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Our Nation_Cheap Shots

That Nigeria is struggling under the weight of security challenges is not in dispute. That the economy is still that of a privileged few is also not in doubt. That the hydra headed monster of corruption is still untamed in every material particular is also obvious.

No one also need to look far to see the lightening rod of all this systemic shocks and imbalances. And an easy and cheap target at that – the sitting president, Muhammadu Buhari (General or not!).

Disclaimer: this post is not a defence of the person of PMB, oh no, not today. Why? Even if Mother Theresa were to be alive and president of Nigeria, she would have had to contend with the same vitriol. So, I’d be disappointing many with my humble summation. Feel free to disagree without being disagreeable, if your politics or worldview allow for that!

So, why “cheap shots”? Because placing blame is easy, passing the buck convenient. What is hard, damn hard, is owing our part in this situation and offering ourselves as sacrifice for renewal. Please be patient with me.

Take security. I am sure that you have read, or maybe even read the report of others on the Homily of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto at the burial mass of one Seminarian, unfortunately killed in the North by criminal elements early this week? Okay.

This sermon is symptomatic of my point in this piece. That unfortunate young man and his colleagues died because of the president’s action or lack of it, right? WRONG! I mean, it is easy to blame the president for every wrong, while WE ALL should be looking in the mirror!

We can all theorise why there are kidnappers, other criminal and terrorist elements in the land all we want but answer me this questions: (1) Buhari caused the Almaijiri issue in the north right? (2) He is the sponsor of Biko Haram elements, right? (3) He is that Fulani herdsman terrorising farmers and farmlands all over the place, yes? (4) He has his hands in the pocket of governments of the States and local governments such that he embezzles their funds, right? (5) Buhari is also the reason that mechanic over charged you for fixing your equipment, right? And oh, wait, it is because of this president that Nigeria is not worth dying for, yes?

Listen to me dear reader, we ARE ALL to blame for Nigeria’s morass. Yes, you, me, all of us. And our part in the mess did not begin with this president, and except we change, will not end with this one. Ask yourself this: why is it that most Nigerians who misbehave in this country travel to Ghana (Ghana o), and strive to do the right thing? How come we struggle to gain the system in our social responsibilities (i.e. payment of adequate taxes), yet labour to build up our various religious organisations and social clubs with humongous contributions?

You, me, everyone makes Nigeria what it is. The sooner we all begin to look in our mirrors for the problem, the early Nigeria will begin to get better. It is like a child blaming his parents for every obstacle life throws at him!

Wake up Nigerians. Talk and criticism is cheap. Play your part in your little corner, and bit by little bit, Nigeria will begin to evolve. Not before then, I’m afraid.

Enjoy your day!

©️Adewale Adeniji. 13th February 2020

Our Nation_This Crass Impunity Must Stop!!!

I am not surprised but embarrassed, and disappointed by the statement credited to a spokesperson of the Senate to wit: despite the conviction of Orji Uzor Kalu, he remains a member of the senate and will continue to draw his allowances!

This position of the Senate (subject to its expected denial or withdrawal) shows that members of our political class are their own worst enemies, and by extension an embarrassment to our nation.

A court of competent jurisdiction convicts someone for fraud, and here you are genuflecting and shamelessly posturing that he is still a senator until (and you are so sure of this) the Supreme Court confirms his sentence!

First, it is said, is it not, that show me your friends, and I will know your own character? Based on this I, Adewale Adeniji, loudly proclaim that it appears the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a den of fraudsters!!! COME AFTER ME PLEASE, I AM WAITING. Nonsense!

Second, how on God’s earth will you pay a convict for sittings he cannot attend? I mean, it beggars belief! In a nation where when most workers are absent from work they are not paid? Again, this position of the senate (except if quickly disclaimed) shows the Senate as INSENSITIVE! You will pay a convicted fraudster for being in prison? These lot are jokers surely!!!

Third, if the ruling party, the APC does not come out to distance themselves from this position, I make bold to say that the anti-corruption platform of that party is forever tarnished!

In case the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not know, there are Nigerians like me who transact business with the larger world, and we are constantly ASHAMED of being queried about the shameless leaders of this country. People like me (small we may be) will NO LONGER KEEP

QUIET! This nation does not belong to you alone. All of the political class put together are less than 1% of the masses of Nigerians. And we are tired of their senseless decisions. While at it you might as well pass another senseless resolution granting him bail! Nonsense!

Even if the Senate Rules allows this senseless position, IT IS STILL WRONG! Are you encouraging corruption or what? Remove that portion of your Rules today if it says a convicted felon remains a member of your chambers and can still earn income. If you like keep felons as your members, that may be cool with you, but it is embarrassing to our nation!

My name is Adewale Adeniji, I am a tax paying Nigerian; and I am tired of being embarrassed by elected politicians paid from my taxes.

Are you the only elected leaders in the world?

©️Adewale Adeniji. 9th December 2019.

Our Nation_End Of Impunity In Sight?

The conviction of the former Governor of Abia State and sitting Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Chief Orji Uzo Kalu births in my mind this question: Can we safely conclude that the end to impunity is within our grasp as a nation?

Why now, why not when Joshua Dariye, also a former governor and senator was similarly convicted? Because then that decision was rubbished on the altar of political expediency – that Dariye is a member of the opposition, People’s Democratic Party. Even the PDP made it an official party line! Not with this case.

When Mazi Kalu joined the All Progressives Congress, many said that will be the end of this case. That he was corralled to join the APC just for that purpose. But last time I checked he is still a card carrying, bona fide member of the ruling party. And how come no one has “worked out his case on that account”?

So, can we now at least begin to hope (against hope?) that impunity will be punished, regardless of who the offender is? That as easily as a poor man who steals in the market place will be punished, so will a rich man with connection in high places? AND THIS IS VERY CRUCIAL. Why?

Because we, as a matter of national emergency, need to begin to reorientate our minds from the belief that you can do anything and get away with it, if you know the ‘right persons’. Orji Kalu is as connected as they come in Nigeria. He eats and dines with powers that be. He himself is a power that be.

Yes, he has a right of Appeal to the Supreme Court, and this judgment may yet be set aside for a number of legal reasons; but the fact remains he has been found guilty as charged. He is spending tonight in prison, and many more nights until an appeal sets this judgment aside.

So, I wager a bet, that we may just be in a new season where our laws will count in Nigeria, and no one can do just as they please.

#notoimpunity

©️ Adewale Adeniji. 5th December 2019.

SHM PRAYS.

Still relevant today as it was many years ago.

SalvationHouse

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In that name that is above every other name, you shall not be assailed without the help of my Heavenly Father. When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with you!

No evil will triumph over you. A thousand shall fall on your side, ten thousand on your right hand, but no evil will touch you! Selah.

DO YOU BELIEVE? Then pass this on!

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Passage: Robert Gabriel Mugabe (21/2/1924 – 6/9/2019).

Former Revolutionary. Prime Minister (1980-1987); President(1987 – 2017).

Husband to Sally Hayfron Mugabe (d. 1992) & Grace Marufu Mugabe.

Father to Michael (deceased), Bona & Robert.

As a student ‘revolutionary’ leader in the 1980s, Robert Mugabe WAS one of my African heroes. I voraciously devoured all materials I could find on him and Joshua Nkomo (both were Zimbabwe’s pre-independence heroes, albeit on separate divides of the struggle).

One had other revolutionary heroes (like Kwame Nkurumah, Patrice Emery Lumumba, Nelson Mandela et all) but because my youth situated in the era of his struggle, there was no competition as to who stood out for me!

My rooms in university could be described as a shrine to the guy. My close friends then did not find the ‘infatuation’ funny at all. But I digress.

Robert, but your life turned out to be a disappointment! We are cultured not to speak ill of the dead, but I am only trying to put the record straight, not malign. The western press has taken the cream on that.

At independence the world had so much hope for Zimbabwe, so much so that many established economies were willing to offer great assistance to the nascent democracy. But you had to behave archetypal as an African leader.

First was the needless and divisive competition with Joshua Nkomo that caused so much pain to ordinary Zimbabweans. Then the needless fight with Britain, which could have been better managed. The zenith was the unfair land appropriation that brought the economy of the great Mwene Mutapa (Monomotapa) empire to its knees! All because you couldn’t keep your revolutionary friends in check.

Anyone who had been in Zimbabwe in the 1980s will weep at the Zimbabwe of 2019 that will be organising your funeral rites! All because you had to be the classic African big man! What a waste, what a let down.

You had to be harangued out of office because you kept forgetting writing materials you had to go back for, rather than exit the scene in glory. Boys who once worshipped the ground guy walked on rose up to rubbish your legacy, all because you failed to put your nation before your ego.

Dear Robert, you will be remembered, not as the hero you ought to be but as a despot. And that is the sad commentary of your passing.

Fair thee well, scion of the Shona tribe. I wonder how the Ndebele would remember you? I know how the world would.

©️ Adewale Adeniji. 6th September 2019.

Christian Faith_Which Bible?

I came across a post by a ministry today, where the church made bold to say that the Bible must be in the book form, and cannot be on a mobile device, that Christians should stop taking their mobile devices to their church (see attached picture); and something rose up within me – righteous indignation at the puerile teaching.

I humbly make bold to say that this teaching is NOT scriptural! There is NO WHERE in scripture where a form in which the word of God is permissible is recorded. Therefore, any other interpretation is the mind of man! And I am very careful of the warning in Revelation 22:19.

My question for all who hold similar views that what is acceptable in church is a Bible in the common written form is this – the Bible as we know it, what was it’s original form? Parchment! Not the written bound form as we know it now, but in separate writings scattered hither and thither!!!

So, imagine if those who read parchments then now contend that what is now written of paper in one bound volume is not the Word of God? It will souls ridiculous to you too, would it not?

Again, I most HUMBLY DISAGREE with the proponents against the Word of God in electronic form. Why?

The WORD of God has life of its own! It does not have to be in the form that some men approve of!

I use Bible Apps on my Laptop, iPad and iPhone and I still get ministrations of the Holy Spirit! Miracles of His promises still follow me, thank you very much!

This teaching that a mobile device is not the word of God IS NOT BIBLICAL, please! Reference? Read Acts 8:26-39! That Ethiopian Eunuch, from what was he reading the prophet Isaiah? Surely not from the current form of Bible! And notice the miracle that followed in verses 35-38? Please, any form of the Word is good enough for the ministration of the Holy Spirit!

©️ Adewale Adeniji. 25th August 2019.

Our Nation_Role of the President’s Chief of Staff.

During the swearing in ceremony of his ministers on Wednesday, 21st August 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari streamlined communication channel to his office from all appointed government officials. He directed that henceforth all communications to, and requests for meetings with him, be routed through the office of his chief of staff. Note that this is only for all appointed officers of the executive branch, meaning from the directive does not affect the Vice President, as some have alleged.

 

This directive has caused a lot of furore in the ever bubbling social media space – ranging from those who know absolutely nothing of the functions of government in a presidential system, to those who are plain mischievous (those who know but always jump on any ‘opportunity’ to trash the president). Even the official opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thought it another opportunity to criticize the president.

 

[For the PDP, yet again it showed that it is yet to master the major issues that require its comment and/or alternative narrative. PDP is not a party to criticize a policy like this. Why? The office of chief of staff was introduced into our governance system by a PDP president – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo! And the two PDP presidents after him – Yar’ Adua and Jonathan followed suit!] 

 

As a sort of enlightenment, the office of the chief of staff was a presidential innovation of America’s 33rd president, Harry Truman; and all presidents after him have all appointed chiefs of staff. Truman formalized the position in 1946 as Assistant to the President. Today, the formal title is Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff. Occupants of the office are political appointees of the president who do not require confirmation of the Senate; and they all serve at the president’s pleasure. 

 

The responsibilities of the chief of staff to the US president are both managerial and advisory and can include the following:

  • Select key White House staff and supervise them;
  • Structure the White House staff system;
  • Control the flow of people into the Oval Office (president’s office); 
  • Manage the flow of information;
  • Protect the interests of the president;
  • Negotiate with Congress (our own National Assembly), other members of the executive branch, and extra-governmental political groups to implement the president’s agenda; and
  • Advise the president on various issues, including telling the president what they do not want to hear.

 

Now, because Nigerian operates a presidential system of government COPIED from the US, president Obasanjo decided to adopt the system of having a gate keeper in a chief of staff. Fair enough. And this has become a tradition of sorts. State Governors to now have them. Even the Speaker of the 9th House of Reps has appointed one.

 

For history buffs, Nigeria has had 5 chiefs of staff in the presidency since May 1999. There was even a brief interregnum between August 2008 and May 2010 when Nigeria’s presidency had no chief of staff because president Yar’Adua abolished the office. The office was reinstated in May 2010 by president Jonathan. The 5 personalities are: (1) General Abdulahi Mohammed (May 1999 – 2nd June 2008) He served 2 presidents – Obasanjo and Umaru Yar’Adua; (2) Dr. Gbolade Osinowo who had the briefest time in office – June – August 2008; (3) Chief Mike Ogiadomhe May 2010 – February 2014); (4) General Jones Arogbofa (February 2014 – 29th May 2015); and (5) Abba Kyari (August 2015 till date).

 

So please, for Iroko’s sake, the chief of staff is not the creation of this 4th president of this 4th Republic. Even if it were, so long as he has a precedent to follow (as shown above) it cannot be ‘unconstitutional’! 

 

Also, many wonder why ministers must go through the chief of staff, and not have direct access to the president. Real question is why would a minister want direct access to the president in the first place, outside of the administratively laid down avenues of Executive Council meetings and political fora? It is only in these parts that we equate relevance with access to the ‘main oga’. Many of us who have worked in corporate settings, pray how easy is that we have (or had) access to the CEO, without making an appointment? Please!!!!

 

Another fellow even said the president’s directive is unconstitutional ‘because the 1999 constitution does not recognize the office of chief of staff’. Well, we can as well cancel all agencies and parastatals that the constitution does not specifically mention, but which form a cog in the wheel of governance, while we are at it! 

 

Another of these ‘critics’ who claims to be in the know categorically declared that said some newly appointed ministers do not like the restriction of access! If he is right (and I have no way of knowing for sure), I say tough luck! The solution is simple: any minister who does not like the new chain of command should quit. Chikena. I want to wager none will!!! 

 

There is the reasonable fear though that a chief of staff (if not the present incumbent) can abuse the powers attached to the office. That without doubt is possible. Americans still have tales to tell about H.R. Haldeman. However, just like it happened to president Nixon’s Haldeman, the system always has a way of sorting itself out. I remember the Oghiadome, president Jonathan’s first chief of staff was replaced when it appeared his actions (and inactions) were slowing down the president’s pace.

 

My point in all this is that It does not take much to research what you do not know before you put out your views into the public space. By openly stating your views, remember that others who have better information will call you out. Just saying. 

©️ Adewale Adeniji. 23/08/2019