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Why border closure should continue

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Why border closure should continue

So many comments have been advanced in favour and against the justification for the closure of Nigerian borders with her neighbouring countries. But to a large extent, it is observed that majority of the criticisms were borne out of political consideration instead of genuine intentions that will be in the interest of the generality of the people of this country. For how long do we have to operate as a dependant nation despite availability of both natural and human resources that abound in this country?

It has been the same excuses for government’s abysmal failure to operate optimally since independence to date. If we are jinxed as a nation, what has been the positive effect of plurality of churches and mosques that are ubiquitous in Nigeria?

One would have thought that the intervention of the military into the political space of this nation starting from 1966 would have made a difference for the fortune of this country. But what did we experience? It was a time that there was availability of resources in quantum. Alas! The then limitless resources were squandered through lack of administrative know-how and ingenuity of the military whose primary training is protection of territorial boarders of this country. One is not too young not to remember former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, who was said to have attested to the fact that the only problem with Nigeria then was not lack of money, but how to spend it!

If the then petrol-dollars accruable to the nation was justifiably managed by the military juntas in government, the present sorry state of the nation would not be her plight. The foundation of this nation was not founded on a rock; that’s one of the reasons we are not getting things right in this country. If the foundation of a house is not solid, there is no need to submit that its fall will be like a pack of cards. Another significant undoing of this nation was that time was when the country became an experimental theatre for inexperienced military juntas who seized political power by force. These military boys were too young when providence placed them in the position of running the affairs of this country. They were ruling by decrees and edicts. Woe betides whoever had the effrontery to challenge the excesses of the military governments then.

If the successive governments right from Independence to date have been alive to their statutory responsibilities in rowing the boat of this nation, our plight wouldn’t have been likened to five metres forward and the same backward which resultant effect is a state of inertia as it is being witnessed in Nigeria to date. Everything is upside down. We are not getting anything right because of the ineptitude approach of the nation’s political leaders to governance and the governed pungent lack of patriotism in virtually all ramifications. Is it not strange that Nigerians are suffering in the midst of plenty? Despite the fact that there are uncultivated, but cultivable lands across Nigeria, we are still not able to feed ourselves. We all rely on importation of goods ranging from toothpicks and matches to anything one can think of. This is balderdash! Any nation that absolutely depends on importation for her needs cannot be said to have holistic independence like ours.

It is a pity that the Nigerian nationalists sacrificed economic independence for its political version. The thought that has been running riot in my mind just like other discerning elements in this country is the rationale behind the nation having so many universities and polytechnics without any known history of invention since independence! Or what is the primary motive for establishing a university if not to advance the course of knowledge? Our universities should put on their thinking caps by engendering technological revolution that will serve the immediate needs of this nation.

There is a steel rolling mill in Osogbo which primarily should aid technological revolution in this nation. But it is sad that corruption which has pervaded the entire sphere of the nation has contributed to its becoming moribund. Strangely, the steel rolling mill, which ought to be the pride of the nation, had long been sold to an individual through dubious privatisation process which has turned the place to a cement warehouse! The plight of the machine tool company, also in Osogbo, which was also said to have been sold to an individual during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration is also not different as nothing is going on there since it was bought about two decades ago.

For having the political will to close the nation’s neighbouring countries for economic consideration, President Mohammed Buhari has broken a monumental jinx in this country; the positive effect of which will be a blessing to the socio-economic development of this nation in the long run. Things may seem to be difficult at the onset for the people of this country through the borders’ closure. With perseverance, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Political gladiators should desist from politicising the development as it’s a metaphorical labour pain needed before a new baby is welcome.

We should take a cue from India which used to be one of the poorest nations on earth. With the determination of her leaders to remove the linen of under-development, India, today, has joined other developed countries of the world. India does not use what it cannot produce. It produces its mobile phones, dresses, vehicles etc. My appeal to Nigerians is to help President Buhari in his genuine determination to earn economic independence for this nation. On this note, President Buhari should tarry with the closure of our neighbouring borders in the overall economic interest of the people of this country.

  • Olabisi, a journalist, social commentator and political analyst, writes from Osogbo, Osun State.
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Katharina Hom

    November 13, 2019 at 6:30 am

    very cool

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Opinions

Benue Rep donates four-year salary to constituents

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Benue Rep donates four-year salary to constituents

A member of the House of Representatives, representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadigbo federal constituency of Benue State, Hon. Francis Otta Agbo, has pleaded with the Federal Government to address the neglect of his constituency in the area of infrastructure and federal appointments.
This is even as he donated his four-year salary to his constituents who are widows and orphans, to help ameliorate their plight.
Agbo made the disclosure on Monday, in Abuja during an interactive session with a delegation of Ijigban/Ulayi/Ekile Communities of Ado Local government area of Benue State, led by Hon. Emmanuel Ogaba.
He regretted that though over one million of Ijigban/Ekile/ Ulayi people were contributing immensely to the economy of the state, they remained the most neglected, in terms of infrastructure and employment in the state and federal civil service.
“I want to use this medium to tell the world, how marginalised we are. The whole world should know that the Nigerian state has forgotten the Ulayi, Ekile and Ijigban communities,” he said.

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#RevolutionIsNow: Sowore and DSS many alibis

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#RevolutionIsNow: Sowore and DSS many alibis

I

n an uncanny sense of exhilaration, but with deep concerns for the health of Nigeria’s polity, I was hoping that the Department of State Services (DSS) would “mess” with Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

That was on Thursday, December 5, 2019, when the judge ordered that Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare be freed within 24 hours, topping the directive with a fine of N100,000.

A proverb of the Esan people in Edo State says, “It’s not on its own volition that the palm kernel produces oil.” And as the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulopo-Kuti, would intone, “khaki no bi leather.”

 

The Justice Ojukwu order wasn’t one for the DSS to forum-shop for interpretation. It’s absolute, decisive, distinct, explicit and obvious, and pregnant with dire payback. Pronto, the DSS released Sowore and Bakare, and also paid the fine.

Sowore, publisher of online Sahara Reporters and a presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, was arrested on August 3, 2019, two days to the “#DaysofRage” he had called for August 5, to advance his #RevolutionIsNow protests.

 

He was charged with treasonable felony, for allegedly attempting, in the mode of the recent Sudanese revolution, to bring down the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Thursday, December 5, marked 125 days that Sowore had spent in detention, exceeding the 45 days the court had allowed, and within the period, a couple of courts had granted him bail, which the DSS had spurned.

 

It had been excuses from the DSS: It’s either the defendant hadn’t met his bail bond; his sureties didn’t show up to pick him; or they didn’t submit themselves for vetting: all in attempts to subvert the court orders, and the rule of law.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, who’s Sowore’s lawyer, said that at the end of August 2019, he had compiled a list containing 32 court orders disobeyed by the Nigerian government.

 

In an interview, Falana said: “It doesn’t lie in the mouth of an attorney general or the president of a country to choose and pick which orders of court to obey. When you do that, you are reducing the status of the country to a banana republic.”

This was the situation on December 5 when the DSS came before Justice Ojukwu, and spun another alibi on why it couldn’t release Sowore: It prayed the court for an order to remind him at the Correctional Centre (Prison) in Lagos.

 

Rightly, the request, on the back of prior order the DSS ignored, touched a raw nerve in the judge, who ruled unequivocally, that Sowore be released within 24 hours, and with proof of compliance.

Considering previous disobedience to court orders, I had looked forward to the DSS, headed by Mr. Yusuf Bichi, conjuring a fresh excuse to shun the directive. But that wasn’t to be, as it had complied with the court order.

 

Then came Friday, December 6, and the prosecution and defence lawyers confirmed the DSS compliance, prompting Justice Ojukwu to praise the service, saying, “it was obvious they had demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law.”

To the judge: “No one is above the law. Those called to govern citizens, in the discharge of what is considered to be their statutory duties, must at all times conform with the rule of law. That is the path to greatness. The DSS has earned themselves the respect of the Nigerian citizens and all the arms of government.”

But unknown to Justice Ojukwu, who had adjourned the trial to the 11th, 12th and 13th of February 2020, for definite hearing, the DSS had yet an ace to play, swooping on the court, to re-arrest Sowore and Bakare for undisclosed “fresh charges.”

There’s pandemonium, as it became a tug-of-war between the DSS operatives and supporters to have custody of Sowore, who alleged an attempt on his life in a “choke-hold” by the operatives.

 

With the sounds of cocking guns, and Sowore supporters daring the operatives to “shoot,” the judge, lawyers and officials fled the court to avoid collateral fatalities from stray bullets.

 

Save the resistance from their supporters, and intervention by Mr. Falana, the DSS operatives were prepared to drag Sowore and Bakare from the court premises they had thus desecrated.

 

Falana had to chaperon them from the hallowed grounds, and out of the entrance gate, from where an operative, behind the wheel of Falana’s car, drove the defendants to the secret police office.

The DSS melodrama has willy nilly firmed the belief that the Buhari government is intolerant of opposing views, and is out to silence its critics by “unlawful” arrest, detention, arraignment, and flouting of court orders to free them.

Or is the government not aware of the antics of the DSS, whose Director General, Mr. Bichi, and his operatives are acting in the name of the State, and President Buhari’s?

 

Officials of government regularly blame the global community, and international organisations, “for distorting and/or spreading false news about happenings in Nigeria.”

Below are excerpts from some of these bodies on the Sowore saga: The Amnesty International has declared Sowore and Bakare, and a journalist, Agba Jalingo, as “prisoners of conscience.”

 

“When we see cases of injustice like this, it’s important to bring the world’s attention to it,” said the organisation’s Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho, who told the CNN “it’s important that the world stands to demand” unconditional release of the detainees.

 

Similarly, The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and prominent figures, including Amal Clooney, co-president of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, have condemned Sowore’s arrest and continued detention.

“It is outrageous that Nigeria continues to imprison a journalist and presidential candidate after a court has ordered his release,” Clooney said, adding that, “TrialWatch will continue to monitor Mr. Sowore’s trial and calls on the authorities to implement the court’s order as soon as possible.”

 

This was before the Friday, December 6 “show of shame” inside the Federal High Court in Abuja. Will the government deny the social media live-streamed incident, and label it as a propaganda piece by outside conspirators?

 

The government maybe treating the Sowore matter as a flash in the pan, juxtaposed with the Col. Sambo Dasuki and Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky years-long cases and incarceration. But it’s a little excreta that soils the anus!

It’s time to halt the DSS escapades, before they did more damage to the image of President Buhari and his government, which should realise that disobedience to court orders destroys the foundation upon which the rule of law and democracy rest.

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Rooting for science with humanity

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This work stems from Mahatma Gandhi’s description of the seven social sins of the world. They include wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, religion without sacrifice, and politics without principles.

 

 

However, this paper focuses on the 5th social sin which he called ‘Science without humanity’. Butcher (2015) stated that Mahatma Gandhi believed that humankind was advancing in science much faster than our ability to understand the deadly consequences of unbridled technology, especially in the area of weaponry. Weapons technology keeps advancing faster than the morality about how to use them.

 

 

Mahatma Gandhi sought to explain how human beings are being ruthless and wicked in the use of various devices. He argued that science is quite beneficial to man but without humanity it is dangerous and does not promote human advancement. He further explained that science does not change our attitude, character or beliefs.

 

Persico (2013) argues that science never did and will never have a heart. It has no humanity. The scientific method does not use any system of ethics or morality to determine its direction and goals. Humanity is the moral compass we need to guide us in the usage of technology.

 

Also, in this paper, there would be an evaluation of science with humanity beyond what Ghandi stated on science without humanity. Science deals with laws and ‘humanity’ is from the Latin word ‘humanitas’ which stands for “human nature, kindness.” Humanity includes all the humans, but it can also refer to the kind feelings humans often have for each other. Thus we would be evaluating on the need for us (as Christians) to deal with our fellow humans with humanity irrespective of what the law says or what is expected of us.

 

There would be an explanation on the various instances where the law should be compromised as a result of our compassion or love for others. Sometimes people are meant to receive a particular punishment or judgement as a result of their actions and in other cases, people should be pardoned. For example, in 1 Samuel 26, where David spared Saul even when he was supposed to kill him is a perfect example of science with humanity. David spared Saul as a result of his fear for God. He said ‘And David said to Abishai, destroy him not, for who can put his hand against Jehovah’s anointed and be guiltless’ (1Samuel 26:9).

 

Also, in Exodus 2:5-10, the daughter of King Pharaoh saved Moses when she saw him in the river. She didn’t care about the law that her father had passed. She only felt compassion for the crying baby and rescued him. She demonstrated science with humanity.

 

Thus, as Christians, the bible should guide our humanity which would deal with our daily activities involving the way we use technology. God instructs us to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:31) because ‘love covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Peter 4:8). Thus if we love our neighbours as we love ourselves, we would not think of bringing harm or discomfort to them. We would deal with them compassionately. We would work for benefit of one other instead of seeking to destroy each other. It is important that as Christians we are conscious of the fact that we are ambassadors of Christ and this consciousness should guide our daily lives and interactions with people.

 

 

• Neenma is a student of the Redeemer’s University

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Could the private sector fill Nigeria’s $31bn annual infrastructure gap?

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Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola recently commissioned public roads built by a private citizen, Chief Ade-Ojo. For decades, Nigerians have looked up to the government to provide necessary infrastructures. But things seem to be changing, at least following Fashola’s call on private citizens to supplement state efforts. Nigeria has an enormous infrastructure deficit that would require annual spending of at least $31 billion and the government is already neck-deep in debt.

 

According to the World Bank, the country’s infrastructure deficit may reach a whopping $878 billion by 2040. A viable way for Nigeria to fill this gap in infrastructure in light of the rising debt, as advised by Fashola, would be through the support of individuals and corporations.

 

Should Nigerians, however, take to building public infrastructures, it would not be the first time such help is rendered by non-state bodies. Unleashing the powers of the private sector through infrastructure investment, meanwhile, is a part of development stories in the west.

 

In 1896, Nikola Tesla built a hydroelectricity power station at Niagara Falls in order to provide public electricity for New York City. Thirteen years earlier, Thomas Edison commissioned the first public electricity project in the world while inspiring the first hydropower station built by another American businessman, H.J Rogers on the Fox River in Wisconsin. Many of the railroads and steel bridges in America were built in like manner by private citizens.

 

Similarly, though, Public-Private Partnerships in the United Kingdom (UK) has led to the private sector investing £56 billion in 700 UK infrastructure projects. With the huge infrastructure deficit in Nigeria, there is a lot of room for private capital investments.

 

The importance of private participation in state-building should not be lost. But now that private university founders like Chief Ade-Ojo are venturing into building public roads, too, it is instructive to note that the oldest private university in Nigeria started in 1999.

 

Whereas, in 20 years, 79 private universities have been built in Nigeria. The private sector has built 36 more universities since 1999 than all 43 federal universities built since 1914. Clearly, there is no doubt that with the right policy environment, this feat can be replicated in building roads, seaports, railways, power supply, and other hard infrastructures.

 

As we have seen with the new private universities, financial institutions, and entertainment outlets, job creation is a dependable outcome when private corporations invest in an endeavour. Investing in hard infrastructure could provide thousands of jobs that would, in turn, help the average household income, which is currently appalling. These investments could accelerate Nigeria’s industrialization.

 

Meanwhile, Nigerians should do away with the wrong premise that the government has unlimited wealth at its disposal, hence it should assume all development responsibilities. This would only encourage indiscriminate state borrowing, which would accelerate. Not only does the borrowed funds lead the country into a huge debt burden over time, but it is also susceptible to be embezzled or diverted by officials when it is aplenty. Nigeria’s debt profile is already a staggering N25 trillion.

 

We would not want to blow that over. Private sector investments in infrastructure, nonetheless, provides a healthy alternative to borrowing.

 

With the private sector complementing the state in infrastructural developments, the government can focus more on creating an enabling environment and increasing funding for other necessities like education and health. Indeed, Nigerians need to change their view on the role of the government in development. Moving the country forward is everyone’s homework.

 

•Feyisade Charles Adeyemi is a writing fellow at African Liberty and a lecturer at Elizade University. He is on Twitter @Thisischale.

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Tightening the screws on Sex Offenders

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The recently launched National Sex Offender Register in Nigeria is a welcome development, considering the fact that ‘one in four women is sexually abused in the country and worse still, before they attain the age of 18,’ as extrapolated from UNICEF. Even at that, this statistics seems a mere tip of the iceberg, as we, as a people, have not been good at keeping accurate records of these heinous criminals who should be named and shamed. Also in operation in the United Kingdom, this Register contains the details of anyone convicted, cautioned or released from prison for sexual offences.

 

As at last year, 2018, about 60,000 sex offenders were registered. They are legally required to register with the police within three days of their conviction, or release from prison – and must continue to do so, on an annual basis. This is to guide against repeated sex offenders. Of importance, too, is the Sarah’s Law, named after eight-year-old Sarah Payne, who was abducted and then murdered by sex offenders

.

 

This law allows UK parents to find out if a child sex offender lives in their area. More so, if someone on the Register wants to start a new relationship, there are certain conditions that must be met, these conditions becoming more stringent if any of the lovebirds are coming into the relationship with children.

 

Now to Nigeria: This new measure is a step in the right direction, however, keeping an overstocked database of those convicted of sex crimes is one thing, and prosecuting these criminals, another. It has been established by the United Nations Children Agency, UNICEF, that majority of cases involving sexual abuse in the country are not prosecuted, thereby, giving the heartless perpetrators a free rein to intensify their atrocious acts. Now is the time to put our money where our mouth is.

 

We must ensure that we keep a clean slate of the past and checkmate our country’s evergrowing sex offenders anytime they violate the rights of our young girls. Where they are sent to jail to serve as a deterrent, that punishment in effect, should serve as their just deserts rather than be given a cozied, comfortable or stress-free incarceration because they are acquainted to the prosecuting judge or able to navigate the barefaced lacunae bedevilling our criminal justice system.

 

It is also high time we took sex violence serious and rewrite or abrogate certain sections of our Penal Codes which covertly encourage rape, spousal abuse and sex violence. Take, for instance, Section 282(2) of our penal code, where it is spelt out inter alia, that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape if she has attained puberty.

 

This provision is to me, defective and in fact, ostensibly allows for the defiling of teenage girls, as the honourable drafters of the Code simply ignores the age of puberty, usually 14; and rather concentrates on the all-encompassing banner of ‘wife.’

 

Also check out the poisonous fangs of the Northern Nigeria Penal Code, Section 55(1) (d), which provides that nothing is an offence which is done by a husband for the purpose of correcting his wife…where the drafters did not specify which ‘offence’ needs correction nor did they care a hoot about what is ‘correction’ and in what manner or fashion can it be gauged.

 

They goofed and they know it. Even, the Vagrancy Law which has for close to a decade ceased from being in operation in the country is still being used by morallybankrupt and skirt-sniffing law enforcement officers to railroad innocent girls to jail for ‘wandering,’ if they fail to ‘play ball’ or surrender their bodies for rape.

 

The nitty-gritty here, is that while the newly launched Sex Offenders Register is a desideratum albeit arriving belatedly considering the excruciating pains our young girls had been subjected to over the years, there should be a rewording or even an abrogation of these Codes which, in their harshness, could drive our numerous teenage girls and baby-wives onto the streets and into the trap nets of these evil and conscienceless sex offenders. It will be preposterous and clearly beyond the realms of the ridiculous for anyone to begin to argue about the concept of Retroactive Law, in that the law had not been in operation in 2015 when these people committed the sexual offence.

 

This SHOULD NOT be the case. Finally, while I applaud the newly-introduced national Sex Offender Register, there should be no garland yet for Sadiya Farouq, Nigeria’s Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, as we have just initiated our first faltering steps; and for that very reason, not yet Uhuru.

 

 

•Martins Agbonlahor is a trained lawyer and lives in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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Perspectives

Where is the lion’s owner?

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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.

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Perspectives

World Bank warning: Will anything change?

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World Bank warning: Will anything change?

 

 

O

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.

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Perspectives

Where is honour in marriage?

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Where is honour in marriage?

T

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.

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Perspectives

When a blood clot block lung arteries (Pulmonary embolism)

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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).

 

Causes

 

• 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)

 

• Obesity

 

• Heart disease (such as an irregular heartbeat)

 

• Burns

 

 

• Previous history of blood clot in the legs (DVTs) or pulmonary embolism Conditions that increase clotting of the blood

 

• Pregnancy

 

 

• Cancer

 

• Estrogen therapy and oral contraceptives Symptoms

 

 

• chest pain, a sharp, stabbing pain that might become worse when breathing in

 

 

• increased or irregular heartbeat

 

• dizziness

 

• 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

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Opinions

Curbing violence during elections in Nigeria

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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.

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