£6m Down The Drain: Many Lies Buhari Told On His Ear Infection

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to launder his paymaster’s image and perhaps save his job, said on September 19, 2016 that Mr. President spent about £50,000 as operating cost for his ear treatment in London as against £6m Prof. Farooq Kperogi at Bayero University Kano had quoted a national paper in a commentary as the cost of Buhari’s trip to London for the ear treatment.

{Major General Muhammadu Buhari}
{Major General Muhammadu Buhari}

“The disclosure on Prof. Farooq Kperogi’s wall that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ear treatment in the United Kingdom cost a whopping £6m must have shocked many of the respected scholar’s followers.

“I’m prepared to share documents with Farooq, one of the brightest ever produced from the Bayero University Kano that the whole treatment, including a follow-up visit by a specialist to Nigeria didn’t cost £50,000,” said the embattled Shehu.

Checks At The Presidency Had Claimed The Trip Cost £6m, Not £50, 000

Checks revealed that after Shehu made the claim, Kperogi put the records straight in a public presentation on September 24, stating as follows:

#1. “Checks at the presidency claimed that, the cost of the trip which includes aviation fuel, accommodation, allowances for aides and medical treatment amounts to about £6 million.” (Vanguard).

#2. What government needs to do is go beyond issuing a glib denial; it should bring authentic, verifiable documentary evidence that shows exactly how much was spent during the 14-day trip to London when Buhari’s ear was treated. How many aircraft in the presidential fleet were taken to London? How much did it cost to fuel them?

#3. What was the landing cost for keeping them in London for 14 days? How many aides and government officials went to London with the president? How much did their per diem (what we call “estacodes” in Nigeria) cost the national treasury? What was the cost of accommodating and feeding the coterie of aides and government officials that followed the president to London? We already know, through Mallam Garba, that the president’s medical bill was about 50,000 pounds.

#4. From my own informal observation, when you calculate the cost of the trip-fueling of the aircraft in the presidential fleet, per diem for aides and other government officials, etc. for two weeks – there is no way on earth that it wouldn’t add up to a few million pounds. No way. Now, note that Vanguard claimed to have made “checks of £6m” at the presidency, and nobody from the presidency denied it – for more than three months after the fact!

#5. But, most importantly, some people assume that just because the presidency has denied the allegation, it must be false. That’s unbelievably shallow and credulous. First, Mallam Garba Shehu’s statement (of £50, 000) merely told us the medical bill Buhari incurred for his ear treatment. It said nothing about the cost of the entire trip. Never mind that on June 8, 2016, Femi Adesina actually said “The President did not go to London for treatment.” Now we are told he spent “less than £50,000” for as his medical bill for ear treatment.

First Lies Told By Buhari About His Ear Infection

Mr. President’s aides started defending him with lies when early this year, Nigerians clamoured that he had ear impairment known in the medical term as “Meniere’s Disease’’.

Within the period instead of the mystified Buhari would accept his ear infection reality, he rather confined himself to the State House and canceled three official occasions in which he was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Osibanjo represented Buhari in Papua New Guinea where the 8th Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States held. Also, at the 48th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which held in Dakar, Senegal, Buhari was represented by Osibanjo. Buhari also canceled his trip to Lagos State to launch some projects accomplished by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state.

Later, on June 5, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, told Nigerians that the president would on that day, proceed on a 10‎-day leave, which he would spend in London.

“During the holiday, he will see an E.N.T. specialist ‎for a persistent ear infection,” he said, explaining: “The president was examined by his Personal Physician and an E.N.T. Specialist in Abuja and was treated. Both Nigerian doctors recommended further evaluation purely as a precaution.”

Needless Medical Trip Abroad

When the All Progressives Congress (APC) produced Buhari as president in the 2015 presidential election, the party accused the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of squandering the country’s resources in overseas treatment of its stakeholders. But the APC sent shame to the winds and sent Buhari on abroad medical trip, something the APC had used against the PDP.

Instantaneously that Buhari confirmed his ear problem as a reality and was set to travel overseas, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, Vice President, Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) and former President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), told the media that the trip was a shame on the nation (despite the presence of over 250 ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists in the country and a National Ear Centre in Kaduna State), given that Enabulele had undergone surgical operation for his ear infection in Nigeria, this year, and it was successful.

“I am very constrained to state that this foreign medical trip flies in the face of the federal government’s earlier declaration of her resolve to halt the embarrassing phenomenon of outward medical tourism, which by the end of the year 2013, has led to a humongous capital flight of about $1 billion, particularly from expenses incurred by political and public office holders and their accompanying aides, whose foreign medical trips, most of which are unnecessary, were financed with tax payers’ resources,” Enabulele contended in an open letter to the president.

The medical expert gave an instance why Buhari should have treated himself in Nigeria, saying, “If the former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, could patronize Nigerian-trained medical experts and medical facilities here in Nigeria when he unfortunately suffered a fractured femur following a road traffic accident in 2013, I see no reason why in 2016, Mr. President could not have stayed back in Nigeria to attend to his ear infection.”

Nigerian doctors had recommended extra assessment of Mr. President’s ailment simply as a precaution, but did not recommend foreign trip. “Just for an ear infection Nigeria’s president travels all the way to London to get expert treatment and a second opinion. Shame on Nigeria! And this ear infection explains all the loud cries and groans of the common people suffering from their day to day challenges,” said a public affairs commentator.

Conclusion: Buhari Would’ve Stayed Back In Nigeria; Claim He Spent £50,000 as False

According to media reports, “The medical expert claimed that most public and political office holders who seek foreign medical care are treated by Nigerian-trained doctors, particularly in the United Kingdom, which has over 3000 Nigerian-trained medical doctors, and the United States of America, with over 5000.

“Most of these foreign-based doctors, Mr. Enabulele added, relocated abroad because of the government’s repeated failure to address the various factors that make the local environment difficult to work in.” Adding, Dr. Enabulele said that if he was in the Buhari aides’ shoes, he would have advised Mr. President to stay back in Nigeria and explore any of the following options.

  1. Urgently invite a consortium of Nigerian trained ENT specialists in Nigeria to Abuja to re-evaluate and treat Mr. President; or,
  2. if it is determined that the medical expertise is not available in Nigeria (and I doubt this), any identified Nigerian trained ENT specialist practicing anywhere in the world should be invited to Abuja, Nigeria, for the sole purpose of re-evaluating and treating Mr. President; or,
  3. if it is a case where the health facilities/equipment are unavailable (and this is a possibility) then Mr. President should have used his current medical situation, though unfortunate, to commence the Federal Government’s plan to re-equip Nigerian hospitals with modern state-of-the art health facilities, by ordering for the needed medical equipment to enable the locally available Nigerian trained ENT specialists to attend to him, and thereafter use same facilities to attend to other Nigerians with similar conditions.

Finally, Prof. Kperogi added, “Can anybody in good conscience defend the action of a president who allocated N4 billion to Aso Rock Clinic (which is more than the budget of all Nigerian teaching hospitals combined) but goes abroad to treat an ear infection less than a month after he banned government officials from traveling abroad for medical treatment? Let’s not allow our emotions to get the better of our judgment! Only unreflective Buhari apologists assume the falsity of the Vanguard report (of £6m), without any shred of contrary evidence other than a facile, reactive denial.”

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Consultant based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. E-mail: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Rivers: Why Wike Shouldn’t Go About Peace Without Princewill

By Odimegwu Onwumere

In Rumundele Community of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, the residents threw open party recently in jubilation that over 200 youth from two bloody cult groups that had terrorised the area for months with property worth hundreds of thousands of naira destroyed and many lives lost, have openly denounced their membership in the Community. In some communities in the state, cult-related activities were rife which compelled the state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to initiate amnesty for the bigoted cultists of which, not only in Rumundele, many youths who were into gangsterism across the state, have embraced the initiative. Like the immediate past governor of the state, Chibuike Amaechi, Wike invariably inherited a volatile Rivers State in what have been as cult activities, militancy, piracy along waterways, political backbiting and hostage taking. Amaechi-led administration implored the services of security personnel with the code names, Joint Task Force (JTF) or Operation Flush Out, which moved in the streets heavily armed. But upon the presence of the security agents, the much sought peace was elusive till Prince Tonye Princewill waded in and took peace campaign personally to the creeks and hideouts where the boys took as their base for operation. So, with Amaechi recording half-baked peace with the presence of JTF, till Princewill came in and helped for the restoration of peace in Rivers State, Wike might not bring about absolute peace in the state with his amnesty initiative.

{Governor Wike}
{Governor Wike}

Prince Tonye Princewill, the Labour Party governorship candidate in the 2015 governorship election in Rivers state, may have diverted his attention from the politics of the state to other ventures out of principle but observers know that he was part of the foundation to the relative peace that the state is enjoying today and he should have a rethink or be appealed to help the present government of Governor Nyesom Wike to succeed because Princewill knows how best to go about peace.

In the event that Wike was declared the winner of the election, the voice of Princewill was up in advice that all political parties should be civil in any move for redress in the court of law and should not incite their followers into violence. This was given that the election in the state raised tension upon that the 3 major candidates that were contesting in the persons of Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress, Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party and Tonye Princewill of the Labour Party had signed an undertaken on January 22 2015 before a US Ambassador to Nigeria to ensure a violent free election.

Many political observers saw that move as the first in the political history of the state. Of a truth, Princewill has maintained that peace pact covertly and overtly by not citing comments capable of breaching public peace like some other person has been doing. Although, he has told truth to the people that the election was marred by irregularities. Since he’s not a lawyer, legal luminaries at the Supreme Court had said that Wike was duly elected and is the Governor of Rivers State; Princewill has since then, channeled his energy to his private business.

It is on record that by January 2014, which was regarded as the decisive year for the 2015 election, Princewill sued for peace and reconciliation among the many warring politicians in the state. Peace has always been Princewill’s insignia. His approach to a peaceful resolution may be connected to the fact that he is the son of King (Prof) Theophanous Jacob Tom Princewill, CFR, Amachree XI, Amayanabo Kalabari whom the junior Princewill shares the same birthday with. We cannot also say that he came about peace from the books he has read as he holds a Master of Sciences degree in Mineral Resources Engineering and distinguished Diploma from Imperial College, London, having had a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Port Harcourt. But in another look, majority of the sons of Kings and influential are known for arrogance. So, we may say that peace runs in Princewill’s blood and not because of his royal pedigree.

It’s observable that his strong political philosophy of equality and liberty might be his undoing political factor as he is an apostle of free and fair elections, when majority politicians think the obverse. He also believes in civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and a right to life, liberty, and property, as was captured by one of his former aides. He does not believe in politics of bitterness, with his popular mantra that “politics is too important to be left to politicians.” Hence, his venturing into politics in 2007 under Action Congress, after he returned from London in 2003, where he spent many years studying and doing business. That year was the pick of upsurge of militancy in Rivers State with his home town of Buguma boiling.

Princewill was chiefly the arrowhead that initiated peaceful movements that resolved the crises which saw to many people and companies packing, lives wasted and property worth billions of naira destroyed. For the love of Rivers State, Princewill refused to go to court against the Supreme Court judgment that favoured the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi against Sir Celestine Omehia; the later being a very gentle man. As a master of peace, Princewill made sure that all the political parties in the state come under an umbrella known as and called Forum of the Organised Opposition Political Parties (FOOPP) in Rivers State. Over 43 political parties were in this forum and the state was calm from 2008 when the forum was formed to 2010 when Princewill moved to the Peoples Democratic Party, for personal reasons.

His peaceful dispositions and art in reconciling people saw him to becoming a member of the Rivers State Economic Advisory Committee in 2008, which Professor Nimi Briggs was Chairman. On July 7, 2008 the National Mirror, published the names of 40 Nigerians that, in its view, could fix Nigeria’s problems. It also published the pictures of the people in a publication titled, “Cabinet Reshuffle – 40 People who could Fix Nigeria” on page 6 of that edition. Princewill’s name was there.

By 2009, Princewill was on the Presidential Technical Committee on the Niger Delta and was Sub-Committee Chairman of the Niger Delta Subcommittee on Vision 2020 that was pioneered by the then President Umar Yar’Adua. For the love of humanity, Princewill tendered his resignation letter as a sign of protestation from the Vision2020 Committee when the military invaded Gbaramatu, in Delta State.

He continued with his peace move by founding the Princewill Political Associates (PPA); although as a political pressure group. He brought Ohaneze Ndi Igbo leadership into looking for ways to resolve the Niger Delta crises; a move he personally made to Enugu in 2009. On 29th June 2009, Princewill reconciled Alhaji Asari Dokubo with Amaechi. He proved the critics of the Eso-led reconciliatory panel wrong, by leading Asari to reconcile with Amaechi, although journalists as at the time said the reconciliation was “of an unproven issue”.

But spectators knew that Alhaji Asari was angry with Amaechi over statement by the later calling the then Niger Delta crusaders criminals. In a statement by Asari to Amaechi, he said, “I decided to follow him (Princewill) to visit you, the governor, today to demonstrate that apart from the issues highlighted above, I have no other grudge against you and to formally accept you as my governor and the undisputable Governor of Rivers State, as upheld by the Supreme Court.”

Amaechi explained his happiness and commended Princewill for this feat, saying, “My becoming the Governor of Rivers State, apart from being divine, was a calculated attempt to restore hope and actualization of the vision of the founders of our dear state in 1967. Today is one of my happiest days because no matter our differences, I admire Asari so much for his love for our region and his readiness to lay his life on behalf of our people; and I feel so bad that such a personality could not team up with me to contribute to develop our only state. But thanks to God who, in his infinite wisdom, decided to use Tonye to make this great reunion possible.”

{Prince Tonye Princewill}
{Prince Tonye Princewill}

Prince Tonye Princewill knows how to go about peace and he is tested and trusted in this area. Therefore, Governor Wike and Prince Princewill have to team up and see how they can lift Rivers State to the next level irrespective of party affiliation.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Tel: 08057778358. Email: odimegwu@journalist.com

Kalu, keeping hope alive in Buhari

By Odimegwu Onwumere

It is three months that a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu told Nigerians in service of this year’s Democracy Day, on May 29, to keep hope alive and have patience with the government of Major General Muhammadu Buhari.

{Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu}
{Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu}

I’m responding to the comment now because in Igbo, we believe that a man does not give his verdict over an issue, till he must have slept over it. I’ve slept over it!

For the avoidance of doubt, the statement of Kalu reads, “Nigerians must display endurance at this critical time as President Buhari cleans the Augean stable. It is quite easy and simplistic to destroy but takes a longer period, commitment, hard work and sacrifice to correct ingrained anomalies. There can be no magic wand in sorting out the maze of unprecedented corruption, official banditry, nonchalant looting and holistic underdevelopment, which characterised the immediate-past government.”

Before Kalu’s comment of hope, I had seen Buhari being represented in a statement in “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, saying, “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” So, Buhari does not care!

I’d not seen any cogent reason to align with Buhari or have hope in his government, because he is dogmatic; and dogmatists do not make good democrats. But regarding the fact that Kalu who is renowned for being a social democrat has made the comment of hope, I think there is a reason to look at Kalu and his comment of hope again.

My position in this treatise is not to say whether the immediate-past government that Buhari succeeded was corrupt or not. What I want say is the underlining hope in the statement by Kalu, which points him out as a man of hope. This has made many Nigerians to have hope in Kalu.

On July 8, this year, Kalu who never had any government contract since democracy was attained in 1999, equally said that he was yet to believe that the anti-corruption war by Buhari was selective.

Also, hear Kalu, “I do not believe that the anti-corruption war by President Buhari is selective. Someone may look at it in the perspective that it is selective because it is the people in the previous government that are involved and this is because they are the ones who handled the money during that period.

 

 

“I support President Buhari in the fight against corruption, but as we are fighting corruption, we should also look at the industrial base of the country. No country can survive with only politics. The economy is very important to the nation.”

While Kalu came to Buhari’s rescue in these times that Nigerians are growing Iroko-size of impatience against the government of Buhari, I want to keep hope alive in the sense that Kalu is one gold that glitters and that is good, unlike what it used to be, “All that is gold does not glitter.”

Why I’m interested in what Kalu told Nigerians was that he had advised Buhari not to be like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to settle scores with his political opponents. So, Kalu had.

A comment by Kalu in this regard, reads: “He (Buhari) should not fight corruption the way former President Olusegun Obasanjo did, when you have seen me spend security vote and you are after me on that to settle personal scores. You pursue people for not supporting your inordinate ambition and policies, it is wrong. I appeal to President Buhari not to get involved in that kind of corruption-fighting and I am happy he has appointed someone who has lesser belief in material things, as acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). I am saying this because when all these people say they are fighting corruption, they don’t really fight corruption. You know I don’t fear anybody; I’m not even afraid of dying today and not afraid of not saying the truth.”

Kalu was telling us that from the ashes of a fire shall the phoenix be woken; something that he had experienced before he attained his global status as a distinguished entrepreneur and anti-corruption crusader.

I want to deem Kalu that we should be patience with the clumsy Buhari government because I had known from a Friedrich Nietzsche, saying, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It was not that Kalu deeply loves Buhari or deeply hates Nigerians and he made that comment of patience. What I have understood by the comment, when others were perhaps shouting ‘Kalu!’ was that Kalu’s love for Nigeria gives him strength and courage that all would be fine again.

Others might not have seen what Kalu saw before making that comment; he is one man that does not say things because he wants his voice to be heard. No. He does not say things because he wants others to praise him. No. He shows the words of Mahatma Gandhi of India in the work “All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections” in practice, which is that the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Gandhi had affirmed the position of Kalu today, when the former said, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

Kalu is not weak that he cannot forgive; he is strong, but not as strong in the words of President Obama, when later said, “Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men.”   Kalu believes in the words of J.K. Rowling, saying, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Kalu believes that all mankind should show positive expression, even in the face of disheartening courage.

We have to be united in the hope that Kalu has raised and not in looking at the directionless government of Buhari that its proceedings have broken a lot of people down. I’m protected by the hope that Kalu had raised and not in the government that had broken many with yearning, making many to be in solitude, not to love again, because of government-generated hardship.

Kalu had raised hope for Nigerians to see the reason they must still be proud, whereas the government continued to break a lot of people’s heart. Oh! I’m taking solace in the words of Kalu which invariably depicted the words of a Albert Camus, saying, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

It was Dalai Lama XIV who said that there is a saying in Tibet, ‘Tragedy should be utilised as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” So, we have to thank Kalu for building that courage of patience, which is most important of all the virtues of life.

{Major General Muhammadu Buhari}
{Major General Muhammadu Buhari}

Kalu has shown character, courage, essence, determination, goodness, fortitude inspiration, life-lessons, persistence, resolve, self-reliance, strength in making sure that Nigerians keep hope alive.

Odimegwu Onwumere is award-winning journalist based in Rivers State. Email: odimegwu@journalist.com

Aisha vs. Fayose: Truth spoken too late, more destructive than a lie

Written by Odimegwu Onwumere

Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and their ilk have been sending feint to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State over a supposedly trip to the United States of America, USA, by the wife of Major General Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, on August 3 2016, but they are fighting a lost battle.

{Aisha Buhari and Ayo Fayose}
{Aisha Buhari and Ayo Fayose}

In the event leading to the hypothetically trip, Fayose had said that Aisha played a role in Jefferson bribery scandal. The ebullient governor made the comment the umpteenth time. Some links were said to have been distributed to the USA Justice department to show testimony of the odious funds that were allegedly transferred by Aisha.

The fearless and indomitable Fayose claimed that Buhari should own up that he was as corrupt just as those he was witch-hunting instead of following the rule of law. Since June 20, Fayose had not said this like one having water in his mouth; he said it loud and clear!

In the words of Fayose, “Even the President cannot claim to be an angel. The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal (sic). When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialize the judgment for people to see and read.”

Nigerians cannot rule out the fact that Governor Fayose is brave, outspoken and a man who has refused to talk like a boy when others have chickened out in the Major General Buhari-led (un) democratic governance for fear of being haunted.

We are not talking about the democratic government here, but what happens under Nigeria’s democracy under Buhari – where Buhari cajoles lawyers and judiciary apparently – not to follow professionalism in the conduct of charges against some alleged corrupt persons, but should send such persons to prison without a trial.

Remember that Buhari on April 1, 2016 said his government was not prepared to release from detention the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of the Europe Based Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, for alleged treason, as well as former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, a retired Army Colonel, who is facing corruption charges.

Hear Buhari: “Dasuki, who is presently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), has multiple cases in court, which he must diligently face and answer. Nnamdi Kanu has committed a serious offence and therefore government is not prepared to release him based on the numerous bail orders handed down by the different courts”. In short, the governor said many things in this stead.

After Fayose made that claim against Aisha, a make-believe ‘Aisha Buhari’ passport was circulated over the media, especially the online, as the one who was the ‘culprit’ that Fayose was talking about, and not the Major General’s wife.

There was jittery in the presidency and it took them nearly two months or so to ‘package’ news that Aisha travelled to the USA, when we were being fed that she was represented at an event in the USA by the wife of Senate President, Mrs. Bukola Saraki.

But before we could open some pictures of Mrs. Saraki with the Obamas, the image launderers of Aisha started bombarding the social media with ‘Aisha pictures in the USA’. They also sent out some videos of her in the USA without us seeing her with those that matter.

The irony is that Fayose did not gamble with his stance, but it took Aisha a conduct-of-life to come out with her USA trip story. We know that both positive and negative thinking are infectious, so Fayose was right in his thinking.

The governor triumphed over procrastination, but Aisha didn’t. She showed that there could be some truth in the position of Fayose by the way she delayed, deferred, dilly-dallied, lazy, postponed, procrastinated going to the USA at the early time of the accusation.

The APC Ekiti and others insulting Fayose today ought to hide their faces in shame and apologise to Fayose. Remember that Major General Buhari and those in his bandwagon had on June 27 2016 announced that Aisha would travel to USA that day for the June 30th World First Ladies Conference holding at Colorado USA., in order to confirm that she was innocent.

Many Nigerians and onlookers were toned to that news, but what we saw were a jittered Aisha and her husband’s presidency making a u-turn. They saw that Nigerians would say ‘there is Jack in the bedroom’; hence, they told us that Aisha had left for the Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.

Their game was a bad one! There was no need keeping the travel of Aisha to the USA for so long. An innocent person would always show action, avoidance of doubt, courage, resolve to establish his or her innocence.

Aisha’s delay before the emergence of the news that she was in the USA in August, was habitual procrastination. Fayose showed courage which was more important than the Aisha’s shallow victory.

Fayose showed a sign of thinker: maturity. Fayose never gave excuses like – Aisha – that will not take anyone far. Fayose was calm, cool, humble, but Aisha and her husband’s presidency showed procrastination and allowed excuses reign supreme.

They delayed justice and highly missed the scant trust that people had in them. Governor Fayose wears the crown of victory having not tarried on his goals in speaking out unlike those that have buried their joy for shying away, hence bearing the mark of untold story written all over them, because of fear of the untouchable Major General Buhari.

We know that Fayose’s bribery stance will continue to bang on the doors of Aisha’s heart. However, let Fayose not allow the accusations by the APC Ekiti suggesting that the rumoured trip of Aisha has exposed him as a “man lacking in integrity to hold the responsible position of the governor of Ekiti State”.

APC spokesman, Taiwo Olatunbosun was reported to have said this on August 7 2016. Fayose should therefore take comfort in Alan Garner’s “The Weirdstone of Brisingamen”, saying, we learned that the deed is nothing. It is the thought that breeds fear; and we achieve little by lingering.

Consequently, Aisha achieved nothing by lingering on the USA trip.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Rivers State based poet, writer and consultant. He won in the digital category, Nordica Media Merit Awards 2016, Lagos; and the International Award for Excellence in Journalism 2016, Geneva. Tel: +2348057778358. Email: odimegwu@journalist.com

Tinubu: The Near Feminization Of Melaye

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district and Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, on Tuesday, the 12th of July, 2016, during an executive meeting, started a feud that was brought to the public consciousness.

{Tinubu and Melaye}
{Tinubu and Melaye}

Many people had condemned Melaye for allegedly making a statement during the altercation that he would beat Tinubu. Hardly did anyone arrogate blame to Tinubu. The later statement could be the reason in the USA, the enlightened among them coined a sentence thus – “Men-the New Women” – to show how men over there have been feminized and their women, ‘butchificated’.

Many men have eaten up feminists’ garri and egusi soup every step of the way but certainly, this food is not for all men like Melaye.

The Melayes have said and shown in their character that they are not girlie-men who buy beauty products as women and do not have identity crisis, no matter how feminists have pressed hard to bend them.

It’s discernible that governments have been helping to turn men into little puppies before women by instigating in the minds of young girls that they can do whatever they want to do in life, thereby feminizing men; forgetting that over a long period, men had played women’s protector.

An observer lamented: Women no longer need men as a provider, protector or father of their children; an anonymous semen donor can do the job of creating a baby if a woman so chooses. Since the 1960s, modern mothers have raised their sons to be women, soaking them in feminine values like accepting responsibility for household chores, being caring, understanding and attentive, and bend to every wish of a woman.

In the west, the current philosophy of western freethinking democracy is worldly humanism, which is chiefly feminine in character. Feminism has produced a crop of men who are now soft in behaviour, strength and they are insecure, because they are eroded masculinity.

In the west, anti-feminists are appalled of how boys grow up being feminized with dearth of any knowledge of “manly virtues like courage, resolve, self-sacrifice, justice, temperance, self-reliance, self-discipline and honour” because feminism churlishes these qualities once known of men.

We learned a Camille Pagilla, self-professed “feminist dissident”, in the Daily Mail, saying, “The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service – hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster… These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind; if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone, they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.’ According to Paglia, the results are there for all to see in the on-going dysfunction in Washington, where politicians ‘lack practical skills of analysis and construction’”.

The pressure was on Melaye to repudiate his comment and plead to Tinubu, but he was stuck to his gun, saying that he could not learn how to be a coward now. He defended the masculinity in him of which the pressure that was mounted on him to plead for forgiveness was invariably headed to feminize.

Much as modern civilizations condemn any form of violence, the pressure that was mounted on Melaye to apologize to Tinubu without a recourse to the contribution of the later to the saga, may be seen as the near feminization of Melaye; it may be seen as the extension of the unsurpassed influence that women from the western countries are spreading around the world since the last 30 years.

Women are garnering momentum at workplaces to the detriment of men, yet their voice is heard of how unequal opportunities they are yet to match with the men. Women in western societies no longer want macho men. They are in love for/with men with feminine faces and features. But these are not for the Melayes of this world, no matter all that laws orchestrated to feminize men.

Women started this since World War II when men were in the battlefields, leaving the industrial fields for women. Since 2009, women, especially unmarried women, are toppling the men as breadwinners in a place like America, purchasing choice homes than the unmarried men. Yet, they breed children who never experienced fatherly role in their lives or know what it takes to be a man.

It’s even noted that the New Hampshire State Legislature is now made up of a majority of women. Women in government have continued to soar with a Hillary Clinton as the presidential hopeful for the Democrats in the USA.

Women are smiling for the recession that badly hit men with 80% of the jobs lost by men. This led the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives to characterize recession by a “he-cession.” Today, there are such matrix as, “Why Spoiled Western Women Don’t Want Men & Why They’d Rather Be Them.”

Yet, the ‘spoiled women’ around the world do not want to be to themselves and leave the Melayes of this world alone. The exposition of Tinubu at the National Assembly has shown that women are waxing stronger with propaganda such that they use template like – stop the violence against women – to draw worldwide pity and achieve their aim. Tinubu’s rather unfeminine gesture in the House, has buttressed a point that women are heading to not be known as weaker sex again, as against the aged-long periscope they have been viewed from.

Tinubu was afflicted with feminism and female gender-based affirmative biasness. The modern days women see any man that maintains his masculinity like Melaye as diehard chauvinists who only wallows in the ‘old school man’ mentality or is oblivious to accept the fact that women have become the stronger sex and a gender bias, relieving men of their aged-long-held position.

Women are succeeding in their quest to feminize men by using such statements like “We have a long way to go and it’s still a man’s world” or “there are not enough women at the top of companies for it to be leaning toward a female society”. Today, women are having great influence on the young boys, hoping that since the old or older men still hold the masculinity mentality, they can feminize the young boys.

These women’s agenda to feminize the men is today being championed in the schools. For instance, in many countries of the world, Nursery teachers, Primary school teachers, after school care workers, Preschool care workers are all women.

It is apparent that in a country like the United Kingdom, about 90 per cent of the above professions are manned by women, unlike 20 years ago when such professions were 50 percent controlled by women.

An analyst said that boys are gravely under-achieving in public schools in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia, according to several recent research studies. Men now encompass scarcely 40% of enrolled University and College students and graduates.

This person went further to say: In 2009, for instance, women (will) earn more degrees in higher education than men in every possible category, from bachelor’s level to Ph.D.s, according to the U.S. Department of Education. When it comes to masters-level education, for instance, U.S. women earn 159 degrees for every 100 awarded to men.

The story goes further to say that for the first time, less than 50% of law school graduates are men in North America. There are female football coaches for high school boys, especially those boys raised by single mothers. The irony is that these single mothers once had “traditional family values conservatives”.

Many men have become Mr. Mom only with a penis. Such men take authoritative orders from their women, without which, there won’t be peace in the house. Tinubu showed that she has this trait when she once left her seat and sat on the seat of the Deputy Speaker of Senate and was opposed to any male colleague she wanted to oppose without a blink of the eyelid.

Hardly is anyone asking questions why male fertility in sperm counts and disorders of the reproductive system of men have gone drastically bad since five decades now. Some people might not be seeing this as the feminization of men agenda.

Some persons are saying that evidence mounts that there is a hidden strategy to destroy male reproductive system with environmentalists and researchers giving the strategy a name – testicular dysgenesis syndrome.

They said it could be “gender-bending” chemicals – endocrine disrupters that are ever-present in the modern societies which are gradually feminizing men.

On July 10, 2015, Yvonne Holterman, a leading voice on this topic, gave instances of ways the society is feminizing men through food.

Holterman said that debating this is futile since the proponents of feminization of men are at work with high-tech conspiracy.

Even, the feminization of men agenda has been extended to male animals through Soy isoflavones, a chemical that makes animals aggressive.

There are high-estrogenic foods that are for the feminization of men. Holterman outlined them to be eight in number, like, Pesticides Through Conventionally Raised Fruits and Vegetables (Pesticides that are sprayed on conventionally grown vegetables (often GMOs) act as estrogens once ingested); Soy can decrease testosterone; Hormones in beef (To increase meat and milk products hormones are given to cows by some farmers. This meat, when ate by humans, is transferred to us. Once inside the body these compounds have strong estrogenic effects).

Others are Beer, Television and the Feminization of Men (Male feminization on television has slowly be conditioned into the psyche of men. This has dramatically altered behaviour patterns. To discuss this among some, it can be seen as homophobic. In reality, it’s recognizing that through diet and entertainment, a new male has risen and ‘he’ is more ‘she’ than ever.

Holterman went further to say that Unsaturated Fats (from vegetable oils are mostly soy, which is an estrogenic plant byproduct, among the highest on the planet. These are covered in pesticides, which come with their own estrogenic properties); BPA in Plastics (Xenoestrogen is a class of chemical that mimics estrogen in humans. Chemicals from plastics leak into cans, bottles, packaging of food, rivers, streams, lakes, oceans and everything else. Plastic is everywhere), and among others.

What many men and women who clapped hands for the wild-gender exposition of Tinubu did not take into cognizance was that effemination is a word for women and it is unmanly. They wanted Melaye to be effeminate while Tinubu, a rascal. But Melayes in the world are ashamed seeing men with effeminative qualities.

Some researchers have given instances that the agenda by the modern days’ women to feminize men is very unhealthy such that it is a serious problem. They applaud the Islamic society as holding tenaciously to masculinity, because no generation has survived being matriarchies. They said that matriarch societies do not survive and there has never been an Alexandra de Great or General Pat-Tina. Even in Africa, some long-lasting stories spotted women inspiring wars, but they never led them. Men did.

Some gentle and masculine-loving women in Europe and America are even showing signs of anger how they lost their countries and continents to the crassness of feminism. And this is the same platform that the Tinubus want to introduce in Nigeria.

They forgot that women like them in the other continents see marriage as not for them because of their lack of respect for men. There are single mothers littered everywhere. A researcher said that this is becoming “a la Bristol Palin syndrome” in America.

The researcher regretted that the only masculine men in the world today are named Adamu, not Johnson. And the Adamus are fast taking over because they don’t prefer the girlie-men which the Tinubus are championing for men and not taking to account the death of the society they are causing.

Authorities and politicians even give assurance to the public that refugee males that entered Europe from the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia would be made to learn that Western women are independent and sexually liberated. This may be seen as where the weakness of the world started from.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Rivers State based poet, writer and consultant. He won in the digital category, Nordica Media Merit Awards 2016, Lagos; and the International Award for Excellence in Journalism 2016, Geneva. Tel: +2348057778358. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

 

References:

  1. http://redpilltimes.com/europes-beta-feminised-male-society-is-no-match-for-the-onslaught-of-young-male-refugees-entering-the-eu/
  2. https://currentworldmedia.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/the-feminisation-of-masculinity/
  3. http://themacchoi.blogspot.com.ng/2012/11/the-feminization-of-men-agenda.html
  4. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201007/our-male-identity-crisis-what-will-happen-men
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/nick-clements/masculinity-mens-fragrance_b_3981102.html
  6. http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/the-feminisation-of-man/
  7. http://www.rense.com/general48/fem.htm
  8. http://www.debbieschlussel.com/19888/girlie-man-nation-western-women-dont-want-masculinity-why-decade-of-the-palin/
  9. http://www.enlightened-consciousness.com/8-disturbing-ways-society-is-feminizing-men-through-food-and-products/#sthash.WsrwpcxM.dpuf
  10. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=487472

Hatred for Jonathan, ethnic bigotry, mendacity mar Buhari’s fight against Boko Haram

By Odimegwu Onwumere

On assumption of office on May 29 2015, Major General Muhammadu Buhari who was declared winner of that year’s presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as at the time, showed-off that insurgency in the North-east Nigeria would be history by December of that year.

It was a statement taken by many Nigerians with a pitch of the salt owing to Buhari’s stance against the Jonathan administration (with the view that the fight against the sect was a fight against the North). The Jonathan government was headlong in fighting the terrorists to standstill.

However, in what Buhari took as criticism against the Jonathan government, on June 2 2013, he told the world as a “Guest of the Week” – a Hausa programme of the Kaduna-based Liberty Radio – that the pronouncement by Jonathan and subsequent declaration of State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States and the following military offensive against the Boko Haram Islamic sect, was a fight against the North.

Buhari was visibly angry that splinter militia groups in the Niger Delta Area, where Jonathan comes from, were never dealt with by the military, as the Jonathan government was dealing with the Boko Haram sect.

Buhari’s traitorous comments in defense of Boko Haram

Buhari said at the time that what is responsible for the security situation in the country was caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants. Adding that every Nigerian that is familiar with what happened knows this. He further said that the Niger Delta militants started it all.

“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections, so they recruited the youths and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force,” Buhari said.

He said it was after the elections that the boys were asked to bring back the guns and they refused; hence the governors as at the time stopped the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors.

“The youths resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about $500 in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study and then come back and get employed by government to be paid N100,000 a month; that is if he is lucky to get employment? So kidnapping became very rampant in the south-south and the south-east. They kidnapped people and were collecting money,” Buhari fumed.

Buhari defends Boko Haram

Buhari believed that the leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, was not supposed to be killed when he was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.

“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses. Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today,” Buhari said.

{Inset: Buhari and Jonathan}
{Inset: Buhari and Jonathan}

He added that in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua granted amnesty to the members unlike the Boko Haram members.

“They (Niger Delta militants) were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the north are being killed and their houses demolished. They are different issues, what brought this? It is injustice,” he said.

Did Buhari lie that there was no Military crackdown against the Niger Delta Militants?

Scores of the militants in the Niger Delta were killed when the Nigeria’s military launched a crackdown in the area in 2008-2009.

Wikipedia reported, “In August 2008, the Nigerian government launched a massive military crackdown on militants in the Niger Delta. They patrolled waters and hunted for militants, searched all civilian boats for weapons, and raided numerous militant hideouts.

On May 15, 2009, a military operation undertaken by a Joint Task Force (JTF) began against Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants operating in the Niger Delta region.

“It came in response to the kidnapping of Nigerian soldiers and foreign sailors in the Delta region. Thousands of Nigerians have fled their villages and hundreds of people may be dead because of the offensive.”

Buhari continues to blame Jonathan for the 2015 deadline

“Despite the December deadline he had earlier given the military to end terrorism in the affected part of the country, Buhari admitted that the country might not win the war completely by the end of the month,” The Punch of December 28, 2015 reported, in the headline, “Jonathan’s govt provoked soldiers into mutiny —Buhari”.

Hear Buhari, “We investigated and discovered how funds that were penciled down for arms procurement were diverted and shared by government officials who served the last administration. The government at that time sent the soldiers to the battlefield without arms and ammunition to prosecute the war. That was what led some of them to mutiny. They were arrested and detained because of this.”

Did Jonathan procure weapons to fight Boko Haram?

Jonathan said on 27th January 2016, during a programme titled, ‘Focus on Africa’ aired on an international news and current affairs television channel based in Paris, France 24.

When Jonathan was asked to speak in particular on whether he was sure his administration laid the foundation for the fight against the insurgents, Jonathan said, “Of course, you know the new government is working hard and I believe they are still using the equipment we procured.”

Buhari calls Nigerian soldiers impotent; blames US for abetting Boko Haram

Speaking at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), in July 2015, Buhari blamed the US Leahy Law as “aided and abetted” the campaign of bloodletting by Boko Haram.

His words, “In the face of abduction of innocent school girls from their hostels, indiscriminate bombings of civilians in markets and places of worship, our forces have remained largely impotent because they do not possess the appropriate weapons and technology, which they could have had, had the so-called human rights violations not been an obstacle.

“Unwittingly, and I dare say, unintentionally, the application of the Leahy law amendment by the US government has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of its extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous crimes.”

Despite having open pity for Boko Haram Buhari still deceives Nigerians

Despite having open pity for Boko Haram members during the Jonathan government, Buhari assured Nigerians that the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Commission would defeat the insurgents by the end of 2015.

He made this pronouncement on August 2 2015, while on a one-day visit to Cotonou in his honour, as the special guest of honour, by the President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, at the 55th independence anniversary.

“I assure you that we will defeat Boko Haram by the end of this year,” Buhari said, while commending Yayi for increasing the number of Benin troops to 800 for the MNJTF.

Buhari complicates self

Since Buhari made the statement that his government would defeat the insurgents by the end of 2015, the terrorists have not stopped their dastardly act of destroying lives and property in the affected North-east of the country; and Buhari is not near winning the sect.

On January 31 2016, the overpowered Buhari said Boko Haram terrorists were so fraught to embarrass his government, while at the same time saying in a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, his senior special assistant for media and publicity that “the insurgents had suffered immensely from the sustained bombardments of their camps and hide outs by the Nigerian military and had resorted to using desperate measures to gain cheap media attention.”

This is the same Buhari who frowned at Jonathan’s military offensive against the Boko Haram!

While reacting to the wave of suicide bombings in Chibok market, Dalori Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camp in Borno State and the Gombi market in Adamawa State, Buhari swaggered that he had bombarded the sect’s camps and sundry; something that the Jonathan government did and Buhari added ethnic colouration to it.

Buhari apparently accepted that he has not defeated Boko Haram by the end of 2015 and he pleaded to Nigerians, saying, “I urge all citizens wherever they live to own the war against terror and to be part of the fight because it is the only way we can finish the remaining work that needs to be done to make our country safe again”.

Buhari’s mendacity continues on Boko Haram

In the earlier statement, Buhari had opined that instead of killing the Boko Haram members, they ought to have been treated fairly and given amnesty.

But in faraway New Delhi, India, for the Third India-Africa Forum Summit, on October 30 2015, Buhari grossly turned away and gave reasons why to crush the insurgents would be better than negotiate with them.

“We want to get them (the 250 kidnapped Chibok girls taken away by the insurgents in 2014) back safe to their parents. But we are not sure of a credible leadership that is prepared to talk yet about Chibok girls,” he told the New Delhi Television (NDTV).

He also told the NDTV that the terrorists are on the retreat, saying, “They are on the retreat. If you go to the front, you will find out that they no longer occupy the areas in the North East they once did.”

Yet, he reiterated, blaming that the “war in Libya was pushing Islamic State fighters into Nigeria, filling the ranks of Boko Haram.”

“A lot of trained people have returned to their bases in Nigeria and are finding their way back to strengthen Boko Haram,” he said.

Buhari was in support of Amnesty for Boko Haram during Jonathan govt

Buhari who is today invariably not in support of amnesty for Boko Haram members was in support of the idea in 2013, during the Jonathan government.

He made this disclosure on April 10 2013, as the CPC presidential candidate, while addressing pressmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on his way to Ikenne to pay condolence to the Yeye Odua, Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo on the death of her son, Chief Oluwole Awolowo.

Buhari who was accompanied by the party’s vice presidential candidate in 2011 election, Pastor Tunde Bakare, the former House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Bello Masari and CPC National Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh, said that whatever would bring peace to Nigeria must be pursued.

“It is good that they have set up a committee on amnesty. I have not seen the terms of reference, but it is a right step in a right direction. This is not the first time amnesty would be given to a violent group. You remember it happened in the time of Yar’Adua when he gave amnesty to militants, but whatever would bring us peace as a society, we should do it,” Buhari stated.

Conclusion: Buhari’s fight against Boko Haram is suspicious and paper fight

According to a report credited to Reuters on September 8, 2015, “In spite of President Buhari’s reassuring words, a spike in violence by Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria has forced almost 800,000 people to flee their homes since June and over 17, 000 lives pummeled and thousands of houses and property destroyed.”

On February 6 2016, during a condolence visit to Dalori village where 65 persons were reportedly killed (weekend before last by the insurgents), Senator Baba Kaka Garbai, senator representing Borno Central in the National Assembly and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), told newsmen that Boko Haram still occupies half of Borno of the Northeast, which Buhari had been boastful that the sect had been confined to the Sambisa forest – the terrorists known camp.

“I feel highly demoralised, devastated in the sense that this is the village we visited during the election and they were going about their normal business. The activities that were ongoing were like confidence building.

“They actually got the signal a few days before the attack that the insurgents were likely to attack them, they reported this to the constituted authorities but nothing was done to provide security for residents and their belongings.

“It is very important and more so that this place is porous, so there could be attacks from any direction. It is a wrong assumption that most of the local governments in Borno have been recaptured from Boko Haram.

“In reality, this is not true in the sense… From my count, only three local governments are fully liberated, while 21 local governments remain partially occupied by insurgents – that is, there is still some level of Boko Haram occupation side by side the military or some other constituted authority,” Senator Garbai said.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State. (apoet_25@yahoo.com). Tel: +2348057778358.

Ngige, factionalised NLC and leadership failure

By Odimegwu Onwumere

In the international best labour practices many policies to arrest the contemporary socio-economic challenges are being formulated. The best of all are rules that see to the treatment meted out to people at work places which include basic human rights, respect for health and safety, and remuneration, amongst other rights. Whether Nigeria is following the international labour level, which standards have been integrated into a-variety-of conferences and proposals, is not certain with the incessant squabbles at the labour organisations in Nigeria.

Dr. Chris Ngige
{Dr. Chris Ngige}

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige addressed newsmen at Abuja, in December 2015, where he said that the leadership of the ministry had plans to revive the National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC. He said that the aim was to put to front burner international best labour practices in the country. His views were that with the Council, there will be a boost in reviewing labour laws in Nigeria.

That was coming after the beggarly Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, under the watch of its supposed president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba had signed a congratulatory message it sent to Nigige early December 2015. It was, perhaps, after the letter that Ngige saw the need to make his love for the NLAC known.

While the NLC congratulating with Ngige might be nice, what had the NLC been doing over the years to revitalize the NLAC, when it saw that it did not meet over the years, as it stipulated in the congratulatory letter? There is more to politics than the titular NLC under Ayuba yearns to be representing the interest of workers in the country. This is the NLC that had a botched election riddled with allegations of rigging early 2015 that was congratulating with Ngige and proffering solutions on how Ngige can achieve best labour practices. Hooey!

It is obvious that as Nigerians dismissed the leadership of NLC to have lost it, they have not said the obverse. Truth be told, the NLC in the present times has not been living by example. So, it was a feint for it to advise a respectable Labour Ministry and Productivity on what to or not to do. Since it could not conduct a transparent election, where did it learn to be transparent, free, fair and peaceful from to lend a voice to the Labour and Productivity Ministry? This is where Ngige has to be careful in choosing those that will man the affairs of the NLAC should it come on ground.

Nigerians have noticed that the present crop of NLC leadership is marred by interference by politicians. Initially, it was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). Against this backdrop, development had been embarrassed. Ngige should be weary of the NLC that took a decision at its conference last year to clear one of the aspirants, president of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Najeem Yasin for deputy president, to contest the election, having earlier been disqualified by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) president (Nasir Fagge)-led credentials committee.

Media reports said, “Yasin’s clearance to contest the election was said to have thrown up another unconstitutional scenario when the president of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Igwe Achese, who was vying for the position of president stepped down and declared support for another candidate, the general secretary of Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Joe Ajaero, and then he (Achese) also being cleared to run for deputy president.”

In the light of that, there is a beaming leadership failure in the NLC. The outgone executive leadership led by Abdulwaheed Omar was a disaster. He allowed political elements to be interfering in sensitive issues as Labour matters, raising morality and integrity questions in the leadership of the NLC to bay. It is palpable that the NLC has not put its house in order; so, why coming to advise Ngige on what to do with the NLAC?

Just on Friday, January 8 2016, the leadership of the NLC asking Ngige to constitute the NLAC, early December last year, failed to resolve the leadership crisis rocking its congress. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the committee, headed by leading labour leader Hassan Summonu, failed to reach an agreeable resolution to end the crisis, in Lagos. While Ayuba is at one end posing as the authentic NLC president, Mr. Joe Ajaero is at one end addressing Summonu that he was disappointed over, what he said was the uncommitted attitude of some of the congress members to the reconciliation.

Hear Ajaero in the letter sent to Summonu: “We had believed that all of us were genuinely committed to speedily working through the process to reach acceptable compromise. The reconciliation is expected to assist the aggrieved parties build a new and vibrant movement and not pseudo outcomes that might further undermine Nigerian workers and weaken the NLC. We re-emphasis that we may no longer be found available at the table any longer if these meetings continue beyond the end of January 2016.”

This is the archetypal NLC under Ayuba and Ajaero. It would be pertinent, however, to lend advise to the Labour and Productivity Ministry that the NLAC should not be limited to advise. Referral to that was in 2011, Trade unions and the Namibia Employers Federation were worried that there should be a widened role for the Labour Advisory Council, which was limited to advise. All over the world, such Council as the NLAC is meant to promote social dialogue; to advise the Minister of Labour on a wide range of matters, which are not limited to ‘Advise’ but on matters relating to labour and unemployment. But sadly, the NLC has failed woefully in these areas but in-fighting!

While the then Namibia Minister of Labour, Immanuel Ngatjizeko inaugurated the 11th Labour Advisory Council in Windhoek, and drew its membership from the National Union of Namibian Workers, the Trade Union Congress of Namibia, the Namibia Employers’ Federation (NEF), the Namibia Employers’ Association and the Government, as was established in terms of the Labour Act; Nigerians are not sure where Ngige will draw the membership of the Council from. Certainly, not from the factionalised NLC!

Instead of drawing inspiration from the Trade Union Congress of Namibia, the Namibia Employers’ Federation (NEF); the NLC is bent on playing politics. Whereas the Namibian Labour Act stated that “the council has the duty to investigate and advise the Labour Minister on collective bargaining, national policy concerning basic conditions of employment, and the prevention and reduction of unemployment”, the NLC is bickering offer leadership tuzzle. Hogwash!

NLC

(NLC members in a procession)

Not minding, the Labour and Productivity Ministry headed by Dr. Ngige should know that hardly is there any country still operating in the old order as regards labour matters. In “Reinforcing Regional Rights: Labour and Migration”, we were meant to understand that regional labour and migration rights remain an understudied policy area, hence Ngige should consider opportunities for new policy initiatives and labour policy coordination, whether they have to be regional or still federal; but what will matter most are initiatives and policy that will contribute to the building blocks for national analysis and should not be left for the bickering and tinkering NLC to decide.

This is because of the encroachment of Globalization. This phenomenon has uncovered workers, their employment and wages to the dynamics of the worldwide economy and global rivalry. Therefore, Ngige should understand that Globalisation has made workers to be more mobile, “both sector-wise and geographically”. The source said, “Globalization also has posed diverse challenges to national socio-economic policies, including labour policies, as the boundaries of “national jurisdiction” and national policy spaces have become less clear.”

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State. (apoet_25@yahoo.com). Tel: +2348057778358.

 

(Pls, publish and share anywhere in the world with credit given to the writer).