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[OPINION] Money: The Spiritual Snobbery That Hoodwinks People’s Credence

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by Orukotan Samuel

At the beginning before the beginning began, there exists an entity with scarcity but was very priceless. The value was upheld to a great degree of importance and worth but suddenly the wind of civilization blew away the values it carried. The many side of this entity was sold for a penny, the wind was like a divided red-sea, it brought to the doorsteps of people choices, the wind was blowing ferociously, some people were against the tide while others were flowing along with it. This choice is not farfetched from a Q&A session (Question and Answer session).

Do you like money? Do you love money? These were the question to discern who truly was “for” the wind and against it. The rational beings picked their own option and the irrationals was also not left out.

The comparative analysis used for comparing and contrasting suggests that the wind has stopped blowing rather the clouds are forming. The rain wants to fall wanting to destroy those against the tides of the wind, the reason for adding this addition as part of the creation package has been totally revolutionized, the will-o’ the wisp has been reconfigured, a new shortcut has been created, a lot of inhabitants now dogmatically take it as the only object of worship. The tubby, svelte are more concerned about having money by hook or by crook. This is another abnormality that civilization brought to us in a nation in itself. This is another challenge caricaturing us on the face again. People want sweet but they don’t like to subscribe to sweat.

Sweat is akin to labour or constructive effort. The earth and its many stopover. Who caused this glitch? Money, no doubt is the lifeblood of any nation but yet it corrupts and stagnates the vein of a nation that cannot maintain its heat and motion when it comes to the moral problem of our age which is the “love of money”. It has many virtues but its vices are too enormous to discuss. Many of our political office holders are a victim of what i call “greediness and self-love.”

The presidency has stated publicly the desire to halt corruption, which definitely rose up from the love of money, but our anti-corrupt agencies are lacking the necessary support from the government. EFCC claimed a while ago that it lacks fund to prosecute tomfooleries.

How do you solve corruption with insufficient funding?

The public civil service is another den of forgery and bribery. Our judicial system has lately and consistently exchanged justice for acceptance of lies at the expense of the truth, even, our examination bodies has fallen short of their oath of office and service. our political system is another system on its own filled with rogue, thugs, touts and even shenanigans. What do you expect from this various kind of people than evil? So, our leaders have failed the city in that respect and it will be very expedient if we remove our bad glasses and use the eagle type of eye in viewing things.

This exchange demands stern and tasking responsibility from our leaders.

First, some ox must be gored to make sure the complex process of changing this anomaly is effective.

Second, our yes must be yes and vice-versa. Why am I suggesting solutions? Will they listen? Will they change this bad and rotten political system? Honestly, I don’t see that happening in this generation. I am not a pessimist but my heart is getting sick because of our hope that is deferred on daily basis.

The various kidnappings of the east, the countable abduction of the west, north and even south all boil down to one thing, “Money”. Kidnapping is a form of vice, the end-product of this “vice” called kidnapping is the “virtue” called “money”. People are looking for alternative means of eking out a living when the government cannot longer live up to his bidding, they yearn for survival and they don’t care what becomes of them except Darwin’s theory never existed.

A nation with great panorama is gradually segregating into segments all because of inept and in-sensitive form of leadership. The Presidency has the necessary administrative acumen and propensity to check all over again what is killing us as an entity.

Mr President Sir, a new synergy is needed from you and your cabinet.

Baby factory all over the place, this is another problem caused by insufficient remuneration, unemployment et al, a lot is not done while you think it is being done sir, I heard you said sometimes ago that you created jobs of over 12,000 in 2013. Don’t quote me because I am not sure of this figure. Sir, if what you said is to go by, the various social vices in this country ought to have reduced but it is greatly on the increase. Our dailies are my primary witness to this fact. Probably, you shared the responsibility sir, check it all over again, you will discover that a lot were not employed; the few ones that were employed got it mostly via lobbying and bribing which is also another crime on its own.

What is now the fate of the poor in this new scheme of things? Are we building a partitioned state where only the influential will control the activities of the state? Isn’t this another form of apartheid? This time, it is the segregation of affluence from penury.

Please sir, do something about this menace that is making us recognise mediocrity at the expense of excellence.  When are we going to start compensating the competent that went through higher education of learning with “thorns and tears” just to maintain the standard of excellence? We can’t be dreaming of a new Nigeria having a mediocre mind, we can’t be yearning for a better Nigeria without the involvement of expertise and this expertise is the excellence that will are failing to recognise and sometimes celebrate.

Even, in the religious set up, we see the love of money growing like a whirlwind. Our men of God ranging from pastors, apostles, bishops, evangelists and prophets who should be “servants of God” have succeeded in repackaging their calling. The salvation that was given free is now being sold to people, a lot of commercial prophets have emerged, a lot claim to have a calling from God whereas God never had their identity number not to talk of calling them, many of them flashed God but yet they are doing the work of God with deceit. Is flashing the same as receiving a call?

Baby factories here and there, it is another alternative means of making money, the living is being exchanged for the non-living, the so called “weaker” vessel are the fore-runner of this man-made factory, our women that should rise up to the challenge of the 21st century are pitching their tent in sin.

Honestly, the government is not to be totally blamed here but the conscious and sub-conscious mind that has refuse to do its normal job of “pricking.” The conscience is no longer there to prick them when they go wayward. Can a bag of money look for you in your old age? Can a bag of money look for you when you are dead? Definitely, it can’t. It was the crazy love of money that brought us the dilemma we are faced with as a nation.

The carrot and stick approach might not be an ideal approach in solving these increasingly daily vices. I am an advocate of paper money but it must also represent what it professes on its face. Enough of telling us that the tool that brought us beauty and freedom is now leaving us in bondage of debts and borrow, enough of printing lies in form of money, enough of biting the fingers that brought you to prominence and power.

Many live in affluence while many Nigerians are living in self-pity, a lot of our elite can afford to bribe their ways through the inconveniences of life while many less-privileged Nigerians are crying in agony and pain.

What is the essence of gaining this whole world and yet lose your soul? What is the essence of acquiring wealth and spending it all on sicknesses and diseases? What is the essence of being earthly relevant and yet, you are not heavenly conscious?

Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity. Let not your ambitions mock our useful toil, let not our homely joy and destiny obscure, let not grandeur hear with a disdainful smile because this is the simple but fleeting annals of the masses.

You are blessed to be a blessing, you have that money so that you will minister to the needs of myriad of Nigerians who want to prepare their last meal and die, the money you have today will never follow you to the grave neither will it pay for your borrowed life.

How are you living your borrowed life? How am i servicing my borrowed life? Money is like manure, if you spread it around, it does a lot of good but if you pile it up like a dunghill, it stinks like hell.

Money might be a defence, it might answer all things but it can also fail and it did fail in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan (Genesis 47:15).

More so, that a time will come when there will be nothing to spend than for us to rob Peter and pay Paul. Beware!

mail: orukotanayomikun@yahoo.com

Orukotan Samuel is a columnist at SamoluExpress (http://samoluexpress.co.uk)

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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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