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‘PDP remains indivisible despite Uduaghan’s exit’

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‘PDP remains indivisible despite Uduaghan’s exit’

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State has said that it remains indivisible and formidable despite the defection of the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan to the All Progressives Congress.

 

The party said although “it is sad that he has decided to join a new political family, we appreciate the fact that he has his right to freedom of association, but we believe that in no distant future, he will do some soul-searching and come back to his original political family.

 

“We do not claim to possess any knowledge of the factors or circumstances that may have influenced or inspired his decision to join another political family, but it is only to be expected that a family will surely feel a sense of loss under the current circumstance,” the pasty, in statement issued by its Publicity Secretary,” Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza said,.

It assured “the teeming members of the PDP in Delta State in particular and Nigeria in general, that Delta State PDP political family remains strong, indivisible and we shall continue to forge ahead in our preparation for the forthcoming general elections.”

 

Meanwhile, the PDP in the state has congratulated the state Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, and all Deltans across the state on the occasion of the 27th Anniversary of the creation of Delta State on August 27, 1991.

 

In a statement, the party hailed the “visionary leadership and committed advocacy campaign by the champions of the movement and agitation that eventually led to the creation of the state on August 27, 1991.

 

Osuoza stated that the PDP has been the major and dominant political force in the state and for the greater part of the last 27 years, has not only transformed Delta State into one of the most attractive and well respected states amongst the comity of states in the country, but has brought national and international fame and recognition for the state in the continental and global space.

 

Osuoza said: “the PDP’s journey in Delta State started with the indefatigable and visionary leadership of His Excellency, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, who set down the development template and platform for the amazing transformation of a state, whose capital city was still looking like a semi-hamlet, by laying down a comprehensive blueprint and mapping out the definitive roadmap, for an all-inclusive developmental agenda, evenly distributed across the diverse and distinct ethnic conglomerations with their demographic extremes in the three senatorial zones.”

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Atiku’s endorsement shows Obasanjo is a coward, says Festus Keyamu

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Atiku’s endorsement shows Obasanjo is a coward, says Festus Keyamu

The endorsement of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate by former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stirred not a little controversy in the past few days. But the Director, Strategic Communications of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, in this interview with BIYI ADEGOROYE not only castigates the duo, but insists Buhari’s achievements speak for him

 

 

What would you identify as achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari that should make Nigerians to re-elect him?

 

Right for the beginning of his administration, he started investing in the critical infrastructures of the economy- road, rail and power. He started with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a vital road for that matter, but which has been a death trap for years and you can see now that the area had witnessed major transformation. You know that is a road that was not attended to during the 16 years of the former administration. Also you have the Lagos Ibadan Rail line where work has commenced. You also have the Abuja-Kaduna light rail that was completed and is now in use.

 

The government took the N41billion Sukuk bond for road infrastructure which was spread into roads in the six geo-political zones in the country. As a matter of fact we now have President Buhari’s compendium of achievements which will be uploaded into the website very soon for all to see. Besides, we have the conditional cash transfers, trademoni, market moni and farmer’s moni running into about N12billion, currently being given out to promote trading and farming. Besides, you have the n-Power programme of this administration which has been helping a lot of Nigerians.

 

 

Security was one of his cardinal campaign promises. How will you rate him, in view of security issues in the country today?

 

At one point in this country, Boko Haram attacks took place every Sunday, and I mean, not every other Sunday but every Sunday. You know when these people move into your capital city, when they take over your capital city, that is the end of the country, because they put a new government in place and introduce Sharia because at one point in this country in 2015, Boko Haram at a point actually threatened to move into the Aso Rock Villa, capture the then President Goodluck Jonathan. They had come and moved to Yanyan, bombed a shopping centre, bombed the UN building, Police Headquarters, all in Abuja and I’m sure Nigerians understand what that would have meant. Foreign investors would have left the country and that would have been the end of Nigeria.

 

Forget about the North-East, Boko Haram was in Abuja. Remember, and I want you to be very honest about it, there was a time it became a fashion, that every Sunday, a church or a mosque would be benubed. It became a regular occurrence. All of that now has been drastically reduced. We are not only talking about the 14 local governments in the North-East from which Boko Haram has been pushed out. Of course that is part of it but it is more than that. But the entire people in the North-East, go and ask people in the Borno, Yobe and the rest. We cannot sit in Lagos or Abuja and be talking what we don’t know. Journalists who are investigative in the practice of their profession (may be they are afraid), should have go to the North-East, to those villages like Bama, Malagali and ask the people ‘are you happy now with the situation?’ And you will hear an overwhelming yes.

 

Now, the other issue is the farmers-herders crisis. You see, the very good thing that has come out now is the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate of the PDP is that nobody can tell us now to concentrate on the present and forget about the past. You know why? Because Atiku must run on his past record; it is now record against record. The fact is that nobody can deceive Nigerian people again to say ‘no, concentrate on your achievements.’ No. Like we say in Warri, (parlance), ‘God don catch them’. He has always hammered on ‘our performance in office’ when he was Vice President and I am citing that to show you, because that has been his sing-song. He has been talking about his achievements when he was in office with then President Olusegun Obasanjo. I am citing that to show improvements we have made during this Buhari’s administration in the crisis in the Middle Belt.

 

During the tenure of Atiku Abubakar and Obasanjo, this problem escalated to a level where a state of emergency was declared and a governor was removed from office. This was because the problem was of such a proportion that it led to the total failure of such state government. So we have to run on that record to show that if they had found a permanent solution to the crisis at that time, we would not have inherited it. And nobody should come and compare records, because if you do you will know that it was a complete disaster at that time.

 

I am sorry, though I have to say this. No life should be lost at all, and nobody should harass me to say don’t compare deaths, because we compare successes too. Buhari inherited that problem and he is struggling to solve that problem they could not solve in16 years. So it is very clear and evidently so that President Buhari has performed creditably well, in comparison, not in terms of utopian level or warped standards, but in verifiable facts and in comparison with somebody who was part of a government but failed to address the issue, but is now coming to say he can do better. So in comparison with that I say he has done very well.

 

 

Now, looking at the economy, how do you think he has performed, especially when viewed against inflation and job loss currently put at about 11 million?

 

Let us not mix two things. Job loss is not the same thing as unemployment. Unemployment rate has been a progressive problem, not one that started three years ago. It has always been there. For instance, the level of unemployment they met in 1999 is not the same thing as what they left in 2015. The level of unemployment in 2007 was far less than the level in 2015 and the reason is obvious the number of graduates that are produced yearly is far higher than the jobs were created. So the question we should ask is what did Atiku do to address the problem when he was Vice President? Did they create jobs to absorb all of those people, graduates and others that were churned out? He did not.

 

For 16 years, they did not create jobs; they did not diversify the economy nor invest in infrastructure. Countries like India and China have moved out of poverty. China has moved out of poverty and they started that industrial revolution since the 1990s and it took those about 20 years to begin to see the effects. What did they do? Very simple. China went into industrialization and investment in critical infrastructure. They did not depend on handouts or sharing money that should have been invested in national development. They did not do that. Actually, it is the path of growth that the current President has returned Nigeria to right now. The problems that this government inherited cannot be solved in three years.

 

Look at what he has done. He said let us cut down on recurrent expenditure, too much travels, too much overhead and invest in capital projects and over time it will begin to yield results. In 2016-2017, the highest ever investment in capital expenditure was made, in actual cash release for capital projects. In 2016, the total capital budget released was N1.2trillion and I am not talking about allocation, but actual disbursement for capital expenditure. In 2017, it was about N1.5trillion. Now that represents 30 per cent of budgetary of total releases for capital expenditure. It has never been so in the history of this country.

 

In the past, it was only 10 per cent they released for capital projects and why was that because they released heavy funds into recurrent expenditures. They spent everything and as money was flowing, people were dying on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and many parts of the country but they were all over the place with money. But since this government came into office, he has changed all those things. He has out this country on the path of growth. At the time we came into office, foreign reserve was depleted, oil price had crashed and we could not meet the 2.2million barrels per day oil export. But today, things have changed and Buhari has put the nation on the path of growth.

 

How successful has the anti-graft war, given the fact that it was one of the objectives of the government?

It has recorded and it is still recording lots of success. Let me tell you, that is another area we need to look at Atiku. He did not pretend about corruption. In other words, Atiku is not going to pretend about corruption. He said he is going to create jobs, security but did not make any reference to anti-corruption, but left out corruption altogether. Hello. How can you create jobs without fighting corruption? Hello, in Africa? Many countries in Africa have failed to record any success because of elephant in the room – corruption. But the person who wants to govern Nigeria left out that issue. And do you know why he left out that issue?

 

Tell me?

I am talking facts. That is his albatross. That is his albatross. Nigerians should call Atiku and sit him down, and ask him to tell us, this albatross you have around your neck, how do you intend to address it? This is the issue of perception. Perception is very important because if you want people to believe in you to fight corruption, you must be pristine; you must be clean. What is the perception today? You cannot just be talking about your current status, if it is so, then we should not be using the old perception index to judge Nigeria; that was a document released in 2000 or so. You cannot tell me that we should be using perception against the country, but cannot use it against you.

 

They said Nigeria dropped in the world corruption index, and that is perception. That is what they said. And you said we cannot use it against you? Let me tell you how important perception is. Perception is important because you cannot tell your workers to do a particular thing when he knows that you are doing exactly the opposite. There was this poll study of how you can determine workers’ readiness to work. I showed that workers in an establishment are likely to do better when they see that the head of that establishment is on the right path or so; that what they perceive him do is more important than what he asks them to do.

 

So it is not what the boss says, but what they perceive him to be that inspires workers. So Atiku Abubakar must not run away from his albatross. We still have to talk about it and he has come out clean of this albatross, because character is an issue. Corruption is an issue.

He must run away from his record in public office; hello, he cannot, because Atiku compares himself to Donald Trump. He makes me laugh. I want to laugh; Donald Trump, in a country like America that is well regulated? Even at that, Donald Trump never held public office before. He came from the private sector to run for the American President. Atiku has a public record. So he should not tell us some funny stories about his companies and people in his employment.

He should not because he has public record; he was Vice President, so he cannot run on promises. Nigerians should probe into his record as Vice President. We don’t want to know about your companies; those books are not there for the public, but the story we want to hear is your record while in office as VP, and what was it? It was a disaster. It is not me who said that but the person who brought you into office as Vice President, has said it.

 

In 2014, former President Obasanjo endorsed candidate Buhari then and then tongue-lashed sitting President Goodluck Jonathan, but now he has turned around to endorse Atiku. What do you make of this?

I want you to recall those events that happened before the elections in 2014 very well. Obasanjo, never, up to the point that people voted or at any time did he raise the hand of Buhari or tell people to vote for him. He only rated Buhari better than Jonathan, but he said he was done with party politics and all that. Of course that action and his body language showed that he preferred Buhari to Jonathan, but all through to the elections, because he is a coward, (permit me to use that language), he could not tell Nigerians to vote for Buhari the way he has now said they should vote for Atiku. He could not.

He played hide and seek up to the point of the elections, he did not openly show that support – ‘there was not time’ and all that, he only showed preference for Buhari but did not call out voters to vote for Buhari. Now, between you and I, yes he showed preference for Buhari in the past, he is not showing preference for him now, yes, but is that a deciding factor in Nigerian politics? I guess it is not. It is not a deciding factor at all.

 

So Buhari Campaign Organisation is not in any way threatened by the emergence of Atiku as PDP’s presidential candidate?

Every candidate is important. Not only Atiku. All the other candidates are important. You know why? They are Nigerians and every candidate of every political party in Nigeria has its own followers. We have seen situations in FA Cup in England before where a third division club would beat a Premiership club. So it is only a fool that goes into the field and would say he has an opponent but he will not play because he has a particular team. So we have to be ready for the contest, but the word threat is too big for us to employ, but do we take them seriously, yes we do.

 

What is your impression on the fallout of the APC primaries, especially with regard to Zamfara State, and the altercation between INEC and your party chairman and objection raised by the President’s wife over those who paid N22.5million for forms only for the party to organise primaries where consensus candidates emerged?

I will not respond to details of those issues, because the party is there to clear them. So leave me out of all of that. But my overall comment on all of those things that happened, both in the PDP, APC or APGA or any one that has any likelihood of winning the election, that is strong, that is big, that has some kind of governor already in office or that have some kind of following, that have some form of character, are those character respectable in public eye. When those characters collide in the primaries will they be able to stand? Not only in APC or PDP, but also in APGA. Even during APGA’s primaries, a party that does not have more than one governor, I learnt they even brought guns to the venue. Not to talk of the biggest party in Africa that has 22 governors, so such things do happen.

 

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Popular ‘idi’ areas with names associated with human anatomy in Oyo

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Popular ‘idi’ areas with names associated with human anatomy in Oyo

To the Yoruba of South West, Nigeria the word IdI, which literally translates to reason for doing a thing, could also mean another thing, especially when it is used to describe the shape of the backside of a woman, depending on how endowed she is. In this report SOLA ADEYEMO, examines the origin of the word, which is a prefix to quarters in Ibadan, they include: Idi Ayunre, Idi Arere, Idi Ape, Idi Molly, to name a few

 

It is a common phenomenon in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to hear of names of places prefixed by “Idi”. From the anatomical interpretation of the word “Idi”, the ordinary meaning that can be associated with is part of any being below the groins. In humans, it is the voluptuous and fleshy part below the abdomen to which the anus and the genitalia are attached. Below it forks out the legs.

To the Yoruba tribe of the South Western part of Nigeria, “Idi” could mean the ‘reason’ or ‘purpose’ for which something is done. From the family law perspective, however, “idi” could mean family setting as in “idi igi” derived from property sharing along the line of ‘per capita’ or ‘per stirpes’. Property left behind by a polygamous father is shared among his children ‘per capita’ (ori o jori) when it is shared equally among all the children irrespective of the number per wife. It will however be shared ‘per stripes’ (idi igi) when the property is shared per branch based on the number of wives, not minding the number of children each wife has.

 

“Idi” in the Yoruba parlance can also be used from the prepositional perspective to mean something positioned ‘beneath’ or ‘under’ or ‘at the base’ of another. This last meaning applies to names formulated by people in the days of yore to define certain locations for ease of identification.

 

Aside this, the prevalence of certain particular natural objects, and their uniqueness, was cashed in on to describe certain places, usually as: rendezvous or bus stop or terminus, for travellers. Most of such natural symbols like trees, particularly of various species, or statues, or monuments, were located and christened by the names of the objects, for people to easily identify them within their various communities. Such was prevalent in the rural settings when there were no streets, avenues, crescents, etcetera, like in this modern period.

 

Among the various areas so etymologically named in Oyo State, particularly, Ibadan, with “idi” prefixing the real names are: 1. Idi Arere, 2. Idi Obi, 3. Idi Ayunre, 4. Idi Ikan, 5. Idi Ose, 6. Idi Ape, 7. Idi Molly, 8. Idi Ope, 9. Idi Omo, 10. Idi Igba, 11. Idi Ape, 12. Idi Araba, 13. Idi Ogungun, 14. Idi Iroko, 15. Idi Oro, 16. Idi Ishin, 17. Idi Orogbo, 18. Idi Agba, 19. Idi Ito, 20. Idi Iya, 21. Idi Ata, 22. Idi Mongoro, 23. Idi Aro, 24. Idi Odan, among others.

 

From investigations carried out among the different communities so named, the common reason for naming the areas as such was identification of the areas by some popular or pervasive natural objects found there. For example, according to a Yoruba mythologist, Yanju Adegbiyega, Idi Arere area in the Ibadan South East local government was named after a tree called “Arere” (baobao tree). Because of its uniqueness among other trees, the area where it was located was so christened.

 

Idi Obi was formulated from kolanut tree. According to investigation, places were so named where there was kolanut plantation. There is an area around Lagelu Grammar School in the Ibadan North East called Idi Obi.

 

Idi Ayunre is a community in the Oluyole local government area of Ibadan. It is located along Ijebu Ode Road after New Garage. The community was named after a tree called “ayunre”.

 

Idi Ikan is an area in the Ibadan North West Local Government of Oyo State. ‘Ikan’ is believed to be a tree and the area is popular for a late famous, wealthy business man (Chief Adebisi) that built a magnificent house ever so unprecedented in the ancient town.

 

Idi Ose is an area at Moniya, Ibadan in the Akinyele Local Government council. The place was so named because of a particular big ‘ose’ tree located in front of the IITA. It  was recently uprooted during a road construction. There is another Idi Ose community along Akanran area of Ona Ara Local Government of Ibadan. Residents of the area said the village was named after the tree which was popular and had historical importance then.

 

Idi Ape is a popular area in the Ibadan North East Local Government Area of Ibadan. ‘Ape’ is also said to be a specie of tree and so the place in the olden days was named after the tree.

 

There is also Idi Ape community in the Alape Village of Lagelu area of Ibadan. Ape in Yoruba language is a large earthen or aluminium product used for frying. A source in the area said that the domestic tool was commonly produced in the area, reason it was being described as a seat of ‘ape’ producers.

 

Idi Molly is a place at Dugbe area of Ibadan in the Ibadan North Local Government. It was named after an Englishman with his statue erected at the junction between the UBA Bank and the Idi Molly Police Station. The name has been serving as a good description for the commercial area. The statue is still standing till today.

 

Idi Ope is named after a community where palm trees were in abundance. ‘Ope’ is a Yoruba name for palm tree.

 

Idi Omo was framed from a type of tree called ‘omo’ used by sculptors. It is located along Igbo Oloyin in the Akinyele Local Government Area. Omo tree was said to have been found in the area, and so because of its commercial usefulness, the village then was named after the tree.
Idi Igba is an area in the Afijio Local Government of Oyo. Igba is a product of locust beans popularly eaten as a delicacy for stew. Where ever the tree is located, especially then in the farms, was named as ‘Idi Igba’. People could meet, sit under the tree to take shelter or shade against sun.

 

Idi Araba is also coined from a tree identified as ‘araba’ in Yorubaland. The tree is characteristically big and massive in structure. Any place christened as idi araba is a location or place where the tree is located.

 

Idi Ogungun is a community around Agodi Gate in the Ibadan North Local Government Council of Oyo State. Ogungun is a type of tree also and according to historical finding, was popular in the area and so used by the olden days elders as a point of description, which eventually transformed into the name of the community.

 

Idi Iroko is a bus stop area between Jagun and Aba Emu along Amuloko in the Ona Ara local government area of Ibadan. Iroko is a popular tree which plank is used to roof buildings. It is not a common tree found just anywhere. Investigation has it that an iroko tree was located in the area and it was being used as a meeting place or bus stop where commuters were sitting under, while awaiting lorries that were in short availability then. It was felled few years ago, Sunday Telegraph learnt.

 

Idi Oro. ‘Oro” is a kind of fruit plucked from oro tree. According to an elder in the area, Mustapha, the settlement located at Amuloko community in the Ona Ara Local Government was so named because there were oro trees in plenitude in the village then. For easy identification and description, the village was named Idi Oro. The trees are, however, not available there anymore.

 

Idi Ishin is an area along NIHORT area of Ibadan North West. Ishin is a soft, delicious fruit that breaks into two halves when the pod is ripe. The red-coloured fruit is produced by the ishin tree. Residents of the area claimed that the tree was popular for existence of many ishin trees in the past, reason the area was christened Idi Ishin. Former Attorney General and Justice Minister Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) resides in the area.

 

Idi Orogbo in Ibadan is so called because of a particular bitter kola (orogbo) tree found grown in the area. Being a commercial tree useful for the farmers then, the importance of the fruit made the villagers then to name the community Idi Orogbo.

 

Idi Agba is a location around Beere in the Ibadan South East Local Government of Ibadan. The place is so called because of drums (agba) being traded there. Empty drums were being sold to customers in the olden days, and because of the commercial activity, the place was named idi agba for easy description and identification by strangers.

 

Idi Ito is a community close to Erunmu in the Lagelu Local Government area of Ibadan. It is on the outskirts of the metropolis and research revealed that it was so named because of prevalence of a type of seed called ‘ito” there. Another area so called is also around Fiditi in the Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo Town.

Idi Iya. ‘Iya’ is a tree popularly used for cooking. It is a firewood that burns very combustibly and loved by peasants, particularly those living in the rural areas for their domestic use. The ample presence of the trees necessitated its being called Idi Iya Village in Oyo Town and a community in Ibadan.

 

Idi Ata is a community along Igbo Oloyin in the Olorunda area of Ibadan. Ata is Yoruba name for pepper. History has it that the community called Idi Ata was notable for pepper selling commercial activity in the past. Till today, the community remains Idi Ata.

 

For the etymology of ‘Idi Mongoro’, it is instructive to note that ‘Mongoro’ is an adulterated pronunciation of mango. The place around Toll Gate in Ibadan is so called because according to investigation, there was mango plantation in the area and many people were flocking the location to transact mango business. It then assumed the identity of Idi Mongoro by the locals then.

 

Idi Aro is a local area in the Ibadan South East where there is a popular police division. ‘Aro’ is dye, and it is believed that tie and dye business was popular in the area in the past, reason the location which later developed into a large community has since adopted the name Idi Aro.

 

Idi Odan is a community in Ibadan where ‘odan’ trees were prevalent. Even in the Oyo West Local Government area of Oyo Town, there is a place called Idi Odan. The tree is characteristically big with sprawling branches that provide shade for people to sit under. Many men usually play ‘Ayo’ game under it, while revelers drink palm wine there. Idi Odan therefore takes the identity of a particular location in the community.

 

However, many have associated it with the human anatomy, especially when it used to describe women’s back sides. You have names as Idi arere, Idi araba, Idi ape etc. just to describe their shapes. But not all Ibadan women are so endowed.

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Sen. Okunrounmu: 2019 election results have been written

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Sen. Okunrounmu: 2019 election results have been written

Elder statesman, Senator Femi Okunrounmu was the facilitator of the 2014 National Conference. In this interview with ADEWALE AJAYI, he speaks on the inability of Nigerians to fashion out a way to have a better society, just as he condemned the celebration of 58th Independence anniversary in Nigeria, saying it ought to have been a day of mourning and sober reflection. He also speaks about the 2019 general elections, which he said won’t be credible, because the President, Muhammadu Buhari, will do everything to remain in power

 

 

Recently, Nigeria celebrated her 58th years Independence anniversary, but speaking frankly, how have we done as a nation and what do you think could be done to rectify the damage done to the nation?

 

You said, we celebrated 58th year of attaining independence, it is not correct. It is President Muhammadu Buhari and his men that celebrated. Nigerians did not celebrate

 

Why are we not celebrating? Was it not worth being celebrated 58 years of attaining independence should be a thing of joy?

 

There was no cause for Nigerians to celebrate. Nigerians are grieving; they are mourning; they were lamenting that 58 years after independence, this is where we have found ourselves. Majority of Nigerians were lamenting, the government itself that was celebrating, I don’t even know what they are celebrating, they don’t even think, if they think, they won’t be celebrating.

 

 

Don’t you think that is an avenue to have a retrospective thinking, and fashion out a way to forge ahead?

 

If we are going to do that, we won’t be celebrating. People don’t celebrate failure; they celebrate achievements, but if you know you are a failure, you haven’t achieved, you begin to have retrospective thinking. You look at where you have gone wrong and where you can do better.
This is what we should be doing not celebrating, and when we think of how we can do better, then we can improve. It is sad that most Nigerians don’t think, we are all concerned with our daily routine existence. We wake up, eat, have our bath and go and play, and go through that routine every day. We don’t do more than that.

 

When it comes to thinking, I mean serious thinking, Nigerians cannot be bothered, although people are concerned about their own individual survival, everybody struggle for individual survival, but as for the corporate interest, the interest of the corporate society, very few people think about it. That is why our society makes very little progress, everybody is pursuing personal interest. It is ‘how will I make it?’ even if it is at the expense of the next person. We are a society of brilliant people, individually we are brilliant. I always say this, individual Nigerians are among the most brilliant people in the world, but as a society, collectively together, we are the dullest people in the world, because we do not think about our society.

 

We do not think of how we can use our brains to move the society forward, everybody is thinking of how he can use his brain to cheat on the society, for his own personal interest. And that is why corruption is so much; that is why a lot of vices, a lot of crime are so endemic in our society.

 

If you are only looking at how to fend for yourself, then of course, it means anything goes, then you can do anything to make money, because money is what everybody is after; money, money, money. In the process of looking for money, any crime can be committed; it is justified on the basis that you are looking for money. Nobody thinks about the effect on the society.

 

Our electoral process is corrupted, everything about politics is now a complete embarrassment to us, the way we carry out our politics. We have no political party; all we have is gang up of people, who want to look at how they can capture power to enrich themselves, to make money for themselves, and the society has come to accept it as normal.

 

That is the unfortunate thing, the society has come to accept this shenanigans as normal, that is the unfortunate thing, because people are not even trying to change it. They are not complaining, they are not protesting, the people are just swimming along with it, we are not thinking of how we are going to make our society better.

 

Every independence anniversary like this, you journalists ask us how we can move our society forward, for the last 20 years we go through the same routine. It makes no impact, nobody listens, nobody does anything positive. Next year we will go through the same motion, the same talk and no improvement. We are just a talking people, no action.

 

 

Where did we get it wrong, because the masses expect those in power to give the directive, and they will follow suit?

 

Number one, we got it wrong when we departed from Federal Constitution. Nigeria was a federation up to 1966, but when the army took over and they militarised the whole thing, and when they were handing over to civilian, they handed over a unitary constitution. It is this unitary constitution that has been ruining Nigeria, because if you look at it, since independent, government has always been in the hand of a section of the country, mostly the North, the North that did not even want independence, they said they were not ready for independence, but the British maneuvered to hand over power to them, as it got to their hand, they have decided they will not let go of that power, and they agreed to hold on to that power till infinity.

 

Unfortunately, they are not making the best use of that power, because, they don’t have the positive vision, that one will want to have of a country. The only vision they have is to occupy and control and dominate. They don’t have a vision of progress and advancement of the entire society, as long as they control and dominate the entire society, even if all remain as a feudal state or 10th century world, it is okay for them, as long as they control and dominate.

 

That is one of the problems, the second problem is that, it is still part of the fall out of the military rule, we have lost our values, we have lost our values as a people. When we were young, and some few decades back, the society was much better than this, it was not always like this, but all those values have been lost.

 

The values of doing what is right, what is good, what the Yoruba call Omoluabi values, also has been lost. It is now anything goes, Nigerians careless as long as it brings money; people are being killed to get money. That is the kind of society we have now, that is why we have so much ritual murder, rape, kidnapping going on, all this are attempt to make money, and that is because money has become our god.

 

There are churches everywhere, mosques everywhere, praying and continuous prayer, but it is all hypocrisy, the only God that we know in Nigeria is money, we don’t know the God Almighty that created us. We don’t believe in righteousness, godliness, we believe that, if we make money we can go and appease God by doing thanksgiving. We believe that once, we do the thanksgiving God forgets that the money was stolen, or kill somebody to get that money.

 

That is why we have a country, we have politicians who are supposed to lead the advancement, the progress, that is what they are suppose to do by definition. To lead the country, to take care of the interest of the people, but our own politicians look after their own interests only, once they get to power, they forget about the people, and the people themselves are so dumb, and that is why I say the whole society is rotten from the top to the bottom. If the people themselves are not dumb, they should throw such politicians out .

 

 

But attempts have been made in the past to throw them out, but the problem is most times their votes do not count, the process is manipulated.

 

That is not true, they don’t make attempt. For instance, people are always asking for money from these same politicians to vote for them. A politician has been in office for four years, you know he has stolen, for the four years, he hasn’t done anything but he has been looking after himself and his family, then he comes back, asking the people for their votes, and soon as he begins to distribute money the people will vote for him. Are those people human beings? They don’t behave like human beings, we behave like chickens.

 

In Nigeria society, even ordinary person does not behave like human being. If we behave like human beings, why will any politician today come and say, especially somebody we know has been there stealing our money, and he will say he wants to run for office, and he distributes money for us and we will vote for him, and somebody who says he wants to go and serve us, but he has no money, we won’t vote for him? We will tell him, until he brings money we cannot vote for him. If we tell somebody to bring money before we vote for him, what kind of service do we expect from such a person? Does any reasonable person do that?

 

 

The government in power claims to be fighting corruption, but one was taken aback when the APC sold governorship nomination form for N22 million and that of presidential was sold for N45 million. Isn’t that a way of corrupting the system, and how can a middle income earner participate in such process?

 

That is enough for the ordinary man to know they are hypocrites, that they are not fighting corruption. The ordinary man should also think, they have their brains, they should use their brain, they are not animals, even sometimes, there are some animals that are smart. The dog is also smart, they are very smart and think, even think better than some human beings, that is enough prove that these people are not fighting corruption, they are just deceiving us.

 

There is evidence every day that, they are deceiving us. Buhari told us he is so poor; he hasn’t money to buy his presidential nomination form, that people were contributing money for him, to buy his form. Will any reasonable person believe that when two weeks latter his wife sacked her Aide de Camp (ADC) for stealing N2.5 billion from her? Isn’t that enough to make the ordinary person think that Buhari is not poor that he could not afford to buy his form, when his wife’s ADC stole N2.5 billion from her? If we think, does anybody need to tell us anything again, that is not a government that is serious, they are just deceiving us. What we have today are not political parties.

 

If you know what political parties could be, look at the advanced countries, look at their political parties, if you are in the United Kingdom, if you say you are in Conservative Party, that will tell everybody the way you think, about how society could be organised.

 

If you say you belong to the Labour Party, that will tell us the way you think, so people have certain things they expect from you. I tells a message of the political party, what the party stands for, the party’s vision. Labour will state ‘this is our vision on how a society will be run’; Conservative will state this is its vision on how society will be run, should be organised, the same thing the United States of America, if you are Democrat, people know this is how democrat think, if you say you a Republican, people know exactly the way you think, and say this is the way you are thinking.

 

These political parties have their vision of how their society should be organised. Look at Nigeria, our political parties are formed on the basis of who and who can team up and win power so that all of us can go and enrich ourselves. It is absurd. If you don’t get the power from this party, you move to another party, from that party, you move to another party, and yet we keep voting for them. We the people, we say we are being oppressed, but when these politicians come we hail them, we take them as heroes, does that not mean that, we too we are stupid.

 

 

You said Nigerians should rise up and change their leaders, but one observes that at times their votes do not count and there is the impression that probably this is the way the 2019 general election will go?

 

It is not probably, we are always afraid to hit the nail by the head. The thing is that the government of Buhari that is in power is not willing to leave, they are ready to do anything to stay in office. Right from the governorship election held, from now till 2019, if they tell you about credible election, they are just deceiving you; there won’t be free and fair election, even in their own party election, their party primaries, do they allow free and fair election? So the result of the 2019 election is already written, it is just for them to announce it.

 

You will go through the motion of going to vote; you will just go through the motion, they have already known the result they are going to announce, but if we the people know that, what are we doing about it? We should rise and say no, but we won’t; all of us will just sit down, we will be eating and sleeping, and we will just be complaining in our sitting room.

 

If you ask people to come out and complain, they won’t come out. If you tell them to come and demonstrate, they won’t come out. If you ask them to come out and complain something against them, they won’t come out.

 

 

Maybe they are afraid of being killed?

 

Is it not better to die while fighting for your rights, than to die as a slave? That is what people don’t know. The moment you don’t have anything you can fight for, that you don’t mind dying for, hence you are not a human being.

 

Human beings make progress because they find a purpose for themselves. If anybody tries to deny them of that purpose, they are ready to fight for it and defend it, and in fighting for it, they are ready to die. That is how America and Britain became great. People went for World War I, World War II, do you think it was because they wanted to die? Millions of thousands died in the World Wars, from Britain, from the US, young men, they went to die fighting for some rights, it is not because they wanted to die, they went to war trying to preserve some values.

 

Americans are dying every day because they have certain values they want to defend, that is why young men prefer to go and die to preserve those values.

 

Every day in the advanced society, people are on the streets marching, to protect actions of their government which they do not like, even in the former Soviet Union people were on the streets marching, even when machine guns were pointed at them, they were still marching. If you don’t have anything to die for, you have nothing to live for. It is not only to feed and eat, there must be something you must consider that if you don’t have this thing, your life is not worth living, that you might have as well die.

 

If somebody is enslaving you and you cannot resist that servitude and you live in slavery, then you have to be a slave, you are not human being. That is the way most black people behave, that is the way many of us in Nigeria are behaving. The people are enslaving you, and you don’t want to resist because you don’t want to die, then the best thing for you is to be a slave.

 

 

Preparation for the 2019 general elections is at a high level now, and we have a lot of political gladiators scheming for public office. What is your assessment of those who have shown interest in public office?

 

They are all aspiring thieves. I have always said that most people in this country aspire for public office to go and make money; 99 per cent of them want to go and enrich themselves. That is the reason they are aspiring for public office. Ninety-nine per cent are not going into public office because they want to go and serve the people. That is why I said we have to change the paradigm of politics in this country. That is why I said the young people should get up, because Nigeria is going down and down and until the young people get up and take over the reign of leadership , and cease power from this present generation of politicians , until then we will not make any progress.

 

This present generation of politicians doesn’t know anything and until the young ones get up and take over the reign of power, and cease power from this present generation of politicians, Nigeria will not make any progress. This present generation of leaders doesn’t know anything than to just go and steal money in politics.

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