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Last Monday, wisdom shouted from a hilltop in the North such that everyone would hear. But those who heard are dismissing it with a wave of the hand. Others who must react overlooked the wisdom and in its stead poured invectives on the medium wisdom used. They claimed the medium has no business speaking wisdom.
Those against what was spoken took this position because they were so blinded by one or all of these: their narrow-mindedness; their being very accustomed to acting in the same way that wisdom is asking them to correct; their being so obsessed with the cause wisdom is speaking against. I can surely say that the foregoing and more must have combined to delude these opponents of the wise proclamation.
This becomes a verity owing to the fact that a professor and a doctor are involved. You can agree with me that it takes much more than one of the above three factors to make a professor neglect wisdom when he accosts it, unless such a professor does not merit going by that tag. Because, any scholar who is a doctor or professor is by that title supposed to be a lover of wisdom.
But, one thing I can surely say is that there is wisdom in the recent utterance of Mohammed Abba-Gana. Mark my words, I didn’t say wisdom permeated all he said but a substantial part of his postulation were clothed with wisdom. The other part that came bare was where he spoke like a member of PDP Board of Trustees that he is. But like they say it’s unwise to throw away a baby alongside the bathwater.
So let’s focus on the baby which is that the north presently needs at least four years to search for a suitable presidential material that could unify the region and that after producing nine of the country’s leaders, the North should give other sections of the country a break to produce the number one citizen as well.
But before people like Prof Ango Abdullahi and Dr Junaid Mohammed take me to the Golgotha, let me disclaim that the above is not my idea. It remains the idea of the man they had already taken to the cleaners. Yet, wisdom rushing through that outlet continued, “Mind you, the region has produced about eight or nine former heads of state of this country and it did not take away poverty from the North.”
True talk! You see, when wisdom speaks, it’s always incontrovertible. That’s why people who want to dispute wisdom hold unto trivialities instead of addressing issues raised by it. They, most times, attack the messenger not the message. This, we saw in the reaction of others to what wisdom said through Abba-Gana who was a one-time FCT minister.
The Secretary-General of Northern Elders’ Forum(NEF)- Prof Ango Abdullahi and Dr Junaid Mohammed- a second Republic lawmaker dismissed the former minister as a politician who had always fraternized with the wrong political group for his personal interest, asking him to speak for himself and not the North.
For Prof Abdullahi, “Abba-Gana is more of a businessman than a people-oriented leader from the North. Having failed to advance any reason why the north should wait for another four years(but he did) to enable Jonathan to run again, he should hide his face in shame.”
On his part, Dr Mohammed maligned, “Abba-Gana was one of the errand boys when we were in active politics and should not be taken seriously because he has no political clout even in Borno State. He does not really merit any response from right-thinking northerners.”
Reading what these two elders said of the former FCT minister show how bigotry has affected their reasoning. Why should right-thinking northerners, nay, Nigerians not take him serious when he has suggested what can take us out of the woods. Let’s then ask, since they aren’t comfortable with what was said, which suitably qualified presidential material from the north has wide acceptance across the region at the moment?
This is because, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State who was with Abba-Gana when he was making the statement, dissociated northern minorities from the clamour for power to shift back to the north. Thus, not until the North produces a candidate with whom both the majority and minority will be well pleased, Abba-Gana’s words remains a true counsel that is worthy of acceptance, not rejection.
We would have forgiven these two northern leaders if their reactions which came separately were immediate. But, it did not. It took over 48 hours in coming meaning they had ample time to find fault in the nub of Abba-Gana’s statement but they just couldn’t. Tell me, what error is there to find in the disclosure that the North has produced nine of our past leaders yet poverty remains very evident there?
Or what is wrong in the assertion that the North should spare another four years to be used in searching and grooming a presidential material with mass appeal that would better appreciate the demands of being a president and minister to the needs of our country? This is what I’m holding unto in all Abba-Gana said and I advise all Nigerians to treasure that as well.
For, one of the prominent reasons our country is in this parlous state is because we’ve always had accidental leaders. People who, in their wildest imagination, never thought of becoming presidents or heads of state. Some of them get into reverie when they were told they will be the next ruler and by the time they came out of that state, their government have wandered off rudderless.
As such, sparing the next term to thoroughly search and prepare a presidential candidate can be a panacea to bringing about a purposeful leader that would end the biting poverty in the North and other parts of the country. And I’m surprised that a professor in the calibre of a former Vice-chancellor of ABU Zaria cannot see the sense in this.
The way some politicians are going about 2015 makes one think there will be no 2019, 2023, 2027… in this country. That a section of the country did not produce the president in 2015 does not mean that same will elude it in 2023. I guess this is the understanding the Igbos have that is making them not so bothered about having one of theirs as president. For as far as there exists Nigeria, one day an Igbo man will be the president. How I wish other zones will come to this understanding.
However, there are fears expressed by Prof Abdullahi and Dr muhammed which to them was why the North can’t wait for another four years. They said that Jonathan lacked the capacity to move Nigeria forward after having failed to tackle the myraid of challenges confronting the nation. They maintained that another four years for Jonathan would push the country into the abyss.
While these fears are not out of place, we can still get around it, not by quarrelling with Abba-Gana, who left out this part as a PDP chieftain, but by throwing our support at other candidates in the race. What else would you have me say, since we should disqualify the North for not having a suitable candidate and Jonathan shouldn’t run so as not to dispatch the country into abyss, let other candidates from other zones run.
By the time one of the candidates who won must have finished his tenure Nigeria would have escaped a place in abyss and the north must have finished grooming and preparing a suitable and generally accepted candidate that will deliver the goods. You see, it promises to be a win-win situation for everybody.
The drumbeats of the 2015 presidential elections are very clear and even deafening on the side of the amalgamated but yet unregistered opposition party. However the People Democratic Party is threading, cautiously as a result of the Presidents ban on Political Campaigns for 2015. President Goodluck Jonathan has warned his ministers and officials to resign if they want to participate in the politics of 2015 and some have complied. This disciplined approach to governance is to ensure the administration’s focus is not derailed or dimmed by early politicking for 2015.
It is however pertinent to note that this is the first time a sitting President would restrict politicking to a specific period to allow the government-in-power to concentrate on governance without much distraction. In previous civilian regimes politics and campaigns for the next election take off immediately the government in-power is sworn in, especially when the incumbent president is contesting the next election. And this is the one of the disadvantages of the double tenure system as against the 6 years single tenure which President Goodluck Jonathan proposed in 2011. This fine proposal was killed by the National Assembly especially the Tambuwal-led House of Representatives which attacks with the ferocity of a starved lion any proposal or bill originating from the presidency.
The anti Jonathan plot is thickening by the day just as the Jonathan administration is scoring very high in areas of the economy, infrastructures, security, education and good governance.
But all the plots of the opposition will crumble like a pack of cards because it is the people who will elect their President not Tambuwal and definitely not the new messiah of south west politics. And of course not Prof Ango Abdullai, the new chairman of the Northern Elders Forum who just last week threatened that the North will not accept President Goodluck Jonathan as their President in 2015. I did not expect anything less from the Prof who has for long been sidelined in Northern Politics and only ascended into his political eldorado recently.
However it is frantically unfortunate that the learned professor has never commented on the critical lack of education or even total lack of education in Northern Nigeria. About a forthright ago the Director General of the Nigerian Teachers Institute (NTI), Kaduna, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu shocked the nation when he said less than 20% of teachers in the North are qualified to teach. This means more than 80% of teachers in the North are themselves illiterates with mainly certificates in Islamic Studies. If this woeful educational imbalance is allowed to fester it will not be too far from now when the effect of such ignorance and illiteracy will manifest into anger and violence that will obliterate the Nation called Nigeria. Professor Ango Abdullai and his gang of professional politicians should bury their heads in shame and plan proactively to reverse this poignant and dangerous trend of ignorance which has reached a fatally critical level. After all Aristotle and Horace Mann said respectively “Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead” and that a “Human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated”
The figures on education in the North are mind boggling. Before the boko haram insurgency 10 million school age children were already out of school in Northern Nigeria alone. With the recent wanton wastage of the lives of pupils/students in Yobe States and other boko haram states in the North, the withdrawal from school will almost double.
In 2010 Adamu Ciroma and his co-horts tried all the tricks in their political lexicon but President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan won in all the geopolitical zones including Katsina State which is the home state of his main opponent. In 2010, so many associations and fora sprang up to defeat GEJ but they all failed because of the pull and allure of President Goodluck Jonathan’s promises and candidacy. And today Nigeria is better for it as GEJ is on course in his efforts to bring Nigeria out of the woods. A critical look at the President’s transformation program showed that out of the 14 points program the president had already achieved reverberating success in 8 of them and on course in the remaining 6 points.
Let us take a brief look at the economy-Nigeria’s economy like all other economies of the world cannot escape the challenges and the woes of the global economic crises. Even the worlds 3 biggest economies, USA, China and Japan battle with their own difficult peculiarities. Even China which plans to topple American monopoly of the numero Uno Spot in 2023 has its own peculiar problems. In its figures for the 2nd quarter, China recorded just over 7% growth which is less than the experts projection.
Inspite of these challenges Nigeria has fared very well under President Goodluck Jonathan: Our GDP has recorded encouraging growth and this has stabilized our exchange rate at between N150 to N160 per dollar for a long period of time. In May 2011 our inflation rate was 12.4 percent but today it is about 9.1%. The domino effect of this on the economy is inestimable.
Our external reserve also rose from $38.08 Bn in May 2011 to #48.4BN in May 2013. Our External Crude Account (ECA) also rose from $4BN in May 2011 to $9BN in December 2012 and in May 2013 we recorded $6BN. This is because our projected crude oil production fell from the 2.53 million bdp to between 2.1 and 2.2mn bpd. Government annual borrowing was also drastically reduced from N852 BN in 2011 to N588 BN in May 2013.
The Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration is assiduously working to earn international trust and confidence and this has made Nigeria the highest foreign investment destination in Africa with a whooping $7BN Foreign Direct Investment. Many foreign investors have openly praised the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration due to his transparence and absence of covert and personal pre-agreement conditionalities and kickbacks as in some previous regimes.
The administration has added more kudos to its strings of achievements in the area of agriculture by blocking some loopholes in the procurement and distribution of fertilizers. Gone are the days when top officials of government and fertilizer distribution parastatals became billionaires overnight without any query from former conniving presidents.. we now have a fairly diversified economy with our non-oil sector increasing export from 9% in 2008 to 31% in 2012.
In 2008 our total oil export was 91% of total export making it a mono-commodity economy but today total oil export is now 69% of total export while non-oil export is for the 1st time since the 1970s hitting 31%. The administrations stride in food production like cassava, wheat and rice has been phenomenal. The Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration has moved the nation just one step to food self-sufficiency and this has moved the people out of poverty.
In the areas of rail and road transportation the Jonathan administration has achieved political, cultural and mental demystifications. These were infrastructural facilities that were already pronounced DEAD, but the President Goodluck Jonathan administration has resuscitated them to the glory of God.
For the past 30 years our railway system has been between comatose and DEAD but because of his love for this naturally blessed and endowed nation, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan performed the rail miracle. In December 2012 he flagged off and reinstated the Lagos/Kano rail link in the western rail corridor and in May 2013 he commissioned the Abuja/Kaduna rail link. Also intracity rail services are now fully operational in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna.
The impact of the re-invigoration of the rail system on the economy his another plus for the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Food prices will reduce and Nigerians now travel more comfortably and cheaper too. The rail system will also convey those heavy equipment like machinery, steel, cements etc. whose transportation has had a negative effect on our roads.
In the road sector government has made Nigerians very proud with the refurbishment of the Lagos-Ore-Benin Road, Kano-Maiduguri Road, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road. Even most of the eastern roads which were hitherto gullies of death traps are now pleasurably motorable. The much publicized East-West trans state road linking the West to the East is also progressing as planned.
For his love for Nigerians, President Goodluck Jonathan wants the best for Nigerians, and he is right on track. Let us also remember that the President is one of us. He does not have the traditional power base of Nigeria’s power brokers. His father was a local community leader and a canoe builder. When choosing his minister he did not go begging to Nigeria’s politically established families to release one of their sons or daughters for ministerial or ambassadorial appointments to maintain the status quo.
This president has been focused ab-initio but with great challenges from Aminu Tambuwal and his opposition team.
Petrol queues have vanished. The usually quarterly deregulation tango is now a thing of the past.
Electricity even with its external sabotage by loyalist of past presidents has improved tremendously. And the President is not losing focus as electricity will be one of his greatest legacies.
Most Nigerians are highly impressed by the President’s handling of the boko haram issue. A few critics have lambasted the President for handling the boko haram issue with kid gloves instead of using the bulldozer approach which leveled Odi in Nov. 20, 1999. But even the most powerful military leader will find it almost impossible to bulldoze Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Kano states to flush out boko haram.
Is it not however encouraging to note that inspite of boko haram and our security challenges, Nigeria is still the preferred destination of foreign investors with a foreign direct investment of $7BN in 2012.
Despite this new spring of life in Nigerians, why does the North and the opposition rage against President Goodluck Jonathan.
Northern Nigeria has its own special programme for Nigeria-to permanently govern Nigeria while southern Nigeria plays the underdog permanently. Chief Obafemi Awolowo almost single-handedly fought against this obnoxious monopoly of power but he did not get the support of the then Eastern States which played the beautiful bride even as late as 1979. But today the situation has reversed itself. While the Old Eastern States are fighting for equity in governance the now “nouveau riche” leaders in the south west are fighting to become permanent political underdogs as the new leaders in the southwest have jettisoned the imperishable Awolowo Legacy.
The North has never hidden its disdain for the right of southerners to govern this country since amalgamation in 1914 and self-government rule in 1957 when Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa became Nigeria’s first Prime Minister-ala the incredibly fictional census conducted by the colonial masters. From 1957, the North ruled Nigeria till 1999 apart from Gen. Obasanjo’s 3 years military rule. The North after ruling for 38 years now felt very sorry for the south and openly ceded power to the South West due to Gen. Obasanjo’s support for President Shehu Shagari in the 1983 122/3 saga that finally nailed Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s ambition to make Nigeria a nation to be reckoned with in the comity of advanced nations. And so the North has ruled Nigeria for 41 years while the south in 2013 has ruled for 15 years from 1957.
Boko haram was rehabilitated and refurbished by northern leaders to intimidate, embarrass and scare President Goodluck Jonathan from governing Nigeria because he is a minority President. The North should think of ways of educating its citizenry and support Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s educational programme for the Almajiri’s. The North will still vote Goodluck Ebele Jonathan into power inspite of the Ango Abdullais and the now sidelined Adamu Ciromas.
President Goodluck Jonathan may not be a strong, military, bulldozing president but nothing will deprive him of his constitutional right to contest the 2015 presidential election.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may be humble and humanitarian in nature but he is genetically engineered by that never-yielding Izon gene that makes him stand where others buckle, fight when there is need to, display the universally acknowledged Izon generosity when the need arises.
As an Izon, he was brought up in a stormy and sometimes violent oceanic environment and he survived it all. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s story until this moment is a story of survival amidst insurmountable odds.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will run for the Presidency in 2015 and there will be no “shaking” about this by the special grace of GOD.
SO RUN JONATHAN RUN
Despite President Jonathan's claim of excellent performance in the regime's mid-term report, the unanswered question remains: are Nigerians better off today than they were when he came in? Vincent Obia writes
The last one week has seen a vigorous debate in the media on President Goodluck Jonathan's mid-term report on the execution of his "Transformation Agenda." Jonathan delivered the report on Democracy Day with a vibrant - almost haughty - tone that reflected the thinking within the government. But outside the government, especially, among the masses, it is virtually impossible to find anyone who will confess that they have witnessed changes that are anywhere near the bright picture the president had painted. The reason is obvious.
When Jonathan was inaugurated in 2011, he rolled out a transformation agenda he said was designed to tackle some core problems, including unemployment and poverty, rising debt profile - especially domestic debts, high recurrent over capital expenditure, over-dependence on oil, inflation, infrastructure and housing deficit, falling external reserves, and food insecurity. Two years on, those problems remain largely unresolved.
The country's annual budget is still markedly skewed in favour of recurrent expenditure. For instance, in the 2013 budget, nearly 70 percent of the total funds are earmarked for recurrent expenditure, against about 30 percent for capital expenditure.
Budget accountability remains a problem. The federal government has seemed to adopt a policy of keeping oil price benchmarks low to accommodate the vagaries of the international pricing system. But even though the feared shortfalls in prices have hardly occurred in recent years, leaving the country with huge excess crude oil revenues, the extra income has mainly been consumed in recurrent expenditure or used to cover deficits that experts say are needless. Last year, the federal government made borrowings to cover a deficit of between N700 billion and N800 billion in the budget, despite the fact that oil prices hovered between $90 and $115 per barrel, against the budgeted benchmark of $72.
The above situation has caused a needless accumulation of debts. Nigeria had risen to become the biggest recipient of disbursements from the International Development Association between 2009 and 2012. The country is also said to have the biggest outstanding IDA portfolio in Africa.
The IDA is an international financial institution under the World Bank Group that offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. Though, Nigeria remains comfortably within the internationally accepted 40 per cent debt/Gross Domestic Product ratio and the 25 per cent country specific threshold for debt stock levels, experts doubt if the country really belongs to the class of countries the IDA funds are meant for, judging by its huge surplus earnings from oil.
The mid-term report stated that the government's annual borrowing had fallen from N852 billion in 2011 to N588 billion in 2013. This amount could double before the end of the year. But the unanswered question remains: are Nigerians better off today than they were when Jonathan took over?
Only last December, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, lamented that the country was borrowing too much and heaping up a heavy debt burden for future generations.
The national debt comprises mainly government bonds and treasury bills. The government makes these borrowings from banks at exorbitant rates, which creates a disincentive for lending to the real sector. Experts say economic productivity would hardly be encouraged at the present lending interest rate of between 15 and 20 percent.
In the power sector, which experts describe as the main engine of growth, with a population of nearly 200 million, Nigeria only managed to leap from about 2, 000 megawatts, when Jonathan came in 2011, to just over 4, 000 megawatts. This represents an improvement, but it is one that is too infinitesimal for a country that aspires to be among the world's 20 largest economies by 2020.
Besides, Nigeria's electricity production puts it far behind its closest competitors in Africa, like South Africa. With a population of about 50 million people, South Africa produces 34, 000 megawatts of electricity to meet current demands, and this production figure is said to increase every year.
The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo had laid the basic foundation for power transformation, which many had expected the Jonathan government to take beyond the present state.
Despite marginal improvements, quality and quantity of education remains in shortfall. The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa'I, disclosed in April that only 520,000 (30%) of the over 1.7 million candidates that wrote this year's Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) could gain admission into the country's universities, polytechnics, and Colleges of Education.
The plight of the education sector may not end soon, what with the 8.7 percent allocation to education in this year's budget - a paltry leap, but a far cry from the United Nations recommended rate of at least 26 percent for developing countries.
The fear in many circles is that things may not get any better in the next two years of the president's tenure, as governance looks set to take a backseat for politics ahead of the 2015 general election.
While no one would contest that that there have been flickers of hope here and there since the last two years, it is obvious that the rate of progress does not call for the kind of pass mark Jonathan awarded his administration in his mid-term report.
The attempt to make the National Youth Council of Nigeria another battlefield for the 2015 politics is very unfortunate. The yoke of partisanship has made it impossible for the NYCN to elect a new leadership after two attempts in Akure and Makurdi. Reports allege that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, working through the Minister of Youth Development, had imposed a candidate on the council even without an election.
While campaigning for the 2011 presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan found it handy to use the NYCN to reach millions of young people across the country. But no one seemed to complain. However, the current attempt to hijack, corrupt, and reduce the otherwise non-partisan organisation to the crude partisanship that is the lot of Nigerian politics at the moment is evil, to say the least.
Rather than corrupt the youth of the country through undue infiltration of their ranks, the ruling party or, indeed, any serious political party should think of how to groom young people within its fold for future leadership. The African National Congress in South Africa is doing this, and it is the practice in every country in world where the political class is serious-minded.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has announced a state of emergency in the country's northeast. He said the government would do everything to put an end to the terrorist attacks.
Nigeria put its northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa under a state of emergency amid an increase of terrorist activity from the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram in recent weeks.
"These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten [its] territorial integrity," said President Jonathan in a live broadcast Tuesday night. "As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this."
The president said the terrorist activities were a "threat to [Nigeria's] national unity" and a "systematic effort" to destabilize the country.
Jonathan ordered troops to help stem the insurgency in the country's northeast where some towns have reportedly fallen under the control of Boko Haram. The state politicians will retain the powers of the offices they hold despite the military deployment to the region.
Boko Haram, whose name means, "Western education is sacrilege," in the Hausa language has been calling for shariah law to be imposed across Nigeria.
Muslims comprise about half of Nigeria's population of 175 million. About 40 percent of its citizens are Christian.
Since launching their insurgency against the central government in 2010, Boko Haram and splinter groups have staged numerous terrorist attacks on security forces and civilians, in which at least 1,600 people were killed.
Late last week, 200 heavily armed gunmen staged a coordinated attack on a police station and prison in Borno state in a bid to free inmates. At least 55 people died in the siege.
kms/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Source: Deutsche Welle
President Goodluck Jonathan visiting the region at the heart of an Islamist insurgency for the first time since he was elected in 2011, on Thursday rebuffed calls for an amnesty deal for the extremists.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit came amid mounting political pressure for him to travel to the region and followed calls this week from Nigeria’s top Islamic figure for an amnesty deal for insurgents.
Jonathan landed in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and considered the home base of Islamist extremists Boko Haram, and travelled by helicopter to neighbouring Yobe state, also hit by repeated attacks blamed on the group.
Security was tight, with soldiers stationed along roads and movement restricted. He is due to return to Maiduguri later Thursday for a visit that will extend into Friday.
The president said he could not rule out an amnesty deal in the future, but said that it was impossible to negotiate an agreement with Boko Haram because their identities and demands remained unclear.
“You cannot declare amnesty for ghosts,” Jonathan told an audience of politicians and dignitaries in the Yobe state capital Damaturu, broadcast live on national television.
Jonathan made reference to a 2009 amnesty deal for militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, where the president is from.
The deal has been credited with greatly reducing unrest in the Niger Delta, but criminality has since flourished, including the theft of crude oil on a massive scale, costing Nigeria an estimated $6 billion per year.
“In the Niger Delta, if you call them, they come and they will tell you their grievances,” he said. “But Boko Haram, I don’t see anybody who says they are Boko Haram.”
The visit came with Jonathan facing political pressure to visit the northeast, wracked by scores of bombings and shootings blamed on Boko Haram. The military has been accused of major abuses in response to the insurgency.
It is also the region where seven members of a French family were believed taken after being kidnapped on February 19 just over the border in Cameroon. They remain held by the abductors and their whereabouts are unknown.
There have been growing calls for Jonathan to visit the area. A group of opposition state governors visited Maiduguri last week, drawing further attention to Jonathan’s absence there.
Jonathan earlier in the day held talks with Yobe governor Ibrahim Geidam and was due to help commission a number of government projects.
Violence linked to Boko Haram’s insurgency in northern and central Nigeria has left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.
The group has claimed to be fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, though its demands have repeatedly shifted.
It is believed to include various factions with differing aims, in addition to imitators and criminal gangs who carry out violence under the guise of the group.
Nigeria’s 160 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. Jonathan, a southern Christian, has been accused by his opponents of neglecting the northeast.
Dear Mr President,
I am writing this piece upon my return from Maiduguri "The Seat of the Kanuris" "Home of Hospitality". Maiduguri, a once bustling town for beehive of commerce: for trader’s en-route to Lake Chad for buying and selling of fish. The only city Othman Dan Fodio could neither conquer nor capture in his jihad conquest. Maiduguri, Nigeria international gateway to Chad [Gamboru Ngala], has suddenly turn into a city that has to go to sleep by 6:00pm.
The once proud Kanuri's has being forced into recluse; the menace of Boko Haram on the economy off Borno State is beyond my permutation. From a political thug created by the former state governor Senator Ali Modu Sheriff 'ECOMOG', this political thug metamorphoses into Africa's second deadliest Islamic sect.
They have virtually turned Maiduguri nay the entire North Eastern part of Nigeria into a no go area. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, despite security warnings dare the Boko Haram enclave, he went, he saw, he dialogue. Your Vice-President Arc Namadi Sambo also briefly visited Maiduguri.
But sir, your Excellency haven't dare to step into Maiduguri [the Boko Haram enclave] to see for yourself the magnitude of human, materials and environmental destruction the Boko Haram has unleashed on the hapless citizens of the North East zone of Nigeria.
2015 presidency is now a ding-dong, if eventually your party [PDP] fielded you and you sail through as the PDP flag-bearer, will you be in Maiduguri for hustling? May be Aso Rock Villa's hillock is shielding your Excellency. It is time, you dare the Boko Haram, visit Maiduguri, your Excellency and behold a once 'Pearl of the Kanuri's' turned to 'Darkness at Noon'.
In raising the American flag on the Japanese Island of Iwojima, by the US Marines, the allied commander General Arthur Mac-Douglas, described Japan's 'kamikaze' divine wind' [the once supposedly invincible wind],as a defeated man made wind!
The sects are not faceless, endure your Excellency and pay a visit to Maiduguri, enough of this annihilation of defenseless and hapless Maiduguri citizens. Senator Alimodu Sheriff is still alive same goes to some senior serving National Assembly members, senior government [federal and state] officials and businessmen who have being indicted for aiding and sponsoring these sects.
In the heat of Iraq war, former US President, George Bush, was in Baghdad. Borno State is part of your constituency and your Excellency should not watch the state reduce to rubles. Maiduguri is at standstill, with fear all over. Commercial activities [especially the internationalfish trading market] are gradually going and have been paralyzed. It is indeed a sad scenario seeing Maiduguri, a once thriving city going under, no thanks to the Boko Haram malaise.
Mr President, you are the last man standing not to have visited Maiduguri [the Boko Haram enclave], your deputy has dared, your visit may and hopefully calm the sects. Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying at his ashram to Lord Irwin "when your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in his Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems not only of our country but those of the whole world".
Mr President, try Mahatma Gandhi's ashram meeting with Lord Irwin and visit the Boko Haram, dare them!
Enough of these wanton killings and destruction!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Country Representative; Whisper Poetry.
Cells:+234  812-148-2077.
+234  816-950-3218.
"As you inch towards the ultimate in life. Lessons are meant to learn in the highest level of administration"
Welcome to Nigeria's seat of power [Aso Rock Presidential Vila] media musketeers, where critics of Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan [writers, social commentators and opposition political parties] are sent to the cleaners by the president three media musketeers; Reuben Abati, Labaran Maku, and Doyin Okupe. The trio are so proficient in their media counter attacks that one wonders if President Goodluck Jonathan will be Nigeria's president for life. Reuben Abati's tweeting, Labaran Maku's press releases and Doyin Okupe's press briefings.
May be president Goodluck Jonathan should have look for someone like Cassius Longinus; described as a "Living Library and A Walking Museum", and the three media musketeers should red the biography of Cassius Longinus, and learn the rudiments of becoming a good adviser, as this will aid them in their respective advise to the President Goodluck Jonathan.
In his tweets, Reuben Abati is always attacking perceived and imaginary enemies of the president/ Reuben Abati who once command my respect [I was even contemplating meeting him before his appointment to write a forward of my upcoming book "Nigeria; My Country, My Hopes"] but with hs recent outbursdt on Twitter, I have confine Reuben Abati into the confine of a forgotten mentor. During his days as th Editorial Chairman, Guardian
Newspaper, I look forward each day to read Guardian Newspaper Editorial. A man who once carve a nich for himself on the terrain of Nigeria media and is about leaving a rich footprints, has suddenly plummeted into the dustbin of Nigeria media footprints history. Abati's "Hypocrisy of Yesterdays Men" is a sheer insults!
As for Doyin Oupe, the fear of EFCC is the beginning of wisdom. With his current travails with Benue State government over alleged contract scandal and non-performance of job and possible arrest by the EFCC. It is indeed not surprising seeing Doyin Okupe doing a yeoman's job having previously serve Olusegun Obasanjo as a Media aide.
Labran Maku, Nigeria's Minister of Information couldn't have done otherwise. He has continue to use the once most revere ministry under Professor Dora Akuyili, to denigrate Jonathan's critics [perceived or imaginary]. He has to effectively counter ACN's effective media propaganda. Labaran Maku will want Nigerians to forget history as Nigerians rarely remembers HISTORY!
Nigeria's Information Minister, Labaran Maku photo:omg
President Jonathan has not only fumbled and wobbled he has waffled, a close look at his two years in the saddle of Nigeria's affairs as a ruler, his performances is nothing to write about. No significant performer and achievement in all segments and sector of Nigeria. The most alarming monsters; CORRUPTION and UNEMPLOYMENT remain untamed! YOUWIN, SURE-P, EFCC, ICPC and The Judiciary, has remain a toothless Alsatian dog that can neither bark nor bite.
By next year 2014, Nigeria will be celebrating here 100th year as an entity and in all these, it has been woes upon woes afflicted on the hapless citizens of Nigeria by the her rulers. The trio of Jonathan Media musketeers is creating a media rhythm danceable to all; Reuben Abati on Twitter, Jonathan on Facebook, Doyin Okupe on Press Briefings, and Labara Maku on Press Releases!
And the president making it known on Facebook that he has started creating jobs maybe for; Gravediggers, Kidnappers, 419, Human Parts sellers, Prostitutes and Kid laborers.
Can the media war unleashed by President Jonathan's three media musketeers sway votes for him in 2015? "To your tents, Nigerians in 2015."
Again, I await Reuben Abati's accusations of malapropism!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Country Representative; Whisper Poetry.
Cells:+234  812-148-2077.
+234  816-950-3218.
The power of speech by leaders, human rights campaigners and religious leaders are captivating, soothe pains, calm fray nerves, encourages, and propels patriotic zeal. Famous leaders, human rights campaigners, clergy men world over has one time or the other use the power of speech to inspire their followers "I Have a Dream;
“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: ‘For Whites Only.’ We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’
“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed" by Rev Martin Luther King Jr of US, inspire and propel US Blacks to equal rights., "This not the end of the beginning nor the beginning of the end, but the beginning of the beginning" by Winston Churchill, propel the Britons after the 2nd World War, "America New Deal", by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, propels the Americans after the 2nd World War " He who makes peaceful change impossible, makes violent change impossible" By Mahatma Gandhi, "Think of what you can do for your country, and not your country can do for you", by J.F.Kennedy, ignites the patriotism in Americans, President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo to the World Muslim Congress earn him the Noble Prize In Peace and also" I Believe, I Can, It Is Possible" elicited voters across USA to vote for him.
Famous oratorical prowess of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abibakar Tafawa Balewa, Kwame Nkruma of Ghana, Nelson Mandela of South Africa conveys messages that are famous, inspiring, encouraging, pains soothing, convincing and ignites patriotic zeal.
Since coming to power as Nigeria president, president Goodluck Jonathan has continue to slip further into confusion, controversies, vision less and leadership inept with his speeches, comments and interviews. While some world leaders use their oratorical prowess to hone their leadership abilities, president Jonathan's speeches has rather been disillusion, confused, immature, and brazenly laden with opaqueness.
Corruption laden officials have thrive under Jonathan than any previous administration in Nigeria's 52 years as an entity. With a whooping N5.2tn allegedly siphon under Jonathan]'s administration One would have thought Jonathan will be a better leader, [having serve as a deputy governor, a governor, deputy vice-president, acting president and eventually becoming a president] to have learn the rudiments of leadership.
"American Patriotism", "Chinese Attitude", "German Determination", "French Diplomacy", "Japanese Fighting Spirit" are some of world leaders phrase for their countries identities and use to inspire their citizens for a call to duty..
The PDP, [Africa's most corrupt laden party] will be doing itself a disservice if it eventually fielded President Johnathan as it's flag bearer for the 2015 presidential polls, in all sectors of Nigeria PDP and other political parties has all failed in their service delivery to the electorates. With the impending merger of ACN, CPC and ANPP [my hope is that the merger plan materializes], PDP is in for a SHOCKER in 2015.
2011 was an eye opener for Nigerian electorates, 2015 is going to to be a CYCLONE to the politicians, Jonathan once fooled us that he has no sandal while attending secondary school, now he trekked from UNIPORT to Otuoke his country home. Irrespective of his administrative ineptitude, his comments on Boko Haram, Odi Invasion by Olusegun Obasasjo, Fuel Subsidy Scams, Pension Fund Scam, NNPC Monolith, Deziani Allison-Madueke untouchable posture, he should have at different fora, meetings, gatherings, public functions, and his opaque presidential media chat to reach out to the already famished, confused, tired and worn out Nigerians with his policies and nonchalant attitude to the massive looting and corruption under his administration.
In his various presidential media chat, you could see fidgeting, wobbling and fumbling of words. 2015 fielding of President Jonathan by PDP, will definitely signal the end of Africa's monolith and most corrupt ridden political party goes to oblivion, [even if the merger between the opposing political parties fails to materializes].
Like the words of late Gen Owoye Azazi [retd] "PDP lacking of internal democracy remains the bane of Nigeria's problems." [a prophetic statement], "and also the anthill of Nigeria's development", quote mine.
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Country Representative; Whisper Poetry.
1. I greet and rejoice with you all as we celebrate the advent of a new year.
2. I join you all in giving thanks to God Almighty for bringing us and our beloved nation safely through the past year to the beginning of 2013 which, by His Grace, will be a much better year for us and our country.
3. In keeping with tradition, it is usual for individuals, institutions and organizations to make resolutions and set agenda as a new year begins, to guide their actions in the coming months.
4. I have already given a clear indication of the Federal Government’s agenda for 2013 in recent pronouncements. Our objective for the year is to ensure by all possible means that more of the programmes and projects envisioned by this administration, and which are already being embarked upon are further brought on stream within the next 12 months to meet the yearnings of our people, and raise the quality of life.
5. We have in the last year achieved a lot in terms of the positive transformation of vital sectors of our national life such as public infrastructure, power supply, oil and gas, transportation, education, health and agricultural development. We will continue to work diligently in 2013 to ensure that our efforts in these areas are carried forward to full fruition in fulfillment of our promise of better public services and improved living conditions for all Nigerians.
6. We will give priority attention in the coming year to flood and erosion control, the rehabilitation and expansion of existing federal roads, improved power supply, as well as the continued rehabilitation, upgrading and reactivation of the national rail network.
7. Employment generation and wealth creation will also remain a primary objective of our socio-economic agenda for 2013. Creating more employment opportunities for our youth and graduates of our universities is an imperative that will continue to underpin our drive for massive economic growth, the rapid expansion of our manufacturing and industrial base, and the productive diversification of our national economy. In this regard, we will continue to provide the necessary enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
8. As peace and security remain pre-requisite conditions for the full realization of our objectives, we will also do more in 2013 to further empower our security agencies who are working in collaborative partnerships with our friends in the international community to stem the scourge of terrorism in our country and enhance the security of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.
9. I also want to assure Nigerians that we will refuse to be discouraged by those who have taken it upon themselves to pick on every initiative and effort of this administration. We remain resolutely committed to the rule of law, due process and fair play in all circumstances. Our democracy continues to grow, and the scope for human freedom continues to expand. It is an achievement that we will continue to build upon.
10. I say it again, we are determined to continue to push forward. We will do more, not less. We will remain focused.
11.For your part, dear compatriots, I urge that you all include in your new year resolutions a commitment to do more this year to support the implementation of the Federal Government’s Agenda for National Transformation in every possible way. That is all I ask for.
12. The task of making our dear nation a much better place for present and future generations cannot be left to government alone. Leaders and followers alike have critical roles to play in our march towards the fulfillment of our great national potentials.
13. Let us all therefore resolve as we celebrate the new year to place the higher interests of national unity, peace, stability and progress above all other considerations and work harder in our particular fields of human endeavour to contribute more significantly to the attainment of our collective aspirations.
14. I wish you all a happy and rewarding 2013.
15. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Federal Republic of Nigeria
1. I greet and felicitate with you all as we join the rest of the world in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah many years ago in Bethlehem.
2. Christmas and the lessons of Jesus Christ's mission on earth have great significance for us as a people and there can be no doubt that we all, irrespective of our religious beliefs, can draw immense strength and inspiration from the Messiah's enduring personification of selflessness, dedication to duty, and commitment to the well-being of others.
3. The virtues and ideals of peace, tolerance, faithfulness, honesty, justice, fairness, true wisdom, knowledge and understanding which He taught and exemplified also remain very relevant to us in Nigeria as we continue to grapple with the challenges of development and nation-building.
4. My Administration continues to do its best to give our beloved country effective leadership towards rapidly overcoming present challenges.
5. As we celebrate Christmas, the ultimate significance of which is the fulfillment of God's promise of a Saviour for mankind, I urge you all to continue to trust in our unwavering commitment to fully achieving the objectives of our Agenda for National Transformation for the benefit of all Nigerians.
6. No one should doubt that we have the political will and determination to deliver on our promise of positive changes in the living conditions of our people in the shortest possible time.
7. While we continue to deal with the regrettable distractions posed by threats to peace and security in parts of the country, the Federal Government remains very focused on the primary objective of achieving significant improvements in priority areas such as public infrastructure, power supply, transportation, roads, health, education, job creation, agriculture and industrialization as quickly as possible.
8. It is my hope and expectation that more of the efforts, actions and measures we are already undertaking in these areas will successfully come to fruition next year and make the results of the diligent project planning and execution being done under this administration more apparent to all Nigerians.
9. I seize the opportunity of the Christmas celebrations to express my sincere appreciation, once again, to the vast majority of patriotic Nigerians who have kept faith with this Administration since its inception.
10. We will continue to count on your support and cooperation, as well as your prayers for peace, stability and progress of our beloved nation.
11. I wish you all a very merry Christmas.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Federal Republic of Nigeria
December 25, 2012