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[Opinion] ‘Yerimanians’ and the Hypocrisy of the Progressives By Adekoya Boladale

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Let me start by commending men and women, old and young, able-bodied and physically challenged, Christians and Muslims who stood up for the future of our female children in rain and cold, on streets and highways, day and night collecting signatures and collating results. It is the likes of you that give us hope that indeed there is a possibility of a new Nigeria; a Nigeria free from selfishness, tribalism, hatred, religious differences, corruption, anarchy, and pedophiles!

It is worth recognizing the efforts of ‘finger-triggering’ Nigerians on social media who took the campaign against child bride to every nook and cranny of the world. To the comrades who not only ranted online but went further on the streets of Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Akure, Ilorin, Porthartcourt, Kaduna, Warri, Asaba, Abeokuta, New York, Washington Dc, United Kingdom to demonstrate their displeasure and abhorrence against the will of our infatuated senators. The likes of Omojuwa Japheth, Kennedy Henshaw, Dupe Killa, Ayobami Oyalowo, Tolu Ogunlesi, Ms Nemah among others who remain determined and focused to ensure a sane society, I say thank you.

To Stella Damascus, Seun Kuti, Oby Ezekwesili, Atiku Abubakar, Ali Baba, Sina Kawonise, Peter Okoye, Pat Utomi, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Pastor Sam Adeyemi who were bold enough to put away politics, sentiments and religion, but laid down their career and network to speak up for the mutilated children and the future generation, you have earned my respect. It is my hope that when the time comes to take power away from our oppressors you will join the folds.

Who are the Yerimanians? These are men and women in ‘Agbada’ and ‘bubas’, in suits and ties, Kaftan and Guinea brocade who are psychologically traumatized due to excessive exposure to corruption, overdosed with geometric fraud and enslaved by impurity to such an extent that they lust after babies and infants. These men have been discovered to be mentally colonized by ‘Agbako’- a demonic deity known to spread evil and bad luck. The sights of fully grown women disgust them, the sights of matured naturally endowed ladies nauseate them, they take pleasure in diapers and nappy, the mere mention of ‘ba’ arouse them. Evil occupies their heart, their soul possessed by the beast of hell, their mind overshadowed by darkness.

In Nigeria they are 35, thirty five able bodied men who should be fathers to families, husbands to wives, brothers to siblings and uncles to relatives but choose to drag their souls in mud to satisfy a demonic desire. The Yerimanians who keep quiet when important bills are being discussed in the National Assembly also fall asleep when security issues are being raised and close their ears when petroleum prices are being increased but are only present when jumbo pay is being dished out. Some say they will rot in hell, but they are hell, some say they will die in pain but they are pains – pains to the young girls they forcefully put in the family way, to the babies they rape because they paid a few thousands of naira on them, to the children lying lifeless in the morgue through Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF).  I am glad we have a supreme being one who will neither take gold nor silver but dish out judgment according to our earthly deeds, I leave them to Him.

Alas, in the midst of the societal outcry and international condemnation, it is disheartening that the Nigerian league of progressives who for the past months have held crusades and town hall meetings on their plan to free us from the shackles of PDP maladministration and make lives better for the common man were nowhere to be found at a time we needed their support. The likes of Lai Mohammed, Rotimi Fashakin who are quick to jump on political issues and castigate the government suddenly went mute in a way that suggest that the usual condemnation against government policies were only a masquerade parade to the gallery channeled only to win cheap political points. This past week has brought to notice that the intention of these breeds of progressives is only geared towards winning election and nothing more, that the wellbeing of the common masses counts for nothing in the eyes of these sudden men of honour and that indeed they are not different from the oppressors running our nation’s socio-political affairs.

Could it be that the ‘Jagaban’ of Bogun and members of the newly merged All Progressive Congress (APC) are afraid of incurring the wrath of some powerful elites in the North? Could it be that a move to rebuke this preposterous act will translate to going against the desire of Senator Yerima who by extension is an APC member? Could it be that Alhaji Yerima was merely doing the bidding of APC and need not be blamed for a job well done? These are salient questions on the lips of Nigerians who have over the years handed powers to rogues and thieves, pretenders and deceivers, liars and murderers who only end up pushing the masses by the way side when they get into power.

How truly would APC save us from the venom of the PDP if it continues to choose politics over our wellbeing? How do we hand over power to them when they suddenly go missing in times of tribulations? How can we trust them to make policies that reflect the yearning of the masses? What do they really represent?

Events are unfolding quickly in Nigeria, the war against pedophiles may have been won but we are far away from being free. The extravagant lifestyle of our legislators must be checked, the wayward lifesytle of our ministers must be stopped, we must take keen interest in how we are being governed and start asking questions. Questions like why are the refineries promised in 2012 by President Jonathan during the subsidy protest still not in place? Why does the salaries of political office holders continue to skyrocket while minimum wage is being renegotiated? Why is the federal government paying lip service to the educational sector? Why must power generation continue to increase on paper and not in homes? Why should our unemployment indexes continue to increase in the face of our economy potentials? These and more we need to start demanding answers to.

Change is moving fast across Africa, now the people have come to realize that truly they are the government but can Nigerians march against these ills? Only time will tell.

Adekoya Boladale a political scientist is the Convener, Advocacy for Better Leadership (ABEL) and an Alumnus of Political Leadership Academy (POLA) wrote via adekoyaboladale@gmail.com. Please follow on twitter @adekoyabee

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Opinion

Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?

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Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Opinion

Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye

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Dethroned Monarch, Sanusi

We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Opinion

Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth

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Emir Sanusi

By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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