Each time the wife of the President, Patience Jonathan, hits the road with her long motorcade, including bulletproof and bombproof limousines, or is having a whale of a time at an event, drivers and commuters who find themselves on her routes always have to live with the bitter experience of the encounter.
As police empty the roads of traffic, forcing drivers to wait as her glamorous convoy drifts by, motorists are trapped in traffic for hours on end, while social and economic life of the affected community is brought to a halt abruptly.
The recent visit of Mrs. Jonathan to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in which her security details forcibly grounded the movement of residents, is the latest of such excesses that Nigerians have been forced to endure for the past three years. This impunity must stop. According to newspaper reports, Mrs. Jonathan’s security arrangement paralysed activities in the Port Harcourt Government Reservation Area for the four days of her visit. Armoured personnel carriers were deployed at two points, while gun-wielding operatives manned the points leading to her private residence. Many people missed their appointments because they were prevented from moving in and out of their houses.
When she came to Lagos last year, on a “thank-you visit” to some women groups for electing her husband president, she enacted a similar repulsive scenario. During the visit, Lagos residents were subjected to an unprecedented road blockade, which gave rise to an unnerving five-hour traffic that grounded all human and economic activities. The First Lady was attending that event at Ocean View Restaurant on Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island.
Mrs. Jonathan’s misdemeanour, which still resonates more than a year after it happened, forced Governor Babatunde Fashola to lament, “Lagosians were needlessly inconvenienced…. It dawned on me the need for public officers generally to be more sensitive to the people we serve. It is particularly worrisome that this (she) is not an elected person. I think we all must check how security agencies use the movement of high officers, especially VIPs, to disrupt citizens and taxpayers, whose money is used to fuel all the vehicles and all the apparatus that we use to block the roads against them. It should not get to the level that we close the roads in the state because VIPs want to pass.” It cannot be said better.
But not long after the ridiculous show of power in Lagos, Mrs. Jonathan headed for Warri, Delta State, where she also caused hardship to residents through her security arrangements. Needless to say, these foul-ups compound gridlocks on our roads. On a few occasions, the First Lady has also broken protocol. During President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the United States in September 2012, she breached protocol by disembarking from the aircraft before the President, and shaking hands with officials waiting on the tarmac while her husband was still coming down from the plane. The First Lady is setting a bad example for wives of governors.
The position of the First Lady in the United States, from where the convention spread to other countries, is not an elected one, carries no official duties, and attracts no salary. But it glows with much glamour and the occupier is expected to handle the position with sublime grace. In the United Kingdom, the role of the Prime Ministerial Consort is not official and as such whoever occupies the office is not given a salary or official duties. Many of them prefer to remain very much in the background. Indeed, the late Denis Thatcher once summed up the role of the ideal prime ministerial spouse as “always present, never there.” This is the ideal.
But operating under the loosely-defined, unconstitutional office of the “First Lady,” Mrs. Jonathan has been bringing the highest office in the land into disrepute since her husband assumed full duties as President in May 2010, by her public conduct. Her behaviour – when there is no reason for it – is leaving many citizens who have had their rights trampled on bitter but helpless.
This is not the practice in civilised societies. The basic requirement of civilised democracy is that everyone plays by the rules and that the rules command public confidence. In October 2011, it was reported that a stunned 27-year-old Indian woman was so agitated that she enquired from David Cameron, who chose to travel in a tube train during rush hour, “Excuse me, are you the Prime Minister?” The Prime Minister was reportedly travelling on the London Underground for an appointment. The United States’ security services offer maximum protection to Michelle Obama while, at the same time, causing minimal inconvenience to other motorists and citizens. It is as outrageous as it is gravely uncivilised for official cortèges to take pleasure in inflicting pains on the people that such officials claim to be serving.
The itinerary of the First Lady can be smoothly planned without compromising her safety and the convenience of the citizens. Mrs. Jonathan must recognise that power is ephemeral and should learn from the past occupants of the office who history does not favourably remember because they did incalculable damage to the image of the First Family. Fashola, who, as a governor, does not use sirens in his limited convoy, and does not harass other road users, offers a useful lesson in public morality and decorum. Even with the aura surrounding the office of President of the United States, whenever Barack Obama is visiting any part of America, information is fully circulated to the locality well ahead of time, and locals are given alternative routes that cause minimum inconveniences to use.
It is President Jonathan’s duty to caution his wife to stop this regime of offensive illegality that has tainted the Presidency and presented Nigeria in a bad light.
Source: Punch Newspaper
Social media spreads what you feed it – Ruggedman tells Lai Mohammed
Ruggedman, Nigerian Rapper has stated that social media spreads what it is fed with.
The rapper said this in response to calls for social media regulation by Nigeria’s Information minister, Lai Mohammed.
Information Nigeria recalls that Lai Mohammed had said there is a need to regulate social media before it destroys the country.
Reacting to Lai Mohammed’s call for social media regulation, the famous rapper asked the Nigerian government to feed social media with contents of their completed projects and earn accolades rather than advocate for its regulation.
According to the musician, only those who are afraid of their failures being exposed are afraid of social media.
He tweeted, “Who is us? Social media spreads what you feed it. Feed social media with positive works you have done and it will be spread it. You will in turn get respect and accolades. Only those who do not want their unproductive, failed selves exposed are afraid of social media. #DoYourWork.”
Who is us? Social media spreads what you feed it. Feed social media with positive works you have done and it will be spread it. You will in turn get respect and accolades. Only those who do not want their unproductive, failed selves exposed are afraid of social media. #DoYourWork https://t.co/UUQPNEuyKv
— RUGGEDMAN (@RuggedyBaba) October 28, 2020
Protest against police brutality: Protesters loot shopping mall in Philadelphia (Video)
Protesters in have taken to the streets to break into and loot into businesses for a second night after officers in Philadelphia shot and killed a black man who was holding a knife in an encounter that city officials say raises questions.
The protests began after a Philadelphia Police officer fatally shot a Black man in West Philadelphia.
Protesters gathered in West Philadelphia around 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 27, and marched to the 18th District police headquarters.
Also, Tuesday night, the lawyer for the family of Walter Wallace Jr., who was shot dead by police, said the family had called for an ambulance, not police, to get him help with a mental health crisis.
The death of Walter in front of his family members sparked outrage, which in turn sparked demonstrations and then lootings as hoodlums took advantage.
Philadelphia police said that two officers were hurt during Tuesday night’s unrest, but they didn’t reveal the extent of their injuries.
Along with the protest, more looting occurred in the city Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday, despite Wallace Jr.’s family’s denunciation of such actions.
Many cars could be seen pulling up to the shopping centers as people ran in and out of stores with carts full of merchandise and even televisions. Police would move in and scatter the looters, but people would sometimes return once the officers left.
Below is a video:
The moment some people were seen looting Philadelphia area Walmart in U.S pic.twitter.com/jg5uo3HDEb
— Naija (@Naija_PR) October 28, 2020
Peace and security will be restored in the country– President Buhari Tells Nigerians
The President has reminded Nigerians of the need to guard jealously the unity of the nation which was won at great cost.
President Muhammadu Buhari has requested Nigerians to refrain from words and actions that could threaten the progress and unity of the country.
The President made the appeal during the launching of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD) Emblem and Appeal Fund in Abuja on Wednesday October 28.
At the ceremony, President Buhari said this year’s occasion reminds Nigerians of the need to guard jealously the unity of the nation which was won at great cost.
The President, who stressed that ‘‘Nigeria’s strength lies in her diversity’’, honoured the memory of the nation’s fallen heroes and veterans, recounting their sacrifices during the First and Second World Wars, the Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the world.
He also paid tribute to men and women currently engaged in internal security operations, particularly the ongoing fight against insurgency, terrorism and armed banditry in some parts of the country, praising them for remaining steadfast in the difficult task of restoring peace and security despite the coronavirus pandemic.
”We honour the memory of our gallant officers and men who have paid the supreme sacrifice in order to keep the country united as one entity.
‘The nation remains grateful for the efforts and sacrifice of the Armed Forces especially in the fight against insurgency and other internal security challenges confronting Nigeria.
‘The Armed Forces Remembrance Day or Veterans Day as it is known in some parts of the world is an important event observed in commemoration of the end of the Second World War.
In Commonwealth member countries, the Remembrance Day is observed on 11th November yearly. However, for us the date was changed to 15th January annually to accommodate the commemoration of the end of the Nigerian Civil War’’ he said.
On security operations in the North West and North Central zones in the country, President Buhari expressed delight at the return of normalcy in some of the areas that previously witnessed security challenges.
”Our dear nation has witnessed numerous security challenges since independence.
”These security threats have undermined Nigeria in the areas of trade, investment and economy, education, health as well as agriculture and frequently denied Nigerians the freedom of movement.
”I am however pleased to state that a lot has been achieved in the Internal Security operations in the North West and North Central zones where in addition to Operations LAFIYA DOLE, HADARIN DAJI, HARBIN KUNAMA, WHIRL STROKE, other operations such as ACCORD, SAHEL SANITY and KATSINA were successfully launched.
”This has led to the return of normalcy in some of the affected areas. However, all hands must be on deck to check attacks on soft targets, ” he said.
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