Friday, October 16, 2015

Honeymoonization & The Death Of Expression

By Adekoya Boladale

Don’t tell me you did not miss the days when we took turn to pass insults on the maladministration of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the days when you came online and read various versions of vituperations and backlashes against the President. Those were the days when we all rushed to the social media, armed with our internet and mobile devices as early as 6:00 am. It doesn’t matter if you had the right information or if you were adequately informed . The prerequisite to get admitted into the holy cult of ‘social media influencer’ or ‘advocate’ as they call it, depends on how foully your expressions are; how well you can construct insults and make jest of Patience’s untaught statements.

I must confess, I was a culprit of the above misdemenour as well. I remember the feeling of fulfilment that rushed down one’s spine when you click the post button. But if that offerred relief, it is nothing compared to the tonnes of comments, retweets, likes and shares that follows. It is second only to that feeling you get after devouring a bowl of hot amala, ewedu, gbegiri and assorted meats in that order.
Right there in the comfort of your room or office, you get knighted into the glorious hall of social media fame. Accolades and salutations role in, ‘Sir’, ‘Brother’, ‘Boss’ becomes an automatic first title as friends and fans respond to you.

But those were the days when expressions were free, when you don’t get bullied for speaking your mind no matter how uninformed or misinformed you were. It offerred a grand illusion of Kingship and of a Presidential status, so much that you can be rest assured you won’t get traumatized by negative shot-to-die response from an army of paid angry birds’ triggerready to shoot you down.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate of selling your neighbor cheap for eulogization from the international communities. I believe strongly, that no matter what, Nigerians should present their country in good light to the rest of the world because truly, we have no other home than this beautiful, prosperous and blessed country. I have matured from the man I was in 2011 as a staunch supporter of Muhammadu Buhari who saw nothing good in Goodluck Jonathan or any of his ilks. I have come to realize that rather than insult public office holders we should make structural changes, constitutional amendments and make demands devoid of personalization but of common sense. 

However, this is not to say we should suffer in silence to create an imaginary Eldorado.
Today, every attempt to ask questions about the state of the nation and express displeasure towards the current status quo has been met with ridiculous attacks, insulting defense and most recently, arrest, detention and incarceration.
One was the expression by a former governor of Lagos state, who chose to insult the sensibility of Nigerians with the ‘honey moon’ expression. I believe apart from politics, he is an entrepreneur and I wonder how he will feel if he spends twelve years training an employee only to discover such staff has learnt nothing throughout his training sessions. But that is not the issue for today.
Today is on how the celebrated expression of our thoughts and opinions has been gagged by physiological attacks and forced silence. It is about the governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun’s unending caging of dissenting voices and Caesarization of human rights. It is about the fear now exhibited by Nigerians on and offline to state clearly how they feel about national and public affairs.

Far from how politicians feel, expression of thoughts does more good than harm to the government. For a government with genuine intention to perform, dissenting statements act as a compass to guide policy formation and decision making. It is that peculiar voice of wisdom in the midst of sycophantic opinions and views of aides and political jobbers. It helps you as a political office holder to measure your acceptability and retract your faltering steps as it constantly reminds you of your promises before you stepped into office.
But when you pay some jobless youths and semi-youths stipends for selfish political interests (apologies to Oga Femi Pedro) what you end up fueling is a suppressed anger and vexation not expressed but nursed and nurtured for menacing aftermaths.

Today, we live in a new world, where thoughts are gagged by the fear of being labelled wailing wailers. Where five attacks take place in Maiduguri in less than 24 hours but we dare not talk about it. We dare not!
Suddenly, we have lost the will to be bereaved. You can feel pain but never must you express it. When you have no light, never must you talk about it. When you queue for fuel and buy at exorbitant rate, you must keep quiet. When you get robbed, act normal, when you have no water, bath with salt. Whatever you do, however you feel, just be silent!

Boladale is a public affairs analyst, political commentator and consultant on intra governmental affairs. He is on twitter @Adekoyabee

Give Buhari Time, Nigeria Is Not An Easy Place To Govern – Gowon


Former military Head of State, Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on Thursday, called for support for President Muhammadu Buhari-led-government, saying administering political leadership was not an easy task.

Gowon made the call while speaking to reporters during his condolence visit to the Obafemi Awolowo family over HID Awolowo’s death at the family’s country home in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun.

The former military leader urged Nigerians to exercise patience with the present administration, adding that he had utmost confidence in the leadership qualities of Buhari to increase the country’s fortunes.

He said Nigerians should always make their demands to government known through appropriate channels, noting that positive criticism was good toward improving the nation’s socio-economic challenges.

“Whenever any government comes in, it is highly important to give it time to be able to really put things right. Nigeria is not an easy place to govern.

“I can assure you that there are as many problems as there are Nigerians in the world and everybody wants to do things in a particular way, in his own way and probably for his own interest.

“When you think of that as a leader, you ponder how you are going to get all the ideas together and do things right.

“When you have problems in a nation, it is not easy to get rid of them overnight.

“I think we have got to be patient with our president and then we have to cooperate with government to get things in order.’’

Gowon further appealed to Nigerians to always seek peace to fast-track national development and support Nigeria’s fight against insurgency by being vigilant at all times.

He said “peace in the country will lead to prosperity. We must work together for peace and a unified Nigeria, there is no two ways about it.’’ (NAN)


Abati Accuses Clark Of Humiliating Jonathan With Recent Comment

Former Special Adviser to then President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati has described a recent comment by Edwin Clark, to the effect that Jonathan lacked the will to fight corruption, as the worst form of humiliation his former principal ever received since leaving office.

Diezani Reacts To Senate Screening, Says “Kachikwu’s Responses Show I Did Well”

Former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has reacted to the ongoing screening of President Muhammadu Buhari ministers-in-waiting.

Her media consultant, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, in a statement yesterday commended the Senate for televising live the screening of ministerial nominees, saying that the truth about Alison-Madueke’s legacy as Petroleum Minister, is beginning to emerge “despite the conspiracy to diminish her sterling accomplishments on the altar of politics.”
Commenting on the screening of Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Aguiyi stated that the brilliant performance of the current Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the Senate’s screening validated almost all the policies and actions championed and taken by the former Minister.

How APC Can Remain In Power For A Long Time — Ekweremadu

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has advised the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, to build on the successes recorded by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, while it held power for 16 years or risk being pushed aside in 2019.
Mr. Ekweremadu gave the advise on Thursday at the 67th meeting of he National Executive Committee meeting of the PDP, which held at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
He stated that the PDP, in its 16 years of being in power, “changed the face of telecommunication in Nigeria”, making it the best in Africa.

People Fell Into Trap Set Up By Civil Servants – ICPC Boss

ABUJA – The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr Ekpo Nta, yesterday, categorically noted that the country could only develop evenly, if the local government council as a third tier of government is accorded its place in governance and officials are thoroughly equipped with sound managerial acumen.
Nta said that local government in Nigeria had the least developed institutional processes in the country.

Rice Importation Not Good For Our Economy – Senate

ABUJA – THE Senate,yesterday, summoned the Controller General of Nigeria Customs Service,Col. Hameed Ali,to appear before it to explain why he did not only ordered the removal of rice from import restriction list but also approved its importation through land borders.
The Senate said Ali would appear before its Ad- hoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers, on a yet to be determined date, to explain reasons behind his action, which it noted to be beyond him since the order restricting rice importation through land borders was a presidential one , issued in 2011.
The action of the Red Chamber was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero,APC,Kebbi Central,and supported by 28 other senators, which was debated upon during plenary.

Clark, The Father, Jonathan, The Son, By Reuben Abati

I have tried delaying the writing of this piece in the honest expectation that someone probably misquoted Chief E.K. Clark, when he reportedly publicly disowned former President Goodluck Jonathan.
I had hoped that our dear father, E.K. Clark, would issue a counter statement and say the usual things politicians say: “they quoted me out of context!” “Jonathan is my son”. That has not happened; rather, some other Ijaw voices, including one Joseph Evah, have come to the defence of the old man, to join hands in rubbishing a man they once defended to the hilt and used as a bargaining chip for the Ijaw interest in the larger Nigerian geo-politics.

Spain ‘Confident’ In Buhari’s Economic Reforms

The Spanish government has expressed confidence in the economic reforms and anti-corruption campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying they are vital to attracting investment to Nigeria.
Alfonso Barnuevo, the Spanish ambassador to Nigeria, made the remark at a ceremony in Abuja to commemorate the National Day of Spain in Abuja.
Barnuevo described the Nigeria-Spain relation as “excellent”, having strategic components from the security, economic and commercial points.

MASSOB Dares Police

•Begins satellite monitoring
In defiance of the clampdown on its activities by security agents, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has vowed to continue its activities unperturbed.
MASSOB Director of Information, Awka South, Paul Okoye made the pledge yesterday during a reception organised in honour of the former regional administrator of the group in Awka South, Chief Arinze Igbani, who was recently appointed zonal leader, Anambra South.
Okoye said in order to beat the security agents to their game, MASSOB had invented a secret satellite monitoring system, which it would use, to track the activities of its members and respond to any attack on them by the police and other security agencies.

PDP Divided Over North-East’s Move To Fill Mu’azu’s Vacancy

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is divided over fomentation by top government officials in the North-east to fill the opening made by Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, a previous national executive of the gathering. Mu’azu resigned on May 20, taking after weight that he drove the gathering to an embarrassing annihilation in the last general elections when his tenure had not terminated.

As indicated by the provisions of PDP constitution, he should be supplanted by somebody from the North-east.

Tending to newsmen toward the end of the 67th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the gathering, PDP national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said the gathering leaders had disparate perspectives on the issue, focusing on that the NWC would liaise with the gathering initiative in the North-east to re-consider the issue.

“The NEC did not discuss the issue of Mu’azu’s replacement but there is a kind of subtle understanding that the NWC will work with the North-east in that regard. Some members raised the issue but others did not key into it same way,” he said.

Metuh also said NEC adopted the recommendations of the Post Election Review Committee headed by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu with amendments and approved the recommendation that the party should seek its 2019 presidential candidate from the north of Nigeria to enhance its electoral chances.

PDP acting national chairman Prince Uche Secondus said the party has practically two months to go into another round of Congresses and National Convention to elect a new set of leaders adding that there would be regular NEC meeting to discuss and approve the programmes and framework for the exercise.