Human Interest Stories
Every human being needs to realize that all nations or societies are created by God the almighty Allah with the specific purpose of worshipping Him. (Holy Quran 51: 56).
The consciousness of every human being to realize and observe this accordingly is the import of the Ramadan fast exercise in this sacred month.
Every nation or society is constituted by God the almighty Allah.
This is to be cultivated and managed by humans for our right habitation.
The need for divine intervention to make the work easy and orderly is through our realization of how best to worship Him for a perfect God/man relationship. The Ramadan fast is, therefore, meant for human spiritual rejuvenation, if rightly observed with the fear of God. (Holy Quran 2:21). Ramadan Kareem.
The clarion call of the almighty Allah for every human to get closer to Him to enjoy the benefit of life on earth with a great reward of Janat or paradise is yet to be heeded by many. The Ramadan exercise offers us the opportunity to do things according to the wish of God and to realize a safe sojourn on earth and the blessings of the hereafter.
Ensure you imbibe the lessons from various Sermons, Lectures, and Tafsir for the right guidance. (Holy Quran 2: 201-202). Ramadan Kareem.
Be reminded of the fact that Ramadan fast is made compulsory for the living ones who are Muslims just like education is compulsory for all to be wholesome in decision making and taking. Ramadan fast should be for 29 or 30 days, according to the injunctions of God for the training exercises in getting closer to God to be through. Be reasonable, therefore, not to abuse the privileges and the opportunities of been alive. (Holy Quran 3: 102). Ramadan Kareem.
The whole world is in a state of turmoil, longing to recapture the lost peace among its people. For example, insecurity is the order of the day as the greatest challenge of Nigerians. Let us all embrace the opportunity to gain the mercy of the first 10 days of the Ramadan fast, to be able to use the potential power of the fast for every heart to be touched by God into the keeping of good neighborliness, whereby love replaces hatred. Ramadan Kareem.
The design of God about creation in all spheres-celestial, terrestrial and subterranean is based on a hierarchical order. This is the basis upon which leadership and followership essence is built for system orderliness to be maintained and sustained.
However, among human beings, several factors define the due process for the realization.
Age differences within and outside the home is the primary determining factor whereby respect is naturally commanded by the elderly ones by their younger ones. This style of respect allows the elderly ones to give instructions to the younger ones to carry out certain assignments for them.
In this case, the elderly ones must pay the price for being socially responsible to the younger ones, if the line of respect manifesting in the form of obedience is to be maintained or sustained.
The husband will continue to be obeyed by his wife, primarily because of the age difference and the responsibilities of protecting and making provisions for the home.
Among the siblings, the age factor plays a crucial role in maintaining the order of obedience with the characteristic normal line of downflow current of command and upward flow charges of obedience.
Obedience, therefore, has a divine base that starts with God, the creator, demanding mankind and other creatures to swim in the ocean of obedience to His divine command.
This is, generally, followed in all systems of human administration whereby all subordinates are expected to carry out the command of instructions from their bosses or leaders.
Using the perspective of culture, the line of rulership usually follows the hierarchical order of the chiefs been respect by the people while the traditional rulers usually live by the laws of the land for the chiefs and the people to be in obeisance to his instructions.
Where the line of administration meets with the natural challenges of heterogeneous group components, the system order is always under the threat of disruptions to peaceful co-existence.
This is why all leaders must be well empowered with the paraphernalia of authority through the right capacity and capability building. to be able to weather the storm of possible rebellious acts from any of the chiefs or people of the underworld, who may hide under the guise of fighting for their rights.
There is, therefore, the need fr anybody aspiring to ascend to power or positions of authority to follow the path of due process to be able to use power wisely and enjoy the support of the subordinates.
In any organization or association, there are three major types of challenges for the leader.
Firstly, the leader must be able to identify the nature and the type of people under his leadership.
The prime movers, who easily identify with the policies of the leader to walk the talk must not be taken for granted, but with timely attention given the necessary motivation.
The second group may become a liability because of their lackadaisical attitude which may become a special hindrance factor to the system development because of their attitude of inactivity and passivity.
This is why the train the trainers' programs are usually needed periodically when such people are noticed in the system for them to be upgraded so that the fold of the prime movers is increased by better and manageable elements.
The third group is always very few, but usually catalytic to a destructive ned to the system, if not timely identified and rightly cultured through the leaders' sense of maturity and wisdom to resolve conflicts and manage a crisis.
Suffice it now to say that obedience, from working partners and subordinates, usually moves forward because of advancement to the organization for the aims and objectives including the vision of the leader to be easily accomplished.
When obedience is lacking there would be voices of dissent which would retard the growth of the organization even to a destructive end, if not timely and rightly checked.
Obedience is, therefore a divine substance that is freely given out when leaders can respect the fundamental human rights of the people to have access to any of the good things of life.
For example, when governance does not meet the wellness standard of the people through food insecurity, the issue of general insecurity could be likened to the response to the harshness of the time, in terms of poor governance that cannot meet with the expectation of the people's needs, disobedience to social order and the general rules of law snowballing into various crisis is, therefore, best treated and managed through doing the needful by the people in positions of authority.
Security and law enforcement agents become beasts of burden that are usually overtasked in maintaining law and order in the land when the leaders fail to do the needful on the survival need of the people.
In our various places of work, charges of insubordination may arise when the official duties are not carried out accordingly and without the show of remorse to make amends and it may lead to various unpleasant sanctions or disciplinary actions.
Obedience, therefore, is a function of self-respect, right performance, and a conducive environment for individual operations which are expected to be within the confines or ambits of the law.
Leaders across the board must, therefore, operate on the axis of justice and equity to be able to effect an environment of peace and development to avoid a state of disobedience from the people because it is only in an environment of peace, safe and secured, that we can realize prosperity and development for natural calmness to trigger obedience.
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
Human activities in our endeavor to live without starvation, keep a safe and secured environment and maintain cleanliness and sound health are always propelled into our seeking for jobs or creating jobs with a conducive environment for ease of achieving in the areas of production processes.
Fortunately, every project to be executed will always demand a test of skill as inherent in every individual. This must be developed to realize maximally good inputs and outputs through cooperative attitude and good teamwork spirit because every project will demand various skills from developed talents for ease of job completion.
A project would demand various expertise to collectively execute it.
Equally, project quality and standards are always demanded by the users who will not like to compromise in the market arena of local and global competitiveness.
Industries or companies, therefore, in their production processes will require for the best in the recruitment of workers, who they will expect to show competence, good work attitude disposition, and responsiveness in attending challenges of emerging situations to be able to break even in their cost-benefit analysis and consciousness.
Work ethics, therefore, will demand that all workers be assessed through SMART analysis by giving out specific jobs that would be measurable and achievable for the set goal to be realistically done within specified time-bound.
The behavioral aspect of every worker, therefore, matters so much to the management in their evaluation of individual contributions to productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
The importance of been diligent at work, therefore, comes up for the workers' scoreboard not to be below the expectations of the company's or industry's goal target.
Lazy or unruly workers may face the threat of future retrenchment or situational layoff when the performances are rated over the periodical assessment of performances by the establishment.
Lazy workers are always associated with idle hours which usually may result in a loss for the company or establishment, such people are regarded as not been diligent.
Workers are expected to be careful, the way they go about their routine duties at work through been diligent always for them to be able to handle their projects and enterprises in the future, most especially after retirement or personal disengagement from government work or the private establishment.
Workers today, must always see themselves as learners on the job by been conscious or been amenable to supervision or monitoring by their superiors whose powers of recommendation can influence management decisions and determine their future endeavors.
Diligence, is, therefore, a work habit that will always attract others to call us to repeat the feat elsewhere for a greater reward.
Diligence has a direct bearing on job satisfaction to attract management motivation for robust certification as a reward for a good job well done.
In the Curriculum vitae or Resume of the diligent worker, the sky is not only the limit for a greater height but universal patronage in the world of competitiveness and global best practices.
Diligent people stand before Kings and interact with successful people in life, but they need to be very painstaking to cross the hurdles of life which are necessary to be used as tools for one's reinforcement and acquisition of higher skills. Be culturally diligent, be able to stoop to conquer the whole world as symbols of success in our voyage of life to make ends meet.
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
Truth avails the nation the opportunity to grow and develop while falsehood drives the people into madness and wretchedness to force the nation to heads towards the precipice.
Religion stands in teaching and enforcing truth to the people in order that they eschew all forms of falsehood to be able to uphold the culture of the sincerity of purpose. The failure of people to live exemplary lifestyles may be negatively infectious to other people who are yet to be taught from the houses of God, on the essentials of upholding the truth to offer just worship in their different religions.
A good reference is in Matthew 5: 43-48,''43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.''
In the same vein, the almighty Allah confirms the statement to the last letter. The creation of heaven and earth was based on truth.
The Holy Quran 29: 44 asserts, ''Allah created the heavens and the earth in truth: verily in that is a sign for those who believe.''
The almighty God expects all interpersonal relationships and transactions among mankind to be based on the sincerity of purpose amidst the culture of truth.
Only in truth, we can realize good governance, a virile and prosperous nation, zero tolerance to indiscipline and corruption for sustainable wellness of the people, and a hitch-free development in an environment that is safe and secured with peaceful co-existence.
The Holy Quran therefore, expects all Muslims to be the vanguard of truth for them to be good exemplars to people from other faiths such as the Jews, the Christians, and the Serbians, and any who believe in Allah or God and the last day and work righteousness with the non-discriminatory promise of a reward from their creator that they will live with all authority from their Lord of a life without fear or grief as expressly narrated in the Holy Quran 2: 62. From this set of people, we expect people from other faiths to learn and imbibe the culture of truth and non-injurious lifestyles to others, that is, keeping of good neighborliness.
In the holy Quran 2: 42, it is clearly stated and admonished for all like the people of Nigeria for example, and other nations that are struggling to live by the truth for professional ethics to be the basis of the fabric upon which the mainframe of all institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the government are to be built, in order to be progressive rather than retrogressive.
''And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know what it is.''
The admonition, therefore, continues in the Holy Quran 2: 43-44 which if we can heed will solve our problems of insecurity and underdevelopment. ''And be steadfast in prayer: Give Zakat and bow down your heads with those who bow down in worship(live in humanity). The admonition now continues that we must all query our behavior and question our psyche on the level of heeding the admonition and why things go wrong with our nation. ''Do ye enjoy right conduct of the people and forget to practice it yourselves, and yet ye study the Scriptures?
Will ye not understand.''
All religious leaders need to examine their roles on the issue of been Scripture compliant and being answerable to God on making functional the religious system they uphold to be beneficial to community service and nation-building.
The Holy Quran 2: 119 is for our critical guide, ''Verily we have sent thee in truth as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner: But of thee, no question be asked of the companions of the blazing fire.''
Let us all take heed to be the vanguard of truth.
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
Self-centeredness ensures that political office holders are observed in their own affairs to the extent of losing communication with the people.
The failure to communicate with the people brings forth challenges in governance, while the desperate bid to protect self-driven interests could pave the way for different forms of insecurity.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head, and Grand Imam of Shafauden-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the self-centered nature of elected leaders is the major problem of underdeveloped nations, such as Nigeria.
Self-driven interests are now the major considerations in governance. Why is this so?
Self-centeredness falls into the lowest region of ego-building whereby a child up to the peak of its impressionable age will ever believe that every good thing must belong to him or her including his father's vehicle.
This is an Id region of human growth in which things are desired by mankind without considering the implications and consequences. They may even fight to possess what does not necessarily belong to them when found in the care of other people including their colleagues and parents.
Education is, therefore, expected for any individual to outgrow this region. When they are supposed to be regarded as been matured even though they are just entering the adolescent to puberty stage of their lives.
The exhibition of Id characteristics at this stage will attract a reaction from the society towards suspecting a psychological imbalance in such a person.
The adduced reason may be as a result of been overdependent on parents or guardians for their livelihood and upkeep.
In an unfortunate situation, it may be as a result of inherited traits from parents, such traits include stinginess.
Self-centeredness built into the ego region of any person will not only affect his or her expected contribution to society but equally affects negatively his or her relationship with others including his or her family members who are expected to be taken care of by him or her.
People with ego-based issues will find it difficult to uphold the concept of philanthropy in society for anybody including their kinsmen.
His or her expected age and opportunity of acquired wealth will cause such an individual a set-back and result in not reaching the super-ego region of life.
Such people, when given the opportunity to serve in sensitive positions of power, will easily develop the veins of Timocracy, whereby the individual would not see the essence of been in such positions of power for service, but more as an opportunity for business as usual and treasury looting. This is why the Yorubas believe that any individual acquiring wealth, illegally, to build an empire at the expense of his or her wellness, would eventually forfeit such wealth to other people after passing on to glory.
My belief is that the Scriptures also uphold this Yoruba philosophy.
The Yorubas equally teach us in their Proverbs that an elderly person who refuses to give out, most especially to the ladies and the younger ones, will not be noticed when such an individual is with tangible things on his head from the market place.
The life of charity is recommended for humankind to take care of the need of the world because the grasses are made for the purpose of the survival of the grasscutters.
The major problems of nations classified as underdeveloped or developing like Nigeria are not a result of a lack of natural resources -human and material-but because of the self-centered nature of their chosen leaders at all levels of governance.
It is rather unfortunate for any nation to have such a crop of people at the helm of affairs because under them kleptocracy would be the voice of their democracy, while the voters and the masses would reap the dividends of poverty because of the selfish nature of their leaders. A critical look into the reasons why several African nations suffer in the midst of plenty could be appreciated through the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs vis-a-vis, psychological needs, ensure safety and security needs, social needs of the people, self-esteem into the culture of integrity and actualization realm.
Expectedly, to be able to meet up, the Government must be able to effectively and maximally achieve in the areas of the provision of basic amenities for the purpose of people's wellness as well as the solid establishment of functional infrastructure for people to be dynamically productive through innovations and creativity to be able to go into job creation by people, coupled with government intervention on the issue of employment.
If this is truly achieved there would not be any form of agitations and security threat and the goal of democratic norms based on justice and equity would have produced for people the expected peace and sustainable development.
This is the basis of comparison between the acclaimed developed world and the underdeveloped nations, Nigeria inclusive.
Furthermore, the animal called man grows from Id to the level of the super-ego, is expected to be rational in making policies and decisions that would be beneficial to others.
This is expected to reflect in the way we rear our children from their baby class to that of responsible adults.
Unfortunately, the degree of success rate is crystal clear at the peak of Maslow's hierarchy of need, that is actualization realm which dwells mostly on personal achievements which the ignorant society celebrate overwhelmingly without considering the impact of such achievements on others.
The in-built self-centeredness into the actualization realm manifests most when such people have the opportunity to be in positions of power.
Ego-centeredness characteristics then dominate his management and administrative dispensation.
Such people may end up being richer than the state or nation or the business empire they are saddled to manage in trust for the purpose of building the people they are meant to serve.
Sensitization, therefore, needs to be mounted against self-centeredness through Olagoke Attitudinal Hierarchy of Needs, whereby people should be made to realize at the entry point of having the opportunity of admission into the academics and recruitment into establishments, on the need to shun selfishness, indiscipline, and corruption, but focus on the goal of productivity, goodwill, and profit for the establishment and that their main concern should be service to the people without living above their means otherwise the promotion exercises would be meaningless.
The Olagoke Hierarchy of Attitudinal Needs professes that the actualization realm of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs must be the bae value for mentorship essence followed by ethical practices, role modeling role through exemplary lifestyles, altruistic philosophy to enhance the concept of charity and philanthropy among the people who are lucky to be rich to complement the efforts of the government in satisfying the yearnings of the people.
Above all, for true statesmanship to be achieved, experienced senior citizens must struggle to get into the class of total personality when the characteristic value of integrity, forgiveness, love, selfless service, and conflict resolution facilitated by wisdom would create the natural class of distinction for such an elderly person.
Under this condition, selfishness will pave way for the keeping of good neighborliness as well as the culture of philanthropy will emerge to sustain the people and their nation.
Sychophants are present at all levels of Government. Their activities have become a stumbling block to development and economic prosperity.
A one-time president of Nigeria, the late Alhaji Sheu Shagari while commenting on the reason why Nigerian leaders failed in their office of responsibility, had said ''any leader who wants to succeed must check the activities of sycophants...... sycophants within the corridors of power have to a great extent made it difficult for a leader to be aware of the problem facing their people and what to do to alleviate their suffering.''
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head, and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the negative culture of bastardization, insincerity, and destruction revolving around the activities of sycophants, have already crept into all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies at all levels of government in Nigeria. Excerpts :
The insinuation among Nigerians is that sycophancy is the foundation for bad governance in the country. Do you agree?
Sycophancy is regarded as obsequious behavior towards someone of importance in order to gain an advantage. It is unfortunate that this is what has characterized the general features of our governance style in Nigeria. This has affected our ability to meet up with the standard of governance as propounded by the United Nations Development Program, that is, people's participation, respect for the rule of law, transparency in governance, responsiveness to people's yearnings and sense of want, equity in the distribution of our commonwealth most especially to the nationalities that constitute Nigeria. Other factors that have been traced to the activities of sycophants include
efficiency in productivity against the general loss of goodwill leading to our inability to pass the test of corporate governance perception index,
accountability as against the present records of treasury looting and corruption and strategic vision as against the present fire brigade approach in managing the affairs of the country and
lack of good governance due to sycophantic behavior of subordinates most especially those put in positions of responsibilities to feed the presidency or the State Governors has always been a grievous setback in achieving sustainable development in Nigeria.
Expectedly, democracy must stand on the two legs of justice and equity to give peace a place in the present state of insecurity claiming lives and property as well as impoverishing the people.
Democracy is expected to make those put in positions of power responsive and responsible in focusing on the wellness of the people.
Governance and democracy must therefore focus on the well being of the citizens to ensure that the eight-point component are intrinsically present in every person been governed through the following assessed wellness indices: sound mind, physically fit individuals, community participation for progress and development, good work attitude for high efficiency and productivity, safe and secured clean environment, emotional balance, high and pious spiritual state as well as finances that can support and sustain an individual and his dependants.
Sycophancy, therefore, has to do with bootlicking, trading in lies, deceit, propaganda for the person in charge of leadership, management, or governance to a misleading state of affairs.
Sycophancy often breeds anti-societal behavior to the amazement of the people in charge of the affairs of the state as could be witnessed in various processes of elections and appointments.
Sycophants in government, also constitute fifth columnists, they either work for the government in power or the opposition, without any consideration for the consequences on the development of the nation and the wellness of the people-the cartel and the cabal.
There is, therefore, the need for a paradigm shift from the culture of sycophancy to that of competence and merit, good work attitude, and appointment for people that would be responsive and responsible, fair and objective. This is because the negative culture of bastardization, insincerity, and destruction revolving around the activities of sycophants, have already crept into all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies at all levels of government, besides this, it has destroyed the fabric of peaceful co-existence as well as all aspects of the general society, thereby, making sycophancy to be endemic and dangerous enough to pull down the nation.
Failure of leaders in a democracy to ensure good governance, the provision of functional infrastructure, and basic amenities for the wellness of all Nigerians, irrespective of their economic class will ever create a state of anarchy. Stop sycophantic acts.
The Holy Quran 30: 41-42, states that ''Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of the need that the hands of men have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back from evil. Say: Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before you: Most of them were idolators (hypocrite, liars, infidels, etc.)
From the perspective of the Holy Bible, Mathew 10: 20, then Jesus criticized the cities where he did most of his miracles. Jesus criticized those cities because the people there did not change their lives and stop sinning.''
On a serious note, Nigeria is blessed with several Churches, Mosques, and other faith-based houses of God, but their religious leaders neither fear God nor are Scripture compliant, for them to have the necessary impact on their people, the high and the low.
Although daily, they conduct services with music, funeral services inclusive, yet the people's behavior are yet to change for the better.
If the Holy Prophet Mohammed happened to be alive today, the regret would not spare all the Muslims for not ben able to use the Holy Quran to effect the necessary changes.
For Nigeria to be prevented from heading for the precipice, all the houses of God must be made to be alive to their responsibilities of teaching the Scripture for people's true followership and practice, to be able to live exemplary lifestyles that would be bequeathable as a legacy to the future generation.
We must allow God to illuminate all houses of God for worshipers to radiate light into the society and for sanity to reign supreme so that the mechanics of al the machinery of operation are allowed to work without hindrance to promote competence and work attitude that is efficient and for everybody to be responsive and responsible. Citizens on the issue of patriotism for true development, the best solution is to follow a divine path of honor, whereby the religious systems are alive to their responsibilities of educating, admonishing, and processing al adherents onto the path of righteousness to be spiritually charged enough into a state of trust, reliability, and dependability when challenged with the social responsibilities of management and administration, transparency and accountability for the purpose of good governance.
The Holy Quran 30: 43 states, ''But set thou thy face to the right religions before there come from Allah the Day which there is no chance of averting: on that Day shall men be divided in two, those who reject faith(doing things aright) will suffer from that rejection: and those who work righteousness will make provision for themselves(even in heaven).''
Let us avoid underutilization of the potentials in our religions because human failure to tap the anointing will eventually deactivate them into a ruinous end. God forbid.
When it is allowed to be fraught with sins and crimes it lacks the body preservation essence and when the worshipper allows satan to overwhelm and control his or her psyche and mind, divine immunity is lost just as an individual becomes possessed by the evil spirit.This is why the almighty stated that we must totally get committed to the cause of our different religious beliefs as it is in the Holy Quran 2: 208-209, '' Oh ye who believe! enter into Islam wholeheartedly and follow not the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. If ye backslide after the clear signs have come to you then know that Allah is exalted in Power, Wise.''For us, therefore, to go about our religious worship, the scripture is the vital curriculum for the maximum guide to be able to have just worship.This is why the Almighty Allah separates the chaff from the wheat by making a clear admonition on the use of the scripture of one's upheld religion, as stated in Quran 16: 98-100,'' When thou dost read the Quran, seek Allah's protection from Satan the rejected one. No authority has him over those who believe and put their trust in the Lord.''His authority is over those only who take Him as patron and who join partners with Allah.Our inability, therefore, to give the Almighty Allah just worship is the source of various travails traumatizing poverty in the religions of various observable sins and crimes: fornication, adultery, kidnapping, pedophilia, incest, armed robbery among other heinous and grievous crimes.This is in line with the promise of satan as expressed in Quran 4: 119-120, ''I will mislead them, and I will order them to slit the ears of cattle and deface the fair nature created by Allah.'', '' Whoever, forsake Allah, takes satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest. Satan makes them promises and creates in them false hopes, but satan's promises are nothing but deception.''The allegory over this is that as a pollutant contaminate the air, making the environment to be hostile to human existence, satanic infiltration into human worship of his creator will ever create an air of destruction on earth.Suffice it now to say that we must be scripture complaint to be godly for our religion to be beneficial to man and his environment.Let us, therefore, take to God's admonition without bias to the source of which may be the Holy Quran, New or Old Testaments of the Holy Bible, provided that the contents are issue-driven as in the case of 1 Corinth: 13-13'' So these three things continue: Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of this is Love.''Religious worship is an environment of hate or no love that renders useless the faith, just as there is no hope in religious practice that lacks just worship.To save self, the community, and the nation from the deluge of havoc and satanic embarrassment, let us create an environment of love and just worship to reap the dividend of religion in the form of justice, equity, peace, security, prosperity, and sustainable development, most especially for Nigeria.
Prof. Sabitu Olagoke
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
In the middle of dwindling oil revenue, the Federal and State Governments in Nigeria have resorted to loans and bonds to promote national prosperity, efficient, dynamic, and self-reliant economy. Sadly, the details, repayment plans, terms, and conditions of the loans taken are not in the public domain, as regards accountability. The insinuation is that the government intends to trade off the assets it used to secure the loans. Of worry is the fact that the management and operation of the major sectors of the economy are in bad shape, with most states looking up to the center for their survival. In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head, and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines the Federal and State Governments should publish the terms and conditions of all loans to allay the Fear of Nigerians on the country's debt status. Excerpts :
Do you think the decision of the Federal and State Governments to resort to loans and bonds to promote national prosperity, efficient, dynamic, and self-reliant economy is in the best interest of Nigerians?
For Nigerians to be dynamically buoyant into prosperity, the structure on ground that is full of loopholes and leakages for corruption and self-enrichment may not be feasible if the crop of people in governance to date continues to be recycled.
Taking loans and bonds in and environment of indiscipline, impunity and corruption may not make the dream to be feasible. The socio-divine principle of transparency and accountability in transaction calls for public knowledge of government finances-domestic or foreign loans-and any aspect of government business activities. If we allow this in governance, it would create an enabling environment to criticize decisions in the offing. In the process, such as the Nigeria/Cina loan conditions, questions like the following would arise to save the next generation of government from possible future embarrassment. 1) Feasibility of the payback period. 2)Payback conditions-stringent or otherwise. 3) Respect for the Nigerian content law. 4) Due process demand on follow up questions must be examined too.
The Federal Government is, therefore, required to go through the protocol of the Debt Management Office(DMO) which represents the position of the Nigerian constitution.
Section 21(1) of the Act(2003) is clear on this: That no external loans shall be approved or obtained by any Minister unless its terms and conditions shall have been laid before the National Assembly and approved by its resolution: Anything different from the above-stated process should be regarded as been fraught with hidden agenda by the organs of process operations that are not playing their roles well. It is unfortunate that Nigerians, generally, to date are facing economic hardships amidst accumulated debts, perhaps because of corruption. For example, our debt profile rose from $12.18 Trillion in 2015 to $27.40 Trillion in 2019. In the year 2020 alone, the total debt incurred as approved by the National Assembly for the President is about a total of $28 billion, but without a commensurate improvement in the quality of lives of the people of Nigeria.
We are yet to have economic liberation and political freedom if we are to go by all the lacks and no access, even of basic needs.
The country is now divided into a democratic process with two extreme dividends-kleptocracy by the few rich and poverty by the majority of the population!
The following considerations are sacrosanct to taking the loans-1) Consider the needs of the people, seek for their consent, and carry them along on the implications of the terms and conditions attached to taking the loans. 2) Respect the local content agreement that some type of jobs that are no too technical and the aspects that do not require the transfer of technology must be handled by Nigerians to solve our unemployment challenges. The need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to publish the status and the terms and conditions of repaying outstanding loans, collected and inherited, including the China/Nigeria loan deal that is currently attracting controversial reactions with clear monitoring mechanism in place to monitor the way and manner it is to be spent on the various projects attached to the loans. Ii would be of interest to Nigerians if this template could be extended to all outstanding loans that have become the country's debts. This will allay the fears or give all Nigerians the reason to reject further borrowing by the present administration or the next, so as to have a bequeathable legacy of sustainable development rather than a game of deceit that would continue to impoverish the masses and the environment.
Peace and development are highly essential in achieving peaceful co-existence among people of diverse opinions, tribal inclinations, ethnic leanings and segregated economic classes. Social justice and regulatory policies are equally vital enabling environment for development and peaceful co-existence. Unfortunately, they hardly exist in many nations where we experience insurgence, war, agitations and violence that not only lead to value erosion and disruption of ethical principles. The summary of it all, is individual attitudinal challenges bothering on moral laxity of institutional indiscipline.
Reviving all agents of socialization on this to help arrest the situation and restore values is a task that must be given attention by every stakeholder, parents, religious houses and the media are inclusive. This will help us have disciplined people with high moral consciousness in all our challenging leadership positions, civil servants and government in particular, to role model organizational and professional ethics into people's psyche for the purpose of achieving and putting in place the culture of ethical practices to be able to live exemplary lifestyles. The Holy Bible, Prov. 25 : 28, emphasizes that without moral discipline one becomes vulnerable to acts of waywardness and frivolities just like Nigeria with porous borders, where foreigners come in with ease to take up sensitive positions of power, in the process looting without conscience and raping with impunity, in addition to maiming and killing defenseless Nigerians.
The Holy Prophet Mohammad from the Islamic perspective emphasizes that the bedrock of any jihad is that of moral discipline. On this submission, Jesus Christ in Matt. 5 :19 asserts that good citizenship reflects in the ability to obey the rules of law and live by its code of conduct; otherwise one would become anti-societal and would be vulnerable to punishment in the hands of the l;aw and that such a person will equally be rejected in the kingdom of God.
The implication of this, is that apart from becoming sinful, the society would perceive the individual as a criminal.
Unfortunately in Nigeria, criminals are celebrated and they mostly preferred to occupy sensitive positions of power, by this, we murder peace and development.
The Holy Prophet Mohammad was admonished by Allah in the Holy Quaran to be scripture compliant as an exemplar and this is attested to in the various verses of the Holy Quaran. For example Quaran 6 : 162-163,''''Truly my prayer and my service, my life and my death, are all for Allah, the Cherisher of the world no partner art He : this am I commanded and I am the first of those who submit to His will to be qualified and regarded as a Muslim. The almighty equally commanded that the whole world must follow the foot steps of the Holy Prophet Mohammad as an exemplar''. In Quaran 33 : 21 and 33 : 46, the almighty Allah identifys himself with im that he is the one who made Mohammad ad one who invites to Allah's grace by His leave, and as a lamb spreading light. For the above reasons the Holy Prophet Mohammad was able to declare the following as parting gift to mankind, '' two things I am leaving behind, the Holy Quaran which a a compendium of the word of God for human affairs to be well regulated (Sunnatallahi). I am equally leaving behind my Toreeq or Sunnat, if you follow the two religiously, that is to the letter, you will never be misguided neither will you go astray. Al these are the challenges before I and you as mortals, to live exemplary lifestyles without impunity but consciously based on moral discipline. We are supposed to be either true Christians or true Muslims as well as adherents of all considered worthy religions whose doctrines or tenets are based on God and Godliness, light and good character that can present us as a race living upon the principle of love they neighbor as thyself. Be morally conscious.
Prof. Sabitu Olagoke
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
The issue of discipline is divinely recognized to be a significant portion of the ethos of man’s existence. For example from the Islamic perspective, the Holy Prophet Mohammed emphasized that jihad would be empty and satanic if the adherents do not uphold the principle of moral discipline because jihad of self discipline would make the counselor or preacher to be credible and worthy of admonition he or she may want to give his audience or listeners.
From the Christian perspective, Proverbs 25 : 28 asserts that ‘’a person that cannot control himself or herself(that is without self discipline) is like a city without walls to protect it.''
The society equally rests its fabric of harmonious existence on the culture of the core values of integrity starting from self esteem for teachers, clerics and government officials to successfully produce for the society, reliable and dependable goal getters, in terms of successful ventures in the scheme of nation building, the equation of educational goals must be religiously pursued, that is Attitude=Aptitude+Attitude.
Academic credentials must be based on the curriculum for the course or the pursued discipline which must be rationally graded without academic fraud, examination misconduct and examination malpractice for the certificate to be worthy of the accredited grade or class. The use of this certificate would only be meaningfully enjoyed through the in built good character which always forms the basis of interpersonal relation for positive work attitude that would enhance productivity to meet up with the profit making goal of the organization bearing in mind the need for high efficiency.
The attitudinal value must therefore translate to moral discipline .
When the educational institution fails to operate upon the axis of this value, the schools produce troublesome monsters as graduates or alumni for the society. When religious institutions fail to educate, enlighten, admonish and furnish her adherents onto the path of righteousness, the moral discipline essence upon which the fabric of the fear of God rests is lost, for the society to suffer under the misguided elements, who will rather profess profanity in place of the sacredness essence of clean state of piety ; the society will now be at the mercy of wicked people in governance and bad people in business-the cabals and the cartel. Admonition based on moral values and disciplinary measures is therefore a universal tool to promoting good ideals of life, organizational and professional ethics for the society’s moral fabric to be intact, for the purpose of peaceful co-existence, good governance and well divinely sanitized society which would result in peace and development to be achieved under an environment of justice and equity.
From any source talks on moral discipline may come, it is imperative that the people and the society must follow to benefit the nation.
This is why , we must practically recognize and follow divine statements in the holy books to uphold virtues and progressive moves.
Let us therefore meditate on this verse of the Holy Quaran, that emphasizes self discipline as a function of promoting peaceful co-existence and fraud free society. The Holy Quaran 3 : 104 refers ‘’ let there arise out of you, a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong : they are the ones to attain felicity.’’ Let us walk the talk.
Prof. Sabitu Olagoke
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
Saturday 9th May 2020
The significance of prayer is best thought and understood during Ramadan fasting session. Prayer itself is a bridge builder between man and God. It is the most powerful communication tool that easily transmits the divine energy from God to man, when articulated through a profile body free of sins and crimes and a preserved soul that is free of evil thoughts. These two factors are fundamental basic requirements for man/God cordial relationship.
However, even among the religious people of the world these conditions are trivialized if not neglected, making them to be mere hypocrites with empty boasts about God.
This is equally responsible for the poor state of piety in the land. Let us learn correctly how to be scripture compliant. Ramadan Kareem.
Sunday 10th May
Prayer efficacy has three modes before supplicants can be rest assured of divine acceptance. Meditation allows for reflections into the past activities for possible amendments into the weak areas. It allows esoteric voyage into self reality and exploration into the impact of the environment.
The next one is sermon that appeals to the soul, admonition the body to heal the diseases of the heart in order that one is readily guided through the mercy of God.
Counseling is the third module to perfect translated ideas into suiting the realities of life to be one of example in the odd world of confusion.
Learn to be just in your prayer as a sincere worshiper to be successful in life. Ramadan Kareem.
Monday 11th May
Be reminded that only the prayer of the just would be energized into meeting up with the purpose of desire for which an individual is tendering his request to God(James 5 : 16).
In His declaration the almighty Allah asserted ‘’to him is due the true prayer of those without faith is nothing but vain prayer. ’’(Quaran 13 : 14).
In this category of faithless worship, even the majority of the worshipers in all religions find themselves.
Derisively on this, the almighty Allah said ‘’any other media called upon besides Allah, hear them, know more than if they were to stretch forth their hands for water to reach their mouths.
It would not be possible for water to reach them as it would be easier for water to climb a mountain from the ground floor. Let us be people of full understanding, otherwise we may remain ungrateful to God for life. Ramadan Kareem.
Tuesday 12th May
Computer programming for efficacy can be likened to the stand of God in Isaiah 41 : 17–18, ‘’the poor and needy people look for water, but they can’t find any, they are thirsty. Their tongues are very dry. I will not leave them and let them die. I will make rivers flow on dry hill. I will make springs of water flow through the valley. I will change the desert into a lake filled with water. There would be spring of water in that dry land.’’
These undoubtedly would be the foot of just worship.
The computer programming format of the above lies in Quaran 2 : 186.
- Prepared people of God in high state of piety.
- Worried souls consult trusted and tested clerics.
- God the almighty Allah shows mercy through the counseling guide of the cleric.
- Requirement from God to answer prayer request in sincerity of purpose and just worship.
- Once item number is satisfied the prayer is answered without hitch of barrier.
- Manifestation of God shows divine intervention in the supplicant’s life. Let us follow this to live a just and self fulfilled life. Ramadan Kareem.
Wednesday 13th May
Two things need to amaze using Nigeria as an example. In the 21st century, Government is still discovering the poorest of the poor, demanding like Almajiri beggars for COVID 19 monetary support from individuals whose source of money are never known or attested to.
The second awe is that the divine intervention is left aside by Government in tackling the COIVD 19 pandemic. This may be as a result of the fact that no qualified cleric using the quality and standard measurement of God can be identified or found around.
Jonah saved his nation, Nineveh. Prophet Mohammed founded a new Saudi Arabia and better strategic world order through the rules of law and promotion of God/man relationship.
Jesus Christ counseled and healed all with no economic costs attached while at the same time leaving behind a legacy of peace and the promotion of good God/man relationship.
Nigeria’s clerics can source their strengths from all these by been scripture compliant as role models on the issue of connecting every individual, as a free born, with his or her creator.
For the nation to be able to enjoy free divine intervention let us therefore realize that to seek the glory of God, we must believe that all prayers belong to Him. To Him we mount up all words of purity e call prayers, but avoid trivializing it into mere wishful thinking. Be reminded that God will require a high level of state of piety from an individual before entertaining your requests. or crowning it with success. Remember that an individual will be faced with a lot of resistances from the people of the underworld, including the principalities of darkness. We cannot therefore, allow recess of divine strength, so as not to be punctured by the nails of wicked people on earth. God is able. Ramadan Mubarak.
Prof. Sabitu Olagoke
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
Monday, 4th May
Ramadan Mubarak, let us learn to cultural acceptable level, the essence of been our brother's keeper. For example, the third pillar of Islam is on giving out of a specified percentage of the accrued profits of our acquired wealth and when it is in terms of farm products, there are equally percentages that we must part with for donations, for the purpose of poverty alleviation and hunger eradication. This is about Zakat operation. This is inline with the need to get fulfilled to the scripture compliant level to gain the favor of God. Quran 92 : 5-7 refers ''So he gives in charity and fears Allah and in all sincerity testify to the best, that is the essence of caring and sharing and been philanthropic . Almighty Allah, He will indeed make smooth for him, the path to Ease.'' The period of Ramadan offers us the opportunity to build a positive mindset in this direction. Ramadan Kareem.
Tuesday, 5th May
The concept of charity affords the rich to be philanthropic in nature, as being experimented under Sodaqat, that is voluntary alms giving as a normal way of life. But this must be done to the empowerment level of the needy.
The almighty Allah identified some troubled spots that must be addressed to have a normal, safe and secured society. For example in Quran 9 : 60, it is declared ''Alms are for the poor and the needy and those employed to administer the funds. To institutionalize this, the apex body of the Islamic family need to take this up as a project for the rich individuals and Islamic sects to follow. Such funds mus be extended to those whose hearts have been recently reconciled to truth; for those in bondage and in debt; those in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer : thus it is ordained by Allah. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.''
To prevent violence and insecurity, this must be a task that must be culturally entrenched. Ramadan Kareem.
Wednesday, 6th May
During this Ramadan, redemption feeding is another source of reaching out to the poor(Fidyatu Toham), which the rich can use to atone for its inability to fast. This equally must extend to the level of empowerment.
Crisis and challenges of eradicating the Almajiri is now a monstrous challenge for Government and the society because of the socio-economic and sociological challenges associated to its eradication.
However, the concept of been our brother's keeper whereby the rich ones support Government 's efforts may effectively address this area this is because rehabilitation without vocational training support and engagement will never be sustainable and satisfactory for the victims of this social menace.
Religious leaders must place emphasis on how to make operational Sodaqat, Zakat and Fidyatu Toham, that is voluntary alms giving, to become our natural ways of life, for the needy and the poor to be effectively taken care of. Ramadan Kareem.
Thursday, 7th May
Zakat L' Fitri, that is alms giving to climax the Ramadan fast, may be in monetary terms or food materials, most especially grains by the family for the purpose of reaching out to the poor through the coordinating Imam, who must be God fearing in the distribution.
Muslims must continue to recite Quran 90 to get acquainted with the importance of making charity as an atonement of sins that have not been criminalized.
The excerpts from this chapter refers '' But man has not made haste on the path that is steep and what will explain to thee the path that is steep, it is freeing the bound man or the giving of food in a day of deprivation, to the orphan with claims of relationship or to the indigent down in the dust. Such giver must equally be of those who believe in God, enjoying patience, constancy and self-restraint and also enjoying deeds of kindness and compassion.''
Decide to be one today. Ramadan Kareem.
Friday, 8th May
Every nation where kleptocracy characterize governance, self centered thoughts dominates the lives of the elite, always records poor tales of poverty, hunger, homelessness, armed robbery and characteristic state of insecurity.
The almighty Allah therefore warns against miserly behavior in the Holy Quran 92 : 8-12. '' But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self sufficient and gives the lie to the best, that is (charity), he will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong into the pit. Verily will take upon us to guide.''
This is why the Holy Quran 13 : 18 declared ''for those who respond to their lord are all good things, but those who respond not to Him, even if they had all that is in the heaven and on earth and as much more in vain offer it for ransom. For them will the reckoning be terrible, their abode will be hell,-what a bed of misery.''
The ravaging coronavirus pandemic attests to this.
Uphold charity and shun miserly life to eradicate poverty and hunger for ensured peace in the land. Ramadan Kareem.
Prof. Sabitu Olagoke
Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide,Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria
Over 300,00 trained and registered Teachers in Kenya are without jobs.
According to well informed sources in the Education Ministry, schools in the country are short of 96, 00 Teachers, with with primary schools having about 10 million pupils being short of 38,054 tutors and Secondary schools, with about 2.8 million students, have vacancies for 58,291 teachers.
Following Government aggressive campaigns to achieve 100 per cent transition from primary school, there has been a high enrollment rate coupled with the fact that 9,472 women and 6,950 men applied for government teaching positions but were not employed.
6,872 of the applicants posses Bachelor of Education while 1,596 had diplomas. Certificate holders seeking jobs in primary and pre-school schools accounted for 5,686.
As the administration of Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa prepares to deliver good governance women of Mashonaland province have called on government to ensure that the process of decentralizing powers is bereft of political considerations.
This call was made recently by women from the rural province during an interactive session organized by the Institute for Young Women Development, for women of Mashonaland and their representatives in the Parliament , at Bindura .
One of the participants from Guruve, stressed that the discussions on devolution must be apolitical saying "What is required in particular is for national officials (both political and administrative) to commit to a devolution process that respects the rules of the game. Importantly, if devolution is to succeed it should be a shared objective supported by both those with and without power as well as by the general citizenry."
Another participant, Margret Chimombe from Shamva suggested that the lawmakers should educate the women on the aims and objectives of the proposed devolution of power, adding ''"It's only a few people who are aware of what this is about. Some are in the dark so it should the duty of office bearer to come down to us and tell us what this animal is all about before any other engagements."
In her submission, Member of Parliament for Women's Quota Bindura-Shamva constituency, Dorothy Mashonganyika warned the women to be wary of politicians who might want to use the process to feather their nets saying ''We do not want political involvement but let us respect political structures as they also play a part in representing our views''.
President Mnangagwa had indicated that his administration would implement decentralize power.during his 2018-2022 tenure, but the people of Zimbabwe have been expressing fears that politicians would hijack the process to further their political agenda.
June 12 : GCFR without Payment of Reparation and Compensation to M.K.O Abiola’s Family is Meaningless-Prof. Olagoke
Even though it is post humous, Nigerians have continued to applaud President Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit, to confer the country’s highest honors of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic(GCFR) on the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections, late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
In addition, Nigerians believe that if the bank accounts of the Late Bashorun Abiola frozen by the late Military despot, Gen. Sanni Abacha, are unfrozen and reparations paid to his family, justice would have been seen to have been done.
Also, all those who one way or the other lost their lives during the period ought to receive compensation through the families they left behind.
However, the body language of President Buhari is not in tandem with the peoples’ belief, even as a cross section of Nigerians argue that declaring June 12 Democracy Day emanates from gaining political mileage, if consideration is given to the fact that the incumbent President was part and parcel of the late Gen. Abacha military regime.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that conferment of the highest honors in the land in not enough, but ought to also include paying reparation and compensation to Bashorun Abiola’s family, else Nigerians may think otherwise. Excerpts :
In commemoration of June 12, the day the freest and fairest general elections in Nigeria’s history was annulled, what do you think is the best compensation for the late Bashorun M.K.O Abiola’s family ?
The issue surrounding Bashorun M.K.O Abiola is a milestone of an historical record and antecedent in which Nigeria in particular, and the whole world in general, need to learn a lot from. He happened to be a victim of unholy friendship and treachery by his kinsman.
Besides this, his life depicted to the whole world, that even the pinnacle of affluence has a lot of limitations to the expected influences that may accompany it.
Despite God’s favor on him to win the Presidential elections, with outstanding performance over the National Republican Convention(NRC) candidate, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, based on what nature could give any man, in terms of what would have been the barriers-barriers of Muslim/Muslim ticket, Southern candidacy and the possible environment that is fraught with Ethnic, Tribal and Religious differences, the atmosphere was not only favorable, but the people put aside their differences to ensure that Bashorun Abiola emerged as the winner.
However, some household enemies and the hidden ones among his friends, became a deadly clog in the wheel of his destiny.
The funny aspect, is that of the failure of successive governments after, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, to revisit his case,and the eventual Democracy that ushered in a total departure from the erstwhile military rule.
His kinsman, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo and his successors, who happened to be the direct beneficiaries of Bashorun Abiola’s struggle for Democracy, equally failed to revisit his state incarceration and dehumanization.
Fortunately, an opposition political party, in the name of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(rtd.)eventually revisited what the whole world helplessly claimed to be an act of injustice, hence the post-humous conferment of GCFR to the late Bashorun Abiola and by extension the largesse of the peak of recognition for his supposed deputy, in the name of Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, as well as the conferment of one of the highest honors in the land on the unforgettable activist, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who lived all his, life for the enthronement of Democracy and died without fulfillment of the struggle, to address the injustices meted out to Bashorun Abiola.
Mr. President deliberately refrained from giving his national address on May 29, during his inauguration, and I believe he must have reserved his speech for June 12, which he has been courageous enough to declare as Nigeria’s Democracy day, in fulfillment of the agitations of the progressives to recognize Bashorum Abiola as the symbol of Nigeria’s Democracy and the pathfinder of how the freest and fairest general elections ought to be conducted in Nigeria.
Most of Nigerians expect that the highest honor conferred on Bashorun Abiola as his right, shall be followed by his family having access to what Nigeria and our government owe the late business mogul, most especially in the aspect of unfreezing his numerous bank accounts, as the first step towards reviving his ‘’dead’’ chains of legacies. All these shall be to the benefit of the family he left behind and this shall serve to reunite them.
Recently, one of his oil companies of international repute was affected by the recent government policy through which some oil companies’ licenses were revoked.
Government owes Nigerians an explanation on why Bashorun Abiola’s business concern was affected and possibly work on how he would be exempted.
However, recognition through the conferment of the highest national honors in the land shall be meaningless, without supporting it with the attendant freedom for the family to have access to what he had spent all his life to acquire.
I have the belief that the Federal Government is waiting for June 12, for favorable declaration on this, otherwise, the stiff opposition against them may use any lapses on the side of the Federal Government to gain sympathy of the generality of Nigerians to turn the table against them as they did in many states lost by the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the people’s court and parliament during the recent general elections.
9th National Assembly : Nigerians Hope for a Legislature that Shall Not Massage the Executive’s Back-Prof. Olagoke
Both chambers of the 9th National Assembly shall be inaugurated next week and Nigerians are hopeful that the elected representatives of the people shall make laws that shall impact positively on impoverished Nigerians who have not seized to contend with insecurity.
Nigerians are also hopeful that the lawmakers shall not in any way or circumstance become rubber stamps for decisions from the Executive that are anti-people and dictatorial in content.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says that the expectations of Nigerians revolve on a people driven Legislature that would not massage the back of the Executive, but enact enabling laws that will not only regulate and control the excesses of the Executive, but emancipate the masses from the vicious cycle of poverty and insecurity. Excerpts :
What do you think the lawmakers of the 9th National Assembly should embark upon, considering the performance of the lawmakers of the 8th National Assembly ?
The 8th National Assembly’s performance was hostile and antagonistic considering its relationship with the Executive, this later affected the people negatively and harshly.
When bills are passed into law, there must be corresponding enabling empowerment programmes and projects on it, for the law to have impact on the society.
To an average Nigerian, the last four years of the National Assembly, has been more of orchestrated ceremony of wealth, rather than that of enabling the people that gave them the mandate to serve.
It had been more of celebrating trivialities, that have ever failed to articulate development.
It is unfortunate that Nigeria is yet to address several issues. For example, we failed to learn from the experience of secession by placing emphasis on the problem of the fall in the international price of oil as it affected the budget, rather than looking inward on the country’s style of management and the structure of the payment of salaries and allowances which tilts favorably more to the side of the political class, while the civil and public servants continue to groan and grumble with the given token because of the corresponding low purchasing power of the Naira.
Despite the heavy weight of the salaries and allowances of the political class, corruption and institutional indiscipline continued unabated, rendering the efforts of the Federal Government in this direction ineffective, specifically for Nigerians to turn a new leaf.
The aspect of plea bargaining for the big wigs and no deterrence record for the offenders had made the exercise to become a laughing stock, to the favor of the opposition that eventually rose from their ‘’dead’’ state to compete and win in a number of states and to pose a major threat to the’ almighty’ Federal Government during elections.
If all these issues are not addressed, Nigerians would not yet be happy, in celebrating the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
Characteristically, on record of history there had always been downward profile of performances on goodness and rising profile of moral decadence from one session to the other as the players exchange batons from one dispensation to the other.
From the look of things, although the mistake of the past whereby the All Progressives Congress(APC) government was not cohesive enough for the leadership of the National Assembly, to favor the Executive is still lingering.
Now that they are struggling to have their way, the fear must be on the effectiveness in serving the people, rather than rubbing the back of the Executive.
The expectations of the people generally, at home and abroad is that objectivity should be the axis of operation, based on global best practices that is incorruptible Judiciary, people driven legislature on the issue of their welfare through enacting enabling laws that will not only regulate and control the excesses of the Executive, but directed purposely to emancipate the cause of the masses on the issues of their welfare and well being.
The Executive, on their harnessing power for resources, is expected to serve the people sincerely through transparency and accountability to promote inclusive governance through the principle of equity.
If the APC government is to be sincere then, no member is expected to run foul of these goals because change of government is expected to address areas of heresies, weaknesses and failures of the outgoing dispensation, which visibly was responsible for the failure to effectively and completely achieve anything reasonable on the subject matter of zero tolerance to corruption and institutional discipline.
Irrespective of still controlling power, the arms and tiers of government which the ruling members of the ruling party are the occupants, now need to unite to achieve these fundamental aspects of heresies which happen to be the bane of our democratic disposition for worthwhile development.
After Ramadan Fast Nigerians should not Return to What God has Rejected-Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide
As Muslims enter into the last days of the 30 day Ramadan fast period and prepare for the Ed L Fitri celebrations, the general belief is that the fast period has brought about a new direction for the faithful who must have cleansed themselves of impurities and all that is evil.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Gran Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke urges Nigerians not to go back to their sinful ways after the Ramadan fast. Excerpts :
What is your message to the Muslim Faithful as they are about to finish the 30 day fasting period ?
The first thing to do for every Muslim who happens to be alive at the end of the 30 day Ramadan fast, is to give thanks to the creator, almighty Allah, who has given us the wherewithal to go about the fast exercise successfully.
This thanksgiving need to reflect on the extent to which we have been able to learn about the culture of fear of God, in order that we may be able to live the expected exemplary lifestyles which society requires to keep the peace with accelerated development.
When one looks at the three major segments of the Ramadan period, as a school period to learn, one would appreciate God for giving and teaching us mercy in the first 10 days, forgiving us our sins, if we go about the exercise rightly with sincerity of purpose. The fast teaches us to forgive our perceived enemies and those who must have offended us.
The third segment is what we can regard as harvesting period, loaded with spiritual re-orientation in which we learn how to be very close to God, by taking to His will.
Besides this, it is a period when prayers are easily answered through sincere supplication to almighty Allah.
This translates to an all encompassing spiritual rejuvenation that transcends the usual mortal sourcing of power or miracles.
We must not lose sight of the fact that before or during the Ramadan fast, that some known colleagues must have passed on, leading us to the question of who is next after the Ramadan ?
However, with the promise of God the Koran 10 : 61–62, the almighty Allah calls us to the following order, that closeness to God is sacrosanct to having insurance against life’s hazards through the following three criteria :
- Keeping of good neighborliness to be accepted by the community and society.
- Translating the theoretical message to application point of living by the reformative messages of God from the Holy Koran.
- This bothers on legitimate earning to live, source and maintain power and influence.
The almighty Allah set this as conditions to be practically observed, in order that one would become a friend of his creator, who will be so much insured against any form of fear or grief.
Fortunately, this is the import of the message of Ramadan, which we are expected to live by.
After Ramadan therefore, the expectation of God and society from the Muslim graduates of the Ramadan school, ranges from as follows ;
- Just worship based on holiness for Allah and sincerity of purpose, without derailing from the righteous path in any aspect of life we may find ourselves.
- One must be a source of motivation, defense and protection for ourparents who we must ensure are close to God, as well as been clothed, well fed and protectively sheltered, without suffering from any hazards of life.
This is a recompense for the very care they gave us when we were babies or toddlers.
3. As parents , we must be responsive and responsible to the cause of the welfare of the children including their education and healthcare concerns as well as physiological needs.
4. We must preserve our bodies by avoiding sins and crime as well as ensuring that soul purification exercises are achieved.
This will make us rational and disciplined, which are embodiment of moral etiquette, that is not dangerous to the society, but beneficial.
We must refrain from cheating others, breaking of oaths and promises, and infidelity.
Lastly, we must never take laws into our hands and neither must we resort to extra judicial killings without following the due process of law
All these have been taught in the month of Ramadan, for us to be reformed as individuals, into instruments of light that will manifest in our care for others and sense of patriotism, most especially in the scheme of nation building.
Luckily for us in Nigeria, the governments at the Federal and state levels were sworn-in the the glorious month of Ramadan which came up almost after the Lenten season.
To be sincere to God, He has given us the opportunity to institute and establish a new government of Democratic dispensation with bedrock for functionality, dwelling on justice and equity for peace and development to reign supreme under the most perfect conditions of conducive atmosphere provided for us by God through Ramadan.
If we are to be sincerely grateful to God, the sovereignty of Nigeria is been given to the Christians and Muslims to manage as a trial that shall be assessed and evaluated through individual and collective performances.
What we need finally, is a perfect system of leadership and follower ship network, to be able to walk the talk because with education and religion as an advantage, counting the number of Churches and Mosques adherents now in power with additional advantage of been certificated through good education, there won’t be any excuse for anyone of us to fail Nigeria and the state.
However, it is expected that corruption and indiscipline shall be alien to the new political dispensation.
Let us all be gradates of Ramadan on quality and standards in tandem with global best practices.
After the Ramadan fast, Nigerians should not go back to what God has rejected, but allow the revamped core values nurture and nourish our attitude to be best players in running a well ordered society full of peace and development.
The signing into law of the N30,000 new national minimum wage by President Muhammadu Buhari was received with joy by all Nigerians, especially workers and their dependents. Even though workers are not too comfortable with the consensus method of picking leaders of their unions.
The leaders who emerged via consensus and the 36 state Governors would in the coming weeks,to a great extent, determine how long this joy will last.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that Nigerian workers think of only themselves at the detriment of retirees and other Nigerians. Excerpts :
Do you think workers in the states of the federation have any cause to rejoice over the signing into law of the N30,000 new national minimum wage by President Buhari ?
Generally workers are expected to celebrate the so called N30,000 new national minimum wage in the preciseness of unsustainable economy with poor growth rate, that has no impact on the general lives of the people.
Workers are expected to be holistic, fighting for the cause of the welfare of the people and the structural effects of our democracy, that is yet to be achieved.
Injustice and inequality, marginalization and equity challenges are supposed to be in place before Nigeria and its states can have peace and development that may be sustainable and beneficial to all.
I would have expected that the workers’ unions fight the cause of the retirees and the issue of unpaid salary arrears, before vigorously embarking the satiation for the increase in the minimum wage.
This is because fighting for an holistic cause is expected to be step wise and developmental, which implies that we expect that no state government should be able to stay in power without been confronted every week with the workers’ agitation on these issues; to force them to reason that it was only through the peoples’ mandate in democracy that they had been able to get into the juicy positions of power.
Unfortunately, Nigerian workers became selfish, limiting themselves to the cause of those people in service only, at least ensuring that all states comply rationally with the old minimum wage would have made a good level playing ground to fight for the increase.
State Governors under our democratic dispensation have only succeeded in impoverishing the people, most especially their children-graduates-majority of whom are made to roam the streets aimlessly thereby becoming nuisances.
While government officials and the executive live in affluence, the people under them continue to groan under the harshness of abject poverty affecting their fundamental human rights to have access to the very good things of life; that can make them realize the benefit of governance dynamics.
Now, we are having a change of government come My 29, 2019, derisively, the outgoing Governors may show deceptive friendship, by accepting to pay the N30,00 new national minimum wage, to set a trap for the incoming government, so as to make the new government highly unpopular among the people who gave them the mandate.
Those who will continue in power, maybe ready to damn the consequence, by not agreeing to pay the new wage.
It is a known fact that only between two to three states have the capacity to pay the new national minimum wage, even in the face of unabated corruption.
The government may end up contending with industrial disputes.
This is not to say that Nigeria is not potentially capable to implement the assented payment of the new national minimum wage of N30,000, but the government failed to back it up with good economic policy and formula.
The cheapest way to do this, does not lie in increasing the Value Added Tax(VAT), because this would negatively affect the prices of commodities for home consumption as well as inviting increase in inflation, with direct consequence on the impoverished masses, who constitute more than 70 per cent of the population.
For equity sake, in which the welfare of the masses would be taken care of, there is the need for the downward review of the salaries of the political class, the executive and the Legislature in particular, say by half, so that the upward review of the minimum wage, which is more of a daily token and stipend in the hands of the elite, who constitute less than 10 per cent of the population of Nigeria, would succeed.
If this had been done, the heavy top would have rolled down to augment the meager amount meant for mass distribution.
Stomach infrastructure is basically primary and should not be toyed with politically, otherwise the provision of basic amenities, if absent, would rubbish the efforts of government in the areas of transportation, mining, power and other sectors that would aid development.
Stomach infrastructure has direct link with the ability of government to provide employment and empower all Nigerians, most especially the youth, so that they would be less restive.
Remember, more than 95 per cent of the small scale industries facilitated industrialization in all the developed countries-the United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, China and South Korea.
This very good model is sought after by Malaysia and Singapore, which gained independence in 1965.
Let this government in the next political dispensation follow suit, by developing the nation and be virile enough to become a strong institution, rather than building strong individuals, who have become untouchable in the face of corruption, destroying equitable legacy for our youth as it is today. God save Nigeria.
The feeble response by government has further aggravated the almost helpless situation.
The impression Nigerians have, is that the present administration does not have the know how to restore normalcy.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says Nigerians no longer trust their leaders who neither transparent nor accountable, which has resulted in the clamour for secession. Excerpts :
Banditry, killings, kidnapping, armed robbery and violence are the signposts of living in Nigeria, what do you think is the way out ?
Naturally, in a system of mankind, poverty takes the most percentage of what can fuel crisis and violence.
This is why the major challenges to be managed by government, revolve on the provision of basic amenities and functional infrastructure. As regards this, successive governments have failed.
For example the Boko Haram issue would have been a thing of the past, if not for the accumulated destitution among most of the youth in the Northern part of the country.
Secondly, since the inception of democracy, we have been running governments that have been insensitive to the peoples' plight, contrary to the dictates of section 16 of the 1999 amended constitution, which harps on the responsibilities of government to the welfare of Nigerians.
Apart from this, our political management has assumed an extreme dimension of ethnic and tribal coloration, where nepotism is the basis for getting jobs and contracts.
When government fails to manage the issue of corruption effectively, the wealth of the land goes into the hands of the privileged few in positions of power.
Unfortunately, the mitigation measure on ground, rests with our security agencies, which are being weighed down by lack of motivation.
The world standard of work ratio of all the security agencies to the population, they are supposed to serve, is extremely low.
This is why the clamor for state police may hold water, although with reservations.
Are we civilized enough to the level of upholding professional ethics in this respect ?
Certainly, the answer is no, because all tiers of government in Nigeria are still vindictive on the opposition, hence the security agencies may be manipulated for selfish purposes by any government in power. We need to work on this area of civility challenge.
Dearth of adequate personnel and professional training requirements, need to be addressed with utmost urgency to avoid wasting the lives of the few that are ready to stop further bloodshed that would have been found to be highly unwarranted.
Running an inclusive government, rather than the winner takes all syndrome, will not only promote amity and memorandum of understanding, between the President and the governments at the state and local levels, but will also allow for timely intervention to quell riots or any acts of violence.
Nigeria is presently enjoying, a graveyard peace.
The people do not trust their leaders who neither transparent nor accountable, this has caused a lot of disaffection to the point of hiding under restructuring motives to achieve secessionist agenda.
Most of the regions are waiting for Nnamdi Kanu to achieve his aim, for others to say '' to thy tents Oh Israel''.
With the foregoing as the situation on ground, Nigerians should naturally expect pockets of killings and anti-societal acts inimical to any reasonable development.
However, making the country ungovernable for the government in power, is never a solution, but an act of retrogression, that all Nigerians must condemn.
Nigeria ought to learn from the civilized way the issue of BREXIT is being handled.
Dialogue is the best option to adopt to further the peaceful co-existence that still keeps the country together.
The service chiefs and the Professors of conflict resolution, would continue to be indicted for incompetence and lack of patriotism, if the the President could not be rightly advised to do the needful, with all sincerity of purpose.
What is government doing with the reported $1 Billion it collected for the purchase of arms and equipment for the military ?
What are the security agencies doing with the reported N 350 million worth of arms and ammunition intercepted at the nations' borders ?
We must know fully well that a cracked wall, would ever harbour reptiles, to the detriment of the people in the house.
Inter-religious and ethnic disaffection been promoted by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government must stop, because government needs the support of all Nigerians.