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Let me take us back to the creation of NAFDAC in 1992 and then their headquarters was in lagos till about 1995 to 1996 when Abacha ordered the relocation of MDAs from lagos to Abuja then the headquarters moved to the Area 2 part of Garki in Abuja and subsequently the national headquarters ended up perhaps to their permanent Head office at Wuse Zone 7. In all these period, Nigerians barely knew what NAFDAC stood for until President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Dr Dora Akunyili the Director in 2001, the rest about how NAFDAC had since become entrenched in the Nigeria’s system is a story for another day.
Let me again refer you to an excerpt in the popular Oronsaye report which had the mandate of advising the government on how to reduce the number of MDA’s for better management and cost saving wherein there was an advise for the NITDA to merged into a department in the ministry. When I heard about this long ago, I wondered that the Agency which in my opinion is the most critical that the government can leverage upon to get to solve majority of its problems ranging from security and economic management had not gotten a professional to head it and harness its potentials.
However, such wonder was short lived with the appointment of Prof Isa Ali Pantami the Director General in 2016 who came and revolutionized the place and called the governments attention to the fact that it was actually one of the most important Agency of government that could guarantee endless benefits to government in terms of efficient management of its activities. One of the first policy he brought in was the centralization of ICT projects clearance by the Agency and that ensured that government was not wasting money on unrealistic ICT projects as well as those that were duplicates of another. That policy was successful in saving Nigerias government billions of wastages because now there was placing of square holes in square pegs.
Pantami was easily able to achieve that because he was a professional and he head hunted a critical ally in Kashifu Inuwa who served him well to further harness the ingenuity in the existing staffs of the agency as well as so many fine guys that they assembled. In our country today, part of the selling points of the top presidential candidates was the fact that they head hunted and developed people who contributed immensely to the development of the country in several sectors. Indeed Prof Pantami by imbibing these very important virtues for succeeding was more than ready to revolutionize that sector and he did.
Once he set out the policies, it was very easy before Nigerians and the presidency herself began to notice the advantages of the mandates of NITDA and how they could leverage it for national development. The Annual e-Nigeria event was expanded to involve more private sector participation as well as the public sector participation because the President attended all the versions that the new DG Pantami had organized personally. The Vice Presidents office involved NITDA more in advisory in areas of MSME development through the creation of ICT Hubs around the nation as well as the social investment programmes.
Little wonder why the president immediately appointed Prof Pantami a minister to oversee the entire sector on his return in 2019 and Pantami too on his own wisdom had to lobby to ensure the appointment of his protégé to take over the Agency which was the most critical of the whole Agencies under the ministry in terms of advancing his already planned digital transformation. The synergy worked as expected with Kashifu Inuwa and Nigeria is happy ever after with the ICT sector contributing the highest to the GDP in the last three consecutive years.
Just recently when ASUU attempted to hoodwink the Federal Government into accepting another payment platform for their salaries, the government quickly called its now chief ICT adviser, the NITDA through the Honorable Minister to vet the application and advise on its propriety for deployment. It was at this point I knew that NITDA’S roles have finally been identified by the government and have equally been appreciated. Afterwards, just this Friday on the 12th August 2022, the Honorable Minister implemented the approval of the president by setting up a committee to vet other transactional platforms of the government ranging from IPPIS, GIFMIS and the rest with NITDA serving as the secretary of such committee.
You can trust that with their antecedents, such work was going to be carried out critically and the government would get to find out areas that needed to be amended for national development, they would also be able to align the needs of all strata of the society to the various applications in order to avoid silo applications for different strata. Money saving benefits also ensue in such endeavors.
Wishing NITDA all the best!
God bless Nigeria!
Jimi Agbaje, the PDP gubernatorial candidate in lagos state for the 2019 elections had been rumored to want to join the APC in the past weeks and a television station had to invite him to speak on that which he categorically denied and insisted he remained a member of the PDP. In the midst of the interview, the anchor had sought to know his opinion about the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Asiwaju Tinubu and he perfectly described the fact that the APC had murdered religion while the PDP had murdered ethnicity considering that an Atiku had emerged against the agitation of power return to the south after Buhari. Indeed his opinion was classy and it got me thinking a lot, follow me on my thoughts please.
Apparently, both tickets as described by Jimi above appear like firsts even though they are not necessarily happening for the first time albeit the others failed because they were not properly managed by all stakeholders. The same religion ticket had first happened with Abiola in 1993 but could not see the light of the day apparently due to some elite disagreement and who knows maybe religious disharmony was part of their consideration at that time? It appears so though. And as for the jettisoning of zoning, GEJ was the first in the democracy when he completed Yar’Adua’s tenure and insisted on running again against the zoning agreement of his party, I feel that was the beginning of the end of GEJ seeking second tenure in 2015 and the rest is history today.
However, it was important to point out the huge potentials of both tickets of Asiwaju and Atiku because if they were to sail through and managed well, either of them stands to bring Nigeria together like never before. I insist that anyone that comes by has to be managed very well from day one of it was to sail through. For example, for Atiku, there has to be zero possibility for nepotism, there has to be inclusion from inception, the president would have to been seen to involve much of Ifeanyi Okowa in decision making in order that his creed will see reason to renew their faith in Nigeria and cease the hostilities, including so many more that could lead to development under peace and harmony. As for the Asiwaju ticket, it is going to be more difficult to manage because there has to be avoidance of events that could create negative perceptions as regards faith, for example, you would have to avoid too much visits to the president or the Vice by Islamic clerics because I know they like that, appointments must be balanced with a view to probably having more Christians than Muslims, if possible the advertisement of prayer at mosques by both leaders could be left private, the ticket stands to attract more sycophants and managing them could be most difficult thing ever.
These and more too numerous to mention are tips on how these likely occurrences could be managed for the benefit of the nation. Both tickets have tendency to heal the many fault lines that had hitherto stood on the way for peaceful living so much that our diversity could be tapped for progressive tendencies. While the Atiku ticket would have less to do considering that both the north and the south have been represented on it but for the switch of it considering the completion of a northern Buhari eight year tenure, they’ll have less work to do to consolidate. The Asiwaju ticket would have more work to do considering the sensitivity of religion, it is as sensitive as just ready to catch fire on a spark of matches, so the meticulousness required to manage it is something you would not want to ignore for a minute.
Like I had posited in my earlier article titled; Atiku and Asiwaju’s economic managements as the only good still left of Nigeria’s economy’ and which can be read here: https://grassroots.ng/2022/07/05/atiku-and-asiwajus-economic-management-as-the-only-good-still-left-of-nigerias-economy/, I highlighted that whichever way it went, Nigeria stood to be better off for it atleast as regards unity but with a caveat like I have tried to explain in today’s article.
May the best man win for the benefit of our dear country, Nigeria.
Lately, the new euphoria of the not so strategic APC supporters was a celebration of the crack in the PDP where Wike, Fayose and Ortom have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the outcome of the selection of Okowa as the VP candidate. These people therefore feel these guys should join the APC amongst others. Narratives like this make some of us concerned to the extent that a lot of political party supporters do not understand how our democracy has grown and how a support for certain characters showcase the APC as not being different from other parties they demystify. It also exposes the need for a more awareness to ensure the deepening of the democracy as well as entrench party philosophies.
Recall that the APC is made up of more than enough Human Resources who have not been managed appropriately through inclusion and compensation. Some of these individuals have however remained loyal and hopeful of an amend, how then would anyone want to introduce more guys on top of these people and the people been touted are even those that have been demonized by same people wanting them, is it expected that those who have waited eight years would sit back and clap for the entry of these individuals? I don’t think so. If you add more eight years to the ages of these individuals who have waited all along, they’ll have been getting closer to exiting the stage.
Let me first analyze the so many who have defected to the APC and have not been utilized talk more of adding up more. You could recall the merriment that greeted the entry of Yakubu Dogara into the Apc, one would think he would be more empowered in the like of how GEJ empowered Bala Mohammed from the support he gave him at the plenary during the doctrine of necessity bourhaha. Instead, Dogara was left to remain in his whatever status and today there’s struggle in attempting to even mention his name for a VP slot, imagine if he had been empowered to mobilize more. We could also go on to speak about the mismanagement of the cerebral Abdulmuminu Jibril, Magnus Abe of Rivers that some people want Wike to come in from, I don’t know how they would have managed Amaechi and him that are themselves no in good terms, Ken Nnamani who came recently is no where to be found, Fani Kayode is struggling to be heard. Oyinlola and Segun Oni came and left. There are so many examples even at lower levels and the depths will have to be left for another day.
We equally have a lot who were founding members but we’re not even looked at all through the administration, ranging from Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to Hashim Ubale Yusufu of Jigawa state, Farouk Adamu Aliyu, Buba Galadima and so many others. The ones that have remained in the party amongst them are struggling to do so. They gave everything humanly possible to the APC but no one looked their way and while they got aggrieved, some were left to move to other parties. There was a pure lack of individuals who would take stock of these individuals and ensure to see to their been managed. No one even talks about these issues but they are real and that’s the current state of the party in so many states.
Remember also that all these issues around the many individuals could not be protested against because some overzealous supporters would tag you as wanting to steal money. Everyone has literally kept his opinions to his chest and that’s the same thing with the masses. At the moment, other than the opinion of paid vocal agents on social media, it was very difficult for anyone to recognize the feelings and opinions of individuals because all the nations people are keeping their opinions close to their chest. In fact, that’s what Peter Obi is profiting from.
Therefore Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would be inheriting all of the above and perhaps he may not have been well briefed about it owing to the fact that the beneficiaries of the above are the ones who have surrounded him and are part of those who feel having Wike and Co. come into the party would change anything when they have not advised for the subsisting issues to be fixed.
I have insisted that the politics of now and the future in Nigeria belongs to those who chose to be realistic and critical, save this.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s trajectory has thought every discerning to note the importance of empowerment and philanthropy in today’s world so has Kashifu’s trajectory which saw him emerge the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency about three years ago but has become the most popular head of parastatals in Nigeria to the extent that his rumored governorship ambition held Jigawa state political decision down for over two months and we heard it was all about how he looked the most part to be the governor of that state, if this is not a perfect show of excellence, then what could ever be more?
Recall that I had highlighted during his first year anniversary that he has vindicated the supposed youth excellence in governance that advocates like us have always touted. We Howver always insisted that you could only be assured of such when the recruitment is right. Read here: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/promoted/409867-one-year-at-nitda-kashifu-as-a-vindication-of-youth-excellence-in-governance-by-hashim-suleiman.html. He has steadily maintained consistency regarding his person and when one does such, his initial intent would only continue to steadily progress until it’s consolidated to become a sort of an ideology and which aims to mentor youths for national development.
While all of the activities that informed my opinion on his first year in office was predicated on an exceptional show of management skills, he had since showcased another cardinal ideal of a progressive and that is ‘empowerment’. He had demonstrated willingness to share the little he has with people around him, especially people of his constituency and which he grew with and have since become more of a family to him, you know they say ‘charity begins at home’. We would first know a person if we can receive appropriate commendation from their kinsmen. Kashifu has entrenched that within a short period of time and he deserves a standing ovation. Because what we write is borne out of critical research and objectivity, the reader could choose to enquire from any Jigawa State citizen about who Kashifu is, you’ll vindicate me with that.
You know nothing hides under the Sun and it’s only a matter of time before critical people would notice to appreciate what you do, little wonder why the Qatar Foundation chose to collaborate with the Inuwa Foundation in providing a massive empowerment to the people of Jigawa state. It showed alignment in principle, recall that Qatar as a nation maintains high level of integrity and you’ll find that in every of their endeavors. The choice of people they’ll partner with on any endeavor would equally have to tick all their boxes. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you ‘The Inuwa Foundation’. It has started from Jigawa State and advancing to see how to reach out to the rest of the nation through plans like improving digital literacy and entrepreneurship.
All sorts of empowerment was dished out through the above collaboration, ranging from distribution sewing machines to grinding machines, pumping machines for irrigation and so much provision of infrastructure like schools, mosques etc. the distribution was devoid of sentiments and it ensured that the items and infrastructure got to the people and places that needed and deserved them the most. Such kinds of efforts have to be commended appropriately for educating upcoming ones as well as giving some of the subsisting leaders to learn how best to utilize positions of Authority and influence.
What Kashifu has used this philanthropy to do is to instill hope and mentor young people to see reasons to be good people and have empathy towards one another. Empathy has proven to be one of the most important attribute a leader could have. Millions of jobs will be created through efforts like his because the form of the empowerment will create a chain that spreads to create lines of benefits directly and indirectly.
All young people with opportunities are again encouraged to imbibe such spirit in order that we convince everyone that the advocacy about youth takeover could indeed be the needed change for our people and country’s prosperity.
ATIKU AD ASIWAJU’S ECONOMIC MANAGEMENTS AS THE ONLY GOOD STILL LEFT OF NIGERIA’S ECONOMY By Hashim Suleiman
When once a society derails from encouraging robust conversations from all divides and objective ones at that, it has basically lost the most common basis for development and some of us have taken it a duty to bring these points to bare, perhaps we may see the light and begin to open up these conversations for the gullible, the half-gullible, upcoming ones and those who may have missed out on certain points.
As our democracy is growing through natural tendencies and less citizenry efforts, so many of the citizens seem to be forming this holier than thou character which appears to denigrate the efforts that certain patriots have sacrificed to achieve regardless of how imperfect, recall that same people could even do worse if given same opportunity because a lot of their opinions are not borne out of criticality but rather beer parlor talks, bandwagon and a general character of mischief that promotes pulling down people.
I have said in several fora that I’d be grateful if God can bless me as much as He did Obasanjo and so many others, this is to dissuade those young people who could be easy to throw tantrums and insult on these statesmen without understanding that they only gave what they had under the prevailing circumstances. They also do this some other times for support of their political icons forgetting that the entire elites are friends and bare no grudge less for political bashings that remain basically games to them.
Accordingly, I’d like to remind the citizenry of the exceptional strides that Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu had put in to our economy which remains the only bedrock that is still keeping the economy of the country moving. Everyone practically latches on them to be able to pull of some achievements of government.
You may recall that Atiku as the chairman of the economic management of the country between 1999 to 2007 opened the economy to the world by simply assembling sound brains who had the KnowHow and he monitored alongside his boss to ensure they delivered the much they did. He first identified government had no business doing business and they quickly lobbied the National Assembly to pass the Act on privatization which saw to the setting up of the Bureau of Public Enterprises that was headed by Nasiru Elrufai himself a recruit of Atiku Abubakar to midwife the sale of government businesses that are today still functional like Ntel which provides one of the best bundle services in Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt. Regardless of how imperfect, it’s still employing thousands and standing on its feet, imagine what could have happened to her if it was not privatized. So many of the private Telcos are leveraging on their infrastructure to do business, some monies are changing hands through that too.
Recall also that all the policies around IPPIS, GIFMIS, TSA, FIRS etc which ensures mop up of revenues and discourages wastages were babies of an Okonjo Iweala and her lieutenants like Okauru and others. Atiku Abubakar equally shopped these individuals and supervised them to ensure deliveries, every government policies afterwards has leveraged on these policies to be able to make something good of their economic policies.
Nuhu Ribadu was equally recommended by Atiku for recruitment to pilot the setting up of the EFCC and it’s not in doubt how that institution has remained what every administration uses to attempt to fight the almighty corruption. It was indeed robustly set up as it has stood the test of time. People would accuse him of privatizing to himself and same people will today say he is broke but I have never seen one person that has pointed to what Atiku sold to himself till today. This space will not be enough to highlight all of Atiku’s economic strides in that era but I have highlighted enough to get people to begin to research and perhaps expand the conversation.
On the other hand, Asiwaju’s economic management of Lagos did no small help to the Nigerian economy as every other Nigerian leaders that have emerged after 2007 have had to leverage on the revenues from Lagos to ramp up VAT collections and subsequent sharing by all tiers of government. The opening up of the city to beautiful infrastructure had provided an opportunity for the entertainment industry to blossom leading to influx of Forex through international shows as well as the provision of ample employment opportunities. Little wonder why the young entertainers in lagos don’t care who the next president is, they would rather organize a carnival of a protest like ENDSARS and share food to themselves while dancing- ‘catching cruise’ like it’s said in local parlance.
Asiwaju’s human capital development has also led to the availability of human resource to manage the very difficult task of managing critical sectors. President Muhammadu Buhari would thank such efforts as it provided him ample Human Resources to utilize for his administration.
Therefore, the 2023 elections have presented very fine gentlemen who have utilized their times and opportunities to leave a mark that is undeniable in the history of our dear nation no matter how imperfect. I would continue to wonder who would celebrate ours for us if not us, there is absolutely no reason to continue to denigrate these individuals considering more of the fact that they have learnt appropriate lessons to improve on the lot that they have both achieved if given another opportunity. Recall also that we may not be able to do better if given the opportunity.
Consequently, I submit that head or tail Nigeria stands to benefit from the outcome of the 2023 elections, let us support appropriately, improve the conversations, reduce the bitterness and imbibe optimism and positivity for the hope of a better nation going forward.
God bless Nigeria.
PANTAMI’S MOBILIZATION OF THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM FOR CONSOLIDATION OF HIS DIGITAL POLICIES By Hashim Suleiman
So many people have been wondering where Prof Isa Pantami has been over the last year or so and they couldn’t understand he had become enmeshed in the next level of his agenda of entrenching a proper digital society that will ensure economic transition and which will guarantee jobs and liquidity in the system.
As someone who had been strategic about his mission, he phased his digital mission with the initial step being the reawakening and rebranding of the sector and that saw him renaming the sector and then identifying the right Human Resources to help drive the agenda. Afterwards, he started to engage in public awareness through his recurring presence in the digital space. He culminated this by ensuring he mobilized the administration to key into his mission. You could know this by the increase in the allocation of budgetary provision to the ministry amongst others.
After the first stage comes the next important stage which was identification with the diplomatic community locally, he ensured he secured their confidences to the extent that they began to organize events and various avenues of criss crossing ideas and finding a way to key into the large digital market the world could ever have. All the digital giants of the world recognize the importance of the Nigerian market and they have always been wishing for a serious manager to step in so they could harness the best of it.
All of these have culminated into many business springing up regarding the production of SIM cards, chips and many more intentions to invest in the sector that it’s potentials had started to be imminent. Many more startups have become interested in the sector especially in the hitherto not so much interested northern Nigeria. There is now a more friendly handshake between the local ecosystem and the government policies. Only an Okonjo Iweala had been able to mobilize a sector close to this good in the history of Nigeria.
However, some may have noticed that the Prof had gone down low afterwards and they wondered what that was for. The results are already trickling to let us know it was strategic for the purpose of stock taking and working to consolidate on the networks that had so far been created through all of the above. The digital sector cannot blossom to its full potentials if you don’t align it with the global happenings and this made Prof Pantami to begin international sensitization and marketing and it was so good that it attracted him to be appointed the Chairman of the 2022 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This happened after his appearance at the Blockchain summit in Dubai as well as the deliverance of a paper at World Economic Summit Group in Davos, Switzerland.
This international extension of handshake has led to so many investors and players in the digital industry to shift focus to Nigeria and the latest of such big catch was Elon Musks purchase of a telecommunications license to operate in Nigeria. There are many more fiber, forex and digital currency companies trooping in to participate in the sector. The Nigerias Central Bank has equally admired the digital sectors and had since floated the Digital Naira called the ‘e-Naira’. All Nigeria’s data has been synchronized to be complete with data. The minister had just returned from
Morocco where he attended the the high test gathering for the promotion of identity in Africa.
All of these efforts are absolutely long term in nature and Nigeria would certainly reap them
In due course, however it was important to put ink on paper about them for posterity sake.
God bless Prof Isa Pantami
God bless Nigeria
A friend had after a political conversation yesterday shared an excerpt of the interview granted Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe of Lagos state by Arise TV. Therein, the senator had opined that the north was a master in the political game and he saw no how they were going to relinquish power to Asiwaju Tinubu, he felt they could at best utilize his funds and deny him power, he made references to Awolowo and Abiola of blessed memories. The Senators submission was full with criticality that one would want to pick interest and critically review. Let me attempt to do that here in combination with what I know.
The above submission also resonated with the conversation I always hold with the Director Women mobilization of my defunct #30PercentOrNothing group, she hails from Delta State. She had always opined that God had been fair in the sharing of the Nigerian space to the extent that the West has the formal economy, the south has oil, the east has trade while the north had power and therefore she had no issue if the north were to remain in power forever, after all they’re masters in the game. Her submission was equally rich with facts that one would not wanna ignore.
Against this backdrop, I took a few minutes out to analyze how realistic it was for the north as a political bloc to relinquish power to the south. Recall that the emergence of Buhari in 2015 came with myriad of issues which created deep cracks that in my opinion have not been healed yet. A lot of the issues may be termed as perceptions but those perceptions have today become reality to many and it was such that led to heated arguments about north and south presidency penultimate to the current season. You could see a semblance of disdain for the power to return to the north and such was visible in the build up to the PDP primary elections. It only took the emergence of an Atiku Abubakar to douse such tension and this made me understand the importance of networking and liberality.
Furthermore, economically and structurally, the northern Nigeria has never been at a low ebb like now and I will be suspecting that the north may not be ready to relinquish its only piece. This makes it expedient for anyone with discernment to look deeper into the issues going on in the ruling APC especially as regards the recommendation for the power to shift to the south in that party. The party actually boxed itself into that level through its management of perceptions and relationships throughout the country. Whether such will be in the best interest of the north and its power brokers remains to be seen in the availability of a sound option like Atiku who is trying for the fifth time. Remember that in all honesty, the north does not posses the sort of patience and buffer needed to survive a perceived or realistic bias against them.
This piece is just a realistic analysis of the issues based on history and recent happenings and does not in any way represent a state of mind. We wish for the country to come United but equally believe that the actions and inaction of the leaders will be instrumental to that.
May the best man lead Nigeria.
I read Fani Kayode’s piece on a narrative that PDP betrayed some ethnic groups in the country as well as portraying a live televised presidential primary as a corrupted one. This was all in an attempt to give Atiku a bad name so people should hang him, I pitied the citizenry if indeed Fani and others think such lowly of the readers of their pieces.
The number one question is: does Fani think Nigerians don’t know all the candidates in all the parties share money to delegates? How could Fani stare us in the face and insinuate that only the delegates of the APC are critical and objective enough to vote based on conscience or whatever he was trying to portray. He even punctured the same narrative of his by finally going totally undemocratic by insisting Buhari must whimsically produce the next candidate of the APC, this murdered his initial advise to the Afenifere regarding that politics was all about intrigues and maneuvers as well as been a game of numbers.
How could Fani Kayode annex Asiwaju Tinubu when the pulse in the land says only him stands a chance to defeat Atiku. How could Fani Kayode condemn Atiku and then go down to insist the Northeast deserved presidency, has he forgotten where Atiku comes from or it’s all in attempt to showcase to us that he’s indeed tying to cash in on our vulnerability to hoodwink us with grammar. I simply refused to be hoodwinked not because I support any particular candidate but because we must encourage the need for a more robust engagement in our system.
The article displayed lot of hypocrisy and double standards lookout considering how former friends and allies were painted black just because he needed to advance his points. How could Fani Kayode feel entitled to define corruption in Nigeria, ‘wonders shall never end’ they say. How could he equally qualify himself to speak about bigotry or less of it. He also insisted to make a point as to why everyone must support APC without giving them the appropriate variables to convince them, infact I can’t even understand why he would feel denigrating his own region to advance some other narrative suggesting power shift to some other region makes him appear objective enough in Nigeria. I thought one could advance his points without necessarily denigrating another.
I do acknowledge Fani Kayode’s lyrical prowess and his freedom to advance same for his progression and that was why I wrote an article to defend his moving to APC which I titled ‘Fani Kayode and the import of developing selling points’ and can be read here: https://witnessngr.com/fani-kayode-and-the-import-of-developing-selling-points-by-hashim-suleiman/. However, he shouldn’t be carried away into thinking he can dump just anything on us. This article is meant to call him to order so he can appropriate his strategies to utilize his skills better.
Justice they say is expected to be served without bias but trust me as it sounds so easy to dispense, you’ll experience the most difficulty of it when you find yourself leading in whatever capacity in a secular society. Every part of the divide will want a 100% implementations of their wants and needs and unless that is served you’ll be perceived as being biased and you have to learn to manage such if you wish to succeed in such arrangement.
A classical example of definition of secularity is Nigeria. The two major faiths of the country require that the country be totally branded as belonging to their faiths, this is coupled with the counter arguments about which is more populated. The proponents of both faiths quickly forget you have taken an oath before God Almighty to uphold the constitution of the republic. They wish you suspend such oath occasionally for their whimsical tendencies and honestly unless you’re critical enough to guard your conscience, they could confuse you to assume if the religions have different rules regarding loyalty to oaths and pacts.
A cursory look into both faiths reveals that God commands justice and forbids discrimination and abomination, but in secular society you become faced with who’s place it is to adjudicate over who deserves justice or not. All the various laws have been crafted before various representatives were drafted to formulate a constitution that had been signed off by all before God. For people to now come in the middle of a game and request for the rules to be changed smacks of greatest form of unfairness and injustice that cannot pass for any godly test.
These issues and more require that a leader of such kind of society must be fort-right and work to satisfy their conscience, otherwise it’s every difficult to lead. You would have to be seen to sometimes offend your kith and kin in order to serve justice but you can’t be bothered because you’re only upholding your oath before God to protect a certain pact of living together. Every statement is read from the prism of ‘them vs us’ as against a collective national matter.
These kinds of matter become worst when the society has been left over the years to get to the point where most people are scared to speak truth to followers for the fear of being vilified, mocked and insulted. Chaos takes the center stage, suspicion becomes rife, injustice becomes order of the day and you can never have a proper recipe for imminent implosion other than these. Nigeria is basically at this stage where even leadership is scared to attempt to institute justice without being hounded into a narrative of ‘us vs them’. This is most unfortunate especially that it is taking a dimension of no return.
However, some of us who have privilege of putting our thoughts to paper in order that someone may see and make a meaning of it would love to add a voice on this matter as relates to Nigeria and call for caution and opening up of sincere conversations with a view to ensuring a secured future for all. The bloodletting and free flow of it in our land is becoming scary and a pointer to a dangerous future. We must allow leadership to execute their oaths with God to implement the content of the constitution which in itself is a pact before God. We cannot choose to be holy in piecemeal, we have to be seen to imbibe the spirit of fairness and ability to place one another in others shoes so as to know where it pinches. The curses we reign on ourselves and leadership is enough to attract all the negative vices there can be. What is a society without leadership, in one scoop we blame all the problems on the leaders, in another scoop we condemn their efforts at trying to be just and manage implosions and crises.
The making of secular nations is an arrangement that has to be based more on initiating engagements and discussions to amend certain items of the pacts as against intolerance and mockeries that could deepen the fault lines and the consequences of it in the long run would not be beneficial to anyone, we’re almost there already.
A word is enough for the wise!
Some of us who are young are deserving of mentorship so as to ensure the emergence of the leaders of tomorrow that imbibe the needed virtues for national cohesion and integration. However, the activities of some so called statesmen leaves some of us wondering how to kowtow to their shenanigans in all honesty. Some of these men are perhaps oblivious of the fact that we’re in jet age where the young people of the day are tech savvy and having access to information of events as they happen and equally possessing needed discernment to decipher.
I have been following the activities of an association called the Afenifere in Nigeria, it’s a socio- ethnic organization that was formed to protect the interests of the south west Yoruba people of Nigeria and honestly in all of the times I started paying keen attention to happenings in the Nigerian polity for my personal development, they have come off to me as people who are lazy and narcissistic about knowledge to the extent that they feel every other tribe or region of the country is inferior to them in terms of rights to belong and expression of opinions. Otherwise, how could an association be consistent with churning out demands that are undemocratic in nature.
They association is made up of individuals from the first republic and majority of whom have participated all through to the first and second terms of the current democratic dispensation. Majority of them live in high brow areas of lagos and owing large businesses and private learning institutions, I don’t want to go into how they might have amassed such wealth but their determination to ensure Nigeria seizes to exist in its current configuration leaves a lot to wonder considering that they were part of the major beneficiaries of it. It could be likened to a Hausa adage that translates ‘you eat the bread and want to tear the package of it’. This is certainly not the way to go and some of us who are coming up with a zeal to see things done differently will highlight some of these anomalies.
Just recently, the owner of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti came up to request President Buhari to not conduct the 2023 elections but rather appoint them as members of an interim government so they can decide what I don’t understand. The entire Afenifere association followed that up by requesting for a government of a national unity to midwife the emergence of a next government for the country. In all of their requests, what will always fascinate one is the mode with which they wish to form these interim arrangements, there is clear intent of the nominations to be them so they could formulate what they were not able to do when they held sway as critical members of Nigerias existence from independence till date.
They will completely act ignorant of the existence of a National Assembly when making their requests and that hurts a lot. Some of us who have under studied these processes wonder why they can’t simply sponsor candidates into the chambers and effect whatever changes they are desirous of, such makes their actions suspicious and smacks of laziness and attempt to intimidate others into accepting their shortcut methods into prominence. If such strategy had worked for them in the past , simple critical thinking should tell them it won’t fly anymore because of changed times, only a person who is opportunistic and not realistically smart will not recognize that as times change, strategies should also change.
But in all of it, I was able to deduce that the actions are not unconnected with the 2023 presidency. I had analyzed in several of the articles that it was imminent power was returning to the north as that was the only strategy left for PDP to return to power and APC would not want to give that up so they would follow suit. These elders have sensed that and instead of putting up their strategy caps to see how to counter the matter which was borne of out the north’s mastery in the game as well as a homogeneity in a large population that had been borne out of cultural and religious needs, they resort to an attempt to utilize this method that had been dangled severally and is known to fail at the first instance even by their kinsmen who are presently a part of the establishment in all of the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. They consider it their time to serve and why would anyone who had enjoyed their time and established enough to protect their upcoming generations want to truncate such opportunity albeit selfishly for that matter.
Therefore, my candid advise to these elder statesmen as they ought to be is for them to utilize the times they have left to acquire the necessary goodwill and build the required bridges that they had not established before which could have ensured their place for a seat on the negotiation table. As it is now, the table is full with people from all the creed who are willing to damn their kinsmen as long as they are promised a slice of the cake.
Strategy wins always!