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Editorial: Christmas 2019 and Nigeria`s Redemption

The birth of Jesus Christ, which was celebrated on Wednesday, December 25, is the portentous event of the Incarnation, from which Christianity draws its essence. Christians the world over, marked the birth of the Son of God and the Savior of mankind, whose spectacular life of virtue, revolutionary teaching and sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary, form the basis of the over 2000-year-old Christian religion. Even in a world overrun by secularism and materialism and other social forces impacting negatively on religion and morality, a world witnessing an inexorable decline in Christian values and Christian worship especially in western industrialized societies, the continued influence of Jesus Christ in a global context is unmistakable.
Nothing underscores more the culture of greed, insensitivity and impunity that has crept into the public service of Nigeria than the scenario of multiple remuneration and pension schemes for serving public officers who previously served and pensioned in other capacities. This obnoxious practice involves high office holders such as cabinet ministers, governors, senators, and top military officials, who arrogated themselves outlandish perks that have gone to such ridiculous levels as to be perpetuated for life; even as the standard of living of an average Nigerian deteriorates daily and majority have been taken hostage by abject poverty, disease, hunger and insecurity. Representative democracy which by definition should be of, by, and for the people, seems to have put the worst Nigerians in government. Thus, in what must qualify as the most unconscionable parasitism imaginable, political leaders who begged voters to be entrusted with the management of state affairs would loot and rape public resources not only while in office but even out of office. In a country where governors are struggling to pay workers N34,000 ($50) minimum wage; this gluttony in high places is atrocious in the extreme. It is an unbelievable shame that qualifies as a case study in greed and selfishness.

Editorial: Amaechi’s unanticipated Baptism of Fire in Spain

Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi experienced a dose of the peoples’ anger in faraway Madrid Spain, where he was attacked by some Nigerians as he took part in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, dubbed COP25. Although Amaechi was lucky to have been rescued by Spanish police officers who whisked him off the venue to safety, eye-witness accounts paint the picture of a sad and embarrassing spectacle watching a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria being mobbed in such a disgraceful manner outside the shores of the country. This blight on the toga of Nigeria’s image is one more international embarrassment the nation can do without. 

Ahmed Lawan, Festus Adedayo and the APC mob

Senator Ahmed Lawan is the incumbent Senate President of Nigeria, having won the election into that office, 79 -28, beating his rival, Senator Ali Ndume of the same ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Lawan was the anointed candidate of his party, the APC, but he worked hard to negotiate with and secure the support of other members of the Senate across party lines. He secured a bi-partisan victory in such a convincing manner that has caused turmoil in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party. The PDP has since ordered an investigation into how its National Assembly members voted contrary to the party’s directives. The PDP must pursue that course with extreme caution in order not to shoot itself in the foot. But what has Ahmed Lawan done with his victory and what has been the fall-outs?

Editorial: Sowore and DSS brigandage in Abuja High Court

What is now clear in words and in deed is that Nigerians are amongst the most lawless people on earth and the Buhari administration may just have set the tone for executive lawlessness with the assault against the judiciary arm of government after last Friday’s unprecedented invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by elements of the Department of State Services (DSS) to re-arrest Omoyele Sowore, RevolutionNow convener and publisher of Sahara Reporters. This brigandage which portends grave danger for Nigeria was an ignominious and reprehensible assault on the judiciary and, by extension democracy. It is a mindless, shameful, embarrassing and unacceptable circumvention of the constitution that the judiciary could be so brazenly attacked in a supposedly democratic dispensation. More so, as the Presidency doubled down on the lawlessness with presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, arguing in a statement that, the DSS was “only exercising its power” by re-arresting Sowore. Added to the insane allegation by presidential aide, Laureta Onochie, who claimed Sowore staged his re-arrest to give DSS a “bad name,” this latest infringement on the rule of law offends the sensibilities of Nigerians and should never again happen. President Muhammadu Buhari should not just watch the unfolding drama but must strongly condemn it; and stop what portrays his administration as a dictatorship. Nigeria has had enough of lamentations.

Nigeria without Nigerians?

Today’s reflection was inspired by Buhari’s recent reiteration of the determination of his government to run ‘an inclusive government ’. Speaking recently when he received a delegation from Nasarawa State, led by Governor Abdullahi Sule, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari was quoted as saying: “In the next four years, I want to assure you that we will remain committed to the change agenda. Our goal of building an inclusive, secure and prosperous Nigeria is achievable.” On June 12, 2019, the country’s new Democracy day, Buhari also declared: “Nation building takes time. But we must take solace in the knowledge that this country, our country, has everything we require to make Nigeria prosper.” In fact, in recent times, the words ‘nation-building’ and ‘inclusive government’ have been popping up more than ever before in Buhari’s speeches.

On June 12 we stand

It is ironic that it had to take a member of the military establishment now turned democrat, that is General, now President Muhammadu Buhari for June 12 to be accorded its pride of place in the socio-political calendar of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Before now, the recognition/celebration of June 12 as a watershed in Nigerian history had been observed majorly by the states of the South West of Nigeria, thus making its symbolism and significance a restricted and ethnic referent. But that has changed, thanks to President Buhari. His decision to declare June 12 a national holiday, his award of a post-humous honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) to Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and the subsequent amendment of the Public Holidays Act to accommodate June 12 as a Federal holiday is a welcome development. President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007) had pointedly ignored all entreaties for his administration to take the same step.