Former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan recently made an honest disclosure when he said that overpraising sitting presidents makes them feel like a little god and unthinkable for them to leave the office. Jonathan stated this at the constitutional term limits summit in Niamey, Niger Republic. The former president, who is one of the speakers at the summit that was organised by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), also said the fear of persecution after office makes it difficult for a sitting president to relinquish power.
“Let’s create an environment where people will believe there’s life after office. That if you leave office you should not be persecuted. The way we manage ourselves as sitting presidents and former presidents matter. The first line is to reduce what will make a sitting president afraid to leave the office. Africans sometimes, we are our problem because we always think our presidents are little gods. That somebody is president does not mean he is God. We have a tradition of praise-singing. We tend to give our presidents name they don’t deserve,” he added.
At the occasion, some African leaders, led by President of Niger and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government Mahamadou Issoufou and former Liberian President, Amos Sawyer had paid tribute to Jonathan for leaving office voluntarily and masterminding peaceful power transition after the 2015 general election that brought the President Muhammadu Buhari into office, describing it as an exemplary show of leadership that should motivate those in power.
Warning African leaders to adhere strictly to the constitutional period in office, Issoufou stressed that term limits strengthen democratic institutions and promote peaceful power transfers from one administration to another, the Nigerien President pledged to himself to the two terms stipulated by his country’s constitution. Similarly, former Liberian President, Amos Sawyer lauded Jonathan for setting what he called a democratic example by peacefully handing over power to his successor. Sawyer described the former president as a remarkable man who did not let his ambition becloud his sense of patriotism, saying “Former President Jonathan is a remarkable gentleman, for what he did for Nigeria; he did not do a second term; he showed example. He handed over power peacefully.”
However, Jonathan deviated a bit from cheery remarks when he observed that: “A former president has to be careful in commenting on national issues; otherwise you become a nuisance to society. Because having been the president of the country for a period of time, there are information available to you; you do not always expect a sitting president to do things exactly the way you do, and sometimes, when you try to comment on national issues, of course, there are people that will defend the president. Sometimes, they leave the subject matter and begin to castigate some aspects of your administration they observed weaknesses in, to divert the attention of the general public from the issue.
“Former presidents should make comments from time-to-time on our national issues, but it should be issues that are quite critical; issues you think, you will not be able to reach out to the president; if you reach the president and have conversations with him, you do not need to go to the media and discuss the issues otherwise you will create more problems in your country. In Nigeria, we have this platform; the council of state that former presidents belong to, it could be a good platform to discuss issues. I do not advise that a former president should be active in political commentary; it will create more problems than solving the problem.”
From the summary of the comments made by Jonathan, three things can be pointed out. First, there is a need to stop praise-sing African leaders. Second, the media and civil society organisations should continue to serve as watchdogs and uphold accountability in governments. Third, past presidents should avoid commenting on sensitive state matters after leaving office because it causes distractions for incumbents. Frankly speaking, I both agree and disagree with the position of the former president. The critical question to ask is what encourages praise-singing? Many leaders themselves promote praise-singing because when they get into office, they detest criticism. They hate to hear anyone speak anything negative about their government. All they want to hear is sweet talk!
“We tend to over-praise sitting presidents and make them think they are little gods. When they begin to make a sitting president think he is God, and he is the only person that can run the affairs of the nation; then the person will be there; nobody removes God. When you make a president feel he is god, don’t expect him to leave. The media and civil society must continue to admonish characters that make presidents think they are the best thing to happen. That you are president does not mean you are better than others. We citizens of this continent create little gods,” Jonathan added.
Why people avoid telling truth to power is that no matter how sincere, objective and useful such criticism is, those who hold such are tagged as enemies that should be silenced, hunted and persecuted. In the end, except those that are ready to die for the truth, what African leaders continue to hear are only the things they want to hear and promoting sycophancy, eye service, and nepotism. Media outlets and civil society groups that are not on the side of government are labelled as opposition and sponsored by perceived enemies of the government in power. We recall that under the Jonathan administration too, there were forceful seizures of newspapers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos while distribution vans were stopped and searched in different parts of the country, as wrappers of the tabloids were stripped-off and copies confiscated.
The truth is that good governance can only be established when praise-singing is discouraged and when the media and civil society are alive to their responsibilities. Leaders and past presidents should not relent in speaking up when things are going wrong. This is where I disagree with Jonathan. Past leaders should speak up when things are falling apart. They should not only exercise their fundamental right to, but they should always be opinion leaders in society. More importantly, the leadership recruitment process should be transparent, seamless and honest enough to breed quality leaders badly needed to speak fearlessly and turn around things for the nation. That is how to make a difference as leaders. This is an obligation that Jonathan owes our country by telling truth to power.
λKupoluyi writes from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is the lion’s owner?
The story of Kevin Rene Richardson, a South African, who is better known as “Lion whisperers,” has never stopped to amaze animal behaviourists and wildlife experts. I remember how I held Richardson in awe, the first time I watched him on DSTV’s Nat Geo Wild station in the midst of a Pride of Lions in a forest. He was obviously at home with the pride comprising at least five big lions who have accepted him as a member of the pride.
If I had seen that video as a young boy, I would have either come up with a myth to explain what Richardson does with the pride or thought the South African used “juju” to tame the lions. As I was watching the video, I also recalled the case of one cleric, who was later named as “Brother Daniel” by the students of the University of Ibadan.
The story of “Brother Daniel” happened in the ’80s and was well captured by the then “Evening Times,” an evening paper as the name suggests, a publication of Daily Times.
Armed with a Bible, a long rope and a bell, “Brother Daniel,” who had boasted to visitors at the UI Zoo, claimed that he had divine power to tame the lion who was sleeping at the time. To convince the onlookers that he was not a joker, he scaled the cage of the lion and even had the audacity to continuously ring the bell until the Lion woke up. I can still recall how the reporter dramatised the encounter between “Brother Daniel” and the lion using descriptive power and imaginative prowess to explain to the readers how the lion devoured the cleric.
I remember the reporter writing that if “Brother Daniel” had come out of the cage alive, religious bigots would have been fooled that the Biblical Daniel had reincarnated in Nigeria and the country might have experienced the influx of religion zealots from different countries. The lion was eventually killed by the zoo authorities. Most people were unhappy that the lion was killed and blamed the cleric for his foolishness.
But the authorities had a good explanation for its action. Ordinarily, a lion is a wild animal and once it tastes human blood, it becomes more dangerous and wilder.
Having tasted human blood, its taste had changed and would yearn for more human blood. It won’t be satisfied with the live goat he was being fed with. So, it would be dangerous to keep such a lion even though it was restricted to a cage. So, such lion must be cut down. This is how dangerous lions are.
Yet, a foreigner kept this kind of animal in a residential area in Nigeria for a while until November 19. Nigeria is a fertile land and will always attract foreigners despite our obvious downside.
But it is not good when we allow foreigners in connivance with our people go away with the impression that ours is a like a Banana republic where anything goes. I recall a day I was driving on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, two foreigners were being chauffeur-driven in a nice car. One of them sat behind the driver while the other one sat beside the driver in the front.
The one who sat beside the driver wound down and was pouring banana peels and some dirt right on the road. I wondered what sort of human being this was.
I quickly increased the speed of my vehicle so I could catch up with them and yelled at the animal in human skin and asked him a rhetorical question: ‘Can you do that in your country?’ By the time I caught up with the vehicle, I guessed he had poured all the dirt on the road and wound up again. I honked the horn to attract them. But they all kept straight faces. I strongly suspected they knew I wanted to register my resentment and didn’t want to give me the opportunity.
As the head of Punch Metro Desk some years back, we had cause to report cases of exploitation and inhuman treatment of Nigerians who worked in factories owned by Chinese, Indians and Lebanese. Some of those who worked in some of these factories narrated to us how they were often exploited and treated like animals.
Some of the girls working in some of these factories were sometimes asked to report to the residents of their foreign employers to perform household chores not captured in their letters of employment. And did it at no cost except what the master gave out something extra out of his “generosity.” In some cases, some of the girls would be invited to satisfy the libido of their masters.
Most of such girls suffered in silence because of fear of losing their jobs. It was worse for the girls, most of who were from poor homes and had assumed the role of breadwinners in their families on account of what they earned as salaries. I recall the case of a guy who suffered a permanent dis ability while working in one of these slave camps called factories.
His employers abandoned him and he approached me to help publicise his plight. In line with the principle of fair hearing and balancing, I asked the reporter assigned to cover the story to get response from the company concerning the allegations brought by an employee. But to my chagrin, the company was more interested in “killing” the story than seeing to the welfare of the injured worker.
Subsequently dealings with some of these factories indicated that perhaps as a deliberate policy, their human resources departments were usually headed by Nigerians, who were often used as chief tormentors of fellow Nigerians.
No matter how bad Nigerians were treated, fellow Nigerians would swear to high heavens to defend these foreign owners of these sinister factories.
Back to the issue of the lion allegedly owned by an Indian and kept at 229, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, a residential building. It was the grace of God that the lion didn’t get out of its cage before it was tranquilised, evacuated and taken to a zoo by officials of the Lagos State government.
Imagine the damage the lion would have caused if it had escaped from its cage. Since the issue became public knowledge, the whereabouts of the owner remain unknown. The fact remains that the lion did not stray from a zoo to the residence. It has been established that someone actually brought it to the residence. Perhaps, the owner might have fled Nigeria.
If that is the case, how did it happen? Between November 19 and December 7 is long enough to know how the man developed wings and flew out of the country or at least tell us his name and a few things about him.
After all, the apartment he rented, paid for and kept the lion was not paid for by a ghost. I learnt some of those working for the man were arrested. Are we going to use them as scapegoats and allow the main culprit to go with the intention that anything goes here?
It’s high time we named and shamed the man who put the lives of hundreds of his neighbours at risk for at least two years by keeping a lion as a pet. Another person may try a similar thing and we may not be this lucky. This is the danger of bad precedence.
World Bank warning: Will anything change?
n Monday, global financial institution – the World Bank, released a very damning report, warning that as Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declines, poverty will be on the increase.
According to the international financial institution, headquartered in Washington DC, United States, and which provides loans and grants to the governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects, the main problem the world’s most populous black nation is facing, is that uncontrolled population growth is outpacing economic growth.
In its Nigeria Economic Update (NEU) report released by the global financial institution in Abuja on Monday, the World Bank said: “With economic growth expected to remain below the estimated population growth of 2.6 per cent through 2021, per capita real GDP will decline from $2,485 in 2018 to $2,460 by 2021, pushing more Nigerians into poverty.”
“Population growth is expected to continue exceeding economic growth, undermining Nigeria’s prospects for poverty reduction.”
Incidentally, in the late 80s former military President Ibrahim Babangida was aware of this problem for the nation and consequently came up with a simple solution – encouraging families to limiting them to just four children!
Unfortunately, a serious backlash from conservatries both religious and traditionalists meant that the suggestion never really gained traction.
Our failure to take action then has led to the situation we have found ourselves in now, which has further been highlighted by the World Bank.
The situation has become so dire that in June Nigeria was officially dubbed “the poverty capital of the world” by ‘The World Poverty Clock’, which said we have overtaken India in that dubious regard.
The report said then: “The struggle to lift more citizens out of extreme poverty is an indictment on successive Nigerian governments which have mismanaged the country’s vast oil riches through incompetence and corruption”.
Since then, nothing concrete has been done by those at the helm at affairs to stem the slide or even show that The World Poverty Clock writers that they would put them to shame.
Instead, it has been business as usual with government officials not seemingly bothered by the tag.
In fact, Monday’s World Bank report further showed the kind of people we are when it said that money in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) had almost “been exhausted, rendering Nigeria more vulnerable to shocks.”
The NEU report stated that “the account balance on June 30 was $0.1 billion, down from $0.6 billion at the end of 2018 and $2.5 billion at the end of 2017.”
The World Bank lamented that the “ECA has rarely operated as envisaged; when it was established in 2004.” It explained that that the account “was to be drawn on only when the actual crude oil price falls below the budget benchmark price for three consecutive months.”
Ironically, state governments had kicked against the creation of ECA on the grounds that the Federal Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2007 was not binding on them and local governments.
In 2011, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Act came into being, thus, establishing the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) as the oil savings fund for the country. It has three ring-fenced funds (future generations, infrastructure, and stabilisation), jointly owned by the three tiers of government.
The stabilisation fund, like the ECA, is to support federation revenue in times of economic stress. It was envisaged that the balance in the ECA in 2011 would be transferred to the fund. Instead, in 2012, seed capital of only $1.5 billion was transferred. In addition, another $0.5 billion in 2017 and another $250 million recently.
But like most things in this country it has been repeatedly abused as noted by the World Bank, which said savings had drastically dwindled.
Incidentally, Norway, which is also a major oil producing nation, and with a much smaller population than Nigeria’s, 5.2 million compared to the West African nation’s 200 million, started her own fund in 1990 to invest the surplus revenues of the Norwegian petroleum sector.
It now has over $1 trillion in assets, including 1.4% of global stocks and shares, making it the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.
This means that in the event that their main natural resource eventually runs dry they (Norway) have more than enough funds to continue to enjoy the way of life they have become used to.
Sadly, if our previous records are anything to go by, nothing is expected to change here because ironically some of the most vociferous opponents of the Sovereign Trust Fund and who often pressurised the central government hand over money to them when they were governors are now the ones formulating policies in government.
And with such mind-set will certainly not have suddenly become proponents of financial discipline.
Desolately, had the monies they armed twisted the federal government in releasing to them from the (SWTF) had been put to good use, the people would have been the major beneficiaries of better hospitals, roads and other social and infrastructural amenities.
Instead, we have been treated to continued reports of the massive sleaze that many governors, past and present, have been accused of carrying out.
The same government that has been touting its successes in the agric sector, especially with the direct intervention of the Central Bank, have also been called into question by the World Bank report.
“CBN financing schemes for the agriculture sector and forex restrictions designed to reduce imports of staple foods will continue to support the sector, but will affect the quality and increase the price of agricultural produce,” it said.
The report warned that “with little growth in agriculture and few opportunities elsewhere, agricultural labour productivity is expected to stagnate, failing to improve the living standards of the 40 million Nigerians it employs.”
Government and politicians have refused to show that they are not only worried by the reports but are ready to tackle the issue head on by setting examples by cutting down on wastages and their humongous salaries and allowances.
The present government has said that it is committed to lifting more than 100 million Nigerians out of poverty without explaining in concrete terms, how they intend to make this happen.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, once again insisted that poverty eradication as key to attaining sustainable development, saying that it is an issue the Federal Government will remain committed to.
Mohammed, who made this known in Abuja at the Quarterly Public Lecture of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), said: attaining sustainable development is in line with fulfilling Buhari’s promise to lift “100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years”.
Since 1999 every successive civilian government has been promising the people El Dorado and yet leave them worse off than how they met them.
As things stand, it is clear that unless a miracle happens, or the people finally decide that they have had enough and will ensure that their votes do ultimately count, things will not change any time soon.
Where is honour in marriage?
he word ‘Honour’ according to dictionary refers to something that is morally right, has respect, honesty, dignity and pride.
If we agree that God is honourable and that everything he created is good, then, we must admit that marriage, (his creation) is an honourable thing.
Marriage is not man’s idea. It was a creation of God in Genesis chapter 2. After originating marriage, God provided the rules of engagement in the Holy Bible, the word of God. Every brand new car comes with a manufacturer’s manual. Any attempt to operate the car outside the guidelines of the manual can create problems. In the same vein, any attempt to operate marriage outside the provisions of the word of God leaves you with a marital crisis to contend with.
The fact that you were born a few decades ago and you are alive today is a miracle. There are many people that came into this world with you and aspired to get honoured by getting married to a life partner. They did not live to see it happen. So, if you have gotten someone to marry and you are about to do so, or you are already married to someone, you are honoured.
When you get admitted into the marital institution, you become a socially and spiritually honourable person. If the admission was gotten through malpractices such as fornication, coercion, unwanted pregnancy and so on, the honour gets deflated and a seed of uncertainty and possible marital crisis is sown.
“Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
“Man that is in honour and understandeth not is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:20).
How I wish you appreciate the great honour God has done to you by giving you someone to marry. Please, take good care of your spouse.
When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. Ignorance and wrong perceptions about marriage is largely responsible for the growing failure rate in the marital institution. Ignorance and wrong perceptions have been more destructive to this institution than economic situations. Today, most of our young men and ladies take marriage for granted and jump into this lifetime journey based on naive judgements, without any enquiries or even mental preparedness, as if it is a joke. They then, jump out shortly afterwards or stay in a problem that is avoidable in marital relationship, throwing away the honour in marriage.
As a single person that aspires to get married someday, if you want your marriage to be outstanding, you must seek some level of understanding of this honourable institution before you enrol in this university that has no graduation date.
Today, many young people have the ambition or desire to get married and be successful in marriage. Ironically, many of them are not interested in gathering information or researching on this subject. If you are single and intend to have a joyful marriage but you are not interested in reading marriage books, attending marriage seminars or even interacting with the married, to gather experiences, you are deceiving yourself. You don’t even want to know what the Bible says about marriage? Sorry!
There are too many things you need to understand about marriage before you embark on premarital relationship. You need to understand God’s prescribed procedures and processes of choosing a life partner. Is courtship and engagement possible without sin of fornication? How? What about the viruses that can ensure failure in marriage such as wrong orientation or mentality, addiction to public opinion, disobedience to God’s word, bad habit, religious ignorance and so on?
What kinds of development could possibly turn an honourable wedding into a dishonourable marriage or marital life?
If you jump into marriage without understanding, you will distort your destiny, deny yourself of the associated honour, gains and favour that God has packaged for you, and expose yourself to unnecessary hardship.
As a married person, you must begin to see your spouse as an honourable gift that God has in his mercy, given to you. A lot of things that your spouse could do that offends you, might not annoy you or mean anything to you if you have understanding that he or she is an honourable gift from God.
If you are a wife and you are not submissive to your husband as expected by God, you are playing the beast in the marital institution. If you are a husband and you are not showing love to your wife, you are playing the beast in the marital institution.
“Man that is in honour and understandeth not is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:20).
“Nevertheless, man being in honour abideth not is like beats that perish” (Psalm 49:12).
This implies that seeking to break your marital vow is a beastly act. If you are not abiding, it is a beastly act. If you are maltreating your spouse physically, spiritually or emotionally, where is honour in your marriage? If you are operating in the marital institution outside the biblical instructions that guide marriage, where is the honour in your marriage?
You might have made up your mind not to get married for simple reason that you saw marriages collapse, or tried marriage before and it failed. Now, you may have to explain to me whether you will resolve not to build a house because people’s houses collapsed. Will you abstain from buying a car because cars have recorded road accidents? You will have to tell me whether you will stop investing money in business just because businesses failed in the past. Will you commit suicide because other people are dying every day?
Marriage is full of honour. Discover and understand the honourable nature and features before going into the marital institution. If you are married, maintain the honour that God has given to you in marriage and your marriage shall be a blessing and a testimony in Jesus name.
When a blood clot block lung arteries (Pulmonary embolism)
The scene Miss UV had to embark on a 12- hour automobile ride to the nearest local airport due to the turn around maintenance being embarked on at one near her residence.
It was indeed a stress laden journey aggravated by the poor state of the roads.
She was to catch a 10-hour flight to another part of the world. She went through about 22 hours of restricted mobility!
Just minutes after disembarking she felt a sudden chest pain, shortness of breath and cough, then a blackout.
Paramedics came to the rescue…their efforts paid off and she was eventually resuscitated at the hospital, several others are not that lucky as they lose their lives in the process.
What it is A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot in the lung. The clot usually forms in smaller vessels in the leg, pelvis, arms, or heart, but occasionally the clot can be large.
It prevents oxygen from reaching the tissues of the lungs. This means it can be life-threatening.
The word “embolism” comes from the Greek émbolos, meaning “stopper” or “plug.”
In a pulmonary embolism, the embolus, forms in one part of the body, it circulates throughout the blood supply, and then it blocks the blood flowing through a vessel in another part of the body, namely the lungs.
An embolus is different from a thrombus, which forms and stays in one place.
When a clot forms in the large veins of the legs or arms, it is referred to as a deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
The pulmonary embolism occurs when part or all of the DVT breaks away and travels through the blood in the veins and lodges in the lungs.
The clot travels through the vessels of the lung continuing to reach smaller ves sels until it becomes wedged in a vessel that is too small to allow it to continue further.
The clot blocks all or some of the blood from traveling to that section of the lung.
These blockages result in areas in the lung where the disruption of blood flow does not allow the carbon dioxide waste to be delivered to the air sacs for removal (ventilation).
• Immobility: A stroke, broken bone, or spinal cord injury can result in confinement to bed so that clot formation can occur in either the arms or legs.
• Travel: Prolonged travel, such as sitting in an airplane or a long car trip, allows the blood to sit in the legs and increases the risk of clot formation.
• Recent surgery; it is often associated with immobility and sometimes vessel damage depending on the surgery
• Trauma or injury (especially to the legs)
• Heart disease (such as an irregular heartbeat)
• Previous history of blood clot in the legs (DVTs) or pulmonary embolism Conditions that increase clotting of the blood
• Estrogen therapy and oral contraceptives Symptoms
• chest pain, a sharp, stabbing pain that might become worse when breathing in
• increased or irregular heartbeat
• difficulty catching breath, which may develop either suddenly or over time
• rapid breathing
• a cough, normally dry but possibly with blood, or blood and mucus More severe cases may result in shock, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, and death.
Recognizing Pulmonary embolism Doctors may suspect a blood clot if any of the above symptoms occur in someone who has or recently had a swollen or painful arm or leg or who has any of the risk factors listed previously.
Check your legs for any signs or symptoms of DVT, such as swollen areas, pain or tenderness, increased warmth in swollen or painful areas, or red or discolored skin.
In addition, several other tests are requested by the doctor to back up the definitive diagnosis of a suspected case.
When to seek help If a person experiences any type of chest pain, he should go or have someone take him/her to the nearest hospital’s emergency department immediately; this is the way to go.
It is better to be too careful than being care free! Treatment Doctors prescribe medications and other supportive measures. In some cases, surgery may be indicated.
Prevention You can reduce your risk of pulmonary embolism by doing things that help prevent blood clots in your legs.
• Avoid sitting for long periods. Get up and walk around every hour or so, or flex your feet often.
• Get moving as soon as you can after surgery.
• When you travel, drink extra fluids, but avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
• Wear anti-embolism compression stockings to compress the legs when on a long trip.
• Physical activity, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and giving up or avoiding smoking tobacco. Advice
• Take all medicines as prescribed, and have tests done as your doctor advises.
• Discuss with your doctor before taking blood-thinning medicines with any other medicines, including over-the-counter products.
Over-the-counter aspirin, for example, can thin the blood. Taking two medicines that thin your blood may increase the risk of bleeding.
• Foods rich in vitamin K can affect how well the drug works. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and some oils, such as soybean oil.
It’s best to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
• Once you’ve had Pulmonary embolism (with or without deep vein thrombosis (DVT)), you’re at higher risk of having the condition again.
During treatment and after, continue to take steps to prevent DVT
Curbing violence during elections in Nigeria
Democracy is the preferred system of government all over the world because it provides the people an opportunity to elect the leaders of their choice.
Democracy is about freedom of choice, and that choice must be made by the people in an atmosphere devoid of violence, intimidation and harassment.
This is why I strongly condemn the violence during elections generally in Nigeria, especially during the recent governorship polls in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Humanity is diminished when innocent lives are lost before, during and after elections.
Democracy and violence have nothing in common.
Desperate politicians who want to win elections at all cost arm unemployed youths to cause mayhem while their own children are safely kept abroad.
I believe that any politician who has the intention to render service to the people will not kill the same people to get to power.
It is rather unfortunate that no single individual has been prosecuted for electoral violence since 1999 when Nigeria returned from military rule to civil government, and this has given the perpetrators the boldness to continue the evil act.
This is why government must revisit the recommendation of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Panel on the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission to prosecute perpetrators of violence during elections.
I also believe that the introduction of electronic voting system will drastically reduce violence during our elections.
Elections in Nigeria must be devoid of violence and the people must exercise their franchise in an atmosphere of peace.
Nigeria should send a clear message to the international community that it is ready to sustain and deepen democracy by conducting violence-free elections.
•Osikhekha is a 200-Level student of Mass Communication at the Babcock University, Ilisan Remo, Ogun State.
Edo: The vultures flock to the prey
St John Clarke
Criticism is a popular sport in Nigeria. The art, if it can be so-called, requires no special gifts or any particular training, for that matter. It has no regulating guild and a lack of qualification can debar no one from participating in what sometimes looks like a national pastime. What you require most, is an obsession with a cause, a crisis or in many instances, a huge load of prejudice, professionally disguised as public or community interest.
The unravelling political impasse in Edo State has continued to attract comments, both helpful and unhelpful. However, vultures are now flocking to the prey. Interventions like that of Kassim Afegbua have in particular also been a distraction and have done nothing but set the pot boiling. Fortunately his partisanship on the matter at hand is difficult to conceal or misread: We concede that Kassim Afegbua’s free ranging professional genius can adopt causes and briefs even without a contract or proper briefing.
Afegbua has issued a somewhat magisterial sounding statement on the crises in Edo State. It is ponderously titled Edo’s Political Conundrum. Even though Afegbua’s effort pretends to be an analysis of the Edo crisis, it is essentially a vicious and partisan attack on the quality and contributions of the Obaseki years. It is thus better to engage the analysis with the understanding that the presentation is an attempt by a prodigal associate of Oshiomhole to feather the nest of his political father. This rhetorical health warning is an important precursor to any unbiased appreciation of Afegbua’s philosophical drift. It is worth recalling that Kassim Afegbua was for example part of Oshiomhole’s government in 2016. He served as Commissioner for Information and Orientation. However even though Afegbua has since parted ways with Oshiomhole he more than most, understands the authoritarian streak in Oshiomhole and has sometimes called attention to this. Afegbua’s portrait of Oshiomhole is understandably composite and sometimes confusing. In an interview with Adekunbi Ero of Tell Magazine some 11 months ago, he said this of Oshiomhole
“I will rather he allows the incumbent governor the opportunity to be his own man and take full responsibility for his actions and inactions. That’s the way to go. Once anyone meddles into the affairs of a governor, he or she carries part of the blame. I see a lot of friction coming but like one adage in my village says, if you have sacrificed a rabbit for the gods, you remove your hands from its tail.’
Afegbua in the same interview issued a warning to Comrade Oshiomhole thus:
“My quarrel with Oshiomhole is knowing when and where to apply the brakes when confronted with a political disagreement. Leaders are called leaders because of certain qualities in them that are not in others. If you fight against godfatherism on the one hand and exhibit all traits of godfatherism on the other hand; your followers won’t take you seriously.’
This stiff-necked authoritarianism, correctly identified earlier, as the root of the Edo crisis, now gets no mention in Afegbua’s latest prognosis of the difficulties in Edo. Seized by what looks like residual partisan loyalty, Afegbua has instead attacked Governor Godwin Obaseki for being able to consolidate on the gains of the Oshiomhole years. Some of the arguments leading to this conclusion are weak and sometimes laughable. Afegbua bellyaches about Governor Obaseki’s inability or refusal to tar township roads in his native Okpella, and in Freudian slip reveals that this same neglect was one of the reasons he was alienated from Oshiomhole’s government. Afegbua went on to grouse about decay in infrastructure; in health and education and flood control under Obaseki. It is a massive portfolio of grievances, and in compound terms, contained extremely unreliable and sometimes ignorant charges.
Afegbua has posited rather lamely, that if Edo State under Obaseki could not employ 400 additional teachers how could the Obaseki government claimed to have created 157,000 new jobs. Coming from Afegbua this is a grave intellectual howler. It is shocking that he associates job creation with the effort by government to directly employ people. Job creation is activated when government through public provisions opens up the economic space for business to prosper. The orthodoxy which required government to involve itself in business is now old hat. Those who can remember, will recall that Ogbemudia, perhaps our most famous son and ruler, established over 72 government businesses. Most of them were wiped out by experiential contradictions. That way is no longer the preferred route. Afegbua is invited to kindly note this. We can also bear witness to the fact that it was this same attitude of regarding the service as a welfare haven rather than a tool for expanding social good, that has landed most states in their present unsustainable condition. Recurrent expenditure has risen exponentially in relation to gravely capital provisions. This is a danger of which a technocrat like Obaseki is well aware, and laboured along with Oshiomhole to establish an equitable capital/recurrent expenditure ratio.
The charge by Afegbua that 2,520 teachers interviewed by Oshiomhole are yet to be employed under Obaseki is of little consequence. Protocols and observances require to be fulfilled before hiring is perfected. In any case, funding is an important consideration, and it is worth reflecting on what might have disabled Oshiomhole from perfecting the appointments himself. A Warri proverb says that, “When you have identified a hurdle on the highway in the daytime, you do not require illumination to avoid it at night.” No excuses, but Obaseki’s circumspection on these matters is perfectly justifiable.
But perhaps Afegbua’s most bizarre turn was his charge that insecurity in the state had risen citing the recent kidnap of a judge in the state as an indication of how badly things have gone wrong. This is clearly in violence of the understanding that security is on the exclusive list and that no residual responsibilities devolve on the state.
These arguments will continue to animate public discussions for as long as we remain active political animals. But neither the insincerity of Afegbua’s laboured prognosis nor the partisan computations of rival gangs can deny the real achievements of the Obaseki government. The reconstruction of several government buildings including the secretariat in Benin stand out.
The secretariat is one the more iconic structures in Central Benin. It has remained neglected by government after government and ultimately became an architectural scar on the face of the city scape. Other institutions such as the Benin Technical College, the Ogbe Stadium and Ekpoma township roads have also received robust attention. These recitations are essentially banal and are only deployed in response to Afegbua’s irrational denunciation of a government he regards as hostile.
Afegbua’s unreasonable impatience is typified in his disgruntlement that a Gelegele-Okpella Road, which he said Obaseki adopted as a blueprint has remained undeveloped. The project if it really was an Obaseki initiative, would require a bit of time to be realised. Oshiomhole’s Airport Road pet project covered a mere seven kilometres and was an urban initiative. It took Oshiomhole 20 months and several variations and reverses to complete. Afegbua watched patiently and saw nothing wrong. Benin-Okpella is stretch of 190 kilometres and Obaseki is only three years in office. Yet Afegbua is already straining at the leashes! With people like this, Governor Obaseki can put no foot right. Whatever goes on, Obaseki is damned!
But the citizens and residents know better. The violence which threatens to arise from the ongoing political crisis is alien to Obaseki’s nature and family environment. A technocrat and man of considerable refinement, Obaseki prefers debate and dialogue to threats and coercion. Those who seek war must look beyond and outside him. There is still a chance that peace will prevail and that people like Afegbua, no stranger to ideological somersaults, can still find accommodation in Obaseki’s large heart.
•Clarke writes from Abuja
Where are the Awoists?
Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo, GCFR, was born on March 6, 1909 in Ikenne, Ogun State, Western Nigeria and died on May 9, 1987. He attended various schools including Baptist Boy’s High School, Oke-Egunya, Abeokuta; he then became a teacher in Abeokuta. Following his education at Wesley College, Ibadan in 1927, he enrolled at the University of London as an external student and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (Hons).
He went to the United Kingdom in 1944 to study at the University of London and was called to the Bar by the honorable society of the inner temple on November 19, 1946. He founded the Nigerian Tribune in 1949 at Adeoyo, Ibadan as a private Nigerian newspaper, which he used to spread nationalist consciousness among Nigerians.Nigerian Tribune is still publishing in Nigeria. Chief Awolowo was Nigeria’s foremost Federalist. He advocated Federalism as the only basis for equitable national integration. As the leader of the Action Group party he led the damans for a federal constitution which was introduced in 1954 Lyttle Constitution, following primarily the model proposed by the Western Region Delegation led by him.
He was first Premier of Western Region. He proved to be and was viewed as a man of vision and a dynamic administrator. He introduced free primary education for all in Western Region and free health care for children. He established the first television station in Africa in 1959 and the Oduduwa Group of Companies. He built the first skyscraper called Cocoa House in Ibadan and the Liberty Stadium also in Ibadan.
When Chief Awolowo was alive, a group of young Nigerians called themselves ‘AWOISTS’ to feather their political interest. A few of them were columnists in the Nigerian Tribune newspaper. One of them became the Governor of Oyo State later in his life. Many of them got federal and state government appointments, especially when Chief Awolowo was the Vice Chairman of Federal Executive Council under General Yakubu Gowon.
After the death of Chief Awolowo, many of these so-called Awoists, thin away from weekly journey to Ikenne. Only a few of them kept fate with Mama H.I.D Awolowo.
As soon as Mama H.I.D Awolowo too passed to the great beyond, the so-called Awoists were nowhere to be found. That is human nature for you.
Many of the so-called Awoists did not imbibe the culture and nature of Chief Awolowo. All the three children of Chief Awolowo I know (they do not know me) attended public schools, like other children in Western Region as soon as free primary education started. Even though the first private primary school in Ibadan was just across the road to the residence of the Awolowos, instead, they attended N.A. Teachers Training Practicing School Oke-Ado, Ibadan. Chief Awolowo did not employ a private teacher for his children, Tola, Tokunbo and Oluwole. The three of them always trek from Oke-Ado near Ibadan Boys High School to Oke-Bola, Seventh day Adventist primary school under Mrs. Ogunsola and trek back after lessons.
Mama H.I.D Awolowo would come and check the progress of her wards. I remembered day the ball we were playing off the field and stopped between Mrs. Ogunsola and Mama H.I.D’s legs. We were afraid to go and get the ball. Mama H.I.D Awolowo threw the ball to us on the field. Her remark that day is still ringing in my ear. She said, “We may not know Thunder Balogun may arise amongst these children.”
When Chief Awolowo’s contemporaries were celebrating their joy of becoming billionaires, he celebrated 25 years of free education in Western Region.
Many of his contemporaries were not remembered again in history. But, free education introduced by Chief Awolowo continues to put him forward as the real Asiwaju of the Yoruba.
•Dr. Ajai writes from Lagos.
What sanctions for sex between consenting adults?
I should think that this revolution in sexuality and its manifestations in Nigeria are getting out of hands. Sex is a great staple in human affairs and excites great amount of interest and emotions whenever it is in issue. Sex revolution comes with social changes as happened with several cultures and at different epochs. The United States had its sex revolution in the 1960s when the young and the not-too-young seized the moment to experiment with sex especially in the entertainment industry.
But I doubt if the manifestations we are currently seeing in this sex revolution in Nigeria were the case in the United States. History records those hip-hop music stars, boxers and wrestlers, etc. dressing in weird ways and freely engaging the opposite sexes in sexual relationships became the custom and tradition. It was also during that period in the 1960s that the craze for large families by way of couples having many children otherwise called the “baby-boomers” was a fad. History did not record that those that lived this cultural revolution engaged in rape, incest, paedophile, etc. as has become the case in Nigerian since year 2000. The sex revolution in Nigeria is becoming something that even history will be ashamed to record as the social history of Nigeria.
The stories that have saturated the electronic and print media were, and still are stories that rend the heart in perversity and depress the soul. In one case, a father impregnates the daughter, or ward such as a maid or 60-year-old man defiled a 7 years old child and the list goes on interminably.
The academic communities of Nigeria are not spared as this sex revolution has seized it as it should ordinarily. Chukwuemeka Ike in Toads for Super rightly captured the freedom to live as humans in the twilight of colonial and newly independent Nigeria using the university people in freely expressing their sexuality as opposed to the reserved traditional cultural background of various Nigerian ethnic communities that regarded sex as merely means of procreation and not recreation.
Now, one of the major problems confronting universities in Nigeria is the corruption of the academic culture and environment. Sex is now used as a means to achieve advancement or promotion in academic matters such as a student getting a good or better grade or admissions in exchange for sexual favours. It has happened in Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Lagos, etc. This unhealthy exchange between a lecturer and his student is unlawful. Sexual relationship should ordinarily be freely contracted and broken off at will except when such has been concertized in legal marriage which is a contract that can only be annulled or dissolved upon the happening of certain prescribed events or circumstances or conditions between the parties which only the courts can determine. We do not even want to broach the idea of “free love” as postulated by some Marxist sociologists who dreamt of the world experiencing a period when men and women like other animals like dogs, fowls, goats, cows, etc. freely engage in unrestrained and unreserved sexual relationships without preconditions.
Sex between consenting adults is a freedom arising from the fundamental rights to associate; to privacy; to human dignity and expression of conscience. So, where consenting adults agree and engage in sex there can be no sanctions for their actions in realisation of that object of their desires. But the decision to relate and have sex must be free of all corruptive circumstances such as fraud, coercion, oppression, duress or intimidation. Where it is tainted with any of the above conditions or such like, then the relationship and the subsequent act of sexual relation becomes an offence or crime punishable under the laws. But so long the actions leading to sexual relationship and the actual sex were not tainted with any or all of the above conditions the law is helpless because the law presumes that the consenting adults in the sex relationship are eminently qualified to make that decisions for themselves regardless of the opinions of others no matter their moral standpoints or reservations.
It is in the light of the foregoing; it was with consternation that one reads the story about an undergraduate student in one of the country’s universities who impregnated his lecturer and the school authority reacted by summoning him before a disciplinary committee which punished him with expulsion from the school. This punishment is clearly improper. The news report did not carry the full facts of the case except as stated that the undergraduates whose university was not mentioned had been punished with expulsion for impregnating his lecturer. In the report, the boy protested his innocence declaring that the female lecturer lured him, threatened him and finally blackmailed him to have sex with her even to the point of requesting that she be impregnated.
I would not know what offence the undergraduate committed if the facts as presented be the true representation of their relationship? Is the offence as considered, determined and punished because the ‘victim’ is a lecturer? Or that a student is prohibited by law not to relate with his lecturer or to have sex with her? If such be the case, then such must be a bad law. Sex between consenting adults whether the parties are lecturers and students cannot be an offence unless it is shown that it was not consensual or that the relationship and the sexual act were fainted with fraud, duress, intimidation or blackmail, and in that case it becomes rape. But once it is free from any of the above stated condition the student and the lecturer are free to engage themselves in sexual relationship and there can be no sanctions for that relationship because it is their fundamental right to so relate.
We must acknowledge that Nigeria is undergoing a very trying period in its history when so many factors have conspired to render Nigeria “ungovernable” and the society in an irredeemable social ferment but descending to the level of lawlessness in handling the outcomes of ordinary social relations is certainly to kill a fly with a sledge hammer in the guise of fighting corruption as this unnamed citadel of knowledge was trying so hard but in a very wrong way to prove. Let no one make an offence out that which can certainly be no offence in law, public morality and common sense.
In conclusion, we urge the university that handed down the sanction against the student to rescind it. To us, considering the fact presented in the report, the victim was the student and not the lecturer as she did not report she was raped or forced under coercion or fraud to contract the sexual relationship with the poor boy. If anything, it is the female lecturer that should be punished for deceiving the hapless boy into a sexual relationship she knew all along was experimental. Perhaps, she has been married but had been unable to conceive a pregnancy hence she contracted this poor boy to experiment to prove her fertility. And just when her experiment proved positive she now turned round to throw away her specimen and instruments used in the successful experiment because they have served their purposes.
This is callous and amoral but the university must not allow itself to be so cheaply used by a desperate and unconscionable woman. For the umpteenth time, sex between consenting adults is no offence.
Its Time to do more
By Edward Onoja
The 2019 Kogi State Gubernatorial Elections have come and gone.We thank the Almighty God and our good people on the reelection of Governor Yahaya Bello for a second term in office, with me as his Deputy.
Throughout the campaigns His Excellency premised his request for a second term on the promise to do more and as his loyal follower I echo that resolve. However, the 2nd term starts after Inauguration on the 27th of January, 2020. Till then, our determination and duty is to serve out this current term as strongly and as successfully as possible.
As at today, neither His Excellency nor myself have any other desire other than completing our existing mandate with excellence and then improving on our performance in the one to come. In fact, the serious business of providing good governance to the people of Kogi State has since commenced.
I do not have anything against destiny but God-given destiny is an honour which no man takes upon himself. In fact, destiny is a ‘shy spirit’ which likes to hide itself. It has a way of meeting a man while he is engaged in his dutiful routine of today while doing everything to evade those who go running around looking for it.
One of my favourite Bible characters, is David. The story of how he became King of Israel when nobody, including his father, gave him a chance is a classic tale of destiny finding and uplifting somebody while totally writing off others.
David was away in the fields doing his normal job of tending sheep when destiny came in the form of Prophet Samuel to anoint a king from among the sons of Jesse, his father. After they did everything to push the prophet to anoint another person, he discovered the family had a last son whom they did not even believe had any glory in his future. Prophet Samuel directed them to fetch David and immediately he arrived the Holy Spirit identified him for the job and the rest is history.
The point I am trying to make here is that I, Edward DAVID son of Onoja, am not in agreement with those who have started ‘seeing a bison’ for 2023 and making provocative permutations for me. 2023 is a river, when we get to it God will show us how to cross it. For now, allow me to settle down and do the current job my boss has assigned to me.
Permit me to ask, can any of us tell what will happen tomorrow? As a Believer, I have learnt never to be ahead of the One who sees the hidden things of the dark and who owns the future. It’s the fastest way to truncating ones destiny.
Henceforth, I will walk out anyone who visits me and so much as mentions plans for a 2023 project that no mortal has control over. ..Not even the next moment can you guarantee!
I pray the souls of those who passed on before, during and after the Elections Rest In Peace. I equally thank God for sparing the life of my wife and many others from the bullets of hired mercenaries.
Let me use this medium to send a reply to those who have started peddling rumours of an imaginary rift between me and my boss. These victims of a febrile imagination are pathetic. If they don’t say His Excellency is angry with Edward, they will say Edward has fallen out with H.E, or both. ”Dem swear for some people?”. How do they come up with such barefaced lies?
I consider it the worst form of disrespect and a devious act for me to ever be at loggerheads with my boss. Yes, His Excellency calls me his Siamese Twin brother and yes, he grants me grand and unfettered access to his person and counsel, but till I die, I will NEVER take that for granted and I will consider these as privileges to be nurtured, but NOT rights to be demanded.
For the records, there is only one Governor in the whole of Kogi State and that is none other than His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello.The rest of us in the New Direction Administration are co-labourers he has engaged to join him in this great work. As his helpers, we are expected to work hard and conform to the norms of teamwork.
The laws of the land clearly indicate that in governing the state none of us can ever become the Governor’s equal in authority, much less confront him in disagreement. Any unruliness or deviation is to be handled with alacrity, while anyone whose assignment is concluded is let go.
So, let it be clear to those who are carrying rumours of a quarrel between my boss and I , that their devilish desires will perish with themselves. As God Almighty lives, they will never live to see any division between His Excellency and I, as I know my place and I am professionally inclined to observe my bounds per time.
My boss, my Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has my undiluted love and respect forever. As for his own love for me, I have discovered that the more my stewardship increases in faithfulness to him, the more his love for me increases. In that case, the magic formula for me is simple – to increase my loyalty, competence and capacity more and more.
Fortunately, both His Excellency and myself are Godly politicians. After the unprecedented victories we have enjoyed from the Almighty, what do we have to quarrel about? We have broken records. Who else has seen the startling margins we have recorded in Kogi State before?
We started our electoral dominance from the Lokoja/Koto federal constituency by-election in August 2018 in which APC polled 26,860 to the paltry 14,845 votes received by our closest rival, the PDP.
The next test of our acceptance came in the 2019 General Elections and by God’s grace, we came forth in flying colours. We effortlessly delivered President Buhari who bested Atiku Abubakar of the PDP with over 80,000 votes in Kogi State alone.
After that we executed a decisive takeover of the national and state legislative apparatus of Kogi State with a historic win. 2 out of 3 Senators, 7 out of 9 House of Representatives members and 25 out of 25 House of Assembly members swelled the ranks of the APC after that elections.
We proceeded to the Elections Tribunal and made a clean sweep of the 3 Senatorial seats in the state as Senator Smart Adeyemi dislodged former Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP who the courts agreed got it initially by foul means.
With this grand chronicle of achievements under the leadership of His Excellency and our head tactician, all we have is gratitude. We have no room, reason or time to quarrel. I am even more loyal and humble in service to my boss now than ever before and my boss has become even more generous and magnanimous to me.
I also hear that some busybodies claim that I am not happy with my promotion to the exalted office of Deputy Governor of Kogi State. In their minds, I would have preferred to remain in my former office as the Chief of Staff to the Governor…please can you breathe the other way? Your ignorance is bleaching my hair!
Let me state without equivocation that, I am ecstatic to be addressed as, His Excellency, Edward David Onoja, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State even when mere mortals thought I was too small for the office! They lobbied my ’Oga’ to bring ‘more qualified individuals’, but “God pass them”. I am forever grateful to my boss for finding me worthy of elevation to the number 2 position in our state. How can I ever find it in me to nurse anger or resentment against such a destiny helper?
Yes, I diligently did my job and held my head high as Chief of Staff to the Governor. It is always like that when you work with a people developer like Governor Yahaya Bello. With leaders like Governor Yahaya Bello, every position filled is a masterclass in leadership selection but he must first find you worthy and trustworthy.
Another thing is that my position today is the biggest commendation ever for my performance in my former office. If I did poorly, will my boss elevate me? Who promotes somebody who failed them to a higher office?
My relationship with His Excellency dates back to 2003 in the North Central City of Markurdi in Benue State. Neither of us suspected that 16 years later we will be saddled by the Almighty God Himself with the Herculean task of building a United Kogi State characterised by Peace, Progress and Prosperity.
Detractors who are trying to chop down this mighty iroko today by plucking off a few fruits and leaves here and there are wasting their time. Our roots go down to the bedrock of divine favour and human labour. I am amazed myself at the length the Almighty God has gone to preserve us and the assignment He has given us.
My friendly warning to our would-be foes is to repent and desist. Without exception, every single hand which has risen against us on this journey have turned leprous and made the owners outcasts in society. One funny fellow once declared that ‘anybody fighting Bello is fighting God’. I believed him and I have been properly guided since then. Sadly, he did not believe himself and after getting himself into too many troubles in his vain attempts to fight us, he was finally and spectacularly disgraced from relevance and reckoning just last weekend.
As for those who have begun to lobby for offices in the coming dispensation, just note that there is nothing wrong with that one but if your strategy is to bad mouth others with fabricated lies and all manner of falsehoods, do yourself a favor and evaluate yourself first. What did you better than others in the last 4 years, including your performance at the polls. Just to avoid heartbreak o.
“The lines are fallen unto us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage.” Psalms 16:6.
Finally, let us remember that God has indeed blessed us as a state but it is in our hands to make or mar our destiny.
It’s Time To Do More!
ONOJA EDWARD DAVID (CIK)
Olimene Attah Igala.
Deputy Governor,Kogi State
Social media: Its technicalities, intricacies
t’s not anymore news that the electronic media sector has graciously welcomed another section in its day-to-day operations known as the social media otherwise referred to as the “new media”.
In recent times, the social media have seemingly dominated the information world. It is conspicuously distinct from other existing media networks – including the print and broadcasting – in various ways.
For instance, it operates in a dialogic transmission mode – many sources to many receivers – in contrast to print and electronic media that operate under a monologic transmission mode, one source to many receivers. It can simultaneously connect as many sources and receivers as possible.
There are numerous positive roles of social media networking in nation building. Though it’s a relatively new advancement in technology, it has made the world seem like just a minute clan owing to its ability to simultaneously connect millions of people from different localities across the globe, as well as spread news within a shortest time frame.
Hence, it makes information go viral that it could be assessed from any locality. It enables one to reconnect with his/her old time friend or schoolmate. In addition, it helps people to stay connected to each other at all times.
Social networking is a great way to meet entirely new individuals and entities. One can easily discover persons or groups that are into his social/business interests. Online dating is currently more common than the traditional pattern of dating, and it’s worthy of note that many happily married couples today met online.
On the other hand, social media is at the moment the fastest and easiest way to promote goods and services; and it gives such products a different dazzling look, thereby encouraging the audience to patronize them.
Entertainers these days don’t need to be on television/radio before they could be heard; they can globally market their brands online with ease. The most fascinating part of it remains that the brand in question would be known by countless countries within a twinkle of an eye.
The social media equally helps to catch and convict criminals. People are usually ignorant of the consequences of what they post online. Often times they post, albeit ignorantly, pictures or videos of themselves doing illicit things. In the same vein, they also place bragging posts regarding various ‘minor’ crimes they have committed.
The law enforcement agencies invariably visit these sites towards fishing out the bad eggs as well as to trace a suspected culprit. The sites also assist the agencies while prosecuting any suspect in their custody.
However, it’s imperative to note that there are equally negative impacts of social media on mankind and the society at large. There are several falsehoods on various social media platforms; such information or propaganda can stir up panic and severe misinformation in the affected area.
For instance, in the just concluded 2019 general election in the country, the social media was deeply involved in misinforming the people as regards collation cum announcement of election results which remains the statutory obligation of the electoral umpire, thereby overheating the polity.
Although it helps to start new relationships, it had on the contrary succeeded in ruining or terminating various other existing relationships. The ability to easily share people’s privacy, such as nude pictures and videos, on social sites has constituted several nuisances in people’s real life. It suffices to say that it puts trust to a limit.
Cyber bullying is not left out. Having access to people’s lives at all times is not encouraging, because such avenue helps many online fraudsters to lure their potential victims into their net, hence taking advantage of their vulnerability.
Sometime in 2012, one Miss Cynthia Osokogu was reportedly cajoled to a hotel room via social media. At the said venue, she was brutally gang raped and therein murdered by the fraudsters. Similarly, people are duped through social networking under the guise of ‘buying and selling’. The fact that you are not seeing who you are conversing with is enough reason to worry.
Prospective employers use the social media to scrutinize, and consequently discriminate their intending employees. They would delve into the profile of the jobseeker and by so doing, would acquire all the needed private information about him or her.
Employers always use this mechanism to their advantage and in most cases, to the detriment of the applicant. Among all, one of the greatest plights attached to the social media remains that people are fast becoming addicted to it. This kind of craze causes a lot of distractions for people in their respective fields of endeavour.
On the other hand, most people while conveying messages on social media prefer using symbols, smileys, abbreviations or what have you, to writing words in full. This syndrome has gone a long way in causing a great decline in the people’s grammatical ability.
Hacking is another worrisome factor that can’t be overlooked while discussing the social media. Internet hackers can intercept your account under a certain guise or by gaining access to your password. Considering that most users of the social media aren’t professionals indicates that people are liable to constantly fall victim.
It would be ideal to regulate the day-to-day usage of the social media with a view to sustaining decency and legality. All stakeholders to include families, communities, schools and religious bodies are required in implementing the proposed regulation.
Aside legislation, the leadership of the above key institutions can institute a law binding the users of social media within their respective jurisdictions. The parents/guardians, for instance, can determine when and where cell phones should be used by their wards. Self-control will also help to avert several misfortunes that could befall the users of the platform.
Above all, individuals, groups and corporate organisations are advised to maintain a complicated password on their various accounts and endeavour to change it regularly, to avoid hacking.
The social media is undoubtedly a viable and remarkable platform for all forms of communication and information dissemination, hence its existence needs to be upheld.
However, the intrigues, intricacies, technicalities as well as technologies of the platform call for holistic caution and wisdom while deploying its use. Think about it!
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