The Political Animal In Me

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Happy Independence Day, Nigeria! But Are We On Course?

53 Years ago, precisely first day of October, 1960, Nigeria was declared an independent state from British colonial rule. This was a result of the fighting and agitations of our founding fathers. They are our heroes and their labour shall not be in vain.

When we got independence, the yearning and aspirations of our heroes then was for a great nation called Nigeria. They desired for a nation where there will be total freedom and the citizens shall live in plenty and go about their means of livelihood with fear or harassment.  They envisaged a land flowing with milk and honey.
53 year after, are the visions of our heroes past a reality? Are we living in peace and harmony? Do we see ourselves as one indivisible nation under God? Do we see Nigeria first before we see our different nationalities? Do we look out for the good of our fellow Nigerian irrespective of which part pf the nation he comes from? Do we see a Nigerian as a Nigerian or we see each person either as a Christian or Muslim?

These question may not be answered in the affirmation because these visions are far from being realised. The Nigeria we have today is a far cry from that envisaged by our heroes past. We have deviated so very far from course and we do things which are strange to the visions of our fathers.  We are hausa, yoruba, Ibo, Ijaw, Nupe, Tiv, Urhobo and so on but we are not Nigerians. We are not one Nigeria as our fathers proclaimed.

Does this means that their is no hope for Nigeria? God forbid!

There is hope for Nigeria. The hope lies with us. The destiny of Nigeria is in our hands. We shall get what we sow whether a greater Nigeria or a downtrodden one. Our salvation is in our hands. We must take a firm decision to make Nigeria  a greater nation and it will indeed become one. We must in our own little way be committed to the Nigerian project to make our nation a better place for us and our children.

Ask yourself this question today as we celebrate Nigeria's independence, 'Will I be a part of the problem or a part of the solution for Nigeria?".

God bless Nigeria.

Happy 53rd Independence Anniversary.



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Monday, 30 September 2013

Corruption Is Not The Number 1 Problem In Nigeria- Jonathan

I listened to President Jonathan during the media chat yesterday and when the issue of corruption was raised, he answered that corruption is not the biggest problem in Nigeria. He said Transparency International assessment of Nigeria is a perception and not real. He said corruption is No. 4 or 5.

When asked what No. 1 and 2 are the president began to stutter. He came up with an answer that businessmen investing in Nigeria complain of access to finance as the No 1 problem of Nigeria.

Does this man knows what he is talking about? Perhaps corruption has eaten into the fibrics of Nigeria to the extend that the President does not see it as out bane in this country.  Corruption is everywhere and the president says it is not the No. 1 problem. Is there any hope of winning the war against corruption?
If corruption is not the No 1 problem in Nigeria, what is responsible for all the failed contract in power sector, the problem in the petroleum sector, the high cost of governance, the escalated contract sums, and so many problem in Nigeria.

The President needs to learn to be more presidential in his speeches. He needs to choose his words when he answers questions. His response should give hope to the common man on the street. We look up to the President for change in Nigeria. We voted him because we thought he understands our plight and will be fair and reasonable. We are not getting what we hoped for.

If he saays corruption is not the No 1 problem in Nigeria, let hm prove to us what is No 1 and convince us as such. I hope he is not covering up his cronies as the common man has in his thoughts. Most Nigerians do not believe the President anymore let him not make his reputation plummet the more with statements like the ones he made at the media chat.

God help Nigeria



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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Rational Thinking Can Help Us Get The Best Out Of Ourselves And Our Nation

A friend posted on Facebook on the issue of Rational Thinking and it got me thinking. I responded to the post and i decided to share my thoughts here too.

Her post is as below:

Olanike Adebayo
I make the move for a motion that RATIONAL THINKING be made a compulsory course in Nigerian secondary schools and universities. If you don't pass, you don't graduate out of secondary school and university.
The challenge will be how to implement considering the fact that most teachers and lecturers are not equipped with these skills.
Online mass training maybe.
How can people acquire qualifications and not be able to think simple ideas through.
# Seriously worried#.
Some commenters raised issue in response to her post which include slave masters and colonialism as well as using religion albeit Christianity as an instrument of oppression. You may want to read more on the issue by clicking the name above. However, I will reproduce my response to the subject matter here.

Gabriel Gabu Nmadu From my understanding, rational thinking is d ability of a person to subject any thot, message, statement, event, belief, practice etc to questioning in order to ascertain the rightness, correctness, authenticity or otherwise of d subject matter. Shd this ability be taught as a course in our schools? I am just wondering how d curriculum will look like.

I also want to comment of the forth and back btw Nd Okeke and Olanike. I think what Nd is doing is rational thinking -Subjecting a belief or practice to questioning using his own yardstick (afterall there is no standard way of thinking.) His conclusion might not be acceptable to all but at least he has exhibit rational thinking. I am a Christian and believe strongly in our Lord Jesus Christ but can we confidently say that whatever is happening today in churches is a representation of what God intended?

I agree that rational thinking shd be encouraged among Nigerians and I agree als that it has immense benefit to us as individuals and as a nation but what teaching it as a course is not yet clear to me.
Gabriel Gabu Nmadu I want to also address the issue of slave masters and colonialists raised by Nd Okeke. I think this blame game has lost ita lustre. Is there a law that says when u fall down u must not rise up. The continual blaming of slave masters and colonialists has kept us looking back perpetually while we attempt to moveo forward and this will make us trip and fall.

The coming of d westerners to Africa is not all doom in fact we hav a lot of landmark to point to including those listed by Adesoji. They left their beliefs and systems with us but nothing stops us from promoting ours if we feel they are superior. As long as we keep throwing blames we shall not make any reasonable progress. Slavery and colonialism hav passed, we are in today as free human beings in a sovereign state, what are we doing to make today and the future better?
Gabriel Gabu Nmadu @Nd Okeke You have raised salient issues as regards your view of Christianity as practiced. However, as inferred in my earlier post the people may be practicing it cannot pass the test when compared with what God intended. This does not negate the rightful place of the Christian faith. I will like to take the position of my Bishop, The Bsihop of Kaduna diocese who says he prefers to call followers of Christ as Christ-like rather than Christian. This way we can really define if a person is actually a true believer or not.

I agree that many people have used the instrument of religion for self-serving purposes and I say to them that they shall give account when they meet the Lord. If your focus is on the Lord Jesus and His Word, you will see less of these abusers of the Christian faith.
Just my simple thoughts to the subject matter. However, in another post i will discuss the issue of the effect of slave trade and colonialism on our development and what we should do to make our lives better and our nation a better place .
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Monday, 9 September 2013

Is The PDP Brouhaha In The Interest Of Nigeria And Nigerians?

The news is awash with the crisis tearing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) apart. The factionalisation into “New PDP” and “Old PDP” is at the center stage of newspaper reportage. All the fence mending and peacemaking meetings are the issues everywhere. But when I looked at it more closely I asked myself, all that is happening in PDP, in whose interest is it? Who will benefit from this crisis in the long run? Will it be the political actors or the Nigerian masses or the Nigerian nation?

I see these entire happenings as political interest of the gladiators. They are seeking to perpetuate their own interest. I am yet to see the interest of the Nigerian nation or her people being promoted by these people.

The Bamaga Tukur group or “Old PDP” is fighting tooth and nail to keep hold on the power they possess now. They are threatening the so-called dissidents with court cases and jail terms. They are calling them names and using unprintable gestures on them. The question is, what has Nigerians benefited so far from their leadership? I agree that they are just party members but their party is the one ruling this country for over fourteen years now. Can Nigerians come out to say that their leadership has been of immense benefits to them? Do they have anything outstanding to show especially with the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan?

The Baraje-led faction or “New PDP” has come out singing the song of change. They have taken a position as if they are putting power back in the hand of the Nigerian masses. They are blaming the old hands for failing Nigerians. The questions for them are plenty. Were they not part and parcel of this monstrous PDP for the past fourteen years? What difference were they able to make in their own domains that makes them different from the other group they are accusing? To remove an elected chairman or stop the President from running or whatever other demands they have, are these in the interest of the Nigerian masses or in pursuant of their selfish interest?

The President who is at the center of this all, what is his role in this? Whatever position he takes, is it in the interest of Nigeria or for his second term bid? Does he sincerely think that he has performed enough to warrant him seeking a second term? Can he confidently say that Nigerians on the streets will give him their votes like they did in 2011? Doesn’t it occur to him that he has lost the luster he has when he was candidate in 2011 when Nigerians see in him hope for a change? Is his transformation agenda really transforming anything? The corruption he professes to be fighting, are there indices to show that he is winning the battle? I was even thinking he will parley with the “New PDP” having seen how he accepted the Jang-led NGF faction.

Those others trying to make peace, Obasanjo, Anenih, and so on, have a few questions to answer. Is their effort at restoring peace to the warring factions in the interest of Nigerian masses or are they trying to maintain the structure that gives them relevance in the scheme of things at the detriment of other Nigerians? I heard some of them are actually pretending to be working to restore peace when they are actually fueling the crisis.

In my own opinion I see nothing new in the aspirations of the all the parties involved. They are fighting for their own selfish interest. They may claim that when there is peace within the party they can settle down to give us dividends of democracy, what have they done in the last fourteen years when there was no crisis. Our interest is not promoted in this matter. When they have their nocturnal meetings and some bucks exchange hands the matter will be amicably settled and business as usual resumes.

Nigerians have a role to play. We must demand for, and ensure we receive, good governance. We have the power in our ballot and we must use it effectively to bring the change we so much yearn for. We must vote out those who do not represent out interest and vote in those we feel can bring succour to our pains.we have the freedom to speak and we must not relent in speaking out. It is our God-given right, use it!

God bless Nigeria!


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Saturday, 10 August 2013 – The Place To Speak Out Freely

In a place where there is injustice and oppression, the silence of the good people is a crime. Must we keep silent when things are going wrong? There is an Igbo proverb that says that an elder cannot be in the house while a goat gives birth to its kid on a tether. The onus is on us, therefore, to speak out for change so that things do not go bad. The time to speak out is here.

The Nigerian constitution gives every Nigerian a freedom to speak out freely. It is called Freedom of Speech. It empowers us to speak about our anything freely. To say our mind on different issues as it affects us or our society. This gives us the opportunity to share our ideas and bring out the creativity in our mind. We can freely make suggestions to any authority about what can bring change. We can criticize any government policies or enactments. We are freely allowed to say a thing is good or a thing is bad.

Many times we have spoken our minds but using our own separate media. We have employed several forums to voice our mind. We have spoken in small groups; we have spoken as a large crowd. We have used the print media and also electronic media. Today the social media is awash with protest and voices of people on one issue or the other. Many people use their blogs and website to speak their minds.

Now enters into the picture. This is the place for everyone to speak out his/her mind freely on issues affecting Nigeria and Nigerians. This is a place where Nigerians can speak against misconducts and bad governance by any one or any agency. It is a place to speak out freely, speaking your mind on issues of great importance to you and for the development of our country.
According to the website, I quote

“Naija Dey was created to give Nigerians an avenue to bring to light and expressed their displeasure and dissatisfaction against misdeed of bad leaders, government officials, politicians, public servants, civil servants and all others in places of authority….This website is not set up for the sake of noise making or rebellion but for the purpose of bringing change to our dear nation, Nigeria for the betterment of her people.” has a clean and minimalistic design and is easy to use and navigate. It appears very user-friendly. It has a good look on laptop and desktop computers, and well responsive to mobile devices. The website loads quickly and resizes easily to your device however small the screen size.

The website has different categories so that issues are not muddled up but are arranged systematically. All articles pertaining to different areas of our national life right from the national level to the local government and even to religious bodies, corporate organization and other government agencies.

The website gives users opportunity to post their articles or “vex”. The submission portal is simple and easy to use. The user can post his article along with photos and place it in the appropriate category. The user experience is exciting as he/she can share any post on facebook and twitter and on other social networking sites. is the website where you must be everyday to see what is new and what people are concerned about so that you show support and add your voice. is an idea whose time has come. You should join the annals of history by making your contribution on the website,

God bless Nigeria!



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Thursday, 11 July 2013

This Show Of Shame In Rivers State House Of Assembly

I watched the fracas and mayhem that happened in the Rivers State House of Assembly on Tuesday, 9th July, 2013. The free-for-all fight was started by members of a renegade group of five seeking to impeach the speaker. Reports showed that the intention of this group looking not feasible they decided to turn it violent.
When I watched the videos, I saw adults in fisticuffs and attacking each other with weapons, the mace in this case. I also watch the leader of the renegade group addressing thugs on the shameful acts he carried out within the chambers. This dastardly act threw up many questions in the hearts of several Nigerians.

Yesterday the House of Representative invoked the constitution and took over the affairs of the Rivers State House of Assembly because of the crisis. This crisis is a culmination of the strife that has been happening over the last few months with the Rivers State government and governor. This, to watchers of event in Rivers State, has gone too far and the action by the House of Representatives seems to be a way to stop the issue from deteriorating further.

This fracas brought to mind a previous act which is still on the lips of Nigerians and also involving the governor of Rivers State. That 5 members want to take over a house of 32 members is like following a precedent of what happened when 16 people are saying they are majority over 19 others. These acts are insults to the sensibility of Nigerians and taking us for granted. It is a show of impunity that is common with our so-called leaders.

All these happening cannot be unconnected with 2015. We have spoken about that severally before now. Although others may have denied it but we believe that we are not far from the truth. We see the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob even though the mouthpieces at the top are denying it vehemently. My friend, Soni, reported that a witch cried at night and the child died in the morning and I know they will deny that again.

Another issue that came up from this incident is the question of the kind of leadership we have in this country. I asked this same question during the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. These are leaders who do not follow democratic tenets, leaders who take over system that they have no right to, leaders who are not exemplary. When I was watching the video I was wondering how these people were able to get the votes of the people to represent them and it occurred to me that maybe they stole the mandate, a la rigging, I guess.

Should Nigerians allow these kinds of things to continue to go on? Should the leadership at the top continue to behave like the ostrich by hiding its head and saying it does not see any as such it is not been seen? Should the ambition of one man or the caprices of one woman throw a state into turmoil?

Nigerians must wake up to speak against these bad leaders and bad governance. We must fight against it. We must show our dissatisfactions. We must make concerted effort to make a change come to our nation. 2015 is coming, what are you going to do to make Nigeria great again?


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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

YouWiN! - A Plus For The Transformation Agenda

I went into the Corporate Affairs Commission office in Kaduna a few weeks back to pick up the result of a name search I did. While waiting to be attended to I saw a lady that came in to register an enterprise. I heard the CAC staff mention YouWiN! and that raise my ears. Just yesterday I was with another lady who won the YouWiN! grant. She told me about all the process involved in submission and the screening that followed until the last stage when she was selected as one of the beneficiaries.

Entrepreneurship is an area after my heart and whenever I heard anything in relation to that field I get excited. YouWiN! is a good step in the right direction in promoting entrepreneurship and job creation among Nigerian youths. YouWiN! is an introduction of the Jonathan administration with input from corporate organisations as well as international development agencies. YouWiN! stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria. It is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas.

What fascinated me more was the process of selection of beneficiaries. All the beneficiaries that I have met in both the first and second phase of the programme shared a pleasant experience with the selection process. They told me that they knew no one in the agency responsible for selection of beneficiaries. All they did was to submit their business plans and waited until they were called on for the next stage.

This gave me some joy that things can be done transparently in Nigeria. It is a common belief that if don’t know anyone in Nigeria you cannot get anything. This belief is so ingrained in the mind of many people that it stops them from attempting to try anything. I am not saying that it is not true that ‘who you know’ syndrome exists but I am saying that there places that we can get things done transparently. The experiences of these beneficiaries give me some hope.

The disbursement of the fund is also something that impressed me. Each beneficiary has a supervisor who works along with him/her to ensure that he/she is making progress according to what was stated in the business plan. The fund is not released all at once; it is divided into four tranches. The first disbursement is usually large and you only get the second after you have used the first judiciously. After the second disbursement you are expected to start the business you proposed. Without starting the business you cannot get any more money. I also heard that there are sanctions for defaulting beneficiaries.

These checks and balances are there to ensure that the beneficiaries use the grant for what it was meant for. In essence this will prevent the beneficiaries from wasting the fund on other projects for which the money was not meant for e.g. buying clothes, cars or marrying new wives (hahahaha). Actually there are many people applying to this programme with the intention of getting their piece of the national cake and not necessarily because they want to build a business and a future.

Entrepreneurship is one of the ways to go in solving the unemployment and poverty problems in Nigeria. Entrepreneurship creates job as each entrepreneur can employ at least one other person or more. YouWiN! beneficiaries have the potential to employ four to five or more Nigerians each directly and this will translate into over six thousand new jobs. This does not include jobs created indirectly. This
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