Mordecai Sunday Ibrahim is the Chairman of the North-based Arewa People’s Patriotic Front (APPFRONT). In this interview with Correspondent, John Adi, he explained why corruption stands as a cog in the wheel of progress of the country. He also bared his mind on other national issues, including the forthcoming elections in 2015. Excerpts:What would you say is responsible for the present backwardness in the country? I think it is corruption. That is the first basic reason why Nigeria is crawling after almost 54 years of Independence. The second reason is lack of genuine interest and love for the country. Let’s take the post-Independent leaders such as Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello. And then come to Late Murtala’s regime and to the period of President Shehu Shagari, through the days of General Olusegun Obasanjo as a military Head of State. Those were leaders that believed in Nigeria. They led Nigeria, they worked for Nigeria, they spent their lives for Nigeria. If you see any meaningful development or progress we made in Nigeria, they date back to those period when these crop of leaders were in positions. Unfortunately, when Gen. Buhari came in 1983 he came with discipline. He didn’t stay long in government, so we don’t have sufficient data to assess him. He was in power from 1983 to 1985. That period is short for anyone to do a thorough assessment of a leader. He still did his best. If he would not be remembered for anything else, he would be remembered for discipline. He tried to imbibe discipline into Nigerians because he identified that discipline had been eroded in Nigerian life. But I say without fear of contradiction, or without apology to anyone, that corruption became legalised and institutionalised in the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida as Head of State. Settlements here and there, and since that time it has been growing. The monster has been growing and developing branches, giving birth to children and great grand children so much that now there is nothing you want in this country today that is not associated with corruption. Unfortunately, it has entered even sacred places like the church and other institutions. We were at the FCDA, Abuja, last week – you would be shocked that there was a parking space and the security there told us that there was no parking space. I had to beg and cajole him to let us enter and he later told us he was hungry. I didn’t give him money, but we understood the language – that he was asking for money. I told him to open the gate and that I would settle him when I am going out. He thought I would give something but when I came out he was waving and I waved back. How can you have development with corruption? They don’t go together. Corruption is a representation of darkness while development is a representation of light. And light and darkness don’t co-habit.
In what appears to be a renewed tactics, some suspected Boko Haram terrorists have embarked on hunting of teachers. The sect members on Monday killed one Mallam Lawan Manga, aged 45, and injured Mallam Akura Walbintu, both staff serving in Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Wulgo town of Gamboru Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State. The incident, which took place at about 10:30 pm forced the school authorities to close the school indefinitely, as staff of the affected school have been into hiding for the fear of further attacks. Wulgo town of Gamboru Ngala, a boarder community with Cameroon Republic and about 200 kilometres north, away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, had witnessed series of deadly bomb blasts and shootings masterminded by terrorists in recent times. Reliable sources from Wulgo town told DailyPost that the assailants who were three in number armed with Ak47 rifles, suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists invaded the village in the evening, before they went straight to the house of Lawan Manga and shot him dead. Another source said that after killing Manga who is a staff of the school at about 10:45pm, living him in his pool of blood, they proceeded to the house of Akura Walbintu, also a staff of the same school and shot him at his buttocks and arm, before they escaped without being arrested. A reliable security source who is not authorised to talk to the press confirmed the incident. He said, “It is true that some gunmen suspected to be terrorists invaded Wulgo town on Monday at about 2230hours and wrecked harvoc on some staff of G.G.S.S Wulgo”. He added that immediately after the attack, a team of policemen were drafted to the scene, where 3 live ammunitions and 5 empty shell of AK 47 rifle were recovered.
Jonathan expresses fear of Boko Haram in the world stage at Davos, Switzerland, says it is his biggest challenge.
President Goodluck Jonathan has described the activities of the Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnati Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram as the biggest headache of his government.“In terms of security, Boko Haram is the biggest challenge we have at the moment,” the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati had quoted the President.Jonathan spoke during a televised debate entitled, “Africa’s Next Billion,” held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.His statement was however contained in a snippet of the debate posted by Abati, on his Twitter handle.President Jonathan in the statement said it was wrong for anybody to say that corruption was the cause of all the problems confronting Africa.“Everything that does not happen the way it should in Africa, people say corruption is the answer. I don’t agree,” Abati quoted Jonathan as saying.The President also reportedly told the gathering that the power sector privatisation carried out by his administration was already yielding positive fruits.He claimed that Nigerians had started witnessing increased electricity supply within a short period.In the full statement, which Abati later made available to journalists, the presidential spokesman quoted Jonathan as calling on all stakeholders in the continent to continue to work for greater security and political stability, which he described as prerequisite for sustained socio-economic development.“Security and political stability are key to development. Investors will not come to any country that is insecure or politically unstable. Happily, many African countries now enjoy political stability. It is a major reason for the positive economic growth rates, which we are now witnessing on the continent and we must continue to do our best to maintain and expand the frontiers of political stability on our continent,” Jonathan said.He said, “Economic inclusion is very important and we are already taking necessary steps to improve
Nigerians have been warned against any action, inaction or comment that could incite the military to again take over the governance in the country. National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams, who gave the advice in Lagos, said everyone must support the national conference recently sought by President Goodluck Jonathan. “We in OPC warn against any attempt by any group or group of people to incite rogue elements in the military to rebel. We also declare that never again will our dear fatherland fall into the darkness of military adventurism, such that is being desired by some unpatriotic Nigerians.
Minister of Finance and Supervising Minister of the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday, said Nigeria’s economy is under threat, following the continuous decline in its Excess Crude Account. Speaking in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Okonjo-Iweala said the depletion of the Excess Crude Account to about $2.5 billion, has made the country more vulnerable than it was in the past and put the economy of the country at great risk. As a cushion against the depletion, she said, “We have tried to set the country’s main parameters in a very modest way. We have made our budget at a very reasonable benchmark price for oil. “This is to shield us and to ensure we are not subjected to any volatility there may be in the oil markets.”
THE proposed plan by Professor Ango Abdullahi’s Northern Elders Forum to drag former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, to the International
The honeymoon between the Governor Peter Obi the Governor-elect of Anambra State, Mr. Willie Obiano have may have come to an end as the later has began to grumble over the recklessness of his political god father, 247ureports is reporting.According to the report, the relationship between the two men began to soil during the later stages of the gubernatorial campaign leading up to the November 16, 2013 in Anambra State.Specifically, the report relying on several sources in Abuja and Awka, the state capital points to a minor fracas which developed during the campaign thump in Anambra as the main reason for the drift between the two men.The source it says stated that Mr. Willie Obiano was not happy with the handling of the gubernatorial campaign by the team put together by Governor Peter Obi – in that he was not given the opportunity to participate in the decision making during the same campaign.The source cited an incident that occurred near the Governor’s Lounge in Amawbia, Anambra State – at a hotel by name Trigpoint located next to the Governor’s Lounge – where the then candidate Willie Obiano convened a meeting with some of the leaders of youth organizations in Anambra State. While seated at the meeting, the then candidate who was about to begin the meeting after the exchange of pleasantries – was interrupted by the bold entrance of three well-dressed young men. The three young men entered the closed door meeting and took seats – as if they were part of the meeting. After candidate Willie Obiano waited for the three young men to introduce themselves, he realized the young men were not readily going to introduce themselves – he asked them to please introduce themselves – and why they appear to insist on being a part of the meeting.The three young men rose and responded that they were sent by Nwaobualor – the uncle to the outgoing Governor, Mr. Peter Obi to join the group – that they have been cleared by Nwaobualor. Candidate Willie Obiano reaction was impulsive and in anger. He angrily asked the three youngsters whether Nwaobualor was running his campaign or whether Nwaobualor was the candidate. With this, Obiano asked the three youngsters to leave the room. The three young men obeyed and left.Minutes after the youths departed the meeting venue, candidate Willie Obiano received a telephone call. As he answered the call, it began apparent from his reaction to the call that the call had to do with the three young men. The telephone quickly turned into a cautious shouting match. Willie Obiano rose with the telephone – excused himself into another room – where he spent about 20minutes on the telephone before coming out to continue with the meeting. As he returned to the meeting, his mood was dimmed. The meeting was then postponed unceremoniously.The report said Willie Obiano made a conscious decision to maintain a cordial relationship with the Peter Obi campaign team, but was particularly not happy with Victor Umeh’s overbearing presence throughout the campaign trail. Obiano was not pleased with the management and allocation of resources. “Disbursement of campaign funds were managed by Peter Obi associates, Obiano did not have a say in how the monies were disbursed”, said the source.With the continued disbursement of funds to organizations around the State by the outgoing Governor in tandem with the recent conduct of the local government area [LGA] election, the Governor-elect is reported relapse into his tucked away anger against Peter Obi’s excesses. Our source indicated that Obiano was not pleased by the combined action of Peter Obi of expending the resources of the State and the conduct of LGA election at the eve of his exit.-Below is a presentation of the monies received by the State of Anambra from the federal government through the federally allocated funds during the period covering 2006 to 2013 when Governor Peter
It is obvious the Nigerian economy is in a precarious situation. Is it anything new? Even oil theft, and the unclear accounts of oil receipts, coupled with corruption that are speedily draining resources available to governments, are not new. Nigerians do not need a warning from outsiders to know that an economy founded on one product, the proceeds of which are wantonly stolen, is doomed. Years of contemplating what to do with the economy has not thrown up solutions that governments are willing to implement. Every government’s interest is limited to resources it immediately needs for its projects, most of which are short-term. A May 2013 World Bank’s Nigeria Economic Report noted that, “Despite the recovery in oil prices, Nigeria expanded its fiscal stimulus significantly, increasing consolidated spending by an estimated 2.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and drawing down the remaining balance of the Excess Crude Account at the same time that many other oil exporters were building back their reserves.” Nigerians see it differently. While the World Bank worries about Nigeria’s ability to meet its international obligations, Nigerians are bothered that their country has no plans to create an economy away from oil. All the talks about diversifying the economy, some dating more than 40 years, have remained talks, recycled the same way they recycle politicians for appointments, some dating almost that far back. The saddest aspect of the patch Nigeria is passing through is that once oil revenues climb to levels that can fund budgets, managers of the economy would happily return to their spending sprees. Oil accounting for 95 per cent of exports and 75 per cent of consolidated budgetary revenues in Nigeria, is a bigger danger than the volatility of oil prices and thieves who are exploiting weaknesses in the oil production chain. The end of oil theft, which some see as the elixir to the economy, misses the point again about the importance of the future. Stable oil prices serve the West’s interests. A stable Nigerian economy, with a broad manufacturing base to serve Nigerians would not benefit from the West’s help, which wants Nigeria to be a net importer.