy that Nigerians are yearning for. President Buhari has done it before and will yet do it again. In the days of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), Mr. President touched the lives of many Nigerians in virtually every nook and cranny of the country. Nigerians desire and pray for this type of impact and we know he will do it.
Professor James M, Adejoh
Professor of Science Education and Dean,
College of Agricultural and Science Education,
Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi
HACFO on how Aisha was forcefully abducted, converted, and married off with consent of emir
HACFO on how Aisha was forcefully abducted, converted, and married off with consent of emir
Rafin Iyaka Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur LGA of Katsina State is a mixed community of both Christian and Muslim Hausas, but the Christians continued to live in pains and bondage perpetrated by the Muslim side that constantly enjoys the protection of the District Head of Kafur and the Emir of Katsina.
These two Islamic traditional rulers do everything possible to stop the constitutionally recognized law enforcement agencies like the Police from rightly carrying out their statutory duties. That is why any crime committed against the Christians will always be swept under the carpet.
Due to the previous experiences of the Christian community of Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka on the abduction and forceful conversion of their young girls which Aisha happens to be the 9th person, the Family of Aisha didn’t hesitate to report some strange moves of one Mohammed Samaila around their 15 year old daughter to their village head.
As usual, the said Mohammed Samaila and his father kept denying having anything to do with Aisha. These strange moves continue for about two years and the village head was not willing to take any action against the said Mohammed Samaila. When the family of Aisha could no longer tolerate what they were seeing, they decided to relocate Aisha from the village Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka, to Funtua for Aisha to be staying with her elder sister.
On 10th February, 2021, Aisha went missing from the house where she stays. When the elder sister and her husband searched everywhere possible and could not locate Aisha, they quickly reported it to the Funtua Police Station to help them find Aisha.
Two days later, on 12th February 2021, Aisha’s Parents received a call from the District Head of Kafur telling them to stop searching for Aisha because she is safe with him in his house. He claimed that one Idris Shehu brought her to his house. On hearing that, Aisha’s family went to see the District Head of Kafur at his palace in order to bring their daughter back home, but to their dismay, it was not possible. He refused releasing her on the ground that she wanted to convert to Islam. Aisha’s parents insisted but the District Head refused them access to their Daughter.
Ten days later, the District Head called Aisha’s parents to tell them that one Mohammed Sama’ila wants to marry Aisha their daughter. When Aisha’s parents went to the District Head’s palace, they rejected the issue of the marriage. They insisted their daughter be returned to them and continue with her school and if anyone wants to marry her, he should follow the due process. The District Head ignored Aisha’s parents and went ahead to arrange marriage between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila without the consent and approval of Aisha’s Family.
When Aisha’s Family did everything possible and peaceful for Aisha to be returned to them and they were ignored and humiliated, they decided to engage the services of a law firm; A. U. Ajodo & CO. Legacy Chambers to help them bring Aisha back.
The Law Firm immediately wrote a petition against the District Head ( Alh. Abdulrahman Rabe and Mohammed Sama’ila to the Katsina State Commissioner of Police through the Malumfashi Area Command demanding the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of these two suspects and the immediate release of Aisha back to her Family.
Unfortunately, the Police did not arrest these two culprits or do anything to ensure the return of Aisha. They only summoned the District Head of Kafur without the said Mohammed Samaila. The Area Commander told the District Head not to go ahead with the marriage plans between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila, but the district head ignored the police directive.
They later agreed for the girl to be brought to the police station and be returned to her family but the District Head refused to comply. Instead, he decided to take the girl to the Emir of Katsina at Katsina on that same day he was to bring the girl to the police station. On reaching there, the Emir of Katsina joined Aisha and Mohammed in marriage without the consent of her parents.
As it is now, the Katsina state police command are not willing to carry out their statutory duties as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and ensure justice is done.
It is very important to note that this is not the first time such a thing is happening. The said District Head of Kafur is known for such … acts right …. .
The village of Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka, Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur LGA, Katsina State has suffered such unjust treatments from the District Head of Kafur who is also backed by the Emir of Katsina. Till date a total of nine Hausa Christian Girls have been abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into early marriage.
The following are the names of the girls that were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into marriage from this village by the same District Head:
1) Jamima Solomon
2) Christiana Mamman
3) Deborah Habila
4) Phoebe Dankano
5) Rifkatu Markus (Rescued)
6) Saratu Isah (Returned her when she went mad after two years)
7) Dije Yakubu Nalami (Abducted as a married woman, and returned when she died)
8) Rebeccah Ado (Returned Pregnant)
9) Aisha Mani (Currently in captivity)
It is on record that any time this Christian Community agitates against the injustice done to them, the Muslim youths will violently go after them and threaten to burn down the Church and houses of the Christians.
The Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) is working tirelessly to ensure the safe and unconditional return of Aisha Mani and to ensure that justice is duly served.
We covet your prayers and support to ensure that Aisha is reunited with her family. Kindly pray for the Northern Christians especially the families whose daughters have been abducted, forced into Islam and marriage. Northern Nigeria is becoming hell for Christians to live in.
▪︎The Hausa Christian Foundation (HACFO) can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Yinka Odumakin: The Exit Of A Convinced Humanist
Yinka Odumakin: The Exit Of A Convinced Humanist
By Rauf Aregbesola
The circumstance of his demise were quite unusual. Though a picture he took with Papa Ayo Adebanjo, indicating he was not in the best shape of health had appeared on the internet not quite long ago; still, it caught us by surprise. The human mind has the incredible capacity to suppress morbid suggestions on loved ones, bordering on denial. But now, as the dust is settling and the tears are drying, we are beginning to reconcile to the fact that Yinka Odumakin is gone.
February 20, earlier this year, was the last time I had a telephone conversation with him. He was his natural self. He could be vivacious when excited and could also be dead sober, if the matter requires it. I never had any premonition it would be our last conversation.
Odumakin straddled the political spectrum, breaking into public consciousness as a students union activist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, then practiced journalism at The Punch newspaper; was also part the struggles for military disengagement and deannulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Chief Moshood Abiola. In the post military era, Yinka retained his public presence with his participation in the politics of AD, AC, ACN, CPC and reportedly flirted with former President Goodluck Jonathan. He later consolidated his activism in Yoruba nationalism, being a highly visible spokesperson of Afenifere. He was a tenacious advocate of his convictions; never gave up on whatever he believed in, regardless of the opposition.
How did we meet? Yinka Odumakin and Bunmi Omoshehindemi walked into my office as the CGS of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation office at Sunday Adigun St., Alausa Ikeja. It was in November of 1998.
Both came to declare support for the candidacy of Bola Tinubu unequivocally. This was in defiant opposition to those then opposed to any form of accommodation for democratic building process without a clear resolution of the June 12 imbroglio. This was a courageous step, then considering that their position would have been considered anathema by the movement. We had since then built a robust relationship, sometimes very smooth and at times frosty, but all the time remarkable till his translation on Friday, April 2, 2021.
I said we had a remarkable relationship because Yinka was consistent in standing up to fight for democracy, federalism, justice and rule of law. These to me are the factors for defining the dignity of man. Whoever has this commitment is an ally and a humanist.
Yinka has had to publicly criticise me a couple of times, especially when I was governor in Osun, our relationship notwithstanding. I took it in good faith, as it never affected our relationship. His criticisms were consistent with his convictions on what constitute public interest.
I am therefore proud to have known, interacted and worked with a humanist that doggedly fought for the dignity of people.
Yinka Odumakin, you will wake up to joyful activities on the other side. May the good Lord support your wife, family and friends. Ameen.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Nigeria: These Terrible Times and Lessons of Easter
Nigeria: These Terrible Times and Lessons of Easter
Easter Message of YOWICAN President
This Easter, I want us all to think about the unconditional love that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, had for us to the extent that He gave His life for our salvation.
His resurrection by God. What a lesson for young people of Nigeria and of what sacrifice can this achieve and the benefits it can bring to mankind generally and individually!
This Easter, I call on all, whether Christian or Muslim, to emulate Christ and sacrifice something for your nation, for your families and for yourselves. The young people are the change agents, let us not ask ourselves who will change our nation for the better. You and I are the ones that will cause the desired change our nation needs. Change begins with you and I. Young people of Nigeria, look in the mirror and ask how we can change our nation for better.
As agents of change, the youth should be wise enough to know what is good and bad before the law and in the sight of God. Avoid being used by politicians for thuggery; reject being enlisted into the Army of bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram. But accept to be enlisted into God’s Army. From all what are going on in different parts of the country, it is obvious that Nigerians have declared war against themselves.
How did the weapons find themselves into private hands? Although the government has tried, the best option is to embark on a mission to mop up all the arms and weapon in circulation. While we oppose amnesty and rehabilitation of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents, we will be wrong thinking that they will turn a new leaf. That will be encouraging blackmail and putting the lives of the defenceless citizens before firing squad.
Let us emulate Christ and have a change of heart. Turn from evil ways to good. Let this Easter be the beginning of a positive change in our nation, Africa and the world at large. I join other well-meaning Christian faithful all over the world to thank God for giving us all the grace to witness this year’s Easter celebration.
As we commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I enjoin us all to imbibe the spirit of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, perseverance and tolerance that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ taught us.
ISHIELU KILLINGS And EFFIUM/EZZA EFFIUM CRISIS
•YOWICAN condemns and frowns seriously at the intra-communal war between Ezza-Effium and Effium clans in Ohaukwu Local Government of Ebonyi State and the killing of over 16 persons aged between 18 and 56 in Obeagu community in Ishielu LGA by suspected Fulani herdsmen. We demand justice for the victims in both crises. It is surprising that brothers in Ezza-Effium and Effium clans have declared war on themselves the end of which nobody can predict.
•We also condemn the assassination attempt on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo in which three police orderlies were killed ahead of the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled for November 6. These are not acceptable to Nigerians. All these threats to life must stop, we must live together as one Nigeria.
I extend my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi and the various families that lost their loved ones. during this heartless killing. Same for Soludo and for Governor Ortom, we are with you in prayers.
Happy Easter to you all
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria Youth Wing (YOWICAN)
April 4 2021
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