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I can still vividly remember the 1998 PDP convention that resulted in the emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo as the presidential candidate as well as the subsequent nomination of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the running mate after he had emerged the gubernatorial candidate in Adamawa State. I can also remember how easily my maternal uncle Aliyu Umar 242 had emerged the PDP councillorship candidate for Rimi Local Government in Katsina State. Both Obasanjo and my uncle won their elections and the rest is history.
My personal observation for that period of 1999 elections was that of the emergence of politicians who had been experienced for a long time regardless of there been educated or not. The other part was the much ease with which they all emerged;they were by far the luckiest benefactors of the current democratic journey.
Going forward to 2003, the turf became a little tougher because even the President had to go through a tougher process before emerging. My uncle councilor could not get a reelection because interests had increased, and primary elections had become tougher. Other issues like zoning had also began to emerge but they were all tied to increased interest in the process. The much that some candidates could be defeated in both primary and secondary elections in the case of my uncle and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State indicated that there was some development in the democratic process and should be appreciated by pundits and observers even though majority of the citizenry may not see it that way owing to the less critical thoughts.
Afterwards, several other elections have held from 2007, 2011, 2015 to 2019 and in all of them, there had been improvements relating to increased interests and loss of elections in both primary and secondary elections with some of the cases being a loss from members of ruling parties at both state and federal levels. The latest was a loss from two first term governors who both belonged to the ruling party and situated in the President’s stronghold of northern Nigeria. If this is not development, then what is?
While all the above have indicated a development in the electoral and democratic process, what remains lacking is the interest and participation of the most critical citizens of the country. These are the youths who make up the most active population of the society but have refused to study and recognize the methodology of a democratic system. They have rather developed a sense of entitlement which blinds them to understanding the progress that the development of the democratic process presents and how much it could favour them if they were to key in.
Looking at the economic sector, it is very important to gauge this based on Naira because over the years what has mislead us is the fact that we had to measure our budgets and activities against the Dollars and the reason for such was the fact that we were an economy that was largely dependent on import and so the price of dollar mattered a lot. However, the current development that democracy has brough especially in the area of food security and manufacturing is impressive and has left a lot of our Naira for internal use. This makes the increase in our budgetary figures over the years very impressive. The people who don’t see progress in that are those who measure our money against the dollars and those who are fixated in us importing everything. Those who use internally produced materials could tell you more of the development of Nigeria’s economy.
The education sector has also seen lots of development considering how much the universities, both public (state and federal) and private have increased over the years to at least cushion the effect of increased population who would require them. Armed forces secondary schools, private schools initiative are all a sign of development democracy has brought to Nigeria’s education sector.
The management of ebola and COVID-19 has showcased that our health sector is not an Armageddon after all. Democracy has ensured the emergence of Nigeria Centre of Disease Control from 2011 and finally signed into law in 2018. Many more private health institutions have emerged in the country and are bridging the gaps resulting from the non-sufficiency of the public health institutions.
All the tiers of government have also made commendable efforts in terms of the provision of critical infrastructure ranging from roads, bridges, school buildings, hospitals, airports, seaports, jetties etc.
However, it is not to say that in all of the above achievements and developments there had not been challenges ranging from electoral frauds and corruption but the majority of them have been as high as they were in the various sectors owing to the docility of the citizenry.
We are as people have simply refused to key into the democratic process by understanding it, the policies and how best they could help us. The sense of entitlement of the myth that we are a rich nation must be dropped and replaced with hard work, knowledge about democracy, tolerance and above all patriotism.
For those who have interest in politics, get a mentor, understudy, learn the ropes and join the game. Otherwise, you could personally contribute to the consolidation of the gains of democracy and whatever sector you find yourself be it farming or business center.
Finally, Nigeria’s democracy has got lots of potentials and only those who choose to clear their eyes can see the numerous opportunities there are in Nigeria.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
ONE HEART INITIATIVE FOR EQUITY AND GOOD LEADERSHIP
Youth organizations around the country converged in Abuja on Saturday 16th May, 2015 under the auspices of #30PercentOrNothing program. The meeting was summoned on the back drop of the 2015 elections and the way forward. National coordinator for #30PercentOrNothing Mr. Suleiman Hashim who hosted the youths explained that the program was created to ensure youth participation in Governance through constructive engagement with public institutions thereby encouraging a generational shift in leadership in both the political and economic institutions across the country. Some of the organizations that participated in the meeting include:
- Amalgamated Northern Youths
- IkonAllah consensus foundation
- Goal Getters Foundation
- Green Spiders Network
After the meeting the following communiqué was adopted:
- There should be legally backed classification of youth in Nigeria to refer to persons between the age 18-45. This could be through constitution amendment or an act of parliament. This could enhance equality.
- That there should be 30% representation of youths in all structures, positions, Committees and congresses of political parties
- That the Incoming government should approve an affirmative of 30% for youths in all sectors be it public and private. This could mean setting out clearly the recruitment of expatriates in Nigeria.
- That ministries and offices for youth development at all levels should be filled appropriately.
- That the National Orientation Agency should brace up and live up to its responsibility of orienting Nigerians about how best to act.
- That whichever youth is appointed or empowered at any level should protect the youth constituency as much as possible
- That we shall not hesitate to mobilize appropriately should we notice any bias to the youth constituency
- Finally, we will voluntarily enlighten the youth constituency about the government policies if we notice an implementation of the above mentioned demands.
Suleiman Hashim. Folusho Awosanya
National Coordinator #30PercentOrNothing. FCT Coord. #30PON
Akuro Igah. Alasiegha Cookey-Gam Julius
For: Goalgetters Foundation. For: Green Spiders Network
Buhari Bugema. Presley Akhigbe
For: Amalgamated Nothern Youths. Deputy Nat. Coord. (South) #30PON
The wind of CHANGE is unstoppable in Nigeria. This is the story on the lips of Mr Bunmi Ogunleye, the first Nigerian in Diaspora to make the bold decision to embark on a “solidarity” walk in support of General Muhammadu Buhari’s landslide victory at the polls earlier this year.
Bunmi Ogunleye who plans to go on a 7 kilometres walk by road on the day of the inauguration from Stratford Tube Station from 12noon, is one of Buhari’s loyalist excited by the President-elect’s plans to “change” Nigeria for the better.
Another of Buhari’s fan, Duduwalle also walked 800 kilometres by road from Yola to Abuja and Suleiman Hashimu or “The traveller” who started the trend walked from Lagos to Abuja and was met by Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking to APC UK, Bunmi Ogunleye confirmed that so far 5 people had requested to join him in the two-hour walk from Stratford station to Northumberland Avenue, London where the Nigerian High Commission is situated.
The ‘Buharist’ said he was prepared for the long walk: “I am fit. I do park runs every Saturdays. “
Buhari will perform well in his duties when he is sworn on the 29th of this month, Bunmi Ogunleye said, adding that “I was around when Buhari was President in 1985.
“He started War against Indiscipline (WAI) which helped to fight corruption. We are faced with the same problem that we had then. I say to people, if we had followed Buhari’s policies up till now, Nigeria will not be the way it is now.”
Ex-Nollywood actress annoyed some fans last week by calling young people silly for choosing to trek in celebration of Buhari’s win on March 28th but Bunmi Ogunleye is unperturbed about what people say about him. “My colleagues know I am a Buharist. I have a picture of Buhari on my office-desk.
“For once in the history of Nigeria you could feel the sense of pride and hope that things are going to get better.
“The best thing to do is to support our new government and make Buhari’s tenure a successful one.
BY SULEIMAN HASHIM
It was with disgust that I saw the 7th assembly members looting the complex of it’s furniture store and accessories. This clearly shows how poor these people are at heart and also demonstrates why our country is poor in ideas that could move it forward.
The only solution to these problems are when the young people begin to follow up on these people to do the right thing if not then they will continue to psyche us into believing what they don’t intend to practice. Imagine the wastage that will result in the National Assembly purchasing fresh furniture for the complex.
it is either the young people fight these people for what is right or they will silence us forever! Choice is ours all!
BY SULEIMAN HASHIM
Sir, I join to congratulate us all the Jigawites for a victory of democracy and an usher into the new era. I am very much happy that in my time I could have a feeling of things appearing to get better for our dear state and country. It’s so amazing to see how our elders in the state were able to consolidate a victory for the APC.
Being a moment of change and should be mostly characterized by truth, I feel everybody’s initiative that could be additional value to ensure the success and consolidation of the change is welcome thus my reason for dropping these few lines.
I have grown in my little age to see how Jigawa state has come where it is today that there is so much awareness for people to key into ensuring they choose their leaders. This is a good feat and just translates to how much people want their lives improved. I have gone through your antecedents and I very much understand you have the wherewithal to manage the different categories of people you are going to work with because they are all Jigawa people regardless of their motives towards coming closer. The categories of people are divided into two, namely:
1. The generality of the masses who may not have direct access to you and
2. The people who will be close to you and they constitute those who will execute the government with you.
The second category of people above are the most important because if they are appropriately managed, then it’s going trickle down positively and that ultimately means success.
Having said all that, the primary reason for my letter is to campaign for my constituency which is the younger generation (youth). As I said in my earlier article, it was evident that youths played a key role in the advancement of the change campaign that culminated to victory. This goes to show how resourceful Nigerian youths could be and how much they can be mentored into delivering unbelieving suggestions and initiatives. The youth in Jigawa have not been properly integrated in the past and I think there can never be an appropriate time to enact that than now. The next four years is full of expectations and to fulfill those expectations, there is a need for proper research and planning on the needs of the people to tackle head on as well as produce good results within the four years frame. Sir, I can promise you that the youths can help with that. The only key thing in the recruitment of youths for policy making and implementation is the mode of recruitment. This is a time when excellence has to be sourced and utilized. In fact, this could also apply to recruitment for the elderly as well. Another advantage of the young population is their ability to disintegrate the government policies to others in such a way that they could understand because the youths constituency is very large standing at about 70%. Therefore, I advocate for a youth inclusion in the formulation and execution of policies in the coming government in Jigawa state.
On a closing note, I wish to urge all Jigawa young men to also showcase themselves as being worthy to be offered such opportunities by being respectful to the elderly, by being enterprising and hard working, by sensitizing people to be patient and prayerful to the government as well as seeking knowledge to be able to understand government policies better. The betterment of Jigawa is for the good of all of us and it’s our responsibility to guard and enhance it by any positive way possible.
I wish you Allah’s guidance as go through this journey of delivering your campaign promises to our dear Jigawa.
God Bless Jigawa!
God Bless Nigeria!
Suleiman Hashim wrote from Abuja (email@example.com)
THE YOUTH AS A SOURCE OF RESOURCE FOR APC’s SUCCESS IN GOVERNANCE
By Hashim Suleiman
Coming from the recently held general election that saw an overwhelming victory for the APC in all spheres, one could easily attribute that to the well programmed and articulated campaign mostly executed by young men on social media and the streets but well guided by the brainy elderly alike. This goes to show very much that foresight and strategy was key to this victory.
Ofcourse General Buhari had always had the youths mostly from the northern hemisphere believing that he was the real messiah even though that needed to spread and have a national spread and Ofcourse it will be a done deal, luckily the missing link came on board with the recruitment and volunteer of well articulated southern IT experts who collaborated with the few from the north to make it an unstoppable movement we are celebrating today. Nigeria has certainly gained a lot from such electronic alliance as well as a show of what the young Nigerian man has to offer.
These gains by Nigeria from such activities could be itemized as follows:
• Events have lead to a much more aware society today courtesy of the increased interest in social media such as Whatsapp, Twitter, BBM, Facebook etc.
• Nigeria’s young men have become much more united by dropping religious and ethnic sentiment in place of patriotism.
• Nigerians have now found a platform on which to assess governments performances.
• Nigerians now know that their votes could count and ensure a better society.
• It has also increased the interest of young men in politics be it in contest or getting involved in all the processes.
The above achievements could not have been possible without the contributions of some APC youths mentioned below:
• Japheth Omojuwa
• Ismail Ahmed
• Abubakar Sadiq Usman aka MrAbusidiq
• Mrs Lola Shoneyin
• Adebola Williams
• Kayode Ogundamisi
• Gbenga Gold
• Rinsola Abiola
• Ali George
• Ikem Isiekwena
• Akin Oyebode aka AO1379 and others too numerous to mention
These individuals have taken their time and resources to ensure more voter awareness and have made people to believe that their votes could count. These activities went on in both formal and informal manner and it is most commendable as well as going to show to a great extent how much resource Nigeria has left untapped in the years that went by.
Having done the above analysis, it is now time to remind the APC of all the said above and that the success and management of the expectations of Nigerians could absolutely and only be managed by the lot of credible young people we have in the country who have shown from above that they are capable of bringing up and managing progressive initiatives. It is not about the usual appointments into positions or something but a rather a process of recruiting the right human resource to help consolidate on the change that has befallen our dear nation. This will also be a step in the right direction to correcting the wrongs that that have been committed by other parties in the past.
An example of the situation I am talking about is the declaration last week by Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin soliciting to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Jibrin is 38 years old and the current Chairman Committee on Finance. He presented himself as being intellectually worthy to occupy the seat and was also ready to debate it with any other candidate. As mentioned earlier, what he has done is expressing his ingenuity by opting to present himself strategically and democratically and as such he must be encouraged as well as lot other youths in the APC who have shown to have good initiatives.
The above deductions and suggestions are not only restricted to the national party and government but must also trickle down to the state party and state governments as well as the LGAs.
Having said all these, I wish the APC government all the success in this change regime and I know certainly that my little thoughts and advices could further enhance the management of the successes as the success of any organization is largely hinged on the mode of recruiting the human resource as well as the management of same resources.
Hashim Suleiman writing from Abuja. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AFTER ALL SAID, IT IS ALL OF US THAT SHOULD DO IT!
BY SULEIMAN HASHIM
Going by the writings, the speeches, increased youth participation in politics, post election analysis and expectations, as well as opposition which has started, it appears that there is an increased awareness in the land and the number of people who have identified the problems have increased tremendously from probably GMB and a few in 2003 to GMB and almost all of the people. This in itself to me is an achievement the nation should be proud of and must therefore be consolidated.
Because we all now know the problems, it is high time we stopped lamenting and reminding ourselves things we already all know but rather begin to formulate and practice the solutions of which a large chunk of it has to do with sincerity of purpose and tolerance. Some voted for APC and some did not but we don’t need a rocket science to explain that a better Nigeria will benefit us all. This means that even though we should have an opposition, we must be civil and considerate about it because even GEJ himself was fully supported at some point until he frittered away the goodwill by himself. I am not also saying that GMB should not be condemned if he does wrong but I think for the first two years what he needs most is support after which if the policies set that far are not satisfactory then the change of change could probably begin to spring up. Imagine a situation where we have all identified religion extremism and bigotry to be one of our major problems and some greedy and silly individuals are trying to reintroduce it all in the name of opposition. This type of opposition is a venom and must stop. Same people who called GMB a bigot are today trying to portray him as being a sociable person because he shook Oshiomole’s bride. This will only bring back same stuff that divided us so much that it clearly showed itself in the voting map of 2015. It is our responsibility to make Nigeria great and we must learn from our mistakes to move on. Opposition should be a sort of a research so as to come up with intellectual arguments to activities of the government rather that issuing cheap propaganda that will be more injurious to the nation than doing any good.
We have also began to see some of the APC people exhibiting some pride and running away from people. This is not what was said during the campaigns, we all moved and rolled together to achieve this victory and so it should continue to also make Nigeria greater. I was speaking to a friend the other day and he told me that he read a newspaper publication where GEJ said his friends had abandoned him, he said that it was not true because in the true sense it was GEJ that abandoned his real friends and made new friends in Abuja who are actually not his friends but were there to fill up their pockets which they have done and are moving to another level. In essence what I am saying is that APC have to keep their people close, they should pick up their calls or better still respond with text message when busy, they should create avenues to meet with people and they must ensure they treat their party members rightly especially the original party members.
The above said are the most critical ways of us all doing what we have all being saying we know are the problems of Nigeria and if we could practice it appropriately then we have a situation where we would all say: “After all said and done” APC has succeeded.
God Bless Nigeria!
Suleiman Hashim wrote from Abuja. (email@example.com Twitter: @oneheartnaija)