Exclusive: My Analysis of 2018 Budget Estimates

By Muyiwa Olayinka
Caution is the word.An African proverb: ‘He who has been bitten by a snake, runs when he sees an earthworm’

President Buhari presented the Budget estimate for 2018 fiscal year on Tuesday 7th November, 2017 to the joint sittings of the National Assembly. He presented a N8.613 trillion 2018 Appropriation Bill.

The budget is tagged “Budget of Consolidation”

The amount represents a 16 % increase over the N7.44 trillion for 2017.

These are the breakdown of the budget:

Capital Expenditure N2.428 trillion representing 30.8% of the total budget

Recurrent Expenditure N3.494 trillion i.e. 40% of the total budget

Debt service N2.014 trillion

Statutory transfers N456 billion

Sinking fund N220 billion to retire maturing bonds for local contractors

The assumptions of the estimates rests on:

Benchmark oil price is $45 per barrel

Estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day

Exchange rate of N305 to a $

Real GDP growth of 3.5%

Inflation rate of 12.4%

The projected revenue for 2018 is put at N6.607 leaving a deficit of N2.005

Oil revenue is put at N2.442 trillion

Non oil revenue sources is N4.165 trillion

How government intends to finance the budget deficit

Borrowings externally and locally N1.699

The balance of N306 billion to be financed from proceeds of privitization of non oil assets by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

Some of the top earners of revenues to be received by MDA ( Ministry, Department and Agencies of Government) are listed below:

Ministry of Power, Housing and works. N555.8 billion

Ministry of Transportation N263.1billion

Ministry of Defence N145 billion

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development N118.98 billion

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment N82.92 billion

It is heart warming that Mr President presented this budget on time. It shows a more radical departure from late presentations. The President acknowledged the fact that the current budget was passed in June this year, leading to low implementation of the 2017 budget. By presenting it earlier, the President hopes to maintain January – December financial calendar.

Just like 2017, the current budget still operational, the government allocated large chunk of money to the Ministry of Powers, Housing and Works. It is gratifying that 30.8 % of the budget is committed to capital expenditure.

It means that government wants to spend more on critical sectors to reduce poverty and stimulate the economy.

But sadly, most on going projects are yet to be completed, almost three years of this administration. Though tagged budget of consolidation, we are looking forward to seeing projects being consolidated and completed.

The year 2018 is very critical to the nation, because, this is the final phase of this government before the general election of 2019.

This government has recorded dismal performance in delivering critical projects like roads, railways etc. The recession is continuing to bite harder. It is germane that the performance of this budget will determine its overall success.

This is an ambitious budget, with some of the indices of 12.4% inflation rate, when the current rate is 15.3%. The government is silent on the interest rate.

But the interest and inflation rates guides investors to invest in the economy. The exchange rate of N305 is still higher in the real sense of it.

Currently, the oil spot price is $65 per barrel, benchmarking it at $45 per barrel could be dicey. Although the crises in the Middle East could push up the price higher later on.

There is relative peace in the Niger Delta, but the government has to take the recent threat by the Niger Delta Avengers seriously, and ensure practical steps are taken to stem the rising tension in the Niger Delta.

It is noteworthy that the Federal government is making efforts to diversify its portfolio form oil revenues. Thus planning to increase its tax receipts, customs duties and other non oil sources.

In the presentation of the budget, the government banned fresh recruitment by all Federal Government’s MDA except by presidential approval. According to Mr President, it is a way to curb the rising personnel cost that is expected to increase to 12% in 2018.

The danger with this budget is that critical infrastructure will be financed basically by public funding and not much more is expected from the private financing. Counter part fundings in the building of railways and Mambilla power projects is in the pipeline, but more of these should come on board. Government could encourage more through PPP (Private Public Partnership) and concessions of major critical sectors to foreign investors.

Furthermore, it listed privitization of non oil sectors, as a source of generating more revenues. It means the federal government is not yet ready to commercialize the state oil monopoly (NNPC). We were treated to the approval of contracts of $25 billion without due process at the NNPC.

If this government can muster political will to commercialize NNPC, it will make more transparent and usher more inflow of petrol dollars to the economy.

This government is not committed to privatizing many state owned agencies. By its performance, many public utilities are still being controlled and funded with public funds. It is impracticable how it will generate almost 50% of its budgets from other sources.

It is creditable this budget came with a budget deficit of N2.005 trillion, a drop from the N2.36 trillion contained in the 2017 budget.

Sadly, the government have plans to borrow from external sources to finance budget deficit. It committed N2.014 trillion i.e. 23% of its budget to servicing of debts.

Recently, the federal government wrote the National Assembly seeking approval to borrow $6.5 billion from external sources.

We must tread cautiously of not going through this dangerous path of getting the nation trapped into debt crisis.

Be that as it may, this Budget estimate has to go through the rigors of legislative works. The National Assembly promoted a bill “Organic Budget law” that is going through legislative fine tuning.

 If passed into law, it will facilitate accelerated and seamless passage of budgets with timelines and specific responsibilities to various committee.

I hope the National Assembly will give it utmost urgency it deserves.

This country should not be treated again to odious Budget padding or loss of national budgets.

The bane of our country is implementation and keeping to the intents and letters of the budget estimates. If proper implementation is not adhere to, the whole exercises will just be a mere annual ritual and pure academic exercise.

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Why Catalonia’s President Is on The Run

By Muyiwa Olayinka

An African Proverb: “A wise person knows that there is something to learn from everyone”

What could make a President be a fugitive for doing his people’s will
?

The President could be asking where did I get it wrong?

In retrospect, he will  be comforted that he did what he was elected to do, i.e. to be guided by what his electorate wanted and protecting the interest of his people.

I believe that as a leader, you are expected to take responsibility for your actions in office.
I’m sure these are some of the questions that will be going through the exiled pro independence President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont. He has fled Spain and crossed to Brussels, Belgium.

The move comes after Belgium’s government accepted he could seek asylum in their country.

There has been two warrants of arrest for him on charges of sedition, rebellion and provocation charges from the Spanish government, while the other is from the European Union (EU). Be reminded that Belgium is a member of EU

He supervised the referendum of October 1st 2017, the Catalonian parliament accepted and endorsed the process to the chagrin of the central and national  government in Madrid.

Spain refused to accept the result of the independence referendum held by the regional’s government citing it as illegal.

Acting on the article 155 of the Spanish constitution, The central government has revoked the regional government, dissolved it and Madrid has temporarily taken over, pending when a government will be formed.

What does article 155 of the Spanish constitution says?

It says that if a regional government does not comply with the obligations of the constitution or other laws it imposes, or acts in a way that seriously undermines the interests of Spain , the national government can ask the senate to vote on the use of the ‘measure

The constitution states that an absolute majority must approve the article’s use. The national government may adopt the ‘necessary methods’ to force a regional government to comply in order to protect ‘said interests’

Spain has 17 autonomous regions in total and two autonomous cities: Cueta and Melilla. Each of these cities has its own distinctive personality and charasteristics, as seen in their monuments, districts, their festivities and their traditions.
There had been total clamped down on the associates and top government officials of the Catalan government, as eight former ministers have been arrested so far. Spain is still seeking for more of the top functionaries including the exiled President.

Let us examine the timelines of events before the former President fled to Belgium

On October 31st, the Spanish constitutional court annulled the Declaration of Independence

On October 29th, Belgium’s minister of immigration, if requested, his country will grant political asylum to leader of the autonomous region of Catalonia

On October 27th, the Catalonian parliament adopted the independence of the region from Madrid. The same day, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the dissolution of the Catalonian parliament, and announced election of a new parliament on this year, December 21.

On October 1st, Catalonia had a referendum and majority of Catalans voted for independence from Spain

What is the crime of the Catalonian President? 

Spain’s democratic constitution of 1978, was approved by more than 90% of Catalan voters , gave wide autonomy to the region’s but affirmed that “ the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation’.

It means no secession by any regional government is tolerated from the Spanish kingdom.

Only the Spanish parliament can change the constitution. So unilaterally usurping the powers of the Spanish parliament by the Catalans is a slap to Madrid . If found guilty, President Piugdemont may spent 30 years behind bars for violating the constitution, according to legal experts

Implication of secession of Catalonia

The Catalonia region has long been the industrial heartland of Spain. It houses the maritime power, trade in goods such as textiles, and recently for finance services and hi tech companies.

It is one of the wealthiest regions of Spain, accounting for 19 percent of Spain’s GDP, equal with Madrid region. Secession would therefore cost 20% of its economic output. Catalonia’s contribution to the Spanish economy is twice that of Scotland’s to UK.

Barcelona is the regional capital, and about 1.6 million people live there. It accounts for 15% of Spain’s population. If Catalonia succeeds, it will be catastrophic for the European Union and other European countries that have similar problems, i.e, different nationalities with diverse cultural affinities.

Eko Atlantic City, An Ambitious project in Africa (videos)

By Muyiwa Olayinka

Have you heard about the ambitious project taking place in Lagos state in Nigeria. It is called the Eko Atlantic City (E.A.C), a smart city. It is a planned city of Lagos State, Nigeria being constructed on land reclaimed from Atlantic Ocean.

The layout plan is about 9 million square meters of land would be reclaimed 2.4 kilometers south of Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island Lagos, into the Atlantic Ocean

Upon completion, the new Peninsula is anticipating of hosting at least 250,000 residents and a flow of 150,000 commuters. The beauty of the project is that it will have positive environmental impact as it will help in stopping the erosion of Lagos state’s coastline.
Historical perspective of E.A.C

For many years, Ikoyi and Victoria Island remained the high brow areas of Lagos state. These exclusive areas were promoted by the British colonialists in the 19th century. It houses head offices of banks, multi nationals, oil and gas, and telecommunications companies.

Gradually in recent times, Lekki Peninsula took over with vigorous land reclamations. The Lekki corridor is the fastest growing corridor with various housing complexes. Lekki Free trade zone is becoming the industrial complex in Africa.

But things are about to change with the advent of of EAC which will be built on sea. With this humongous and ambitious project, Lagos is set to be on the verge of out shining itself, the rest of Africa and the world.

E.A.C was conceived by the former Governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in 2003, as a PPP (Public Private Partnership) in a bid to find solution to the recovery of beach ground lost to sea erosion of over 100 years. It is to build high rising structures and a modern city which Nigeria and Africa will be proud of.

It is projected to combine residential, commercial, financial and touristic accommodation in a location services by high tech infrastructure. EAC is expected to be at least 40% larger than the existing Victoria Island.

The Technical Partners

E.A.C is a PPP with private companies and investors providing funding whilst Lagos State government is a strategic partner with the support of the Federal government.

The contractors are China Communications Construction Group (CCCG), a company that works in the field of marine dredging and landfill operation. The consultants are Royal Haskoning (traffic and transport expertise). South Energyx Nigeria ltd a subsidiary of Chagoury group was created to undertake the development.

Launching of the project

The $6 billion project was launched on the 21st of February, 2013 by the Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Former President Bill Clinton of USA and Governor of Lagos state Babatunde Fashola, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other dignitaries.

In March 2014, David Frame, managing director of South Energyx Nigeria led, the firm responsible for the development , confirmed that ” The first residential tower will open in 2016.

Financiers of E.A.C

Four banks (three local and one international) are providing financial support for the entirely private sector project. These are First bank Plc, Guaranty Trust bank Plc, First City bank Plc and BNP Paribas Fortis of France.

Diya Fatimilehin & Co a firm of estate surveyors and values is marketing the gigantic prime real estate business. The project is on course and will be delivered in phases.

Great things are happening in Lagos and Africa as a whole

Watch the video:

and this video:

The Soul of APC Is Gone

By Muyiwa Olayinka
All Progressive Party APC is a political party in Nigeria that was formed on 6 February 2013 in anticipation of 2015 general election. It is a party formed from the merger of opposition and legacy parties namely ACN (Action Congress Party), CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) ANPP (All Nigeria People’s Party) and a faction of APGA (All Progressive Grand Alliance) to take on the ruling party PDP (People Democratic Party). Five governors of the ruling party PDP joined the fold very close the general elections of 2015.

The ideology of the party rests on Federalism, Social Conservatism and Progressivism. Many Nigerians were tired of the ruling PDP that dominated the political space for 16years. They needed a change of guard. The party came with a ‘change’ slogan and everybody latched on to the message

This is the first time alliance worked in Nigeria and the party won the election with a land slide victory.

APC won the Presidency with its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari and controls the majority of the National Assembly. It affirmed its winning streak by having more states in its kitty.

It was a turning moment in Nigeria’s political trajectory, expected to breathe fresh ideology and new way of conducting governance.

But sadly, the expectations of Nigerians were dashed almost 3years of APC in power. Nigeria slipped into recession, for the first time in history, as a result of ineptitude and tardiness of this government. It took the President almost 8 months to constitute his federal cabinet. When it was finally constituted, it paraded majorly, known and spent politicians that have dominated the political scene for so long.

For example the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, was a minister in 1982. He was a former chairman of PDP, the party that lost election to APC. The President failed wittingly to proffer realistic solutions to national economic problems.

The resultant effect is pervasive hunger, high cost of goods and services including staple food items, job losses and high unemployment rates, failing value of the national currency, the Naira, high exchange rate and nose diving of all economic indices.

Furthermore,the ruling party could not manage its success and unable to get its acts together. Lack of internal democracy, internal fighting among members, indiscipline and jettisoning the party’s manifestos became the lot of the party.

President Buhari later realized could meet bogus and realistic promises made started denying some of many campaign promises made to Nigerians. The party started loosing its public rating among its believers, followers and supporters.

Today, it is obvious the party is in total disconnect with the people. The party’s mechanism is in total disarray.

You do not need a soothsayer to know that APC is technically dead but only living on borrowed time and oxygen.

The party sounded its death knell before it took off. Many will not take kindly to this but the signs had been there from inception..

APC is a party that was built on lies,hatred, bile, hate speech, emotions, propaganda thereby playing on Nigerians intelligence. It is so sad that many Nigerians did not see it coming. We were sucked up on the euphoria and propaganda being dished by party members on daily basis.

But I saw it coming!

I hinged my position on hindsight and past experiences.

Candidate Buhari has always performed below average in public office. I do not want to dwell on his stewardship as the head of the intervention agency, PTF ( Petroleum Trust Fund), created by the late General Sanni Abacha.

My position was predicated when he ( Major General Buhari) was the military head of state. He benefitted from a coup of 1983 by pushing aside the lame duck government of President Shehu Shagari. A leopard cannot change its dark spot, President (Buhari) is/was fond of apportioning blames of the precarious state of the nation to his predecessors.

He accused the former government of Shagari of the all the ills in the country, when he took over on December 31st 1983.

After his return to power in 2015 he has consistently been blaming his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan of all the problems of Nigeria, but realistically Jonathan spent 6 years in office of 57 years of independence from colonial powers.

Sadly, President Buhari did not evolve his economic blueprint, both practical plan and agenda to get us out of recession.

He came on a platform APC, a party of strange bed fellows with vested and self interest politicians. Consequently, the party is a like lost ship that is rudderless. The reason is not far fetched.

Let us examine the political blocks that make up the ruling party, APC

1.President Buhari is the arrow head of a political bloc that is very powerful within the party, APC. He led the CPC into the alliance that metamorphosed to APC.

As the executive President, in a Presidential system, he holds enormous powers. He commands large followership from the north based on his personal integrity and Spartan lifestyle. But his personal integrity has not transformed to performance to change the fortunes of his party and Nigeria as a whole. His government recorded lack luster and below averaged performance .

He has little to show apart from curtailing the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east. His fight against corruption had been directed at the previous government but closing eyes to allegations of sleaze within his government.

The report of the investigation of his erstwhile SGF (Secretary to the Government of the federation ) had been submitted and no action had been taken. An allegation of award of contracts to the tune of $26 billion, by his minister of state for petroleum against the GMD of NNPC has been swept under the carpet. Our President that is fighting corruption does deem it fit to investigate.

The President has been having health challenges lately. His ill health has slowed down the smooth running of government. Despite this, his handlers and supporters have started his reelection bid for 2019.

The presence of a “cabal” in his government will not rest on their oars to ensure their benefactor gets to run his constitutional second term. The ambition is being kept under wraps by his inner circle and his ambition is beginning to tear the party apart.

The President wants to maintain the status quo of the John Oyegun led executive hierarchy of APC. Inability of the party not to have its mini convention is deliberate in order not to allow the Hawks within the party rock the boat that is already design to favour him.

2. Bola Ahmed Tinubu led the legacy party ACN to APC. ACN is much more a bigger party than CPC. Tinubu had a nationalistic agenda and wanted to be part of a central government. He was tired of being referred to as a regional leader thus encouraging his ethnic stock, from the south west to support Buhari. Buhari had contested three times and lost but won the fourth time when the south west votes supported his bid.

Unfortunately the power brokers within the party had a hidden agenda.

Tinubu was given the title of national leader without clear mandate and defined responsibility. He was enjoying the accolade but not knowing he’s political clout had been reduced, as a result of not having any role to play

The Governorship elections in Ondo, Kogi and Edo brought the reality that he’s just a figure head. He has forgotten the fact that the President is the national leader.

It dawned on him when his preferred choice was sidelined in the Ondo gubernatorial election. He was embarrassed, he wrote a scathing letter to APC national chairman, John Oyegun and the executive of the party.

It is pretty obvious that Tinubu has got his fingers burnt. He was not rewarded for his contributions to the party. He’s waiting in the wings to re access his political future.

He has fallen back to his old political base using his supporters to test waters. Pa Akande his staunch ally and a leading member of the party, intimated that any member can contest for the office of the Presidency, jettisoning the zoning formula.

To political watchers, there are under current moves to prepare Tinubu’s shot at Presidency, or otherwise, could be a grand design of bigger things to come.

But the fact remains that Tinubu and his group had been schemed out of political calculations. The party had its emergency meeting with Governors on the party’s platform and leadership of the National Assembly recently. Tinubu, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the south west Governors were conspicuously absent.

3. Former Vice President Atiku contributed immensely both politically and financially to APC . Atiku has never hidden his ambition to become the President of Nigeria. As a result of his ambition, Atiku had been moving from one political party to another. He joined APC with the mindset to realize his ambition, contested in the primary but was not successful because the machinery of the party was deployed favorably for Buhari. Atiku with his financial war chest learnt this hard lesson and lost the ticket to the man of the moment.

He had no choice but to support hoping that 2019 could present another opportunity. Leaving nothing to chance, Atiku unveiled his plan in earnest but it seems this action has pitted him against his party and this government.

For his perceived obduracy, the government has launched strings of attacks at his business interests. A company he has substantial interest ( Intels) has been involved in port operations and it is a multi billion naira contract spanning close to 30 years.

By executive fiat, the government cancelled the contract through the office of the nation’s Attorney General. As if that is not enough, the company’s office was shut down by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over unpaid tax. These actions are going to have a political backlash since Atiku has large followership within the party.

4. Bukola Saraki is an influential member of the break away faction of PDP. He dumped the political party (PDP) that gave him political reckoning and joined APC. Bukola has not hidden his desire to become a political godfather. He inherited the political machinery of his father (late Dr Olusola Saraki) left behind. He’s the strong man of his state, Kwara in the north central Nigeria. He has surpassed his father’s achievements in the political turf by becoming the current Senate President. His late father was the Senate majority leader in the second republic

Immediately APC won the general election, he put everything in motion to become the nation’s Senate President. He took the opportunity when the senate presidency was zoned to the north central.

Against the party’s preferred choice, he became the Senate President against all odds. This set the tone for his political persecution. He was tried for all manners of corruption related charges. The cases dragged on for a long time, and it set the party’s membership at the National Assembly against the inner nucleus of the party. He won all the charges against him, and the party is yet to get over the sad episode.

Saraki’s debacle largely contributed to the polarizing state of the party. It affected the party’s cohesion and discipline.

In an interview recently, Saraki said that the party is drifting apart and not a rallying point for members. He said the crisis in the party is related to “administrative aspect and the inability of the national executives to provide leadership in driving the party”. He’s partly right because many state chapters of the party have been bedeviled with intra party crises, and the party has not been able to stem the tide.

Presently, the party does not have substantive Chairman of Board of Trustees since inception. National executive committee and caucus meetings have not been meeting periodically. A party that does not have a mini convention is falling apart, and members are at a loss of the direction it is heading. It has become effete, ineffective and incoherent.

An appointee of this government, Professor Itse Sagay made mention of this fact but instead of the party to turn a new leaf, he was thoroughly insulted.

The cracks have started manifesting.

It is sad that a party that promised so much has been able to deliver a little of his campaign and utopian promises. Many believe so much in this President that his party will make a difference but unfortunately it has dashed the hopes of Nigerians that believed so much in it.

According to Dele Momodu, a staunch supporter of President Buhari and APC, he wrote and I quote ‘ What we envisaged to be a change is fast becoming a mirage and turning out to be a riotous calamity’

Can this party be trusted again?

Do average Nigerians have faith in this party?

Will it be able to turn the tide and improve its fortunes?

For now, it’s soul is gone

Only time will tell.

The Role & History of Past Aare Ona Kakanfo


Epilogue

Late  Aare Ona Kakanfo, MKO Abiola and his wife , Kudirat died in the struggle to actualise the mandate freely given to them by Nigerian people in a general election
Sunday 15th of October marked a turning point with the announcement of 47 year old Ganiyu Adams by the Alaafin of Oyo, as the next Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land. The search for the next occupant of the exalted title came to an end.

I have been looking for a powerful article regarding the historical background on Aare Ona Kakanfo until I stumbled on this anonymous writer. He did a good job on it and I like to share it:

19 years after Abiola’s death, Yorubas are eagerly waiting for the manifestation of another Aare Ona Kakanfo.

Abiola was known to have held traditional titles from all the geo-political zones in the country and even beyond Nigeria. He achieved a rare feat of being the Basorun of Ibadanland and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, holding the two titles simultaneously.
Not many have however thought about it that the beginning of the end was when Chief Moshood Abiola took the Aare Ona Kakanfo title.
Though it has been claimed in recent times that the title has become more or less ceremonial, traditionally, the Kakanfo is meant to be the head of the Eso’s (the Alaafin’s special military force) and the head of the Yoruba army. The title in those days was reserved for the greatest Yoruba tactician.
When Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola became the occupant of the position decades after Aare Latoosa’s death during the Kiriji war, it was believed that the days when Kakanfos died in wars were over. The thought all over Yorubaland then was that Akintola’s dexterity and achievements as Minister and Premier of the Western Region earned him the title.

Characteristics of the Aare Ona Kakanfo
A peep into the spiritual responsibilities attached to the title probably explains why the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba I.B Akinyele prayed in his book, Iwe Itan Ibadan that no Ibadan indigene should ever become the Aare Ona Kakanfo again.
Before taking office, Kakanfos of old were made to pass through rigorous spiritual exercises including shaving the head after which 201 incisions are made on the bald head with 201 different lancets. Specially prepared ingredients from 201 viols are rubbed into the cuts, one for each.
The incisions are mainly to make the Kakanfo fearless and courageous, hence the stubborn and obstinate nature of Aare Ona Kakanfos.
In the days of the Oyo Empire, Oyo indigenes or residents were never made Kakanfos because the Aare was not to give way to anyone, not even the Alaafin, if the need ever arose.
And by virtue of his office as the commander of the Alaafin’s army and that of the entire Yoruba nation, Kakanfos of old were required to go to war at least once in three years on the orders of the Alaafin, and the Kakanfo must return dead or alive within three months. In other words, he is to return home a victor or be brought home as a corpse.

A Jinxed Title?
So far, Yorubaland has had 14 Kakanfos namely Kokoro Gangan (Iwoye), Oyatope (Iwoye), Oyabi (Ajase), Adeta (Jabata), Oku (Jabata), Afonja (Ilorin), Toyeje (Ogbomoso), Edun (Gbogun), Amepo (Abemo), Kurumi (Ijaye), Ojo Aburumaku (son of Toyeje of Ogbomoso), Latoosa (Ibadan), Ladoke Akintola (Ogbomoso) and Moshood Abiola (Abeokuta).
Whether by coincidence or design, most of them were connected with turmoil that shook Yorubaland. Afonja L’aiya L’oko (the brave warrior with the spear) of Ilorin, Kurumi of Ijaye, Latoosa of Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola had their deaths connected to incidents involving change of government. Toyeje who could have been said to have had a good end suffered an ignominious treatment as Onikoyi, a provincial ruler created a parallel Aare Ona Kakanfo in person of Edun. As such, Toyeje had to cope with the existence of a rival Kakanfo and it was only in his time that Yorubaland had two Kakanfos.
The similar fates that befell past Kakanfos were obviously more than just coincidence. MKO Abiola’s immediate predecessor, Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the former Premier of the Western Region was shot dead on January 15, 1966 during a coup that marked the end of the First Republic. Armed soldiers had stormed his residence and like a true Kakanfo, Akintola did not give up without a fight. He opened fire and wounded some of the soldiers before he was eventually shot.
Yorubaland will never forget Iyanda Asubiaro Latoosa of the Oke Aare fame in Ibadan, Latoosa, Akintola’s predecessor died in the course of the 16-year Ekitiparapo War that shook the whole of Yorubaland. Ekitis and Ijesas came together with their allies and in a desperate battle to attain independence from Ibadan which held them under subjection for decades. After spending years on the war front on the hills of Imesi Kiriji, Latoosa died of a broken heart in 1885. Of course by the end of the Ekitiparapo War, the face of administration of Yorubaland changed, the Ibadan yoke was thrown off just as the British became the new masters.
Kurumi, the Aare who held sway in Ijaye paid dearly in the hands of the Ibadan army for insisting that Crown Prince Adelu should die with Alaafin Atiba, his father, according to the old order. His refusal to recognise Adelu as Alaafin led to his downfall as the Ibadan army had aligned with the “constitutional amendment” effected by Alaafin Atiba which enabled crown princes to succeed their fathers. After a two-year war, Ijaye was reduced by famine and the Aare eventually died a sad man having lost two of his sons in one of the battles. Till date, Ijaye has not fully recovered from the 1870s war. Most of the inhabitants fled to Abeokuta where they took refuge in a part of the town known then as Ago Ijaye. Many never returned as they adopted Abeokuta as home leaving Ijaye which was one of the main Yoruba towns then with the status far below the one it enjoyed in the days of old.
The case of Afonja of Ilorin was pathetic. At the zenith of his glory, he was the greatest and most powerful Yoruba ruler. His undoing was the invitation he extended to his Fulani priest to come and reside in Ilorin. It was only a matter of time before an insurrection was made against him; he eventually died by the hands of the Fulanis. With Afonja’s death came the transfer of power as Ilorin which was before then a Yoruba town went into the hands of the Fulanis. Like Ijaye, Ilorin changed; a town that was once ruled by an Aare came under the firm control of the Emir.
Those who believe the Aare Ona Kakanfo title is jinxed have traced the woes of subsequent Aares after Afonja to the curse placed on Afonja by Alaafin Aole.
Aole had ordered Afonja to embark on a suicide mission by attacking Iwere Ile, a town naturally fortified. The refusal of the Aare to carry out the orders of his sovereign led to distrust. With the help of Fulanis, Afonja instigated an attack that sacked Oyo. Before the Alaafin went to sleep eternally, however he pronounced some curses after which the Yoruba country never remained the same.
Though the title might have become ceremonial after the end of civil wars in Yorubaland, the change has probably not been effected in the spiritual realm.

… And Finally The Conspiracy Theory of Abiola’s Death!
It has been widely agreed that like most of his predecessors, the late Aare Ona Kakanfo did not die of natural causes, regardless of the autopsy report that did not spot any foul play. While the ‘tea’ hypothesis remains the most widespread, some Nigerians have come out to say Abiola was killed by the same forces that killed General Sani Abacha, on whose orders Abiola was detained.
That they died within 30 days of each other was more than a coincidence to many observers. The conclusion drawn by a vast majority is that “the two of them had to go since Nigeria was at a standstill for 4 years over Abiola’s refusal to surrender his mandate as well as Abacha’s ambition to transform into a civilian President”
Yorubas are eagerly waiting for the manifestation of another Aare Ona Kakanfo.
Who’s is next?

Who Is Afraid Of Referendum? Catalonia and The Kurds in View

By Muyiwa Olayinka

A referendum according to Wikipedia is a direct vote, in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. It could be referred to as a vote, where all the people in a country or an area are asked to give their opinion about or decide an important political or social problem.The world is referred to as a global village simply, because, the ease of interconnectivity of various world markets through seamless trade partnerships, technological advancements, integration of economy and political systems. Countries within the same continent forms regional groupings to promote  healthy economic partnerships, also encourage integrated security systems across borders.

For instance, European Union (EU) in the European continent was formed to have a bigger market with a single currency (Euros) to foster ease of doing business. Euro has inadvertently, been strengthened against the United states’ dollars ($) as a result of this initiative.

Referendum in recent times, seems to negate this concept of single economy.

Firstly, in an historic move with a referendum conducted in 2016, Britain voted “leave or exit”opting to quit the European Union and put an end to a 43 year relationship with the continent. It was a decision that shocked the EU and the rest of the world. Currently, EU and Britain are involved in negotiations to complete the Brexit (British Exit).

The election of US President Donald Trump also threatens single global economic concept. Donald Trump in his inaugural address to the nation, has not hidden the fact of his commitment to the domestic market of United States. He promised to review some economic partnerships that hurts the American economy. In keeping to his promise, Donald Trump confirms the withdrawal of USA from the Paris Agreement Climate change deal his predecessor, Barrack Obama, initiated with other world leaders.

Secondly, the EU were jolted by the demand for referendum by Catalonia to gain independence from the Kingdom of Spain. The demand is not new but somehow emboldened by Brexit. If granted, it will have grave and negative consequences on EU. EU has not gotten over Brexit, but may clandestinely supported Spain not to encourage Catalonians’ referendum.

Catalonia region is in northeastern Spain. Barcelona is the regional capital, and about 1.6 million people live there.. It accounts for 15% of Spain’s population. Catalonia was once part of the Roman Empire. During the Franco Spanish, Catalonia revolted against a large presence of the Spanish royal army in its territory, becoming a republic under French protection.
France took control of Catalonia at a high economic cost to Catalonia, until it was largely reconquered by the Spanish army.

The Principality of Catalonia was an autonomous territory that was forced to become the Kingdom of Spain, after its defeat in the war of Spanish succession in the 15th century. This forced merger led to the loss of Catalan language and traditions. After many attempts to get independence from Spain, Catalonia’s parliament passed a law paving way for an October 1, 2017 referendum.

It measures the possibility of declaring independence from Spain, a vote fiercely opposed by the central government in Madrid.

Sunday’s vote will be the region’s second referendum on independence in 3 years. The previous ballot, a non binding vote in November 2014, returned an 80 % result in favor of an independent Catalonia state.

The concern of Madrid is the fact that Catalonia, a region of 7.5 million people with its own language and culture, accounts for about 20% of Spain’s economic output. Whatever hurts Spain will adversely hurts the EU. The central government has declared it as an act of illegality, through the central Spanish court’s ruling.

The push for full autonomy appears to have gathered pace in recent years, most notably since Spain’s 2008 debt crisis.

To show Spain means business in scuttling it, the central government, (in Madrid), drafted the central police and other security related agencies to secure critical infrastructure like airports, seaports, other key and strategic institutions. Many websites are being monitored, some have been shut down. The region had been under siege as the date draws to a close. Many civil society groups, activists, bloggers that are committed and sympathetic have been detained and clamped into detentions.

Some have been freed on bail conditions while some are facing prosecutions. Promoters and supporters have vowed to go ahead and keep the October 1 date. The world is watching.

Thirdly, The Kurdish referendum took place in Northern Iraq on September 25th , 2017 amidst resistance from the central government of Baghdad, Iraq. It has dire consequences to the the Arab world and the world at large.

The Kurdish people live (majority Muslims) in the historical Kurdistan region, which today is split between Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. The estimated population is 35 million. Together they represent the largest ethnic in the world without a state of their own. A rough estimate has Kurdish populations of 14.5 million in Turkey, 6 million in Iran, about 5 to 6 million in Iraq and less than 2 million in Syria.

In each of these 4 countries, they are a suppressed minority groups.

Conscious of the fact that none of these four countries will ever agree to the creation of a single state for them, the Kurds have settled for a measure of autonomy on a sort of loose association with their central governments. But even this minor concession is viewed by some countries as posing a serious threat to their corporate existence.

For fear of having a state of its own, thereby encouraging the rest in three other countries, to seek for independence, the central government of Iraq viewed the referendum as “unconstitutional”.

The result released shows 92% voted for independence from Iraq. The result spurred spontaneous celebrations in the region.

The Iraqi government has refused to hold talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) about the result of the Monday’s “unconstitutional” referendum on independence to northern Iraq. It has been monitoring critical infrastructure like airports. Unfortunately,  for the Kurds, Iraq is in charge of security and foreign policy.

Turkey reacted swiftly by threatening to close its major border with the region. As a matter of fact Turkey supplies all basic needs such as food, medicines goods and services through the border. Basically, the economy of the Kurdistan region relies on Turkey. Succinctly put, the northern Iraq got independence on paper but economically subservient to Iraq and Turkey.

The United Nations through the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said the referendum was unilaterally declared, included disputed areas and was opposed by Iraqi authorities and the global community.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has warned that the referendum on support for the independence for Iraqi Kurdistan next door risks sparking an ethnic war in the region. He opined it will affect the fragile stability of the region and may lead to more terrorist attacks, considering the civil war going on in Syria.

The world is waited with bated breath of the proposed Catalonia’s “illegal” referendum and the Kurdish’s completed “unconstitutional” referendum.

It remains to be seen, how these contentious issues will be diplomatically and successfully handled, in order not to affect the stability of the two regions, and the world at large.

Exclusive Nnamdi Kanu: Evolution Of A Freedom Fighter Or A Demagogue? (Pic & video)

By Muyiwa Olayinka

Nnamdi Kanu

Mazi Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Kenny Okwu Kanu is a British-Nigeria political activist. He’s popularly known as Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

He is the leader of one of several Biafran separatist organizations, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and a former director of Radio Biafra.

Many did not know that Kanu started with Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). MASSOB was launched in Abia state, Nnamdi Kanu’s state, in 1999, according to Chief Ralph Uwazurike, the founder.

As the name depicts, it is meant to realize the state of Biafa from the Nigerian Federation. He had consistently embarked on programs aimed at actualising Biafra, and was the arrow head of the agitation.

The name Biafra is a name synonymous with the agitation of the Igbos in the mid 60s. The name came to being during the crisis in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, when the head of the federal military government of Nigeria, General Aguiyi Ironsi, an Igbo man, was killed in a military coup. It lead to a pogrom against the Igbos in other parts of the country, culminating to a 20 month civil war that claimed more than 2.5 million lives. The civil war ended in 1970.

Since the civil war, some Igbos feel alienated from the mainstream Nigeria, in terms of opportunities, demographical structure and political appointments. Some have not gotten over the scars of civil war. Unfortunately, no Nigerian of Igbo extraction had been the head of government of Nigeria since 1966. The south east has 5 states, the lowest compared to other regions that have 6 and 7 in the case of north west.

Successive past heads of federal government of Nigeria did not want to tolerate any form of secession being bandied by any group from the south east.

As a result of this, Uwazurike had many encounters and running battles with the Nigerian Federal government of the Former Presidents Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. He was arrested at different times, and some members of his organization were maimed, killed and sent to various prisons in Nigeria. In one of his arrests, he was incacerated in prison, when Uwazurike’s mother died. After so much pleas, President Obasanjo released him to bury her.

In his quest for Biafra, Uwazurike introduced Biafran passports, currency, and the flag. At a point, Biafran pound was exchanged for two hundred and seventy Naira at the border town of Togo and the Republic of Benin.

On May 22nd 2000, Uwazurike re declared the state of Biafra with the submission of Biafra bills of rights to the United nations and he claimed he attended the OAU summit the same year in Togo.

After 10 years of existence of MASSOB, Uwazurike launched Radio Biafra in 2009 in London and was managed by Nnamdi Kanu, on behalf of MASSOB.

On May 31, 2013, Uwazurike’s MASSOB was branded as one of the three extremists groups threatening the security of Nigeria.

President Goodluck Jonathan listed them as the Boko Haram in the north east, the MASSOB in the south east and the Oodua’s People’s Congress in the Southwest.

Unfortunately, bubble burst at the  top echelon of MASSOB. Uwazurike who was almost invincible and revered by his followers started questioning him and his methodology. He was accused of financial impropriety and of being insensitive to the plights of members that were incarcerated in various Nigerian prisons

Many splinter groups came out of MASSOB and one of them was IPOB.

As the director of the radio station, beaming directly to Nigeria, Nnamdi used the radio station to his advantage during the crisis in MASSOB.
The crisis led to the exit of Nnamdi Kanu. For him to entrench himself to the consciousness of the Igbos, he became controversial, confrontational and promoted hate speeches. He was dishing it  out ferociously.

Some of his hate speeches that seems to present him as a lunatic are presented below:

1 Nigeria is a zoo and everybody living in that God forsaken zoo deserves to die

2 By the time we finish dealing with the animals in the zoo, there will be none left to tell the story

3 “The imbecilic Goodluck Jonthan is a disgrace to humanity and deserves to be skinned alive for handing over to an Hausa goat….” The Hausa goat he’s referring to is the current President of Nigeria

4 We are assembling weapons and we need some more money to thoroughly equip our military to enable us unleash mayhem on Nigeria

5 Buhari is a shameless peadophile and rapist

6 Buhari married his wife after raping her several times , the records are there

7 No Ibo man should attend any church where the pastor is a Yoruba man, they are criminals and fools.

8 Buhari is a terrorist and should be killed…..

This is completely different from the purpose and intent of why Uwazurike set up the radio station.

Uwazurike in an interview he granted, painfully said “ The radio was meant to educate our people and advice our people was turned to a source of hate messages, blackmail, intimidation and others. The resultant effect was that the northern youths came up to challenge us to say they are not happy with hate messages and the insults they receive from the radio”

On 5 September 2015 Nnamdi Kanu was a guest speaker at the World Igbo Congress which was held in Los Angeles, California, where he told his audience that “we need guns and we need bullets”.

Please watch the video

He later recanted the statement that they needed it to protect themselves from the mauraders of the herdsmen tormenting the region.

Fortunately for Nnamdi Kanu, many unemployed youths from the south east and the lower rungs of the society embraced these hate messages.

In addition, Nigeria was going through a debilitating recession that made live increasingly difficult to many Nigerians Many became adherents of Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi called for secession of the whole of south east, some parts of the Niger Delta from Nigeria. To achieve this, he has consistently called for a referendum. He said he’s championing the interest of the south east region since the federation has largely marginalized his people in the scheme of things.

Despite his activism, he was relatively unknown to majority of Nigeria until when he was incarcerated in 2015. On October, 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested by the state’s security police, Department of State Services (DSS) at an Ikeja based hotel. He was charged for treasonable felony and arraigned in court on October 19, 2015. He was granted bail at a later day. The Buhari led government however held him in prison against the court pronouncement. Many appealed to government to adhere to the court’s pronouncement, but the government refused.

The President in his rare media chat to the nation defended his positions and stated reasons why he will not release him.

This unpopular stand by the government made Nnamdi Kanu to have a cult like follower ship in the south eastern region and other parts of Nigeria . He came to the consciousness of the world, because his followers organized sporadic and endless protests at home and abroad.

It became a norm for the south easterners to stand in solidarity any time Nnamdi Kanu appears in court. He became a media sensation as he appeared in Jewish robes at court sittings.

His incarceration generated protests across parts of Delta state, Rivers state, Cross River state and the core south states of Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and his home state, Abia. His supporters across European cities like Italy, Spain kept vigil for him

He was given a conditional bail late April 2017, after spending almost two years in prison. Outside the prison he granted interviews, organizing rallies in major south eastern cities and receiving supporters in his father’s house in Umuahia. These were contrary to the bail condition given to him.

He consistently challenged the government and threatened to organize rallies at the state capital city of Abuja.

The federal government approached the court, to void the bail, setting the stage for his re arrest but unfortunately resorted to self help by drafting soldiers to Umuahia, the state capital of Abia. The capital had been under siege since Sunday.

The federal government is going through an unfamiliar route, making many Nigerians and the world at large becoming more sympathetic to Nnamdi Kanu despite his initial and constant demeanor. One questions the rationale of drafting soldiers to a city dominated by civilians, punishing majority in order to deal with Kanu and his group.

Military actions or exercise leaves destruction, sorrow, blood and tears in its path. I hope it will not have a backlash effect on an already charged polity.

The whole world is watching!

Exclusive: The will of the people shall prevail 

By Muyiwa Olayinka

“Let the will of God prevail over our land”This is Nigerians’ prayer. Nigerians are deeply religious. God does not make mistakes, it is the people that make mistakes. God gave us the power to choose our leaders. Diid we make a blunder in voting Mr President in 2015, with present state of things in Nigeria? Nigeria remains more divisive since independence in 1960.

The government derives its authority from the sovereignty given by Nigerians.

The sovereignty lies with the people, it can be exercised constitutionally, if President Buhari fails to fulfill his campaign promises.

There had been calls for restructuring and federalism. Unfortunately, the President has been adamant and resistance to the call. He refused to set the machineries in motion to adhere to the wishes of the people. He has repeatedly spurned the demand. The President is so brazen in his hard stance because there is no provision, within the constitution to force him to do the needful.

By being rigid, the President has polarized the nation along ethnic and religious lines. There are discordant tunes among the different ethnic groups. He has not helped matters with his body language and his actions in office

Through his pronouncements and appointments into political offices, he has either consciously and unconsciously, put the interest of his ethnic group over others.

His party, APC, in its manifesto, made restructuring one of the cardinal pillars of the party, but as the political leader of the party, he has consistently jettisoned it.

The party lacks mechanism to force the President to implement it. The party is so fractious that the Board of Trustee, meant to be advisory organ, is yet to be inaugurated two years after it forms the government.

One needs to understand President Buhari’s political evolution in order to understand his political philosophy. He represents the core conservative northern Nigeria that wants to maintain the status quo. What is the status quo?

The Hausa Fulanis of the northern region had always believe the nation belongs to them and others regions are seen as appendages of Nigeria. The northern region were given more representatives, at the Federal level, as a result of its land mass. This lopsided arrangement was initiated by the colonial leaders before independence. Currently, the northern region has more states, collects more revenue from the Federation account. It has more representatives at the federal parliament than the southern region.

This has been sustained over a long period of time through dubious and acrimonious national census figures. In addition, the election that brought Buhari to power was based on sectional sentiments. It was not out of place when Buhari maintained he would consider the 97% of people that voted for him against the 5% that voted against him.

Instructively, the northern part of Nigeria voted for him massively in the 2015 general elections against his opponent from the southern part of Nigeria.

His predecessor and opponent in 2015 election, Dr Goodluck Jonathan conducted a national conference in 2014 in an attempt to solve some of the nagging national problems.

The conference paraded a broad spectrum of brightest Nigerians that cut across all spheres of human endeavor. The document was submitted but was not implemented before the general elections of 2015. I questioned the sincerity of Jonathan in organizing the conference. Jonathan’s sincerity was in doubt because he did not make any attempt to implement any of the recommendations before he lost his reelection.

Nevertheless, the document made far reaching recommendations. Many Nigerians have called for the implementation of the draft document but President Buhari has vehemently refused. Sadly the document is gathering dust at the national archives.

He came to government with a mindset to maintain the stronghold of power for the north. He has never hidden the desire of making up for times lost by the north, as a result of the untimely death of his brother and kinsman, former President, Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

Unfortunately, Buhari has been bedeviled of an undisclosed illness.. He had been receiving treatments in a London hospital.

He practically relocated abroad to attend to his failing health. The consequence of not tackling perceived marginalization and restructuring has made the Igbos (from the south east), consistently calling for secession from the federation.

In the north, the Arewa Youth Vanguard in Kaduna, gave the Igbo residents a terminal date of October 1 to exit. Some sections of the Yorubas (from south west) are calling for Oduduwa nation, and sadly too, the Niger Deltans (from the south south) were asking all non indigenes to leave their region. All these agitations were mounting when Mr President was receiving medical treatment abroad.

President Buhari eventually spent 104 days in London before returning . When he came back, many were relieved, expectant that their leader would have a change of heart, be able to heal wounds and mend broken fences. Many lined the streets of Abuja, Kano, Bauchi, and Katsina (his home state) to celebrate his return and welcome him back.

The rejuvenated Mr President, as the father of the nation, should have closed ranks, acts like an elder statesman and reconcile all warring factions.

Instead he made a national broadcast, giving orders to heads of security agencies to ensure security and enforce the unity of the nation at all costs

In his words, he said “Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood. The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart. I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax”.

Many felt that the speech was vague and somewhat arrogant.

They were disappointed with the broadcast because it fell short of the expectations of many Nigerians. The expectation is that the President would use his authority and his experience to address the challenge thrown up by a quit notice given to the people belonging to a particular ethnic group in a section of the country. They thought he could have called to order the purveyors of hate speech, not only in a particular section but across board.

It was offensive to the sensibilities of Nigerians because it failed to address national discourse during his long sojourn abroad. Such vexed issues such as worsening separatists agitations, federalism and restructuring, security and national cohesion.

With his address he failed to gauge the mood of the nation and lost the opportunity to redeem the autocratic image of his government.

Former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili tweeted the President missed a golden opportunity to address the national question. The leader of foremost Yoruba leader and a member of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo said the President did not gauge the mood of the nation before making that address.

The truth is that we can not be living a lie in Nigeria. The hardline posture of Mr President will inadvertently drive the agitators of secession and separation underground and the consequence may be catastrophic. Mr President ought to learn from countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, that are fighting internal wars.

Since the inception of the fourth republic that started on May 29th 1999, successive governments have failed to address the fundamental issues. Issues like devolution of powers to the federating states, resource control, empowering the local government units and expunging obnoxious laws that negate the principles of federalism from our constitution have been on the front burner.

Past governments have persistently avoided all these contentious issues by paying lip service and applying cosmetic approach. Buhari made it worse by foreclosing the discussion of these issues.

Nigeria cannot run away from these problems. We must create a conducive atmosphere to sit down to discuss them. No amount of military might, martial laws or issuance of decrees will subjugate the will of the people. The earlier we know this, the better. It is better to jaw jaw than to war war.

No matter how highly placed such individual could be, including Mr President, he cannot have the monopoly of knowledge, or wiser than majority of Nigerians. Defending the interest of his ethnic stock against the interest of rest of the nation will boomerang. I hope this resistances do persistent cries of marginalization will not push this country to the brink of precipice.

The northern resistance will bow to the general will of the people. Even President Buhari’s stubborn posture cannot stop the will of the people.

The will of the people shall prevail, it is only a matter of time.

 

The power of civil disobedience and collective protests.

By Muyiwa Olayinka

I once said that the Resume or campaign contributed to the quick return of Mr President. He felt their impact in Europe that he had to do something really quick about it.

He packed his luggage and ran back home because he knew the protest will turn out to be messy and embarrassing

While responding to some of the governors visiting him in Aso rock, a newspaper reported this:

Some Nigerians in the UK had held an all night protest against Buhari ’s long absence from Nigeria at the Abuja House between 5pm on Friday , August 18 and 9 am on Saturday, August 19, 2017, asking him to either return to Nigeria to resume work or resign so as to allow a more capable person to lead the country . During his meeting with governors , Buhari , however, said, “ I am very happy with the national prayers that cut across religions and ethnicity ; people were praying. “ In fact , some groups in London came and sang the national anthem and asked that I should go back home. Indeed , I have come back home. I hope those who went there are not stuck there. (I hope ) they will come back and join us. “ Those that are stuck there with the Brexit , I hope they have weighed the implications that it won’ t affect them , including those that have property there. “ Those who are not paying tax here; I hope when they sell their property there, they will bring some of the money here. We need it very badly here .”

This is to tell you that you are consequential in the affairs of your country.

The people living in Europe know the power of protest. It is really sad that Nigerians at home do not know their rights. While Charly Boy was protesting many did not agree to join his protest. He was castigated and ridiculed.  He accused his fellow artist, 2face Idibia, of not joining the protest. Some even said his “mumu” just started when he was nearly killed at Wuse market in Abuja.

Even in social media, some people in a mischievous manner posted some old pictures of Charly Boy when he rode on a bike with the then President Good luck Jonathan. They were inferring as if he was being sponsored by Good luck Jonathan. Some wrote ridiculous post like “Corruption is fighting back”.

Some of us have to examined ourselves properly because it portrays a generation that is bereft of ideas I still read some argument along party lines, depending where one’s bread is buttered. Some could not look at the bigger picture that our country is drifting into a pit of abyss.

At times you wonder if some have lost their brains with posts you read in the social media.

Are we this stupid? We continually celebrate our Emperors or slave masters to our detriment and generations When are we going to ask real questions about how our nation has been brought to this ignoble status.

A serving President left his duty post for 104 days and some still have the temerity to start talking about re electing him in 2019, when he has not fulfill his utopian promises

The President has not deemed it fit to disclose the nature of his illness. Didn’t he owe us this simple information if he considers the fact that majority of Nigerians voted for him in 2015. Public funds were spent to treat him yet he has not made a disclosure about his health status. Many Nigerians are unlucky and have died as a result of minor ailments.

I think there is something wrong with some of us in Nigeria.

What we could not do in Nigeria, many brazed against the odds in London to force our President back home to resume the job he asked and signed for.

Shame to our collective lukewarmness.

Kudos to Charly Boy and others

Second African  longest President stands down for election, endorses his lackey as a successor

 

Some African leaders are just power hungry, ruling for 38 years but in his magnanimity refuses to go for another term due to illness. We have to credit him at least, in African context, his counterpart in Zimbabwe is still holding on to power despite failing health.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos 74, did not copy his senior, President Robert Mugabe 94, who has consistently held on to power despite his failing health.

President Dos Santos can  be likened to a man locking a door but still holding onto the keys.Dos Santos positioned his children in all the key sectors of the economy.

 His daughter Isabel dos Santos is the richest African woman according to Forbes magazine.

Clare Spencer of BBC  in Luanda did a a comprehensive report on this African President as Angolans go to the polls to elect the next leader.

Angolans are preparing to go to the polls to choose a new president. But although the country’s long-serving leader is standing down, he and his family do not seem ready to give up power.President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 74, has been president of Angola since September 1979 – a total of 38 years.

While the colours of his ruling party – red, yellow and black – dominate the streets of the capital, Luanda, there are sprinklings of the yellow and blue of opposition parties.

Choosing his replacement marks a momentous occasion for a country where most people have known no other president.

But with his children in prominent positions in Angola, and the incoming president’s powers weakened, Mr Dos Santos is unlikely to be out of the picture.

The man hoping to take over from Mr Santos is Joao Lourenco, the current defence minister
While many credit him for leading the country to recovery at the end of the war in 2002, others accuse him of staying in office too long.

He is the world’s second-longest serving president, behind Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

He has also been dogged by rumours of ill health, after travelling to Spain for medical reasons and returning for a second time last month.

Speculation got so intense that his daughter, Isabel, posted a statement on Instagram denying that he was dead.

But it was before then, in February, that Mr Dos Santos indicated he would not run in the election and that Defence Minister Joao Lourenco would be the ruling party’s presidential candidate.

Holding on to power

Mr Dos Santos will continue as leader of the MPLA, and the powers of the incoming president have already been weakened.

Just a month before the election, Angola’s parliament passed a law that prohibits the new president from sacking the heads of the army, police and intelligence services for eight years.

Despite living in poverty, flags for the ruling party still adorn the houses in the poorer areas
Lawmakers also granted Mr Dos Santos a seat on the Council of the Republic which, Bloomberg reports, gives him immunity from prosecution.

As one politics expert, Dalvan Costa, put it to the BBC, the president is “partially holding on to power”.

He points to former Prime Minister Marcolino Moco, who he says put it like this: “He’s closing the doors but taking the keys.”

Power through his children

Mr Dos Santos’s children continue to have a lot of power in the country – not least Isabel, who holds the title of Africa’s richest woman, according to Forbes.

She was already a billionaire with a broad business portfolio when her father put her put her in charge of the state oil company, Sonangol.

As head of the company she is in a powerful position, given that Angola vies with Nigeria for top spot as Africa’s largest oil producer.

And Mr Dos Santos’s son, Jose Filomeno, was chosen to head a sovereign wealth fund set up to invest Angola’s oil wealth.

The president’s billionaire daughter Isabel dos Santos denies her wealth is derived from the state
While one daughter and son have influential positions in oil and finance, another son is in charge of entertainment.

Jose Paulino, known by his stage name Coreon Du, is a singer and a TV soap opera producer.

He reportedly said in 2013 that being the son of the president had been a hindrance to his career as people refused to play his music for political reasons.

Another, younger, son of Mr Dos Santos, Eduane Danilo dos Santos, came under scrutiny in May in the Angolan press after he bought a watch at a charity auction for a reported 500,000 euros ($587,000; £456,000).

The auctioneer was the US actor Will Smith, who was filmed saying he looks “way too young to have 500,000 euros”. Danilo later apologised, insisting that the money was a donation to charity.

How does the election work?
Every Angolan citizen over the age of 18 is entitled to vote, and voter registration is compulsory

Voters do not vote directly for a president. Instead, the leader of the party with a parliamentary majority becomes head of state

The 1992 constitution included the direct election of a president, but a new constitution in 2010 substituted this

MPs are elected for five-year terms by a mix of both proportional representation and a constituency-based system
‘Widespread poverty’

These incidents add to the criticism that, as Mr Dos Santos stands down, he has failed to spread the proceeds from the oil boom.

After appointing Isabel to run the state oil company, he was accused of nepotism by the anti-corruption body Transparency International.

It ranked Angola 12th in its perceptions of corruption index.

And the economy is one of the key election issues.
Prices have risen sharply, and it’s normal people feeling the pinch. A fruit seller tells me that what would buy me 10 oranges two years ago would now only buy seven.

So while Luanda is classed as the world’s most expensive city for so-called expats, there is still widespread poverty.

This will leave many Angolans wondering if whoever succeeds Mr Dos Santos will do a better job of spreading the wealth more evenly.