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Opinion

Nigeria:The Season Of Sarcastic Scandals And Scoffing Of Security

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President Muhammad Buhari

 

By Bala Ibrahim.

When former Ambassador to Nigeria and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, John Campbell, prophesised in his book, Dancing on the Brink, many, including yours truly, dismissed the predictions as nothing but the doomsday prophecy. Campbell said and I quote, “Governance, let alone democracy, faces grievous, structural challenges in Nigeria. Popular alienation and a fragmented establishment have contributed to Nigeria becoming one of the most religious and, at the same time, one of the most violent countries in the world. Ubiquitous patronage and corrupt behaviour, fuelled by oil money, is a root cause of Nigeria’s political and economic sclerosis. The federal government has failed to provide basic security for its citizens and has lost its monopoly on violence, two basic attributes of a sovereign state”.

Although things have not unfolded in the exact timeline of Campbell’s prediction, many of the things he prophesised, are manifesting today in Nigeria, particularly where he said, “the federal government has failed to provide basic security for its citizens and has lost its monopoly on violence, two basic attributes of a sovereign state”.

At no time had the government of Nigeria lost monopoly on violence than now, pursuant to its lackadaisical attitude to the issue of security, as a result of which, the terrorists are becoming increasingly bolder. Nothing can be more embarrassing, than a government saying it can not rescue it’s people in the hands of terrorists, because it is afraid of encountering collateral damages, while the same terrorists have the prowess, to rescue their members from one of the most secured prisons of the government. And this happened without any collateral damage, at least on their side.

Indeed Nigeria is faced today by fragmented establishments, because almost on daily basis, frightening, agonizing and conflicting reports, are emerging from agencies that ought to be working together for the same gaol- public safety and security. And the Presidency seems less perturbed.

It is painful to hear from a person of the status of the speaker of the House of Representatives, hierarchically the number 5 citizen of the country, saying security agents have alerted the government 44 times, about an impending attack, and the Presidency was adamant. Equally painfully is the submission of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, that he was the one that informed the President, that the terrorists have shortlisted the two of them for kidnapping. Haba? Haba? Haba? Why are things happening like in a fiction movie?

Appalled by the deteriorating situation, and after countless motions calling on the President to do the needful on security, the Senate, for now the senators in the opposition PDP, have issued an impeachment threat to the President. Though the senate President has dismissed the threat, depending on how things unfold in the coming days, particularly if the trajectory of the growing public disenchantment keeps moving upward, the subject could persuade the people to change their support for the President.

As usual, the President has called for another round of security meeting today. But looking at the ease with which these meetings are called, alongside the inconsistencies on action plans, as well as on the stands of the government on deadline and timeline, no one is willing to expect something dramatically positive. You can not continue doing the same thing and expect a different result.

In an article published by Kadaria Ahmed, a former colleague at the BBC, titled, The BBC in Nigeria – Between Reporting and Propagating Terror, she went candid, in reprimanding everyone, including the journalists, who are members of her constituency.

Kadaria was right to reprimand the BBC for visibly violating professional ethics, and undoubtedly giving support to terrorism, by providing the desperately needed oxygen, through the promotion of a propaganda. Like she said, that documentary can not, be played on the BBC, if Britain were the victim of such terror. It’s “IMPOSICANT”, as one of my daughters would say.

But not withstanding that callous contempt on conscience, which I hope the BBC would take a serious look at, Kadaria’s article hit the nail at the head where she said, “None of this has ‘helped’ our inept government, led by President Muhamadu Buhari, to find and arrest these blood-thirsty criminals. The ‘pressure’ has also not stopped the administration from playing ostrich and finding an effective way of tackling insecurity. These are some of the public interest arguments put forward by those defending the featuring of predatory criminals on national and now international media platforms”.

How I wish the President would present Kadaria’s article for discussion at today’s meeting, so that the government can do a critical self assessment of it’s weaknesses. But I doubt if that would be done.

No one knows what the outcome of the security meeting would be, but almost everyone is saying, it’s going to be business as usual, i.e, THE SEASON OF SARCASTIC SCANDALS AND SCOFFING OF SECURITY .

Opinion

Harvard University Library Has 20 Million Books- Dr. Yushau

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Dr Muhammad Jameel Yushau

 

By Dr. Muhammad Jameel Yushau

The Harvard University experience is incomplete without discussing the abundant #learning opportunity offered by Harvard University library.

Harvard University has the oldest university library system in the United States. The library was established in 1638 and there are 28 libraries currently under the #university library system. It comprises 20 million books, 700 staff, 6 million digitized and publicly available items, 1 million maps and spatial data sets and 400 million rare items that include photographs, letters and manuscripts as stated by the university library page.

Harvard library

Harvard’s library

The Widener library, which is the largest and located at the Harvard Yard is where I enjoy spending part of my weekend. Widener library is an architectural edifice and a tourist attraction. Many visitors to Massachusetts State visit Widener Library as part of their touristic voyage.

A student is allowed to bring at least four guests to study in the library. So myself and my family utilize this opportunity especially during the weekends.

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The Widener library was named after Harry Elkins Widener, a book collector, businessman and 1907 graduate from Harvard University. He died in the titanic accident of April 1912 along with his father. But his mother survived. The surviving mother gave $2 million grant to start the library in the name of her son. In addition to the 6 million digitized items, there are materials in 450 languages in the library.

Students at the site

Students at the site

Takeaway: The backbone of a university is the quality of its library. Contributing to the library is not the exclusive preserve of the university, but a public responsibility.

Dr Yushau is a candidate for the Mid-Career Master Program in Public Administration, and Editor-in-Chief of Africa Policy Journal

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Opinion

Collective action essential on Climate Change Action

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Jibril Salisu Nainna

 

By Jibril Salisu Na’inna.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s article that was recently published by the Washington post was apt and represents a strong voice of reason not only for Nigeria or Africa, but the whole world.

It is easy to rate it appropriately as an article conveying the right massage for humanity at a time the crisis in Ukraine is deflecting attention from the grim climate changes that are causing despair around the world.

The article has exposed the level of imbalance in some global agendas in which some countries and regions do not show sufficient commitment so long those countries or regions feel less affected by the devastating impact of climate change.

It is indeed true that the big economies are unwilling to stop or reduce their emissions that are responsible for global warming and climate change. And they are also shy of making the requisite agreed financial releases necessary to mitigate the impact of climate change,especially in developing countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari was on point when he advised the rich countries not to create the impression that the world cannot invest in its own safety against climate change.

“Don’t tell Africa that the world cannot afford the climate cost of its hydrocarbons — and then fire up coal stations whenever Europe feels an energy pinch. Don’t tell the poorest in the world that their marginal energy use will break the carbon budget — only to sign off on new domestic permits for oil and gas exploration. It gives the impression your citizens have more of a right to energy than Africans,” he said.

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It can be recalled that the rich countries that contributed most to the climate crisis and pledged that to spend $25 billion by 2025 to boost Africa’s efforts to adapt to climate change as the continent continues to struggle with drought, cyclones and extreme heat, as reported by Africanews.

But they have, sadly, failed to make that promise good.”Governments have repeatedly failed to meet their commitments to the $100 billion fund for climate adaptation and mitigation in the developing world — for the mess their own industries caused.”

 

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt where COP27 is holding has reawaken the consciousness of Africa to demand equal input and enough action with overall sincere commitment to confronting and mitigating the adverse negative effect of climate change facing the world especially the developing and poor countries with very low or no contribution to global carbon emission.

Indeed, Nigeria is not left out of the adverse crisis, the president reminded the world that Nigerian case was not different where he said “Part of my nation is underwater. Seasonal flooding is normal in Nigeria, but not like this. Thirty-four of the country’s 36 states have been affected. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced” it is a verifiable fact, of which Jigawa state of northwestern Nigeria is the most affected state this year.

Nevertheless, for Africa to adopt resolutions of the conference fully enough, countries that made pledges to support developing countries must be committed and any source of survival that must left for the good, must firstly be substituted with an alternative means.

COP 2022 must be a truthful rise to act collectively so as to see more meaning and right actions taken ahead of next conference in 2023.

Jibril Salisu Na’inna is a student and pan Africanist wrote from ABU Zaria.
Jibrilsalisunainna @gmail.com

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Opinion

Intervention Of Elder statesman :Way Out For ASUU- FG Face OFF

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Abdurrahman Joji Adamu

 

Abdurrahman Joji Adamu

The leadership of all University based unions should seek the audience and intervention of General Abdussalami Abubakar regarding the crisis and uncertainty of the Govt to address issues lingering in our Federal Universities, because the Federal government in my opinion, has adopted “competition” as the conflict mechanism tool to defeat ASUU and other University unions, The government is trying to satisfy their own desires at the expense of the other parties.

ASUU had in over the years being going on strikes, whenever they are on strike they table huge demands for the government to look into and addresses them, some of these grievances got considerate hiring by previous regimes and administrations. Part of the successes of ASUU strike overtime gave birth to tertiary intervention fund, which without tetfund intervention our Universities could have been like community public secondary schools.

This time around, the eight month strike had degenerates alot of war of words. looking at the aggressive nature of government ministers on the issue, series of meeting to resolve the strike were proved abortive until the intervention of the speaker of house of representative whom in his capacity and wisdom tried his best, ASUU agrees to back off.

It was apparent that all the striking unions were all tired and some are even ready for a fallback position. But the government in it inhuman nature has refused to give a compassionate attention on the matter by paying backlogs salaries to enable people go back to work, the repercussion had made so many of academic staff having no passion for their jobs anymore.

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Former president Goodluck Jonathan sometimes ago gave a highlight on how he solved the problem of ASUU then, in single day, without doubt we consider the statement of the former President as a challenge posed on President Buhari in order to take clue and expedite measures to resolve the strike issues, but the president gave an absent minded attitude on the lingering issue.

The essence of Government at whatever level is to provide leadership and service to the people. The arrogant nature of both ministers made negotiations deadlocked all times.

Those who think they are too big to serve should not be brought near public offices.

Ministers must not only be suitably qualified for their posts; they must also be willing to serve with all sense of expertise and humility.

With the inability of the ministers to make ASUU- cease fire on these stagnating negotiation and crafty promises, i think the president should re-visit the constitution in order to comprehend his presidential powers and duties accordingly.

 

 

Elder statesmen are seen globally as eminent senior members of a Nation especially : a retired statesman who unofficially advises current leaders. I believe the General can make peace out of these dilemma our Universities are facing. In record we have seen how the General chaired the peace accord committee in 2015 election and without doubt the committee conducted a brilliant work by making the power of incumbency irrelevant and opposition taking over the government.

I think the academics should search for a war veteran like him who has also fulfilled the promise of relinquishing power, perhaps he would advise the government impartially so they would understand.

 

Abdulrahman Joji Adamu
Write from Kano

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