Femi Aribisala: Kingsley Moghalu For President [MUST READ]

In just a few months, Nigerians go once again to the polls to choose our next president. This is the

In just a few months, Nigerians go once again to the polls to choose our next president. This is the opportunity we have to determine our destiny. It is a civic duty that comes only once every four years. Therefore, it must be entered into like a marriage; soberly and with full presence of mind.

Of those who have expressed interest in seeking our vote, one man stands head and shoulders above the rest. That man is Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu.

Moghalu has what it takes to be Nigeria’s next president. He is experienced, but not antediluvian. He is young but not naïve. He is not a lackey of the old guard but not abhorrent to them. He has both a national and an international pedigree. Moreover, he is a visionary, very intelligent and highly driven. He is our very own Emmanuel Macron, a man destined to change the course of Nigeria’s political landscape.

Moghalu is our very own Emmanuel Macron, a man destined to change the course of Nigeria’s political landscape.

With Moghalu’s election as president, certain problems that have bedeviled us of recent will be things of the past. With President Moghalu, there will be no more apologetics for the murderous onslaughts of Fulani herdsmen. As a matter of fact, one of his cardinal policies is to increase the Nigeria Police from its measly 350,000 strength to 1.5 million.

With President Moghalu, there will be no more agitation for the dismemberment of Nigeria. Instead, his very election will heal our wounds and calm frayed nerves. What he proposes is a return to “true federalism.” Says Moghalu: “The political and constitutional structure of Nigeria affects its economic management, in our case in a very negative manner because the potential productivity of the country’s component regions and states is suppressed by the rent-seeking politics to control absolute power at the center and dispense patronage. This is part of why constitutional restructuring for a true federalism is essential.”

With President Moghalu, politics will not overshadow policy. Quoting John F. Kennedy, Moghalu insists: “Politics is too important to be left to the politicians.” He says: “It is time to act on the reality that Nigeria will not achieve economic development and transformation on the current trajectory of its politics. The present political leadership class simply does not have the skills and the background that are fit for purpose. Technocratically competent and visionary political leaders are what it will take to reposition the Nigerian economy for sustainable growth and transformation.”

Kingsley Moghalu first came on my radar when Financial Nigeria flew him to London in 2012 to deliver the keynote address at the Nigeria Development and Finance Forum (NDFF). Then, he presented a lucid paper entitled: “Prospects of Financial Stability in Nigeria and the Links to Economic Transformation.” A year later, I had the distinct privilege of being asked to review his book: “Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s Last Frontier Can Prosper and Matter;” a book that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala describes as “a tour de force on Africa’s transformation.”

As I observed at the time, Moghalu’s Africa is quintessentially African. It is not borrowed. It is not a copycat. It is not stolen. It is not reliant on European blueprints or leftovers. It is endogenously African.

His siren is an African version of Obama’s “yes we can.” Yes, we can transform our economies within a generation. Yes, we can do it without undue reliance on foreign aid. Yes, we can create our own endogenous technology without relying on the pipe-dream of technology transfers. Yes, we can renovate, innovate, and modernize by forming a nexus between politics and economics.

But now, Moghalu’s focus is firmly trained on Nigeria. In a new book, launched just this February 2018, entitled: “Build, Innovate and Grow (BIG): My Vision for Nigeria;” Moghalu presents a blueprint for his bid for the presidency. This new book is quite simply a masterpiece of innovative ideas and policy prescriptions designed to renovate, re-build and grow our economy and polity.

What you get from Moghalu is not politics but policy. That is why he needs to stay well away from the PDP and the APC; odd-jobbers mired in politics without policy. Listen very carefully to the cacophonies emerging from these two major national parties at this crunch moment in our history, and you will discover that there is no policy debate whatsoever; just a bitter and vicious struggle for power and patronage that, in the APC especially, even results in killings and assassinations.

We have had enough of this. The time is long overdue for the likes of Kingsley Moghalu to engineer a hostile takeover of Nigerian politics at the ballot box. We need to forge a new departure. What we need are men and women like Kingsley Mogahalu up and down the ballot in order to build a new Nigerian political class, a new Nigerian political culture and a new Nigerian political future.

The Nigerian electorate must come of age. We cannot continue in the failed tradition of electing leaders who don’t have a clue what government entails in 21st century Nigeria. We need to admit that the failure of government in democratic Nigeria is a failure of the electorate. We have failed to put the right people into power. We have failed to apply wisdom in the voting booth. Instead, we have opted for the stolen-monied, the charlatan, the snake-oil salesmen, the smooth-talking babalawos, and the wise-cracking ethnic jingoists.

It is past time for something different; something avant-garde; something forward-looking; something innovative and imaginative. We need something not mired in the age-old ethnic diatribes, something with a new vision and perspective, something that harnesses the latent potentials of Nigeria into our very own Unbound Prometheus. Says Moghalu: “We must create a rising tide that lifts all boats, not just those of relatives and tribesmen and women.”

Our motto today should be out with the old: in with the young. Out with the politicians: in with the technocrats. Out with the primordial: in with the cutting-edge. Out with the ethnocentric and tribalistic: in with the inclusive and nationalistic.

Look around the world we are in today, the old is making way for the new. Look at the success-stories of the African continent and you will find men and women like Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Ameena Gurib-Fakim of Mauritius. These are the beautiful ones the likes of whom are not yet born on the Nigerian political landscape. Look farther afield and you find dynamic men like Justin Trudeau of Canada, and Emmanuel Macron of France. That is the way of the world today that still remains anathema in Nigeria to our detriment.

Not anymore! Says Moghalu: “An economy cannot be managed to progress that is beyond the vision, capacity and competence of the political leadership, regardless of how many brilliant technical economists abound in a country. If the political leadership lacks vision, is venal and focused on other priorities, sound technocrats can’t achieve very much. Their full potential contribution will be suppressed by political decisions above them, usually taken in caucuses at night in places that are not offices.”

What this means is that Nigeria needs to leap-frog into the 21st century. Our persistence in recycling old cargoes must come to an end. We cannot afford to continue to elect abject failures in the hope that somehow, they will one day succeed. We can no longer afford to elect as president politicians who are sick and ailing. We don’t need famous men who specialize in doing nothing. This is the jet age and Nigeria is lagging too far behind. We must run much faster if we are ever to stand the chance of catching up. We have no business with “go-slow.”

Since our gerontocratic oligarchs have refused to go into voluntary retirement, let us throw them all a send-off party in the 2019 election. Let us elect a completely new slate of leadership more in tune with the yearnings of our 200 million population. With the Asian tigers already on the move, let us release the Nigerian cheetahs and the lions from the reservation. It time to renovate, innovate and be motivated. This giant called Nigeria must be woken up from its 60-year slumber.

With Moghalu, Nigeria will have a president bursting with ideas. Hear him: “The fundamental solutions to our crisis of economic growth and development lie in leadership. Not the politics-as-usual of the past, but a new kind of politics of ideas. It will take this kind of politics to produce the vision and political will to undertake the necessary economic and institutional reforms.”

“It will take this kind of politics to educate and mobilize ordinary Nigerians to new ways of economic transformation and their enlightened, collective self-interest in supporting the creation of a new economic paradigm that dramatically cuts down joblessness and poverty. It takes knowledge, which is the true wealth of nations, to even know where to begin, how to proceed, and the direction in which we should be headed.”

When was the last time you heard a speech by a Nigerian leader that was inspirational? My wife heard Moghalu speaking about his vision for Nigeria for the very first time and was mesmerized. “The man is impressive,” she concluded. This should come as no surprise. Moghalu has the pedigree and experience to bring a new dynamism to Nigerian leadership.

Over the years, he has been involved in academia, economic policy, banking and finance, entrepreneurship, and law and diplomacy. Among other things, he was a Professor of International Business and Public Policy at the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA.

He was also Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009-2014, where he led in the execution of extensive reforms in the Nigerian banking system. Before these, he worked at the United Nations for 17 years, rising to the position of Director.

They thought George Weah could not win, but he is now the President of Liberia. They thought Emmanuel Macron did not have a chance, but he wiped the slate clean and became president of France with a brand-new slate of legislators.

If you are one of those doubting Thomases who thinks competent, honest and industrious men like Moghalu don’t stand a chance in Nigerian politics, just wait and see. As he continues to crisscross the country, holding town hall meetings, engaging the man-in-the-street and laying the foundation for a veritable political revolution, don’t be surprised when in February 2019, after the first run-off election in Nigeria’s political history, Kingsley Moghalu emerges as the new president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Femi Aribisala is an iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos. He is also a syndicated essayist for a handful publications in Nigeria. Connect with him on Twitter at @FemiAribisala and at his website, www.femiaribisala.com.

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Domestic Violence: A Cancer In Nigerian Homes, By Blessing Enenaite

Blessing Enenaite, a poet and activist, explores the subject of domestic violence and abuse, a disturbing trend in Nigerian households.

Blessing Enenaite, a poet and activist, explores the subject of domestic violence and abuse, a disturbing trend in Nigerian households.

Chukwuma was only two years old when he watched his parents in a brawl. And it became a norm which he could not control. During this period, Chukwuma would stare ridiculously whenever his parents fought. At times, Chukwuma will be in between his parents trying to separate them. But his attempt was always insignificant. On a regular basis, Chukwuma’s parents would engage in a free-for-all until neighbours separated them. It became a sort of free entertainment for our neighbourhood as most persons watched without separating the couple. Inasmuch as I was still young then, I assumed that what the couple did was not right.

“At least they should go into their room to fight na” Little me would say back then. Not as if fighting indoors was better, but I assumed it was less shameful. Little me!

Chukwuma’s father did not stop his habit of hitting his wife at every slightest provocation. And Chukwuma’s mother in turn dished out words which were characterized by crass vituperations. It became worse when Chukwuma’s mother was pregnant with her second child. She still received constant beatings to the glaring of onlookers. Chukwuma’s father blamed his wife’s sharp tongue for his actions. When it seemed that Chukwuma’s mother could not bear it again, she reported her husband’s constant assault to her brothers. The situation demanded a family meeting which saw that Chukwuma’s father was called to order. After the meeting, things changed for the better. Life became peaceful for the couple. Chukwuma later had a sister when his mother delivered Amarachi, her second child.

The story above is an explicit example of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence. She suffered for a certain period till she could not endure it anymore. With the intervention of her siblings, peace was restored in her home. Chukwuma’s mother might have survived her case of domestic violence but some have not been too lucky; for they could not stay alive to tell the story.

I have heard of countless cases of domestic violence and I am perplexed by its continuous re-occurrence. Most times, it happens that the suspect would not be thought of to have such tendencies to commit the act. And still, we would go on and on to condemn one more act too many.

It is pertinent to note that women are not the only victims of domestic violence. Despite that, we cannot rule out the fact that women, most times, are at the receiving end. Having said that, what could be the reason for domestic violence? Can we ascribe it to jealousy? Adultery? Bad temper? Upbringing? Low self esteem? Intolerance? Or perhaps incompetency? I think the answer hovers around all these points mentioned in question mark.

A bad temper is usually blamed for an act of domestic violence. Jealousy can drive an individual to a point that he exhibits characters that will be flawed. Adultery can also be a major cause of domestic violence. In addition, low self esteem cannot be ruled out. Stating these facts does not justify the act itself. What about the upbringing of an individual? Cases as that of Chukwuma who grew up watching his parents who were supposed to be his models, exchange words and throw punches, obviously saw it as a normal thing. Until he grows up and unlearn what he has learnt as a child, that memory would serve as a yardstick for his attitudes in life.

I may not be elaborate enough as I try to explain what causes domestic violence. There are so many reasons and its effect in a home actually varies. It can lead to a broken home, children being affected psychologically and low self esteem taking residence in the affected individual.

Blessing Enenaite
Blessing Enenaite

Domestic violence should not be encouraged in any way. No excuse should be given for it. Evidently, it has led to the death of many. The sad case of Ronke Bewaji Shonde is one too many.

So many persons are suffering in silence. While some women are still suffering in silence, most women are now speaking up. It is not African that a man should beat his wife. It does not show his manliness or his sense of worth and authority in his home. Instead, it reduces him into a coward who cannot handle issues without resorting to using his physical strength against a woman. I dare say that some of those men who engage in this ugly act cannot even stand their fellow men in a free-for-all

Domestic violence is a plague that is becoming too rampant in our society. Some things can be controlled and one of them is domestic violence. No matter what your upbringing may be, or the wrong your partner might have done to you, domestic violence can never be the way out. You are causing physical havoc which leads to a greater havoc in your victim’s health, emotional and psychological state. Whatever reasons that makes it to be committed will also spring forth negatively in many diverse ways. Domestic violence does not solve problems. Hence, let it be eschewed before it does more damage to our society.

Prevention entails supporting the implementation of the agreed conclusions of the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) that placed a strong focus on prevention through the promotion of gender equality, women’s empowerment and their enjoyment of human rights.

Blessing Enenaite is a business administration graduate from Delta State University, Abraka. She is a writer who strives on creativity. The recipient of BN Blog’s Young Poet Of The Year Award 2016, Blessing is determined to scale heights in her quest to become a great writer. You can reach her by email HERE.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

The post appeared first on The Trent.

Femi Fani-Kayode: The Sons Of Satan And The Seed Of Beelzebub – Part 1 [MUST READ]

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, Morning Star, Son of the Dawn! How art thou cut down to

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, Morning Star, Son of the Dawn! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”- Isaiah 14.12.

On 4th May 2018 Mr. Layefa Walter wrote the following:

“Please don’t forgot that it was under Buhari’s watch that Nigeria dropped a bomb on refugees at an Internally Displaced People’s (IDP’s) camp in Rann, Borno State and called it a “regrettable operational mistake.” That mistake killed about 250 people. Yes, 250 unarmed Internally displaced people were killed.

Don’t forget that it was under the command of President Buhari that over 400 unarmed Shiites were killed by the Nigerian military. Yes, over 400 unarmed Shiites were killed.

Don’t forget that it was under the supervision of President Buhari that over 300 unarmed IPOB “members” were killed by the Nigerian military. Yes, over 300 unarmed IPOB members killed.

Buhari is a thieving and lying mass murderer: a President who superintendents over the killings of his own citizens. It is a shame!”

Mr. Walter is absolutely right.

And in case anyone is still in any doubt about just how bad things are I urge them to watch a video that went viral on the internet two days ago showing a group of violent and battle-hardened Fulani herdsmen and terrorists in Church choir robes dancing, celebrating and making mockery of Christians whilst brandishing AK47’s in the Church premises after they had slaughtered 2 Catholic clerics and 20 parishioners in Benue State last month.

This is indeed a graphic depiction and an eloquent testimony of a sign of the times. Simply put, we are in a mess.

Meg Barn hit the nail on the head when she said,

“The bitter truth is that Buhari is suffering from bipolar disorder which makes him errorneously believe that he is Nigeria’s Messiah in the day time while at night he is Usman Danfodio fighting a Jihad to complete the work Danfodio could not complete. Buhari is a dangerous psychopath mistakening Nigeria for the 18th century and he’s a re-incarnatiion of another psychopath called Usman Dan Fodio. Impeach Buhari, get him to resign or vote him out! Do what you must but this must be his last tenure”.

Her analysis and conclusions are as apt as they are insightful.

I saw all this coming in 2015 and I warned the nation but sadly few would listen. A few key figures in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government and a handful of others at the highest level of the then ruling party, the PDP, felt that I was going too far.

They were uncomfortable with the fact that I was prepared to speak the bitter truth about Buhari.

Their view was that he was not as bad as I claimed and that he ought to be treated with kid gloves. How wrong they were!

Others made the same mistake in 2016 when they brought the demon called Ali Modu Sheriff to lead our party and I kicked against it. Once again, to their utter shock and chagrin, I was proved right.

The fact of the matter is that the difference between yours truly and others is that I have foresight, insight and the gift of discernment whilst most of them do not. Unlike them, I move in the prophetic. It is a gift from God.

I can see and smell the evil in people long before others do and long before he or she shows their true colours. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit.

That is why I fought so hard and with so much passion against Buhari in 2015 during the presidential election. I was not just fighting for Jonathan but also for my people including the Christians, the Middle Belters and the southerners.

I was fighting for the hundreds of thousands of lives and souls that I knew would be killed and would perish under Buhari if he managed to win power.

I was fighting for the future and soul of our beloved country Nigeria because I had been to the mountain-top and I saw what Buhari had purposed to do.

Yet many, even from our own side during the presidential campaign, sought to rubbish me, discredit me and undermine me and they laughed my passion and zeal to scorn.

Now they know better and they are not laughing anymore. They stopped laughing three months after Buhari was sworn in!

They stopped laughing after he showed his true colors, exposed his fangs and bit them in their soiled posteriors. And they have been living in trepidation and suffering from a Buhari-induced trauma ever since!

Yet the truth is that they have not seen anything yet. The wickedness, persecution, mass murder, violation of civil liberties and human rights, graft, theft, selective justice, ethnic cleansing, genocide, oppression and tyranny that we have witnessed and experienced from Buhari over the last three years is childs play when compared to what he purposes to do to Nigeria and to his perceived enemies if he manages to come back in 2019.

Those that were not comfortable with my approach in 2015 are now crying under their beds like babies and hiding in their wardrobes like the cowards that they are as a conseqience of the calamitious evil that has befallen the entire country.

They don’t talk anymore and they dare not publicly criticise the government out of fear for their lives, safety and liberty.

They cringe, tremble, quiver, beg and crawl on their knees as Buhari and his goons kill our people, terrorise our citizens, burn our Churches, murder our priests, slaughter our women and butcher our children.

They shiver and pray fervently as Buhari maligns and hunts down members of the opposition and bays for the blood of his detractors and perceived enemies like a ravenous beast.

Today they are paying the price for refusing to fight and oppose evil three years ago.

And the bitter truth is that Buhari never came to govern or to lead Nigeria: he came to torment her. Like the devil, he came to kill, steal and destroy. He came to enslave and to demonise.

He came to uproot and to decimate all that is good, clean, decent, edifying and wholesome.

He came to divide Nigeria on regional, ethnic and religious lines.

He came to promote and provoke havoc until we end up being catapulted into a long, cruel, barbaric, horrendous, fratricdal and devastating civil war that will soak our nation from top to toe in blood and turn the entire west-African sub-region into a cauldron of fire.

That is Buhari’s mission and the demons around and within him are lusting and craving to usher in that unprecedented bloodfest and that era of carnage and destruction.

I say shame on all those, particularly the Christians, that encouraged and supported him to come to power.

They must share part of the blame for the great calamity that has befallen our country over the last three years because they supported and prayed a hungry, vengeful, blood-lusting and bitter wolf into the chicken coup in 2015.

They also handed the keys of our national treasury to a certified and trigger-happy armed robber that thrives on giving the world the impression that he is an angel.

The truth is that Buhari did not come to govern. He came to punish the Nigerian people, to destroy his many detractors, to Islamise Nigeria and to entrench, enshrine and establish Fulani supremacy, hegemony and power in perpetuity.

In 2015 everyone in the north knew what he stood for and what he intended to do with power. Worse still they knew what he and his supporters felt about Christians, Middle Belters and southerners because during the presidential election campaign itself they did not hide it.

Anybody, whether Christian or Muslim, that was not prepared to support his candidacy and instead opted to support Jonathan was labelled as a “kaffir”, an “arne”, an “unbeliever”, a “heretic” and a “filthy traitor to Islam” who “hated Muslims and the Muslim cause”.

They said this over and over again from political podium to political podium, from mosque to mosque, from village to village and from town to town all over the north.

Hardest hit and most insulted were the Muslim core northerners who heroically rose above primordial sentiments and supported Jonathan simply because they felt that he was the better man, regardless of his Christian faith and despite the fact that he came from the south.

Buhari’s supporters disdainfully referred to such selfless and patriotic northern progressives and enlightened thinkers as “pastors” even though they knew that they were practising and devout Muslims. They regarded these profoundly good men and women as nothing more than blacklegs and traitors to the northern cause.

This was sad and unfortunate but worse of all was the fact that few were prepared to challenge them and their primitive and myopic world-view, their unacceptable sentiments and beliefs and their irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric.

And to reiterate the point some of Buhari’s supporters articulated what has come to be known and recognised as the ‘Buhari doctrine’ in a way that Buhari himself could not openly and publicly do.

For example let us consider the words of Aliyu Ismaila Gwarzo, a well-known and respected Buhari supporter and a core northern Muslim from Kano.

On October 2nd 2014 he said the following:

”When I say that the Presidency must come to the north next year I am referring to the Hausa-Fulani core north and not any northern Christian or Muslim minority tribe. The Christians in the north such as the Berom, the Tiv, the Kataf, the Jaba, the Zuru, the Sayyawa, the Bachama, the Jukun, the Idoma, the Burra, the Kilba, the Bachama, the Mbula, and all the others are nothing and the Muslim minorities in the north including the Kanuri, the Nupe, the Igbira, the Babur, the Shuwa Arabs, the Marghur, the Bade, the Bura, the Igalla, the Zerma, the Bariba, the Gbari, the Gwari and all the others know that when we are talking about leadership in the north and in Nigeria, Allah has given it to us, the Hausa-Fulani.

They can grumble, moan and groan as much as they want but each time they go into their bedrooms to meet their wives and each time they get on their prayer mats to begin their prayers, it is we the Fulani that they think of, that they fear, that they bow to and that they pray for.

Some of them are even ready to give us their wives and daughters for one nights sport and pleasure. They owe us everything. This is because we gave them Islam through the great Jihad waged by Sheik Uthman Dan Fodio. We also captured Ilorin, killed their local King and installed our Fulani Emir. We took that ancient town away from the barbarian Yoruba and their filthy pagan gods.

We liberated all these places and all these people by imposing Islam on them by force.

It was either the Koran or the sword and most of them chose the Koran. In return for the good works of our forefathers Allah, through the British, gave us Nigeria to rule and to do with as we please. Since 1960 we have been doing that and we intend to continue. The Igbo tried to stop us in 1966 and between 1967 and 1969 they paid a terrible price.

They were brought to heel and since then they have been broken. No Goodluck or anyone else will stop us from taking back our power next year. We will kill, maim, destroy and turn this country into Africa’s biggest war zone and refugee camp if they try it. Many say we are behind Boko Haram. My answer is what do you expect? We do not have economic power or intellectual power. All we have is political power and they want to take even that from us. We must fight and we will fight back in order to keep it. They have brought in the infidels from America and the pigs from Israel to help them but they will fail. The war has just begun, the Mujahadeen are more than ready and by Allah we shall win.

If they don’t want an ISIS in Nigeria then they must give us back the Presidency and our political power. Their soldiers are killing our warriors and our people every day but mark this: even if it takes one hundred years we will have our revenge. Every Fulani man that they kill is a debt that will be repaid even if it takes 100 years. The Fulani have very long memories”.

Gwarzo spoke the mind of millions of hardline conservative Fulani Muslims and reflected the thinking of Buhari and those in his inner circle. This was an excellent enunciation of the Buhari agenda and doctrine. As the British would say, he was “spot on”.

Sadly in 2015 few were prepared to stand up to this irritating and insidious nonsense.

Worse still even fewer were prepared to fly the flag of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into battle and stand up and speak for the Ancient of Days, the Lord of Hosts, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the King of Kings in Nigeria.

As MC Holyman rightly wrote, “what is happening today in Nigeria is a well organised jihad which was planned a long time ago”.

And what we are witnessing today are the fruits of that evil agenda. Consider the following:

On 26th March 2018, Badu Salisu Ahmadu, President of the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) said,

“The time for half measure is not now. Fulani all over are being killed and massacred. In Mambilla, over 1000 Fulani were killed in cold blood…We call on all Fulani to prepare for the Jihad. This is the basis of the anger of the poor people in the north against their political leaders.They are angry that instead of defending the Fulani, they are busy supporting those against Fulani, wining and dining with infidels”.

What more evidence do we need of the insatiable appetite for violence and unconciable bloodlust of these demons in human flesh?

These are indeed the sons of satan and the seed of Beelzebub.

These are indeed the disciples of Lucifer and the servants of the Prince of Hell. (TO BE CONTINUED).

Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He runs a syndicated column on The Trent. He tweets from@realFFK.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

The post Femi Fani-Kayode: The Sons Of Satan And The Seed Of Beelzebub – Part 1 [MUST READ] appeared first on The Trent.

Buhari: A Cat That Can’t Kill Any Mice (READ)

I actually do believe the men in PDP, to an extent, destroyed the country in the 16 years of that

I actually do believe the men in PDP, to an extent, destroyed the country in the 16 years of that party’s rule. And I use “men” advisedly. However, the question that has never been answered, or perhaps has never been asked at all, is: what of the non-pdp states, how did they fare those 16 years? were there reinvented into el-dorado then, or have they evolved into gold-paved cities today? I mean the ANPP, AD, AC, CPC, Labor Party, APGA and ACN states. Did they utilize resources shared to them any better? Did they steal any less?

Perhaps, it might just be that the narrative of corruption in Nigeria is not a PDP issue after all. If it were, Obanikoro would be in jail today. But he is not. He is in APC, which is a jail of some sort, a jail for the soul rather than the body, except that healthy doses of champaign and generous portions of chicken and caviar are served, rather than the usual measly rounds of prison broth. He was once declared wanted by this government for stealing billions. He fled into exile. Came back, joined APC, and attained Nirvana. What a miracle.

I’ve come to that inescapable conclusion that “party” is nothing, gentlemen. What is important is that the cat catches mice. I won’t be bothered if it’s a white cat or a black cat. Once it catches mice, ill cue under rain or shine to print my thumb on the ballot, in affirmation of his ascendency.

However, it won’t be like 2015. If you come to me claiming to be a cat that catches mice, you will show me a dead mouse with your imprint on it. No, you will not steal another cat’s kill and present it as your quarry. Then you’ll bare your claws. We’ll have to see claws to believe you are a cat. No excuses that you just had pedicure or manicure. You will show us proper, homegrown claws. Then you’ll show me your whiskers. You can’t be a cat without whiskers. Ill count them myself. Twelve on each cheek.

And then you’ll meow to my hearing. A distinct feline meow it must be. And no. Coughs will not pass for meows this time around, as it did in 2015.

In other words, you’ll be completely and properly tested by the electorate, before you are elected, not after. You see, we need men of character, of proven integrity, regardless of party. Not in the mold of Buhari, who would stretch out his hands to receive Switzerland’s refund of “Abacha’s loot”, whereas just a few years ago, he himself had denied that Abacha stole a penny from public treasury. Till date, I can’t connect the lines. Brazen double speak.

We don’t need a bipolar personality, who will deny allegations that he is sick, afflicted by prostrate cancer, on the eve of election, only to win and then spend the entire administration abroad treating this same sickness, using public funds. And then funny fellows with bequeathed internet connections, came up with the excellent narrative that he’d been poison with cancer. Poisoned with cancer? That story circulated for a while, with measured aggression, because the purveyors believed not one Nigerian went to school, and would swallow it hook-line-and-sinker. We are all stupid, aren’t we? And did this man not also say he would never seek treatment abroad, if elected? Aha, this promise, as with a thousand others, have been kept…in the breach.

No. We do not need a person who would insist, and even swear on oath, that he has some certificate but when sued to produce it by a young, daring lawyer, promptly proceeds to hire the very best SANs in the entire country, over 10 in number, to file objections to the Suit, preferring to argue jurisdiction rather than file a simple affidavit exhibiting the certificate or a CTC of it, in order to finally lay that issue to rest and save the face of those who innocently staked their name and blood in defense of his touted “integrity”.

Why all the fancy footwork, when a singular erect posture would have sufficed? Does integrity no longer mean rectitude?

And he also said he is a “converted democrat.” So, why is Nigeria sliding into absolute tyranny, under your watch? Why are Court orders flouted at will? Why are people arrested and detained perennially, without trial? Why are those who speak against your government hounded by security operatives?

Why?
Is this what I voted for?
Pure, unadulterated, inner-belly deceit!!
Enough of the games with Nigeria’s destiny!!!
Another Buhari cannot befall us in 2019.

Fidel Albert, a Lagos based legal practitioner, and a known Buharist has written this on his Facebook page.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

The post Buhari: A Cat That Can’t Kill Any Mice (READ) appeared first on The Trent.

The Social Contract, Leadership And The Journey Towards Infamy, By Godknows Igali [MUST READ]

Not only in developing countries, where human existence is still sort of primordial, but globally, men are wont to ask,

Not only in developing countries, where human existence is still sort of primordial, but globally, men are wont to ask, what human society as embodied in the state holds for them. In other words, why does the state exist? And to what ends should its raison-d-etre serve?

So one of the most exciting foundational courses offered in most faculties of Humanities, Social and Legal Sciences, worldwide, is “Political Philosophy” or “History of Political Thought’. In some climes it is also  offered as a General Studies course for all students. At postgraduate and doctoral levels, this becomes more pellucid, dwelling amply on the ethical foundations of the state and what values could rightly be placed on individual lives.

It is also relevant to state that virtually all leaders of religious traditions spent a good part of their teachings, using various metaphors and imageries to elucidate this matter of the state. More pointedly, thinkers upon the succeeding generations have followed the legends, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle to keep the tread of discourse on the question of the moral foundation of the State alive. During the 16th to 18th century Enlightenment Era, most men of knowledge, around European capitals of the time, joined to adumbrate on this matter. So from France’s line up of philosophers such as Rene Descartes, Voltaire, and Montesquieu to the Swissman, Jean-Jacque Rosseau and Germany’s duo of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Hegel, what bothered the minds of the greatest of men was: why does the state exist and what does it hold for the individual? In England of the time, the stage was broader as scholars such as Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and more recently, Bertrand Russell all sustained the relay of this conversation for hundreds of years.

The conclusion from all of these philosophers, with variants, was that there exists a kind of metaphysical or moral ‘Social Contract’ between men and fellow citizens on the one hand and between the individual and society or state on the other. By this, men, especially our original progenitors are presumed at a time in the dim past, to have chosen to opt out of a ‘state of nature’ similar to how animals live in the jungle to subject their individual wills into a ‘vole collective’ or an aggregation of the general will of all members of society. That is, having escaped the supposed brutishness of the animalist life of the forest, men are believed to have given to the state what appears to be godly powers to order their daily peaceful existence.

To this established norm, we are all born into and anything contrary is regarded as defiant and a derogation.

lndeed some philosophers such as Karl Marx, went the extreme to elevate the state almost to levels that prejudiced itself against established religious orders and orthodoxies. His thoughts ignited mass movements in the Russian axis leading to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. By that, its leader, Vladimir Lenin and those who came after him embarked, to create a supra-national state of social contracts known as Soviet Union, USSR. Mao Zedong carried out a similar communist revolution in China in 1949. These states and their satellites around the world were defined by collective existence, collective actions, communism etc.  As a matter of fact, they came with an atheist undertone, as the State became a kind of all-in-all, leaving very scant or no place for religion or spirituality.

is apt to elucidate that in its simplest illustration, the Social Contract as it pertains to man and the state is reflected in the kind of involuntary symbiosis found in normal father and child relationship. Men therefore expect the state to protect them and pursue their maximum wellbeing. In extreme socialist and communist cases, the state was devolved with the authoritarian powers of thinking for and caring for the individuals, all through life. In same moral exegesis, Kings, Princes, noble leaders and the like are ordained and emplaced to pursue the ideas of collective happiness and wellbeing. So even African response to colonial rule, fuelling nationalist struggle for independence was founded on that same narrative of wanting to build ideal nation states.

If the state was created for such superlative and altruistic ideals, the question which pokes the minds, thoughts and consciences of most analysts, and commentators is : why do people who are entrusted with the sacred heritage of the “collective will” turn out, time after time, nation upon nation, to be its greatest enemies? Such people have made the narration of world history a lamentable tale of endless conflicts, cruelty, travesty, injustice and bloodshed! Yes. Some rulers have really been cruel, mean, wicked, and devilish. A few examples will suffice.

We all recall the historical and religious accounts of evil potentates, like Pharaoh of Egypt and King Herod of Judea, both of whom ordered the killing of all male children, simply to satisfy their selfish interests. Similarly, Caligula and Nero were two Roman Emperors during the first century AD. Their dynastic legacy produced stately forebears such as Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony, and Augustus Caesar. Yet both of these two emperors are merely remembered in history for tyranny, sadism and reprobate lifestyles. Under Nero for instance, the City of Rome, then capital of the world, found itself engulfed in a mysterious fire in 64 AD which destroyed most of the city. This was linked to him.

Going further down, the French Revolution with the maxims: “equalite, egalitariate et fraternite”, inspired liberation in the Americas founded on Republican ethos. But back home in France this revolution also produced a man named Maximilien Robespierre. Though very successful as a revolutionary leader, he ended his life very sadly, swimming in the blood of thousands whom he guillotined! He enjoyed killing people at will on all trumped charges. Another named Prince Vlad the Impaler Wallacha (Central Europe), is now typified merely as Count Dracula, a venomous vampire for his cruel acts. As a ruler in central Europe he loved the disembowelment of human beings. Another is Ivan the Terrible; first ruler of Russia. He is historically known for burning thousands alive. If we hazard a deep into African, Asian and Inca or Aztec civilization of South – America, blood, blood and blood trail the rulership of many. And the Trans-Atlantic State which went on 400 years under the watch of Africa leaders of the time, where about 12-15 million people were forcefully enslaved, many dying during passage.

In our own 20th century, what about Adolf Hitler and his henchman, Adolf Eichmann, on whose heads rests the blood of millions, including about six million Jews who were incinerated in the holocaust. The accounts of what Italian dictator Benito Mussolini are still gory and repulsive. This has become a reference point for reprobate governance within Europe. What about the sad tales of over 20 million people who were killed in Josef Stalin’s twenty-nine years rule in Soviet Union. Also, can history so quickly forget Pol Pot of Cambodia under whose savagery millions of people disappeared similar to what Augusto Pinochet did in Chile? What about the unabashed excesses of Idi Amin of Uganda and Jean-Bedel Bokassa of Central African Republic and the genocide in Rwanda where over 800,000 people died.

Far and near, the world is still littered with terrible, bloodletting leaders and their cheerleaders. One thing is common to all these people, they forget that earthly existence and indeed the privilege of leadership is merely a pilgrimage and a fleecing effervescence.   One day, when everyone is far gone, historians will write, quite coldly, chronicles of all their acts. At that time all their stories like Hitler’s biography ‘Mein Kamf’ will be of no value to launder their legacy. Interesting enough, even a contemporary Nigerian leader, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, recently bemoaned the fact that despite his lofty achievements in democratic consolidation, little or no credit at all is being given to him. More than that, he doubted if any will be interested in reading his biography, because of his military past. Maybe the revered General in his characteristic humility is a bit hard on himself.   Deservedly, some rulers of men will be remembered for seeking peace, benevolence, and goodness. Alas the memory of others known for inflicting pain, injustice and bloody trail will be accursed with infamy, ignominy, irreverence; and not the least sighing. They will only join the pantheon of “the infamous”.

Godknows Boladei Igali, is a diplomat, Historian, and an award-winning Author, a former permanent secretary – ministry of power, ministry of water resources; former ambassador of Nigeria to the Scandinavian Region you could find him on Wikipedia

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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Benue Killings; Why Ndigbo Should Worry, By Charles Ogbu [MUST READ]

That the non-Caliphate rest of Nigerians are currently witnessing an undeclared war being waged on them by the #ScionsOfDanfodio is

That the non-Caliphate rest of Nigerians are currently witnessing an undeclared war being waged on them by the #ScionsOfDanfodio is not in doubt.

This war is full-scale jihad. And the aim is to kill, maim, conquer and enslave the non-Caliphate rest of Nigeria in furtherance of the dream of Danfodio. These are issues that are beyond argument.

That the Nigeria govt and all her security apparatus are criminally complicit in this moral tragedy is an open secret. This was the sole reason Buhari spent 12 years seeking power. Nothing more. This was the sole reason he handed virtually all the security agencies to his fellow ArewaNorthern irredentists.

The question is, how come everyone including all the Generals are playing the spectators while this evil man is carrying on with his agenda?

How come all that CAN can do after these jihadists killed two Reverend fathers is call for protest?

How come a whole retired General like TY Danjuma can only talk and say the same thing we all have been saying for ages about the involvement of the military in this jihad??

Now let me go home:

Ndigbo,

do you realize that after Benue na we??

Do we have a TY Danjuma that will at least publicly call out the Jihadist govt??

Do we have leaders that will stand by and with the people the way Governor Ortom stood by and with his people??

Do we have youths that are emotionally mature enough to understand the need to keep their differences with the political class apart and join hands to ward off these Barbarians??

Do we have a people that will realize the need to first chase the Fox away before blaming mother hen for taking her chicks too far into the bush.

WE DON’T!

And this should worry every Igbo man/woman.

This unending fight between Igbo youths and their leaders/elders need to be suspended for now. This current Jihad poses a grave existential threat to all of us, especially Ndigbo. If we don’t quickly put an end to this our fight and put our house in order, we will all die one by one!

I know some of you will come here and start pointing fingers. Please don’t. If we want to point fingers, trust me, there are enough fingers to go round.

Confronting Buhari brothers and their angel of death should be of utmost priority.

As a country, Nigeria will break under the weight of its internal contradiction. The Danfodios will see to that through their murderous indiscretions.

Question is,

With this current rift between our youths and their leaders/elders, are we really ready to handle our home assuming Nigeria were to break up this very minute????

Every true Igbo son/daughter should be thinking of closing this gap. It has made us a laughing stock for far too long. Our words and actions should be geared towards closing this unhealthy gap between the Igbo masses and the Igbo leadership collective.

Buhari brothers are coming. They are here already. And if we don’t put our house in order, death will be too kind a fate to befall us.

A wise man prepares for war in time of peace.

Charles Ogbu is a social media activist who contributes articles to The Trent. Connect with him on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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Buhari In US: Open Letter To President Trump – By Annkio Briggs [MUST READ]

Dear President Trump, We send you greetings from the Creeks, Swamps, Mangroves, and Rivers of the Niger Delta Region, on

Dear President Trump,

We send you greetings from the Creeks, Swamps, Mangroves, and Rivers of the Niger Delta Region, on the platform of the Niger Delta Self- Determination Movement, NDSDM.

The first time we wrote an open letter to sir was after you won the elections in 2016 We wrote to congratulate and the Republican Party for winning the election of 2016.

We took that opportunity to bring to your attention the plight of the Niger Delta people, and the concerns, in-fact fear that we had at the emergence of President a retired General of the Nigerian Army.

Between your inauguration in 2017 and April 30, 2018, a lot of undemocratic events have occurred in Nigeria.

We will try not to take you through historical education of Nigeria as you no doubt have all you need to know about Nigeria a 104-years-old country created by Lord Lugard on (January 22, 1858- April 11, 1945) who amalgamated the Northern and Southern Protectorate who had nothing in common by culture, religion or language.

Please allow us to mention a few anti-human rights and undemocratic acts, and crimes against humanity that has taken place in Nigeria, particularly in the Middle Belt states which are majorly Christian states, and known as the food basket of Nigeria.

Thousands of Christians, men, women, youths, children and old people, are victims of the Fulani herdsmen, that President Buhari, the Federal Government, the Military have unbelievably identified as non-Nigeria Fulani herdsmen who they claim were trained and armed by the late and former President of Libya, Gaddafi.

The worst of the pogrom and genocide has taken place in Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Kaduna and Plateau States. The victims of the slaughter are 95 percent Christians.

Christians of the South of Nigeria and specifically of the oil and gas-rich Niger Delta region that is undeveloped, neglected and oppressed we are very concerned for our survival today and the future of our children tomorrow.

In 2017 on the day of your inauguration youths of IPOB, a nonviolent organization of the people of Igbo nation also referred to as Ndigbo and of the South East political zone of Nigeria whose leader is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who has not been seen or heard of since October 2017 when the Nigeria Military invaded his home and community. His parents have also not been seen.

This group went on a celebration and a congratulatory procession on the day of your inauguration, they were not armed yet a number of them were shot and killed in broad daylight and cold blood and a lot more arrested and still been held.

The Nigeria army occupied the South Eastern states, the states of the Igbo nationality. During the occupation of the South Eastern states in an operation the military called ‘Operations Python Dance’ the military have been accused of torture and extrajudicial killings.

The Fulani herdsmen who are of the same Ethnic group and religion as the President get away with indiscriminate attacks and horrific killings against Christians.

In this year 2018 from January 1, 2018, to April 20, 2018, over 2000 Christians across the Middle Belt particularly in Benue and Taraba States.

Mr. President Nigeria is a secular Country, Nigeria is not an Islamic Nation, if a credible census is undertaken in Nigeria it is more likely than not that Christians are more than Muslims yet at no time in the history of Nigeria’s 104 years have Christians persecuted Muslims like the extreme movement of Muslims/Islam have persecuted Christians.

If Christians will not be left to live at peace to practice our faith freely in our Country Nigeria then we desire a referendum to be conducted amongst the Ethnic Nationalities across Nigeria especially in the Christian South and Middle Belt to determine if we want to stay in Nigeria that persecute us for our religion and faith or separate from Nigeria.

In the past 4 weeks, Christians in the majorly Christian states of the North East Christians are leaving their communities abandoning their ancestral homeland in droves, Christians are daily becoming refugees in their own God-given land.

Thousands of Churches have been burnt and destroyed in the past 3 years. Pastors and Priests male and female are killed and beheaded.

There is a lot bitterness and discontent from the Middle Belt to the South of Nigeria, there is a great sense of disappointment and lack of confidence in the Federal Government as lead by President Buhari.

In the Niger Delta the region that owns the oil and gas resources exploited by the International Oil Companies, and the Federal Government, the Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger Delta region are occupied by the military and the special force set up especially for the Niger Delta region because of our oil and gas resources.

Despite the United Nations Report on the devastating and unacceptable levels of poisonous pollution in our drinking water, air, fish and farm our people especially our youths are oppressed, occupied by the Military and kept for years in jails without trial.

A few weeks ago Retd. Gen. T Y Danjuma a former Army Staff and Defense Minister a respected military insider, a Christian of Taraba State of the North East accused the Nigeria military of turning the other way (purposefully turning a blind eye) while the killings of Christians by the fourth deadliest terror organization in the world according to Global Terrorism Index kill, and terrorize the people who are mainly Christians.

These accusations against the Nigeria Government and the Nigeria Military should be investigated by the neutral UN as what is going on in Nigeria is genocide, pogrom, ethnic and religious cleansing.

Nigeria between 1967 and 1970 have fought a civil war that claimed more than 2 million lives of mainly the people of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality, including other Ethnic Nationalities of the Eastern Region of Nigeria.

The massacre of Christians in Nigeria is spreading and we are worried that they aim to attack the three regions of Southern Nigeria (17 states).

This ongoing threat against Christians especially the oil and gas-rich Niger Delta region has the potential of breaking into a full-scale war.

This will be horrendous and uncontrollable not only for Nigeria but for West Africa, the Gulf of Guinea, and the entire African continent affecting the economy and all other security interests the world especially the USA and Europe has in Africa.

This will be the biggest disaster after the 2nd World War.

Nigeria is a complex country and the complexity is very volatile.

The threat to democracy and the suspicion we have in the Oil and Gas producing region is that the 2019 elections will not be free and fair.

This is another major area of concern as the people of the Niger Delta of Nigeria will not accept results of any elections that disregards the democratic will of the people by imposing a governor or other politically elected officials such as the Senators, National Assembly and House of Representatives Members of the choice by what we in Nigeria refer to as the Political Mafia or Political Cabal.

We are aware, sir, that in the past few days leading up to this meeting you initiated that Nigerians and friends of Nigeria all over the world and from Nigeria have called into a special telephone line of the White House to express our concerns, fears, hopes, and expectations to you.

We hope that as a world leader and believer you will shift the messages and act on them as Mr. President our very lives, existence and future depends on what you do or don’t do.

We are most encouraged by what God has used you to achieve in the situation of North and South Korea, by God’s grace and wisdom you will be able to keep Nigeria from imploding and affecting not only Africa disastrously but indeed the world at large.

This impending disaster will affect Europe and the United States of America and the world at large.

Niger Delta Self Determination Movement, NDSDM, is a non-violent organization of the numerous Ethnic Nationalities of the Oil and Gas Region of Niger Delta.

We desire nothing less than Peace, Liberty, Equity, and Justice.

We are available anytime, anywhere to truthfully and fearlessly present out case.

Annkio Briggs is a daughter, servant, and respected leader of the Niger Delta. She is a leading voice in the struggle for human rights and environmental justice in the oil-rich region. Connect with her on Facebook

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. 

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Reuben Abati: Why Buhari’s Impeachment Is Mission Impossible [MUST READ]

The Chairmen of the Committees on Public Accounts in the National Assembly – Kingsley Chinda (House of Representatives, PDP Rivers,

The Chairmen of the Committees on Public Accounts in the National Assembly – Kingsley Chinda (House of Representatives, PDP Rivers, Obio/Akpor Constituency) and Mathew Urhoghide (Senate, PDP Edo South) – have both had cause to ask the respective Chambers of the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account, without prior approval of the National Assembly and/or appropriation. This has caused much partisan rowdiness in the National Assembly and an aborted clash between PDP supporters of Mathew Urhoghide and pro-Buhari APC stalwarts at the Benin Airport in Edo State. Impeachment is a serious and sensitive political process that could lead to the removal of the affected political leader from office. The primary issue is whether or not President Buhari has indeed committed any offence, any violation of the Constitution that should warrant his impeachment?

What constitutes the ground for impeachment is defined in Section 143 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution as “gross misconduct” and further in Section 143 (11) as (a) “a grave violation or breach of this Constitution”, or “a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct.” The first ground for impeachment is literal and unambiguous and it would only need to be proven. The main allegation for now is that the President caused to be spent a sum of $496 million without the National Assembly or appropriation. Section 80 of the Constitution dealing with “power and control” over public funds refers. Section 80(1) establishes a Consolidated Revenue Fund into which “all revenues or other moneys raised or received by the Federation (not being revenues or other moneys payable under this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly into any other public fund of the Federation established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into, but the more relevant reference is Section 80(2) which states that:

“No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the Constitution or where the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of Section 81 of this Constitution.”

In other words, the government is not allowed by the Constitution to spend any money that has not been duly appropriated for, or without due authorization. The inherent and oversight role of the National Assembly is clarified in Sections 80(3), 80(4) and Section 83 (1 -2). Section 80(3) is clear enough: “No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly.“ Section 80(4), for sheer emphasis it seems, reiterates the same point.

The operational word in all these Sections of the Constitution is “shall” – legally, this means “a mandatory order”. In a letter written to the National Assembly informing it of the expenditure of $496 million, without Appropriation, without a Supplementary Budget and without authorization, or even consultation, the President states that he granted “anticipatory approval.” He has no such powers under this Constitution. Nor can he seek protection under Section 82, which talks about authorization of expenditure in the absence of an Appropriation Act as is currently the case to wit:

“If the Appropriation Bill in respect of any financial year has not been passed into law by the beginning of the financial year, the President may authorize the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government of the Federation for a period not exceeding six months or until the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act, whichever is the earlier…”

Note this: “to carry on the services of the Government of the Federation…” Is the purchase of 12 aircraft part of the “services of government?”. We can argue over this but given a literal interpretation, the President is clearly in violation of the Constitution. Such authorization should be in respect of services already before the National Assembly. In the absence of this, the President should have consulted the National assembly and sought their understanding, and buy-in, before spending the money. Writing a letter after ignoring them and the Constitution is an afterthought that beggars the question. The President is also in violation of the proviso to Section 82 in the sense that the purchase of the aircraft is not contained in the 2018 Appropriation Bill. Since it is not there and the Appropriation Bill has not been passed, the President has no basis to say that he has spent money. Can the President spend money in the event of an emergency? Section 83 of the 1999 Constitution addresses this – he can but only with the authorization of the National Assembly as in s. (83(1) and through the vehicle of a “Supplementary Estimate and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill as in s. (83(2).”

I have argued previously that the 1999 Constitution grants the President of Nigeria, enormous, if not excessive powers, but the framers of our Constitution did not extend such powers to cover indiscriminate spending of public funds, hence the combined effect of Sections 80 – 85 and S. 162 is to provide checks and balances against the possibility of anyone no matter how highly placed spending public funds, in a manner other than has been provided by the Constitution, no matter how well-intentioned he or she may be. So, President Buhari is prima facie indictable in the light of the first ground for impeachment as in Section 143(11).

The second ground is a bit nebulous, for it speaks of whatever amounts to “gross misconduct” – “in the opinion of the National Assembly.” Virtually every Nigerian has an opinion, and where the opposition dominates the National Assembly, such an Assembly can form any opinion and remove a sitting President. My own opinion in this instance however, is that there are strong grounds even on this second score for commencing impeachment proceedings against President Buhari. These include and are not limited to: his government’s routine violation and complete disregard for court order and the rule of law, human rights abuses, and his regular de-marketing of the country and Nigerians in the international community, and his apparent lack of ability to provide strategic leadership. But the reality is that the National Assembly as presently constituted is dominated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Nigeria’s democracy has not yet reached a level where the legislature will choose to act on a non-partisan basis. The APC may be four, five parties in one, and may be imploding but I do not see the possibility of a ruling party in Nigeria impeaching its own President.

To return to the first ground of impeachment, which stands more on terra firma, and not “opinion”, I also do not see the possibility of impeachment of either the incumbent President or any other President under the 1999 Constitution. The National Assembly has set up a Committee to consider the possibility of the commencement of impeachment proceedings – it submits its report tomorrow, Wednesday, May 2 – and there may well be some persons losing sleep over that in Buhari’s quarters, but there is actually no cause for alarm. The framers of Section 143 (1-11) of the 1999 Constitution did not really hope that any sitting Nigerian President will ever be impeached. The rules and procedure set out under that relevant Section are so cumbersome and tedious as to make impeachment impossible. The last time anyone tried to invoke Section 143 was under President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 – notice of allegations were served on the then President by the House of Representatives to which he responded – but in the end nothing happened. Nothing will again happen to Buhari this time around. He will not be impeached because the relevant Constitutional provisions in Section 143 are too windy.

One, an impeachment process is initiated when “a notice of allegation” is presented to the President of the Senate by “not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly” accusing the office of the President or Vice President of “gross misconduct (s. 80 (2).” As at the time of this writing, no such notice has been presented. One-third of the entire Assembly (!) – that’s like wishful thinking. Section 143 (4) again presents this dilemma of numbers when it says, if the National Assembly decides to investigate the allegations, it can only do so if it is supported by “not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of each House of the National Assembly.” By the time we get to this stage, 21 days would have passed, and that is part of the problem with the rules of procedure on impeachment in Section 143. It would take at least six months or more for any Nigerian President to be impeached. The giver of the law created a problem here with numbers and also with time, and a bigger problem with the introduction of the judiciary into what should be purely a political process. In Section 140 (5), the judiciary is brought into the conflict, ensuring a possible clash among all three arms of government in the impeachment process.

The Chief of Justice of Nigeria (CJN) is given additional seven days (28 days now in total) to “at the request of the President of the Senate appoint a Panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation as provided in this section.” Section 143 is thus loaded, from 1-11, with so many make or kill, elimination tests, and this is perhaps the most critical. Can we really rely on the opinion of the CJN to select seven apolitical, non-partisan persons of “unquestionable integrity?” Where are those seven persons coming from? Heaven?, because no such persons exist in Nigeria. And should such seven persons be identified, there is nothing in this section barring interested parties or the Executive, and its agents from discrediting such persons. How many “unquestionable” Nigerians would even agree to serve on such a panel, if at all they exist?

Assuming a panel of seven emerges, the person to be impeached still has the right to be defended by legal practitioners of his choice. Thus Section 143 (6) is in pari materia with Section 36 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to fair hearing, but it is another bottle-neck which can go on for three months – (section 143(7) – or much longer by the time the lawyers exploit technicalities to prolong the proceedings. Section 143(7) (b) further presents a serious bottle-neck: the constituted panel must report its findings to each House of the National Assembly within three months of its appointment. Section 143(8) says if the allegations are not proven, then the process stands aborted, but in the event of either this or the opposite addressed in Section 143(9), the Constitution only asks for two-thirds majority to determine the fate of the affected political office holder, it says nothing about the procedure for removal, now mentioned for the first time as a consequential effect. To the best of our knowledge, the National Assembly does not even have such a procedure in place, except it will create an emergency one, because the full import of Section 143 has not yet been tested. Being a political process, stricto senso, the Courts are further estopped under Section 143(11) from inquiring into an impeachment process.

Section 143 of the 1999 is in our view, therefore, a jurisprudential nightmare. If we really want to prevent our Presidents from hiding under the Constitution to become tyrants, this particular section of the Constitution needs to be reviewed. The National Assembly should put in place standard rules and procedures to give live to the process in the need of activation of Section 143. The judiciary should also be removed from the process, as is the case in the United States. A compromised CJN would readily frustrate the process since his “opinion” is so important! Section 143 makes it difficult as it is, to remove a President, especially given our situation where there is so much emphasis on money-politics, political affiliation, ethnicity, religion and loyalty to the President and primordial sentiments. Some characters called elder statesmen and traditional rulers may even intervene to derail the impeachment process. The quality of legislators is also important: to protect and uphold the Constitution, we need people who understand that loyalty to the nation is more important than loyalty to the President or religious and ethnic sentiments. The present set of dancing, sleeping, singing, fibbing, cradle-snatching, compromised persons who end up in the National Assembly cannot do it.

The worst that they can do is to further damage President Muhammadu Buhari’s reputation. Mere talk about or the commencement of impeachment proceedings on its own, has negative political consequences, especially in an election season – even US President Bill Clinton did not fully recover from it although he was impeached but was not removed from office. The view has been expressed that the National Assembly should not bother to test Section 143 because this may have implications for the stability of the country in an election season, or that, well, President Buhari is almost completing his first term. I disagree. The responsibility to protect and uphold the Constitution must not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, even if all things considered, President Buhari needs not lose any sleep.

Reuben Abati was spokesperson and special adviser, media and publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan (2011 – 2015). A former chairman of the editorial board of The Guardian, Dr. Abati is one of the most respected columnists in Nigeria. He writes his syndicated column twice a week. He tweets from @abati1990.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer.

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Femi Fani-Kayode: When The Bully Met The Headmaster At The White House [MUST READ]

“Nigerian herdsmen don’t carry AK 47’s. They only use sticks”- President Buhari to President Donald Trump, The White House, 30th

“Nigerian herdsmen don’t carry AK 47’s. They only use sticks”- President Buhari to President Donald Trump, The White House, 30th April 2018.

“We’ve had serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria. We’re going to work on that problem and work on that problem very, very hard, because we can’t allow that to happen.”- President Donald Trump to President Muhammadu Buhari, The White House, 30th April 2018.

Despite all the smiles, banter, pretensions, diplomatic niceties, doublespeak and pleasing words these two assertions, from the bully and the big man respectively, remain the most relevant in yesterday’s historic meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Donald Trump at the White House.

The fact that Buhari, like a naughty little schoolboy standing before his intimidating headmaster, had to tell a pernicious and specious lie about the weaponry (or lack of it) of the Fulani herdsmen and attempt to absolve them of any blame for the horrendous genocide that is being perpetrated against Christians in our nation in order to escape being spanked speaks volumes.

And the fact that Trump, not fooled by the lie, like a wise old headmaster, had to issue a stern warning to the schoolyard bully about the killing of Christians says even more.

That, to me, was the meat of the historic meeting. All the rest that was said was nothing but diplomatic doublespeak, fake smiles, meaningless platitudes and dross.

Particularly nauseating were the servile and downright embarrassing questions that the Nigerian journalists that accompanied Buhari asked President Trump.

In my entire life I have never seen a journalist ask a President when he intends to visit his or her country at a major world press conference where the questions and the number of questioners are limited or ask whether he can release “just two helicopters” to help Nigeria out. This is shameless and unprofessional. It is for the Nigerian President to ask his American counterpart such questions, albeit privately, and not a member of the Villa press corps.

I see Shehu Garba, Buhari’s media assistant’s magic hand in all this. He sat directly behind the Nigerian correspondents like a bulldog, breathing down their necks and quietly warning them not to ask any difficult questions about their own country at the White House and in a foreign land.

The whole scenario was sickening. The Nigerian journalists were completely cowered. One of them called me afterwards and said it was hell and that they had been well-schooled and warned to behave themselves and mind their manners and words.

I bet the seasoned, hard-nosed and experienced American White House correspondents who also covered the event and members of the White House Press Corps were shook their heads in pity and whispered to themselves, “what a country, what a people!”

Yet for the sake of posterity more needs to be said about the meeting itself. Permit me to add the following.

The truth is that the progressive forces, the official opposition and leaders of the resistance in Nigeria failed to put out the correct narrative about Buhari to the international community and international media over the last 3 years.

Consequently Buhari escaped thorough international scrutiny. Apart from that Trump failed us. He chose economic gain and the juicy prospect of a massive Nigerian market for American goods, products and commodities over human rights and decency.

Yet who can blame him for that given his “America first” mantra and the fact that the Nigerian people themselves appear to be very comfortable with their hazardous plight and murderous leader and do not appear ready to resist his corruption, tyranny, evil, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and genocide.

The good news is that Trump may be the biblical Cyrus (and I really do believe that he is) but he is not God. We never looked to him. We look to God. And God will deliver us despite our inherent weaknesses, accursed fears, petty divisions and monumental cowardice.

Finally hear this. If the opposition does not roll out its best guns, get its act togther, unite, stop playing childish games, stop the petty bickering and present one credible and acceptable candidate in 2019, Buhari will be back for another four years. The choice is ours.

Permit me to end this contribution with a final word about the meeting between the bully and the headmaster at the White House.

My younger brother, Babatunde Gbadamosi, wrote

“Buhari went and got NOTHING. We must now buy two helicopters and agricultural produce from them. This is beyond incompetent”.

Tunde, as always, is absolutely right.

Finally as Pastor Bayo Oladeji pointed out,

“Mr Buhari was asked during Monday’s joint press conference about a report in January that Mr Trump had complained about immigrants coming to the US from “shithole countries”, specifically referring to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations. His diplomatic resoonse was: “I’m not sure about, you know, the validity of whether that allegation against the president is true or not. So the best thing for me is to keep quiet.”

This was a golden opportunity to tell the world, in the prescence of its most powerful man, that, whether Trump had said so or not, Nigeria is not a “shithole country”.

Yet sadly Buhari, the quintessential erring, self-hating and self-denigrating African leader with very low self-esteem, refused to take up the challenge and defend the honor of his people.

Instead he dodged the question, crawled into his hole, kept his mouth shut, put his tail between his legs and whimpered like a little puppy in the prescence of his master.

So much for him being a strong, no-nonsense leader. At the end of the day and when it mattered the most he proved to be weak, uncaring and insensitive in the prescence of a man who rightly or wrongly dishonored his country and denigrated his people.

Clearly he is only strong when he is ordering his troops or his Fulani herdsmen to slaughter innocent men, women and children. Such is the way of all schoolyard bullies.

Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He runs a syndicated column on The Trent. He tweets from@realFFK.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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Chimamanda Adichie Responds To Unnamed Critic Who Slammed Her Interview With Clinton [MUST READ]

Dear Unnamed Person Who I Am Told Is On Social Media Saying I am Her Family and Telling Me to

Dear Unnamed Person Who I Am Told Is On Social Media Saying I am Her Family and Telling Me to Shut Up:

Cynicism is ugly. It doesn’t flatter anyone. Yours doesn’t suit you at all.

I remember you vaguely; I think you were in my class in primary school. And now you claim to be my ‘family’ and you are asking me to shut up.

Did you watch the video of the conversation? Did you read a full transcript?

I am tired of Nigerians who read a headline and, without bothering to get details and context, jump on the outrage bandwagon and form lazy, shallow opinions.

I am tired of Nigerians cynically thinking of anybody in public life as a ‘brand.’ No, I am not a brand. I am a person who feels strongly about certain issues. I choose to talk honestly about them. I made the choice to talk about feminism knowing very well the kind of hostility it brings – but I think it’s important and I will continue to speak my truth and hope to bring about some change, no matter how small. Adirom agba egwu ka m data ego.

No, of course you don’t actually deserve a response, but I have some free time today. So I want to make you feel a little important because it sounds like you need it.

And I want to reflect on an absolutely lovely hour spent on stage with Hillary Clinton.

I was happy when I was told that Hillary Clinton had specifically requested to be in conversation with me at the PEN World Voices festival. I am an unapologetic fan of Ms. Clinton’s. I have been for many years.

I felt quite emotional when I met her. Having read and followed her for years, it was moving to see her: the warm, human, observant, present, thoughtful person (and looking wonderful, with her hair and makeup on point!).

She said she had read my books and I restrained myself from doing cartwheels.

“Is there anything you don’t want to talk about?” I asked backstage.

“Ask me anything,” she said.

Towards the end of our conversation, I told her how, having read her writing about her own life, I think she has a great love story with Bill Clinton. A wonderful friendship. I said I feel irritated and protective of her when people dissect her personal life, but I also confessed to having an interest myself, particularly about her public Twitter profile. (I first noticed it when I was researching a piece about her during the presidential campaign). I was upset that the first word used to describe her was ‘wife.’ Was it a choice she had made or was it something done for her campaign and, if it was a choice she had made, did she think my reaction to it was fair?

Her response was very thoughtful.

I was too excited, emotional, slightly nervous, to be on stage with this remarkable woman. Had I kept in mind how easily outrage-mongers would jump on a headline, I would have phrased my question better. I would not have made it about my being upset, because it can come across as navel-gazing.

But the truth is that we were supposed to be having a ‘conversation,’ the context of our conversation was personal and warm, I had made the decision to speak from the heart, and it would be dishonest to pretend that I had not reacted personally to so many issues around Ms. Clinton, whose life has become a kind of crucible of all the questions that affect women.

We all react personally to public figures. And I WAS upset that the Twitter bio of a woman who is the most accomplished person to run for President of the United States, would begin with ‘wife.’ And considering her personal history, it just didn’t seem to fit.

I felt that ‘wife’ was used as an attempt to placate all the men and women who will not vote for a woman unless they are able to see her FIRST in domestic terms.

Yes, it’s just Twitter. But it matters. It’s a public platform. It’s where people go to hear directly from her.

And there is context to consider.

In LIVING HISTORY, Ms.Clinton writes that the two most difficult decisions she has made in her life were staying married to Bill Clinton and running for the senate seat in New York.

Women, especially women in public life, face a lot of societal pressure about how to be, how to live, much more than men do. Women in public life are considered ‘cold’ and ‘un-relatable’ unless they define themselves in domestic terms. Women’s accomplishments are often considered incomplete unless they have also ticked the ‘marriage’ box. These things are not true of men, even though marriage can be a wonderful thing for both men and women.

Feminism is indeed about choice. But it is intellectually lazy to suggest that, since everything is about ‘choice,’ none of these choices can be interrogated. Choices are never made in a vacuum. And sometimes, for women, choices are not always real choices.

After she got married, Ms. Clinton kept her name, but she was so viciously criticized for this that she then took on her husband’s name. Was this a ‘choice?’ Would she have done so if she wasn’t being attacked and if she didn’t want to feel responsible for her husband’s potential losing of votes?

During the last presidential campaign, she was expected to account for the policies of her husband’s administration. She was labeled an enabler of sexual harassment. She was accused of cynically staying married because she wanted to benefit politically.

Much of Ms. Clinton’s public image is a caricature of a person who is untrustworthy, calculated, cold, dishonest. That caricature has its roots in her early public life when she was the First Lady of Arkansas.

Her crime was that she did not conform to the traditional role of First Lady. She had kept her name. She clearly considered herself to be her husband’s equal partner. She did not intend merely to be a Wife. She had her own dreams, her own ambition. She dared to say that she wasn’t planning on ‘staying home and baking cookies,’ which was not about denigrating stay-at-home mothers but simply about saying that that was not what she wanted to do.

A small comment about a small thing, but it was significant and revolutionary because she was consciously resisting the status quo.

But she was attacked for that. Horrendously. And those attacks were repeated so often that they stuck and they contributed to her being reduced to a caricature.

It was, therefore, upsetting to see her first descriptor as ‘wife.’ The question isn’t about including ‘wife’ in her Twitter bio. The question is about giving ‘wife’ a certain primacy as the first word that describes her, and it speaks to larger questions about the societal expectations placed on women.

Ms. Clinton wrote in her most recent book WHAT HAPPENED, that she ran for president because she thinks she would have been a ‘damned good president.’

She certainly would have been. And so I suggested, half-joking, that ‘Would have been a damned good president’ is a perfect Twitter bio start. And then mother and wife and grandma and Senator and hair icon etc could follow!

I completely stand by my question and by my conviction that it is a subject that matters.

I had a truly enlightening evening on that stage with Ms. Clinton, and was once again awed by her grit, her humanity, her sparkling intelligence.

After the conversation, Ms. Clinton told me, “It was like talking to a friend.” She is now my Aunty For Life.

Oh, as for YOU, Unnamed Person, saying that I am ‘family’ to you, mbakwa biko. The people I consider family don’t ‘do petty.’

Saying “shut up” to a woman who airs an opinion is so unoriginal. Try and be a bit more inventive.

Try reasoning. Try intelligent debate. Try understanding things in context before you reveal your ignorant misogyny to the world. Try reading more than a headline. Try reading a whole book. Or two. And please keep talking. Keep speaking. Don’t ever shut up.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most recent novel, “Americanah,” won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. This article was written for The New Yorker Magazine.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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