Over time, the idea of 100 days in office has been used to measure the success or failure of governments. While famous American writer and author, Kenneth T. Walsh, believes that 100 days should not be the ideal yardstick to establish the success or otherwise of a leader or government, he still regards it as a functional device for measuring effectiveness It should, however, be stressed that success in the first 100 days does not really translate into an enduring success afterward.
In the same vein, initial difficulties do not, in any way, signify that a government is doomed to failure. It is neither here nor there, depending on the dynamics of the times and the personality of the political actors in charge.
In the political annals of Nigeria, examples abound to reinforce this perspective. The military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, which came into office in August 1985, clearly stands out as one that enjoyed early momentum but couldn’t actually translate it into a lasting phenomenon.
Within its first 100 days in office, the administration came out with well-defined political and economic blueprints that were well applauded by a cross section of Nigerians.
Ironically, by the time the administration was stampeded out of office in 1993, it has become deficit in integrity and popularity. On the contrary, upon return to civil rule in May1999, the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration was roundly attacked for being allegedly slow in tending to critical issues of governance. However, by the time the administration eventually got its act together, it left behind enduring legacies. History has, however, shown that it is possible for a government to begin well and also finishes well. One typical example is that of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande (LKJ) in Lagos State (1979-1983).
From the outset, Jakande had pledged to model his government after that of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria, from 1952 to 1959, headed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He said: “That government was the most efficient, the most dynamic, and the most responsive of all the governments of the federation.
There has never been a government like it in Africa before or since.” True to his words, LKJ assiduously went to work to realise his vision. Till date, many of his populist policies and programmes, especially in the housing, public transportation and education sectors, still endear him to all and sundry.
The ambitious Lagos metro line project, which, if it had seen the light of the day, would have revolutionized public transportation in the state, was conceived by his administration. Some of the Housing Estates he established across various locations such as Iba, Isolo, Iponri, Ejigbo etc., are still serving the housing needs of Lagosians.
It was under his administration that movement into state’s current secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja, began. Also, the first stateowned television in the country, Lagos Television (LTV) was established by him.
He equally established the Lagos State University (LASU) in 1983. His administration also constructed waterworks at Shasha, Agege, Somolu, Apapa, Badagry, Aguda etc. to improve water supply and avoid outbreak of water borne epidemics.
Similarly, the Babatunde Fashola administration in Lagos State (2007-2015) started well and also ended gloriously. Fashola’s dream of a new Lagos transcended his tenure.
He wanted to build a Lagos that is similar to reputable international cities like London, Mumbai, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Delhi, Dubai, Bangkok, and Cairo among others.
His government worked with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to realise the $1.5 billion Lagos Energy City Project as well as the audacious $3.5 billion Atlantic City Project which intends to accommodate over 250,000 Lagosians who are to live and work in the city.
From every indication, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has demonstrated that he is also working along the same enviable model of his illustrious predecessors who started well and finished well.
In order to validate the Executive Order on Environmental and Sanitation Matters, the governor has expanded the Olusosun dump site to 42 acres to accommodate more waste and ensure that trucks can have a quicker turnaround time.
A resource centre has been built and commissioned at the dumpsite to further strengthen the capacity of operatives in the sector to collect recyclable materials. In same vein, the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) has begun a Lagos at 4a.m. programme that is aimed at stemming the tide of indiscriminate waste disposal across the metropolis. Also, the agency has acquired a briquette facility, which can process about 1,700 kg of sawdust per hour, in Agbowa (Ikorodu division). In order to sustain current environmental regeneration momentum, the Lagos State Blue Box Recycling at the Simpson Transfer Loading Station, Lagos Island, was recently launched. With a view to empowering more Lagosians, a sum of N4 billion has been set aside as grant under the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) WInitiative.
The initiative kicked off a few days ago and in line with its philosophy of giving opportunities to women, 50% of beneficiaries of the initiative are targeted to be women. Also, about 1,700 people have been shortlisted to benefit from a World Bank assisted agricultural programme with each of the beneficiaries receiving the sum of N2 million. In public health, the Maternal and Child Centre (MCC) at Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government, has been opened for public use.
The MCC reflects the Sanwo-Olu administration’s commitment to the provision of unhindered access to medical care by the citizenry. Recently, the administration’s 4 -week free medical initiative tagged: “Healthy Bee Project” attended to medical needs of over 25,000 Lagosians. Similarly, as part of strategic efforts to meet the housing needs of Lagosians, the Alhaji Lateef Jakande Garden, Igando, had been commissioned.
In furtherance of the plans to promote public security, which is an integral part of the administration’s THEME agenda, 120 patrol vehicles and 35 motorcycles were donated for the use of security operatives in Lagos State by the state government. From what it has achieved thus far, the Sanwo-Olu administration is certainly poised to realise its vision of a Greater Lagos.
- Ogunbiyi is of the Lagos State Ministry of Information & Strategy.
Reps’ proposed trip to power sector
t’s only self-deceit, not ignorance, that could make a real Nigerian to assert that the country’s power sector isn’t the prime bane of her socio-economic quagmire.
Confusedly, or ironically, in spite of the several billions of naira spent thus far by successive governments on the power sector, the acclaimed Africa’s giant is yet to regularly boast of a mere 8,000MW let alone acquiring the above 80,000MW apparently required by the country.
Little wonder the House of Representatives has vowed to investigate all the expenditures that reportedly took place in the said sector, commencing from 1999 till date.
The 9th House led by Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, recently, announced its determination to commence investigations into the power sector, perhaps with a view to ascertaining why the huge spending so far was unable to address the country’s electricity conundrum.
It’s noteworthy that this move or proposed trip is coming amidst the era when the Green Chamber has strongly reiterated its readiness to probe into the recently awarded $470 million contracts as regards installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in the country’s major cities, Abuja and Lagos in particular.
Piqued by the epileptic power situation, Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, on assumption of office in 2007, lamented that the government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo squandered about $10 billion on the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) with little or no effect. He alleged that, on power sector alone, the administration of the former president spent a total of $16 billion.
However, it was gathered that the late president’s administration expended $5.375 billion on power, whilst his immediate successor Dr. Goodluck Jonathan spent $8.26 billion. In a nutshell, the country, between 1999 and 2015, reportedly spent about a whopping sum of $29.635 billion only on a quest for steady power supply.
The bitter truth remains that Nigeria has expended funds amounting to trillions of naira on the power sector within the last 19 years. But rather than dwelling on our failure, or apportioning blames, it’s imperative for the country to henceforth concentrate on the way forward.
The Nigeria’s power sector is presently yearning for rescue that if drastic measure isn’t taken, soonest the country won’t only reckoned to be synonymous with blackout but a place invariably used as a case-study whenever non-electricity supply is being discussed.
It’s indeed worrisome to acknowledge that in spite of the intimidating size of the acclaimed giant of Africa, both in landmass and population, she’s currently struggling toward boasting of steady 7,000MW of electricity supply, whereas nations like Ghana, South-Africa, Iran, and South-Korea, among others alike, that aren’t up to 60 million people on the average, presently boast of over 50,000MW. Such a shocking phenomenon calls for thorough and candid examination in the power sector.
During the past administrations, Obasanjo’s particularly, the Power Reform Act was introduced, which was aimed at boosting electricity supply. In addition, the then existing National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was changed to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) owing to concession. In furtherance of the motive, the NIPP was equally initiated.
It would be recalled that during Dr. Jonathan’s reign, the distribution section/phase of the power sector was totally deregulated, thereby leading to Public-Private Partnership (PPP); a measure that Nigerians thought would salvage the power industry.
It’s worth noting that the power sector comprises three major sections (phases) namely: the generation, transmission, and distribution sections. These three phases collectively contribute to the production of the two hundred and twenty Alternating-Current Voltage (AC220V) required by electricity consumers in Nigeria.
Despite all these measures, rather than improving, the country’s power sector remains in a comatose state, or even deteriorates on a daily basis. The various distribution firms, instead of concentrating on how to serve the teeming consumers, end up compounding the already existing plight.
At the moment, an electricity consumer in Nigeria, regardless of locality, would be faced with a utility bill even though he never enjoyed any power supply in the past; one might wonder where such bill was fabricated.
The problem with the Nigerian power sector remains lack of technical know-how cum initiative as well as decay in maintenance culture. Most times, the personnel at the generation phase would inform Nigerians that the supply of gasoline has depreciated due to pipeline vandalism.
Suchlike report is ridiculous and laughable in a country like ours that can boast of so many sources of electricity generation in abundance. Frankly, over-dependence on mono-source is really telling on the Nigerian economy at large, not just in the power sector.
A few of the country’s mineral resources alone, such as coal and what have you can generate enormous electricity required by the overall Nigerians. Similarly, biomass and wind-power, which are renewable and reliable energy sources – if properly harnessed – can generate electricity that can serve the entire Nigerian population. Biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. Its conversion to biofuel can be achieved by different methods broadly classified into chemical, thermal, and biochemical methods.
Besides, why is solar energy in abeyance? Most western countries that cannot boast of a steady 15 degree Celsius (15*C) depend mainly on solar energy as regards power supply let alone Nigeria that can steadily boast of over 30 degree Celsius (30*C). The country abounds with the four energy sources mentioned so far; but pathetically, the resources are lying fallow. The government needs to create an industry that would produce the required facilities; the proposed approach cannot be actualized without lifting embargo on PPP.
Above all, considering the ongoing power generation via turbine or hydro-plants, there’s compelling need for the government to decentralize the transmission grid. Rather than sustaining the national grid, since it’s obvious that such sustenance is cumbersome, each region or zone ought to be entitled to a transmission grid, thereby easing the maintenance cost.
The aforementioned approach won’t only reduce cost, but will equally boost adequate and uninterruptible power supply across the federation. The private sector must also be given a room to key in. The various established private transmission grids such as the Power Geometrics situated in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State invented by Prof. Bart Nnaji and his team needs to be encouraged effectively.
As I urge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to extend hand of fellowship to the cognoscenti towards doing the needful, we must without equivocations take into cognizance that there ought to be a holistic probe into the dwindling power sector.
Hence, the Reps’ proposed probe of the power sector should be candidly supported by anyone who means well for the country if we truly wish to experience a paradigm shift. Think about it!
Our unflinching support for Kalu
o us in Abia North, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is beyond the general natural person in politics. He is a political ideology and a doctrine. Let me start by thanking the good and industrious people of Abia North Senatorial District for their firm believe and unintimidated support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari sequel to the fact that a beloved son of Abia North with whom we are well pleased, Senator Kalu symbolizes the party (APC) and the president in Abia North. That shows the level of confidence we have in Senator Kalu which was conspicuously evidenced in the last general election.
Little wonder the sad, cold and moody atmosphere that engulfed the whole communities and local governments of Abia North District and the entire Abia State when the news of the judgement of the State and National Assembly Tribunal filtered into the ears of the people, the majority of Abia North people both at home and in diaspora stopped at nothing by words and conducts to register their rejection at the development, the people are not happy about the judgement, despite that nothing has gone wrong yet. This is not to exaggerate the scenario but the factual situation on ground, the reason is simple, anything tilting towards touching Dr. Kalu is concurrently touching the souls of our people. Anybody who can move round the senatorial district and the state will surely concur and corroborate with this glaring truth and we know that what informed this feeling is because the people are sure of quality representation with Kalu at the Senate which has already started in earnest in all ramifications.
It is not in our position to embark on the voyage of analysing the judgement of the tribunal on this platform, knowing full well that sometimes that is how legal positivism functions, and we know that whenever a competent court gives judgement, those concerned can only echo “as the court pleases” not minding any opinion to the contrary because it is binding at the moment; the position of Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(As Amended) explains this. But the beautiful thing about our legal system is the inalienable right of appeal and we know Senator Kalu shall timeously and vigilantly do the needful. It is our firm believe that the appellate court shall restore the mandate given to Dr. Kalu by our people because in our opinion, one thing the court shall always seek not to do, is to replace the wisdom of the people with the wisdom of the court on electoral matters. So, it is good that the court shall always give judgement that reflects the will of the people to uphold democracy. Let me also establish without equivocations that majority of our people in Abia North align with the APC to reject the judgement.
However, the majority of Abia North constituents who are Kalu’s supporters are very confident at present, this is because in all fairness we know that Senator Kalu won the election ab initio and under a free and fair atmosphere nobody has the capacity and political goodwill to win him in elections in Abia State of today? OUK can never loose election to anybody for now, this is because nobody has equalled his records in imparting positively in the lives of our people.
It is also correct to say there is no known name in Abia politics in whatever political party the person may belong today that did not receive a boost from Kalu and he remains the best. Every person, politician and non-politician, even a toddler knows that he won the election in an earth shaking manner, without any form of rigging and malpractice and has been winning even in the previous elections without being declared due to the vendetta of few despotic, imperious and lordly interlopers from other senatorial districts who also rose to the top through Kalu’s political machinery and later turned against where they were coming from, everybody in Abia if not Nigeria knows this.
It is our firm believe that Senator Kalu shall still defeat all opposing forces, even if the election is conducted 100 times more he shall win 100 times, that is the impulse of our people and nothing can change it for now, anybody can move round and obtain their opinions little wonder too why Senator Kalu is unruffled and undisturbed rather he is the one urging our people to remain calm and law abiding as a modest and civilized gentleman.
The status quo is that Dr. Kalu is the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate and the Senator representing Abia North, this position has not been vacated legally, the court gave him 30 days to appeal this judgement and it is not possible that he shall not do the needful. We believe a notice of appeal and a stay order shall be served upon parties soonest and that shall make for a preclusion from any further action regarding the judgement.
Ex nihilo nihil fit, nothing comes from nothing and no one can build a castle in the air. Former Senator Mao Ohabunwa remains former, there is no base anymore for him to win, he cannot win anything so long as it is between him and Senator Kalu. From the political perspective nothing can remove our ebullient Senator Kalu from that seat, so long as the enthronement power is resting on our people, those of us who participate in the political field, our opinions are not on hearsay premise, therefore we can confidently say OUK is the man engraved in the heart of our people. It is not in doubt that the people are standing by him
The PDP candidate is not popular with due respect to him, we don’t know if he is popular in diaspora but not in Abia North. Bearing in mind that the court ordered for a supplemental election in few wards in two local governments out of five and our amiable Senator is already leading with over 10,000 votes, how many are the registered voters in those units? How many of those registered voters are active voters? Shall all the electorate vote only for one candidate? How can another person win except Senator Kalu? Abia North is APC. In the five local governments that make up the Abia North, three are being represented by APC at the House of Representatives, PDP has been swept away with our brooms.
Without equivocations we shall invoke our common conscience and socio-political reinforcement to lawfully resist any external force that is out to truncate the will of our people.
In Abia North, we are consistent believers in the ideology known as Orji Uzor Kalu. We are devoted members of the APC and we are unrepentant supporters of President Buhari.
- Uche Agbaeze, an Abia North constituent, was a member of APC Presidential Campaign Council/Presidential Support Committee.
I am now Dr Clem by affidavit
Hello people, Good Tuesday morning to everyone and To Whom It May Concern. Having resolved all contractions I now wish to be known and addressed as Dr. Clem Aguiyi by affidavit.
Last week, I successfully procured a doctorate degree certificate through an affidavit which I swore to in a Magistrate Court.
To further support my claim, I also have a recommendation letter from the former Dean of my faculty who died some 50 years ago. In the said letter he testified that I am very creative mind, a stable genius capable of writing a PHD desertion with distinction in any subject.
If you wish to see any of my previous qualifications, kindly be informed that termites attacked my country home and ate them up while a snake swallowed the records kept with the school.
However, if you still feel aggrieved and want to waste your time in further pursuit of this matter you can take your petition to the Court of Appeal or any court in Nigeria where the judges will explain to you that an artisan can take out an affidavit and overnight becomes an engineer, and a cleaner in the hospital can become a nurse if only he/she can procure an affidavit.
The above in a nutshell is the new rule as held by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal and it will be judiciously cited from hence that qualification is needless once an affidavit can be procured. So abolish the schools.
Nevertheless, the issue before the tribunal was not if President Buhari was constitutionally qualified to run for president but whether he possessed the qualification he claimed to have. Why did the tribunal abdicate this responsibility?
The issue of qualification is a constitutional requirement and the grounds for qualification are many. A person desirous of standing for election must identify the best constitutional provision that makes him qualified and use as his qualification.
He should also attach proof of his qualification to the INEC form CF001.
A person is not allowed to simply say that he/she is qualified after the election, by relying on any of the Constitutional provisions. You must choose your qualifications and swim or sink with it. Buhari did not say that his qualification was being educated up to secondary school certificate level; he said that he obtained the secondary school certificate. He did not rely on his ability to speak, understand and write English language, he said that he had the Secondary School Certificate, not the equivalent. Therefore, he is to swim or sink with a Secondary School Certificate.
I align myself with the written opinion of Jibrin Okutepa where he submitted that the Court of Appeal is manifestly wrong to have enlarged Buhari’s grounds of qualification by ascribing to him, qualifications that he never claimed to rely on in his form CF001.
The burden of proof is on the party who alleges. However, the burden shifts to the respondent the moment the petitioner showed that the 2nd Respondent did not meet the requirement of qualification as required in form CF001 (which is a form made pursuant to the Electoral Act and therefore part of the Act) to attach all evidence of educational qualifications.
The petitioners showed the court that the 2nd Respondent did not attach the certificates he relied on for his qualification as a mandatory requirement of the Electoral Act vide the Form CF001. It then becomes the duty of Buhari to show why he did not attach evidence of his qualification to the said form.
In his bid to justify his failure to comply with the law as required in form CF001, to attach evidence of his educational qualifications, Buhari deposed to a separate affidavit (not the verifying affidavit that forms part of the form CF001) at the FCT High Court in 2014, wherein he claimed that his certificates as listed in the form CF001 are currently with the Secretary of Army Board.
The petitioners show to the court that that Army denied the claims in that affidavit. At this point, it became the duty of Buhari to produce the certificate from the Army and he failed to do so. In fact, Buhari never testified in court. Instead, his own witness testified against his interest upon their own questions. The petitioners discharged their burden of proof even beyond the threshold of the criminal law standard.
It is mindboggling that the court chose to descend into the arena and even went to shop for a defense for Buhari and thereby fabricated an explanation for the lies. One of the judges even called this ground an allegation of perjury.
The Court totally decided to be ignorant of the decision of the Supreme Court in *ABDULRAUF ABDULKADIR MODIBBO VS. MUSTAPHA USMAN & 2 ORS.* delivered on 30th July, 2019 wherein the meaning of FALSE DECLARATION was defined and the consequences/standard of proving same were established. They went on a voyage of inferences and imagined that Buhari truly submitted his certificates to the Army in 1961 even when his course mate clearly stated in open court that none of them gave any certificate to the Army. The judges chose to disregard these testimonies by saying that the witness was not in the position of making that determination. Remember, Buhari brought him in order to make the point that they submitted their certificate to the Army. So, this is the court, making overt efforts to defend Buhari.
Note that Buhari never claimed that his certificates were missing or that he is unaware of its whereabouts. He made a clear declaration in an affidavit that his certificates were with the Army. The Petitioners demonstrated that the Army have denied being in possession of the certificates. At this point, it becomes the duty of Buhari to make sure that the Army produces his certificates. He is making a positive assertion that a certificate exists, while the Petitioners asserted that it doesn’t. So, a negative assertion cannot be proved, it only needs to be stated. It is the duty of the person who asserts the positive to proof its existence. Buhari failed to do this and the Court applauded him for it for failing to produce his certificates from the Army for the inspection of the Court.
I will encourage Atiku to approach the Supreme Court not because he will get justice there but to prove to the world that Nigeria’s case is now totally hopeless whereby judges who ought to be the last hope of the common man now constitute themselves as businessmen ready to hand judgement to the most powerful.
The tribunal never made any reference to the defense of any of the respondents in his judgement. It went on to obtain evidence that were never before the court and relied on same to dismiss the petition. They erroneously inferred that Buhari must have got a certificate before the Army recruited him in 1961, in spite of conflicting evidence of when exactly Buhari even joined the Army.
One of the judges told Nigeria that an old witness cannot lie, but forgot that the same witness had said Buhari was recruited into the Army in 1962. So, were the judges actually the 4th Respondents? Yes, they were and that was the reason for their unanimity of decision. They gave a judgement that is disconnect from the facts and laws placed before them.
How Nigeria got hit with a $9.6bn judgement debt
Nigeria has received a legal hiding after a UK court awarded a private company a $9.6 billion judgement debt against the West African nation. The ruling has generated significant attention in both domestic and international media. This is understandable given that the sum amounts to 20% of the country’s foreign reserves. This means it poses a significant threat to its economy.
The big question is: What went wrong? How did Nigeria end up in this costly situation? For the answer, we must look back to January 2010 and a gas supply contract that went horribly wrong.
On 11 January 2010 Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), a company based in the British Virgin Islands, signed a contract with the Federal Government of Nigeria. This contract is called a gas supply and processing agreement. Nigeria’s government agreed that, over a 20-year period, it would supply natural gas (wet gas) to P&ID’s production facility.
In return, P&ID would process the wet gas by removing natural gas liquids and return approximately 85% of it to the government in the form of lean gas. This lean gas was to be returned at no cost to the Nigerian government.
Based on this agreement, Nigeria was supposed to arrange for the supply of wet gas to P&ID’s gas processing facility which it intended to build in the country’s Cross Rivers State. This required the government to construct pipelines and arrange facilities for transporting the wet gas. The government failed to do this for three years.
P&ID viewed this failure as a repudiation of the contract. In simpler terms, this means that the government renounced their obligation under the contract. Consequently, in March 2013, P&ID began an arbitration action against the government before a London tribunal.
Clause 20 of the agreement, which both parties signed, provided that any disputes were to be resolved by arbitration with the seat of arbitration being London, England or any other place agreed by the parties. Nigeria tried to contest this, but its appeal to have the tribunal sit in Nigeria failed.
At the tribunal, P&ID claimed that it had invested $40 million in the project even though it had not acquired the land or built any facilities for gas processing. It claimed damages of about $6.6 billion: the amount of the net income it would have earned over the 20-year period of the agreement.
In response, the government argued that the damages claimed were not a fair and reasonable consequence of the government’s breach of the agreement. This is because P&ID never commenced building the gas processing facility. It also argued that P&ID should be awarded only three years’ worth of income as by that time, the company should have found some other profitable investment which would reduce its losses from the breach.
Similarly, the government objected to the measure of estimated expenses and income stream which P&ID used to calculate its damages claim.
In July 2015 the tribunal decided that by failing to fulfil its obligations, the government had repudiated the agreement. P&ID was therefore entitled to damages.
In January 2017, the tribunal by a majority of 2 to 1 made a final award of $6.597 billion together with interest at the rate of 7% starting from 20th March 2013 until payment is made. The 7% interest reflects what P&ID would have paid to borrow the money or earned by investing the money in Nigeria.
Following the tribunal’s award of damages, in March 2018, P&ID brought an action before the Queen’s Bench Division of the English Commercial Court. It wanted permission to enforce the damages awarded by the tribunal. Despite delays by the Nigerian government, on 16th August 2019, the court made an order enforcing the tribunal’s final award which now stands at about $9.6 billion.
In making this award, the court noted that the damages awarded were purely compensatory and not intended to punish the Nigerian government. The court also confirmed that there were no public policy grounds on which the award should not be enforced. This decision converts the arbitration award to a legal judgement.
This case perhaps highlights issues with Nigeria’s ability to effectively manage its oil and gas resources as well as its facilities. Between January and June 2019 alone, it is reported that Nigeria lost 22 million barrels of crude oil.
These losses have been largely attributed to pipeline vandalism and aged pipelines. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation recently spent billions on oil pipelines maintenance. But other problems, such as corruption and fraud in awarding security surveillance contracts for pipelines, persist.
The $9.6 billion appears to be the largest amount of damages awarded against Nigeria to date. Evidence however suggests this is not the first time that Nigeria has failed to meet its contractual obligations. In 2016 it was reported that investors in Nigeria’s power sector threatened to pull out due to the government’s failure to meet its contractual obligations.
This case also demonstrates an ongoing issue with the government’s attitude to critical infrastructural projects. The Mambilla hydroelectric power project is a case in point. In spite of the huge potential offered by the project, it has been plagued by several controversies ranging from corruption and embezzlement of funds to the “irregular” awarding of contracts, and a general lack of political will.
The Nigerian government is yet to pay the judgement debt. Allegations of domestic and international conspiracy surrounding the agreement continue to abound. For now, the government has said that it intends to appeal the amount awarded.
• Akanmidu is a Lecturer in Law at the De Montfort University, England. This article was first published in The Conversation
Atiku-Buhari verdict and false narrative
Prelude to the 2023 general election, one of several lessons stands out from the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) in Abuja on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
It’s the urgent need for the government – the executive and legislature – to work together, to “further” amend and pass the reviewed 2010 Electoral Act, to which President Muhammadu Buhari withheld his assent in late 2018.
The reason being that, whether deliberately or by sheer ignorance, many Nigerians are running with a false narrative reportedly emanating from the verdict of the PEPT, as regards certification for qualification for placement in any endeavour.
To the propagators, the five-man panel of Justices of the Appeal Court has pronounced that Nigerians need no certificates to back up their qualifications for elective offices, or any other positions for that matter.
That the mere filing of your qualifications, with no certificates attached for authentication, is enough evidence that you’re qualified for the desired position or office.
Conventional and social media have been buzzing with this narrative, with one poster on Facebook screaming on his wall: “What a plot! Nigeria does not need certificates anymore. Just list schools and you are done.”
The post attracted frenetic comments lampooning not only the judges, but President Buhari, accusing him of “inducing” the PEPT members to align with his alleged “no qualification” for the presidency.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), like its diehard members, “never expected anything different from the Buhari judges,” one respondent said on Wednesday.
One respondent added: “But we had hoped the judges would be bold enough to rule otherwise, as Buhari lied on oath about his educational qualification.”
The PDP gave a similar liner when the PEPT dismissed the petitions filed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, against the declaration of Buhari as winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
It’s clear that besides the petitioners’ claim that they won the election based on the results reportedly posted on a “Server” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), they had hoped to upturn the poll on alleged Buhari perjury in Form CF001.
Hence, the PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, in response to the judgement, made no bones about the issue in a statement he pushed out barely minutes of the verdict.
He said: “The PDP finds it as bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
“Nigerians and the international community watched in utter disbelief when the tribunal ruled that one need not provide a copy or certified true copy of educational certificate such individual claimed to possess, contrary to established proof of claims of certification.”
Sadly, this distorts the aspect of the landmark judgement given by the lead judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, citing a Supreme Court judgement that “submission of educational certificate is not a requirement to contest election.”
According to Justice Garba, “It is established that a candidate is not required under the Electoral Act to attach his certificate to Form CF001 before the candidate is adjudged to have the requisite qualification to contest the election.”
Among issues the petitioners canvassed is whether Buhari was qualified to stand for the election having failed to attach a copy of his WASCE, as pleaded in the relevant INEC form.
The petitioners said by this anomaly, inconsistencies in his name and age, and denial by the Army that his certificates weren’t in their custody, Buhari had lied on oath, and ought to be disqualified from the election.
However, the tribunal held that Buhari wasn’t only qualified, but also “eminently qualified” to contest, as he had satisfied the requirements in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Specifically, the panel relied on sections 131(d) and 137(1)(j) of the Constitution, to determine the qualification of Buhari for the presidency.
Section 131 prescribes that a person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if “(d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”
And subsection (1) of section 137 states that a person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if “(j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
In resolving the issue of qualification, the PEPT judges also had recourse to Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution, as it relates to “Interpretation” – to determine if Buhari was suitable to contest, as per education up to “School Certificate level or its equivalent.”
The express and unambiguous provisions of Section 318 of the Constitution give no wiggle room for the PEPT judges to embark on a “voyage of discovery” that undermines the meaning of “School Certificate or its equivalent.”
In any case, the Constitution vests the INEC with the power to determine what’s “acceptable” to it as qualifying for the conditions precedent to contesting the presidency.
In the instant matter, the electoral body considered the “equivalent” to School Certificate, and found President Buhari suitable to stand for a second term in office.
Judgements are based on laws, concrete facts and evidence advanced “within the four walls” of the courts, and not rooted in emotions, sentiments, hearsay, and media commentaries.
To arrive at its decision, the tribunal members filtered thousands of documents; weighed all pieces of evidence adduced by the petitioners, respondents and their witnesses; compared and contrasted case laws; and made references to legal books, journals and dictionaries.
And it carefully, and painstakingly analysed and delivered its findings in a nine-hour judgement that unbiased minds should firstly praise, and if unsatisfied, proceed on appeal to the Supreme Court, as the final arbiter on legal matters in Nigeria.
Therefore, it amounts to calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it, for the PDP and allied critics to castigate the PEPT judges for perhaps declining to set aside the laws governing electoral processes, and give the petitioners judgement.
How did we get here?
I am writing this in a hotel room in St. Louis, Missouri at 3:00 am, deeply saddened by recent developments in South Africa, a country that still holds a very special place in my heart. There are South African friends and colleagues that I have known for years, decades in some cases, and they know that I have nothing in my heart but love and respect for them and their beautiful country.
That country has always been shrouded in an aura of mystery in my imagination dating back to my higher school days at one of Nigeria’s elite boarding schools. Nigerians of my generation will remember that our then military government brought hundreds, maybe thousands, of young South African boys and girls through the ANC to attend school in Nigeria.
I do not remember the names or even the faces of the ones that joined us at Federal Government College, Ilorin, where I did my A Levels, but I remember that our government supplied them everything they needed, including full-ride scholarships.
Those young boys and girls went on to pursue higher education opportunities within and outside Nigeria while in exile from their own country. Many of them will now be leaders in South Africa occupying positions of influence both within the ANC and in the wider society.
They cannot remain silent in the face of the atrocities and xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African immigrants that we continue to witness on the streets of South Africa. Let’s remember Edmund Burke’s admonition: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Fast forward three decades, that shroud of mystery about South Africa that I referred to above was lifted when I had the opportunity to live and work in that country. By this time and through God’s providence, I already had a very solid reputation as one of the continent’s foremost climate scientists and serving as Department Chair at the University of Missouri Kansas City, U.S.A. When South Africa came calling, I did not hesitate. I took a leave of absence from the University of Missouri to lead the environment and natural resources division of what was, and still is, Africa’s foremost contract research and development organisation in Pretoria. It was, as I saw it then, my opportunity to make a personal contribution to the growth of the New South Africa, Mandela’s homeland – our homeland; Africa’s homeland.
I lived in Pretoria and as the division’s Executive Director, I had offices in Stellenbosch and Durban, overseeing and providing leadership to over 200 scientists, engineers and researchers. I travelled across the country often and engaged intensely with a broad spectrum of folks during those two years from the State House in Pretoria to the slums of Flamingo Crescent and Santini in Cape Town.
I touched the land, felt the people, took in the sights and sounds of that wonderful country. It did not take long to see why descendants of the Dutch settlers and colonialists held so tightly to that precious land for so long, shed as much blood as they did, and only gave up political power after ensuring that they will continue to control the levers of South Africa’s economy in perpetuity.
I made lifelong friends, both white and black, and continue to cherish the memories we made together. These friends of mine cannot afford to be silent today. I need to hear your voices loud and clear. Africa needs to hear your voices condemning these senseless acts of violence and reassuring every African that calls South Africa home that they are, in fact, part of the Rainbow Nation envisioned by Desmond Tutu and Mandela. Again, let’s remember Edmund Burke’s admonition: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Let me end this heart wrenching piece by addressing the Global African Diaspora. We cannot remain silent. A blot on South Africa is a blot on us all. This is not the South Africa that we collectively fought for and sacrificed to make happen. We need to make sure that President Cyril Ramaphosa hears us loud and clear. The buck stops at his desk. Period! If we have to take to the streets of Paris, London, New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Norway, Moscow, Beijing or Tokyo in peaceful protest to make make our voices heard, let’s do so!
This cancer called xenophobia must be excised. Immigrant Africans seeking opportunities to make a living in South Africa are not the enemy. They are not responsible for the pervasive poverty and suffering that continues to be the every day experience of millions of South Africans – 25 years after Apartheid was brought to its knees. The absence of bold, selfless and transformational leadership is the culprit. Corruption at the highest levels of government is the culprit.
We, the Global African Diaspora, need to link our voices to those of our brothers and sisters in South Africa and amplify the urgent call to bring these xenophobic attacks to an immediate and permanent end. We need to call for reason and calm where we are seeing reprisal attacks against South African citizens and interests across Africa. Two wrongs, we’ve been told, don’t make a right.
Prof Jimi Adegoke writes from Kansas City, USA
Xenophobia: Why Nigeria cannot afford a stand-off with S’Africa
Since the images and videos of the maiming and killing of black foreigners in South Africa began to emerge on various social media platforms last week, Nigeria has been an emotionally frayed place. Tens of thousands of Nigerians live in South African cities and in recent years, they have become frequent targets of xenophobic attacks.
This time, anger in Nigeria boiled over and young Nigerians took to the streets protesting South African aggression and unleashing some of their own on South African-owned businesses.
The Nigerian government felt pressured to act and subsequently recalled its ambassador from Pretoria and announced it was pulling out of the World Economic Forum meeting on Africa which was held in Cape Town. While some Nigerians welcomed the move, others thought it was not enough and called on their government to intervene and rescue its citizens.
Examples abound of powerful countries going to great lengths to protect and repatriate their citizens who have faced danger abroad.
But Nigeria is not one of them. Indeed, in the past, the country has stood its ground on a number of occasions when defending its national interests. In the 1960s, for example, Nigeria had a face-off with France over the latter’s continuous tests of nuclear weapons in the Sahara desert. The government of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa acted decisively, breaking diplomatic relations with Paris, expelling the French ambassador and imposing a full embargo on French goods.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Nigeria led the international effort to isolate and pressure the apartheid regime in South Africa. It threatened economic action against Western powers for refusing to sanction the regime and supported the national liberation movements in Southern Africa, including the African Nation Congress (ANC), with millions of dollars annually.
In the 1990s, the country, under the leadership of military ruler Sani Abacha, defied international sanctions and welcomed a visit by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It also directly intervened in the Liberian civil war, dispatching Nigerian troops to fight.
Most of the reactions to the violent attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa reflect a yearning for Abacha-style diplomacy. But as recent developments in its relations with the United States demonstrated, Nigeria can no longer wield such diplomatic power. Last month, the Nigerian government was spectacularly quick to react to the US’s reciprocal rise in visa fees by reducing the charge for Americans applying for a visa to enter the country. And last year President Muhammadu Buhari decided to “keep quiet” on President Donald Trump’s alleged “s***hole” remark about African nations.
At present, it is clear Nigeria does not have the military, the intelligence capability or the diplomatic clout to pursue a serious escalation against even a regional power, such as South Africa.
This diplomatic “standoff” with Pretoria has exposed the weakness Abuja has masked in parading itself as a self-styled “Giant of Africa”. South Africa used to be a bully that Nigeria could restrain through its support for proxies inside the country and its neighbourhood. But since the end apartheid, this relationship has evolved into a regional competition, which Pretoria is winning.
After the sanctions and international isolation were lifted, South Africa quickly became the continent’s more favoured ally of developed economies and foreign investors. Pretoria emerged as the recipient of the largest share of foreign direct investment in sub-Saharan Africa and in 2011 joined the BRIC countries in an economic pact formed to challenge the domination of Western economic policy.
It is also an important trading partner that Nigeria cannot afford to lose. South African businesses have major investments in the country, including the DSTV cable service, MTN telecom, the Shoprite supermarket chain and others. Nigeria exports $3.83bn worth of goods, mostly oil and oil products, to South Africa. By contrast, it imports just $514.3m of South African products, which accounts for less than one percent of total South African exports.
The more contrasting feature of the two economies, and which again highlights Nigeria’s weakness is that while Abuja levers around a commodity-dependent economy, Pretoria has built a highly-diversified economy with a superior industrial structure. In other words, Nigeria needs South Africa economically, much more than South Africa needs Nigeria.
Nigeria’s geopolitical power has also waned in recent years, while South Africa has remained a major regional power. Abuja has been battling with a rebellion in the north for years and has struggled to put a stop to flares of tribal violence regularly killing dozens of people. In its neighbourhood, Nigeria continues to feel largely insecure, surrounded by Francophone countries whose allegiances to France threaten the commitment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to stability and non-aggression in the region.
The Nigerian government has also been unable to muster enough influence in the West to become a trusted partner. In 2014, the Obama administration, for example, blocked the sale of arms to the Nigerian military. The Trump administration decided to proceed with it but under heavy conditions which Nigerian officials have deemed “unacceptable”. Western reluctance to sell weapons to Abuja has pressed it to seek arms on the black market. South Africa has embarrassed it twice in recent years by intercepting large arms shipment bound for Nigeria.
In this sense, the Nigerian government cannot do anything about the violence against its citizens in South Africa beyond making a few symbolic diplomatic moves and bringing up once again the Nigerian role in liberating South Africans from its white oppressors. It is clear that in doing so it is addressing Pretoria from the position of weakness.
Indeed, using persistent references to sub-Saharan African commonality and solidarity as a result of shared history, race and geography is not an effective foreign policy tool.
The idea of One Africa is a farce taken too far, and successive Nigerian elites have pandered to this fantasy to the detriment of national interests. The legacy of this pan-African misadventure is a geopolitically weak Nigeria which cannot stand up to for itself and for its citizens
This very much has to do with mismanagement of the economy. The redemption Nigeria needs is one that moves the country away from dependence on oil exports, foreign imports and interventions and towards diversification and industrialisation. We cannot afford to glorify the idea of producing pencils in the age of artificial intelligence any more.
Only if the country becomes materially secure and industrially productive will it be able to regain its soft power and international clout and stand up to the old bullies in its neighbourhood.
Gimba Kakanda is a postgraduate student of International Relations at the London School of Economics.
P&ID’s $9.6bn judgement: ‘Who Done It?’
or those not only old enough to know, but also fans of television series; they will immediately (or not so immediately) recall that the above headline I am using for my piece this weekend strikes a chord – stirring up something that might had receded in their memories because it happened a fairly long time ago!
So let me end your struggle to recall where you had come across it – it is the headline of the one of the episodes of the television series, Dallas.
It was one of the 1980 episodes of the very popular series than ran on the American television network, on CBS from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991; and was syndicated all over the world including Nigeria.
In fact this particular episode still remains the second highest rated prime-time telecast ever and got viewers scratching their heads trying to find out who actually shot one of the main characters, J.R. Ewing before finally revealing the culprit.
But what is the title of one of the longest lasting full-hour prime time dramas in American TV history, which in 2007 was included in TIME magazine’s list of “100 Best TV Shows of All-Time”, doing in a very recent event which has captivated the headlines and been the main talk around town?
The answer is very simple: Because millions of Nigerians want to know how those in government and who are to protect the interests of the citizens have allowed the nation to get into this mess involving British engineering firm, Process & Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) and its $9.6billion judgment against the country in the first instance!
While not in a position to apportion blame on anyone directly, from what has been gleamed about the case, it is clear once again how inept those saddled with the responsibility of looking after our collective commonwealth have been – either naively or deliberately.
It also raises the spectre of which other contracts are lurking out there that we do not know off until they come out of the shadow to haunt the nation or some other shoddy decisions have been taken without being properly thought through.
A classic example of the later is the decision of authorities to allow the siting of various tank farms around Apapa without proper environmental impact assessments being carried out.
And because of this failure on the part of our bureaucrats and politicians, the once tranquil Apapa, which used to be home to many upper middle and rich class, has been turned into a living hell for the residents.
Even businesses that were already in the vicinity before the arrival of the tank farms have been impacted negatively.
John Holt, Niger Biscuits, banks and many others have been forced to relocate or have been squeezed almost to death.
I remember many occasions, when I was still with This Day Newspapers, of not being able to take my car to the office because tankers waiting to load at the tank farm located on Creek Road would have taken over all the three lanes leading to both the farm and Apapa port proper.
There were times, on the occasions we were are able to take our vehicles to the office, that we were forced to sleep in the premises after finishing production because the truck drivers would have totally blocked the company’s entrance.
On a number of occasions a frustrated Publisher, Nduka Obaigbena in a classic case of the “baby wey say him mama no go sleep, himself no go sleep” would use his SUV to block the road leading to the tank farm.
Members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) would come to beg and appeal to him to allow their members get to the tank farm and in return he (Obaigbena) would squeeze concessions from the NUPENG officials that they would not use theirs to disturb his own business by taking over the road thereby preventing newsprint from getting to the press or even allowing the printed paper leave for distribution because of the antics of their lawless members.
Of course for the next couple of days after the “truce meeting” we will enjoy some semblance of normalcy with the trucks keeping to one side of the road allowing other road users ply the road before total confusion returns and we are back to the bad old ways.
A number of people living in Apapa that I know have finally thrown in the towel packed up and left fed up of government’s inability to safe guard their own rights to living in a decent environment.
What makes the Apapa situation even more poignant is the fact that despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s order of more than two months ago to get the issue fixture it is still business as usual. So if a President’s directive cannot be enforced in this country, then what hope is there for the ordinary man?
But if one can genuinely argue that this Apapa problem affects just a “few” Nigerians and is limited to just a “small” section of the country; the same cannot be said of the mammoth $9.6billion judgement the nation is now facing and which is enforced will affect everyone living in the country called Nigeria!
Although moves are already on to find a way out of the logjam, it is also very imperative for government to get to the root cause of how the nation got into the mess in the first instance.
All the dramatis personnel and the roles that they played in the infamous contract scandal must not only be exposed but must be severely dealt with in order to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to put their selfish interests above those of the collective good of the nation.
The investigation should not end up like the Halliburton scandal in which the company paid Nigerian officials some $180 million in bribes between 1993 and 2004 in order to secure a construction contract for a liquefied natural gas plant in Bonny Island in the Niger Delta.
After making headlines for a couple of weeks just like this P&ID scandal, ostensibly because of the “big names” involved, the case quietly blew over without any Nigerian being made to pay for their indiscretions even though a number of foreigners involved in the scandal were prosecuted.
This act of impunity by our so-called “big men” is one of the reasons for why we have found ourselves in another messy situation 15 years after that one.
Thus unless a number of these “big men” are made scape goats; it is clear that such scandals will continue to be a reoccurring decibel in the nation’s history.
Speaking to the media in Abuja on the issue, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said: “We will find those involved in this scam, either inside or outside government.”
Well, Nigerians and indeed the world is waiting to see if for once this will actually be the case and we will not end up being treated to another episode of the now rested “Dallas”!
Marriage in The GAME OF THRONES (Part 2)
lease, understand that the devil is not winning this GAME OF THRONES as is being perceived. Making many believe that he is winning, is part of his strategies being employed in the game. If you are among those who believe or have been deceived to believe that the devil is winning this GAME OF THRONES, “you are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
One of Satan’s lies is that no one is reliable for marriage anymore. My dear! Don’t fall for this lie. There are dozens and dozens of faithful and reliable young men and ladies out there.
Because of media reports about church leaders whose marriages are in crisis, many are being deceived by the same attacker to believe that successful marriages hardly exist. He is even painting a picture of “all men of God have become suspects. After all, we hear reports of those indulging in adultery, fornication, rape, sodomy, etc.”
Satan’s projected VERY BIG LIES are attempts to win THE GAME OF THRONES. The big question (the truth) is “what percentage of men of God ever have their activities reported on the pages of the newspapers? Secondly, what percentage of priests, pastors and other church leaders are actually interested in having their private activities in public domain? Thirdly, who conducted a census of Christians and achieved a scientifically researched evidence that a significant percentage of church leaders have fallen into such sins?
Please, don’t fall for cheap lies and error of generalization. There are millions of clergy out there with exemplary successful marriages.
The media reports that husbands and wives, including church goer couples now all kill each other, is part of Satan’s exaggeration and engineering strategies to expand fears for the marital institution, while promoting sexual intercourse outside marriage, so that more people will join him to suffer in hell fire after rapture and white throne judgement.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Dear reader! Ask God to open your spiritual eyes to see that there is a GAME OF THRONES going on. Satan wants to secure by all means, your loyalty to his throne. So, he makes you believe that money alone is requirement for marital success. May I deflate this lie by informing you that many millionaire couples file for divorce every day? Divorce is not usually an overnight decision. It is the absence of Christ at the centre of a relationship that pilots the relationship towards divorce. Satan knows that your marriage wields a great influence over your personal relationship with God. So, there is currently, a massive satanic attack against Christian marriages, including those involving public figures. This also, is a gimmick being applied to contend for victory in the GAME OF THRONES.
It is the devil that tells you as a wife never to submit to your husband as scripture commands. Society applauds your errors as of course, sin is sweet and the road to hell fire looks easier to glide through.
It is Satan that tells you to forget about the Bible when it comes to marital issues. Your true enemy is not your spouse. Your true enemy is Satan who is doing everything to win more loyalists to his throne in this game. Jesus Christ warns you again not to switch camp in John 8:34-35.
Loyalty and faithfulness to your spouse is loyalty to God’s heavenly throne. Doing the contrary is to leave the winning team that the world thinks is losing (God’s team).
Avoiding premarital sex is loyalty to God’s heavenly throne. Doing the contrary is to denounce the winning team of godly people, loyalty to the heavenly throne.
There are millions of faithful, loyal and happy marriage partners in your society. Don’t fall for the devil’s gimmicks to get you, by forming analysis based on frequency of negative media reports. Publishing a church leader’s sin of adultery is fun and helps media houses to sell their products, especially when that church person is popular. That cannot become a representation of a larger silent population of loyalists to God’s heavenly throne.
Right from the day of your wedding where you were taking your marital vow, Satan was busy swearing to ensure that your marital vow never comes to fulfillment. His permanent focus is to ensure that your loyalty to the heavenly throne is broken (John 10:10).
What you are reading now is intended to help you ensure that you do not conform to this world’s standards but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to know the perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).
So, if you are a born again Christian, when next you go to the social media or any medium and receive an intimidating or tempting message from Satan’s throne, remember there is an ongoing GAME OF THRONES, and that you belong to, and must retain your position in the wining team. It can take just one second to give up your loyalty to the heavenly throne. Be careful that you do not sell your divine entitlement for the sweet pot of portage that is being shared by the father of all liars.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
God’s heavenly throne is, and will forever remain the winning throne in the GAME OF THRONES. Don’t be deceived or lured out of the winning team.
The yellowness of a fever
he colour yellow relates to acquired knowledge. It is the colour which resonates with the left or logic side of the brain stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception. Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. In the meaning of colors, yellow inspires original thought and inquisitiveness. But it can be critical and judgmental, being overly analytical, being impatient and impulsive, being egotistical, pessimistic, an inferiority complex, spiteful, cowardly, deceitful and non-emotional.
When a fever is labeled yellow, it’s devoid of all the bright sides but entirely the negatives. This recent outbreak is linked to the death of four students of the College of Education, Waka-Biu, Borno. They had gone on a field trip to Yankari Game Reserve, in Bauchi State as part of their course work.
What it is
Yellow fever (also called Yellow jack, Yellow plague or Bronze john) is a serious, potentially deadly flu-like disease, it is an acute viral haemorrhagic (bleeding) disease (like Ebola and Lassa fever) transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected with the virus when they bite an infected human or monkey. The disease cannot be spread from one person to another. It’s characterized by a high fever and jaundice. Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is why this disease is called yellow fever. This disease is most prevalent in parts of Africa and South America. It is not curable.
How is it transmitted?
Yellow fever virus (an RNA virus) is mainly transmitted through the bite of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, but other mostly Aedes mosquitoes such as the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can also serve as a vector for this virus. Like other arboviruses which are transmitted by mosquitoes, the yellow fever virus is taken up by a female mosquito when it ingests the blood of an infected human or other primate. Viruses reach the stomach of the mosquito, and if the virus concentration is high enough, the virions (the infective form of a virus) can infect epithelial cells and replicate there. From there, they reach the haemocoel (the blood system of mosquitoes) and from there the salivary glands. When the mosquito next sucks blood, it injects its saliva into the wound, and the virus reaches the bloodstream of the bitten person. The transmission of the yellow fever virus from a female mosquito to her eggs and then larvae, are indicated within A. aegypti. This infection of vectors without a previous blood meal seems to play a role in single, sudden breakouts of the disease. The disease cannot be spread from one person to another. However, large numbers of cases (epidemics) can also occur in urban areas when a human with yellow fever infects the local Aedes mosquitoes (mainly Aedes aegypti) resulting in transmission from human to human via infected mosquitoes.
What may give it away
Yellow fever begins after an incubation period of three to six days. Most cases only cause a mild infection with fever, headache, chills, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. In these cases, the infection lasts only three to four days.
In 15% of cases, however, people enter a second, toxic phase of the disease with recurring fever, this time accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage, as well as abdominal pain. Bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract cause vomit containing blood, hence the Spanish name for yellow fever, vómito negro (“black vomit”). There may also be kidney failure, hiccups, and delirium.The toxic phase is fatal in about 20 to 50% of cases, making the overall fatality rate for the disease about 3.0 to 7.5%. However, the fatality rate of those with the toxic phase of the disease may exceed 50%.
Surviving the infection provides lifelong immunity, and normally no permanent organ damage results.
Yellow fever is most frequently a clinical diagnosis, made on the basis of symptoms and the diseased person’s whereabouts prior to becoming ill. Mild courses of the disease can only be confirmed virologically. Since mild courses of yellow fever can also contribute significantly to regional outbreaks, every suspected case of yellow fever (involving symptoms of fever, pain, nausea and vomiting six to 10 days after leaving the affected area) is treated seriously.
If yellow fever is suspected, the virus cannot be confirmed until six to 10 days after the illness. A direct confirmation can be obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction where the genome of the virus is amplified. Another direct approach is the isolation of the virus and its growth in cell culture using blood plasma; this can take one to four weeks.
Serologically, an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) during the acute phase of the disease can confirm yellow fever.
There’s no cure for yellow fever. Treatment involves managing symptoms (in a hospital setting) and assisting the body (immune system) in fighting off the infection by:
maintaining a healthy blood pressure
getting blood transfusions if necessary
getting treatment for other infections that may develop
Yellow fever is prevented by an extremely effective vaccine, which is safe and affordable. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of persons vaccinated. Vector control taking measures to avoid mosquito bites (active in the day) are equally important.
News19 hours ago
Army Court Martials General over missing N400m
Politics19 hours ago
Tribunal: Anxiety in Niger as Bello, Nasko know fate Wednesday
News21 hours ago
AKWA IBOM BOOSTS ECONOMIC TIES WITH KINGDOM OF NETHERLANDS
Metro and Crime17 hours ago
Fatal accident claims 3 lives in Lekki
Metro and Crime19 hours ago
Three Islamic clerics arrested for fraud, serial rape
News8 hours ago
Minimum wage: Workers threaten strike without notice
News8 hours ago
Smugglers explore creeks to beat security architecture
Sports22 hours ago
Brazil to play Nigeria, Senegal in Singapore