Omoloye Sowore’s Arc From A Political Rebel To A Politician

 

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My high school classmates asked me to “profile holistically the pedigree of this man Omoloye Sowore” and why Nigerians should stand with him in 2019. Justifiably, like millions of Nigerians, they are skeptical of politicians. Experience has taught Nigerians to see politics as a crooked business. Nigerians fear that Sowore will become as greedy as politicians and should rather stay an activist, “shouting from the outside”. These Nigerians are genuinely worried that the system is so corrupt that Sowore will be changed. They are right, but what if Sowore is different? What if he succeeds?

Before we get to his success, let’s go back to his “holistic profile”. Sowore, was born in 1971 and hails from Ondo State. He is a graduate of University of Lagos and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University, New York, United States. He was a student union leader who stood against military rule; was jailed, and has remained in the forefront of the struggle for democracy and good governance in Nigeria. As well as being the founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoloye Sowore teaches Modern History at the University of New York.  He has been a powerful activist over the last 25 years – on the street, in the media, at police stations and in the face of corrupt bloody power. Continue reading “Omoloye Sowore’s Arc From A Political Rebel To A Politician”

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FFK Stabbed Nnamdi Kanu, Betrayed IPOB And Kissed Kwankwaso

Deciet

In Chinua Achebe’s classic, the Arrow of God, Obika, one of the sons of the chief priest of Ulu, Ezeulu, was whipped by a white man in the marketplace. Ezeulu was so furious with his son to the point of almost cursing him before he held himself back. He later lamented that “…stranger (the white man) can whip a son of mine and go unscathed because my son has nailed up his ear against my words.” He added that “…were it not so… I would have swallowed him (the white man) whole and brought him up again. I would have shaved his head without wetting the hair.”

For years, I have been warning Ndigbo to be wary of Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), but my brothers nailed their ears against my words. Now, FFK has stabbed my Supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the back and whipped him and his IPOB supporters mercilessly and proceeded to kiss Kwankwaso, a “northerner”. If not that I had warned Ndigbo that FFK is a loud-mouthed terrorist bent on destroying us, I would have shaved FFK’s hair and banned him from smoking weed, forever. FKK twisted the minds of a generation of Ndigbo towards hating the north and Hausa-Fulanis only to turn around and embrace the same north. What a hypocrite, what a betrayer. Continue reading “FFK Stabbed Nnamdi Kanu, Betrayed IPOB And Kissed Kwankwaso”

Atiku + Saraki = The PDP’s Corrosive Suitcase Billionaires

Atiku Saraki 3Galvanic corrosion can occur when two different metals are located together in a liquid electrolyte such as salt water. The type of metal and the PH of the electrolyte determines the form and rate of corrosion. While pure iron corrodes quickly, stainless steel, which combines iron and other alloys is slower to corrode. In Nigeria, the rate of social and moral corrosion is catalyzed by the conglomeration of pure-iron-like Atiku, Saraki, Ekweremadu, Akpabio, Dino, James Ibori etc., in the political electrolyte called the PDP. Regrettably, the PDP apologists will hurl abuse and threaten to kill anyone that dares to challenge these suitcase billionaires they see as mini-gods.

It is good that Nigerians are conscious of the failures of Buhari’s government over the last 3 years. The APC administration failed in its promise to fight corruption, but embracing the suitcase billionaires in PDP is tantamount to political a suicide. Pause for a moment, forget Buhari’s caricature of fighting corruption for a minute if you can and think, deeply, of where a combination of Atiku, Saraki, Ekweremadu, Akpabio, Ben Bruce, Dino, James Ibori, their political children, and grandchildren will take Nigerian. Continue reading “Atiku + Saraki = The PDP’s Corrosive Suitcase Billionaires”

Dear Keyamo, Stop Blowing The Anus Of APC- A Love Letter

Image result for keyamoDear Keyamo, your intellect appears confused as you continue to lie for the APC, blowing their anus and in the process thrashing your dignity. My people have a saying that an anus is available for blowing a flute, but who wants to blow it? The inept government of the APC bugged down by bureaucratic and political corruption have been sleeping with an itchy anus for three years; they have been wasteful; looting, attracting looters and unable to contain the bloodbath in the country. Faced with the challenge of 2019 elections, they have recruited you, my love, to come and scratch their itchy butts. Don’t you know that you are the one who will wake up with smelly fingers?

Keyamo, I have analyzed a couple of your tweets and concluded that the premise of your involvement in Buharis’s reelection bid, which is the separation of his person from his party, the APC is not only old, it has been tested and proven wrong. Some of us did what you are doing now in the run-up to the 2015 election. Three years on, we have concluded that Mr. President cannot morally claim to be independent of his party when he has been protecting, hosting and dining with characters known for fraud and outright embezzlement. Continue reading “Dear Keyamo, Stop Blowing The Anus Of APC- A Love Letter”

Herders, Christians, Muslims And Farmers: Stronger, Together

Stronger together.In an address, the General Synod of the Church of England in 2014, Fuad Nahdi, the first Muslim to have that honor, expressed the hope that followers of Christ and Prophet Muhammad can be allies. Fuad, a thinker and interfaith activist wished that his “presence in the synod will help [Christians and Muslims] to stand shoulder to shoulder together against the forces that would threaten our shared humanity.” On the question of what will make him consider his life a success, Faud replied, “If I can somehow be involved in reconciling hearts and people. That would make me happy.” 1n 2016, London elected its first ethnic minority and Muslim mayor.

The disposition of some Christians and Muslims to rancor and violence in Nigeria today is a betrayal of our basic faith and humanity. It raises the question of what we consider success in our lives? For the political class; is winning elections more important than the protection of lives and properties of the citizens? For our religious leaders; are you a bridge-builder and peacemaker or are you an enabler of resentment? For the citizens, are you standing shoulder-to-shoulder in brotherhood against the forces that threaten our shared humanity or are you a promoter of bigotry? What do you consider success in life? Continue reading “Herders, Christians, Muslims And Farmers: Stronger, Together”

Senseless Killings: The Political Obituary Of Buhari’s Presidency

buhari-kaduna

After three tumultuous years, Nigerians are entitled to ask what sort of administration, is Buhari’s Presidency? When it comes to the value of human life, is he insensitive, callous, or just incompetent? How could the Nigerian political class, security chiefs, ministers, senators and members of the House of Rep be sleeping peacefully in their hotel rooms guarded by heavily armed security men, while inhabitants at the foot of the plateaus and plains of the savannah are slaughtered by herdsmen and armed bandits? Will these senseless killings herald the political obituary of Buhari’s presidency?

I know I am treading on some very sensitive toes and making some people angry as hell but that does not concern me. What concerns me is the fact that human life is too precious to be wasted in senseless killing, so, I will ask again; what happened to the mentality of Buhari, the Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces and his security chiefs that life has become so cheap in Nigeria? This is an accurate assumption given how easy it for them to move on with life in a country where human lives are destroyed with impunity. Continue reading “Senseless Killings: The Political Obituary Of Buhari’s Presidency”

Biafra Renaissance: Beyond The Frivolous ‘Sit-at-home’ Orthodoxy

Biafra

As we remember the Biafran heroes this 30th of May, 2018, it is important to emphasize that the path to Igbo Renaissance is not in any frivolous “sit-at-home” orthodoxy. The Renaissance of Biafra in Nigeria should simply not be ”hoped for,” as those who are “sitting-at-home” want us to believe. It should be sought through the reassertion of Igbo political and social consciousness in the midst of ever-growing integration in Nigeria. So, IPOB and the promoters of their ideas are once again demonstrating their incapacity to grasp the difference between symbolic and institutional power by ‘siting-at-home’.

Let’s face the fact: The political weight and muscles that IPOB carries today bore little resemblance to what it had once been. The reason is simple: Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB, and their backers lack political competence. They do not know who they can and cannot control; they failed to access the timing of taking actions like “ordering” a boycott of the Anambra governorship election; they failed to identify key allies, but, rather, aligned with wrong political actors like FFK and Fayose who were detrimental to pushing their agenda forward.

Continue reading “Biafra Renaissance: Beyond The Frivolous ‘Sit-at-home’ Orthodoxy”

For Unity, Nigerians Should Stop Seeking Uniformity

Dangote and Otedola

Cultural diversity in Nigeria is not only inescapable but a permanent feature of life. Every day, thousands of Nigerians move (‘migrate’) freely and settle in other parts of the country with different ethnicity, culture and religion. Once there, they join in drinking unclean water; risking their lives on bad roads; paying electricity bills without power; sickening and then dying together. The notion, therefore, that Nigeria of the 21st Century is that in which states, cities and communities will be based on religious and or ethnic homogeneity is outdated and fallacious.

There is no doubt that cultural diversity in Nigeria inevitably comes with both blessings and baggage. But rather than celebrate our blessings, many Nigerians have been seeking to maximize ethnic rivalry, antagonism, and conflicts between different ethnicities. The reality, however, is that irrespective of our ethnicity or religious beliefs, we all share a common humanity, needs, hope, and fears. We, therefore, need to find a way of living with our unresolved philosophical and cultural differences.

Continue reading “For Unity, Nigerians Should Stop Seeking Uniformity”

Bola Tinubu: The Corrupt Mini Deity Of Lagos

When the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cautioned Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu to “stop playing god”, they completely mischaracterized his true identity. Bola Tinubu was not playing god. He is a god, a deity of corruption, and menacing ideas filled with deplorable wisdom and economic practices most foul that he has entrenched himself and his business empire in every facet of governance in Lagos State. Through him and by him, corruption permeates every major revenue generation contract in Lagos State.

Many lonely folks, adrift in the Nigerian political area, keen to get into elective offices are drawn to the mini deity of Lagos. These faithful servants of the mini deity of corruption starting from Fashola to Ambode and Rauf Aregbesola were required to endure a ceremony to join the cult that involved planting a seed of silence in them. Once elected, the seed gradually grew until the transparent system of governance is replaced with rotting contracts and concessions to the controlling deity.

To his credit, this mini deity of Lagos single-handedly rescued Lagos from the impunity of election rigging by Obasanjo in 2003. The courage of Bola Tinubu to stop Obasanjo from entrenching the culture of election rigging in Nigeria is commendable. With the strength of the massive internal revenue being generated in Lagos, Tinubu was able to checkmate Obasanjo. At one point, he was running the state without the Local Government revenue from the Federal government, a feat most states cannot even imagine.

However, the accolade may itself have accounted for much of the arteriosclerosis in his government, with the complete decay of ethics. The cash generated from markets and businesses in Lagos was rechanneled into thousands of private pockets in a fashion that has never happened in the governance of any state in Nigeria, not even the federal government. Mind you, Lagos State is currently the fifth largest economy in Africa. Bola Tinubu thus presents a vivid and frightening picture of how a great state could fall under the control of one man.

If we accept the evidence that the total internally generated tax revenue increased perhaps, several-fold under Tunibu’s re-engineering, then he deserves the credit. But to extract a palm nut is exactly that – to extract a palm nut; to take the entire head of palm nut is stealing. So, taking full control of the revenue being generated in Lagos state for year’s amounts to virtual paralysis in many sectors that need urgent infrastructural development. What is new in Asiwaju’s modus operandi is not the existence of this corruption, but its sheer scale and long-term implications.

A sea-change occurred in the ethics of government under Tinubu’s watch in Lagos. He operated not through the impersonal administration, but rather through, patronage and kinship. Bribery and abuses always occurred in governments, of course. But under Bola Tinubu’s reign, they became the norm: no longer abuses of a system, but an alternative system in itself. Everything was bought and sold: Speaker of the State House, judges’ verdicts and tax assessments. Appointments to the lucrative Council Areas across Lagos became a marketplace of power.

What Tinubu is in Lagos, Bukola Saraki and his family are in Kwara State. These men are quietly constructing a political dynasty that is undermining good governance in their states and Nigeria as a whole. Now, the political structure of the mini deity of Lagos is so superbly sophisticated, with loyalties and ties that cut across the Southwestern Nigeria and the APC federal government. The sale is such that only the unusually brave could stand up against his institutionalized corruption.

Institutionalized corruption in Nigeria is rotten and cancerous, yet attractive. The celebration of an ex-convict by a serving Delta State governor; the worship of corrupt mini deities in Lagos and Kwara State should be a source of worry to Nigerians, especially those of us hoping to engineer cultural change on corruption on social media. Clearly, when it comes to the treatment of the corrupt but powerful deities by law in Nigeria, corruption is a troubled concept.

If not, how could Bola Tinubu label PDP as chronically corrupt (which they are) and at the same time be corruptly enriching himself in Lagos? How could Buhari be using billions of Naira to settle Saraki and Droga and their gang in the National Assembly while pretending to be fighting corruption? How could Alpha Beta, a consultancy firm linked to Tinubu be pocketing about 4 Billion Naira monthly as “consultancy” charges and is in pole position to net additional billions per month (forever and ever) in a recent law on the Land Use Act in Lagos State?

The desire to find answers to these questions should be a starting point in the fight against corruption. Why should Nigerians be dusting their PVC to keep lining up behind these corrupt deities? Where is my generation, the Nigerian youths beating our chest that we are not ‘lazy’ yet willing to kill one another for Ibori, Saraki, Tibubu, Wike, Amaechi, Obasanjo and Buhari?

As if my concern about the corrupt deity of Lagos is not enough, the Senate President Bukola Saraki paid a courtesy visit to EFCC Chairman yesterday, to show “support”, where he was quoted to have said, “we are together in the corruption fight”. Once that came out of his mouth, God wept for Nigeria. But there was a chorus of joy and singing in Aso Rock, where the Presidency shouted “Yessssss!”

Finally, the permutation and combinations of the Presidency for the 2019 race appears to have brought two heavyweights, Asiwaju Tinubu and Bukola Saraki with unmatched “integrity” when it comes to fighting corruption to Buhari’s camp. With these two mini deities of corruption as the face of Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade backed by Kemi Adeosun’s billions of Naira ready to buy the National Assembly and willing politicians, you can only imagine what will be left of Nigeria after the 2019 elections.

I have been told repeatedly that Nigeria is beyond redemption. But only Nigerians who are crazy enough to think they can change the culture of corruption are the ones who will. Even when we are not taking for granted the immense power of the mob behind the mini corrupt deities in Nigeria, we will not give up hope on our generation and posterity. The crazy Nigerians without respect for the status quo will not be deterred. So, stand out, stand up to the mini deities of corruption in Nigeria. Join the misfits and be a rebel for anticorruption struggle in Nigeria.

Together, we can

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

Sell The Refineries Now!

sellPoint: 

The Administration of Muhammadu Buhari will revive our decapitated refineries and re-start domestic production of refined petroleum products. Already, the PH and Warri refineries have given an indication to restart production shortly to meet local demand. Good News!!!

Counterpoint: 

Highly unsustainable. Will lead to inefficient production and a continuation of the culture of corruption. Way to go: Transparently and completely sell all our refineries to oil corporations that understand (and are serious with) the business of crude oil refining. Not a repeat of the “magomago” in the sale of PHCN to incompetent, unprepared and undercapitalized political cronies that for now has crippled the power sector in Nigeria.

@Churchillnnobi