Sunday, December 9, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
"Water, they say is life", and according to science, the human body constitute of 70% of this liquid substance, as such water tops the priority list of the demand of mankind. The World Health Organization (WHO) said 80% of diseases plaguing humanity are due to use or consumption of unsafe water.
"Over 1 billion people globally lack access to safe drinking-water supplies, while 2.6 billion lack adequate sanitation; diseases related to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene result in an estimated 1.7 million deaths every year," WHO report says.
It is generally believed that the accessibility of sufficient quantities of portable water and safe sanitation facilities to a household determines the quality of life of the people and potential for poverty alleviation. This leads to the welfare improvement and is generally linked to a decrease in infant and maternal mortality, increase nutritional values and environmental hygiene.
In Jalingo, accessing portable water by residents remains a major battle forcing residents of the city to rely on local vendor popularly id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5819394726337101682" />
called Mai ruwa and few streams for water, while public water supply remained exclusive for the rich in the state.
Wurom Musa, is a one of the slum communities in Jalingo, and is inhabited mainly by farmers and traders. Here the only source of water for domestic consumption is a local stream about 7 killometers away. away. What would have served as a safer source of water supply- a two hand-pump boreholes donated to the community 5 years ago, had collapsed
In another slum community, Barade ward, there are tales of woes and anguish whenever the Lamorde River, the only source of water in the area, dries up, typically during dry season. When this occurs, residents of the community are left with no other option than to buy from 'Mai Ruwa' water vendors, whose source of water is unknown.
In another community, Agangagwasa, a resident, , Julian Bala narrated that getting water for domestic use is a major challenge.
"because here is a new area with plenty people, water is our problem, when the wells in the area are dried up, it's a difficult to get water because, we trek long distance searching for water as if you are looking for petrol, its saddening because water board is not here"
Another resident, Mrs. Franca Osita told me that she starts her day by searching for water, "I have to wake up early and walk to the stream to get water, or else buy from the water vendors and then prepare the children for school before resuming business, this is usually difficult for me"
She called on the government to show more concern to the untold suffering water scarcity has brought upon the people, by making provision for more boreholes and making sure that the taps are running again.
The Ward head of Mayo-Gwoi Village, in peri urban Jalingo, Mr. Aliyu Jassa, said the lack of access to portable water in the city is harming their health.
" Due to lack of water from the taps, some of us depend largely on Mai ruwa, and those who cannot afford to buy, have to depend on the river. Unfortunately we've had cases of cholera that have resulted to the loss of lives, especially pregnant women and children, I almost lost my children too, but thank God for quick intervention"
Hamman Yakubu a retired bank official, on his part lamented the hike in price of water by local vendors. "Me and my family consume not less than three trucks a day at N200 per a truck of ten jerry-cans each, but we are at the mercy of the water vendors, who sometimes hike the price of the water at will," adding that it's too expensive for an average citizen in the state who earns less than N18, 000 per month, considering other family expenses like sending the children to school.
Mr. Yakubu also noted that though there are pipes laid down for distribution to homes, but too expensive to embark upon, as it will cost N60,000 for the installation per home; adding that the pipes have rusted due to non-usage resulting to health hazard for the few consumers.
Other residents across the city bemoan the recurrent shortage of water and overdependence for water supply on Mai ruwa whom sources of water is not known to the consumer.
Chairman of Taraba state water vendors, Mr. Muhamadu Ahmed said "there are over 20,000 members of the association scattered in various location of Jalingo"
Danlami Musa a water vendor said, he sells as much as fifteen trucks a day and due to the high demand of the product he often have to go in search of water from the stream, stating that sometimes the water from the borehole is not sufficient to go round.
Secretary of the Association of water vendors in Jalingo, Mr. Iliya Jacob who had been in the business for more than 14 years said his service is an alternative to government.
" I have been providing water for this entire area for 13 years, people troop in from distances to come here for water, sometimes we have to give them for free, as a humanitarian service, we see the untold hardship on our people, we regard our services as an alternative to the government, because most people cannot afford to buy trucks of water per day, there is no other option for getting portable water" he added.
He identify causes of water scarcity in city as "dryness of well and stream majorly during dry season and well water changing color during raining seasons, and sometimes due to the activity of the pumping machine, it drains water from the ground which often cause some temporal water shortage from the ground, and leads to dry wells."
The Area Manager of Taraba Water Supply Board, Jalingo district, Mr. Bitrus Rimanshon admitted to ravaging water shortage in the city:
"the product don't seems to be available, however the government is doing its best to meet up with the challenges." The Government is doing its best, the Taraba water supply board is operational on a daily basis, but coverage is not much, due to the growing population of the city, the coverage area is presently at 32%,"
Some of the challenges facing the State Water Board according to investigation includes obsolete machines that needs renovation and replacements, inadequate funding , deficiency in human resource development, and manpower that has reduced from 600 to 324 since the creation of the state.
Other challenges according to Mr. Rimanshon , is the need to upgrade the facilities for water distribution, stating that only six out of the fourteen boreholes in the Board are functional. Calling on the the government to subsidize water supply, in the state rather than putting more money in providing drugs, Mr Rimanshon said the proper funding of the Board and efficient supply of safe water will help prevent diseases.
A government official who does not want his name in print confirmed that that the State Government recently accessed a loan from the African Development Bank, to enable it upgrade the water supply coverage in the state from 32% to 75% .
The story is contributed by Ayodele Samuel, and published under the pro poor WASH stories project implemented by the Water and Sanitation Media Network Nigeria, with the support of West Africa WASH Media Network, WaterAid, and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
|Ondo Election: ……is Mimiko coasting to victory? |
Ayodele Samuel, Akure
If the forth coming Ondo gubernatorial is to be judge by crowds witness at various political rallies by political parties in the state, Labour Party (LP) Candidate and incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko might few steps away from victory.
Mimiko endorsement for another term cut across political boundaries and ideologies , from chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Community Based organization and several Civil Societies had openly declared their support for Iroko, as he's fondly call.
Mimiko recently while expressing confidence that the people will vote for him in the October 20 governorship election based on his track record of performance and longstanding relationship with them.
Mimiko who spoke at his hometown in Ondo during one of its overcrowded mega campaign tour of the ancient city said that he was the most qualified amongst all the contenders for the position having identified with the people, worked for them and above all having brought the State on the path to sustainable development as Governor.
The Governor also described the two opposition candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Olusola Oke and Rotimi Akeredolu respectively as not only political neophytes but strangers and stooges of political godfathers only out to milk the state of its resources.
"The people of Ondo State will vote for me because they know me and I live with them. In the last three and a half years, we have been working for the people and we have delivered on our electioneering promises. If you vote for me again, I will continue to work for you. You all know me, I am not a stranger in your midst; I have been your commissioner and when I was your commissioner, I did well for you; I was your Secretary to State Government (SSG); when I was SSG, I did well for you. I was a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and when I was there, I did well for you so you all know my antecedents unlike some people who want to now govern you out of the blues," Mimiko said.
"Let me ask the people of Ondo State: Is it a governor you want or a district officer? If the answer is yes, that you want a real governor as I can hear say; then cast your votes for me on October 20 because I am one of you.
"Because you know me; because I have always worked for you; because my heart is with you, I won't take your money abroad. Rather, I will use your money to work for you so that hunger, want, deprivation will be banished from our land. "
While Residents of about100 coastal communities, mainly oil-producing areas in the State, joined by artisans and local traders has vowed to work assiduously for the re-election of Mimiko.
The state representative on the governing council of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Dele Omogbemi said the entire oil-producing communities in the state would work for the victory of the governor in the forthcoming election so that the laudable programmes designed for the people in the area would not be abandoned
While Action Congress of Nigeria Governor, Edo State Comrade Adams Oshiomole had said "Unlike other Governors, Governor Mimiko and myself, giving the circumstances of our assumption of office, the whole of the people of Nigeria look up to us for a change and I am happy that here in Ondo State, Governor Mimiko is making a difference. He is showing that there are Governors and there are Governors. I think Mimiko has more than justify the sacrifices made by your people in defense of the popular mandate. In Ondo State, we have seen Governance in action. This is Governance working according to the wishes of the people. He has shown that in democracy, only the people matters."
The Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), and CPC chieftain Pastor Tunde Bakare on his part said "Mimiko has taken care of the needs of the Ondo grassroots people as Mimiko and the Labour Party have demonstrated that they have the capacity to give dividends of democracy to the people in the grassroots.The governor has discharged his responsibilities well and deserved a second tenure. I do not speak for any political party. It is time people know that leadership is not by might or inheritance but by living right as Mimiko has done. This is not about political party but performance. If every state in Nigeria works like Mimiko and Fashola of Lagos, the nation will change. I only met Mimiko for 10 minutes during the presidential election campaign in 2011, saying the endorsement was a support to good governance. Members of the Save Nigeria Group that are on ground assessing the performance of governors in all the states have attested to Mimiko's performance." I therefore advise the Ondo electorates to be vigilant and to defend their votes against rigging or any form of electoral manipulations"
While an Abuja based opinion and survey agency, Pollstar, however predicted that the candidate for the PDP, Chief Olusola Oke, maintained his leading position over the other candidates, Pollstar Executive Director (Special Projects), Mr. Obi Benedict Ekene said "Oke for the third consecutive week, topped the chart with 29.5 per cent with the Labour Party candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, in the second position with 21 per cent while the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, came third with 19 per cent.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
|As Suntai 'pocketing' Taraba House of Assembly |
In this report AYODELE SAMUEL in Lagos, takes a look at intrigue and politics behind the impeachment process against Taraba State Deputy Governor Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi by the State House of Assembly
Recently Former Minister for Defense and Elder statesman General Theophilus Danjuma at a pubic function lamented the pocketing of State Houses of Assembly , Judiciary at the state level by the governors .
"The most stifling concentration of power is not in the central but at the state level, The governors almost all the governors are sole administrators. The first thing they do when they get to power is to pocket the state Houses of Assembly, neutralize the judiciary and abolish the local government" these are words from the retired General.
By providence , little did the 'wise' T Y Danjuma knew that his home state House of Assembly his suffering from the same virus from its Chief Executive.
Danjuma is from Taraba State, where its Governor Danbaba Suntai has mandated its House of Assembly to commence impeachment of its Deputy , Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi .
it began early last year when Suntai allegedly declared at one of the State Executive Council meetings in Government House that he had lost confidence in most of his principal officers, including his deputy governor.
Since then, Governor Suntai was said to have severally accused his deputy of holding clandestine meetings with his political opponents in the state , Abuja and of lately Saudi Arabia where he performed lesser Hajj.
Suntai was allegedly to have told his deputy that he will personally supervise his impeachment after accusing him that he Abubakar, the PDP national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Senator Jummai Aisha Alhassan, Senator Abubakar Tutare and Abdulmumini Vaki, past state chairman of PDP, held another meeting in Abuja and resolved to kill him [Suntai] so that his deputy could succeed him.
Few days after the allegation, the Taraba State House of Assembly initiated impeachment process against Danlandi was moved in the assembly by deputy speaker Abel Peter Diah. The motion was signed by 21 out of 23 members in the state legislative body.
The lawmakers, who accused the deputy governor of using his office to acquire a business venture worth billions of naira, resolved to give him a two-week ultimatum to respond to allegations or face removal from office.
In the motion, Danladi was accused of diverting a Millennium Development Goals project to his private school, Yagai Academy, which houses his other business ventures like Yagai Water, Yagai Printing Press and Yagai Restaurant.
The legislators said locating the MDG ICT Centre and the sinking of motorised boreholes in Yagai Academy are gross misconduct as the school is a private venture of the deputy governor and the facilities sited there cannot be accessed by the public.
They also alleged that Danladi used his influence to acquire "a large expanse of land in Jalingo on which he built Yagai Academy (together with all other multi million naira business ventures sited therein like Yagai Water, Yagai Printing Press and Yagai Restaurant) an institution which is worth about a billion naira which your total emolument as a deputy governor cannot justify and in doing this you have not only breached the code of conduct for public office holders which requires you to show transparency in the act of governance."
Danladi is also accused of undue interference in the postings and transfers of indigenes of his local government area, Karim Lamido, and has been working against the interests of other stakeholders of the local government area.
Danladi in his response to the House of Assembly on the allegation says the Yagai Cybercafe was an initiative of Ishaka Bawa, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Constituency and Member Repesenting Wukari and Ibi Constituency.
He said the project was carried out by MDG projects for Yagai Academy and that the Yagai Academy did not request or solicit for either in writing or orally.
According to him, the projects have MDG Logo to indicate that it is the contribution of the MDG to the development of the school, saying Yagai as a profit making body could sink a borehole from its profits.
He added that the contract for solar light at Yagai and street light were not awarded by his office adding that all the contracts were awarded by the State Government after being subjected to due process.
He also said his office was not assigned the responsibility of monitoring and supervising the contract and he could not be held responsible for the diversion of such projects.
The Deputy Governor also presented a Document to show how he acquired build the Yagai Academy from various individuals and evidence of a bank loan from the Zenith and First Bank where he collected facilities to develop the Yagai Academy.
He pleaded with the members of the House of Assembly to be objective in their deliberations and promised to be more committed to the party and the people of the State.
However political stakeholder believe that there's political undertone to all the allegations, accusing the lawmakers of doing a hatchet job for Governor Danaba Suntai
They viewed that how does one perform as deputy governor without the active support and cooperation of the governor? Who approved the sitting of the MDG ICT Centre at Yagai? and Who gave approval and signed the Certificate of Occupancy for the Yagai parcel of land?
As the impeachment threat rages, pertinent posers for the lawmakers and the judicial panel expected to be set up over the allegations are: How does one perform as deputy governor without the active support and cooperation of the governor? Who approved the siting of the MDG ICT Centre at Yagai? and Who gave approval and signed the Certificate of Occupancy for the Yagai parcel of land?
The Speaker of Taraba state House of Assembly Istifanus Gbana at a solidarity rally in support of the impeachment move staged by PDP supporters in the six local government that made up the northern zone with majority of the people from Dalandi hometown Karim Lamido, restated the house commitment to impeach embattled Dalandi.
Gbana denied that house is not working under anybody directive in the process to impeach the deputy Governor, its only carrying out constitutional duty to checkmate excesses of the executive arm.
Also chairman of the House Committee on Information, Mr. Daniel Ishaya Gani, said the impeachment process was not initiated by forces outside legislative chamber, saying members were genuinely concerned about the 'gross misconduct of the deputy governor.
Special Adviser to the Governor on media, Istifanus Giwa however refused to responds to question pose to him by Peoples Daily correspondent on phone insisting that "the matter is purely legislative"
However the state Commissioner of Information Emmanuel Bello argued that "Governor Suntai doesn't meddle in what legislators are doing. He is a firm believer in the rule of law and separation of powers. This is purely a legislative matter. So count him out of this."
Political watchers and indeed residents of the state are eagerly waiting to see the end of the impeachment process.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Ayodele Samuel, in this report takes a look at the seeming unending power problem in Nigeria's manufacturing sector, as LPFO (black oil) and AGO (diesel) witness price hike.
Hard times are ahead of Nigeria manufacturing sector following the increase in the price of LPFO (black oil) and AGO (diesel) by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), as poor electricity supply continue to have devastating effects on manufacturers' operating cost.
Manufacturers holds the poor state of electricity supply as the major factor responsible for factory closures, relocation of production lines and hundreds of thousands of job losses in the last one decade.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had argued that the price hike move was capable of crippling many companies and could have negative effects on the economy as may firms might closed shops.
According to MAN, the PPMC had in a memo last week, signed by the Depot Manager Kaduna, Shettima Bukar Imam, and copied to marketers among others, said the management of NNPC/PPMC had approved new Ex/Depot prices for AGO N126.30/Litre (old price) to N128.92/litre (new price) and LPFO N68/litre (old price) to N85.91/litre (new price).
According to the memo, the prices took immediate effect adding that ex-depot prices of PMS, DPK as well as other special products remained unchanged.
The manufacturers in a petition addressed to the Presidency Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Finance, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives and signed by Olushola Olabinri, described the sudden hike as shocking and arbitrary, calling for its reversal.
MAN described the policy as draconian and superfluous, because the brunt would be borne by the masses as the cost of production of various household consumables would increase drastically.
It warned that the high cost of LPFO was making most industries to fold up and therefore appealed to the government to reconsider the situation and return to the status quo.
Also Chief Michael Daramola, MAN Chairman, Oyo/Osun/Ondo/Ekiti states branch, said that inspite of the country's huge and diverse energy resources endowment, electricity was ranked as the most critical infrastructure constraint, adding that it had resultant effects on members operational cost, production stoppages, output losses and destruction of machineries and raw materials.
"A review of the overall performance of the economy in year 2011 revealed to be reasonably fair despite the plethora of challenges that have continued to render the business environment unfriendly. Outlining them, as usual, is tantamount to reminding us of pitiable state of the manufacturing sector.
"Notwithstanding, reasonable success and growth were achieved in some areas of the economy. Interestingly, we were able to weather the storm despite the seemingly harsh operating environment. Our efforts at keeping our businesses afloat in the face of multifarious challenges deserve to be commended," Daramola stated.
He stated further that, "We cannot forget in a hurry, the devastation of some of our member-companies facilities, especially in the Oluyole Industrial Estate during the year 2011 flood disaster which occurred precisely in the month of August. The disaster sadly claimed properties and products worth billions of Naira. We sincerely hope that your excellencies will proffer appropriate solutions especially in the area of adequate infrastructure needed to attain greatness in the industrial sector."
MAN is, however, projecting a 25 per cent manufacturing sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
MAN National President, Chief Kola Jamodu said if realised it would pave the way for achieving the Vision 20:2020 objectives.
Jamodu said: "We know that the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy is very shallow, that is about four per cent and for Nigeria to realise its Vision 20:20:20 objective, we are thinking of growing from that stage to about 25 per cent GDP contribution to the economy.
"We have articulated programmes that will ensure that over a period of time we will achieve that plan. MAN will continue to adopt appropriate technology and continue to produce a high quality products. We want cars made in Nigeria to equate quality," he said.
He added that the sector will continue to remain steadfast in championing the manufacturers' interest within the country's economy,"he said.
"MAN has come up with a blue print which is intentionally a road map that shows that the economy has brought forth intervention programme with very detailed means of implementation," he stated.
As the October 20th governorship election in Ondo state approaches, our reporter, Ayodele Samuel,
in this report takes a look at the impending political battle, raising the questions on the a
bility of Governor Olusegun Mimiko to break the second term myth in the state just as he underscores the importance of the ancient city on who produces the next governor of the Sunshine state.
The ancient city of Owo is famous for being the cradle of politics and struggle of liberation in the South West region of Nigeria. The town came under British rule in 1893. After the nation's independence in 1960, it was part of the Western Region until 1967 when it became part of the Western State.
History of progressive politics in the country would not be complete without making reference to Owo, where the Action Group (AG), believed to be the first political party with progressive ideas and ideology, was formed. Those who propagated the idea of forming the AG, which later contributed to the transformation of the region, were believed to have first gathered at Owo.
Starting from hosting the meeting of the Action Group led by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo , the city has continued to remain relevant to politics of the region generally and Ondo State in particular.
Also in the struggle for democracy, the town also became very popular during the darkest days of the military rule in the country when progressive politicians regularly gathered to review the administration of the late Gen. Sani Abacha's military government. Its famous son and first governor of Ondo state, late Pa. Adekunle Ajasin had at that time, assumed the leadership of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere and as well as the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).
Without doubt, the ancient town occupies an important position when it comes to the social, economic and political development of the old western region.
Ahead of the October 20th gubernatorial election, Ondo state's incumbent governor, and Labour Party candidate Olusegun Mimiko last week took the battle for the control of the state to the ancient city and hometown of the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), when he flagged off his re-election campaign with a pledge to work with renewed vigour towards a better state just as he took a swipe at those who are aspiring to capture the state to perish the thought.
Storming the city strategically with thousands of people who came from all over the state chanting the praises of Iroko, as he is fondly called, to show his popularity and acceptance by the people, was however described as political miscalculation by oppositions in the state. The opposition in the state based their argument on the town's popular myth that no one ever brings war of any kind to the city and goes back home victorious.
"Mimiko has just failed, coming to Owo to declare war is very wrong and time would judge because Owo people hate threats of war" Addressing the supporters, Mimiko said Ondo state will never worship on the altar of any foreign god adding that one million godfathers and their District Officers would meet their match on October 20, when the people shall once again speak loudly with their votes as they did in 2007.
Mimiko, who lampooned ACN candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, whom he accused of being a foreigner in the state; who did not register to vote and never even voted in the state before but suddenly woke up with the idea of governing the state, insisted that the people want a committed Governor, not a District Officer. "In 2007, we promised to work for you; we promised that your concerns shall be our concern; that in all seasons, we will work for you; that we shall unleash our incredible creative ingenuity to develop the state. In the last three and a half years, there are empirical facts on the ground that we have delivered on our promises and Ondo state is working again, and we are happier. We have in place over 350 projects in all our rural communities dictated by our people themselves.
"Today, we are here again to solicit for your votes, we want you to vote for us and I sincerely assure you that we shall continue to work for you with renewed vigour. We have been with you; we know your concerns and aspirations and we have been meeting. We know that you want your children to have quality education without you selling your properties. We will continue to work to make Ondo state a real place of pride in Nigeria; we will continue to develop Agriculture, build more roads, build more mega schools for our children, markets for our women, more hospitals, our cities shall be the best cities in Nigeria"
While noting that the choice of Owo town as the venue of his campaign flag- off was symbolic, Mimiko said that Owo was the de facto home of the progressives in Nigeria because in 1951, the Action Group (AG) was founded in Owo, making it the home of brave progressives when many towns were reluctant to host the group. "And we as inheritors of progressivism in Nigeria, have latched onto this proud heritage and we have taken hook line and sinker the ethos of progressivism in Nigeria and today, Ondo State is a model and the real progressives, as opposed to those who just mouth progressivism by mere words of mouths and not in deeds," Mimiko said.
The governor appealed to the leaders of the Afenifere, who have been lampooned by some so called leaders in recent times for daring to identify with him by describing him as following the footsteps of Pa Obafemi Awolowo saying that the whole world salute them for being the proud inheritors of progressivism in Nigeria.
In his address, the national Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Dan Nwanyawu, urged the people to vote for Mimiko who he noted had performed beyond even the expectations of the party pointing out that going by his landmark achievements in the state, he deserved to be voted for. While urging the people to be wary of those whom he noted had vowed to capture the state, Nwanyawu stated that they had no plans for the people as they only wanted to share the peoples' common resources for their god fathers.
"I must warn you not to vote for these people who are very desperate even when they are not on ground but say they will do everything to capture Ondo state. In LP, we did not impose Mimiko unlike some people who sat in their mansion in Lagos state and selected for their party. In fact, one of their leaders openly stated recently that they don't believe in primaries.
"All they are looking for is to increase their territories; they want to expand and they have not said that Mimiko has not performed but they just want to grab. Please, don't vote for them because they will ferry your wealth to feather their nests outside Ondo state and destroy the good legacies that Mimiko and other governors have done in Ondo state as they are doing in the states that they are now governing," he said.
But responding to the allegation that its candidate is a foreigner in the state, the ACN said ""For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to assert that Rotimi Akeredolu is a registered voter in his home town, Owo, and this is verifiable. The ACN candidate, with intimidating credentials coupled with his credible pedigree, no doubt, is the candidate to beat in this election, hence all antics to pull him down at all cost."
Winning Owo remain a key political calculation if Mimiko must return to Alagbaka House as the first governor to serve two tenure in the state
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Abdullahi Abdulmajeed is the President Nigerian Youth United Action Coalition NYUAC and Convener of the First Multi-stakeholders dialogue summit, spoke with selected Journalists on why Governmnet alone cannot tackle insecurity among other youths related issues, AYODELE SAMUEL was there for Peoples Daily Weekend.
As a youth what are your major concern about Nigeria?
As a youth of this country, I continue to feel the pain of seeing fellow citizens suffer untoward distress; physical and psychological torment while the country continues to lose precious lives daily,as a youth of this country, am saddened when i see the outcome of long years of hard work and huge monumental investments being destroyed daily, namely; schools, hospitals, bridges, institutional buildings, private residences, investments and various industries, As a youth of this country i feel aggravated by the sight of colossal and apparent signs of the disintegration of our dear country manifesting in startling proportion daily.
Uncertainty and despair is fast becoming commonplace in most parts of the country and the people are crying out for peace. As a group of youths united in action, we stand amongst a large and growing community of young people who have committed time and resources to the imperative task of re-examining what really are the underlying factors responsible for ethno religious crisis and insurgency in Nigeria. This review has left us appalled at the web of contradictions, the fragile "evidence," the accountability denied and the seeming inability to tackle the menace of violence and terrorism.
I have come to the conclusion that a mass citizens support and participation in the collective quest to rid this country of all factors and elements of under-development will definitely reposition the country and its people firmly on the pathway of sustainable development.
We are aware that development is grossly impossible in the absence of peaceful coexistence and harmony. We are appalled by the seeming willingness of some people in this country to accentuate the status quo (with little more than a whisper of criticism), a deeply troubling indication as to the state of our Republic.
What will you say is the problem of our Nation getting to this alarming state of insecurity?
Under- development and poverty is getting accentuated at an alarming rate. It is instructional to note that Nigeria as a country has gone through difficult moments, characterized by the prevalence of ethno religious violence and of course political destabilization crisis that has resulted in the loss of thousands of precious Nigerian lives, separation of families and the destruction of economic and social infrastructures.
The reoccurring crisis amplified by the emerging trend of insurgency and terrorism has compelled thousands of Nigerians to abandon their places of domiciliation to seek refuge in their towns of origin or in neighboring states. While the country battles perennially with ethno religious and political crisis with the quantum of dismal and far reaching consequences on innocent citizens unabated, a new and more dangerous dimension of hostility and bloodshed has suddenly resurfaced in the annals of Nigeria affairs. Militancy, insurgency and several acts of terrorism are fast becoming the medium adopted by different segments of the country's population to register some form of discontent, reservation, cry of marginalization or alienation of their ethno-religious groups or regions. Our major concern is that young people who are also the most vulnerable to the aftermath effects of these incidents are mostly used to power the uprisings ignorantly. This crisis is gradually destroying our social fabric and threatening to paralyze our economy.
Since the October 1st 2010 bomb blast and the ethno-religious crisis that followed the 2011 general elections in some parts of the country, peace has remained elusive for our country. The rise of militancy (South and West) and insurgency (North) that is threatening to snowball into full-scale terrorism or/ and civil war if unmitigated is alarming and detrimental to our continued coexistence as a country. An ominous cloud of suspicion has increasingly colored our culture of fear, as wide spread and reoccurring violence, misinformation, sharp division and disagreement at all levels have suddenly become the order of the day.
Mass killings in the name of religion resulting in mutual distrust and hatred across ethnic and religious lines is seriously impeding the growth and development of this country thus rapidly pushing it unto the precipice of a full blown civil war and state of anarchy.
Many Nigerians across all divides are beginning to contemplate and even hold firm belief and reliance on the disintegration of our country as the only cure for all the ills presently witnessed in the country. This is a negative proposition that urgently needs to be suppressed with concrete words and action in the interest of all the peoples of this nation.
You're organizing a summit to bring the youths together to talk about peace, what gingered this action?
Basically, first and foremost, Nigeria belongs to all of us. And youths happens to be the most populated sector in the country, if this country works, it works for us and we will benefit even more than those in government and if this country fails, we will lose more than they lose.
This uneasy calm that will have in some part of the country, it is obvious that there are a whole lot of problems. These are problems that government alone cannot resolve and it is in view of this that we brought together stakeholders who can complement efforts of government and other institutions to secure solutions to the problems of Nigeria.
As a preliminary effort to lay a foundation for the proposed national dialogue to consult widely and integrate the input and opinion of all stakeholders into the summit agenda, the summit group has decided to host a final pre-summit conference after the regional grassroot conferences with leaders of all major youth organisations, civil society organisations and faith based groups in order to ensure that the proposed multi-stakeholders dialogue summit is all inclusive and encompassing of every diverse interest in the country.
What will you describe as the objective of this summit?
The Nigerian Youths Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue Summit Group have convened to unfold the possibility of the power and beauty of united action with mutual understanding; tolerance and trust across every ethno-religious divide in this country as a most fundamental asset and foundation to strive towards the sustainable development and growth of our dear country, Nigeria needs peace.
The activities of the Boko Haram and insecurity in general had been causing disunity in the country how do you think the youths can come together to fight insecurity?
I will lend my credence from certain consultations in the cause of the grassroots mobilizations. As I speak, I have visited about 26 states of the country in the course of this programme alone. I have held geo-political zone consultations discussing with real youths. In the course of speaking with the people, we discovered that we have youths who say see if Boko Haram come and recruit me to go and throw bomb somewhere, I will throw bomb if they will pay me good money, I don't have a job and am even useless so what is my life about. We can understand that reason while this problem keeps on in the air aside political undertone is socio-economic inequality. People are not empowered, not engage, they cannot even provide food on their own table. They get enemies of the state recruited easily, that is why we are coming on the government to engage the youths so as to get holistic solution to the problems of the country.
Do you think Jonathan government is doing enough to tackle the insecurity in the state?
The government is spending resource in tackling the challenges of socio-political crisis, insurgencies and militaries but little is being done to attack the underlining constant factors that are responsible for these problems that we have. We do not have appropriate constitutional settlement, the youths are largely unemployed, they unengaged and not empowered, a lot of mutual disgust in the air, we required national reconciliation, integration, social harmony which government have not delegate required resource to. The youths should stop making noise on the streets it will not take us anywhere. The youths cannot ordinarily leave the street, to say we want to engage the government to identity what are our problems, until the government show some sense of sincerity and ensure this people are empowered. Spending so much money on security is done just to contain it temporarily. But at the long if the youths can be well taken care of, obviously, the country will be at the cross road of violence. Yesterday it was NigerDelta, today is Boko Haram, tomorrow may be another sect from the kagi dam, hydro-power producing communities may be agitating to cut off power from the country.
Do you back the call for the National Sovereign Conference?
Yes, I backed, the call for the national conference, but the word Sovereign is the major challenge that as make the conference difficult for the government to convene. What we are saying is that take the sovereign away and call it a national conference that will bring people of the different ethnics call Nigeria together to decide how they want to co-exist and appropriate way to live together as a country.
The roundtable started as a newsstand argument between some 'street boys' before retiring to a tree shade at Ogba Bus stop in Lagos, Ayodele Samuel who witness the scenes reports.
Sunday 12th of August was a day set aside by the United Nations as International Youth Day, to many young people it's just another jamboree but in Ogba it turned out to be revelation of frustration.
While commenting on the news at the free readers stand, Ayokunle Oloye walked into the group of young men and the unplanned debate about corruption and state of the Nation got started amidst noise and counter arguments.
Taking turns to express their frustration at the level of corruption in our country, the meeting became more rowdy as time passed until the vendor suggested a free Taxi Park behind as venue for us to continue our meeting.
The youth, attributed the closure of many manufacturing industries in the country to growing insecurities saying an idle hands will remains the devil workshops.
"if there's no work for us to do we will take up to crime, many of us here are graduates with BSC, HND but we are veteran Okada riders, we are here shouting, nothing will change if this government does not provide jobs," one of the discussant said.
Many others expressed sadness over the way the country was being run, saying that their future was being toyed with.
Drawing attention to the theme of the 2012 International Youth Day,, "Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth" Oloye suggested that a movement should be convene from the meeting called "The Frustrated Nigerian Youths".
The spectators appointed Oloye who was trying to coordinate the process as the convener, and Mr. Paul Mbagwu, as Co-ordinator, suggesting that the debate should be taken to social networks (Facbook) after which the youths said the future of the nation was bleak.
In a declaration issued after the meeting signed by more than 50 youths who register with the newly created movement, said "The youths, the hope and future of the nation, are living a frustrated life which is evident in our day to day activities, the conditions the Nigerian Youths are subjected to in their own country where milk and honey flows unabated to the coffers of their ruling class is degrading, demeaning and appalling!"
The declaration reads in part: We have the resources but our wasteful leaders and government has continue to plundered our future into irreparable states, playing politics at our detriment, We are rejecting this.
It would be fair enough to say we don't have a government because, you generate your own electricity, buy your own water, you are your own security, etc.
The newly created group said talks will been initiated with uneducated, educated, political expose and local traders across the country on the need to stand for good governance.
The group in its demand urge Federal Government to brace up and bring a lasting solution to the state of insecurity and an end to Boko Haram insurgency .
The group also calls youth involvement in policy and decision making process in Nigeria.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The University of Lagos Senate after an Emergency Meeting of Monday rejected the renaming of the institute to Mashood Abiola University Lagos.
"the proposed re-naming of the University of Lagos is not acceptable and is rejected in its entirety as it is a mere declaration of intention with no legal effect" the Senate said .
the University of Lagos Senate supports all legal processes being carried out by all stakeholders on the subject".
The school announces that all academic activities should resume on Monday, June 18, 2012, while, the Halls of Residence will be re-opened on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 4.00 p.m.