Situation Critical: Defeating Boko Haram 3a – Rationale for ACTION NOW!

Noel Ihebuzor:

My aburo and personal person, Ier, saying it and saying it well!

Originally posted on Ier Jonathan:

I must apologise. My tomorrow became three days after tomorrow – I can only say I had writer’s overload…when there is so much to say that you need to actually figure out how you are going to put it without overwhelming and boring your readers. Please bear with me. This is going to take longer than usual but this matter could mean life and death for you, me, our children and our very future. So I will build up to what we must do. You will forgive me as I split this up into Parts 3a, 3b and maybe even 3c (for publishing later this week). I hope you agree with me that this is too too important. Our lives and our very future depends on this.

First, a summary of Parts 1 & 2:

To defeat Boko Haram, we must first acknowledge that we have an intensely dangerous problem…

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God Lives In My Bones!

Noel Ihebuzor:

Impressive, powerful and inspiring – Nonye acknowledging God’s omnipresence!

Originally posted on :


God lives in my bones
In the rush of my blood,
And the tranquil of my soul

God lives in my skull
In my ever running thoughts
And my every passing words

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Between Criticism, Correction and Condemnation (The 3 Identical C’s)

Noel Ihebuzor:

A very positive contribution – strongly Rx.

Originally posted on :

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do”. – Dale Carnegie

Criticism, Condemnation and Correction happen to seem identical because they are most often misused, misconstrued and misread so much so that they end up carrying huge emotional aggravation when they are meant to be treated lightly and also get taken for granted when meant to be paid more attention to. However, the problem lies more with the first two– Criticism and Condemnation because Correction will most often stem out of the two. Knowing when and how to distinguish between the 3 identical C’s will help you see things from a different perspective and gear you towards the positive direction, using all 3 C’s as tools of motivation!

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Section 68, a Speaker’s Defection and the Depreciation of Honor


Noel A. Ihebuzor


Last week came the long expected announcement. The Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives had defected to the APC. At the extraordinary convention to welcome Tambuwal and celebrate the “catch”, the national chairman of the APC John Odigie Oyegun was exultant, and for very good reason. The fourth citizen of the realm, he kept repeating, was now with the “progressives”. It was celebrations galore as the brooms came out to sweep in a new member, a clean democrat from the “People Undemocratic Party”.

Errors and self revelations are not uncommon in such moments of celebration. When they do happen, the errors should be forgiven whilst special note should be made of the revealed character flaw. Odigie-Oyegun’s betrayal of gross partisanship in his claim that the containment of Ebola in Lagos and Rivers states was proof and example of the efficiency of APC led states falls into a special category of errors. But he should be forgiven for the tastelessness in his choice of exemplar whilst we note this penchant for making deceptive claims. The wine of “success” does at times impair proper functioning, and the APC drank quite some as it celebrated that day and into the night.

The country woke up the next day to learn that Mr Tambuwal’s security detail had been withdrawn on instruction of the IGP. That move was totally unnecessary. It made Tambuwal look like the innocent victim of police high-handedness. The withdrawal of the police detail also earned him a sizeable chunk of public sympathy, a large part of it completely unmerited when one considers what Mr Tambuwal did, failed to do and has not done till date. The withdrawal of the security detail was based on a hasty reading and interpretation of section 68 of the 1999 constitution.

The provisions of the said constitution on the implications of defection by an elected member to another party are quite clear. Section 68, sub 1 quoted in full below spell these out.

  1. (1)A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if -

(a) he becomes a member of another legislative house.

(b) any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, would cause him to be disqualified for election as a member;

(c) he ceases to be a citizen of Nigeria;

(d) he becomes President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor or a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State or a Special Adviser.

(e) save as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution, he becomes a member of a commission or other body established by this Constitution or by any other law.

(f) without just cause he is absent from meetings of the House of which he is a member for a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the House meets in any one year;

(g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected;

Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored; or

(h) the President of the Senate or, as the case may be, the Speaker of the House of Representatives receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission stating that the provisions of section 69 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of that member.

The withdrawal of the detail was based on reading 68 (1) (g) in isolation! If the IGP had read 68 (2) which details the process and necessary actions to be taken in the event of such a member defection, the withdrawal of the detail would not have been so precipitate. Section 68, sub 2 is reproduced below. That section clearly indicates the person to take action to give the defector the very well deserved red card!

(2) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall give effect to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, so however that the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House concerned that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of that member.

Mr. Tambuwal was fully aware of these provisions at the moment of his defection. The only person who could declare his loss of his membership of the house and by implication the immediate cessation of his status as Speaker is the Speaker, that is Mr Tambuwal himself! And Aminu Tambuwal is in no hurry to do just that. Mr Tambuwal is currently content to eat his cake and still have it. The best way to visualize this situation is to imagine a game of football where an elected referee suddenly abandons his supposed neutrality, signs up for one side and immediately commits a red card offense by that act. But nobody except the offending referee can issue a red card in the short and medium terms after the offense. Only a judge can cause a red card to be issued to the erring referee. Until this is done, the mayhem which the referee created will persist and its ripple effects may widen in scope and strength as the game is now played with feverish tempo and red hot tempers. Spectators would either be cheering or screaming, depending on which of the teams they support.

Such is the mess that we are in. Such is the mess Aminu Tambuwal has put us the country in all because he and his handlers were clever enough to see this gap in our constitution and to exploit it. Clearly, Mr Tambuwal must be enjoying himself due to this peculiarity in our constitution. But why would our constitution contain clauses and sub-sections that make for the type of messy situation that Tambuwal’s defection has created, one may ask? It is so easy to blame the constitution writers for situations like these. But truth be told, which constitution writer would ever suspect that a speaker of a house would ever defect and still want to hold on to his/her position? A John Andrew Boehner dumps the Republican Party and defects to the Democratic Party in the US and still wants to remain speaker? This is neither feasible nor imaginable!

In sane polities, elected members of houses who wish to defect to another party first resign the elected positions they hold, then defect and thereafter seek re-election (in a bye election) on the platform of their new parties. We saw this happen recently in the UK when a member elected on the Conservative Party platform resigned from the party, resigned his seat and signed up with UKIP. He then took part in the bye election as the UKIP candidate and won! That is the path of honor. But not so in this country where honor is now so depreciated that persons who choose to act with honor are now scorned and pooh-poohed. The honorable path for Tambuwal is to resign as member of the house and seek re-election on the platform of the APC. The honorable thing for Mr. Tambuwal to do is not to hold the country hostage by clinging to constitutional and legal technicalities. Not all that is legal is necessarily honorable. Aminu Tambuwal’s decision brings to a point in his political journey where the road now forks into two paths. One path leads to honor even though its surface in its initial stretch is littered with difficulties. But that path holds immense rewards in the long term. That path beckons to Aminu Tambuwal. We hope he takes it. Whilst waiting for Tambuwal to act with honor, his security detail should be restored.

This present crisis is one caused by the gross depreciation of honor in this country. However, unless controlled now, the current crisis may scale up and spiral out of control. In the long term, Section 68 of our constitution should be amended. All defections to another political party by elected representatives must be preceded by a resignation of membership of the house the person was elected into. The same principle should be extended to state governors who cross carpet. This is one way we can begin to check the irritant of political prostitution that is now invading our land.

Oak Maple & Willow

Noel Ihebuzor:

Beautiful! Autumn so beautifully captured.

Originally posted on Barefoot Baroness:

Dear Fall leaves from my Oaks, Maples, and willows,

  I love your glorious colors and textures in my yard.

When the sun reappears I promise to create huge piles of your collective beauty….

and then invite the entire neighborhood to your party  

  We’ll embrace the wonder of you with giggles as we inhale Mother Nature’s earthiness….

…..all while we wait for your bare branches to silhouette our skies.



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She Might Have Ebola: 5 Questions

Noel Ihebuzor:

I would have laughed if the situation and attitudes described were not so so sad!

Originally posted on Kemi Ogunniyi:


By now you know about Ebola. You know it is probably more feared than terrorism.  So, really, if you are going to travel for any reason to areas where Ebola is/was prevalent, you should be prepared to endure 21 days of suspicion upon your return (21 days is the maximum Ebola incubation period). All will be fairly well and good if after 21 days you do not show any Ebola symptoms.

Within the last two weeks, I have had to travel to two countries in West Africa. One has had no case of Ebola at all. The other – Nigeria –  was declared Ebola free by WHO last week. Despite that, I am still a suspect of the Ebola virus (slightly understandably). I returned to work in the UK office this morning and within an hour I had been indirectly asked five ‘important’ questions by some of my colleagues. In case…

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Dr Dele Momodu and his mathematics


Noel Ihebuzor

I came across an article written by Dr. Dele Momodu titled Buhari or Jonathan, let’s do some mathematics” two days ago. The title immediately caught my attention and interest. I like mathematics though I am no good at it but the thought that a well known Nigerian columnist was going to use mathematics to make some informed commentary on the possible electoral fortunes of GMB and GEJ, should these two men each win their party presidential nominations, was rather exciting and enticing.

So, I literally jumped on the said article. I refused to let my interest be dampened by content of the first three paragraphs. Indeed, the first two paragraphs were a classic in self indictment and political hara-kiri. In these paragraphs, Dr Momodu unwittingly sells himself as someone who as recently as 2011 formed judgments based on superficial considerations and also as someone who could be very easily brainwashed by propaganda. But let us leave those two troubled early paragraphs alone – it is not for us to tell Dr Momodu that such self presentation, no matter its present motivation, no matter its projected potential rewards and benefits, also produces very grievous and long lasting self damage.  Any sensible cost benefit analysis should have advised Dr. Momodu not to write those early paragraphs the way he did.

Let us return to Dr. Dele Momodu’s election mathematics. It is built largely on the results of 2011 presidential elections upon which projections for voter behavior in 2015 are then insinuated. In making these insinuated projections, Dr Momodu fails to reflect all relevant contexts and developments in Nigeria since 2011 which should inform his “modeling”. The emergence of the APC is one which he correctly identifies, but the rest of the time in this article, Dr Momodu is mainly engaged in wishful thinking conveyed in rather fuzzy sentences at the end of most his paragraphs. Mathematical modeling is based on facts coupled with some reasonable assumptions about the behavior of the subject under analysis.  Such assumptions are usually unpacked and made explicit. When mathematical modeling is used to predict behavior, the predictions are more likely to turn out to be true, the more social developments which have a bearing on the behavior being predicted are recognized as parameters in such modeling.  Relevant social developments which Dr. Momodu’s model should have recognized include the following :

  • In 2011 the GEJ presidency did not have as much successes to show as it has today, yet it could defeat GMB’s challenge in spite of that. Today, it has things to show even in GMB’s home state. Voters are not blind.
  • Recent NOI polls show an incumbent whose popularity and performance ratings are on the increase across the entire country
  • The arrival on the political scene of the APC has not worked the miracle of dramatic whittling of PDP presence and appeal in the “APC” states.
  • The experiences in Ekiti and Osun and the fortunes of the APC and PDP in the recently held Guber elections in those two states are still fresh in our memories for any intelligent student of Nigerian politics to decipher.
  • The rout of the ACN in Ondo state with Mimiko’s re-election is a knock on the myth of regional appeal of the ACN and what it has now morphed into,
  • The recent rejection of the APC in Anambra state is an indication of the unpopularity of GMB in that state,
  • The recent political upheavals in Adamawa state makes a definite statement on the popularity of the political parties, and
  • The political realignments in the North Central geo-political zone, to mention but a few.

Dr. Momodu failed to carry these on board in his electioneering mathematics, a failure that then deeply flaws his projections. Luckily, Dr Momodu informs us that he scored an F9 in mathematics but one needs to remind Dr Momodu that maths is not so much about adding and subtracting, mechanical process for which a calculator would do just fine. No, maths is more about thinking and making justifiable inferences based on logical manipulation of numbers. Persons who demonstrate deficits in such processes do not deserve to be taken seriously. Dr. Momodu’s maths is clearly weak as are his unconvincing efforts at Buhari image laundering. Where he is strongest in this article is in self damage – a man who can say this of himself  “And I actually found him more charismatic than my jaundiced eyes could have permitted” is certainly well set and an expert  in self bashing.

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