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You are here:Home>>Archive>>Displaying items by tag: PRESIDENT
Displaying items by tag: PRESIDENT
Thursday, 16 June 2011 00:54

What Mr. President must do to succeed


Although I was one of those Nigerians who underestimated the ability of Mr. President to conduct a free and fair election due to his interest in the Presidential race, I have come to realize that it was a misplaced thought. He has done well in that aspect, at least far better than the past since the return of Nigeria to democratic governance.

The road is clear and it is now for Mr. President to start delivering dividends of democracy to the people, especially on the promises he made to the Nigerian people in their geopolitical zones. The first thing that will make him succeed is a good, reliable and youthful cabinet that is made up of energetic (not weak), young (not old or too old), experienced (not inexperienced), selfless (not selfish and greedy), patriotic (not sabotaging) and God-fearing (not cultic) Nigerian citizens.


If that is done, then let him consider this agenda for his first tenure of four years. First, let him discard clustering agenda. The clustering of projects every year has not yielded any good in our developmental stride. A review of the past governments even at the state level has depicted that embarking on so many projects at the same time end up sharing the people’s fortune to a very few individuals. Such monies are often diverted into private pockets and have hardly been accounted for.


So, in the best interest of the country and its good people, the President should get closer to the masses to win their love, admiration and support. He must be reminded that God’s real love is with the poor and the down-trodden. He should embark on those projects that have direct impact on the masses. He has no option than to succeed because he has come at a time when any little positive change will distinguish him from the past.


I so dearly wish Mr. President takes one or two sectors every year, and not all the sectors at a time. What I imply is that while greater attention is paid to the sector of choice due to its exigency to the nation, other sectors would receive minimal attention. For instance, Mr. President should devote greater human and material resources to the power sector this year. By the end of 2011, a visible positive change can manifest.


Although 2011 has only six months to go, I still insist that the first sector whose fixing will give way to development in Nigeria is the power sector. Once Nigerians can have stable power supply, not only that business and industrial activities will thrive, jobs will be created through the birth of more industries and on the other hand, criminality will drastically reduce. A survey has shown that most of the criminal activities carried out by Nigerians are not unconnected to joblessness and idleness. So whatever this will take Mr. President in terms of money, Nigerians would not hesitate to give him the support he needs.


But before this can work, he should summon all those who import generators into this country and give them ultimatum to stop such. This can also work if he can assure them of other business opportunities which they can engage to make legitimate livelihood. But if such importation is contraband, then the Nigeria Custom and Immigration Service departments of the Ministry of Interior must be queried and cleansed. This is part of factors that have militated against the fixing of the power sector. Then, the NEPA or PHCN should be chastised.


In 2012, Mr. President should take on the education sector. It has been observed that our educational system has become so bad that some Nigerians prefer to send their children and wards to nearby countries like Ghana for studies. Also, it can be attested to that private school proprietors have mortgaged our educational sector. Hardly can any public school in any part of the country claim excellence. At the end, half baked students prepared by half baked teachers and instructors are produced from our public schools. Ignorance and half education are quite dangerous to the society. In Abuja and its environs, public schools are nothing to write home about. There are Government Secondary Schools at Lugbe along Airport Road and Aso in Mararaba where learning has remained a nightmare for students.


Mr. President should summon all the school proprietors from the nursery to tertiary level to discuss way forward for our education. Some of them should sell their schools to government or go into partnership to save the situation. Again, the Federal Government should attempt declaration of free education for certain percentage of the Nigerian citizens, especially the underprivileged. All the exchange scholarships between Nigeria and other countries should be channeled to the underprivileged who are definitely smarter, more serious and more patriotic.


Mr. President should also mandate every state to collaborate with the Federal Government in establishing a Federal University and a Federal Polytechnic in those states where there is either one or none. All the states of the federation should be mandated to declare effective, efficient and well-coordinated and monitored compulsory free education to the secondary school level. Those states which can afford to extend the free education to tertiary levels should be encouraged. After one year of complete attention to the education sector, Mr. President will choose another sector of choice.


Preferably in 2013, all attention should be turned to agriculture. Under this sector, a lot should be done. The groundnut pyramids should be rebuilt. The cocoa farms should be enlarged. Cassava farming and processing should be practically mechanized as Mr. President promised many times during his campaigns. All related industries in agriculture whether in stock, fishing and birds with the stability in power supply would have naturally began to grow from strength to strength.


In 2014, there should be focus on transportation and its diversification. Aggressive efforts should be laid on road constructions that link all parts of the country. For instance, there should be express double lane roads linking the North and Southeast, the Southsouth and the North, the Southwest and the Southeast and the North and Southwest. Many of the forests are just occupying spaces that can be used for roads. But before then, there is need to rehabilitate the existing federal roads linking states so that the armed robbery cases and accidents on them can be curbed. Maybe the President needs to query those contractors handling the dualization project of the Abuja-Lokoja Road which has taken so long to complete. Also, the former Ajaokuta Toll Gate junction has become a death trap.


Of equal importance, the airports and the seaports should be thoroughly tackled. Many more rivers should be dredged to enhance transportation by water. Mr. President should think of re-establishing the Nigerian Airways, despite all odds of the past. It is unbelievable that a country called Nigeria does not have a national carrier. Even if it is to be managed by the private sector in order to ensure efficiency and entrepreneurship, the name Nigeria Air is very dear to many Nigerians, including this writer. So, the President should summon transporters like Peace Mass Transit and others who have made tremendous efforts to link up the whole country in the transportation system by considering the masses even during festive periods as well as employing the teeming youths.


I do not attach much interest in Nigeria spending heavily on security. Interestingly, Nigeria has been blessed with world-class security intelligence and defence that can protect her from any external aggressions. Our security threats are all internal. And their architects are Nigerians themselves. That is why it has been difficult to quell, because many innocent citizens would be victims if force is to be applied. But we all know the causes of these civil disturbances and even the brains behind them are known to the authorities concerned. The problem is the lack of political will to face the so-called godfathers, moneybags, politicians, or whatever name to end this menace. Kidnapping is on. Armed robbery is a daily occurrence in one part or the other of the country. When you see the rampaging youths on the screens of television, one is convinced that they cannot have the money to buy the heavy and sophisticated weapons they carry. Yesterday, it was militancy in the Niger Delta. Today, it is Boko Haram in the far North. Who knows the next tomorrow?


Mr. President is the Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces and thus the Chief Security Officer of the nation. Let him identify those behind the gruesome killing of the citizens in Jos and Borno and bring them to book. He should also ensure that all those behind the murder of Nigerian youths in Bauchi, in Akwa Ibom, in Niger, in Kaduna, among others are exposed after the Sheikh Lemu led-panel must have submitted its report. There should be no dilly-dallying over the loss of innocent citizens.


By 2015 when Mr. President would be getting ready to conduct another freer and fairer elections, our power, education, agriculture, transport and security sectors (FIVE SECTORS) would have been stabilized. I will personally push for his second term. God bless our collective efforts to make Nigeria great.


Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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US President Barack Obama will welcome newly sworn in Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to the White House on June 8, officials said Saturday.

Obama "looks forward to consulting with President Jonathan on the latest regional and global developments, and deepening our strong bilateral partnership," his spokesman said in a statement.


Jonathan visits amid renewed tension in his country, after a series of blasts rocked Nigeria following his swearing-in last weekend, killing 18 people.

A southern Christian, Jonathan defeated ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north, in a April 16 poll that led to an explosion of rioting in Nigeria which killed more than 800 people.


In early May Obama commended Nigeria's elections, where he said the majority of ballots were cast free from intimidation, signalling a strong future for democracy, but he slammed the post-poll unrest as "deplorable."

Violence, he said, "has no place in a democratic society, and it is the responsibility of all Nigerians to reject it."


Jonathan's visit this week comes a day before Obama welcomes another west African leader, Gabon's Ali Bongo, to the White House to discuss strategic regional and bilateral topics.

The administration meanwhile this week announced another initiative to engage Africa with a visit by First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha to South Africa and Botswana later in the month.



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Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua, the Executive Governor of Katsina State, was born in Katsina Town, Katsina State in 1951. He started his primary education at Rafukka Primary School, Katsina in 1958. He left Rafukka for Dutsinma Boarding Primary School in 1962 from where he completed his primary education in 1964.
Between 1965-1969, Umaru Yar’adua was at Government College, Keffi in present-day Nasarawa State for his secondary education. He then moved to the famous Barewa College Zaria for his Higher School Certificate between 1970-1971. For his university education, Yar’adua attended the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria from 1972-1975 where he obtained the B.Sc Education/Chemistry. He returned to the same University from 1978-1980 for his M.Sc Degree in Analytical Chemistry.
Umaru Yar’adua’s working career began at the Holy Child College, Lagos for the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) between 1975 and 1976. He was a Lecturer at the Katsina College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria between 1976 and 1979. He moved to Katsina Polytechnic, also as a Lecturer in 1979 and was there until 1983 when he left the public service.
Yar’adua’s movement to the private sector started at Sambo Farms Ltd in Funtua, Katsina State as its pioneer General Manager between 1983-1989. He served as a Board Member, Katsina State Farmers’ Supply Company between 1984-1985, Member Governing Council of both Katsina College of Arts, Science and Technology Zaria and Katsina Polytechnic between 1978-1983, Board Chairman of Katsina State Investment and Property Development Company (KIPDECO) between 1994-1996.
Umaru Yar’adua served as a Director of many companies, including Habib Nigeria Bank Ltd. 1995-1999; Lodigiani Nigeria Ltd. 1987-1999, Hamada Holdings, 1983-1999; and Madara Ltd. Vom, Jos, 1987-1999. He was Chairman, Nation House Press Ltd, Kaduna between 1995-1999.
Yar’adua’s foray into party politics began as a Lecturer when he became an active member and mobilizer for the defunct Peoples’ Redemption Party (PRP). During the Transition Programme of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Yar’adua was one of the foundation members of the Peoples’ Front, a political association under the leadership of his elder brother, the late Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’adua. That association later fused to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Yar’adua was a member of the 1988 Constituent Assembly. He was a member of the party’s National Caucus and the SDP State Secretary in Katsina and contested the 1991 Governorship election, but lost to the candidate of the National Republican Convention.
At the inception of General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s transition in 1998, Yar’adua founded the K34 political association which later teemed up to form the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He contested and won election as Governor of Katsina State in 1999 and was re-elected in 2003.
Governor Yar’adua is best remembered as the first Governor to publicly declare his assets and has promised to do same again at the end of his tenure.
During his tenure as Governor, the state has gone through an unprecedented development, culminating in profoundly transformation of the educational and health institutions, provision of rural and urban roads, electrification, water supply and agriculture. Today, people of Katsina State can boast of a Governor with proven record of prudence, accountability and transparency. Under his leadership, Katsina State now has a surplus of N6.5billion from a near empty treasury and back log of debts in 1999. No wonder, Umaru Yar’adua won the National Primary Education Productivity Merit Award in 2004 and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Best Governor Award under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) in 2005. Yar’adua’s primary health care delivery system and primary education policies have become models with compelling national appeal. His determination to make taxation the major source of public finance in Katsina State has currently pre-occupied his administration with implementation of plans to process and make viable neem production in the State. This is expected to bring in export revenue in excess of USD2billion to farmers and people of Katsina State. The Governor further expects 25% of this or USD500 million to accrue to the state treasury as revenue for the sustenance of his efforts. He was honoured with many other awards for prudence and accountability, among which are NUJ Abuja Council (2003); NUJ Kaduna Council (2005) and Leadership Watch (2004).
Yar’adua is happily married to Hajia Turai Umaru Yar’adua and they are blessed with children.
He enjoys reading and playing squash.

Published in Archive