Friday, 18 May 2018

2019: Voting Buhari Out, Difficult Not Impossible.

Nigeria’s 2019 General elections are less than a year away, and the candidates are emerging. For the Presidential race, there is no doubt that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari currently runs the show and holds the ace, unfortunately. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has never  hidden its lust for power and its ability to be callous in attaining and retaining Power no matter the consequences. This has been evident in the APC’s style of governance at all levels; even its own internal administration has not been spared. As an opposition party pre-2015, the APC and its members were a vocal lot, they made allegations, threats and utterances against former President Jonathan, acts that could have thrown Nigeria into flames but for the gentle nature of Jonathan. Today, APC is in Power, and have still not given up their old methods.
Muhammadu Buhari                                                 Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo

It is no longer news that the Nigerian Presidency under Muhammadu Buhari has been a complete failure; under normal circumstances voting him out in 2019 should be a no-brainer, it should be the easiest job for Nigerians since Buhari’s failures are there for all to see. But, it isn’t. Truth is, President Buhari has become a formidable Presidential candidate in spite of the ridiculous failures his government has recorded. Reasons why Buhari’s 2019 prospects remain high can be traced to a. Poor quality opposition and b. Pride, Ego and Arrogance of many erstwhile Buhari supporters, too ashamed to admit that he was never a Messiah. Then we also have the rise of sinister ‘Third party’ advocates that are either consciously or sub-consciously trying to institutionalize voters’ apathy by pushing forward a RED CARD agenda. 

This so-called Red card movement is calling on Nigerians to boycott the two major political parties PDP and APC; this movement has neither proposed any alternatives nor proffered real solutions. Some schools of thought believe these Red-carders are covert political mercenaries encouraging Voter’s apathy in order to give the incumbent President Buhari an undue advantage.

The main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has done well thus far in picking up the pieces after losing its 16year grip on Power and surviving a major Chairmanship tussle. But many admirers of the PDP are not satisfied with the quality of opposition it has given to Buhari - they want more fire. Many want PDP to delve into the very dangerous form of opposition that the APC imposed on former President Goodluck Jonathan. While it is true that in order to get rid of Buhari in 2019, the PDP needs to put in place a well thought out strategy, extreme caution must be taken.  Former President Jonathan’s core support base was in a way more enlightened and could stomach the conventional and unconventional APC-inspired criticisms which came their principals’ way. Buhari’s core support base in the deep North is a direct opposite, religion is also a factor and the tendency to resort to violence is high.

Defeating Buhari and APC can only be achieved if the PDP and all other opposition parties, including all lovers of democracy come together and rally round one major Presidential candidate in 2019. This candidate must be a unifier, someone that is not coming with in-built grudges, vengeance and hatred for any part of Nigeria. Our ideal 2019 candidate must be a wealth creator, not one whose sole aim is how to share Nigeria’s Oil revenue. Corruption must be fought with institutions and modern technology, this, our ideal candidate should know. On our part as Electorates, we must drown the voices of imposters and for-hire intellectuals waving their Red cards and distracting us. 

Nigeria has about seventy political parties but the reality on ground shows that only PDP and APC have the nationwide structures and financial capabilities needed to bid for Nigeria’s Presidency. What this means is that (for now) the only party that has a realistic chance of overthrowing APC in 2019 is the PDP. Still, the PDP cannot do it alone; a consortium of genuine Democratic forces need to align. We must call out fraudulent intellectuals in our mist pretending to be fencists but subtly trying to sustain the Buhari status-quo. We must brush off certain young Clowns that are presenting themselves as Presidential candidates all in a bid hoodwink young voters and lead them right back to Buhari.

It is difficult to believe that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under an APC government will have the integrity to organize free and fair elections in 2019, but we must keep the faith. As we continue to encourage Nigerians of voting age to collect their Permanent Voters Cards, we must also prepare ourselves to defend our votes with sweat and blood, if situation demands it.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A President's Herdsmen And The Little Shithole.

Nigeria is a land of the absurd and Muhammadu Buhari's Presidency has taken that absurdity to heights never imagined. Let us forget the incompetence, monumental failures in all economic sectors, nepotism and world-class sycophancy; it may take Nigeria another decade to recover from Buhari's four-year rule post 2019, and two decades if Buhari wins a second term. 

Never in the history of Nigeria has any failed Leader attracted so much patience, understanding and silence from sections of distinguished Nigerians that have been critical of all governments since 1960. We also now have a new breed of Presidential media aides that have surprisingly held their ground and in an awkward way romanticized Buhari's failures. I used the word ‘surprisingly’ because Presidential Media aides of former President Jonathan were a useless Train Wreck even though with hindsight, it is clear Jonathan’s administration recorded better achievements.

The Corruption going on in Buhari's Presidency, among his close Cabal, aides and associates has shocked the nation but instead of igniting mass outrage, what we have is limited outrage mostly on Social media, while the traditional media and larger society continue with their culture of silence. Then we have that segment of fraudulent intellectuals that find it convenient to sharply criticize 'those surrounding the President' while maintaining that the President's personal integrity is intact. In today’s dispensation, the Buck no longer stops at the Presidents’ table. Our erstwhile Activists, Civil societies, Intellectuals and Turning Point generation have shot the Buck dead on Buhari’s behalf.

In the first days and weeks of 2018, Fulani Herdsmen have shed unimaginable blood in the most gruesome manner. Now, this Herdsmen-Farmers crisis predates Buhari's current administration, it's been on for decades and previous Governments had tried and failed to provide lasting solutions. However, never in the history of Nigeria have Fulani Herdsmen under the auspices of its mother organization Myetti Allah, practically issued threats, carried out such threats, boldly claimed responsibility on multiple media platforms and nothing happens to them. President Buhari is Fulani, as father the nation, all eyes would naturally be on him to act decisively and prove to Nigerians that he belongs to everyone. 

Unfortunately, just like the nepotistic appointments that have defined his Presidency, the Buhari regime has treated the Fulani Herdsmen issue with kid gloves. No major arrests have been made; prominent Myetti Allah members that have come out publicly to defend their groups’ role in recent Benue massacres are still walking free. Herdsmen have continued to shed more innocent blood in Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa and parts of Southern Nigeria, yet nothing has happened. 

In response to the Benue massacre, President Buhari sent Nigeria's ill-equipped Police force to go handle the situation. This is the same President that sent the Nigerian Army to mow down unarmed Shites and IPOB protesters, groups that were non-violent. However, for a heavily armed Herdsmen Militia that had butchered hundreds, Buhari sends the Police to lead an imaginary onslaught, already the Herdsmen have slaughtered two Police Officers right there in Benue...nothing has happened. Instead, we’ve had Security agencies using their own Public relations machinery to subtly exonerate the Herdsmen and rationalize the entire crisis into a mere Communal clash. Whereas, what we truly have on our hands is a case of Ethnic cleansing and Land grab.

In spite of all these challenges, bloodletting, failures and incompetence exhibited by the Buhari Presidency, he and his party the All Progressive Congress are still pushing hard for a second term in office.

May God save Nigeria. 

Recently, it was rumored that American President Donald Trump referred to Nigeria and several other developing countries as 'Shitholes.' Who would objectively assess the current situation of Nigeria under Buhari's stewardship and not be tempted to agree with President Trump?
This is quite unfortunate, considering the fact that roughly three-years ago under President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria was ranked as the third fastest growing economy in the world by CNN money and other international financial organizations. Today, we are here debating Nigeria’s 'Shithole' status. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Telon Nights' BLOODY BURLESQUE SHOW: A Halloween Special.


The city of Lagos is starting to embrace a new concept of entertainment as the stereotype in nightlife has become officially boring.

                                        Telon Nights presents 

The anticipated night of raw and uncut display of pure vain ecstasy through the art of Burlesque by professionally trained performers, will take place on Saturday, 28th of October 2017 at C O V A (the roof top of Mega Plaza), Victoria Island, Lagos-Nigeria.

The 3rd edition of Telon Nights aims to tantalize your body and mind, bringing all 5 senses to a halt with live performances, spoken word, theatrics, and exotic cocktails by Remy Martin.

The Burlesque show will include mind blowing performances and will also double as a costume party, as guests are expected to show up dressed as their alter egos, super heros or just highly creative pieces put together. The guest with the best costume will be awarded gifts.

BURLESQUE:  The literary art of entertainment through a dramatic or musical work, is usually performed by professionals with a combination of sensual extravaganza intended to cause excitement, intrigue and laughter by re-enacting popular works, societal occurrences or movies. 

Telon Nights is a unique event that focuses purely on nightlife entertainment putting into consideration all exciting elements that fun seekers are deprived of. This show is produced and choreographed by A Seal Kamson Concept who put together the very first burlesque show in Nigeria.

Anticipate nothing but pure entertainment!

For more information:

Nigeria Army’s ‘By Force, By Fire’ Immunization.

Reports from the Southern part of Nigeria inundates us with news of school children scampering for safety and Parents rushing to pick their wards from school over a suspicious immunization outreach programme being conducted by the Nigerian military. It is not unusual for Nigeria's Military to conduct socially responsible activities aimed at forging closer ties with civilians; they've done so for decades. Also, the Nigerian Military has good quality medical personnel within its ranks, hence carrying out free medical support services shouldn’t be out of place.

Unfortunately, 'Trust' has become a very rare currency in the Nigerian polity, and it has gotten worst in the almost three years of Buhari's administration. The Nigerian Military have long deviated from any tiny circle of trust they may have enjoyed with the populace at any given period. Sordid tales of brutality which the Nigerian military left behind in places like Odi, Zaki Biam and more recently among Shites in Zaria are still fresh in our memories. The Nigerian military has also gunned down peaceful protesters in the East expressing their right to self-determination.

In recent months, the Nigerian Army has launched unpopular military exercises in the South; ‘Python Dance’ in the South-East, ‘Crocodile Smile 2’ in parts of the South-West and South-South. Most Nigerian residents in affected regions are neither impressed nor convinced about the real motives behind these friendly military invasions. While these Nigerians were still trying to get a grip on seeing Pythons dance and Crocodiles smile, they were certainly not prepared for any Monkey immunization. Reports have been quite sketchy such that we do not have details on the diseases Nigeria’s Army is being sent to immunize Southern children against. Surely, if there had been sufficient sensitization on the part of Military authorities, citizens’ reactions would have been different.

Even though the Southern part of Nigeria shares part of the total rot in Nigeria's health system, the region has fared better when compared to the North. There is already high immunization awareness in the South and the region has never really lacked adequate personnel to carry out immunization activities. One would have expected the Nigerian Military to take its immunization agenda to the far North, especially in Boko Haram ravaged areas where Polio is still being recorded and access to proper healthcare still a challenge.

If the Nigerian Military wants to redeem its image among a cynical populace, perhaps, rather than engage in forceful immunization of school children, how about embarking on Human rights programmes? How about explaining to civilians the rationale behind leveling of Odi, killing of IPOB protesters or the massacre of almost a thousand Shites in Zaria and unlawful detention of Zakzaky? 

Instead of chasing Southern school children all over the place with injection syringes, how about Nigerian Army initiating self-defense and awareness programmes for communities constantly ravaged by Fulani herdsmen?

Better still, can the Nigerian Army just let the rest of us be and concentrate all their efforts in rebuilding the North East and putting a final stop to Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen?

~Stanley Nwabia

Sunday, 15 October 2017

President Jacob Zuma And The Mad Man Of Owerri.

Sane societies erect statues in order to immortalize great individuals or historical icons; people whose lives, ideals and legacies have made lasting impact on society. 

In the Eastern Nigerian state of Imo, an overzealous Governor has taken an unusual brand of lunacy to continental levels. Governor Rochas Okorocha in commemoration of South African leader Jacob Zuma's visit, commissioned a towering statue and named a street in Zuma's honor.

Jacob Zuma Statue in Owerri, Nigeria
Nigeria woke up to images of this embarrassing event that has made Nigerians the laughing stock of Southern Africa social media platforms. This ridiculous calamity awkwardly coincides with Nigeria's grievances over reoccurring deaths and extra-judicial killings of Nigerians resident in South Africa. 

Indigenes of Imo state are now being forced to re-evaluate the Mental health of not just their Governor but Imo society at large. Trying to rationalize the construction of a Jacob Zuma statue in Owerri, we just have to wonder: Who is Jacob Zuma? Is he a descendant of Amadioha's lineage? What role has he played in the lives of Imo people? What moral, social or political ideal does he represent to Imo state, the Igbo race or Nigeria in general?

For those who don't know, President Jacob Zuma is currently facing serious corruption allegations in his home country. His administration had driven South Africa's economy into recession. There have been sex scandals too. So, what the hell was Governor Rochas Okorocha thinking?

Some have said that Governor Rochas is either preparing for his 2019 retirement in South Africa or just living in character of Nigeria's ruling party the All Progressives Congress (APC). A party that has shown Nigerians the personification, justification and glorification of Bad Leadership at federal, state and local government levels.

We understand that a few more statues are still under construction within same Owerri vicinity: here's looking forward to the likely unveiling of more inspiring statues of African Heroes such as Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Mobutu Sese Seko and Muammar Gaddafi.  We trust Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, Nigeria.

~Stanley Nwabia