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Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, celebrated his fifty years of being ordained a Coadjutor Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese when he succeeded Archbishop Charles Heerey.




AT the Pontifical Mass held at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity in Onitsha to celebrate the fifty years anniversary, Archbishop Augustine Kassuja, Pope Francis’ Papal Nuncio to Nigeria who represented Pope Francis was quoted saying:




“Good fifty years have gone by since Cardinal Arinze was ordained a Coadjutor Bishop, Titular Bishop of Fissiana to succeed Archbishop Charles Heerey.


“At his Episcopal consecration on 29 August 1965, at the age of 32, the young Francis Arinze became the youngest Roman Catholic Bishop in the whole world. Luckily for him, he was ordained just in time to join others at the closing session of the Second Vatican Council, and after the demise of Archbishop Heerey after a long period of illness, the young Francis Arinze succeeded him, on June 26, 1967.



“What we are celebrating today is a combination of fidelity, heroism, determination, endurance, faith and joyful service of the Lord We are paying honour to whom honour is due: first to God, and appreciation to his Eminence.



“Your Eminence, when in 2005, the whole world acclaimed you a worthy Papa bile, it was not by chance. It showed that your capacity was recognized. If on that occasion you were not chosen as a Pope, surely it is not because of your incapacity, but because our continent was not yet ripe for such an election. You have been a sign of hope to many, even those who have not met you in person.”


About Cardinal Arinze:


Cardinal Francis Arinze was born on 1 November 1932 in Eziowelle, a city of the Archdiocese of Onitsha and ordained a priest on 23 November 1958 in the ceremony at the Church of the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. 


He was ordained coadjutor Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese on 29 August 1965 and two years later became the substantive Archbishop of Onitsha



n 1984, Pope St. John Paul II asked him to head, as pro-president, the Secretariat for Non-Christians (now the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue). He was created Cardinal on 25 May 1985.


Since the year 2005, Cardinal Arinze holds the title of Cardinal-Bishop of Velletri-Segni and Prefect emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

 

Kemi Adeosun. the newly appointed Nigeria's minister of finance has been described by the Economist magazine as "poorly qualified for the job" of  minister for finance. Economist magazine was unimpressive with her  experience and educational background.




The Harvard trained Okechukwu Enelamah, the minister for trade and investment was the preference for the finance portfolio. Enelamah who was characterized by the magazine as " respected businessman but he may lack the clout to stand up to a president with statist leanings."




This is how the Economist put it:


"Critics also fret over an absence of desperately needed financial expertise. Africa’s biggest economy, which relies on oil for 70% of its revenue, is sputtering as prices fall. Economic policy has been adrift since Mr Buhari came to power, and investors complain about the central bank’s use of trade controls and import restrictions. However, the new finance minister, an accountant who cleaned up the books of one of Nigeria’s smaller states, is poorly qualified for the job. Her counterpart in the investment ministry is a respected businessman, but he may lack the clout to stand up to a president with statist leanings."



On rating of Amaechi, minister of transportation, Economist wrote: "Rotimi Amaechi, who won the transport post, say he has delivered roads despite accusations of corruption, which he denies."

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ‘s  Half of a Yellow Sun  novel has won Baileys women’s prize for fiction ‘Best of the Best’ award and was crowned the preeminent winner from the second decade of the women’s prize for fiction.




Adichie ‘s  Half of a Yellow Sun  competed “against nine other titles – from Zadie Smith’s On Beauty to Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel of the Biafran war, Half of a Yellow Sun, has been named the best winner of the women’s prize for fiction of the last decade – by both the public and a 10-strong judging panel.”



Chair of the judges, Muriel Gray,  when Half of a Yellow Sun won the Baileys Prize in 2007, said: “While it’s sometimes pompous to call a book ‘important’, it’s appropriate to say it of Half of a Yellow Sun.”

“For an author, so young at the time of writing, to have been able to tell a tale of such enormous scale in terms of human suffering and the consequences of hatred and division, whilst also gripping the reader with wholly convincing characters and spell binding plot, is an astonishing feat.



"Chimamanda’s achievement makes Half of a Yellow Sun not just a worthy winner of this most special of prizes, but a benchmark for excellence in fiction writing.”


\
The novel was made into a movie with same title Half of a yellow sun n 2014 by the Nigerian director Biyi Bandele, which featured Igbo British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor ,  Thandie Newton and many Nollywoods stars including Genevevi Nnaji, Onyeka Onwuenu and many others.



“Adichie, who grew up in Nigeria, is also the author of novels Purple Hibiscus, and most recently Americanah, both of which touch on themes similar to those explored in Half of a Yellow Sun. Her work has been translated into 30 languages, and in addition to her latest ‘Best of the Best’ recognition, she has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction.”




In her most recent novel Americanah, Adichie was not only brilliant but she also displayed her understanding of human sociology with imbibing cultural theatrics that defines a vibrant and dynamic human society.

 

The 10 winners of the second decade were:

2006 - On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Chair, Martha Kearney)

2007 – Half of a Yellow Sun by Ngozi Adichie (Chair, Muriel Gray)

2008 – The Road Home by Rose Tremain (Chair, Kirsty Lang)

2009 – Home by Marilynne Robinson (Chair, Fi Glover)

2010 – The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (Chair, Daisy Goodwin)

2011 – The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Chair, Bettany Hughes)

2012 – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Chair, Joanna Trollope)

2013 – May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes (Chair, Miranda Richardson)

2014 – A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Chair, Helen Fraser)

2015 – How to Be Both by Ali Smith (Chair, Shami Chakrabarti)

 

credit British Guardian

Senator Hillary Clinton has finally gained back the elusive Big Mo; Yes!  The Big momentum and the thrill are back again in her camp. The last night CNN Democratic Party presidential debate was a gift to her and stellar was her performance.



Unlike the wary Senator Clinton of the past, she looked happy and joyful without rancor and bitterness. She appeared more like a friendly neighbor than as a yesterday and overused politician that is pestering everybody for recognition and acknowledgment. Her sense of entitlement was totally waned and her emerging personality as a trusted friend was transparent.



With a floundering campaign and a declining popularity, the Democratic party loyalist and political pundits were calling on Vice president Biden to jump into the Democratic party primary contender for the nomination of the presidential candidate.



Lately Senator Clinton has appeared tired, less sure of herself and campaign direction was floundering as the email problem becomes overwhelming. But last night at the debate, a brand new star was re-casted and her unquestionable leadership was on display with a smile and confidence that out shines all her rivals on the stage.



Senator Clinton during the debate displayed political quickness, vim and gravitas. Among all the contenders she took control and showed that she has what it takes to be Democratic candidate and the leader of the free world. She was so much in control that rests of other candidates except Senator Sanders were merely observers rather than partakers.



Senator Clinton stood up for feminism without intimidation and aggression. It was natural and unthreatened when she reinforced women’s rights to equal pay and paid maternity leave.


At a point in the debate, she even defended capitalism without pandering to her base. She looked strong and confident as she reassured her belief in American capitalism but insisted that the problem is not capitalism but its excessive.  Senator Bernie Sander a democratic socialist was diluting capitalism with his criticism but Clinton refused to join the fray and thereby assured all Americans that small business is the backbone of American capitalism.



Senator Bernie Sander became a great asset to Hillary Clinton, when he defended her on the so-called email gate:


"Let me say this. Let me say something that may not be great politics," Bernie Sanders  said. "But I think the secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!"


"Thank you," Clinton responded. "Me too. Me too."


The aforementioned interaction between Sanders and Clinton was the zenith of the debate.  Without attacking Clinton’s weak spot on the email issue, Sanders conceded and handover the nomination to Senator Clinton. My friends the game is over!


Image result for emeka chiakweluEmeka Chiakwelu is the principal Policy Strategist at Afripol. Africa Political and 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.Emeka Chiakwelu is the principal Policy Strategist at Afripol. Africa Political and 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.

" Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the head of the country's biggest private equity firm to join his cabinet, Senate President Bukola Saraki said on Tuesday, as lawmakers started screening candidates for a long-awaited government.



Saraki did not specify a portfolio for Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, head of African Capital Alliance (ACA), as he read out a second batch of Buhari's cabinet nominees that need to be approved by the upper house. Enelamah, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is a founder and chief executive of ACA, which has raised over $750 million in managed funds since its inception in 1997.


Dr. Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, also known as Okey, M.D., CFA is the Chief Executive Officer, Partner, and Founder at African Capital Alliance. He founded the firm in 1997. Dr. Enelamah was one of the original principals of Zephyr Capital and South Africa Capital Growth Fund, Ltd. Previously, he was employed at Arthur Andersen and Goldman Sachs. He was an investment professional of Zephyr Management, L.P. He serves as a Director of Dorman Long Engineering Limited. 


He has been a Non-Executive Director of UAC of Nigeria Plc since 2010. He also serves on the Board of various companies including eTranzact, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Technoserve, Inc., Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa (ALIWA), and Business Day. Dr. Enelamah also serves as the Director of African Venture Capital Association. He serves as a Member of the Board of Africa Venture Capital Association and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Dr. Enelamah serves as a Director of Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. He is a Member of the Advisory Boards Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa. He serves on the Board of Flavours Food Limited and Landmark Property Development Company. He served as a Director of Associated Bus Company Plc. He is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is a qualified medical doctor. 


Dr. Enelamah is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a qualified Chartered Accountant in Nigeria, winning two national prizes in the qualifying examinations. Dr. Enelamah holds an M.B.A. degree with high distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar."



According to Reuters:, "Buhari was elected in March on a campaign to "fix" Africa's top oil exporter, which is gripped by corruption and mismanagement, but has come under fire for being slow to name a cabinet while the economy is hammered by a plunge in oil prices.



Buhari will disclose the cabinet portfolios only once the upper house approves his list. He had submitted a first batch with 21 names to the Senate earlier this month and has added an extra 15 to fulfil the constitutional need for a minister from each of Nigeria's 36 states. Among other technocrats nominated by Buhari is Aisha Abubakar, a banker who until recently headed the Abuja Enterprise Agency, a government body to help smaller firms, Saraki said.



Buhari, a former military ruler, had already asked Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, head of state oil firm NNPC, to join his cabinet. The former Exxon-Mobil manager is expected to become junior oil minister as Buhari wants to keep the oil minister portfolio for himself. He has also nominated former state governors such as Babatunde Fashola, the former governor of the commercial capital Lagos, and Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers State. "

 

credits: Reuters and Bloomberg


Senate President Bukola Saraki on his Facebook page on Tuesday published the following names of nominees for ministerial positions nominated by President Buhari of Nigeria



Chris Ngige - Anambra


Kayode Fayemi- Ekiti


Rotimi Amaechi - Rivers


Babatunde Fashola - Lagos


Abdulrahman Danbazau


Aisha Alhassan - Taraba


Ogbonaya Onu- Abia


Kemi Adeosun - Ogun


Abubakar Malami - Kebbi


Hadi Sirika – Katsina


Adebayo Shittu - Oyo


Suleiman Adam - Jigawa


Solomon Dalong - Plateau


Ibe Kachikwu - Delta


Osagie Ehanire - Edo


Audu Ogbeh - Benue


Lai Mohammed - Kwara


Ahmed Isa Ibeto - Niger


Amina Mohammed - Kaduna


Udoma Udo-Udoma - Akwa Ibom

The high ranked mayoral candidate and top contender for mayor of Houston, Adrian Garcia was interviewed by Afripol (Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center).  Garcia is a household name in Houston that needs no introduction. He has a long time presence in Houston politics and professional service. A former Mayor Pro Tempore, Garcia “was most recently Sheriff of Harris County, the largest county in Texas and third largest in the United States. As an executive, Adrian managed a workforce of approximately 5,000 people and a budget of almost $500 million. Previously, Adrian represented District H on Houston City Council and prior to that, spent 23 years as an officer with the Houston Police Department." The interview took place at his election headquarter and was conducted by Emeka Chiakwelu, the principal policy strategist at AFRIPOL.

 

 


“African immigrants in Houston have higher education levels than other immigrant groups. Thus we need to leverage the large pool of well educated African talent and facilitate their involvement in our city government “– Adrian Garcia.

 

 

Question:Good day sir. I highly appreciate this opportunity with you. Many of African residents in Houston especially Nigerian Americans have shown great interest in your candidacy and this was the utmost reason why Afripol seek this interview. Sir, first and foremost, could you tell us about yourself?


Adrian Garcia: I am a product of Houston and its public schools, growing up in the Near Northside, and still live there today with my family. I am the only American born in my family, who immigrated from Mexico and chose Houston as their home.Most recently, I have served the community as the Sheriff of Harris County, the largest county in Texas and the third largest in the country. As an executive, I lead, managed, and reformed an agency with budget of almost $500 million, and a workforce of approximately 5000 people. Prior to that, I served on Houston City Council, where I was selected as Mayor Pro-Tem under former Mayor Bill White, and was an officer with the Houston Police Department for 23 years.

 


Q: What motivated you to seek the office of Mayor of Houston?


Garcia
: I believe that Houston needs a leader who will unite the city and set a focus for the future of Houston. I am asking for the privilege of becoming the mayor of my great hometown because this city has been very good to me, and I believe that I am uniquely qualified to lead it. I want to make sure Houston remains as the city of opportunity to the next generation of Houstonians, and I want to make sure every neighborhood and community in our great diverse city feels like they’re a part of our bright future. My nearly 35 years in public service has taught me a great deal about our government. From the front seat of a patrol car, you get a first-hand look at where our City is serving its residents and where it is failing to provide the services it should. My efforts to decrease gang involvement, a major national issue at that time, prompted Mayor Bob Lanier to appoint me to the Mayor's Anti-Gang Office in 1994, and within 5 years I was promoted to be the director of the program. Our efforts were tremendously successful in decreasing the gang violence plaguing Houston neighborhoods through employing creative community policing initiatives, which were centered on building trusting relationships between the patrolling officers and the community. I then took the skills that I learned as a police officer and directed them towards addressing the broader needs of our community by being elected to a seat on the Houston City Council, where I served three terms. Serving on the Council as Bill White’s Mayor Pro tem,


I helped develop and pass initiatives expanding senior homestead exemptions and making homeownership more affordable because experience had taught me that neighborhoods are stronger when people can own their own homes. I had also learned from my experience as an officer that more crime could be prevented with a greater focus on timely data collection and analysis. This led me to work on creating HPD’s Real Time Crime Center, which produced immediate results in lowering crime rates. While I was an ardent supporter of METRO light rail expansion as a councilmember, I listened carefully to the concerns of many residents about the new rail lines. Hearing concerns about the rail construction impact on longtime area businesses, I created the city’s Construction Mitigation Program to extend low interest loans to existing micro businesses who needed a little help to get through the disruptive construction period of a major infrastructure project. Throughout my tenure on City Council, I worked tirelessly and collaboratively to tackle major issues like crime prevention while also supporting the kinds of smart infrastructure and economic development initiatives that helped make Houston even greater. Voters then awarded me the honor of leading a Sheriff’s Office of almost 5,000 personnel and a budget of roughly $500 million, and in dire need of new leadership and reform. When I arrived on my first day, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was $60 million over- budget, and the county jail so overcrowded that taxpayers were paying over $10 million annually to house prisoners in Louisiana.

By demonstrating leadership and establishing reforms aimed at progressive community policing, I was able to keep a lid on crime while delivering four straight fiscal years under-budget. I was also able to dramatically lower our jail population and stop sending prisoners out of state by developing programs and partnerships to make sure that our mentally- ill Houstonians began receiving the treatment they needed instead of yet ticket to our county jail. I am living proof of the promise of Houston, where if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get anywhere you are bold enough to dream. My career has taught me the importance of listening to the needs of all communities and how we can make our City government work efficiently to serve Houstonians with a great quality of life today, while building our infrastructure for tomorrow.


gggAdrian Garcia shaking hands with Afripol's Emeka Chiakwelu


Q: What makes you unique or better qualified than other candidates vying for the mayoral position?


Garcia
: I am uniquely qualified to lead the City of Houston because I’m the only candidate in this race with executive experience. I lead, managed, and reformed a major organization, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, into savings of over $200 million dollars while keeping the streets of America’s 3rd largest county safe. In my capacity as Sheriff of the HCSO I hired the first observant Sikh American deputy, Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith, including his dastaar (turban) and beard. Throughout my entire tenure at the HCSO, I promoted diversity in hiring and a professional environment of mutual respect and trust, so that the Sheriff’s Department could best protect all residents in the most diverse and culturally rich county in America. I’m a retired public safety officer who knows what it takes to protect all residents of this city and who also knows what a pension means to the families of those who protect our homes and streets. I have a broad base of recognition and support across all communities here in Houston largely because of the time I have spent creating quality relationships where I responded to community concerns.




Q: Mr. Garcia you said: “Houstonians deserve a fiscally responsible leader who knows how to balance a budget, reform a large bureaucracy and keep our families safe.” Could you emphasis on leadership, safe family and fiscal responsibility?


Garcia:
The biggest challenge we face is confronting a challenging, unsustainable fiscal situation while making sure that we are able to pay for public infrastructure and the municipal and public safety personnel necessary for this city to thrive. The unpaid pension obligations currently faced by our City truly cannot be ignored if we are to maintain a prosperous Houston for future generations. While I strongly believe that we must keep our promises to current retirees and employees so that they know their retirement is secure, I believe we need to take a holistic look at all of the city finances, including pensions, to find an efficient Houston solution going forward. Some people approach the pensions as three silos outside of the city’s finances, but I feel that such an approach misses the opportunity to redefine how our pension obligations play a role in our overall city finances. My whole career has been committed to public safety, and I have personal skin in the game when it comes to any pension negotiations. I am committed to bringing all parties to the table to craft a local solution that allows for the City to keep its promises to public employees while still maintaining critical infrastructure and the hiring of the public safety personnel we need to keep Houston safe.




Q: Houston is a very diverse city with many immigrant communities and there are recent African families from Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and many others. Sir, if you are elected the Mayor of Houston, how are you going to make sure that your administration is inclusive, without leaving any community behind?


Garcia
: My campaign slogan is ALL of Houston because diversity and inclusion are part of the bedrock of my philosophy. I am proud that the HCSO under my tenure was the most diverse in the office’s 178 year history. We need to become diverse beyond our population statistics and make sure that diversity permeates deep into all facets of our community. As Mayor, the existence of a more diverse public sector workforce can be achieved by appointing officials who understand the importance of seeking out a diverse group of qualified candidates. Additionally, taking steps to ensure that diversity exists within our business community can be done by improving the permitting process to allow first time MWBE business owners a better shot at creating a successful business. These are just two of the many steps we can take to ensure that diversity does not just remain a talking point. I am truly interested in talking with any group that is interested in getting involved in this mayoral process. I feel that my ideas, vision, and record as a public servant are compelling to groups of all stripes, and I’m actively seeking everyone’s support. One caveat is that I will not be seeking the support of any group with a discriminatory platform, history or organizational philosophy.




Q: Can we see a qualified person of Nigerian or Ghanaian or Ethiopian in Houston occupying an important position in your administration?


Garcia:
Absolutely, as Mayor, I will make appointments to commissions that accurately reflect and represent Houston’s very diverse population. Charles W. Corey of the U.S. Department of State said that it has been estimated that Greater Houston has the largest Nigerian expatriate population in the United States. As of 2014 an estimated 150,000 Nigerian Americans live in Houston. According to Stephen Klineberg, a sociology professor at Rice University, as of 2003, almost 35% of African immigrants have university degrees, and 28% of African immigrants have postgraduate degrees. Based on these statistics, African immigrants in Houston have higher education levels than other immigrant groups and US-born whites. Thus we need to leverage the large pool of well educated African talent and facilitate their involvement in our city government.




Garcia1Afripol's Emeka Chiakwelu  and Mr. Garcia (left)



Q: Apart from Oil and Gas industry, Houston has not fully taken advantage of the emerging economies in Africa. Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia have growing and robust economies with large emerging middle class consumers. If elected how can you encourage international trading and commerce with these African countries?


Garcia
: “ALL of Houston”, one of my campaign themes, speaks to my real belief that it is Houston’s rich diversity that will ensure Houston’s continued success, especially economically, in the years to come. One in Four Houstonians is foreign born, and our airport system is about to become the only airport in North America (one of five in the world) with a direct flight to all six inhabited continents. We must remain a welcoming city known the world over, and I believe that I am uniquely equipped to ensure such a future. In 2012, the total trade between Houston and Africa was $19.7 billion. Houston is Africa's largest U.S. trade partner. As Mayor, I will be scrutinizing our city’s budget and finances. My plan is to promote open economic discussions with experts from all of the different sectors of our economy, including economists and business leaders, to make sure that all our private and public enterprises are creating incentives for international commerce. I promise to advance our city’s needs in the areas that need it the most, to create a sustainable economy that encourages international trade and explores new options with emerging economies.



Q: Houston is the global energy capital. Although that Houston economy is fully diversified but the falling oil price is causing layoffs and losing of jobs. What is the means to enhance Houston to attract more investments especially in the non-energy sector?


Garcia:
We must reinforce our existing industrial drivers while also looking to diversify our economy, Houston is commonly said to have four pillars in our economy: the Energy Industry, the Texas Medical Center (largest in the world), Port of Houston (highest foreign tonnage port in the US), and Aerospace and NASA (still our next frontier). I would add that we have a substantial service industry and education sector. Each of these offer complementary elements and emerging opportunities to build new pillars to our economy. In addition to these pillars, Houston’s attractiveness has laid the foundation for our burgeoning, but inadequately supported, Start-Up and Venture Capital economy and our already renowned Arts, Culture and Creative sector to become worldwide attractions. Additionally, we must reform our regulatory functions, become more small business friendly and better market our great city and the quality of our workforce.




Q: Finally, tell us one thing you like about living in Houston?


Garcia:
I love the Houston that gave me incredible opportunities to achieve my dreams. While I grew up not speaking English, I felt embraced by the Houston community and was afforded the incredible privilege of serving this community as a police officer and then as an elected official. I am a product of the amazing diversity that has become synonymous with Houston. I’ve served the public for over three decades protecting our families, saving our tax money, and making sure we are respecting and working for all of the communities in our beautiful, diverse city. I am humbled by what Houston has provided to my family and me, and I would be truly honored to serve as your next mayor.
Thank you.


Many of those who are close to corridors of power are speculating that the intellectual and knowledgeable technocrat Prof Pat Utomi may have been enlisted for the position of Finance minister in this current political dispensation. When and If nominated by President Buhari and confirmed by the legislature, Prof. Utomi will replace Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.






“Also many other Igbos in the list for appointments  including, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Engr Okey Nwagbara. Prof May Nwoye, Chief Charles Okereke of Nigerian Masterweb, Chief Ikechi Emelike, a media mogul and former guber candidate in Abia state, Chief Okey Emuchay, a former Nigerian envoy to South Africa, Hon Chuks Ibegbu, a well-known author and human right activist and Mr Osadebe Ibegbu, a well-known construction expert in South Africa, whom we gathered may be tipped for the Ministry of Works” as reported by  Igbo Information Network.




About Prof. Utomi

Image result for pat utomi
Patrick Okedinachi Utomi (born February 6, 1956) is a Nigerian professor of political economy and management expert, He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria[2] and a former presidential candidate, with a passion for the dignity of the human person and the spirit of enterprise.He is the founder of Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) and the African Democratic Congress party. He is a professor at Lagos Business School,[6] He has served in senior positions in government, as an adviser to the president of Nigeria, the private sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria and in academia





Patrick Utomi is an Igbo born in Kaduna, Kaduna State[ he is a descent of Igbbuzo in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. He had his primary education at St. Thomas, Kano 1960-62;Our Lady of Fatima, Gusau 1962-1966; Christ the King College, Onitsha[ and Loyola College, Ibadan, finishing his secondary education at the age of 15. 




The entry age for university education was 17, so he enrolled at the Federal School of Arts and Science in the interim.He later got admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1973 to study Mass Communication. Patrick utomi graduated from university  of Nigeria Nsuka in 1977, He attended Bloomington, USA, where he got his Ph.D. MPA, MA. Appointed professor of the Social and Political Economy Environment of Business and Pioneer Entrepreneurship Teacher at Lagos Business School in 2003. he has been a scholar-in-residence at the Harvard Business School and the American University in Washington, D.C.



He has served on the key apex private sector associations including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA). He is active on the international speaking circuit, especially on the subjects of growth economics, comparative development, leadership, oil and China’s economic surge and growing influence in Africa. He has collaborated frequently with the center for strategic and international studies (CSIS) in Washington, and Chatham House, in the UK. He has also written commissioned papers for the UKs DFID including the latest collaboration with Colleagues from Oxford on the Political Economy of growth in Nigeria. (2006).

Utomi also ran a failed attempt for presidency of Nigeria in 2011.

 

Source:  Wikipedia

For many years, the Federal government of Nigeria has promulgated and implemented cut-off marks for all candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges or Unity Schools as they are popularly known. But the policy of assigning different cut-off marks for candidates of different states in Nigeria tends to promote mediocrity at the expense of meritocracy.





Anambra and Imo states in particular  have felt the greatest negative impact of the government sponsored cut-off marks and quota system. Anambra and Imo students were being discriminated without reservation by assigning them high cut-off marks when compared to others.  For instance to be admitted into Unity schools, Anambra State students were assigned cut-off mark -  Male(139) Female(139) and Imo - Male(138) Female(138). 





Comparatively,  Zamfara – Male(4) Female(2), Taraba – Male(3) Female(11), Ekiti – Male(119) Female(119) and others were assigned lower cut-off marks.  The Nigerian constitution guarantees fairness and equality but it is eluding students from Anambra and Imo States.





The idealistic policy of promoting diversity, affirmative action and equality are laudable but a targeted duration must be initiated with modest cut-off marks that are fair but not grounded on blatant discrimination that promotes marginalization and mediocrity.





According to Vanguard newspaper of December 2014, the “former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, in the suit against the Federal Government and the Minister of Education, had challenged the prescribed different cut-off marks for different states, based on candidates’ gender and their states of origin, arguing that same violates the candidates’ fundamental rights to freedom from discrimination guaranteed by Section 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”






“He had argued that Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits administrative or executive actions by government that discriminates between Nigerians on grounds of ethnicity, gender, religion and place of origin. He had asked the court to declare that the administrative act of the respondents, particularly the Minister of Education, which prescribes and applies different requirements including cut-off marks for candidates seeking admission into Federal Government colleges, based on gender, ethnicity, states of origin, etc., is discriminatory against applicant’s grandchildren and the group or class they represent, on grounds of ethnicity, states of origin, gender, etc. and therefore violates Section 42(1) of 1999 Constitution. “






“After hearing arguments from counsel to parties, the court ordered that the Federal Government and Minister of Education should apply uniform cut-off mark to all candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges, irrespective of their states of origin” (Vanguard News). But the judgment felt on deaf ears and education ministry continued with its discriminatory policy.




Below are the full cut off points for Unity Schools as published by the  Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria:


Abia – Male(130) Female(130)
Adamawa – Male(62) Female(62)
Akwa-Ibom – Male(123) Female(123)

Anambra – Male(139) Female(139)

Bauchi – Male(35) Female(35)
Bayelsa – Male(72) Female(72)
Benue – Male(111) Female(111)
Borno – Male(45) Female(45)
Cross-Rivers – Male(97) Female(97)
Delta – Male(131) Female(131)
Ebonyi – Male(112) Female(112)
Edo – Male(127) Female(127)

Ekiti – Male(119) Female(119)

Enugu – Male(134) Female(134)
Gombe – Male(58) Female(58)

Imo – Male(138) Female(138)

Jigawa – Male(44) Female(44)
Kaduna – Male(91) Female (91)
Kano – Male(67) Female(67)
Kastina – Male(60) Female(60)
Kebbi – Male(9) Female(20)
Kogi – Male(119) Female(119)
Kwara – Male(123) Female(123)
Lagos – Male(133) Female(133)
Nassarawa – Male(58) Female(58)
Niger – Male(93) Female(93)
Ogun – Male(131) Female(131)
Ondo – Male(126) Female(126)
Osun – Male(127) Female(127)
Oyo – Male(127) Female(127)
Plateau – Male(97) Female(97)
Rivers – Male(118) Female(118)
Sokoto – Male(9) Female(13)
Taraba – Male(3) Female(11)
Yobe – Male(2) Female(27)

Zamfara – Male(4) Female(2)

FCT Abuja – Male(90) Female(90)

 

Do Nigerians know that the first mayor of Enugu city was a Fulani man?   Enugu is the capital of old eastern Nigeria with majority of Igbo speaking people; therefore it is imperative to explore and understand how a Fulani politician became the mayor of the city.   Nnamdi Azikiwe’s political machine  made it possible for Alhaji Umaru Altine  to become the mayor of Enugu. 


Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first Governor General and first President of Nigeria was by no means perfect in his political career but his faith in one Nigeria was unshakable, unquestionable  and his quest for united and indivisible Nigeria cannot be compared to rest of his contemporaries.



"According to Richard Sklar, an American political scientist who authored the the book “Nigerian Political Parties”, Mallam Umaru Altine who hailed from the old Sokoto Province of the defunct region of Northern Nigeria and who served as President of the Enugu Branch of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons(NCNC) was elected the first Mayor of Enugu in 1956.



In my humble opinion, this again goes to show the kind of very elevated and futuristic politics played by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first Premier of Eastern Nigeria and the most sincere proponent of Nigerian national unity of all time. It is a testimony to his impeccable credentials as the ultimate Nigerian that during his time in office, a Mid-Westerner and incumbent Oba Erediauwa of Benin (then Prince Solomon Akenzua) and a Northerner, the late Abdulaziz Atta, the Gowon-era Secretary to the Government of the Federation who died in 1972, both served as Permanent Secretaries of the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service," as stated in the Beegeagle's Blog.


In the 1950s a Fulani cattle dealer leaves Sokoto for Enugu, wins the backing of Nnamdi Azikiwe, joins mainstream Enugu politics, and eventually becomes the first Mayor of the Coal City. Travelling through four Nigerian cities, and cross checking the tiny but significant details of a rare story, Weekly Trust explores the life and legacy of Enugu’s first Mayor.



"Nigeria never fails to shock. This power to shock in a positive sense is embodied in the life and career of Umoru Altine, scion of the Sokoto Caliphate, who, on a record two occasions, became the Mayor of Enugu, which lies deep in Nigeria’s  South-East. He was the first ever Mayor of Enugu. Agu Gab Agu, one time Chairman, Enugu North Local Government invited the Umoru Altine family to Enugu in 2004 in his capacity as Chair of the local government. This was simply to celebrate the achievement of their late father. He tells Weekly Trust ‘Our history before that time did not reflect his towering achievement in terms of Nigerian unity. I was going to name a public institution after him, but time did not allow for that. ‘He says that a street was named after the late Mayor somewhere in the Coal Camp area of Enugu during the First Republic. Here is a political story, which also doubles as a Love epic, a war story, a tale of benevolent mentors, and a travel narrative as well.




Altine could have been Sultan
As a descendant of Uthman Dan Fodio, he could have been Sultan of Sokoto. But he preferred the world of trading, travel, adventure (he joined the army and worked with the railways) and politics (one account says he first contested an election in Tambuwal, Sokoto state), and he carved a niche for himself in these respects. He was handsome, was always well dressed, and people were magnetically drawn to him. In Enugu, he wore the Babban Riga, as well as a Turban. On other occasions he wore suits as the event demanded. He went to Church in Enugu if his duties as Mayor called for it, and went to do the kick off at stadia when occasion demanded. He was willing to adjust while retaining his identity. A noble, free and simple spirit is in evidence here. This Prince smoked loved Nsala soup with fresh fish, a popular meal of the Enugu Igbo, so says his wife, had a high sense of personal hygiene and had a good command of English. He never fell ill, so says Ma’Inna Altine, his Sokoto based daughter. He was fluent in Fulfulde and, to cap it all, he married an Igbo Lady. “(Tadaferua Ujorha, Daily Trust)

 

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