Chief Sharafadeen Alli, a former Secretary to Oyo State Government, says Ibadan can attain the Dubai’s status through collective efforts of all indigenes.
Alli made this assertions on Wednesday in Ibadan while delivering a lecture entitled: “Ibadan Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.
The lecture was organised by the Oyo State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in commemoration of Oba Lekan Balogun’s 100 days on the throne as the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
Alli, a lawyer and also the Maye Balogun of Ibadanland, is the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Oyo South Senatorial District.
According to him, Ibadan which we are trying to build now will be a centre for real estate and agriculture.
“We believe that Ibadan can become a city like Dubai, when its indigenes can collectively invest in the city,” Alli said.
He urged the indigenes to industrialise the city by setting up industries for its economic development.
In his goodwill message, Sen. Lekan Balogun ( South) said, “Ibadan indigenes are now willing to invest in their children’s intellectual capacity and not act of thuggery.”
Also, Prince Oluyemisi Adeaga, the President-General, Central Council of lbadan Indigenes (CCII), said that the vision of Olubadan was to make Ibadan to be capital of commerce.
Adeaga urged the indigenes to make meaningful contributions toward the development of the town.
In her remarks, Chief Mutiat Ladoja, the Agbaakin Iyalode of Ibadanland, urged journalists to help in promoting the culture and tradition of Yorubaland.
Ladoja, represented by Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, a former State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), urged the people to promote their indigenous languages.
According to her, our people should endeavour to promote our local languages by encouraging our children at home to speak the local dialects.
“In doing this, we will safeguard the languages from going into extinction.
“Our language must not perish, we should be proud of them,” Ladoja, a former Governor of Oyo State, High Chief Rasidi Ladoja said.
She, therefore, advised all to come back home and improve their culture and tradition to curb the unruly behaviours now common among the youth.
The Centre for Innovative and Pragmatic Development Initiative (CIPDI) has called on the Federal Government to invest more in early childhood education.
The President of CIPDI, Mr Ifeanyi Nwanoro, made the call in his address at an event to mark this year’s International Day of the African Child (DAC) in Owerri on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CIPDI, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) marked the event with pupils selected from five nursery, primary and secondary schools in Imo.
Nwanoro noted that the African child was resilient, intelligent, beautiful, creative, innovative, eager to learn and lead.
He stressed the need to give African children the tools to soar high.
“We need to give them opportunities to win and lead us to the next stage.
“We need to ensure that they are well educated by equipping their schools with modern technology and tools that make learning easy.
“We call on the government and stakeholders to be serious with the funding of public schools and invest in early childhood education,” he said.
Nwanoro said that the organisation held the event commemorating the Day of the African Child in Jigawa, Enugu, and Imo.
He explained that the motive was to adopt some public schools in the states to initiate programmes that would impact on their lives positively for the future.
“In the coming days, we shall roll out reading and literacy programmes, basic computer programmes, financial and entrepreneurship literacy programmes and many more at those selected schools,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Sunny Okoroma, the Chief Officer of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Local Government Area of Imo, emphasised the rights of the African Child to education, healthcare, water and food.
Okoroma urged members of the society to act against harmful practices affecting children such as drug abuse, child trafficking and early marriages.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is, “Eliminating harmful Practices Affecting Children”. (
The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has advocated capacity strengthening of whistleblowers to reduce corruption at the grassroots. The AFRICMIL Coordinator, Mr Chido Onumah, who was represented by the Programme Manager, Mr Kolawole Ogunbiyi, made the call at a one-day town hall meeting. The event was tagged: ”The Role of Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) in Entrenching Whistleblowing at the Grassroots”, on Thursday in Ilorin. Onumah said the mission was to make the CBOs, which have an ensuring presence in the communities, a formidable collaborator in disavowing the negative culture of silence. ”Instead, to embrace the more rewarding attitude of speaking out in the face of anything that could potentially harm or endanger their environments. ”We all are aware that corruption thrives in our communities, but most visibly in the misappropriation of funds and abandonment of projects that could bring development and meaningfully turn around the lives of the people,” he said. The coordinator said AFRICMIL would work with the CBOs to galvanise the mass of the people at the grassroots to adopt the culture of blowing the whistle. ”That is, reporting these and other corrupt acts, as a way of fighting corruption in the country. ”As we all are aware, combating corruption through early detection and exposure of mismanagement of public fund, bribery, fraud, theft of public funds and other illicit acts is an effective strategy in the fight against corruption. ”Whistleblowing has proven to be the most direct method of exposing corrupt acts. ”We are both morally and legally bound as citizens not to keep silent or acquiesce to any act of corruption or wrongdoing whenever we see one,” Onumah said. The AFRICMIL African Director, Dr Kole Shettima, who connected to the meeting through Zoom, said the town hall meeting became imperative as corruption was not only happening at the national level but also dominant at the grassroots. Shettima said whistleblowing was to ensure the policies and services of the government are done as required. Mr Osita Nwajah, the Director, Public Affairs of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said it was worrisome that the excitement that heralded whistleblowing policy had died down. ”EFCC remains committed to whistleblowing inspite of the challenges which the most obvious is security of the whistleblowers. ”In view of this, we urge the proper usage of our Eagle Eye Application where information can be dropped on the condition of anonymity,” he said. Mr Segun Adeyemi, the State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the legal framework to protect the whistleblower should be hastened up by the National Assembly. Adeyemi said the whistleblowing policy would increase accountability and management of public fund.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FIDA, ICPC, National Human Rights Commission, Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation, Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE) and other CBOs were represented at the meeting. NAN also reports that AFRICMIL is a Non-governmental Organisation that focuses on media, information, research, advocacy and training. It aims to promote media and information literacy as a key component in the enhancement of democracy and good governance and the promotion of accountability and orderly society. Since 2017, AFRICMIL has been working on a project tagged Corruption Anonymous (CORA), which is supported by The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The project is designed to build public confidence and support for the whistleblowing policy of the government of Nigeria.
Nigerians have been urged to celebrate their parents while they are living in order to make them happy and prolong their lives.
Respondents in a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria in South-South geopolitical zones, all agreed that children should celebrate their parents while they were alive.
They also said that even if wronged by their parents in infancy, they should not pay them back in their own coins.
A cleric in Benin, Pastor Mike Ogbeh, said it was only proper to celebrate parents while they were still alive, and not while they were dead.
“Celebrating them while alive will make them live longer,” he said.
Ogbe advised those who were abandoned by their parents during their childhood not to pay them back with such acts.
“Some people will say that their parents didn’t take care of them while they were growing up and as such, will not take care of them.
“We should not pay evil for evil. The Bible says, ‘Honour your father and mother.’ The Bible didn’t say, ‘honour your parents if they took care of you,” the Cleric said.
Also, the Project Director, Indomitable Youths Organisation, Dr Bright Oniovokuko, decried the situation where some people preferred to organise big burial ceremonies to honour their deceased parents rather than cater for them while alive.
He said: “Some people don’t celebrate their parents while they are alive because of different reasons.
“Some want to acquire much wealth before they start taking care of their parents while some others feel that organising big burial ceremonies when they die equates celebrating one’s parents.
“Some can empty their bank accounts and borrow money or do crazy things to plan burial ceremonies for for their deceased parents while they failed to take care of them when they were alive.
“You see some old people living alone and you ask people around if they don’t have children to take care of them.
“You get answers like, ‘maybe they didn’t take care of their children and the children decided to abandon them at old age.'”
On his part, the Executive Director of the Seal Newspaper, Mr Chukwunwike Nwu, said in Asaba that not celebrating one’s parents while they were alive was like digging one’s grave.
”Nicco Mbarga, late Cameroonian music star in his evergreen song titled, ‘sweet mother,’ captured the essence of parenthood,” he said.
Nwu also noted that in the Bible, out of the 10 Commandments God gave to man, the only one that has a condition attached to it is the one that says parents should honour their parents.
According to him, the amount of wealth parents bestow on their children is determined by how best such children celebrate their parents when alive.
”Prayers by our parents cannot be quantified, it goes a long way in helping us in difficult times,” he added.
The Proprietor of Job’s Orphanage and Saint Stephen’s Trust Widows’ Home, Agbor, Prophet Joseph Igboho, also stressed the need for parents to be celebrated while they are alive.
According to him, every child must celebrate their parents while they are alive, because there are blessings that follow such celebrations.
”Looking at the Bible, the Book of Ephesians made it clear to us to honour our parents. Honour here means celebrating them spiritually and materially,” he said.
In Port Harcourt, Ms Karina Inemd, a public servant, said that it was very important to celebrate parents while they were still living, not in death.
She said parents should be celebrated when they were living for them to appreciate such gestures.
“Let them hear your beautiful poems, and not when they die you eulogise and celebrate them to impress friends or society.
“It must not be elaborate; do the little you can and they will appreciate you.
“Buy them rappers, slippers and other gifts to appreciate them. No mother will reject such gifts from her children,” Inemd said.
Another respondent, Furstaina Nwanekwu, said that there were many reasons to celebrate parents, especially mothers.
Nwanekwu said that mothers sacrificed their comfort in order to bring others into the world and they deserved to be celebrated.
“Mothers sacrifice their time, their beauty, their pleasures for the sake of their children, especially when they are tender,” she stated.
A retired Director in Tide Newspaper, Port Harcourt, Mr Tonye Ikiromaowie, also said Nigerians should celebrate their parents while they alive.
“I advise children and everyone to celebrate parents while they are living because there are some benefits in doing so, including peace of mind and longevity.
“People should make their parents their friends when they are alive and not when they are gone they begin to realise that they have lost good friend,” he said.
The Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Akwa Ibom, Mr Enoh Uyoh, said in Uyo: “You celebrate your parents while alive. Learn to do it while they are alive, no matter how small.
“Ignorance of what life is all about makes children to wait to celebrate their parents after life.
“If you know what life is biblically, you will celebrate your parents while alive. Whatever you do for them after life is for yourself and not for them.
“You know, some people use the burial of the parents to raise funds for themselves.
“They go cap-in-hand beginning and if you don’t give them, they look at you as if you owe them something.”
Similarly, Rev. Sister Sylvia Ndubuaku, the Matron in charge of Family Life Centre, Mbribit Itam in Itu Local Government Area of the state, underscored the need for celebrating parents while alive.
“It is better to celebrate parents while alive, at least to thank them for being there for us when we were young.
“It is necessary to do so at least to make them happ before they go. When they have gone, whatever we do is for ourselves and not for them.
“Whatsoever we do for them while alive they will remember; that is the joy they have,” Ndubuaku said.
Meanwhile, a parent in Eket, Mr Akaniyene Ekong, has urged government to formulate policies to curtail wasteful spending during burial ceremonies across the country.
According to him, foreign culture gave rise wasting resources during burial ceremonies.
“We Africans have a culture that can never be wiped out from our existence.
“Let’s there be a re-orientation that will take us back to our African culture where children take care of their parents at old age.
“Some of these strange behaviours of some people are religion-based. Some who live in the urban areas refuse to visit the village, believing that their parents are witches or wizards.
“It is only when their parents are dead that they go home and organise lavished parties,” he said.
A guidance counselor in Calabar, Mrs Mercy Bassey, however, said there was nothing wrong in having an expensive funeral for parents if one could afford it, provided one took care of the parents while they were living.
But Bassey said that most times, the deceased so celebrated were people who never had three square meals, healthcare and were quite lonely.
The guidance counselor said celebrating such parents in death was nothing short of hypocrisy.
She said after the investment on the child, parents would feel appreciated when the love was reciprocated in their times of need.
According to her, celebrating parents during their birthdays and wedding anniversaries, the for instance, makes them feel loved and happier as well as increases their life spans.
She added: “Out of anger some children neglect their parents who they feel were irresponsible and did not support them while growing up.
“There is equally the issue of people getting carried away by their status which makes them see their parents as local.
“Also, there is this challenge of having a bad spouse who sees it as a problem when parents are celebrated.”
Dr. Grace Etuk, an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Works, University of Calabar, said that celebrating parents was “nonnegotiable” because everyone would grow old and want to be treated well.
“We are all humans and a time comes when we are no stronger. It is only proper for the person you spent your youthfulness in taking care of to turn around and reciprocate.
“Anyone who is wise and understands that life is a seed will not abandon his or her parents.
“Most times, spending so much during burial is just status-oriented as people just want to use the occasion to show off their wealth,” she said.
Another respondent in Yenagoa, Mr Aaron Tamuno, emphasised the need to celebrate parents while alive.
Tamuno suggested that the Federal Government should devote a day to honour parents for contributing to the development of their children.
Also, a businessman in the Bayelsa capital, Mr Abel Domotimi said, “plan a vacation with your parents. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or costly.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Kaduna Directorate, on Monday called on Nigerians to shun money politics and vote credible people in the upcoming 2023 general elections. Zubair Galadima-Soba, the Kaduna State Director of the agency, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna. “Nigerians must ensure that they allow for credible election; the use of money is illegal, therefore, Nigerians should ensure that they abhor the use of money in elections. “Those that are contesting should not give money, those that are voting should not collect money from any political party or candidate; this way, we can have credible leadership,” he said. The director also appealed to Nigerians to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), to exercise their franchise in the upcoming elections. He expressed dismay over lack of collection of PVCs by citizens as stated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying it might cause political apathy. Galadima-Soba urged Kaduna residents and Nigerians at large who have registered for their PVCs to collect and keep them for the 2023 elections. “We have started mobilising Nigerians to collect the PVCs and after mobilising them to register, they should go and check if their PVCs are ready in INEC offices close to them. “This is very important otherwise the election might not be credible since majority of the voters would not have the chance to vote. According to him, the collection of voter card was equivalent to article of faith, adding that people must ensure they collect and use it in the coming elections. He noted that the elections would only be free, fair and credible when Nigerians participated and voted in candidates of their choice.
The Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Development Awareness (CESDA) has canvassed for more investments by government and private organisations to mitigate possible flooding in Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
CESDA made the call in Abuja in a communique by stakeholders’ roundtable organised to consider the 2022 Annual NiMet flood outlook.
According to the communique, such collective efforts to invest on cleaning and creating proper channels for erosion within the FCT will save lives and properties during raining season.
“Raining season is characterised by flooding in most cities in Nigeria; Abuja in the Federal Capital inclusive. When this happens, streets and drains are covered with flood water, endangering lives of commuters and other road users.
“Lives and property worth hundreds of millions of naira have been reportedly lost annually due to flooding. Nevertheless, many factors are responsible for this menace which can be categorized into two: Human and Natural causes.
“ Human cause of flooding are attributed to indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains, building construction on sewage lines and other such human activities and release excess water from Dams among others, “ it said.
According to it, the natural cause include excess rainfall which often lead to overflowing of river banks.
The communique said the participants believed that corporate bodies could help by taking up the issue as part of their social corporate responsibilities.
The participants encouraged government to provide more dump sites and waste recycling centres in various cities.
“The meeting also emphasised multi-stakeholder approach where agencies will come together on the issue; also to reform and legislate with strong political will to implement to curb or reduce problem of flooding in Nigeria.
“ The meeting suggested the need for an advocacy technical committee (ATT) who should be deployed on advocacy visits to relevant agencies to further deepen the conversation.
“ Both State and Local Governments are also tasked to take the issue serious and should not leave this in the hands of the Federal central Government; flooding is in the concurrent list of the constitution, “ it said.
The participants said there was a need for mass sensitisation and education on the effect of flooding and what could be done at the community level to prevent or reduce its effect.
They agreed that government media organizations, especially; News Agency of Nigeria ; Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA); ought to be carried along in future discussions.
Mr Charles Nworji, Director, Anambra National Orientation Agency (NOA), has called on well-meaning organisations in the country to partner government on youth development. Nworji made the call when he received a delegation of a Non-Political Orgsinsation, known as Mmaigbo Empowerment Foundation, which paid him a courtesy call in Awka on Friday. He said he was elated with the visit because the mandates of the group were in tandem with that of NOA’s working schedules. He praised the leadership of the foundation for not only promoting Igbo language and culture, but also its involvement in economic development of the Igbo nation. The NOA boss noted that the foundation is not only proffering solutions to challenges facing the Igbos as a people, but also providing solutions to them through their entrepreneurial training of the Igbo youths. He said that the group’s involvement in youth development was designed with the sole aim to dissuade youths from engaging in drug abuse and other vices in the society. Nworji stated that the group might have drawn its inspiration from the entrepreneurial spirits of the Igbo race, known as ‘Igba boyi’ (apprenticeship). He advised the organisation to partner with government structure so that its work towards youth development would be well rooted. “If you engage government structure through partnership, the vision and mission of your association would gain more laudable results and the people will benefit more from your activities,” he said. Earlier, the Director, Planning and Strategy of the foundation, who led the delegation, Mr. Nganwuchu Chika, said that the foundation had engaged some youths for 14 days in the area of re-orientation in rights social attitude. Chika said that the workshop also trained the youths in areas of spiritual, physical aspects of lives and some skills to enable them to be self reliant. He said that the youths were trained on the need to participate in social, economics and political development of the nation in place of idling away. He disclosed that the organisation has concluded arrangements to empower the trainees by providing them with working equipment on June 25. He equally said that the foundation is also working round the clock to ascertain how much it would cost to secure shops for the beneficiaries, Chika said that they are re-circling the trainees so that they would in turn train others with a view to providing jobs to the teeming unemployed Igbo youths. He emphasised that the foundation intends to empower were every Igbo-speaking youth to make them become more self reliant. Also speaking, the Director of Language and Communication of the group, Mrs Nkechi Okoye, said that the beauty of the Igbo race was their hard-working nature. Okoye said that more efforts need to be tapped to ensure that youths are introduced to various activities that would boost the economic and social development of the state. Mr Kenneth Umeh, Secretary of the organisation, affirmed that the beauty of the Igbo nation was their industrious nature anywhere they found themselves. Umeh pointed out that the programmes thrust of the foundation is anchored on what they describe as development communication through the grassroots sensitisation programmes. He said that the organisation wishes to wage a total war against the get-rich-quick-syndrome spirit currently bedeviling Igbo youths. Umeh said that the tendency to get rich at all costs amongst Nigerian youths was a worrisome act that needs total war.
Mr Soji Taiwo, a Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says the sum of N120million is required to build a single healthcare facility in any community in the country. Taiwo said this on Wednesday, at a stakeholders’ engagement on improving service delivery in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the engagement was organised by Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), an NGO, in reaction to the poorly funded primary health care centres in the FCT. Taiwo advised National Assembly members interested in community projects, especially Primary Health Care Centres, to budget N120million for a standard centres instead of N40million that hardly equipped them. “We had Primary Health Center (PHC) summit and we decided that all PHCs in Nigeria are standardised. “A budget for a full fledged PHC is about N120 million with facilities such as solar, water or borehole, and a staff quarters because we cannot afford to have facilities without quarters. “So, if you want to build for your community this is the amount you should budget. ” To the community members, they hold their representatives accountable,” he said. He said that the Federal Government cannot do it alone because of inadequate funds. “We are trying our best as NPHCDA to ensure that in the next five to 10 years the story of PHC will change. “Partners are coming, many are interested already, Dangote, former Managing Director Access Bank, MTN and foreign partners among others just to make the PHC in Nigeria up to standard,” he said. Earlier, Ms Kiema Ogunlana, Programme Director, Sam Empowerment Foundation, who was one of the monitors within Gwarinpa, said the PHC there lacked some amenities. Ogunlana said that she visited the PHC and the Junior Secondary School, both in Gwarinpa. She said the facility, which was newly built, was short-staffed and lacked laboratory oxygen. She also urged the government, particularly, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to bring a sensitisation programme to the community to curtail drug abuse. Meanwhile, she decried poor infrastructure in the school, adding that the students were exposed to open defecation as a result of lack of toilet facilities. “The school looked well managed but it had some challenges. “The ceiling boards are bad, the number of students are more than the number of desks they have in the school, the windows and wall are cracked. “The worst of it all is that they do not have a functional toilet. Students practice open defecation. “The girls do not have a safe space for privacy, they either go into nearby uncompleted or abandoned buildings,” she said. She added that the environment was almost inhabitable. “If there is anything the government can do about this it will be fine,” she said. Ms Margaret Lawrence, Programme Manager, PPDC, said the programme provided insights on how best to participate and take actions to improve the quality of projects delivered within the FCT communities. “This engagement will provide insights on how best to participate and take actions to improve the quality of projects delivered within communities. “It is to also know how we can leverage social platforms, positions, civic rights, and actions to improve service delivery within the Area councils,” she said. (NAN)
Stakeholders in the Southwest have expressed concern on the increasing money politics in Nigeria, describing it as retrogressive. A cross section of those who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria across the zone stated this on Monday. Mr Semiu Salaudeen, Chairman of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) in Saki West Local Government Area of Oyo State, said that the trend at which politicians spend money to actualise their political ambitions had become worrisome. Salaudeen said spending money to get the votes from delegates or electorate would not only affect the growth of democracy negatively, but also make highest bidders get party tickets or win elections. He explained that aspirants with genuine interest to serve the country would find it difficult to secure the tickets of their respective political parties, not to talk of winning elections. He charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enforce the provisions of the lectoral act that stipulated a two-year jail term and a N500,000 fine, against individuals involved in vote buying selling. Mrs Josephine Badmus, the coordinator of Vanguard for Grassroot Governance (VGG), an Ibadan-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), said that the issues of money politics in Nigeria would deny grassroots dwellers the opportunity of enjoying the dividends of democracy. Badmus said that any politician who bought his way to office would definitely first serve himself and his immediate family before thinking of the masses. She called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other relevant bodies to do more in sensitising the general public on the need to refrain from collecting money in exchange for their votes during elections. Dr Stephen Lafenwa, a political scientist at the University of Ibadan, said though money was important in politics, its negative use could be dangerous to democratic governance and to the development of any society. Lafenwa said that the negative use of money would affect the election of credible and qualified candidates for elective positions as well as undermine political processes and good governance. “Money and politics are related, but the most important thing is that money must be used to promote healthy competition among contestants. “But when contestants or stakeholders start to use money to bribe another person in order to do their bidding, then money is being used negatively. “The negative use of money in politics has a lot of implications; democracy is supposed to promote popular participation, but when money is negatively used, it will shrink democratic space, such that those who do not have money would be excluded. “Even those who have money, but who do not want to use it negatively, would be discouraged. This has been affecting our voter turnout since 1999,” he said. Lafenwa advocated for fairness and justice as well as transparency and a level playing ground in politics, so that the best of candidates could emerge from the political processes. He called for disincentives, in terms of remuneration and political offices, such that only those who want to serve the nation get to occupy posts. These people, he said, should have a second address and not depending on politics as their only means of livelihood. Mr Peter Kwis, a businessman, said it was wrong to influence political processes with money. “There is no way you will use money and you will not want to recoup your money. This is the reason there has not been development as it should be in Nigeria. “People doing this believe it is an investment, and what they would be after is for them to first get returns on their investments, before they can think of any developmental projects for the citizens,” Kwis said. Mr Rotimi Omoniyi, an architect, said Nigeria would never be able to get the best of leaders from the use of money in politics, because it would not be based on merit, but on money. In Osogbo, Mr Waheed Lawal, the Chairman of the state Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC), described money politics in Nigeria as a bad omen that could on the long run destroy democracy, if not curtailed. Lawal said money politics was bad for the nation’s democratic system, as it would usually put wrong people in political offices. “We have monitised our system to the extent that we may not likely have good candidates that have good electoral values, because of the monitisation of our politics. “We have credible hands, serious people in Nigeria, but if you don’t have money, you go nowhere in politics. “The situation, where moneybags take it all, is not good for our democratic system, because we have some brilliant, intelligent and very disciplined people, but because they are not sharing money, they can’t win elective offices. “This is too dangerous for our democracy. “We have quality and qualified people around us, but because every process of our electoral system has been monitised, it discourages the good people who can contribute meaningfully to our democratic system,” he said. Lawal, however, said that politics should be made unattractive to business politicians, adding that at the moment, the system of government in Nigeria is too expensive. He said that some people believe that going into politics or winning elective positions would make them overnight billionaires. This is why, he said, politicians had turned politics to a do-or-die affair, suggesting that part-time legislation should be adopted. Mr Charles Adeyemo, the President of Nigeria Development Front (NDF), an NGO, condemned money politics, adding that such could destroy a growing democracy like that of Nigeria. Adeyemi said that money politics would always put the worst of politicians ahead of the best and should therefore be totally discouraged. He said that if politicians were allowed to spend dollars on delegates in political party conventions such could also affect the way and manner true and genuine candidates would emerge. According to him , there is need for major non-state actors like the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Supreme Council of Islam and other political pressure groups to rise up to the challenge. “The non-state actors and pressure groups should not be quiet on this matter, but rather speak loud, except if they are culpable and are major contributors to the menace,” he said. The NDF boss called for more sensitisation and awareness on the implications of money politics before, during and after elections. Dr Samuel Afolabi, an Associate Professor, who doubles as the Head of Department, Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, said that poverty alleviation is the only way to stop money politics in Nigeria. Afolabi said that government needed to reduce the level of poverty across board by providing jobs, infrastructure, improved healthcare among other dividends of democracy. According to him, if the citizenry get what they need and live comfortably there will not have any reason to sell their votes to highest bidders. “Most of those who receive money are poor; lack democratic values and intellectual capacity to reject money offered to them,” he said. Nigeria politics, according to him, is still having problems, because the nation is still regarded as an imaginary democracy. “No wonder, if we look at several democratic indicators, we discover that Nigeria is still not in full fledge democracy, because we still have some elements of authoritarianism,” he said. In Abeokuta, Mr Shina Adefolahan, the Executive Director of the Community Education, Advancement of Peace and Development Initiative (CEAPDI), affirmed that money politics had taken the centre stage of Nigeria’s political activities. Adefolahan said that political parties and their candidates had shown, through their conduct at political campaigns, that good party manifestoes and integrity of candidates were no longer sufficient to guarantee electoral success. ” Politicians, now believe that votes have become commodities that can be bought off the electorate,” he said. According to him, money politics is driven by the high level of poverty in the country. “Poverty makes the electorate susceptible and thus, exposes them to political manipulation. “Once paid for, however, the electorate are are robbed of the power to demand accountability,” he said. Dr Olawoyin Farinto, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun, said that money politics started in Nigeria immediately after the nation’s independence, but became glaring during the 1992 campaign. Farinto identified poor level of discipline in political parties, undefined party goals and ideology, poverty and godfatherism as major causes of money politics in Nigeria. He said that the situation had far-reaching consequences, such as high cost of governance, perverted justice, lack of competence in governance and creation of loopholes for looters. Meanwhile, Mr Adekunle Ayoola, the Co-ordinator, Youth Initiative Network, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) said that money politics had continued to have devastating effects on Nigeria’s democracy. Ayoola said that the situation had made mockery of the Not-Too-Young-To-Rule Act and also compounded the woes of bad leadership the nation had been contending with. “Money politics simply means politicians relying on heavy cash inducement to make people support their political aspiration. ” The selection, as well as the eventual election of such politicians, is not a function of what they have to offer, but because they have gotten some huge cash to share around and ultimately, their output in governance is abysmally poor,” he said. Mr John Akpabio, a political analyst called on the electorate to always shun politicians who seek to buy their votes and, thereby, mortgage their future. “The electorate should realise that the act of vote selling often bounces back to the society, in terms of bad leadership and underdevelopment,” he said. Akpabio also called for strict enforcement of electoral laws, which placed limits on the amount to be spent on political campaigns. In Ado-Ekiti, respondents cutting across different social status, said things were no longer the same again since money became prominent in the nation’s politics. This is just as some of them concluded that there was no way money would not continue to play dominant roles in the nation’s political processes. According to an activist, Kunle Olasanmi, the current public outrage, caused by the high cost of nomination forms imposed on aspirants by their political parties, including hard currencies, allegedly taken to venues of primaries by many contestants, are bad examples in this regard. He described the sales of form at N100 million for the ruling party’s presidential aspirants, and that of the PDP at N40 million, as the height of monetisation of the electoral process. He regretted that as a direct consequence of money politics leaders would be rendered helpless when they get to office, as every money spent by politicians would have to be recouped, thereby, resulting in non-performance. Also, the Chairman of CSOs in Ekiti, Christopher Oluwadare, said one of the root causes of the current political woes, stemmed from the very high cost of accessing political power in the country. According to him, unless there is a change of attitude, the country will continue to have inept, ineffective and clueless leaders in various offices of responsibilities. A polytechnic student, who is also a voter, Safe Folorunsho, lamented how some political players had turned the game of politics into a thriving business venture. She decried a situation whereby some politicians go as far as having to sell movable and immovable property borrow money from banks or engage in secret ritual murders, all out of the desperation to win elections or get one political office or the other. ” Some of them are also involved in buying of votes or voter cards. All of these are not too good for the sustainability of the real tenets of democracy,” she said. A community leader, Pa Kayode Ilesanmi, said the way forward was for INEC to live up to its mandate and responsibilities, by intensifying actions on prosecution of anyone found wanting. He blamed INEC for looking the other way most times especially whenever politicians and their followers run foul of finance regulations. Ilesanmi said that the absence of deterrence was largely responsible for the rising cost of elections in the country. ” The time has come to discourage money politics, by all means and at all cost. “In its place, I expect that Nigerians should change their strategy, by rooting for promises that will proffer solutions to all our myriads of problems,” he said. However, a politician, Mr Oladejo Kayode, said even in the early post-independent years, money was involved in prosecuting elections and campaigns, such as feeding followers, paying for their transportation and buying them souvenirs among others. Nevertheless, he said things could still be done right, with politicians playing the game with less involvement of money which ultimately breeds corruption in public offices. The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity of the Accord Party in Ekiti, Mr Olajide Omojomoju, said money politics had become the bane of development in Nigeria, lamenting that political leaders in the country had turned it into an art. According to him, it is unfortunate that Nigerians have not learnt the lesson that this has become an albatross that is hindering our political, economic and social development. “In some parts of the country, the parlance, ‘di’bo k’oo se’be’ (vote and cook stew); where candidates buy votes with as low as N2,000, has become the order of the day and that is why in Ekiti State, for example, where the next election is taking place, everybody is asking candidates for money to vote for them,” he said. Also, Mr Tunde Ogunrinde, the Senior Special Adviser to Gov. Kayode Fayemi on Disabilities’ Matters, said money politics in Nigeria started immediately after independence, but became more pronounced during the 1992 campaign exercise. He identified poverty and lack of self-discipline as some of the main causes of the menace. A resident, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, urged Nigerians to stop collecting money as bribe to vote for political office seekers and candidates. He condemned the vote buying syndrome, which he claimed had eaten deep into the fabrics of the nation’s politics. This negative trend, he said, had further caused setbacks to the development of the country in all ramifications. In Ilorin, a social commentator, Comrade AbdulRahoof Bello, said he would lay the blame, not on politicians, but on the new Electoral Act that encouraged money politics in the country. “Section 84, sub-section 2 of the Act was contentious between the Presidency and the National Assembly to the extent that the president had to vote and the national assembly also counter-veto before they succumbed to the section,” he said. Bello said that the section that could have made the primaries of political parties direct would have been the best. “Direct primaries would have been the best, but in the wisdom of Mr President and the Presidency, amending the electoral act, the delegates have become delicate in the political process. “Delegates have become adversaries of the peoples’ mandate. “If it were to be direct primaries, it would have been difficult for money bags to purchase the conscience of the electorate at the grassroots. It could have been impossible to do that. “A situation where you agree on mini consensus or indirect primary, then the delegates are purchased,” he said. According to him, political parties in the country are lying on a bed of thorns, and setting landmines in the democratic process of the country. “We have to take caution, because the trend is frightening. It is like we are producing the same set of people that are oppressing us; this set of people cannot reset the country through this process,” he said. The CEO of Bimkash Foundation, Mrs Olabimpe Ayeni, however, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help curb the menace of money politics going on in the country. Ayeni said that the commission should go after those involved in such acts aggressively, just as they do to internet fraudsters. She said their arrest and eventual prosecution would serve as deterrent to others, sending a strong message to all Nigerians ahead of the 2023 elections. Ayeni said it was unfortunate that the act, which had always been preached against during general elections, had taken over party primary elections. This practice, she said, would return the country to square one, as contestants, who had spent a lot to win votes, would strive to recoup the same when elected at the end of the day. ”Subsequently, they will end up doing nothing that will be of benefit to the people who elected them,” Ayeni said. Meanwhile a group in Akure, YIAGA Africa, has called for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission to tackle electoral offenders, especially vote traders. The Media Officer of the group, Mr Moshood Isah said that poverty and lack of belief in government were parts of the major reasons vote buying became rampant. He noted that INEC would be too busy with how to organise elections and with various court cases, they were always involved in after elections, to be chasing electoral offenders. “Vote trading is usually caused by poverty and the fact that people don’t feel the impact of governance. “Politicians already know that gaps exist in the electoral law against vote buying and they try to exploit that. “I think we need to expand the scope of the electoral law to capture issues around voter inducement, totally, before and during election, and to expand the scope of the job of security agencies to be able to arrest and prosecute electoral offenders. “Also, there is opportunity to establish an electoral offences commission so that we can have more electoral offenders, including vote traders, prosecuted, because most times, if it is left in the hands of INEC alone, it becomes very difficult to prosecute a lot of cases, while also having election. “So, if we have the commission, it can go a long way to expanding the scope of the Electoral Act to capture voter inducement before election,” he said. Also, Mr Sunday Bamidele, a sociologist, described money politics as a terrible idea in the political setting. “It is so terrible that people are now placing more importance on it than the proper election itself. “We could see some aspirants after the PDP convention going back to their delegates to collect the money they paid to them. “You need to see the amount of money retrieved from these delegates, which showed that the aspirants were using the system of highest bidder to win the votes of the delegates. “It is not funny. It really shook me to my foundation that despite the level of poverty at this period, some people still have so much money to spend on gaining political power. “It is bad and not helping our politics. It is now evident that our political system is completely monetised, which has ensured that the rich will be able to operate while the poor cannot achieve anything. The impact on the society is terrible,” he said. Dr Dipo Akomolafe, former Chairman, Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH’), Okitupupa Chapter, described the just concluded primary elections of the major political parties as a collective insult and embarrassment to democratic norms and values. He alleged that money was openly used to purchase delegates’ conscience, votes and consequently, the corporate existence of Nigeria. “The parties introduced what can simply be described as money-for-hand delegate system and this strange addition to the evolvement of party flag-bearers is not only embarrassing to our image as a country, but also very scandalous. “The delegate system was thoroughly abused by the way and manner the political parties practiced it and can make anybody to think that It is an improper way of electing political flag-bearers. “The political parties had squarely failed us. The looters will continue to have their ways while the masses are being kept in perpetual servitude and poverty,” he said. (NAN)
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr Garba Abari says Nigeria needs to be a production-based economy to ensure rapid growth.
Abari made the assertion in Abakiliki on Wednesday at a one-day sensitisation and exhibition programme for made-in-Nigeria products.
Represented by Dr Desmond Onwo, NOA Director in Ebonyi, Abari said there was a crucial need to encourage local production of goods.
”As a nation, we need to work towards making the economy one that is production-based, this is in the interest of growth and development,” he said
The D-G said the programme was a continuation of an ongoing national reorientation campaign for the citizenry to accept locally made products.
Abari further called for attitudinal change on the part of the citizenry to encourage the production and patronage of Nigerian goods.
”This will facilitate the revival of local industries, creation of employment opportunities and restoration of national pride.
”No nation can truly develop when its economy is at the mercy of foreign products and services.
”The negative effect of patronage of foreign goods on the Nigeria economy is devastating,” he said
He said it was regrettable that locally manufactured goods were not accorded the required patronage by Nigerians.
According to him, the notion that foreign goods are of better quality than locally made ones is deceptive.
”This impression has made some domestic manufacturers to indulge in deceptive branding by packaging their products with foreign labels.
”This practice is giving our credits and stamp of quality to foreign brands, it is making our products to lose their identity.
”Other consequences of this are, fall in GDP, unemployment, capital flight and low capacity operation, among others,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Nwangelle, Chairman, Abakaliki Local Government Area, commended NOA for the campaign.
Represented by Mrs Janet Igwe, Head, Personnel Management, Nwagelle urged stakeholders to support the campaign programme in the interest of the nation’s economy.
He pledged the commitment of the council to support the agency’s reorientation efforts in the area.
Mrs Ifeoma Anidi, representative of the Nigeria Tailors Association (NTA) in Ebonyi, said it was important for Nigerians to patronise locally made goods and services.
”Patronising Nigerian made goods can help to stabilise the economy and make exportation stronger,” she said.
In his remarks, Mr Chukwuemeka Ogaraku, Coordinator, Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) in Ebonyi, described the campaign as timely and well-intentioned.
Ogaraku, represented by Mr Chukwueze Udu, an officer in the Council, urged Nigerians to take the call for a production-based economy seriously.