The All workers Convergence(AWC) has warned of the imminent withdrawal of the solidarity of Nigerian workers for their labour leaders if a new national minimum wage is not achieved by end of December 2018.This warning was given by the AWC, through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze in a chat with People.''Our labour leaders must redeem their image by ensuring that before the end of December, 2018, everything about a reasonable living wage is achieved, else the leaders would seize to enjoy the solidarity of the Nigerian workers. The Nigerian labour movement has missed the target, in the past three and half years, they have been unable to achieve a new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers, despite been part of the Tripartite committee.''''The involvement of labour in that committee was a colossal waste of time as nothing tangible has come out of it. What is painful now, is that the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) the Trade Union Congress(TUC) and the United Labour Congress(ULC) have deliberately refused to hit the nail on the head, instead they are romanticizing the situation, begging the question at all times, thereby leaving workers to stray like sheep without shepherd''.''The feeling everywhere is that labour not achieving the new national minimum wage in the past three and half years, is tantamount to failure and since labour has failed the Nigerian workers, the Nigerian workers, of course demand an apology, over the non actualization of a new national minimum wage in the past three and half years''.''Besides, engaging government on the issue of new national minimum wage, labour leaders must also engage themselves and do self-examination, to determine if they are really and truly pursuing the interest of the Nigerian workers. Take a look at the modus operandi of the labour movement, you see a movement that has been pampering government. The conclusion is that the labour movement in Nigeria is not just weak and conservative, but also reactionary. And as a result, there is the urgent need for labour to overhaul and shed its present toga, this would go a long way in redeeming the image of labour'', Comrade Eemlieze asserted.
The National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed that 20.9 million Nigerians are unemployed. Indeed, unemployment is the major discussion among Nigerians.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari has opined that the figure reeled out by the NBS, is a reflection that his administration is making progress in governance.
Nigerians are shell shocked by the President's remarks and the fact that rice farmers have contributed about N1.7 Billion for the President's re-election, even though rice as a foodstuff has gone beyond the reach of the common man.
In this interview with People, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says that the misinformation of the Federal Government's paid agents gives it the impressions that it has fulfilled its promises. Excerpts :
The National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) has stated that 20.9 million Nigerians are jobless, what is your reaction to this figure ?
The Federal Government is only focusing on the 30 areas it has made progress without taking into consideration the impact level on the people. And because most of our leaders depend solely on the information of their paid agents, such as the Ministers, Commissioners, Governors and retinue of Personal Assistants, they are rather misled into believing that the yearnings of Nigerians have been met.
The best way for self assessment on governance is to have direct pulse of the nation by physically going to some of the market places to see the reality of things.
When the Queen of England visited, during ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo's tenure, she refused to be locked in the nation's luxuries, but told the President to take her round some of the market places. After going round the Queen told the President, that he should take the issue of poverty alleviation serious, as she stated that she observed suffering on the faces of the people.
This is a nation where the unemployment rate has jumped from 14.2 per cent in 2016 to 23.4 per cent in 2018 and 20. 9 million Nigerians has been declared as the figure of unemployed Nigerians in 2018, while the record of those who are underemployed has made the figure to rise to 40 per cent of the total population.
Let us remember that the spate of killings have made nonsense of more than 1040 schools, with between 400,000 and 500,000 students affected.
What about the increasing number of Nigerian Children, who are out of school, in 2010 it was 10.5 million and presently it is 13.9 million.
The President must believe less in the paid agents and ensure he uses SWOT analysis to restrategise in order that his desire for good governance, that would be beneficial to all , most especially those who gave him the mandate to rule, are met.
The SWOT analysis on the Nigerian situation reveal our areas of strength and opportunities in the abundance of endowed resources, natural and human to be in abundance.
Our areas of weaknesses duel more on competence for the desired astute management and classical administration to operationalize functional Democracy based on justice and equity for peace and development to reign.
Our areas of threats are on security issues that bothers on conflict management, as well as the fifth column role in government and the state apparatus making progress too difficult to come by.
Mr. President, therefore, needs to realize that his immediate challenge is on his ability to identify the true elements in his cabinet and government, that is, he must motivate the prime movers not to lose them into another party.
He must build the capacity of the lackadaisical, to be able to contribute meaningfully to government's business of building the nation while the catalytic elements, that is the rebellious ones must be managed with maturity and transformed into useful elements for the party and government.
No government with in-house problems and inconsiderate opposition can stand the test of time.
To avoid driving people to an hopeless state of despair, there is need for Mr. President to restrategize into visionary leadership that would be proactive in taking decisions to fix things, purposeful leadership that would be directional in operation and sacrificial to make things work.
My candid advice to the others in the All Progressives Congress(APC) is for them to imbibe the essence of togetherness in sharing visions for government to be able to deliver beneficial services to the people, who are now more well informed in the spirit of globalization.
Above all, the fear of the potential of the opposition to damage and remove must be the beginning of wisdom, to mend fences within and creditably deliver the expectations of the People of Nigeria.
For over three and a half years now, Nigerians have contended with hunger, poverty, unemployment and insecurity. Sadly, government at all levels have done little to address these hydra like challenges which have not only demoralized the citizenry, but also prompted them to continually and relentlessly rein curses on the country's political office holders. A cross section of civil society groups allege that the three tiers of government have deliberately impoverished the populace, as a way of compelling them to sell their votes in the 2019 general elections.
Interestingly,a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar(rtd) has advised Nigerians to stop complaining about their pitiable condition, but vote out leaders who have not met their expectations . In this interview with Federationews2day, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says Nigerians should seek God's guidance in the choice of candidates they will vote for. Excerpts :
The insinuation is that the Federal and State Governments have deliberately impoverished Nigerians for the purpose of ensuring that vote buying is the trend in the 2019 elections. What are your views ?
The history of poverty in Nigeria started in 1960, when our poverty index was 15 per cent, followed by the second republic in 1979 to 1983 at 28 per cent. The military interventions worsened the situation as it rose from 42 per cent to 65 per cent.
Then, in 1999, it rose to 70 per cent almost till this moment.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo campaigned against impoverishing the poor masses, because according to him, Nigerians irrespective of their tribes and social class must have access to free education which would eventual liberate the children of the poor from the clutches of poverty. From his time to that of Bola Ige education took a large chunk to support structure, facilities and books, while having a good plan of allowing children to trek to and from school. One could imagine the then government was for all Nigerians, most especially the impoverished masses, whom the government intended to emancipate. Unfortunately, the dedication and commitment of our founding fathers, on the issue of the growth and development of the nation and general welfare of the people suffered a great set back during the civil war as well as the attendant agitations for true reconstruction, reconciliation and rehabilitation which was poorly managed to warrant the present insurgency, militancy, kidnapping and damages to the ecology of the oil producing areas, which were agitating for resource control and the South East's secession call.
It is unfortunate that this government inherited an already failed and recessed economy, which they were unable to manage at par with their campaign magic of the change mantra.
The bastardized environment, bad economy and disorganized society now continue to groan under poverty, which had been artificially introduced due to the era of endemic corruption and institutionalized indiscipline.
Under this condition, the political class, derailed from the focus of the goal of Democracy as a need to enthrone credible leadership for the purpose of institutionalizing justice and equity concepts in order that there would be peace and sustainable development.
The attendant consequence of gross mismanagement of the economy, the people and the environment, thereafter has resulted in the worrisome situation of insecurity and unbearable poverty tending to the abject level for many.
The 2019 general elections ought to focus on how best we would be able to vote in patriotic Nigerians with outstanding leadership qualities that would be able to arrest the menace of the present social upheaval, starting from working on the psyche of all Nigerians for better attitude in an environment of strict institutional discipline that would only be achieved through leadership by sacrifice, integrity and service.
Nigerians therefore, need to be mindful of God, without emphasis on religion in order that credible candidates, who will have passion for the restoration of our core values and see human rights issues as the ability to provide equal opportunities and equal access to the people of Nigeria, the downtrodden ones inclusive.
Nigerians are proud to live in a country with a land area of923,773km 2, with varied vegetation and types of soil, suitable for various agricultural purposes.
In 1960 and the years following, up till the early 1970s, Nigeria's economy was between the agricultural friendly ''grassroots'' and the ''white collar'' city oriented centre. All that had to do with the production of goods were concentrated in the city, while a large percentage of Nigerians resided in the villages, with farming as their major occupation. The villages, then, lacked major amenities of life.
Governance during this period, was with a chain of challenges. Then, most of the earnings from export were from agriculture, while 65 % of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) also came from the sector. Nearly 50 % of Government revenue in 1960 could be traced to agriculture.
Today, as in the 60s, the provision of quantitative and qualitative education, quality health care delivery and the absence of social and economic infrastructure, are just a few in the long list of challenges that confronts Government.
In 1973, when crude oil emerged as the mainstay of the economy, government took a ''nap'', having noticed the 'light at the end of the tunnel '.
That 'nap', was at great cost, as can be seen in the unfolding events of the present time. In 1980, crude oil constituted 81.1% of Government revenue and 96.1% of export earnings.
Indeed, the growth of the economy was tied to projected earnings from crude oil exports, this was despite the fact that signs had began to manifest on the imminent collapse of crude oil prices in the international market.
With fiscal and current account deficits, occasioned by falling crude oil prices, resulting in internal and external imbalance, the only option open to Government is to borrow from international financial institutions.
- By solomon2day
- On 13/11/2018
Leaders of the organized labour in Nigeria have been faulted for suspending the indefinite industrial action prior to the Federal Government's announcement of a definite figure for the new national minimum wage.
This position was made known by the National Coordinator of the All Workers Convergence(AWC), Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
''In the future it would be better for labour, despite the agreement, to allow Government to pay the new minimum wage before the indefinite strike action would be called off, this when done, would guarantee workers confidence in labour. We are a bit surprised that the strike was suspended, even when government had not pronounced to the public what it was ready to pay workers''
''However, labour has not done badly, at least they have been able to compel government, which has been unrepentantly unwilling to review workers' salaries, to concede, in the fianl analysis, for a wage increase, though the last presentation of labour of N30,000 is still slavish in nature and will still give room for future agitation as time goes on because N30,000 cannot be a living wage'', Comrade Emelieze noted.
Recently, Vice President Of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo disclosed that some religious leaders and members of the elite class pleaded on behalf of political office holders and government officials, facing corruption allegations. Prof. Osinbajo's statement is coming at a time when allegations of corruption are trailing the activities of several state Governors and government officials, with one of the state Governors insisting that he has spent N200 billion on infrastructure. Nigerians have expressed concern and worry over the ability of the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Crimes Commission(ICPC) to convincingly prosecute the affected officials, including the Kano state Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje.
In this interview with People, the Founder, Spiritual head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the personalities pleading with government to forgive those identified to be corrupt are satanic. Excerpts :
What is your reaction to the Vice President's statement that some religious leaders and members of the elite class plead on behalf of corrupt government officials ?
Let us first look at the personality of Mr. Vice President, he is a Pastor and a powerful member of one of the most widely spread religious organizations in Nigeria. He is equally a Professor of law and above all, he is the number two man handling the destiny of Nigeria.
Whatever he says now, needs to be viewed along these three lines of personality colossus. From the religious angle the voice of God, is universal from whichever Scripture it mus have come from.
Proverbs 22 : 22-23, says'' Do not rob the poor, because he is poor or crush the afflicted at the gate. 23-For the Lord will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.''
Whoever is guilty of this offense must therefore face the wrath of the law as he awaits the wrath of God.
The Holy Koran Chapter 5 :62-63 says '' You will see people transgressing in sins, transgressions and corrupt enrichment''.
However the elite who perpetrate this evil of institutional indiscipline ought to have been made to face judgement through the admonitions of the Doctors of Law, as well as the heads of religious houses, who will be directly answerable to the queries from God.
If Mr. Vice President's statement should be judged against this, he would be found wanting, as a Minister of God, Professor of law and as an elite in the political realm. From the Governors and the political angle, the Vice President violated the international rules of law against corruption and the need for accountability. For example, Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gains The United Nations Development Programme defines corruption as the misuse of a public or private position for direct or indirect personal gain. It further defines accountability as an obligation 1) to demonstrate the work that has been conducted in accordance with the agreed rules and standards. 2) Report fairly and accurately on performance results vis-a-vis mandated roles and / or plans.
Accountability refers not only to those in power, holding their subjects to account, but also to the authorities, both public and private, been held accountable by their citizens.
The Vice President and the entire government workforce need to role model all these, and stand firmly on the rule of law to bring to book all suspects in the arena of institutional indiscipline and corruption, including those so called rotten religious houses in Nigeria, which have enjoyed most from the largess derived from treasury looting.
Government need to embark on accountability and anti-corruption drives because these provide a democratic means to among others 1) Evaluate the government's conduct 2) Prevent the development of concentration of power 3) Enhance the learning capacity and effectiveness of public administration, according to the World Bank accountability and anti-corruption measures.
It also provides citizens with information, they need to measure and judge the progress of the government of the day as well as to enhance good conditions of service.
Voices from the houses of worship demanding that government should look away or forgive corrupt officials will continue to be satanic, until these worship centres are re-orientated towards supporting the cause of the anti-graft agencies, because the impact of corruption in Nigeria has been detrimental as it has stalled progressive development, it has been one of the greatest factors responsible for the growth in poverty, lack of progressive advancement and internal conflict, as we can link it to underdevelopment.
It has also led to unequal access to power, resources and positions between men and women, as well as the wise poor and the foolish rich.
Besides the above, government has to get the root of Democracy as established in Greek-egocentredness, is likened to the status of an idiot. Self has no place in governance, clan or ethnic based consideration extended to nepotism will continue to lead to barren development.
Nigerians, generally, from religion, culture, community and ethnic nationalities need to be integrated into an altruistic philosophy for the development of the entire citizenry as a way of achieving patriotism for true and correct nationhood.
Most edifice like structure in Nigeria, are products of treasury looting.
Presently, Nigerians are being indoctrinated into the culture of self-enrichment as a way of life, rather than the dignity of labour that would have aided innovation and creativity, which are the bedrock of true development.
Mr. Vice President sir, please let us think more of the future, sustainable development and safe landing into true paradise.
Helpless Nigerians have raised the alarm over the continuous implementation of the policy of casualization by both the public and private sectors.
They lament that the companies are both local and foreign owned, while stressing that the high unemployment rate was the source of inspiration of these companies.
The companies hide under the guise of outsourcing the recruitment of casual workers to promote slave labour.
Recently aggrieved casual workers of a biscuit and poultry products factory located in Ibadan, Nigeria protested at their respective places of work to bring to the notice of the public their harrowing experiences.
One of the workers at the biscuit factory speaking incognito, painted a pitiable picture.
''In this factory we work on three shifts of eight hours, there is no break. And the pay is so meagre. The management treats workers like slaves, we are not allowed to take our phones into the factory, we are not allowed to eat, if a worker has an accident while working such a workers would be queried. For the eight hours work, a worker must not sleep. As at now, three workers, who had accidents while working in September are still coming to work with their injuries. And our salaries are between N14,000, N16,000 and N17,000 per month. For me my salary is below N12,000'', the mpoverished worker lamented.
Another worker at the poultry products factory disclosed that for several years ,casual workers have been shortchanged in the name of outsourcing the recruitment of casual workers.
A man at the factory, who simply gave his name as Emmanuel disclosed that the contract of the company in charge of the casual workers had been terminated, while stressing that the workers wages had been increased by N300.00.
In his reaction to the development , the Natonal coordnator of the All Workers Convergence(AWC)Comrade Andrew Emelieze casualization was also the trend in government owned establishments.
''It is unfortunate that Nigerians workers have been maltreated all these years, this has been the case all the while, it did not start today. The issue of casualization does not only affect the private sector, but also the public sector.''
'' The postion of AWC is that workers should continuously protest their pilght and other workers should also protest in solldarity to end slave labour and slave wages. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Prodcutivity should initiate policies to save Nigerian workers from casualization.''
At the University of Ibadan, non academic staff lament that management staff of the institution, compel junior workers to work after the official closing hours of 4.00pm for personal purposes without extra wages.
In his reaction, the branch Chairman of the Non Academic Staff Union(NSAU)Comrade Oluwasegun Arojo maintained that it was unethical for any staff of the university to subject to such an inhuman treatment.
''I think it is unethical for any staff to compel his surbordinate to work etra hours with compesation. The extant rule permits that when you do extra work, you must receive over-time pay. If at all it is happening it is barbaric. And those involved should desist from such act forthwith. It could lead to crisis. Anyone affected should report to the union leaders in the university'', Comrade Arojo stated.
The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria(PPN) in Oyo state, alhaji Bashiru Gbadamosi has condemned the policy of feeding school children at all levels of government at the expesne of Teachers' salaries.
Alhaji Gbadamosi made this position known in a chat with People.
''Government at all levels decided to feed school children, even though Teachers are been owed several months of salaries. We are not going to feed school children while Teachers' are owed everal months of salary arrears. We shall re-introduce free education.''
''I am a grassroot person, I am part of the suffering. I want to elevate our people. Government has failed to do this. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of society. To curb corruption, the leader must be free of corruption. We shall not tolerate corrution'', Alhaji Gbadamosi warned.
The Non Academic Staff of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria have declared that despite the poor conditions of service and renumeration they will never engage in acts that would promote certificate forgery.
They made this declaration through the branch Chairman of the Non Academic Staff Union(NASU) of the institution, Comrade Oluwasegun Arojo in a chat with People.
''Although the working conditions and our salaries are not in tandem with the economic realities of today, we are contented. We never go to the length of encouraging failures, we will never promote failures. There are four major stakeholders in the university system, the NASU, SSANU, NAAT and ASUU.
And our goals include ensuring that products of the institution are qualified and credible. Our members will never engage in any illegal act that would tarnish the image of the institution'', Comrade Arojo opined.
In most recent times, empolyees of educational institutions in Nigeria have connived with individuals to facilitate the availability of ceritificates through the back channel for other purposes.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has been called upon to get to the root of the recent tremor in the Federal Capital Territory.
This call was made by the Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Association of Water Drilling Rig Owners and Practitoners(AWDROP)Mr. Richard Ajayi in a chat with People.
''If our Scientists say there is nothing to worry about, government does not have to rely solely on their advice, is there any measure in place to forestall a disaster ?
It is high time our Scientists wake up to their responsibilities, when earhtquake eventually occurs what will they say is the cause ?
Government should expedite action on the water resources bill in the National Assembly, this will enable the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission to come into being to regulate indiscriminate drlling. A similar thing happened in Shaki, Oyo sate, not long ago. Government should be proactive and do the needful'', Mr. Ajayi warned.
The Federal Government recently deported some expatriates, who entered the country with questionable immigration papers.
Nigerians call for more security presence along the Makurdi-Abuja, Kaduna-Abuja and several other expressways in different parts of the country
Former Oyo state Governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja has declared that himself and other politicians with wealth of experience in politics formed an alliance for peace to reign in the state.
Senator Ladoja made this declaration on Tuesday, in a chat with Journalists,at his Ondo street, Bodija,Ibadan,Nigeria residence.
''When you are in the opposition the minimum you can do is to ensure that there is peace in your ranks. If there is no peace among you in the opposition, then government will take advantage
of it. Chief Michael Koleosho is not contesting, I am not contesting, Alhaji Busari Adebisi is not contesting, that is why we formed an alliance of like minds.
The former Governor noted that the reluctance to accept the truth was the basis of the country's problems.
''The first thing is to ask people to tell the truth,then we are on the way to solving the country's problems. The major problem we have is that we don't accept the truth. We have class competition, this is not helping us.The government did not accept that we have Boko Haram problem, the government did not accept that we have Fulani herdsmen problem, that is the problem, we don't accept the truth'',Senator Ladoja asserted.
Nigerians have for several years embarked on the journey to promote a just and equitable society without encouraging results.
This is regardless of the countless number of prominent citizens, who belong to the private and public sectors, including the civil society community at home and in diaspora.
Sadly, most of the innovative ideas and policy options of governance have failed woefully to serve as springboard for the country's social, political and economic emancipation from the vicious circle of underdevelopment.
Of note, is the fact that Nigeria is yet to attain the status of a free, dynamic and knowledge based economy, this is just as there are no genuine signs of commitment to fairness, equity and justice.
The foregoing stems from bad and improper governance at all levels of government.
Decisions and policies of government are guided by self-centered ideals and obsessive greed.
Most political office holders lack ideology and principles to recommend a soothing cure for the country's ailments, this is convincingly reflected in the very weak economic and political reforms which are without doubt not the compass for a new world order.
The myriad of problems confronting the country amplifies the need for transparent and incorruptible institutions to decisively address pressing issues which have taken a political turn.
Those institutions that were in place from time immemorial, might not have achieved the purpose for which they were established, even though enormous financial resources heralded their establishment.
The major questions on the lips of most Nigerians, include, Who is saddled with the responsibilities for policy formulation and governance under the present dispensation?
Is it the state or does it rest on the exploitative hands of a few private individuals ?
These questions remain unanswered, definitely not one of the high points of Democracy.
Nigerian Youths have been called upon to hing their hopes of succeeding in life on education.
This call was made on Tuesday by a former Provost of the Federal College of Education(Technical)Oyo, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja at the 2018 Seyi Makinde Bursary Scheme in Ibadan.
Prof. Adedoja who was the Chairman of the occasion, said '' It is about empowering our youths. The election is coming in 2019, what do you need for the election? Show your Permanent Voters Cards(PVC), the PVC will allow you to vote for the candidates of your choice, the PVC cannot empower you, the PVC you have today, will only take care of 2019, your PVC for life is education''.
''It is about life empowerment. Empowering our youths for the future for self-development, for the development of the country. The beneficiaries are indigent students. The future of Nigeria lies in nothing other than education. When the election is over, you will put the PVC in your pocket. And after then, it is the scheme that that would determine how successful you will become in life.The founder of the scheme is not just assisting you to develop Nigeria, but to develop yourself. The fact that you have a figure in this country that believes in you and you believe in him is good''.
''The secret behind the success of anybody is education. This is a life long scheme, but I will like to urge the Board of Trustees to monitor the beneficiaries'', Prof. Adedoja concluded.
In his remarks, one of the dignitaries at the occasion, Dr. Saka Balogun prayed that the beneficiaries would also become founders of similar schemes.
However, for Primate Ola Makinde, a former Prelate of the Methodist Church, the bursary must be used for the purpose it was given.
''The older generation know the value of education, it is not the same with the younger generation. You are to use the bursary to buy books and pay for your school fees and not for buying I-phones'', Primate Makinde counseled.
In his remarks, the sponsor of the scheme, Engr. Seyi Makinde said ''My message to the beneficiaries is that if I can do it, you can do it. We sarted this programme in 2006 and we did not selec based on religion and political affiliation, but the selection was based on the fact that you are indigenes of Oyo state''.
The maiden edition of the scheme in 2006, had as Chairman, the incumbent Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi
Out of a total of 10,000 applicants, 2,500 were shortlisted for the bursary awards.
The bursary awards are meant for students of Tertiary institutions of Oyo state origin.
Dignitraries at the occasion included Alhaja Bose Adedibu, Senator Kamorudeen Adedibu, Engr. Lere Adigun among several others.
2019 Presidential Poll :Religious Leaders Should Refrain from Sharing Looted Funds-Spiritual Head Shafaudeen-in-lslam
- By solomon2day
- On 30/07/2018
Nigerians insist that religious leaders and institutions have not done enough for those who eventually emerged to contest of political offices for several years, this has become a source of worry for the electorate, who believe that their votes have never counted in most elections. In this interview with Federationews2day, the Spiritual head and Founder of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke advises religious leaders to refrain from distributing loot of the affected political office holders among their congregation, in a bid to seek divine favour. Excerpts :
How do you think religious leaders and institutions can ensure the emergence of credible candidates in the 2019 Presidential elections?
First and foremost, Nigeria has a fundamental problem, with respect to the issue of religion. They fail to realize that all religions are working towards the same aims and objectives, one, to educate and enlighten into self realization for the necessary reform into the state of piety and integrity, two, to ensure that adherents have tranquility of mind, three, to promote peaceful co-existence, in order that the community or society enjoys high level of security.
Religion therefore, is to work on every individual, irrespective of ethnic or religious differences, to be credible enough to hold in trust, positions of responsibility and power, in order to serve God, through beneficial service to humanity.
However, in Nigeria, religious institutions celebrate profanity, in place of sacredness and hence, fail to produce credible candidates for the purpose of transformation of the society.
With this poor background of Nigeria's religious people, there is no way that they can perform the role of an umpire, whereby, religious leaders, would be able to see themselves as true Fathers of political leaders and true advisers for correct political practices, that would be Scripture compliant and enjoy the favour of God, through the benefit of uninterrupted divine intervention into human affairs-social, economic, political- for the purpose of achieving, in the areas of the clarion call by the United Nations, of the essence of establishing and promoting sustainable development.
To worsen the case, the Federal Government till date, have been superintending a dysfunctional educational system, which has promoted half baked graduates, which is very glaring for all to see. Observe political office holders and Technocrats, in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, institutional indiscipline and corruption that are the order of the day.
For the purpose of the fast approaching 2019 general elections,religious leaders must refrain from sharing the loot, stolen by politicians, to derisively , seek the favour of God.
We must all realize the golden advice of Nelson Mandela, that religious leaders need to face the reality of the situation, that no politician is either a good Muslim or Christian in Nigeria. They believe in sourcing for power from gods and goddesses, but always deceive the innocent masses through religion by propaganda, in order to rule over them.
If truly Nigeria's religious leaders are working for God, they must join the bandwagon of advocates for promotion of functional education and necessary empowerment processes for our youth, who are future leaders and expected to be able to turn around the system of poor governance into that of people oriented and positive political governance, that would have the very necessary positive impact on the lives of the people. Take not of the fact, that the same people who attend religious houses are the same people, we have in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, in Government, in the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and the society at large.
Mosques and Churches must refrain from religious propaganda of prosperity, that has led many Nigerians into the world of magic for quick money making ventures, ritual killings, kidnapping and several others, but instead, we must all be role models, as religious leaders, running functional Churches and Mosques, to reform adherents, into scripture compliance, for the purpose of having credible leaders with integrity, who will be able to administer a corruption free society.
For the 2019 general elections, the roles of the Churches, Mosques and other faith based organizations, is to stand by the truth and the Scripture, to be able to be credible enough, to give advice which will have the desired impact, as well as to have their prayer requests for a free and fair elections to hold.
This is the message of God from Koran 13 : 14 and the Bible James 5 : 16
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a political leader of Yoruba extraction, who lived by example.
His leadership impacted positively on the Yoruba people, in all spheres of life. However, it is doubtful if those who hold sway in this dispensation followed his footsteps.
Chief Awolowo had a formidable political structure that outlived him. In his time, politcal meetings were held at his Ikenne home in Ogun state.
After the passing on to glory of Chief Awolowo, in the days of military rule, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, took over the mantle of leadership and meetings were held at his Owo home, Ondo state.
During this period, the National Democratic Coalition(NADECO) came into being.
After Chief Ajasin did his beat, Pa Abraham Adesanya took over the structure up till the end of the military era.
In the course of Pa Adesanya's leadership, those who could best be described as pseudo-Awoists and pseudo-democrats, were accepted into the fold, sadly, the true and real progressives were barred, due to the fact that they took up apointments in the military regime of the late despot, Gen. Sani Abacha.
Now known as Afenifere, the group restricted its membership, while maintaining a closely knit relationship with the Alliance for Democracy(AD).
At a glance, Afenifere was composed of the first generaton Awoists, the second 11 and the unknown elements.
The unknown elements eventually hijacked the structure through unconventionl means.
Of the first generation Awoists, only a one time Governor of Lagos state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande is still alive.
However, Chiefs Bisi Akande and Segun Osoba belong to the second 11, while others were not yet into reckoning during the functonal period of the group
At a point in time, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, the Director of organization of the Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN) then, stated that in 1982, during the last convention of the UPN, Chief Awolowo expressed the hope that a time will come, when the good elements in the conservatives will join the good elements in the progressives to form a synthesis.
But present happenings in the political sphere has defied this theory, rather polarization and division are tools that have brought about the present scheme of things.
Of note, is the fact that the progressives of the time past, embarked on laudable programes such as free education, to empower the Yoruba people.
Sadly, capitalist inclined policies, nocturnal ideals and preferences are the working tools of today's leaders in the South-west geo-political zone of Nigeria, to the chagrin of the disillusioned and impoverished people.
The new definition of the progresives includes, but is not limited to, the paymnt of school fees in Primary and Secondary schools, introduction of mulitple tax regime and the preference for mediocrity and people with doubtful educational qualificatons, to carry out government duties. So sad.
In 1998, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization,Ohaneze Ndigbo restructured, 12 months after, the structure became a platform to campaign for Igbo presidency.
Again,in 2004, the socio-cultural organization restructured,even though the general elections came up in 2007. Nigerians were of the opinion that the presidency was for all Nigerians.
Their arguments were hinged on the fact that no section of the country,was excluded from aspiring to the highest position in the land.
Indeed,there has never been and there is still no constitutional provision or clause that allows for the exclusion of any tribe to vie for the presidency.
Interestingly, Ohaneze, is a South East Geo-Political zone based socio-cultural organization, which projects the interests of Ndigbo in particular, and the rest of Nigeria in general.
Although, at a particular point in time the organization was accused of been elitist.
The objective, according to a cross section of those who are members of the organization, is to ensure that the ordinary man in the street is a member.
However,they argue that anybody who is Igbo or of Igbo extraction,within Igboland or in Diaspora,is considered a member of Ohaneze. Such individuals, according the organization can attend meetings without a third party making introduction.
'You can come to an Ohaneze meeting without anybody introducing you. If there is any need to introduce yourself, you get up and tell them who you are'', they stated.
Sadly, this is not the situation in the diaspora, including Oyo state.
In an interview in 2004, the President of the Anambra state chapter of Ohaneze, Dozie Ikedife,had insisted then, that restructuring was on course, irrespective of any presidential election.
'If it happens that no Igbo man is installed as President this time around, Ohaneze will still play its role to ensure that a President is installed in this country and that things move on peacefully with a sense of equity, fair play,justice and enhancement of the sense of belonging for all'', Ikedife had declared.
The then President of Ohaneze, Prof. Joe Irukwu was consistent in advocating for Igbo presidency, even though the hidden ambitions of his kith and kin at home and in diaspora militated against his advocacy.
However, a one time Governor of old Anambra state, Chief Christian Onoh,once observed that state Governors of the South-East geo-political zone have always worked at cross purposes, when it involved the Igbo Presidential project.
'We should tell ourselves the home truth-our Governors are not united',Chief Onoh had noted.
Sadly, some members of the political class in Igboland, project Igbo Presidency in broad day light, while vigorously facilitating an agenda at variance with the collective interests and aspirations of Ndigbo,under the cover of darkness, 'when NEPA don take light'.
Since no tribe or ethnic group has been excluded from Nigeria, the debate about who occupy the number one seat in 2019 and beyond,should be for all and sundry. Perhaps
The financial greed of political exposed persons in Nigeria is a major problem of nation building.
Indeed, when Chief(Dr.)Olusegun obasanjo was the President, the then Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, his kinsman, was put forward as a model to discourage financial crimes.
Till date, the Former Inspector General's travails is a talking point.
Nigerians are laready exhibiting intolerant behaviour,perhaps, in violation of the 1999 amended constitution, to oppose a second term presidency for President Muahammadu Buhari. Why ? The anti-corruption fight in this dispensation has not been impressive among other neglected aspects of governance. The former Secetary to the Government of the Federation and several other high profile public office holders remain credible reference points.
As mediocrity becomes the popular choice for political office holders at the Federal, State and Local Government levels, hitherto vibrant institutions have been weakened to damaging and ridiculous levels.
The President's constitutional breaches have come under the heavy 'fire power' of moral indignation by milions of Nigerians, with the President's media handlers reacting feebly and unconvincingly.
Interestingly, Nigerians have interpreted the statement creditied to the Director General of the National Identity Card Management Commission(NIMC) that embarrassment awaits Nigerians who have not registered for the Nationa Identity Number(NIN), as an open threat and subtle intimidation.
The Commission had earlier in the year, lamented that lack of funds was limiting the commission's plans to produce the National Identity cards for Nigerians. Why the sudden desperation to ensure that Nigerians obtain the NIN ?
Part of the answer lies in the statement by the then Deputy Speaker of the Delta state House of Assembly, Pius Ewherido in 2005, ''Looking for an ethnic plaform, I think negates the entire concept of Democracy''.
Also of worry, is the alarm raised by the Independent Natonal Electoral Commssion(INEC) that the Permanent Voters Cards(PVC) are been cloned, this is coming on the heels of reports that desperate politicians are already purchasing the PVCs from uninformed Nigerians at the grass roots.
The situation is made more confusing, with the satement of the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, that there are threats to the country's cyberspace. How ? And why is it coming at a time that elections are coming up in Ekiti and Osun states, while the 2019 general elections is alos around the corner. Perhaps, Government is stll hiding a lot from Nigerians.