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Buhari, Osibanjo, the APC and Governance – a report card By Sonala Olumhense.

EDITORIAL OPINION
A body-bag election
Published February 10, 2019
Sonala Olumhense

In six days, Nigerians of voting age will clarify not only whom they are, but whom they wish to be.

Four years ago, I helped bring to the leadership of Nigeria a man I had equally endorsed at the 2011 election: General Muhammadu Buhari, as President. In 2015, there really wasn’t much of a choice.

This year, there is: Anybody Else. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo unintentionally captured the situation a few days ago during a campaign stop in Owerri.

Reaching down to his evangelical side, the pastor told the crowd: “The most important thing is that when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice.”

Then he asked, “Are you rejoicing now?”
The crowd erupted: “NOOOO!!!”

The vice-president seemed to think that he might have been misheard, or that his audience had perhaps got its cue wrong.

He tried again: “Under this government…are you rejoicing?” Louder came a thunderous tumult, as if the crowd thought Osinbajo was hard of hearing: “NOOOO!!!”

But here is the punchline, and I am going to quote the vice-president comma by comma in a statement he made as if it were 2015 and he was waxing delirious about the Goodluck Jonathan administration his APC presidential ticket was trying to defeat:

“Very good. The reason, the reason, the reason why we cannot rejoice under this government is because the Scripture says, ‘when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice.’”

I don’t know who wrote the screenplay of Osinbajo’s Nollywood appearance at that Owerri rally. Clearly, the answer to his question was supposed to have been a resounding “YES!”

In which case his conclusion, something about righteousness and political power, was supposed to be that Nigerians are happy today because the right people are in power and should be re-elected.

The louder rejection of his proposal the second time appeared to have thrown the vice-president out of his tradermoni heart and the law professor adlibbed into a verdict against his very purpose.

Now, I believe that Osinbajo, speaking before an audience he understood to be mainly Christians, had hoped to take advantage of their faith. In which case it is wise to look at the segment of the Holy Book he unwisely—but incompletely—drew from: Proverbs 29:2.

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn,” it says.

It is not surprising that the vice-president avoided that second part, but his conclusion was unavoidable: Nigerians are suffering because its rulers—whatever they think of themselves—are wicked.

Osinbajo’s testimony against his own cause says almost everything anyone would like to know about where Nigerians find themselves this week as they vote.

Buhari himself continued the effort to market the same theme three days ago, calling on the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria to stand for righteousness and truth, and preach against all forms of corruption, as “only righteousness” can elevate Nigeria.

Mercifully, he was not standing before an incredulous crowd to preach righteousness. But before Osinbajo spoke, Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai had inflicted a different kind of righteousness.

I have praised el-Rufai in this column for what seemed to be his clarity of vision, notably in March 2017 when the second of two powerful memos he sent to Buhari, leaked. The first was in April 2015, before Buhari took his oath of office, and the other in September 2016.

Citing “the progress of our party, our president, our government and our country,” the governor offered Buhari a 30-page, well-reasoned strategic plan in which he challenged the president to revamp the entire apparatus of government so that APC would not leave Nigeria worse than it had met it.

Stressing that the Buhari administration had so far failed to manage the “change” expectations of Nigerians or ‘to deliver even mundane matters of governance’ outside of fighting Boko Haram and corruption, he urged him to “act decisively.”

“Overall, the feeling even among our supporters today is that the APC government is not doing well,” the governor observed. He encouraged Buhari to consider communicating actively and directly with the Nigerian public to enunciate the government’s plans, strategy and road map to take Nigeria out of her economic mess.

For that purpose, he suggested that Buhari use a mechanism “akin to a State of the Union address…preferably in a joint session of the National Assembly,” during which he would explain some perceptions and lay out his vision.

Among others, he pointed out that APC could shape Nigeria’s political culture in (Buhari’s) image through active stakeholders and process engagement, saying, “We are not engaging at all, and (are) taking things and important matters for granted.”

El-Rufai counselled that the institutional weaknesses that enabled corruption to thrive under Jonathan and the persons involved, were still very much in control, “and many are around you.”

He wanted stronger hands and minds closer to the president, describing (former SGF Babachir Lawal) as “inexperienced, lacking in humility, (and) insensitive and rude to most VIPs,” and Chief of Staff Abba Kyari as “totally clueless.”

El-Rufai then spelled to Buhari the time: “You have both a crisis and opportunity in your hands to turn around our country in the right direction.”

But APC and Buhari’s ineptitude were just fermenting. They ignored all progressive voices inside and outside the party, and rotted in ambition, focus and performance. Buhari, for his part, never read any of el-Rufai’s memos: he handed them to the same key officials the governor had criticised, who shredded them and demonised him.

Last week, with days before the election, a key measure of the depth of the Buhari rot emerged: the same el-Rufai appearing on television to threaten the massacre of foreigners who “intervene” to disrupt Buhari’s desperation to remain in office.

“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that will come and intervene,” he said, threatening: “They will go back in body bags.”

It was a strange response to international expressions of concern about the elections being free and fair. Ambition and power clearly overrunning good judgement, el-Rufai threw away every benefit of the doubt.

But he illustrates what faces voters in Saturday’s ballot: the mind-boggling reality that a government that was enthroned with such overwhelming support is baying for blood for re-election.

Sadly, Buhari has been fully exposed as fickle of conviction, frail of body and fragile of mind. To say that he will rise beyond himself to inspire and elevate Nigeria is to bathe our children in sewage.

The truth is that the very deficiencies identified by el-Rufai in 2016 were not symptoms but chronic diseases that have now mutated, with APC politicians now contradicting everything they said in 2015. This has nothing to do with PDP, but everything to do with Buhari’s character and poverty as a man.
In the real world, when there is an infectious disease, you flee. This week, Nigerians should free themselves by voting for Nigeria.

Copyright PUNCH.

THE PUNCH

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Legality, constitutionality and the separation of powers – Reflections on the readings of 27th Jan 2019 of the Catholic liturgy

The link line below takes us to today’s readings in the Catholic liturgy

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012719.cfm#.XE3ax5U_CpN.gmail

A number of the themes and points in today’s readings resonate with ongoing events in Nigeria, especially the suspension from office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by the president who said he was acting on an order of the Code of Conduct of Bureau (CCB). There appears to be almost unanimity of views concerning the unconstitutionality and thus the illegality of the president’s action in this regard. The dominant view is that the president’s action violates sections 292 and 157 of the 1999 constitutions of the FRN, a constitution the president swore to defend.

Supporters of the president’s action have tried to justify his action by claiming that the CJN had admitted to making incomplete assets declaration before the CCB, this failure being a sign of corruption, and that the president was thus right in the taking the action he took to deal with the wrong that the CJN had admitted to doing. This type of argument amounts to saying that an illegality is justified if it is perpetrated to deal with an illegality, never mind if that illegality in question is still an allegation. A president is thus justified to flout the constitution according to the dictates of his sense of what is right and not what is constitutional or legal. An argument of this nature is dangerous in that it amounts to saying that the personal whims and leanings of a president supersede the provisions of a country’s constitution. But worse still, an argument like that could lead to a situation where one person becomes judge, jury, and hangman at the same time a situation that violates the principle of separation of powers, a principle upon which modern democracies rest. For democracies to survive and thrive, the three arms of Government must be separate, with no arm encroaching on the duties and functions of the other, with no arm thinking that it has the right to lord it over the others or that it has a monopoly of moral consciousness or of overbrimming patriotism. Relations between the three parts must be governed by respect and recognition of interdependence. The constitution clearly spells out the ways and manners that these three arms of government are to interact. Processes enshrined in the constitution and stipulations on the limits to the role and powers of each arm of government must also be respected by all.

Today’s readings, especially the first and the second readings, illustrate the spirit of such recognition of role scope and limits as well the interdependence of functions. In the first reading (Nehemiah 8: 2-10), Ezra brought the law before all the people. The message here is full transparency before all, no opacity, no hanky-panky. Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people. Again, nothing is hidden. Was the process for the suspension of CJN undertaken with the same transparency? The answer is NO! The process is shrouded in opacity and smirks of an operation carried out with indecent haste with the head of the executive stooping to some low practice such as by-passing laid down processes. When you stoop to such practices, you lose respect. Recall too that in the first reading, Ezra stands above the people as he read to them – proxemics, height in this case, being used to symbolize the moral authority of Ezra on matters of the law. Notice here that Nehemiah, the executive head, recognizes and respects this separation of powers between him and Ezra.

The second reading is a classic text in systems thinking and functional interdependence. No part of the body can exist in isolation from the other parts, none can claim that it is the most important, none can carry on in a spirit of arrogance. Each must recognize its limits as well as respect the roles and limits of other organs. No role usurpation, no shortcuts to laid down processes or self-promotion at the expense of other parts are allowed. As with the body, so with the principle of the separation of powers in democratic governance. And governance is at its best when this principle of separation of powers but functional interdependence is maintained and respect. Sadly in the suspension of CJN, the president neither kept faith nor respected this principle. Even when one concedes to arguments that seek to justify the president’s actions by appeals to the goodness of his intentions, the point needs to be made that respect of the constitution is superior to an admiration of intentions, whether such intentions are real or imagined. Corruption should be fought but the fight must be within the limits of legality. Adopting or advancing an approach to deal with corruption that suggests the subversion of laid down laws and processes is dangerous not because it reveals a flawed and corrupted mindset but also it can launch the whole country down the slippery road to tyranny and anarchy

The third reading enjoins us as children of God upon whom His spirit rests to speak up against injustice, against the abuse of power and against all gimmicks by which persons in power who seek to hold others in bondage and mental enslavement. The good news of the gospel is a message of freedom, a message that is designed to restore sight to the blind and to restore liberty to all those who are held in shackles by the demagogy of power-hungry persons and their allies who are willing to subvert laid down processes for political gains. The duty of all on whom the spirit of God rests is thus to proclaim the truth which will set captives free and break the chains and limitations that ignorance and fear cast on such persons. The word of God speaks to us every day and has relevance to each challenge that life throws at us. May we be open to His words and may His spirit illumine us to derive meaning from his words which are truth and life and to share these with others..

Source: January 27 2019

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Manifestations of materialism driven ministry and megalomania

For the very first time in a decade, words fail me.

That Mbaka/Peter Obi video portrays the Adoration Pigeon Priest as a morally bankrupt religious Extortionist who specializes in peddling cash-induced prophecies and selling same to the highest bidder.

But to be clear, Mbaka has always been a Fraud. Those who pretend not to have noticed before now have simply not been paying attention.

It was in 2002 that Mbaka first unraveled. That year, he would gather his congregation at the Adoration Ministry and ask everyone to start pointing at the Lion building (Enugu govt house) while commanding Holy Ghost fire against the then governor Chimaroke Nnamani whom he said was a wicked Governor who God already told him would not live beyond that year not to talk of winning the 2003 re-election. This Priest didn’t just stop at this weekly harvest of Holy Ghost fire against the governor, he actually went a step further to release a special audio tape titled “This Wicked Generation” in which he swore that if Chimaroke won his 2003 reelection bid, he (Mbaka) would know he was not serving a living God and would therefore resign as a Priest.

2003 election came and governor Chimaroke won his re-election, finished his second term and even contested and won another election as a Senator.

Mbaka neither resigned as he swore he would nor did he even apologize for lying in God’s name.

And here we are!

Well, like I said, I can’t find the right words to qualify the mountain of shame I watched in that video. Not only did this so called Man of God openly suggest to Obi that a huge financial contribution could sway his 31st December prophecy to his favor, he turned around to threaten that the Atiku-Obi ticket would fail unless they build a project for his ministry and still told the Buhari team that Buhari would fail unless he came to visit his ministry with monetary gift. It begs the question, who between Atiku and Buhari will Mbaka’s pigeon God gift with victory if the two contenders were to donate the same amount to Mbaka???

There is no way anyone would try to analyse that video without going crazy.

Shame on the Catholic Church for allowing a religious Buccaneer to continue to subject the entire church to bottomless ridicule!

But beyond the shamelessness and unintelligence of that yahoo Priest, there is a huge lesson Peter Obi’s refusal to succumb to Mbaka’s blackmail and nursery school manipulation should teach all of us and the lesson Is:

Always stand your ground once you are reasonably convinced you are standing on the right, just and fair ground.

By refusing to publicly announce the project he voluntarily agreed to do for the church, Peter Obi was living true to the gospel of Matthew 6 verse 1 which admonished Christians not to announce their good deeds before men, but to do so secretly so that their father in heaven who sees in secret will reward them. Unfortunately, this gospel was lost on Mbaka, the so called man of God

For Shame!

Anyone who sees Peter Obi should help give him a hug on my behalf. In a working country, that man should be contesting to be the President, not the Vice. His principle, integrity, prudence in managing resources and calmness even in the face of provocation should be studied as a 3 unit course in school.

Please follow me on twitter @RealCharlesOgbu

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Precepts for good living

PAULO ANDRÉ CHENSO is a doctor and professor in London. He created a “MANUAL FOR LIFE” IT’S WORTH TO READ AND PUT IN PRACTICE.

IN THE HEALTH:

01. Drink a lot of water.
02. Eat more what is born in trees and plants.
03. Live with the 3 E’s
Energy.
Enthusiasm and
Empathy
04. Take 30 minutes per day to PRAY by yourself.
05. Do activities that activate your brain.
06. Read more books.
07. Sit quietly, at least 10 min. per day.
08. Sleep 8 hours per day.
09. Take walks of 20 to 60 minutes per day and while walking, smile.

ON THE PERSONALITY:
11. Do not compare your life with that of others.
12. Do not have negative thoughts.
13. Do not overdo it.
14. Do not become too serious.
15. Do not waste your energy with nonsense.
16. Speak slowly, do not shout.
17. Envy is a waste of time. Thank GOD for what he owns.
18. Forget things from the past. Throw them into the sea of forgetfulness.
19. Life is too short to hate someone.
20. Make peace with your PAST so as not to spoil your PRESENT.
21. Nobody directs your happiness, only you.
22. Life is a school and you are in it to learn. Do not be repeating the year.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You do not need to win all the arguments. Know LOSE.

IN SOCIETY:
25. Get in more contact with your family … the family is first, the true friends of return family.
26. Every day give something good to others
27. Forgive everyone.
28. Spend time with people over 70 and under 6 years old.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. Do not care what others think of you.
31. In your work, you will not be taken into account when you were sick. Do not be stressed.

IN YOUR DAILY LIFE:
32. Do what is right.
33. Get rid of what is not useful.
34. Remember: GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad your situation may be … it will change … everything happens.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, get ready and get out.
37. The best is yet to come. YOU CAN, WITH THE HELP OF GOD.
38. When you wake up in the morning, thank God for the grace of being alive.
39. Keep your heart ♥ always happy.

BY LAST:
40. What if you send this MANUAL to the people that You Appreciate, Want or Love?