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Opinion

Nigeria And The Disposition Of Depreciation Of Appreciation

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President Muhammad Buhari

 

By Bala Ibrahim.

In the countdown to the 2023 general elections, the country seems to be witnessing a general lack of contentment with the performance of the government at the centre, and all the accusing fingers are pointing at Muhammadu Buhari, the man elected to pilot the ship to the proverbial El Dorado, the imaginary place of immense wealth and comfort. Cries are coming from every segment of the society, including those that were ab initio supportive of the government, and all the accusing fingers are pointing at President Muhammadu Buhari.

I don’t blame the complainants, because promises were made and the people have the right to optimism, but I disagree with the methodology of making a defendant only in Buhari, or solely shifting the blame to the doorstep of the President. Indeed the President has a portion of the blame to carry, the portion of which I would also highlight. But for now, I would say Nigerians are peculiarly good at the depreciation of appreciation, especially in the dying days of an administration.

Some of the complaints are genuine, particularly the ones that rest on the original promises made by Buhari before he was elected into office. Two key areas were hammered upon by him, viz, corruption and insecurity. And because of his antecedent of being a former no- nonsense General with an excellent anti-corruption posture, the consensus was that, within a short period of time, these two vices would vacate Nigeria.

Although as the defendant, the President has not openly admitted to making some mistakes, but methinks, some of the complainants are incognizant of the meaning of honest mistakes. Any mistake made without the intention of causing harm, the kind of mistake that anyone could do in similar circumstances, is an honest mistake.

Even though the Nigerian law has given President Buhari the immunity against prosecution from other mistakes, nature has not been so kind to him in other areas. It has not given him the protection against the commission of honest mistakes. So the President is liable and naturally answerable to the people, because they have a legitimate expectation.

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But even with such liability, I feel the President should not feel crestfallen, because, Nigeria has made name in the depreciation of appreciation, particularly towards the end of tenure of any regime, or the end time of an officer in office. More so, for any officer that comes with certain qualities that are at variance with two peculiar trademarks outlined by the late Danmasanin Kano, Dr. Yusuf Maitama Sule.

The late Danmasani said there is a Hausa saying that, one only get’s a sustained ovation, or enthusiastic show of appreciation from the public, through the exhibition of two attributes, viz, the trait of being a giver, and the peculiarity of conviviality. In other words, for Nigerians to count you amongst the faultless, you must be generous with your wealth, regardless of the source, or legitimacy of the wealth. You also need to be generous with friendliness, regardless of your disposition.

Again, unlike in Economics, where appreciation is viewed as the rise in value of an asset based on certain factors in the market, in politics, particularly Nigerian politics, appreciation is mostly directly proportional to the politician’s propensity to give. The more you give, the more you are hailed. And precisely that’s the reason the country can not correct the calamity caused to it by the cancer of corruption.

Unfortunately for Buhari, nature had moulded him with some special sensors of morality, that see the characteristic of unjustifiable generosity from a different perspective. According to his former Chief of Staff, Supreme Military Council, late Gen.Tunde Idiagbon, Buhari is always disturbed by the precarious position of Nigeria, such that he wonders why people are unnecessarily laughing and smiling with deception. For people in positions of responsibility, their moods should reflect the reality of the situations, which in Nigeria, is more of angst than ecstasy.

By nature, Buhari is a paragon of humility and self-effacement, two qualities that combined to make criminal generosity a taboo to him. Hence the propensity for prudence, which makes others refer to him as being mean or miserly. But those close to him, or those that had the opportunity of meeting him under dispassionate circumstances, including yours truly, would attest to his sincere and genuine generosity. For such people, there is no depreciation of appreciation for the man. They are always quick to give him the benefit of doubt, by relying on the idiom of honest mistake.

The depreciation in the appreciation of President Buhari’s performance can be on anything but corruption. Yes, PMB can be found guilty of such slip-ups like the failure to diligently keep an eye on those he assigned responsibility, which amounts to a failure that is coequal to ill-performance.

Many appointees of the government have been accused of underhandedness, but to date, there is no proportionate penalty meted out, nor the visible sights of heads rolling in places of work. Yes, in person, the President is clinically clean of corruption, but he has a minus.

The double standard on the fight against corruption, where the convicted were pardoned and set free, with the prospects of having their loot returned, the reluctance to fire under performing National security adviser, alongside the refusal to act tough on some erring appointees, are adding to the minus. The case of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawan, who was accused of serious corruption, but instead of languishing in jail, he is allowed the freedom of roaming around, and making provocative statements that could compound the country’s problems.

An Islamic scholar has put it this way, -“for there to be a righteous leadership, there must be a righteous followership, because it is from amongst the followers that the leaders emerge, hence the phrase, every nation gets the leader it deserves”.

Pursuant to the recent calls for the President to be impeached because of the public’s perception of his poor performance, I read on the social media, a long shopping list of breaches perpetrated by the government of Good luck Ebele Jonathan, almost all of them impeachable offenses, but there was not a single attempt to impeach him, and the reason is simple,-the treasury was widely opened for all kinds of looters.

So the bottom line is, in Nigeria, as long as there is the flow of slush funds, the government is unlikely to face the depreciation of appreciation. And Buhari can not be an exception.

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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