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ideas have consequences

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Former Presidential candidate in Nigeria's 2019 election writes to President Muhammadu Buhari on country's state of affairs.

Dear President Buhari,



A time comes in the life of every President, when legacy and posterity beckons. That time is now, because time is ticking, and time is no respecter of any person.
This is not a partisan message.  As a bona fide new-generation leader, and fellow stakeholder in the Nigerian project, I acknowledge that you did make some efforts to keep Nigeria moving forward in your first term; especially in your efforts to contain security in our Northeast corridor. However, most Nigerians have now judged those efforts as insufficient, given the state of insecurity nationwide today.


The security situation has now given rise to economic challenges. All Nigerians have a right to expect more from you, especially in your much avowed war against corruption, and insecurity.
On a very practical note, the below are areas Nigerians need to see timely dividends of democratic governance from your second term, with greater urgency.  Ignoring this well-intentioned counsel means a clear and present danger of Nigeria unraveling under your watch.



1. National Security
Nigeria is a very fragile nation today; from Sokoto to Ibadan, from Akwa Ibom to Bornu, and from Anambra to Adamawa. Mr. President, your inner circle may have played this down for you, but there is a crisis in the country now. Most Nigerians suspect that close advisers, who were also referenced by your wife in a 2018 speech in Abuja, may be limiting your exposure to the reality of today, because we are not seeing the sense of urgency that the moment requires from the government. Mr. President, there is a clear and present danger that Nigeria may unravel under your watch, or right after, if things do not change for the better. We do not want Nigeria to unravel, and we do not believe that you want that situation as well, because there simply will be no nation to govern if Nigeria unravels.



2. Corruption and  Cronyism
Mr. President, though we do not accuse you of personal corruption; however we have seen many cases of bizarre corrupt practices among your comrades across Nigeria under your watch. Most especially, we have seen recent former or present governors, who basically plundered their state beyond recognition, but who are still tagging alongside you and your party, in order to shield themselves from prosecution. We are all watching to see how a particular former Governor from the Southeast, who plundered his state beyond belief, and who drops your name every so often, will fare under prosecution by the EFCC.  We have seen this particular governor making moves to avert justice by seeking a perpetual “injunction” from prosecution, if this injunction succeeds, then we’ll know impunity has started in earnest under your watch.  We hope you will encourage the EFCC to do a creditable job with these people.


3. The New Cabinet
If anyone had informed Nigerians in a dream, that they would be hearing the names of the likes of Timipre Sylva, Godswill Akpabio, and others, who have “active” corruption cases running into billions of Naira, as ministerial designees in your new government, we would say it is a bad dream. However alas, we have been shocked by the list you just submitted to the Senate for confirmation, containing the names of these same people, plus other former ministers, who basically undermined your government, through extreme incompetence during your first term. What message are you sending here Mr. President?  Is this a signal that you have now embraced wholesale corruption in public life in Nigeria?




4. Infrastructure Power Works & Housing

Our Telecommunications and “Power Works & Housing” infrastructure is really of marginal condition, thereby leading to a stubbornly sluggish economy.  Lack of electricity alone, and a poorly maintained nationwide road network; limits interstate commerce inside Nigeria; thereby limiting the growth of our internal economy.  The state of telecommunications is limiting us from the 21st Century economy. Mr. President, let us not deceive ourselves, there’s no development or economic growth coming under the above conditions.  In-fact, serious investors are either turning back or deciding to wait you out.


Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who manned the “Power Works & Housing” ministry for you, was either overrated, or you didn’t give him a free hand to do the job. Either-way, infrastructure is in dire need of attention.


Solutions (Insecurity)


Mr. President, the least you can do right now is to rein-in the ethnic group in the mouth of every Nigerian, and increasingly every African and the world today; our very own Fulani brothers.  We are currently one country and all first-class citizens of Nigeria; therefore, if a rule applies to one ethnic group of Nigeria, it should apply to every ethnic group.
While I have met you one on one, and also have met many Fulanis in the ordinary course of a heritage in Nigeria, and do not believe every Fulani is evil; however somebody is indirectly inciting or condoning atrocities committed by people who wield AK47’s while herding cows across the country, it is even worse where those people are not known to be Nigerians.
Your ambivalence and lack of condemnation of various atrocities across the country speaks volumes. Further, “Ranching” is inevitable in a future Nigeria.  The sooner we join the league of civilized nations by “Ranching” our cattle, the sooner we can begin to enjoy a more robust economy, based on modern animal husbandry.
Today, the violence has also reverted back to the Northeast (and now the Northwest as well); because the insecurity was not contained as it ravaged the Middle Belt and the South. This time the insecurity is mixed with kidnapping and banditry.
Mr. President you would do well to support the urgent matter of initiating State and Community Policing urgently, that way, local officials down to the local government levels, can contain security in their regions, states, and LGA’s.





Solutions (Corruption)
Some former or present corrupt government officials must be prosecuted aggressively, and be convicted where the evidences warrant conviction, and actually serve commensurate long sentences for violating public trust, and impoverishing their states.  Various economic and security catastrophes including loss of citizens lives, can be directly attributed to the corrupt failures of some governors who governed these states, or manned certain agencies.
Legacy and posterity beckons to you Mr. President, let us not waste this opportunity.




Okey Samuel Mbonu is a former Presidential Aspirant, Strategic Advisor, Attorney and Consultant.  Mbonu earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD), Law, from Washington, DC; he served formerly as Commissioner for Housing & Community Development in Maryland, US and aExecutive Director of Nigerian-American Council Washington, DC . Mbonu advises on International Development & Conflict Resolution. This statement is released under authority by Charles Adeyinka, Senior Media Adviser to Hon. Okey Samuel Mbonu.  Adeyinka can be reached via the below contact email address.   Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wednesday, 24 July 2019 23:36

POEM: Albino Boy Biafra

Image result for Albino Boy Biafra

 

Albino Boy Biafra

By Emeka Chiakwelu


What was your name?
Where were your parents?
Why are you so thin and pale?
With torn clothes, half naked and emaciated body
Yes! You were a child of misery and grief
Born in hardship cupped with calamity
Etched in withered body and soul
A child birthed in cankerous wind
Rejected by monstrous rain

starved and malnourished because of an idea
Idea is dangerous
Because an idea never dies
believed in the liberation 
Of the freedom of mind and body
Mind is free but body is bound
Body was malnourished
Bones were brittle 
Stomach was anguished with strange noises 
While the idea was hidden in the mind


I was just a child and I was called a Biafra
I don’t even know what it means
yet I bear the brunt of the idea


My father was killed
My mother is heaped with sorrow of dry tears
We have no food to eat
We have no water to drink
We have no house to reside
So what happened to your food?


The big steel bird dropped fire from the sky
The fire consumed our farms
The fire burnt down our houses
The fire consumed our village
Fathers were burnt alive and mothers buried alive
While children were scattered
Like feathers of a slaughtered hen
Pales took my pictures but refused to feed me

I am the only one alive in my family
I have not eaten for days
I want to eat some food
But they said there was food blockade
What is food blockade?
For they said that starvation is weapon of war

I hate wars 
It took my father
It took my mother
It took my sisters
It my brothers
And finally it took my food.

 

 

Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including Harvard Education and Oxford University. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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