Connect with us

Headline

Friday Sermon: Dark Clouds on the Horizon

Published

on

By Babatunde Jose

Days to the much awaited Presidential election in Nigeria, the political and social atmosphere is tainted and turbocharged. The two major challengers have been ‘Tarkaring’ and Daboing’ each other with relentless ferocity. The last leg of this political jostling has become a ‘do or die’ affair with a lot of bloodletting verging on possible assassination and resort to voodoo; the marabouts and the shamans are having a field day. For the legal practitioners, it’s a festival of the absurd; like ‘praying mantis’ they wait to devour their pray.  We have never seen this type of political heat wave before, not even during the eve of decolonization. Leaders have thrown caution to the wind and are dancing naked gleefully in the market place. There is an orgy of bad behavior and the populace are being treated to free live shows. Yet, for the believers the result has already been written by Allah the Decider; He knows the outcome before the first ballot is cast.

Today, there are clear and present danger of the possibilities of the election being scuttled; moves reminiscent of the runoff to June 12, 1993. The country has never been as polarized as we are witnessing this time. There are signs that if we do not get it right, we might not witness democracy in this clime for a very long time. The Lord has said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25). And if that happens, our Swan song might be ‘To thy tents O’Israel’. 1 Kings 12:16 ‘What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel. …. We all know what this means with reference to our country Nigeria. There are very dark clouds on the horizon. All hopes are lost and our youths, who constitute 60% of our population, are getting restless. Doom will set in and the keg of gunpowder will be ignited. We will all fall down, not from Boko Haram, but from the inordinate greed and avarice of our leaders.

There are many things we need to do which we have left undone and a good deal we ought not to have done that we are doing: We have not had the capability of generating sound economic policies; we need to enhance productivity, build a national system of innovation and unleash a mass industrial revolution. We need science and technology for national transformation. We need to transform the agrarian sector, plan our cities, design fast trains, revamp our infrastructures and build a world class economy that unleashes jobs and massive business opportunities for our teeming youths. But our leaders have failed to do all these. “There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a Government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men”, said, Ludwig Von Mises. 

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said, “Woe to the rulers! And woe to the chiefs! And woe to the trustees! Some people will wish on the Day of Resurrection that their hair was hanging from the sky and swinging between heaven and earth rather than to have done what they did.”

We are today drifting in an uncharted and uncertain sea. What hope do we have of reaching the Promised Land? Today, our revolution of rising expectations has turned into a revolution of rising frustration, bordering on despondency. Under this atmosphere, violence is not far around the corner. Our commonwealth has been squandered and embezzled: Our national coffers broken into and brazenly robbed. The proceeds from these serial robberies are today sitting comfortably in the banks and mostly unoccupied real estates, to be enjoyed by their children and children’s children and those yet unborn.

They do not even bother to keep the money in foreign banks anymore. Like ‘you know who’, the man of the moment, they even forget how much they have in their bank accounts. Thanks to BVN, we are getting glimpses of their loot.   

Allah in the Quran, Surat Az-Zukhruf, and Ayat 32 said:

Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of thy Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world: And We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others. But the Mercy of thy Lord is better than the (wealth) which they amass. (Quran 43:32)

They are here again: Asking us to collect our voter’s cards, which we have collected. But, what happened to the votes we cast four years ago, eight years ago and in times past? What dividend accrued to us? Where are the jobs? Our electricity is still epileptic.  Our fathers are today jobless, while our mothers have no goods in their stores. The children are out of school and those that pass out have joined the swelling army of the unemployed. Universities are on strike and on lock-down. Like dispossessed children we walk naked in the streets eking for food from the dustbins. Today there is much poverty in the land; Poverty in the midst of plenty. Poverty now parades our streets in nakedness. Where are we going? We need change and we need it now!  

John F. Kennedy, it was who said, in his Address on the first Anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, March 13, 1962: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  Today, we stand on the threshold of history. Our nation is on the precipice.

Everywhere you go you hear the very loud sound and fury of the ‘Bata-drum’ of ethnic jingoism and religious irredentism, some are even contemplating ‘araba’.  Unfortunately, our problem is not religion but, naked poverty in the land, children out of school, selling pure water on the roadside and the sick without medical care resorting to quacks and ’Ajase Poki-Poki’.  These are the real issues not ethnic or religious; for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers. J.F Kennedy again.

Our fate and destiny is now in our hands. It’s our ‘free will that brought us to this point and it is our resolve that will bring us out of it; or we perish and be damned! However, let it be known to our leaders that they cannot escape the judgement of God: “The drama of this life is not complete; There must be a second scene to it . . . Therefore, there must be another world, where justice will be carried out”- Immanuel Kant. Unfortunately, that second scene will take place right here.

Barka Jumuah and a happy weekend

Last line: The tragedy is not the Brutality of the Evil but the Silence of the Good, which allows the Evil to flourish.

 +2348033110822

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline

Atiku Hails Judgment on Full Financial Autonomy for LGs, Says It’s a Win for Nigerian People

Published

on

By

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, and a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has hailed the judgment of the Supreme Court, ordering that henceforth local government allocations be paid direct into various local government accounts, saying it is a win for the people of Nigeria.

The Waziri Adamawa made his views public via his social media handle, saying categorically that “I align with the decision of the Supreme Court that the structure of the Nigerian government is portioned in three layers, and of these, the local governments should be centres of development.”

He wrote:

The judgment of the Supreme Court earlier today affirming fiscal autonomy to local government councils in the country is a win for the people of Nigeria.

The court’s ruling is a step in the right direction and a major corrective action in greasing the wheels of national development across the country.

The decision by the Federal Government to consolidate disbursements of local councils’ revenues into the state government accounts was a decision that was borne out of politics of hasty compromise.

I align with the decision of the Supreme Court that the structure of the Nigerian government is portioned in three layers, and of these, the local governments should be centres of development.

I also share the belief that fiscal autonomy to the local governments should not be limited to revenues from the Federation Accounts, but indeed, should apply to Internally Generated Revenue from the respective local government authorities.

Many of our states, especially those in the ultra urban areas with high density economic activities, have become notorious in muscling local councils from generating revenue on items that border on motor parks, outdoor advertising, rents and many more.

The verdict of the court is in tandem with the core functions of the Supreme Court as an arbitration court between and among governments. -AA

Continue Reading

Headline

Supreme Court Grants LGAs Full Financial Autonomy

Published

on

By

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ruled that the 774 local government areas (LGAs) be given a full financial autonomy across the federation.

A seven-man panel of Supreme Court Justices led by Justice Garba Lawal delivered the ruling on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

The apex Court initially heard the suit between the Federal and State government on the autonomy of local government on June 13 and reserved judgment.

The suit marked SC/CV/343/2024 was filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), and it sought full autonomy and direct fund allocation to the 774 local government areas (LGAs) in the country.

Fagbemi requested the Supreme Court to order that funds for LGAs managed by caretaker committees appointed by governors, rather than elected chairmen and councillors, be withheld.

However, the 36 state governors, represented by their attorneys general, oppose the suit on various grounds, including their argument that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

In its ruliing on Thursday (today), the Supreme Court ordered that full financial autonomy be granted to the LGAs, recognizing them as an independent segment of the federation.

Continue Reading

Headline

Wike vs Ireti Kingibe: Time to Stop the Bully

Published

on

By

By Eric Elezuo

It is an understatement to say that there’s no love lost between the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nyesom Wike, and the Senator representing the FCT, Mrs. Ireti Kingibe. Their relationship has turned more soured than the proverbial cat and rat. In fact, both cannot see eye to eye, in as much as they are saddled with the same responsibility of promoting and developing the FCT.

While Kingibe, one of the four female senators in the Senate, is operating on the mandate of the people, having been duly elected under the Labour Party in a well contested election in the 2023 General Elections, Wike is an appointee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

No one has been able to explain the origin of the beef between the two political figures, but source close to The Boss, has said that differences in political affiliation may have triggered the initial animosity before it blossomed into full time hatred and cross verbal attacks, leading to the bullying of the Senator.

Senator Kingibe had complained earlier in the life of the administration that the FCT has shun all her approaches to synergise for the benefit of the Abuja residents, since she’s a direct interface of the people as an elected representative. But Wike, in his response tackled the Abuja Senator, asking her to stay away from him that he does not wish to be friends with her.

Wike had lambasted the Senator, accusing her of blackmailing him instead of communicating her problems through the right channels or better still focusing on her oversight functions.

He stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, stating that the lawmaker is aggrieved because the Senate President snubbed her for the position of the Senate Committee on FCT.

“I don’t want to be personal…she’s the Senator for FCT. She went around saying ‘oh, oh Wike is busy scraping roads…I should leave the roads till when the potholes come?” Wike said.

“Somebody wants to be your friend and you say ‘I don’t want to be your friend. Is it by force?’ The problem is that she wanted to be Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT and the Senate President said ‘I’m not giving you’.

‘What are you going to supervise me? You cannot supervise me. What is her interest, that I must see her? If I have a problem I’ll go and see her. I don’t have a problem. Nobody can intimidate me. Look, I was a Minister before. I became a governor of one of the most important states in Nigeria and she thinks that the only way you can bring me down is to go to Channels, TVC, saying the Minister is not carrying me along.

“I don’t have the back to carry. It’s not about blackmailing. Do the right thing. You know her problem? She ran election with my friend Philip Aduda and she sees me taking Philip everywhere instead of her being the Senator. Should I abandon my friend because he failed election?” Wike queried.

However, while the Senator has refused to stay bullied, Nigerians have said that time is now to tame the bully, and save the bullied from any further acts of disrespect.

Kingibe has made it clear however, that she is not in any interested in the friendship of Wike, who she only knows from a distance, but in working together to answer to the needs of the FCT residents, whom both of them have been mandated to serve at the moment.

Speaking on Arise News interview, the Senator reviewed as follows, taking into cognizance that Wike addresses her as one, who claims her senatorial role:

“That’s what he says. I am the senator, but he said in interviews that I claim that I am the senator of the FCT, and he is not obliged to deal with me. But I am saying that by sections 122 and 124 of the Evidence Act, he is bound by the judicial notice of the occupier of the seat of the senator of the FCT.

“I am also saying that section 24 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, imbues on him a duty, that is, the honourable minister, (I am not calling any names because anybody who is the minister is bound by those same laws and duties) to abide by the constitution, to respect all its ideals, institutions and legitimate authorities entirely.

“So just the same way that some Nigerians would have voted for the president, and some would not have, but as soon as he is declared the president, he becomes the president for everybody, and nobody can pick and choose who would rather be the president. And therefore, same applies to all offices regardless of party or any other position.”

She added, “Please what constitutes friendship between two people who have never met each other? I have never sat in the same room with the minister except in the senate committee. So how does friendship arise? Why would I want to be the friend of somebody I do not know?

“The truth of the matter is that the minister refuses to speak or communicate in any way with the senator representing the Federal Capital Territory. So, how are the wishes and the needs of the people to be communicated to him? Please tell me if you know a way.”

Responding while inaugurating the construction of Mabushi Bus Terminal, Phase I, in Abuja, came hard on the senator for her remarks threatening to unseat her as a serving senator in the next election.

Referring to her as a nameless person, Wike asked her to go hug the transformer, in a most derogatory attempt to inform that she does not matter in the scheme of activities in the FCT.

Wike said: “I overheard somebody in Arise this morning. Unfortunately, I hear the person is a member of National Assembly and it is unfortunate I say so. With all due respect, what you don’t know, you don’t know, what you know you know, and the good thing for you is to tell people you don’t when you don’t know, then people will educate you.

“The Honorable Minister of State and my humble self have not been in office for more than 11 months and the person is angry that they are praising us. If you don’t want to or you are angry about that, go and hand yourself in a transformer. If we have done well, we have done well. If we haven’t done well, we haven’t done well. I’m proud to say that in the short time that Mr. President has appointed us, we have done well.

“You said there are no hospitals and there are no hospitals. You, as a legislator, what have you done? How many bills have you sponsored for us to improve our education and health sector?

“I challenge that legislator. If you are very popular, 2027 come and run under Abuja, we will fail you. Do you think that what happened last time, will happen again? It will not happen again. Luckily for me, I am the FCT Minister now. So that is my territory and I’m not afraid.

“So, People should be able to come out and be able to accept the truth. We are not begging for anybody to become our friend, we have so many friends that we cannot even carry along. So how can we go and beg people to become our friends? We are not interested in that.

“If you are angry that people are praising us, by next year your BP level will go very high because the praises you would see would be too much.”

Many legislators were at the event, and they clapped for the minister at the remarks.

In another commissioning activity, the Senate President was on hand to deliver a speech, but ended up talking down on his colleague.

“I saw one of the legislators on television talking about you (Wike) and mentioning the fact that she was not carried along.

“Well, she is a member of the Senate. Once a decision is taken, she is bound by the decision. So, please ignore every distraction (from her) and be rest assured that no matter what you do, not everyone will praise you. Others will still try to find faults,” Mr Akpabio told Mr Wike, who was beaming with smiles.

Many other Senators were present at the event.

But Nigerians have come hard on the FCT Minister for his unguided utterances against an elected public officer, who is also a septugenarian, accusing him of lacking respect and playing God in the affairs of men.

In their response, the Labour Party, FCT branch, accused Wike of falling out of line, saying that Kingibe did nothing  y calling his attention to main needs of the Abuja residents.

The FCT chairman of the party, Comrade Diugwu Chukwuemeka, said by Wike’s outburst, he showed that he is not at home with the peculiarities of the FCT, nothing that the area is a conglomeration of different persons from across the length and breadth of the country.

“Does he not know that he is a tenant in FCT merely appointed by  the president and  if Mr. President decides to remove him, he will be removed without any ceremony,” the LP chairman queried.

On his part, the National Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Dr Ajuji Ahmed, described Wike’s attack on Senator Kingibe as verbal violence.

He said that Wike does not have the power to stop other politicians’ re-election because he is not the one that brought such politicians to the office in the first instance.

“That (the attack) amounts to verbal violence because there is no reason why he (Wike) should do that. He is not in the LP. It was LP that elected her. He has nothing to do with LP and he is not the entire electorate of the FCT. There is no way somebody can stop someone from being re-elected in three years time. It’s not a savoury statement.”

Also speaking, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, also described the verbal exchange between Wike and the FCT as bad.

He appealed to the two public officers to sheathe swords and collaborate for the overall progress of the FCT.

“For me, it is all politics. But it is unfortunate that they allowed their political differences to affect their service to the people.

“The senator representing FCT represents all Abuja and the entire Abuja has one FCT minister.

“It is the National Assembly that presides over Abuja. One would have expected the two to work together. But it is bad that they are fighting each other,” he said.

However, in total condemnation of Wike’s bullish approach to the administration of the FCT and attacks on Kingibe, the women of Abuja have held a protest, asking that Wike be checkmate in his untoward utterances against Kingibe.

“We, the Concerned Women of FCT, Abuja, are therefore calling on all women in Abuja to rise against Wike’s antics,” the women noted.

While Nigerians expect the legislators to come to the rescue and support of their colleague, the contrary is playing out, encouraging Wike’s bullish attitude. But Nigerians are stepping out of their comfort zone to curb the menace.

Nigerians also understand that Wike’s bullish stance extends to his Rivera State primary constituency, where he is slugging it out with the incumbent governor of the state, Mr. Siminalayi Fubara, over the control of the state. The state has,  in recent months, been a subject of political intrigues and violence as the parties fight for supremacy.

But time will tell.

Continue Reading

Trending