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2019: A Clarion Call For Change |The Republican News

Chris Nwokeji

With less than two months to go, Nigerians are still pondering which presidential candidate to vote for in the general election of 2019. It will be definitely fun to watch the winner of the election. In the build up of 2015 presidential election, many Nigerians were meant to believe that corruption increased by unimaginable proportions, leading to hardship, hunger, frustration and withdrawal. In fact, one of the strong points the opposition had against the government of Goodluck Jonathan was his seeming inability to curb insurgency. Criticisms were rife. The government was given many ill-labelling that actually smacked of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.  The common unfortunate label was ‘clueless.’

Three years after Jonathan, insurgency and daily killing of innocent people seem to have increased throughout Nigeria. Today, some Nigerians are not current in what happens in other parts of the country and the rest of the world due to lack of or inadequate supply of electricity to power their televisions and other modern media devices to access news and current affairs and importantly, information disseminated in the social media.

The power of television is not really in persuading viewers to take one side of an issue or another but is used for decision making; deciding what issues would be given attention and those to be ignored.

Newspapers are the major source of information for the vast majority of Nigerians. Over two-thirds of Nigerians report that they receive all or most of their news from the newspaper. Prior to the invention of television, Newspapers had always reported news, politics, business, entertainment and sports just as they do today. Additionally, the masses of Nigeria always read the news sections of their daily paper and topical issues in the editorial columns.

In Nigeria, the importance of television in transmitting information is a relatively new occurrence. As a result, households with television were reported at 40 percent in 2010, according to the World Bank development indicator. At the end of 2017, 22 percent of Nigerians had television in their homes, thus, showing a decrease in the number of households with television. In most developed countries, television is really the first form of mass communication that reaches nearly everyone such as youths and children.

More importantly, television presents to adults, youths and children visual images rather than printed words. It is quite unlike Nigeria where Newspapers are major source of information due to lack of adequate supply of electricity.

Electricity plays an important part in our everyday lives, at home, school, business or job and our daily activities rely heavily on the use of electricity. It is used at homes and businesses to run electronic components and appliances such as lighting, television, fan, refrigerator laptop, radio, air conditioner, microwave oven and others. In industry, electricity is used to operate huge machines that make foods, cups, clothes, paper, toiletries and many other things. According to World Bank, 90 million Nigerians have no access to electricity. Truth is, Nigeria is blessed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resources with the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts(MW) of electricity power from existing plants but most days is only able to generate between 4,000- 5,000 megawatts which is grossly insufficient. In short, our leaders are cruel and inhuman because they know that without electricity, Nigeria can never develop and the masses would continue to be separated from the rest of the world.

Since the beginning of this government, many Nigerians are confused at the appropriateness of the anti-corruption war, believing that corruption has increased by unbelievable proportions, leading to hardship, hunger, frustration and withdrawal, practically losing faith in the administration. It is true that the maintenance of law and order is a prime function of the government and is essential to development. The sole aim of government is to provide its people happiness, stability and security. In addition, government is about increasing human and material resources for economic growth and to improve political development and provide support for cultural expression.

Perhaps not to be left out are those policies and programs designed to deal more directly with the people such as access to reasonable prices of food supplies, clean water, affordable healthcare, education, housing, electricity, road, infrastructure, and allowances for the unemployed, the aged, the disable, the blind and the deaf. Again, at no time in the history of Nigeria have the prices of staple foods gone up by 400 percent. For example, in May of 2015, the price for a bag of 50Kg rice was between #6,000 and #7,500. Now the same brands sell at between #18,500 and #20,000 for each. At no time in Nigeria has the price of petrol gone up by nearly 700 percent. At no time in Nigeria has the price of electricity from national grid and the resultant blackouts quadrupled. At no time in Nigeria has Naira been so weakened without any conscious effort by the Central Bank to rectify the currency.

The government seems to have over blown its anti-corruption war and people are beginning to see it as a way to persuade or influence people rather than arresting those that have emptied the nation’s treasury. Furthermore, the President continues to arrest members of other political parties and some organized groups that are opposed primarily ideologically to the government while much more are stolen under his watch. In addition, regardless of one’s ideology, ethnicity, language or background, now is the time for those in positions of leadership in Nigeria to speak out concerning a broken political system. This administration has widespread examples of corruption, ineptitude, ineffectiveness, cluelessness, unproductivity and a disorganized and unschooled group of people flaunting as leaders.

As politicians and leaders of this great nation, we must encourage each other to voice our concerns whenever Nigeria is going in the wrong direction. Perhaps, Nigerians need to understand the importance of upholding the constitution of Nigeria. Moreover, a constitution is a plan for running the government. For example, the freedom of speech, press and politics are some of those rights. It guarantees the voting rights of men and women and also protects citizens’ rights in every aspect.

All things considered, l think it’s the wrong time for us to start blaming or criticizing the former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. Noteworthy here is that Atiku Abubakar was the vice-president of Nigeria under president Olusegun Obasanjo while Peter Obi a former Governor of Anambra State, representing the People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (which shares ideological principles  and cooperation with the PDP) respectively. On this basis, one may conclude that Nigerian economy grew rapidly and achieved higher on many other macroeconomic metrics when the president of Nigeria was of PDP than now it is of the APC. For instance, the previous administrations tried reducing poverty by creating jobs monthly, but instead, the present government refuses to create jobs for our teeming youths across the country. Nigerians are yet to see any substantial foreign investment attracted by this administration for the interest of our citizens. Nonetheless, our government is doing all it can to prevent creating jobs in Nigeria. The corporate tax rate of 30 percent for business is too high. Proponents of tax reform argue that lower tax rates will boost business profits, therefore, creating more jobs for our teeming youths and citizens.

  Consequently, the youths should understand that it is time for a clarion call for what kind of economic policies are in place for creating jobs for  them. This is no time to point fingers at one another to rationalise considering a President and members of his party who refused to listen to the masses of Nigeria. With less than two months to go, the politicians will always make you believe that you have freedom of choice while you don’t. The APC government are owners.

Prof. Nwokeji writes from the US

(The Sun)

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APC Must Be Voted Out For Your Own Good, Dogara Charges North-East |RN

Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe

 

Speaker of the House of Respresentatives, Yakubu Dogara, has charged the people of Gombe and other north-eastern states not to make the mistake of voting APC in the forthcoming general elections.

Mr. Dogara who was in Gombe on Tuesday to attend the north-east zonal rally of the PDP said: “We left APC for PDP because of the hunger and suffering brought to you by the APC government.

He also cited the delay in making the North-East Development Commission a reality as one of the reasons why PDP remained the party to beat in the February 2019 general elections in the North East.

“You must know that the 2019 election is neither between APC and PDP nor between Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and President Muhammadu Bahuri; the election is between you as individuals and the government that has failed to fulfill its promises,” he said.

Then Mr. Dogara added: “You can all bear me witness that poverty and hunger are (rift) in every state that is under APC.

“We asked you to vote out PDP in 2015 thinking that APC could take us to the promise land; that is why we are asking you to change the change,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Economic Recession: Police Detain Parent For Using Son To Loan N8,000

DolapoBadmos

Spokesperson for Lagos State police Command, Doplapo Badmos

Samson Folarin

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested some suspects in connection with the alleged trafficking of a 15-year-old boy, Ajala Samuel.

As of the time of filing this report, it was learnt that one of the prime suspects, one Iya Ibeji, was leading the police to where the victim was held in the Mushin area of the state.

PUNCH Metro had exclusively reported that Samuel’s parents ran into a financial crisis which made them to take the teenager to a Lagos trader, Iya Meta, who gave them N8,000.

The payment was said to be for the two months that Samuel would work for her.

However, Iya Meta sent him to some three women, who claimed to be traders on the Lagos Island.

The traders, who claimed to have paid Iya Meta N72,000 for Samuel’s service, passed him to another family.

Trouble started when Samuel’s parents, at the expiration of the two months he was supposed to work for Iya Meta, raised the alarm that he could not be found.

Iya Meta was said to have directed them to the Ijora Badia Police Division, where she said the matter was being handled by two policewomen, Titi and Funmilayo.

The two policewomen allegedly told Samuel’s parents to pay the N72,000 given to Iya Meta for the victim’s service, failing which he would have to work till October 2017.

A mild drama played out around 8am on Thursday when Iya Meta called our correspondent, saying she had caught one of the three women she gave the victim to.

“I was riding on a motorcycle when I sighted the three women on the road. When they saw me, they took to their heels. I gave them a chase and called on people that they were kidnappers. We eventually caught up with one of them, Iya Ibeji,” she told our correspondent on the telephone.

Our correspondent advised her to immediately report the case to the nearest police station.

PUNCH Metro called the victim’s stepfather, Idowu Isiaka, informing him of the development and suggesting he should call Iya Meta to ascertain her location.

Isiaka later informed our correspondent that the matter had been taken to the Adeniji Adele Police Division.

However, it was learnt that policemen from the Ijora Badia Division sent a signal to the Adeniji Adele Police Station, asking that the matter be transferred to them.

When our correspondent called Isiaka to get an update on the case around 2pm, he said the police had detained him and Iya Meta.

He said, “The police are angry that I reported the case to PUNCH. They said you implicated their officers and that I shouldn’t have reported to you. They have detained me along with Iya Meta. They said they would transfer the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.”

Iya Meta said she had no hand in the trafficking of the victim and appealed for our correspondent’s help.

“Please help me. I am innocent and I didn’t collect anything from these women. They have turned everything against me,” she said.

She informed our correspondent that the police had already followed Iya Ibeji to Mushin, where the victim was.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said investigations were ongoing into the incident.                   (Punchng.com)

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Poverty, Unemployment, Getting Worse, Calls For True Federalism, Says Atiku

Atiku-Abubakar-Speech

Former Vie President, Atiku Abubakar

Eniola Akinkuotu and Lekan Adetayo

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says Nigeria is currently at a crossroads as poverty, unemployment, inflation, infant mortality and other social vices are on the increase.

He, therefore, called on Nigerians to unite in the demand for true federalism.

Atiku said this while delivering his speech at the formal public presentation of the Daily Stream newspaper in Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “A huge pall of pessimism hangs over a section of the citizenry, and the ranks of those who harbour real doubt about the future of the country swell by the day.

“The country is truly at a crossroads, and things are made worse by the cocktail of economic, social and political problems which we have had to contend with, and which add to the abysmally low estimation of our country even by its own citizens.”

The former Vice-President recalled that life was better in the First Republic because each region was allowed to grow at its own pace while the Federal Government was weaker.

Atiku, however, noted that following the creation of states, the Federal Government became very powerful while the federating units became poor, thereby, deepening poverty among the populace

He added, “Our beloved country has been in the throes of severe and debilitating social and economic problems. Virtually all the development indices have not been favourable: massive and pervasive poverty, double-digit inflation, unemployment, dwindling foreign exchange receipts, poor GDP growth rates, high infant and maternal mortality, high levels of illiteracy, and millions of school-age children out of school.”

Atiku said the many problems facing the nation were already threatening the unity and the existence of the country. He, therefore, urged Nigerians to come together to renegotiate the terms of our union.

The former vice-president said no leader could make far-reaching positive changes in the country except the current political structure is changed.

He added, “To be sure, good leaders do make a difference in the fortunes of countries. However, leaders operate within structural constraints imposed by constitutions, laws and regulations and the local and world economy.

“But the most germane question we need to ask ourselves is: must we really continue to live together as one country amidst such a pervasive climate of disunity, which is impeding our development?

“My prompt answer to this is yes, we should remain together because it is the best option, and because we will be stronger, greater, and better in one piece than in pieces.”

Attempts to get reactions of President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, did not succeed. He had not responded  to an email and   an SMS sent to him as of the time of sending this report.   (Punchng.com)

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