Connect with us

OPINION

[Opinion]: Killer Herdsmen and Akpabio’s Scathing Message By Kenneth Jude

Published

on

There is little doubt that this year has a lot stuffed in its belly. It is a year with a bulging tummy that will birth several issues that will make and equally upset the apple cart.

Already, some clerics have given us a glimpse into the year with earthshaking prophecies, most of which border on doom and gloom.

For politicians, it’s a busy year. It’s a pre-election year. There’ll be horse trading, defections, character assassination, friends will turn foes, there’ll be accusations and counter accusations, blackmail will find a good space, there’ll be newspaper rejoinders, open letters, unsolicited advise, and, of course, many will morph into emergency philanthropists.

At the federal level, President Buhari and his party appear to have lost it. By appointing dead people into boards give a clearer picture yet that the Daura born ascetic general has lost touch with the times. When he said he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody, was the dead included?

In the outgone year, he spent more time in the hospital than Aso Rock. One holds nothing against him in this regard because anyone can fall sick irrespective of age or gender, but at 75 even when he said he thought he was 74, he is prone to giving in to one health challenge or another. It is an age concomitant with health issues. Add this to the rigours of presiding over the affairs of a large multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria; it’s a knotty nut to crack entirely.

Even when many Nigerians have queried the change mantra upon which they rode to power, plans are already afoot for the re-election of Buhari as president in 2019. Whether he has the mental wit and age supported by sound health and mind for another shot at power matters little to his acolytes so long as he can breathe.

Under Buhari’s watch, herdsmen have turned parts of the country into killing fields. They maim and slaughter human beings with beastly impunity. All we get is condemnation of their actions, their dastardly acts and all that crap. But when IPOB ‘sneezed’ in the South Eastern part of the country, all hell was let loose. All manner of dance found a home in that region. While we were only used to Azonto, Etighi, Skelewu, ‘one corner nonsense’ and the rest, the military launched a new dance code-named Operation Python Dance.

Naturally, pythons don’t dance. Do they? So, when the military left their base and decided to stage a dance in the South Eastern part of the country, not a few people were startled. “What kind of dance is that?” many had asked. While Nigerians were caught in the web of wonderment, the Python dancers, displaying not the dancing skills like those we see in the casino and owambe parties, danced in a manner that sent IPOB agitators and their lieutenants into oblivion. It was not a dance of peace but war. It was a special dance from the stable of the military. Nnamdi Kanu, the ethnic entrepreneur, who described Nigeria as a zoo, bolted. To date, no one knows where he is.

At the end of that dancing expedition, the military had succeeded in sending IPOB members away with their cutting edge dancing steps and war-ridden drumbeats. Since then, IPOB and all what they stand for has gone underground. Will they crawl back to life? The passage of time will tell.

As Commander-in-Chief of the armed Forces, it is not impossible that President Buhari had given the milliary marching orders to hit the Southeast with that peculier dance. That was commendable – even though some persons frowned at it. Pronto, IPOB was branded a Terrorist Organisation. Whether that was apt in the circumstance or not is not the focus of this piece.

Today, Herdsmen have held the nation by the jugular – killing, maiming and slaughtering innocent Nigerians with murderous glee. And it is startling if not unsettling that Buhari has yet to deem it fit to  declare these ratag gang of murderers, TERRORISTS nor ask the military to, again, take up their dancing gears, head to these troubled parts of the country for a dance.

Any dance, it must be stated, will do. Crocodile had Smiled in the South South and South West regions – there was a semblance of order in those parts. Mr. President, send the troops to go and dance in these troubled areas. If the president or the Army have run out of ideas on what to tag the next kind of dance. As a patriotic Nigerian, I suggest the following dance styles for the North.

Operation Snake Dance; Operation Lion Dance, Tiger Dance, Hippopotamus dance, Monkey dance – and every other dance. This, to me, is a task that must be done with military dispatch. Those in support say aye!

Ex Governor Godswill Akpabio recently stirred the hornet’s nest recently when he aimed a new year dig at his ‘student’ and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.

Akpabio, Nigeria’s Senate Minority Leader and ‘great teacher’, hit out at the banking mogul turned politician for marginalising Ikot Ekpene senatorial district and abandoning some of his cherished projects, prominent among them being the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene.

Said he: “2018 is less than one year to election, all is not well o; don’t allow anybody to deceive you that all is well. If the hotel in Ikot Ekpene (Four Points by Sheraton) rots after so much money had been expended, would that be a good thing?

That road from Uyo to Ikot Ekpene, is still the way it was (when I left office). In the 2018 budget, what is the percentage for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District? My job is to say the truth because if at this level I cannot say the truth, then I am not doing well. So please I want us to start the hotel because when the Commissioner for Works addressed the youths in August, he assured them that the hotel would be opened in December, it will soon decay if urgent intervention is not given to the  facility.
Please, let us check the budget to know what has been earmarked for that place. I am not interested in what I did and what I did not do, I am only interested in what I am going to do.

“The truth is that Godswill Akpabio expects us to set our path straight so that we can take one route. Even when you are going for communion, you must be in a state of grace, so let us have something from the Senatorial District to use in talking about election; to use in convincing the people to stand by us. We are in opposition, we don’t have government, we don’t have Police, we don’t have INEC.”

Understandably, Akpabio’s comments has set off a firestorm of reactions from across the state with many holding the opinion that both men are no longer having the best of relationships.

Some observers have questioned Akpabio’s moral standing in saying that his area is being marginalised, pointing out that he, the great teacher, set a grand record in this respect hence had better kept mute.   Others insist that Senator Akpabio would have devised a better way of passing the message to Gov. Udom since they are mentors and mentees without bringing it to public consciousness.

All said, for the politically conscious, it is not overly surprising that such issues are beginning to arise. It’s expected that as the next election gatheres steam, diverse issues will certainly crop up – some of which shall border on interest and all that. It is now left for the governor to, if he is truly in charge of his government, take the bull by the horns and see to it that as much as he can, some interests, especially those that concerns his mentor (Akpabio) and his people aren’t treated with levity.

Of course, the governor need not be told of the influence the Senate Minority Leader wields in Akwa Ibom politics. Having lumped him to the number one seat singlehanded despite the groundswell opposition at the time,  Udom, having benefitted immensely from the Ukana political czar is condemned to remaining beholden to his benefactor if he must keep his seat in peace.

But people should not be carried away by Akpabio’s submissions. That he has said his mind does not mean that both men are at loggerheads. Though, it would have been wise to have done that in the closet with the governor. Akpabio certainly had reasons for his actions hence one should not get overly agitated. If their once rosy relationship has hit hard times, as many have suggested, let’s keep our gazes on both men and see how events will pan out in the coming days, months.

______
Follow us on twitter via @akwaibominfo

Share your story with us via SMS and WhatsApp on 0902 211 0018


Comments

Akwa Ibom INFO is the digital front-door that informs, educates and entertains a global audience of readers with distinctively radical and inspirational media content emphasizing the freshness of Akwa Ibom culture, entertainment, sports, faith and lifestyle presented from a thrillingly unalike angle.

FEATURES

MEGPUyo: Giving Face to Entrepreneurial Development in Akwa Ibom

Published

on

By Paul Sylvester

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. Formal SMEs contribute up to 60% of total employment and up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies according to world bank. These numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included. Last year, world bank estimates, 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 15 years to absorb the growing global workforce, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In emerging markets, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which also create 4 out of 5 new positions.

In the foregoing, Gov Udom Emmanuel, elects to take needed steps in pursuit of an Akwa Ibom economy largely reliant on SMEs and in view to fill the job expectant gap projected by World Bank. Emmanuel, through the Directorate of Microfinance and Enterprise Development, headed by his Senior Special Assistant, Mr. Ime Uwah, is on course to meet this target, having introduced a special human resource development scheme, ‘My Entrepreneurship Goals Programme’ (MEGP).

Beyond dream, hopes, plans, intentions, aspirations; the Akwa Ibom business ecosystem, is in practical terms towed to the path of the much promised boom. As experts constantly counsel, businesses should begin and be sustained by a reasonable level of enterprise knowledge, especially peculiar to a given business. Much thanks to Mr Ime Uwah, who has graciously not only interpreted, but executed the governor’s economic blueprint in this wise.

In his manifesto, Gov Emmanuel clearly outlined his plans and approaches towards establishing at least 30,000 micro, small and medium scale businesses across the state, through the instrumentality of Akwa Ibom Micro Enterprise Development Law, which he recently signed; establishment of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs training on basic business skills. The plan include also to assist prospective Akwa Ibom entrepreneurs to prepare documentation required for financing, feasibility study and business plan and to work with available business assisting institutions like the Bank of Industry, CBN, Development Bank and related international intervention agencies.

In giving clear direction and defining purpose, the door had been opened for interested individuals to register and enroll in My Entrepreneurship Goal Programme (MEGP) in Uyo, for extensive drill on building and sustaining enterprises at different levels. So far, more than 250 participants have registered, while in the first batch, more than 100 are currently undergoing the training.

MEGP in a short while, has prepared participants to suitably qualify to benefit by practical knowledge acquisition, the business boom that is to come. For instance, participants recently engaged in ‘best mission statement contest’, having 8 persons from different classes of the training, win cash prize of N25,000 each. In a bid to also have the best of the programme, facilitators from Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) who are part of resource team, have exposed the participants to meaningful orientation on the subject.

Undoubtedly, MEGP is giving direction and definition to Gov Emmanuel’s roadmap to enterprise boom in the state. Young people should avail themselves of the chance to benefit from this platform of human capital development. In view, MEGP seeks to create 100,000 new jobs and contribute N100 billion to the revenue base of the state by 2023. For a productive scheme like this, it is only pertinent that development minded people wait no more, but join the mass movement.

______
Follow us on twitter via @akwaibominfo

Share your story with us via SMS and WhatsApp on 0902 211 0018


Comments
Continue Reading

OPINION

Zayyad Muhammad: Memo to IGP Adamu Mohammed

Published

on

Dear IGP Adamu Mohammed, Congratulations on reaching the peak of your career. You are lucky and unlucky at the same time. You rise to the top at a critical moment in the Nigerian polity- election time. The next two months may mar or make your achievements as a police officer, depending on how you approach the management of the Nigerian police and its obligations during forth-coming elections.

In Nigeria, policing is interwoven with politics. During this period, many politicians will attempt to frustrate you, while some will try to manipulate you via political powers. Fortunately for you, you have a Commander-in-Chief, who does not have the traits of a typical Nigerian politician. So, as a fine officer, when you find yourself on a tight-rope, do not cry nor run.

While the pressure of the elections are there, keep in mind that you are being faced with the challenge of managing a police force that is plagued by poor conditions of service, deplorable work environment, lack of incentives and motivation, corruption, low level of public confidence and serious lack of expertise in some specialized fields.

Mr. IGP, the Nigeria Police needs total overhaul and this can be grouped into three core areas- leadership, methodology and, culture & attitude. The Nigeria Police has witnessed various changes since its inception in 1861 when it began with a thirty-member consular guard formed in the then Lagos Colony. From 1964, the NPF has had 20 IGPs, with each coming with his own transformative ideas. However, if the NPF must be responsive to modern public policing standards and demands, reforms in the three areas mentioned above is imperative. For reforms to create desired change, all strategies and goals must be communicated and a buy-in among officers created – especially junior officers. Reforms cannot be imposed on the police. However, the urgency of these reforms cannot be over-emphasized.

The Nigerian police have some fine and intelligent officers who persevere with the many challenges of being a police officer. Some of them inspire the trust and confidence of the public. However, in general, the Nigerian Police direly needs a new direction and different orientation. In addition, it needs modernization and massive reorganization similar to what obtains in private corporations. Mr. IG, you can be one to lay the foundation for the new police.

The police under you can rejig the mentality of ‘absolute hierarchical superiority’ by giving junior officers who are always on the field the chance to weigh in their views. The public expect you to look at things ‘off-the-police-shelves’ to see what the public expects and needs from the police. This will bring imaginative ideas to strike a new resonance among the officers of the police and also bring visible functionality and efficiency in police.

The public expects the police to prevent crime, and maintain peace and public order. However, job of the Nigerian police is dangerous, with high rates of on-the-job injury and death. The police operate without up-to-date and high-tech policing equipment- you cannot fight crime with only guns, broken batons and jalopy pickup vans. The police should be armed with modern firearms and protective equipment, in addition to small tools like tasers, incapacitant spray, telescopic and expandable batons, etc. Communication is vital for modern policing. Thus, any existing police radio spectrums which are subject to serious interference should be gradually replaced by a new spectrum of superior quality. The police should have their entire vehicles and posts/stations installed with Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) system for effective communication, as well as for data and voice transmission. TETRA is encrypted to prevent interception.

The general management of policing equipment by the Nigerian police is very poor. For instance, most of the vehicles used by the police are in bad states. The processes of vehicle purchase, fuelling and maintenance should be redesigned- outsourcing and workable decentralization are the best options. The Police Service Commission should commission competent automobile firms to supply and maintain for the Nigerian police vehicles which are built to police specifications in factories. Fuelling of vehicles and other policing equipment should also be contracted out to responsible fuel marketers. This will eliminate corruption and usher in easy administration.

The biggest problem facing the Nigerian police is culture and attitude. The police need to create and cherish a strong culture among its rank and file. The Nigerian police should seek the services of Public Relations experts/firms to develop a modern PR plan for it- one that should go beyond the traditional police’s PR method- public display of achievements. Instead, its officers and men would be trained in many areas including, basic professional behaviour in the public, how to attend and talk to people, association with civilians and even posture when in public view, etc. One of the most critical aspects that need urgent attention is smart dressing. Every officer in the Nigeria police should dress smart and neat- this will reflect the meaning of the yellow colour in the police flag- Discipline & Resourcefulness and the elephant in its crest- Steadfastness & Reliability. A major benefit of culture andattitude reform is that it will help engender better community policing.

Above all, as a matter of urgency, you have to get your team well prepared for the forth coming elections which are about a month away. The police have a huge role to play in the elections if it must be successful. The time is short but in colloquial parlance, it is the baptism of fire for you. It is believed you are up to the task.
Permission to fall out sir!

______
Follow us on twitter via @akwaibominfo

Share your story with us via SMS and WhatsApp on 0902 211 0018


Comments
Continue Reading

OPINION

2019: Chaos or election?

Published

on

By Luke Onyekakeyah

I raised this alarm last May in this column on whether or not we are heading for an election or chaos. Reason is that the history of wars and turmoil in Africa is the history of power struggle. From Angola’s 27 years civil war to the collapse of Somalia and the unending crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), among others, all the crises were fueled by power struggle. Politicians with overvaulting ambition stoked the upheavals. The interest of Nigeria should be paramount; it should be over and above any personal or sectional interest. All lovers of Nigeria should rally to save this country from avoidable crisis.

Nigeria has had its unfair share of political crisis that led to a three-year fratricidal war from 1967 to 1970 in which over a million citizens perished and millions dislocated from their homes, especially on the defunct Biafra side. Whatever would spark off another conflagration should be avoided. Politicians should be wary not to endanger this country once again. Politicians sowed the seed that led to the unfortunate civil war. Why are the politicians leading us to yet another dangerous precipice?

The confusion arising from last week’s unilateral suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari, has raised the tempo of uncertainty that the forth-coming general elections may be anything but free, fair and peaceful. That is a very sad development for Nigeria, a country battling with myriads of social, economic and security problems amid a scheduled general election.

Nigerians are befuddled that a crisis of this magnitude that could engulf the country in avoidable conflagration could be stoked at this eleventh hour to the long-awaited 2019 general elections, with the presidential election barely two weeks ahead. What sort of ill wind is this? Why are the embers being fanned vigorously? The sudden removal of Onnoghen is an ill wind that blows no one any good. President Buhari should be patriotic and save this country from avoidable crisis. For it is said that there are two people that matter in a country namely, the one who turned a forest into a country and the one who turned a country into a forest! Some people have labored to establish Nigeria as it were. Let there be no one who would turn this country into a forest.

Nigerians were shocked over the weekend when news broke that President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, pending the completion of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. Buhari announced the suspension at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday, January 25, 2019. He said the suspension was as a result of the order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), directing him to suspend Onnoghen, pending the completion of his trial. Legal pundits are analyzing the legality of the order.

Buhari did not stop there; he went ahead to swear-in Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad from Bauchi as the acting CJN. Onnoghen is from Cross River State in Nigeria’s South-South Niger Delta Zone. The ethnic colouration bolstered the general perception that President Buhari has been filling all strategic arms of government with his own kinsmen. The suspension of Onnoghen, a man whose appointment was not favoured by Buhari in the first place, is seen as the last straw that breaks the camels back in the light of the elections at hand. Why did the President do this now?

Following the suspension, a flood of protests, agitations and outcry have greeted the polity from both within and outside the country. At the swearing in ceremony of the chairmen and members of the Election Petition Tribunals numbering 250, by the new Acting CJN, Tanko Mohahmad, only one Justice out of the 25 Justices of the Supreme Court was reportedly present, the rest boycotted the event in a show of solidarity with Onnoghen. Right now, the entire legal fraternity in the country is outrage at what they call unconstitutional action by Mr. President. Both the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) have called emergency meetings to discuss the anomie.

Also, the National Assembly (NASS), which has been on recess, is reconvening to deliberate on the burning issue. The restive Niger Delta militants that have sheathed their swords for a while are fuming and threatening fire and brimstone on oil industry facilities in the area. And the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) announced the suspension of its electioneering campaigns for 72 hours in protest.

The international community is not keeping mute. The United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) governments have expressed serious concern about the development, which they fear would affect the coming elections. There is fire on the mountain, one would say. Except something is done urgently to douse the tension, we may be in for evil days the end of which no one can fathom.

It needs to be stressed that no one is saying that Onnoghen should not be disciplined if he had run afoul of the law. Not at all. What people are saying is that due process should be followed. Legal luminaries in the country are in agreement that there is a constitutionally laid down procedure for disciplining a legal officer of Onnoghen’s status. Flouting or shortchanging that process, as the President Buhari has done is tantamount to what they call a ‘coup’ against the constitution and the judicial arm of government in a democracy. Whereas, there is national outrage over the President’s action, the presidency, on the other hand, is busy justifying the unprecedented action of Buhari. Can Nigeria wriggle out of this self inflicted problem? The coming days and weeks are indeed uncertain. But can Nigeria survive a political upheaval amid the ravaging Boko Haram war in the North-East and the nationwide insecurity?

It is sad that rather than preach peace in the run up to the polls, some unpatriotic elements are out to cause mayhem. How to tackle the myriad of problems confronting the country should be the focus instead of diverting attention to the destablisation of the judiciary, a critical arm of Nigeria’s democratic government.

What is happening give credence to what those who know Buhari think that he can’t easily be brushed aside as was the case with Jonathan in 2015. Buhari’s exponents think that he will deploy all the forces within his power, including the power of incumbency, to counter the opposition to win the re-election. The unilateral and unconstitutional suspension of Onnoghen is a clear testimony that Buhari is not Jonathan, who patriotically refused to orchestrate crisis and bloodshed in 2015.

Nigerians want peace and not chaos. As things stand now, except Buhari and the APC adopt a “no bloodshed mantra,” adding political crisis to the already degenerate killing fields across Nigeria may spell doom for the country. That way, the prediction that Nigeria could not survive the 2015 elections may only have been postponed to 2019. President Buhari should not let this happen under his watch.

______
Follow us on twitter via @akwaibominfo

Share your story with us via SMS and WhatsApp on 0902 211 0018


Comments
Continue Reading

FEATURES

THE ADVENTURE OF A CULT ACTIVIST TURNED SPEAKER

Published

on

By Alhaji Aminu

Once upon a time, there was a cult activist in the campus. His rascality and gross disrespect to constituted authorities easily gave him out to absurd notoriety in the campus. He was thus identified as a student noted for gross indiscipline and moral deficiency , This was evident in his routine misdemeanor and poor performance in academic tasks.

His reckless and careless lifestyle only attracted him to friends and members of his cult kingdom, who appreciated his carefree, unruly corrupt social status, and this crowned him the king of the jungle., a position he fancied but to the detriment of academics. This was contrary to the expectations of his poor parents.

He was later found wanting and lost. He could not pass his test nor exams. His life was grossly darkened because he dropped out of school. His friends rejected him except those who belonged.,..

He went on cult exile and was shamelessly treated as a fugitive. Guy man fell mugu. Things fell apart, only those who knew him deeply could recognize him. His thin structure reduced his ostrich like neck to nothingness .
This
Life was tough and hopeless for the young cultist. Sadly he was driven into drug addiction . People lost confidence in him and could not help him.

Then came a messiah sent to Akwa Abasi Ibom State. A man with a large heart. A father to the needy and fatherless. A husband to widows. A succour to the down trodden. His name was Godswill Obot Akoabio, a man of valour and candour.

He sent for the fugitive cultist, and told him son, from today, thy sins are forgiven. He rebranded him and called him his special assistant SA. He Built a befitting house for his poor sick mother who lived in a one room, He changed his orientation and lifestyle. He spoke to the then VC University of Uyo, professor Akpan Ekpo and pleaded that the fugitive be allowed to complete his law program in the university.
The prof accepted with studied silence

Yes, governor Akpabio then went ahead to clean up the guy, rebranded and completely uplifted the once cult activist from glory to glory in politics.

If he did not like him, he could have as well stopped him from getting into Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. But he further helped him to become a member and the Honourable Speaker , the number three man in the state.

It is sad that today the fugitive turned speaker has the temerity to insult distinguished Senator Akpabio. The speaker neither respect himself nor his office.

This infantile speaker takes passion in spewing blatant lies against the former governor and his dear wife. The rate at which this infantile speaker reduces the exalted office of Mr speaker to a ridiculing epitaph of controversy and scorn is regrettable and unacceptable. We know he is acting on the effect of tramadol .He is no longer constructive and focused. He talks like an ordinary motor park agent. He has thrown reputation and integrity to the gutter. He talks about mbiam like a Bush doctor. Yet he can not substantiate his submissions. Majority of his friends who knew where he was before Akoabio picked him to the present level are not Happy with him.

Reports has it that his uncontrolled youthful exuberance is also responsible for the many cases of sex scandals between him and some members of legislative wives association and his own wife. What a shame ?

His recent vituperations on the former first lady and wife of the immediate past Senate minority leader, Her Excellency Mrs Uloma Akpabio is condemnable. How did this infantile braggart get to his present level is an open truth. He used to refer to the former first lady as his mother and destiny helper. He would not have been accepted back in school due to cult activism but not for the former governor and wife.

Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly financial record is stingy and questionable under his watch. He will be asked to account for the huge financial irregularities that he master minded. By then the tramadol effect in his brain shall let him be. His present boss will not be able to help him as his boss shall also be struggling to rescue himself from the clutches of EFCC. after the expiration of his immunity on May 29th, 2O19.

Need someone advise this infantile speaker to have a deep rethink over his fallacious and spurious rampage. The worst sin is the sin of ingratitude. Those who bite the finger that fed them will leave to regret. This is act 1 of the adventure of a cult activist turned speaker.
Gaskiya !!!
….

______
Follow us on twitter via @akwaibominfo

Share your story with us via SMS and WhatsApp on 0902 211 0018


Comments
Continue Reading
Advertisement

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

TWEET BEACON

Trending