Thursday, June 21, 2012


By National President of The Young Journalists Forum, Ayodele Samuel Ayokunle at the NETAD Youths and Emerging Leaders Summit, in Abeokuta Ogun state . Introduction Youth make up an increasing share of the world population, and constitute a majority of Internet users in many countries and in diverse contexts. Yet the youth are often excluded from national and international decision-making structures that affect them. In Nigeria there are over 45 million young people. 90 percent of this population are not involved in decision-making process while less than 50 percent have access to one form of social media. Nigeria’s liberation struggle from colonialism benefitted immensely from the contributions of Dr. Herbert Macaulay, Ernest Ikoli, Chief H O Davis, J C Vaughan, Oba Samuel Akinsanya, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balawa, Obafemi Awolowo among others at their youthful age. The efforts of these youths led to Nigeria’s independence and again contributed in driving the struggles for democracy in the 80s and 90s. The youth have been in the forefront of good governance and demand for credible leadership in the country since the restoration of democracy. In this connection, efforts by the Nigerian students, over the years cannot be over emphasized. Before now, the youths have always been helpful in steering Nigeria in the right direction at critical moments in the history of the country. The contribution of the youths also featured prominently in the role played by Nigeria’s media in fostering independence and democracy. Notable young Nigerians played key roles during the 2011 general elections; using the innovative social tools that the New and Digital Media provides. It is therefore important that we define a pathway from critical points in history in the journey into the future. It is clear that Nigeria has no choice but to change for good. The time for positive is now! However it’s important to note that youth participation in governance often end at the polls as was the case with periodic elections in Nigeria. It is therefore crucial to state here that good governance’s starts from the poll, after electing our leaders and representative we must follow them up- engage them on policy decisions. The words “governance” and “good governance” appear frequently these days in our everyday discourse, in the developed world, the term does refer to the activities of government, but it is understood to go beyond government and to include the relationships between formal government institutions and its citizenry. The youths are very vulnerable to government policy and corruption in the system. It is important to point out that representative democracy does not necessarily mean that the concerns of the most vulnerable in society would be taken into consideration in decision making expect the decision makers are compelled to do so. Youth participation in governance entails mobilising young people to influence decision-making process and creating positive change in the local communities. It has been asserted that “young people have a right to be involved in the decisions that affect them. This is promoted in law, policy and guidance: the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Every Child Matters, the Children Act 2004, Youth Matters, Children’s Trusts guidance and guidance on inspections” (An Introduction to Involving Children and Young People, NYA, 2009). It is important that youth participation is meaningful - and that it involves a genuine opportunity for young people to influence decision-making process and bring about positive change. Meaningful participation is more than just consultation - where young people are asked their views - but adults retain all decision making power. Young people are getting increasingly informed and becoming a lot more critical about the challenges confronting their communities, many have demonstrated unmistakable clarity on current issues and expressed strong feelings about the way governments are approaching and handling these issues. Youth are equally not too rigid in their ways and are thus ready to embrace change and be at the vanguard of a rebirth in Nigeria. In order for young people to truly experience social justice, we must create societies in which young people are full citizens, empowered to meaningfully and effectively contribute ideas and make decisions. societies where every time decisions are made affecting young people or their communities, youths are there ready to contribute and take part in the decision making process. It is strange that even where the issues to be discussed directly affect youths, many times there are no young people at the table. One need only look at most education and youth development boards across Nigeria to fully grasp the extent to which youth are marginalized even when they are directly affected. The Power of the Social Media Tech-savvy young Nigerians should gear up to use BlackBerries, mobile phones and social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook to contribute to decision making process. As it was in the case during the April 2011 election, new media played an unprecedented role,Nigerian politicians actively utilized social media in their campaigns and sent bulk text and voice messages in unprecedented numbers to the citizens. President Jonathan declared his intention to run on face-book and subsequently became the second most “liked” head of state in the world after US President Barack Obama ( Therefore we can also use these platforms to monitor policy makers and influence their decisions. The key question is how do we influence governance at all levels in Nigeria using new media? To increase awareness amongst citizens, civil society actors and policy makers for the potential of new media as a tool for public good, we need to let the people know that a phone call to your local government chairman can bring a great change and influence his decision about your community- you are using a social media tool . Youth should be encouraged to start issue-based discussions on a bill before the parliaments on face-book or through tweeter that connect with the lawmakers and bring change by influencing their decisions. With camera phones, images of that bad road, dilapidated public building in your community could be shared on face-book walls and other social media platforms to attract attention of public office holders. But unfortunately, what we have today is needless celebration of public office holders via many social networks. Government officials are increasingly aware of new media tools that will allow them to communicate government activities and invite feedback from citizens. Thus our pains, concern, opinion could be communicated through this medium provided by social media not celebrating mediocrity. Conclusion The youth who are the users of social media must intensify constructive engagements of government and policy makers to savage this nation and promote the society at every given platforms available on the social networks. Thank you for listen (reading)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Achaba ban: Jalingo residents face hard times

Achaba ban: Jalingo residents face hard times The ban of commercial motorcycles in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state, is biting hard on the socio-economic activities of the residents. Ayodele Samuel reports. Now I can’t feed my family, my children are out of school, my 15- year old boy cannot write his final exams because one man has put me out of work; Governor Danbaba Suntai has banned Achaba”. These were words of lamentation from John Danlanmi, 48, a Jalingo based commercial motorcyclist and father of four. “72 percent of the people in the state capital depend on Achaba (commercial motorcycles) for their commute, with 18 percent of the riders being owners of their vehicles. Only about 10 percent of resident in the state capital own private cars,” records according to the Federal Road Safety Commission FRSC in Taraba State reveals. With motorcycles serving as the most common means of transportation in Jalingo, as is the case in many places in the country, the ban on the operations of both private and commercial motorcycles in the state capital placed by the state Governor Danbaba Suntai following several security threats, has dented the economic viability of many people who in one way or another are dependent on commercial motorcycles. Mr. Joshua said life had been very difficult for him since the ban of Achaba, “I am living a miserable life now. Since the government cannot provide another job for us, why should they take the one we have? The Governor fly with helicopter everywhere in the state, so he does not feel the pains of the people, he does not know the untold hardship he has brought to my life”. Following the ban, Police were drafted to all corners of the state capital where they arrested thousands of motorcyclists, including non commercial ones; those who were out for their legitimate duties. “I.D. card or no I.D. card, the governor said we should arrest anybody who is riding on a bike whether commercial or private”, a police man at MTD checkpoint told a principal staff of Federal Medical Centre who was on duty with his motorbike. The ban has also led to thousands of people trekking on the streets of Jalingo while others wait endlessly on the roadside for the scarce commercial buses to get to their destinations. Residents bemoan the government’s failure to provide visible palliative measures to ease transportation hardship. While many a family bread winner eked out a living from commercial motorcycling, even many more survived on repairing of the motorcycles and selling of spare parts, occupations that had become the refuge of many youths in the city. Most of the roadside mechanics, who survived through the repair of motorcycles, have deserted their work sites. Ditto, the motorcycles spare parts dealers. School children have been trekking long distances to attend classes and return home. The situation is not different with the civil servants, who do not own personal vehicles.0 Alhaji Suleiman Isa, a motorcycle dealer, expressed bitterness over the ban of motorcycles, which has led to the stoppage of his business, saying that he no longer opens his shop because nobody would even look at it. “I am pleading with the government to please find another way of providing security in the state, apart from banning of motorcycle”. Re-echoing Isa’s plea, Chairman of the Taraba state chapter of Motorcycle Mechanics union, better known as the Nigeria Automobile Technicians and Allied Trade Association, NATATA, Mallam Danjuma Mainaira, bemoaned the ban on the use of motorcycle, describing it as a “thoughtless harsh punishment on the people by the government. He said, since the ban took effect, it was his wife that was feeding the family from what she was earning from the petty trading she was doing at home. “My main concern now is the boys working under me; because it is from the little they get here that they use to take care of their schooling and their needs.” Also, the Concerned Taraba Youths Forum condemned the indefinite ban on the use of motorcycles (Achaba) and the unlawful detention of youths in the state capital by the state Government. The forum described the action of the state Government under Governor Danbaba Suntai as illegal and a violation of the fundamental human right of the people. In a press Statement signed by its Coordinators Danjuma Gambo and Talima Grace, the Concerned Taraba Youths Forum alleged that more than 50 innocent and helpless youths are presently languishing in the prison under the order of the state governor. It declared that “the molestation and continued detention of these helpless youths by security agencies amounts to gross violation of our fundamental human rights as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution. “The government has since resolve to unlawfully imprisoning our youths without trial and access to any legal assistance. “We are concern of the security situation in the state and efforts of the government to protect its citizenry which has led to the ban on the use of motorcycles in the state capital for past’s weeks, however this highhandedness of the state government has result to the gross loses of earnings to many families who lived on the business. “We are totally against the ban which has brought untold hardship on the residents and economy of the state since the Motorcycle is the only visible means of transportations in the absence of good roads networks in the state capital”. The group also rejected the surreptitious plan by the government to unlawfully limit the use of motorcycle in the state capital to indigenes of the state. “As a developing state, our land is open to all Nigerians in respective of their tribes, religion and background, the laws of Nigeria provide its citizens the right to reside and work in any part of the country, including Taraba state,” the forum chided the government. The youths also demands “the state government to immediately reverse the unlawful ban on motorcycles since it has failed to provide alternative means of transportation. “If the government fails to yield to our demands within the period of 14 days, we will mobilize youths to peacefully take over the streets and explore every lawful means available to drive home our demands”. However, Peoples Daily gathered that there is more to the Governor’s decision to ban the operation of commercial motorcycles than meets the eye. It was learnt the measure was a preemptive move to frustrate his “number one political enemy”, Senator Asia Al Hassan, who was planning to celebrate her one year anniversary as a Federal legislator with the distribution of motorcycles to her loyalists in Jalingo. A source said the Governor deliberately “ordered the ban to frustrate her plans of donating Achaba to her supporters on May 29th” However, the Special Adviser to Governor Danbaba Suntai on Security Matters, Group Captain Sule Gani (rtd), said the ban on the use of motorcycles in Jalingo was effected because the two bomb attacks carried out in the state were by motorcycle riders, who were also believed to be linked to the killing and dumping of dead bodies in the state capital. “We want our people to be secured; you know the atrocities these motorcycle riders have been committing in Jalingo; the two bombings we have witnessed were by motorcycle people. So, I discovered that if we take Okada off our streets, our people will be safe”, Group Captain Gani said. He added that the government was fully aware that many people might undergo some hardship with the new policy, but assured that government would soon alleviate their hardship. According to him, “government will come in, but it may not be immediately; definitely whatever policy you bring, people will have to undergo some certain difficulties, but definitely the government will do something; we are going to meet and I believe that the governor is going to provide an alternative”.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

UNILAG Senate officially rejects new name, Resume June 18

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.

June 12 on my Mind

June 12 on my Mind Ayodele Samuel I was barely 4 years old when the June 12 general election was held, but the impact today remains the solid rock on which our ‘democracy’ stands. As young as I was then, I knew something was going on in town, I begin to suspect when my meal that morning was not properly served, My precious mother was in a hurry to cast her vote, leaving her last son meal to secure a better future for the poll. I never knew it was an election but am always happy to hear the name MKO Abiola… is our man oh!, till date MKO remain relevant in our politics 16 years after his death, his bequest still fears his enemies, failing politicians still use his name to disguise for their failure, his name sounds of that of a wise warrior who laid his life for his people, to fight another war. June 12 1993 is that day every Nigerian even the unborn will live to celebrate, the day Nigerians woke up early to conduct themselves in the most orderly manner for an election. As far as elections is concern in Nigeria, that election was one we cannot forget in a hurry even thou I didn’t participated , the electoral commission played by the rule of the game, the elections were properly planned and well conducted. It was all for Chief MKO Abiola, the heaven must have stand still for this man. A day another chapter was open for electoral process in this country, a day Nigeria history got a new topic, the last election that was error free, petition saved and no tribunal sitting, Nigerians indeed make up their minds to choose a leader. Many Nigerians are still traumatized by the June 12 brouhaha, it was indeed a turn around to many Nigerians live, my dad’s bettle windscreen was smashed during a protest to defend his vote and we had to go hungry to get a new one, while some were killed, jobs were lost, many went into exile yet opportunists emerge, they came calling as June 12 disciple and destroy our democracy. But June 12, 1993, was not just about Abiola; it was about so many other things- it was about democratic principles , the rule of law and the common man on the street, who Abiola died for. The fundamental thing about June 12 was that an election held and Abiola won. The crime about it was that some cabal secretly plotted against Abiola and eternally denied him of the mandate that the Nigerian masses gave to him. He was asked by the people to give them hope, but hopeless their get in return, selfish persons, a few of whom unfortunately are still trying to come around the corridors of power decided otherwise. Many who know nothing about true democracy, it tent and principle came and rode on the holy political day to swindle Nigerians. No national honour would be too much for this, man who won an election and was murdered for attempting to claim his mandate, he lost his business empire, his wealth and his wife was assassinated just to bring hope to the masses. However, with our more than a decade of democracy, our leader have successfully undermined the basic tenet of democracy of the right to vote and be counted in the favor of the common man on the street in which Abiola died for . Dividends of democracy is now at the peril of the masses, only the political heavyweight benefits from the government of the day, corruption has racked us, uncontrollable youths unemployment in the land, the common man on the street has no reason to be happy about government insensitivity to mindless killing, all this and more remains dishonor to this hero of our democracy. To honor a great man like MKO, the people must smile not just the change of name of institutions, government must work to eliminate the suffering of the people. June 12 is all about the common man on the street of Nigeria. Ayodele Samuel the National President Young Journalists Forum and a Correspondent with The Peoples Daily Newspaper could be reach at

Thursday, June 7, 2012


-Lagos Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Adeyemi Sabit Ikuforiji in this interview with selected newsmen at the newly completed chamber of the House said the Lagos State Government is ahead of the Federal Government as the state cannot afford to fail the people whose expectations are so high, AYODELE SAMUEL was there Can you compare the achievements of Lagos State with that of the Federal Government within the last one year? Honestly that is one topic I don’t want to dwell on because we are living in two different worlds, but I can understand, the Federal Government has larger room to mess up and get away with it, Lagos is rather compact, we know ourselves, what you can do and get away with at the federal level, be it executive or legislative, you cannot get away with such here. How many times have you seen the president aside seeing him on the television and how many times have you been in close proximity with the Governor of Lagos State, not on the television, but physically? How many times have you met with the Senate President or Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives this year and how many times have you had the opportunity of getting close to or touching the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly. So these are things that when you are talking about performances, if we don’t do it here, don’t forget this is the home of 60 to 70 percent of professionals in Nigeria. This is the home of the Nigerian media, the home of the cream of the Nigerian society. Everybody centres his or her attention on Lagos. So, I don’t think a reasonable person, who is saddled with responsibility in Lagos has any escape route, where do you go? The media are here watching you, your people are there watching you, from here to Epe area takes an hour, that is the extreme side of the state, from here to Badagry, the same thing, it is the other extreme side of the state, so you don’t have more than 5 or 10 minutes of judging. We cannot compare the two, we all know that the Federal Government is slumbering and they are snoring, so somebody needs to wake them up. Our nascent democracy is now 13 years old, would you say your expectations have been met so far Honestly, I am a very ambitious person, I tend to be optimistic all the time, but I must confess , the Federal Government in particular should have done a lot more to win the confidence of Nigerians, to make Nigerians really feel happy or for the democratic dispensation to be better. I don’t’ know what the problem is over there, but even simple things that a mere fool can get done is not being done, to construct roads, to maintain the existing roads are some of the simplest things to do when the money is there and the money has always been there for the Federal Government. I wouldn’t understand why Shagamu-Benin Road remains death trap till today, Lagos-Ibadan Road is nothing to write home about, from here to Abuja is like going from one end of the world to the other, it shouldn’t be so, to construct roads, what does it take, it doesn’t take nuclear engineering, it doesn’t call for super money to do that. Anybody, any fool can call on construction companies to construct roads and I think with the size of the Federal budget, Nigeria should be awash with roads, not even advanced means of transportation, but roads, anybody can construct it, it is only here that I see that we are not able to do anything. If we cannot construct roads, why are we talking about energy? Look at the trillions of naira that had been spent on energy and we still don’t have light. Sir, the former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero said that if state police is established, it will lead to disintegration I think he is thinking mechanically, he is just being technical about it. Many people forget that the string that binds Nigerian nationality together to make Nigeria a nation is beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, I think it is the work of God, it has nothing to do with our ability to come together, live together or love one another. Love does not even exist amongst us, even in our homes, if you go to your father’s home and you look deep, you will know that love is not there. Some of your uncles, aunties, cousins and so on are not even happy about your progress. People are no more their brother’s keepers. This country has nothing to do with any ethnic group or anything and when you look at it like I often say, yes the scripture told us that God loves the Israelites, what I have observed, I know that the Israelites may be the children of God, Nigerians are the first born’s children, first born sons and daughters of God. If you look at what we do and get away with, even smaller and thinner nations don’t get through a quarter of those things before they go into blazes, but over here, we just get away with it. If God does not love us, how come with former president Umar Yar’Adua’s death, and the fact that a part does not want the then vice-president, Goodluck Jonathan to act, we did not disintegrate, the fact that when the then president was sick, the president could not act, who are the ones who shouted, are you telling me the Bayelsans are the ones who got President Goodluck Jonathan to power, what is their voting power? Don’t forget, at the last minutes, we know those who spoke and the nation shook and came to its senses, just one front page in The Punch Newspaper and others, and people said ‘oh these people said this,’ the whole thing changed. Though we all know that the election was not free or fair, one thing we all know, rigging may have taken place somehow, it was true that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan got more votes across the nation than any other candidate at that election. Even here in Lagos, he won the election, even if they rigged to put additional votes, we all know who Lagosians are, if his votes were only 200,000, there was no way they could write over one million votes and get away with it in Lagos, he definitely won, Lagosians voted for him, so it was across the nation, what does that tell you? I mean that same election could have led to civil war, but from across the divide, people didn’t care, they just said, let him do it and they gave it to him, now whether he is now doing it well or not is another thing, we know that some people had strong feelings against his candidature, we could have run into problems. But God loves Nigeria more than He loves any other nation. What is your advice to Nigerians at this critical period? I think we need to be more godly, I am not talking of going to church or mosque, I am talking of being godly from within, being honest with ourselves, being loving, brotherly, above all, each and everyone of us owes this nation a duty of being a good citizen, a good people. You don’t hide behind any from of shield and do evil and tell the world that you are born again. To build Nigeria and to make it a dream nation of our founding fathers, each of us owes this nation a duty of being a good citizen, when I say a good citizen, I mean a real good citizen, don’t cover me, when you know I am doing something that can harm the nation, the state or others, don’t say because he is your friend or brother you want to cover him. People who are doing evil here and there are known to all of us, they are not masquerades. They are humans, they are men and women like you and I, how come they get away with it easily. Why are we not asking questions from our so-called leaders, our elected representatives, elected officials, why are we not demanding what we supposed to demand from them, each and everyone of us wants to take just for himself or his family, forgetting the larger society. So, if you can get from Mr. Speaker for yourself, you don’t care if he doesn’t do what he ought to do for the rest of the society, you just get away with your own and that’s all, with that attitude, we will get nowhere. If we all resolve to be good citizens, it would be better, yes we are humans, we can make our mistakes, we can commit sin, God even allows us to, but He will forgive us when we ask for it. The building of a nation is not the job of one man, when you say president is not doing this, the governor is not doing this, the speaker is not doing this, but even you, your own job, how much do you do it to ensure you are doing the very best for the nation. It is for everyone of us to resolve to be a better person. That was what Honourable Rotimi Olowo was trying to say on the floor of the House that there should be a global change and we will be known as global change agents, when things are done from your own end, it affects the entire world and the whole world will change for the better.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nigerian Youths meet on good governance

The role of young people in nation building cannot be over-emphasized, thereby providing a dire need for youths to be prepared for challenges ahead towards strengthening our leadership and participation skills.

Acting on the above, Network for Talent Discovery (NETAD)- an organisation committed to talent discovery and development, leadership development and fostering patriotism among teenagers and youths in the African continent - is organising a Young and Emerging Leaders Summit meant to engage young and emerging leaders in leadership deliberations towards exploring strategies and concepts of leadership through participation, and fostering active youth participation in decision making processes, thereby aiding quality governance.

In a release signed by the Executive Coordinator of the organization, Aanu Damola Morenikeji, it was learnt that the summit, which has the theme 'Building Tomorrow Today' is scheduled to hold on Thursday, 21st June, 2012 at the Aduke Maina Hall of Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Ogun State (Nigeria), commencing at 10am prompt.

Facilitators at the summit include Kingsley N.T. Bangwell (Team Leader, Youngstars Foundation, Jos) and Oladayo Ogunbowale (President, DESPLAY Africa Republic). The keynote address titled 'Youth participation in qualitative governance; mirage or reality? will be delivered by Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun (the Ogun State First Lady).

Expected at the summit are Rt. Hon. Adekunbi Suraju; Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr Olugbenga Otenuga; Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Ogun State, members of the Ogun State house of assembly, Dr. Ozuzu Promise; President, International Youth Council, Nigeria, ….. and ……

Also expected at the venue are members of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, International Youth Council, Nigeria, National Youth Council of Nigeria, States Youth Parliament, executives and members of youth organizations and students' organizations, other young and emerging leaders.

Intending participants are however advised to register online via Participation for the event is totally free.

It is true that one voice can make a difference, but a million can change the world. Make a date with history and development at the summit; it is time to emerge!

Together we learn, together we emerge!

Aanu Damola Morenikeji
Executive Coordinator,
Network for Talent Discovery (NETAD).
+234 703 956 3908