Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Ayo Sogunro: Enough Of The Military Already!– A Call To Action

Enough Of The Military Already!– A Call To Action

In the latest installment of the initiation of violence by a government against its own citizens, a mob of military men were deployed to forcefully dispel a protest for basic amenities by the students of Nasarawa State University. The use of the military in the circumstances was reprehensible in itself, and should, ordinarily, have given rise to a general hue and cry, but unfortunately, and much more gravely, four students were reportedly murdered by some of the soldiers when shots were fired by the military men at the protesting students.This is not just news, this is a crisis.
In a more civilized country, this wanton killing of unarmed students in such a fashion would be termed as the actions of terrorists, or of persons of unsound mind. In Nigeria, we call these instigators of violent murder “soldiers”—and by extension, “military men”.
A Nigerian child born in the year 1999, when Nigeria commenced its current democratic dispensation, would be fourteen years of age this year—a teenager, fully conscious of the responsibilities andcharacteristics of a democratic government. Our theoretical child would be able to identify the concept of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary as distinct arms of government. The child would understand the electoral process and maybe even the concept of a republican representative government.
It would, however, be difficult for such a child to understand certain aspects of the Nigerian society as it fits into the democratic structure into which he was birthed and within which he has grown up. These unclear aspects of society would include, amongst other things, the relevance of a soldier in a civilian setting—not just because this idea has not been explained to him, but also because the military machinery and its attendant imagery will not exist harmoniously with the rudimentary democratic concept the child has already formed.
An adult may try to explain to the child that the military presence is necessary for security purposes, but the inquisitive child will ask: what then is function of the police? The adult may explain that the police is not well equipped enough, but the child will ask the logical question: why not equip the police instead?
However, the innocent logic of the child is lost on an adult Nigerian population that has lived, consciously,under the excessive force of military rule. To such an adult, the military was, is, and will always be a fundamental part of the governing machinery—either as a direct governor, or as an enforcement tool of the pseudo-democratic ruler.
The interaction of the average adult Nigerian with the military has been one of oppression; rarely of security or protection. From the 1966 coup to the dictatorship of Sani Abacha via the Civil War, the military has had a forceful presence in the streets of Nigeria. But unlike the policeman, who is bound (even if more in breach than in observance) by a criminal code and its procedures of arrest and trial, a military man has no rules of interacting with the civilian in a combat—principally because the military man is trained to regard any person he engages as an enemy and to use deadly force against the enemy.
A military man has no rules of civil procedure. He is trained to shoot, and to shoot to kill.
Accordingly when the average Nigerian soldier goes on the streets, he sees the average civilian as a potential enemy—irrespective of citizenry or other factors.
Nigerians have learned this truth the hard way, and have managed to politely step out of the way of the military. The concept of “an officer and a gentleman” is reserved for Hollywood movies. The best scenario is the current democratic dispensation, which involves an uneasy truce between the average civilian citizen and the military—and under which the civilian has the lesser bargaining power. For all is well with the civilian only as long as he keeps out of the way of the military man’s sirens and convoys. But what happens to a student in the university? What happens when a Vice-Chancellor calls in the attack dogs and a collision becomes inevitable?
Because the social psychology is biased in fear of the military’s arms, the legal provisions are little enforced and largely ignored. Taking advantage of this psychological mindset, opportunistic democratic governments and their acolytes have continued to utilize the fear of the military to force the execution of policies that are not legally permissible.
The facts of what happened in Nasarawa are unclear at the moment, but in a country where it is possible to hire a soldier for the price of abottle of beer, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that someone with some form of civilian authority—whether the Vice-Chancellor, a local government chairman or even the state governor—called upon the nearest deployment of soldiers to contain the protesting students and consequently, had four students murdered in the process.
But is the current legal dispensation of Nigeria as fearful as the current psychological dispensation of Nigerians? Thankfully, the answer is “No”. Our Constitution is very articulate in describing why we need an armed forces and what it should consist of. Section 217 of the Constitution (a document still unfamiliar to most Nigerians) states that the armed forces would consist of an army, a navy, an Air Force as well as other branches the legislature may create.
The next paragraph of that section then describes the three functions of the armed forces: defending Nigeria from external aggression; maintaining Nigeria’s territorial integrity/securing its borders from violation on land, sea, or air; and suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order “when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.”
Unfortunately, as discussed above, Nigerians have had more experience with the military in respect of this third function, than with any of the military’s other responsibilities.
Even more unfortunately, the innocent dictates of the Constitution regarding the internal usage of the military are widely disregarded by both the government and private influential citizens. The Constitution is quite clear: before the military is deployed internally, there should be three situations in place: (i) it should be in aid, and not the supplanting, of the civil authorities; (ii) the military exercise should be by the direct order of the President; (and iii) the exercise must have legislative backing.
Any internal deployment by the military within Nigerian territory which does not fulfill these constitutional requirements, is, from the logical interpretation of those provisions, an unconstitutional action, as well as an undemocratic one—the kind that merits the jurisdiction of a court martial and the imposition of severe sanctions.
Now, we have reached the lowest depths of the usage of the military within Nigerian territory. The Nigerian military has not just been incapable of protecting Nigerians;it has also continued to kill Nigerians. This is not just news, this is a crisis.
The tail continues to wag the dog.
The Boko Haram insurgence, which should have secured the affections of the military to the average Nigerian, was widely unchecked and ended on the negotiation table. This failure, ordinarily, should shame any self-respecting military apparatus as they sink into the barracks. The Nigerian military has not improved the security situation of the average Nigerian—and has even shown itself incapable of guaranteeing its own security.
It has now become mandatory that all Nigerians begin to demand for a total return of all military men into their barracks. There should be no more military sirens on the streets, no more military men manning the premises of wealthy citizens, no more indiscriminate combat by the military against school students. It is time for the military to go for good!
In the present crisis, the President should immediately, and with good grace, issue an apology to the student body of the school and compensation to the families of the victims. Recently, the President’s wife celebrated her “resurrection”—and the President should therefore understand the value of a single human life. The Vice Chancellor, or whoever invited the military, should be sanctioned. The officers who led the expedition should be court martialled, and the soldiers who fired the killing shots should be convicted and executed—and yes, hanging is too good for them.
The fight against the military in Nigeria is not over. Nigerians cannot afford to watch idly as soldiers murder students and an unruly military continues to invade civil liberties at different levels. Today it may be some unknown victims in a relatively far away Nasarawa, tomorrow it could come to your doorstep, with a friend or relative dying in your arm’s from a soldier’s undisciplined bullet.
Ayo Sogunro is a Lagos writer and lawyer. He tweets via @ayosogunro

Debo Adejugbe: Time To Encourage Our Transformational President

Time To Encourage Our Transformational President

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
It is very important to recognize the esteemed position our President occupies; in order that we might be able to accord him due respect, and hold him in reverence for being such a gentle soul, even in the face of the cacophony of criticisms and enemies who now dog his life.
It’s going to be very hard, at least in the situation we are presently immersed in, not to praise Mr. President for standing tall and soldiering on, flogging the horse of transformation to the stream of change.
Lest we forget, Mr. President runs a gigantic edifice named Nigeria, which comes as a package with corruption in all sectors to boot. Here is a man who wriggled, lied, cursed and cried – even if they were not his strong points- just to have an extra four years of dishing out committees to solve our problems. We have to gradually make him the least criticized president; we must make the effort! Here goes!
My President is a man of words; One who provides lengthy quotes that tickles even dead brains into action (or should we say inaction?).
The President has built a very good team (even if on paper); you are advised to kindly remove the following names lest you are accused of a lack of balance: Emeka Worgu, Godspower Orubebe, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Mohammed Adoke and Labaran Maku. Yes! He has built a good, solid, wise* and well traveled team. The problem of whether they have charted any tangible / endearing “policy and direction” should not come up at this time; this piece is meant to ‘famz’ my President.
I can swear from zero to ten that the President is his own man; a very firm administrator too. It is not important to remember the number ofministers in his cabinet, with corruption cases/indictments hanging on their necks – that is not my interest. He declared “I don’t give a damn!” when asked about his constitutional obligation to declare his assets in June 2012 and to my subtle mind, only a strong character gets this off with such aplomb. How can we expect him to give a damn?
Let’s recognize his consummate skill and ability to deliver on promises in this regard. He has, times without number, reminded us of vision20:2020 which might eventually become vision 20:2100; but that wouldn’t be his problem as his job as His Excellency The President is to make proclamations. Our duty is to look for ways to achieve their realization – by ourselves.
My transformational president is a calculative and first class administrator. Many have complained about the slow pace at which he churns out his “Presidenting”, but I want you to understand he is being careful not to misstep, confirming same at the 2012 christmas party in Abuja where he noted -like the philosophers of old: “By human thinking our administration is slow; I won’t say we are slow, but we need to think through things properly if we are to make lasting impact,” and stringing the perfect denouncement of inefficiency together, he continued: “If we rush, we will make mistakes and sometimes it is more difficult to correct those mistakes.”
Please, let’s give him twelve years, I’m sure the heavenlies –with higher dimensions than the human mind – would applaud him and all our problems will become a thing of the past. Kudos to him; he deigned to give you an explanation.
You can’t blame my President for planes and copters dropping from the skies too. I don’t think he is responsible for the birds either. December 15, 2012 was really a sad one for several families and I’m sure Mr. President shed his trademarked tears for the departed; we can’t expect more than that, surely!
Except that…we have to.
While delivering a sermon on the Bayelsa Crash that killed “Two dignitaries” and “Four Others” – as reported by the Nigerian press; Vicarage Hyacinth Egbebor, The Bishop of Bomadi Catholic Diocese, opined, with our president in attendance, that “Corruption is the only underlying evil that is responsible for the air mishaps. If the military cannot guarantee the safety and security of their own, who else can they protect? …If there is anywhere one looks for excellentperformance, it is the military. Now we have compromised excellence for money. Money has taken over.”
Our transformational president, a man known not to let rare opportunities to bare his mind pass by unused, who had declared MEND not responsible for independence day bombing while security personnel were still gathering information and facts about the occurence, replied the clergyman with perfect grace: “But most of these things we talk about corruption are not even corruption. It is true that most cases we talk about corruption as if corruption is the cause of most of our problems. No. Yes, we have corruption in this country, no doubt about that. The government is also fighting corruption.” He went ahead, declaring with satisfaction that: “Nigeria has more institutions that fight corruption than most other countries”. Come on!
As usual, the President had one or two solutions up his sleeves. He advised Nigerians to change their attitudes in order to move forward and emulate the characters of such ‘noble men’ as the late General Azazi. Whew! There lies the solution to our problems, it is part of the transformational agenda the President is pushing us to embrace and as noted in his speech, it seems like the only real solution. And blimey! Nigeria will become a better country. Please, don’t ask me how, let’s dial up the President on 08000000000.
You can’t but pity Mr. President, sometimes he tries too hard to discard the clueless toga that people desperately stick to him and ends up giving us more lengthy quotes. When, on August 27, 2012 at the opening of the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association, he declared himself as the most criticized president in the world, I had to shed tears for him – after laughing myself to stupor!
He really is confused as to what the problem is. He is either expecting to be pampered or praised for receiving such huge patronage/remuneration and feeding allowance while doing nothing. Come to think of it, doing nothing is actually a job and Mr. President is obviously an A-student in that regard.
In Mr. President’s words: “I think I am the most criticised President in the whole world, but I want to tell this audience that before I leave I will be the most praised President,” He went further. “Sometimes, I ask, were there roads in this country and Jonathan brought flood to destroy the roads?”
“Was there power and Jonathan brought hurricane to wipe it out?”
“If Boko Haram is that of poverty in the North, were there farms and Jonathan brought tsunami and drought to destroy them? Within two years – is that possible?”
“But what I can tell Nigerians is, ‘let those talking keep talking, time will tell.’”
Time will surely tell.
Mr. President has spoken!Let’s keep talking and talking; after all talk is cheap. He’s crossed the Rubicon and is no longer fazed by the expression of our helplessness but the statements above lend credence to the fact that these ‘rants’ are getting to him and he is, with every passing day, talking out of the script written for him by Dr. Reuben Abati -the ‘don’t be stupid’ punchliner – and co.
The President is working assiduously to keep us talking and fuming; he is unique and we should learn to appreciate what we have before it’s gone forever.
Since the President is not leveraging on our unhappy voices to learn, by putting things in perspective and providing sound leadership, let’s encourage him to further make us deride his leadership style and transformational agenda more. Who knows? This might be the spur needed to make well-meaning Nigerians sit up and say “enough is enough, let’s boot out this joke in 2015″. But, if as the President, we rely on luck to help drive this lazy and gluttonic administration out of our lives, we’ll surely keep talking until 2019.
For those of us jobless enough to protest his ill-thought-out subsidy removal on January 1st, 2012, this is for you: “The demonstration in Lagos, people were given bottled water that people in my village don’t have access to. People were given expensive food that the ordinary people in Lagos cannot eat. So, even going to eat free attracts people.”
After carefully ruminating over the sorry state at which he met the Ikeja Police College during a surprise visit on 18th of January, 2013; he has this to say about those who brought his attention to it: “This is a calculated attempt to damage the image of this government. The Police College, Ikeja is not the only training institution in Nigeria”. That tells us all we need to know about how the awesome brain of President Jonathan works.
If you haven’t made up your mind on encouraging our President to pack his bags and set sail from Aso Rock to Otuoke, there is still time for him to drop more gems on the marble. If he doesn’t, who will?
He is surely a man of words!
I’m @deboadejugbe

Ademola Adeeko: President Jonathan And His 4,000 Mega Lies

President Jonathan And His 4,000 Mega Lies

Ademola Adeeko
Ruminating sometimes on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I can’t help but laugh until my ribs ache. This is not an attempt to make a mockery of the man or his office, it’s just that I have found a very good way of pocketing my anger towards his administration just so I can remain in good health. Since his assumption of the office of President to this present day, his numerous lies must have accumulated into 4000 Mega Watts if converted to electricity or probably that’s what he means any time the chants of “we are generating 4000 MW of electricity” comes up in the dailies, electronic media and his new found love; social media.
But really, of what use is the knowledge of the amount of Mega Watts generated to us? Normally, we ought to be less concerned about how electricity is generated let alone how much we have been able to generate monthly. But the reverse is the case here. The issue of power generation has become a household topic of debates in every Nigerian home. From the normal “low water level” situation in Kainji dam to the regular explosions of power transformers on our streets, Nigerians are well versed in these theories. If truly 4000 Mega Watts have been generated, then where the hell are they? Meanwhile, the story continues.
Recently, Mr President went on another lying spree on CNN to excitedly announce to the whole world how the power situation has greatly improved and how Nigerians are so happy and grateful to his administration. One would wonder where that picture emanated from.
Hmmmm! Bingo!! I got it!!! His special adviser on new media, Mr Reno Omokri must have submitted his concluded twitter survey which was compiled by sampling a few tweets from what seemed like a social media opinion poll to the President’s table, who in turn, hurriedly arranged an interview with Christiane Amanpour of CNN and then tried to force the fallacy down our throats forgetting that CNN isn’t NTA. With the help of social media, the lies of Mr President were exposed as Vlad Duthiers quickly compiled a video interview where the ordinary men on the streets, without shame, remorse or fear, let the cat out of the bag. They screamed at the top of their voices the true situation of power in the country. Now, tell me who got served?
Let’s forget about the military era since that now amounts to stale gist. From the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 till this very present regime, billions of Naira have been sunk in bottomless pits with no improvements to show, yet the promises seem to be endless. Last year, I can remember vividly, the FG said 2012 will mark the end of epileptic power supply. That promise seemed forthcoming as there was an improvement in the power situation under Prof. Barth Nnaji. Infact, I was already composing a song of praise for Mr. President, when all of a sudden the man with the midas touch resigned from office without reasonable explanations. I quickly returned my notepad back to its place as power improvement returned to its usual decline as if Barth Nnaji removed his ‘improvement fuse’. The situation was getting more terrible as there was nobody to take his place immediately. I lost hope when members of the cabal otherwise known as the ‘interest groups’ swooped on the ministry. At that point, I realized the light at the end of the tunnel has also been put off.
Now the cake on the icing (or shall I say another empty promise): the new minister of power has vowed to end epileptic power supply before the end of this year. Are you really suggesting that I shouldn’t laugh again? Come on, give me a break!
If the President wants to work, let him do so. But lying to our faces is the height of disrespect! We don’t care about how many Mega Watts are being generated, just put an end to our miseries. Coming on air tomarket the transformation agenda which happens to be a failed one not because failure is inevitable but because it was designed to fail, is intolerable. The President should divert the energy he exerts on forcing lies down our throats to force the power situation to improve. The amount of money he spends on campaigns to help sell his 4000 Mega Lies and also smear his critics, should be converted to achieving the much acclaimed but invisible 4000 Mega Watts. What we need is light not lies! Nigerians are growing deaf as the roaring of different sizes of generators have taken over the silence and calm of the nights. Respiratory illnesses are on the rise as Carbon-II-Oxide has replaced Oxygen. Small scale businesses are closing shops as the chances of staying in business is being determined by the amount of petrol/diesel they can afford. Large scale businesses have to maintain their profit by demanding consumers pay more as their businesses run mainly on petrol/diesel.
It is not rocket science to pinpoint that fixing the power conundrum will signal a crash in the prices of goods and services and also a decrease in respiratory ailments. I really hope this thoughts will cross the minds of our leaders. But until then, the struggle continues.
Ever wondered why Nokia designed phones with torchlights or why the chinese phone manufacturers always add an extra battery to their phones? Think deep! I have to go now as I really need to conserve my battery. It appears my boss is ready to switch off his noisy generator as today marks the 7th day of zero wattage supply to my office!!!
The writer is on Twitter as @OccupyNaija

Denrele Edun Stuns Readers With An Emotional Tribute To Goldie (READ)

Denrele Edun Stuns Readers With An Emotional Tribute To Goldie (READ)

My super star friend sways away and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says “she’s gone”…Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as gorgeous now as when last I saw her. Her slightly disappearing figure and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she’s gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout – There she comes! That is what dying is – an horizon and just the limit of our sight.
My lifeline, my lexicon, therapist and support system…we have known lots of pleasure, at times endured ppai, we have lived in the sunshine and walked in the rain. I had acute malaria (was shaking terribly) but performed “skibobo” with you at the Industry Night and Loud&Proud show, I sprained my ankle but still shot your three videos in a row in S/A.
I left my family house and moved in with you and your family right after all the Big Brother Africa madness, I did all the damage control…
I fought every organizer simply cos I wanted you on the bill with me and split my show earnings with you. I dragged you to the American Embassy even if it meant I had to get up at 4am. I endured negative criticism because shallow minds couldn’t comprehend your brand essence – I started wearing block heels (you got me the most fabulous pair of Jeffrey Campbells) and I damned the consequences. I recorded the reality show “Tru Friendship” with you because you went on and on about it and I wanted to please you.
I have been your fierce-alter ego in all your videos, I have fought your fights, endured countless eccentric P.As with you…I can go on and on and this is how you leave me? You chose an eternal sleep over a fabulous life with me? Lest I forget, I ate the entire box of birthday chocolates Bola sent to you!
Phew, I can’t type anymore, I’m playing “Good To Me” (always disturbed you to release that song) and my notepad is a misty mass of my never ending tears. So sad when people who give you the bestmemories, become a memory!
The Goldie I knew, despite your success and worldwide recognition, still wondered, “Am I good enough?” “Am I pretty enough?” “Will they like me?” It was this burden that made you great…And that made you stumble in the end.
Goldie if you can hear me now, you weren’t good just good enough – You were abso-frigging-lutely GREAT! You sang the whole damn song without a band- you made the picture of a showbiz star look so perfect!
Your parting has left a void, but I will fit it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss and oh yes, these things I too will miss. Even though we are separated and for a time apart, I am not alone cos you’re forever in my heart. I will move mountains to continue your legacy, I will crash ceilings to spread your good works, I will break barriers to sell your “market” but above all, I will cherish the awesome times we spent together…You will forever be my source of infinity!
We wore the same shoe size and had the same body proportions. You made me start strutting lashes and recall I wore that black dress of yours you never got to wear? No masterpiece can ever match your face! To everyone reading this piece, let my dear friend rest in peace! Speak no evil about her, she was too good to be true!
I can hear you say to me…Mbirikoko, do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep, Do not stand at my grave and cry…I am not there, I did not die!
Denrele Edun

Nigeria’s Centenary: Celebration or time for Critical Examination?

Celebration or time for Critical Exam

Nigeria has embarked on the celebration of its 100 years of existence. Wait a minute; must we celebrate? Do we have success stories which should spur celebration or should this provide an opportunity for introspection — to think through our challenges and possibly proffer solutions to them? Should we celebrate just because of the number of years we have been together as a nation? If Nigeria rolls out the drums to celebrate 100 years and the major achievement is that we have managed to stay together, survived a civil war and possibly retreated at the last minute from many cliff hangers that should have scattered the nation during military rule, then we really have no need to celebrate.
What should we be doing as a nation as we mark 100 years of nationhood? It is to dispassionately and critically examine the journey so far and on an imaginary scale count our successes, achievements, challenges and failures and think through which side weighs more. We should not shy away from doing some form of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis and examination on Nigeria. This examination will provide us the opportunity to interrogate our challenges and failures and why we have been unable to overcome our challenges. It will also identify the critical success factors that led to achievements so far recorded. In identifying the drawbacks, the interrogation will come forward with ideas on how to overcome challenges, accentuate, replicate and intensify the critical success factors so that our scale of achievements will outweigh our challenges and setbacks.
At 100, both the leadership and the led are in agreement that we are not happy with our situation and our level of development. We are not where we are supposed to be as a nation. Admittedly, we spent the first 44 years under colonial rule but we are no exception in the comity of nations because other countries also experienced the same colonialism. Our peers have mechanised their agriculture and are able to feed themselves; started the production of industrial goods and machinery for local consumption and for export; enhanced and improved their health and education services; organised their societies in a way that responds to the needs of their people and are enjoying relative peace and stability. Some of our peers have even broken the atom and started journeys into space. How did they achieve their feats and leave us behind? This is a question that needs to be answered by the centenary celebration.
If we are not at the same level with our peers, the implication is that we are going in the wrong direction and doing the wrong things. Then, it means there is something fundamentally wrong with our governance, economic, political, and social value system that delivers sub-optimal results. Alternatively, there is something fundamentally wrong with the players in the field. The coach may have devised a good and winning strategy but the players have failed to play to the coach’s specific instructions. Within this context and whatever is identified as the reason(s) for our poor performance, we cannot doubt the need for a change of direction, systemic change and change in personnel in our governance architecture. Indeed, Nigeria is in dire need of renewal.
How do we effect this examination, introspection and renewal? This is the major challenge for the celebration. Everyone agrees that we are going in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, those who currently find themselves in the corridors of power believe that more of the same medicine they are serving us will eventually cure our ill-health. But there is no empirical evidence that things are getting better which will lead us to hope that after sometime, we will actually take our place in the comity of nations. Thus, the current leadership and those before them cannot but be wrong and are merely being selfish because of the pot of jam which they are presiding or had presided over. The current leadership is averse to an interrogation of the reasons why we have performed poorly. They want the status quo to continue. Yes, they want a President who is almighty and accountable to no one; a legislature which is law unto itself – enacts laws and breaks the laws; a judiciary where judges set guilty men free on technicalities or give them a slap on the wrist judgments. The current leadership want to continue ruling us in turns employing ethnic, religious, zonal and outdated cleavages. There is nothing on offer in terms of new ideas, philosophies and ideals and there are no credible solutions in sight to the myriad of our national problems.
Despite the foregoing, we still have a Presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, who will abuse an elder statesman and foremost constitutional lawyer Professor Ben Nwabueze and describe him as unpatriotic simply because he stated the obvious that Nigeria is sliding into a failed state.  According to Okupe, Nigeria’s democracy is in its infancy and we have credible institutions. Let me ask Okupe: How many years does it take to exit the infancy stage? What are the indicators that your credible democratic institutions are working and delivering value for money? Is there a day that goes without reports of killing of defenceless Nigerians by armed groups challenging the authority of the state? With the assurances given by the President, has our security situation improved? How much have we lost to corruption in the last 12 months? Is the amount lost to corruption in the last 12 months not higher than our national budget? How many new megawatts of electricity have we added to the grid in the last 10 years, for instance? How many kilometres of roads were fixed in the last three years? Indeed, can the Jonathan administration give a good account of the resources entrusted to it for the benefit of the vast majority of Nigerians? The system is not working and cannot work and no amount of abuses on patriotic elders who have seen the hand writing on the wall will change the facts as they are.
Back to the question of how to effect the renewal and interrogation that will lead to the design of a new and functional system, we cannot run away from a conference, a discussion of the Nigerian people convened solely for the purpose of proposing a model that will solve our problems and whose decisions will be subject to ratification by the people. This will provide us the opportunity to interrogate what has gone wrong and why it went wrong. It only takes a mad man to continue repeating the same experiment without changing any of the variables and yet expects different results on each occasion. Continuing with the current system will amount to digging deeper when you are inside a hole and looking for a way to climb out.
Yes, do we need to celebrate or critically examine what has gone wrong? If we want to change the system and reposition it towards development which will guarantee individual and national fulfillment, then we need a critical examination. Formulation of new strategies and re-orientation of our values are also imperative.
Eze Onyekpere (
Read original article via Punch

My 20 Million Youth Story – By Osita Duru (One9jaboi)

My 20 Million Youth Story – By Osita Duru (One9jaboi)

My name is Osita Duru, a Nigerian youth who believes in the Nigerian Project. My passion for our dear country propelled me into getting involved and involving some of you in forums and organizations
with the goals of making Nigeria a better place through responsible leadership come 2015. My belief is that only the youths can make this difference. It is not a secret that the PDP has continuously failed our dear country since its coming into power about 14years ago. We all crave for that change and a group of us have realized that the only way change can come is through us (the youths). If we could rise in a large number and let the old order notice us. The idea of 20millionyouthsfor2015 was formed with the noble goal of
selecting leaders from amongst us, the youths, who will lead our dear country out of this quagmire. Our goal was not to get attached to any political party but to be one or at least an NGO, with the goal ofpresenting capable men and women with the fire and passion of this Nation in their hearts
irrespective of tribe, religion or region. See 20 million youth roadmap -à
With the zeal and passion of youth, I embraced this noble idea and dedicated my online presence into “Recruiting Patriots to save the Fatherland” . I actually became the most vocal member of the movement and as a matter of fact recruited a total of 475 people to the movement. It was my dream, I worked day and night to fulfill this dream. Here is the list of people that registered through me
475 members have joined through you.
ezekiel wheto
Imonina Balmes Oruru
Barrister Duke
ahmad musa
Awonaike Mariam Olaoluwa
Arekemase Rukayat
Olufoye Seun
Dr. Fadil Murtala
Shehu Audu
fanimokun Tolulope T.
Lukman Omikunle
Abdulfatai Lukman
Adebanjo yunusa o
Hajara yusuf
jabeer kwaru
Rev. Collins Uma
umar Ibrahim mohammed
abdulfatah bamidele
Marcus Ayaosi
Alausa Olanrewaju M
Collins omoudu
Kwami Adadevoh
Maryam Ladan
chidozie MacDonald
Adebanjo Adefesono
Abayomi Omideyi
mustapha Galadima
Emeka Udeogu
Mohammed Naseer Ibraheem
Fati Chiroma
henry chibuike
godson alofoje
Onugbolu sinclair
Shamsuddeen lawal
Oluwatosin Adedayo Olatunji
Edy Edak Aniekan Ekpo
adebiyi olamide
idris Mohammed
kayode o ayodele
Princess Simysola
salam khafila
HRH King Aleeyu
ahmed isyaku sani
Jude Egbas
festus edukpe
Ahmadu Jirgi
suberu o samuel
Anderson Paul
salako quadri
David Lar
tina jarius
Akinnuoye kemisola
obaro kehinde
onifade Temidayo
Lasisi Babatunde
Olawunmi Akanmode
Adegboro Sholafunmi
Oryina Orvaa
Adenola Michael Folaranmi
Obafemi Akanji
Khadijah Okusanya
Kikiowo Ileowo
olusoro oluwaseun
idris Abdullahi Muhammad
Oyegade Abayomi
muhammad audi
Iyanda Iseoluwa
Ajiboye Temitope Emmanuel
Oke muritala
Nahel J
Femi Omidiji
Kelvin Anih
Agada Victor Inalegwu
Adikwu Emmanuel
Victor Ogwuda
omanise obaje-adofu
Tukur Sani
ajala kehinde ajibola
shola Danii
Tope Olotu
abdusalam isah
Micheal Ogunshola
ilesanmi adeola
okparaolu chris
Obi Festus Nnamdi
okafor emmanuel
Mr Myers
Kingsley Ezem
Lami Boyis
muoneke chima
Zulaha Hadejia
Sheriff Ayodeji Olaniyan
mahmud abubakar
Temi Oyetunde
Obi Olajide
Chiedu Collins
iroko jacob kehinde
ogunsanya hajarat oyinkansola
Azanor Fidelis
Abdul Ikonallah
Gloria ubani
fadahunsi adeola
Jolly Itoya
hajara tanko usman
Hamzat Nurudeen
Nwike Enwezor
Victory chidi
opec Bassey
Ani benedict
baffa yusuf
nwachukwu egwim
Siraj Akande
Abubakar Ahmad
bakari kulchum
Mohammed Babayo
Bala G Dalbadal
Opec Bassey
jahan sani turaki
sani abdullahi
Isaiah Ngadaonye
olushegun victor olapojoye
Onelum Callistus
Oyewola Olusola
Suleiman bature
Shamsuddeen Abubakar Ladan
fagbote temitayo
kenny olutola otolorin
Mohammed Mohammed
Zubairu Buhari
Shuaibu Hassan
Faisal Suleiman
mansur farouk jibrin
joseph m a yusuf
Abubakar Aliyu
lilian omoruyi
oba adeoye
Iheaka Kelechukwu Okpo
Abdulaziz Mala
Bizza Magana
Onipede Samson Olurotimi
oladipupo Ige
Bashir Bello Da’u
lydia Hamisu
prince chigozie amiaka
Akerele Nifemi
Akanbi Dapo
suleiman Tajudeen
sarah oluwatoyin
Somoye Abolore
adegbola oyetunde
Alelumhe Naarah
zarma Bamus
segun ogunnowo
Odetoyinbo Damilare Rapheal
udumba Pamela
Jimoh Olatunji Yusuf
Leye Jisola
Ineh Peince Emeka
bukola elebute
ibikunle gabriel oladimeji
Admiral Reginald
Osazuwa Timmy Obaseki
Philips Akinyele
Aminu Abubakar
asiwaju owolabi badmus
Adesewa Bello
Faloba Damilola
vera morah
ogunyiola gabriel
Abubakar Waziri Bawa
Nicholas Obueh
salami ismail oyewale
Ayokunle Sholanke
Mr bright
Odey Malone
Adeshina Taofeek
abdussalam mubaarak
chinyere osoka
aliyu bello
Omoriwo Ope
Ogunleye Rasheed Ayokunle
Henry onyegbula
Adaeze Zita Ifejilimalu
emmanuel okala
Nihin Banjo
muhammad danmusa
Ajetunmobi Oluwafemi
Yemmy Godson
florence Fasetan
Bello Shagari
Adesanya Omotomiwa
Damola G
Ishaq sani
aminu muhammad danbaba
Bello Abdullahi
Olakunle Dada
abubakar mohamnmed
Saleh Muhammad
ukashat Tijjani
Theophilus U Asonye
saifullahi Y El-ladan
Ayonoadu Nafinama B
Babajide Ajayi
Adejare Sangoniran
Musa ilya
Yusuf Abdulmajeed
Aderayo Dada
Omotoso Biola
Ahmad Shehu Haido
Suwaiba Ibrahim
Muhammed salis
Mahmoud Ibrahim Babangida
Jegede Adewale
Aminu Abubakar
Hassan Baba
Abdullahi Tijjani Abubakar
Omowunmi Adegun
Aliyu Ahmed Mustapha
musa muktar muazu
Idrees Ibraheem Olanrewaju
Abdulhakeem Kabir Usman
fasemire sunday joseph
haastrup rowland adelana
odunayo Temitope Alex
Isa Y suleiman
Anas Idris Gusau
Ishaq Jahun
Yahuza Abdullahi Ishaq
baba ali ferobe
kunleski menaoski
tami gidado
muhammad ilyas saleh
zaid jakada
Remi Oderinde
‘Funsho Oke
munauwar ibrahim muhammad
Nura yahaya sanda
Adeyemi Oyebamiji
steve okosun
Akewugberu Damilola
oluwole agbo
muhammad mahmoud aminu
olusegun adesanya
Gboyega Dada
ogunyemi kayode stephen
Abdullahi isyaku kankia
rilwan Ramon
Abdul Anka
Nura S. Ishak
Akinwale Adeloye Muyiwa
Akinwale Adeloye Muyiwa
Anthony Effiom
Fahd B. Isa
mohammed abdullah
Hauwa Muhammad Ali
Habeeba Abdullahi
Muhammed Adamu Muhammed
Sadiq daniel
Olumide Famoroti
saidu musa abubakar
Ahmed Mamman Halidu
alegheme oghe david
Seun Akinbode
salisu muhammed
Abdul Abdulaziz
Hadiza kaka Abdulazeez
Mahmood Namallam
Ibrahim Sulaiman Muhammad
Usman A. Shamaki
Osima Keno Augustine
aaron ukasanya azonwu
Abdulmumin Muslim Idris
Ayodele Ogun
Sani Zubair
Yusuf Rasheedat Abiodun
Lekan Ogunleye
Shanu Olakunle
Abari sulaiman bolaji
IMAVAH, Shaka A.
amina abu yaro
emmanuel prince
abdullahi mahmood
Adefidipe Adesanmi
abioodun Oluwole
kolawole rofiyat
Stella Ajike
Fawaz Muhammed
shina Bam
niyinlolawa olumide
Nuraddeen Nuhu
amir Jnr
babatunde kamal abdulsalam
Adewole Kehinde Adgbenga
obadun ibrahim
Edward Jiman
Busuyi Okeowo
idris evuti
Salau Abdulrahman A
Muhammad Shittu
Taiwo mobolaji Oshin
Okafor Ifeanyi John
ojooniyun budale
sani shuaibu
hakeem adenle
maryam elrufai
Suleiman Kelani Abdulkadir
muhammed salamatu
Ayodele Abodunrin
nwachukwu samson
Ojo Babajide
Tope Aigba
Adenyuma christopher
rakiya jibrin
Tobore Gbemre
jite binta gorden
Salako kolawole r
Adetola Oluwaseun
Chijioke J. C
comrade abdulrahman usman muawiyya
Ibraheem A. Jiya
paul utho
Okkemccar Vincent
Segun Tomori
Ajayi Ademola
Haruna Mohammed
Grace Udie-Anah
Elizabeth U.Anah
Dipo Balogun
Yinka Sanya
Chinemere Okereke
fati sada
Wale osipitan
Lawal Muntari
Isah B
abdulwahab h fari
Uzoma Ikechukwu
Zakari Sani Muhammad
kelvin ogba
Isaac Usoro
Shamsu Ambursa
abisoye fadayiro
Onawumi Tosin Babatunde
Eteobong Okon
kotun surajudeen ola
Abraham ede
Steven Edegbe
Eniola Igunnu
yinusa kehinde
Ahmad muhammad liman
Moshood Ramadan
olagunju Ahmed Olaniyi
Akaka Oluwafunmilayo Tamilore
robiton josh
Orowale Oge
AbdulHameed Oyeniyi
Godfrey Attah
ojo suru david
Bello Muhammed Nauteeq
okenla Ahbiola
Aiki Olusola
olayiwola samson kola
Olarewaju Olaniyi
Fashola Oloyede
Mina Georgewill
nanakumo ebikeme
Olalekan Badmus
Olayiwola Bamgboye
stephen-eko- osabuase
musa ibn abdul
Onoriode E. Awala
Engr.Babatunde orimidupa
adenekan seyi
muhammad kolos
Mayowa Omotosho
wale james Abatan
olalekan olorunsogo
Akintunde David
AbdulKadir Bello
John J kassah
Oladimeji Busayo Priscilla
Popoola Segun
bukar musty
6,992 Total Members registered
Let it not be said that I was not dedicated. I was totally dedicated to the movement. Now there came up the issue of registration. It was agreed that we first became an NGO before anything else. The issue of registration was given to a certain “Chiboy”. After about several weeks with no forthcoming news, I asked about the registration and what efforts were made, I was told that “Chiboy” disappeared with the money.
See my twitter DM with @NeduNaija
Feb 12
But why we haven’t raised people is clear. We gave a responsibility to Chiboy, he ran away with our money and didn’t do the job.
‘ class=avatar v:shapes=”_x0000_i1025″>
Feb 12
I’m more hurt by the delay than you, my brother, because I know how much of my money I put into this project. It’s not a good news for me.
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Feb 12
We contributed money, denied our relatives our presence and were in meetings all through to make this movement work. An Igbo guy messed it.
Feb 12
A fellow Igbo brother did this to us. After the shock, the anger and frustration, we are out to rebuild.
Feb 12
When one is in a group, one has to understand that one person’s opinion cannot override majority decision.
Feb 12
If we convene a national congress and everybody agrees that we become a political party, I’ll be excited to be part of it.
Feb 12
But we cannot, out of our patriotism and idealism, insist on only our views. It doesn’t make one a good team member.
Feb 12
Even in our Saturday meeting, the issue of being a party was hotly debated. It isn’t a topic that will go without debate.
Feb 12
I understand perfectly well. We weren’t consulted before the merger. That’s why we need to build#20MillionYouthsFor2015 as a block.
Feb 12
We can then sit and discuss terms with anybody we want to align with. Look bro, we cannot have a youth-based party.
Feb 12
We will not be able to fund it. It is very capital intensive. Even if we get people who have plenty money to give us, they’d want a special
Feb 12
Feb 12
The sad thing is that they have raped this country. The other thing is that the raped do not have enough resources to fight for power.
Feb 12
As a movement, we can become strong enough to force a change.
Feb 12
So do we join ACP or PDP..Either way..its a no no for me
Feb 12
I beg you, bro. Many Nig youths will be quick to join the PDP where there’s free money, than join an all youth party where they’ll suffer.
Feb 12
Our original plan was to choose a candidate we believe in, and campaign for him/her. That’s what I remember.
Feb 12
But the most important issue is to build our brand, raise it from the ground where it is, erect cells, and then have a structure.
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Feb 12
I don’t think our preoccupation should be PDP or APC.
Feb 12
I don’t expect us to agree all the time, but I expect that we honour our desire for a better country by talking to ourselves first.
Till today, the movement we began almost a year ago has not been registered. I felt betrayed. However, recent developments are threatening those noble ideas. The last straw that got me really pissed was this conversation via gtalk with @NeduNaija
Chinedu Ekeke
Feb 8
to me
12:56 PM Chinedu: Hey
12:57 PM Afternoon, today
how are you, bro?
me: Nedu good afternoon
Its been long
12:58 PM Chinedu: Yeah
me: I am fine
Chinedu: Quite long
me: True bro
What’s happening
Things are moving really fast
Chinedu: I so wish you will be here this weekend. We are going to have a serious meeting
me: We seem lost in the scheme of things
12:59 PM Chinedu: That’s what it seems. But that’s not what it is.
me: Hmmmm
1:00 PM Chinedu: We need serious deliberations.
me: I can atleast make the meeting known to my followers
1:01 PM Chinedu: Please don’t. The meeting is going to be sensitive. We should only meet with the leaders
me: Okay .. I can always find solace in your words
About the merger and where we stand..
Point noted
Chinedu: One. There merger has worked. But will they seek votes of ‘non-stakeholders’ to pick a candidate? I doubt
me: Will jenniepete be among ?
1:02 PM True
Chinedu: 2. They may not likely seek the views of the the ‘normal youths’. I see them imposing their candidates again.
1:03 PM Here’s where we become relevant, and powerful
20 Million Youths will be courted by the 2 parties
1:04 PM me: It has become a headache.. Thinking of the political calculations and all
Chinedu: But wait…are we even alive? Who are 20millionyouths? What’s their population? Where is their presence?
We can’t answer those questions now.
We need to first live, before becoming relevant.
me: Okay
Chinedu: How do we live?
1:05 PM We need commitment
We need physical presence
We need dedicated staff
How do we do all these? We need money
How much do we need?
1:06 PM Millions
20, 30, 40
or even more
How do we get it?
from the same poor youths?
Is it possible?
How much can we tax ourselves?
1:07 PM So how do we live? We need money to live.
The puzzle, therefore, is how we can live.
1:08 PM me: True
Chinedu: That’s the challenge. And that’s the puzzle that meeting must solve
1:09 PM me: Okay.. I will be here
1:10 PM If the meeting reaches a conclusion.. I am with it
I think that’s how I can be relevant from here
1:11 PM If need be that we contribute.. I am game
Chinedu: The contribution is a huge challenge, because the amount involved is huge, and honestly, many of us can’t.
7 minutes
1:19 PM me: Hmmm
Nedu.. Let the meeting go on first
Chinedu: We need funding. And we need those who really are comfortable – financially – to help us out. But how many Nigerian millionaires aren’t politicians? Our second challenge is to get the real patriots who aren’t politicians, but are willing to fund us.
1:20 PM We’ll need to think outside the box
1:21 PM me: Okay
1:22 PM Chinedu: Yeah
But we’ll tell you the outcome of the meeting
We are treading the same path, those before us did. The path that
has kept us in bondage of under development, the oath that has kept
us under bondage of a few despite vast human resources. We as
youths, as a people have refused to ask our leaders and aspiring leaders
questions, we have refused to demand accountability. We are ready
to follow the same group of people who have made our country what
it is today through embezzlement of our resources, corruption and
unaccountability just because they have changed “clothing”.
I am not a cynic, I am not a pessimist. I believe in the miracle of
humanity to pull through the hardest circumstances, i believe people
can change, but I also believe in asking questions. I also know that
great nations of this world did not become great by maintaining the
status quo, they desired change and they demanded it and got it. My
dear friends, do not allow yourselves be used as a weapon to further
sink our country. If we are to behind anyone and support them, let it
be that they have gone through the fire of leadership and have been
pronounced worthy and ready to move our nation to its rightful place.
We should not vote out a group of thieves and vote in another bunch of
pretentious thieves.
I believe in the youths of our great Nation, Nigeria, I believe Nigeria will
rise again. But we have to step out of our comfort zone into the realm
of the unknown and get our freedom.
Long live Nigeria.
Osita Duru

Saturday, 23 February 2013

LEADING TOMMOROW | A Dissertation for Students – by Ayo Sogunro

LEADING TOMMOROW | A Dissertation for Students

Perhaps, you must have asked yourself this question a number of times, “what the hell am I doing in school?” Don’t be ashamed if you have no answer—getting an education in Nigeria is frustrating enough to create a situation that seems aimless. On the other hand, maybe your life philosophies are well defined, and you have the immediate answer to the question: to obtain a nice 2-1 academic class, graduate with a degree, and live happily ever after. Along the way and afterwards, you plan to pick up friends, connections, a spouse or spouses, a nice job, save a lot of money, pay your religious dues, die peacefully and go to heaven.
If that’s your ready answer, splendid! It’s quite a nice picture, except—except that a lot of things could go wrong. Your lecturers may victimise you and prevent you from getting that degree, you might find later on that your friends were there only for the fair weather, the job market may have undergone an economic depression, and your connections may have so many people dependent on their favours that you’ll get dizzy trying to figure out who knows whom. You might get frustrated and desperate; you may turn to the life of sin you didn’t plan for, and die in disgrace or through a cruel death and just possibly miss out on the heaven you’ve been counting on as a last resort.
I’m afraid I’ve painted a very gruesome picture in the preceding paragraph, but only the very unrealistic person will deny that these things do happen. The wretched rarely start out with the goal of living that way. Of course, you may be lucky—or divinely favoured, if you prefer—and have it smooth all the way, and then you may not. If you are not so lucky—it’s largely not your fault, it’s part of the social construct within which we live and operate.
I know a lot of lazy ne’er-do-wells mouth this same excuse of “it’s the system” daily, but such obvious interlopers aside, have you ever stopped to consider that there are quite a number of hardworking people who went to school just like you and who never “make it”, especially in this country?
More importantly, the economic philosophy of the governments we have had in Nigeria has made it quite difficult for the average citizen to achieve more than subsistence living: a day to day, hand to mouth, rumble and tumble sort of life. Therefore, you will have to find a good job or business by yourself—and depend on friends and relatives before you get that, build your own house by yourself—or live in a rented accommodation, or with family and friends before then,  and take care of yourself after you retire irrespective of whether you’re capable of working or not.
Now, don’t be mistaken: this is not a plea for socialism or communism, I believe in capitalism, as regulated by reasonable human interaction. And reason argues that no matter how free a market system is, where the basic elements of trade become so scarce, or resides in the hands of a few, the market is bound to become an oligarchy. Let us diverge a little here and venture into economics.
Assume, for example, that air has to be commercialised; it is apparent that, before long, in a free market, some people would accumulate a larger portion of air than others. You can’t blame these wealthier ones: after all they used their productive efforts to obtain that volume of air. On the other hand, if some people, feeling a tad smarter, stole this air in order to resell it, or even some more others decided not to sell it freely at market prices, but to hoard it despite people dying, so they would sell it at the maximum price possible, then you can imagine further that, very soon the market would begin to die and, at the end of the day, other activities which required air for efficient operation will also fail and be destroyed.
Just like fuel.
You’re a student, but you don’t need to be a professor to relate my analogy to our social construct.
You have witnessed this scenario at least once: the federal government increases the price of fuel, there is an initial commotion, but soon the citizenry accepts the new regime and things go on just as before. This reaction from the populace inspires the government to continue its performance. And the cycle never ends.
You may not be schooled in the intricacies of oil and finance, and you should not be concerned about attacking every unfavourable government action—sometimes there will be issues on which the government is right in its policy decisions even though negative in immediate effect. What you should be concerned with is the reaction of Nigerians in general and you, a student, in particular.
Nigerians are too accepting, too accommodating and too adaptive. But you have the power to change that.  Even if you can’t be revolutionary, you should not be a passive reactionary. In the ordinary course of a government–people relationship, some passive behaviour is necessary for the smooth running of society, but when a government has displayed a continues system of taking the people’s tolerance for granted, then the people are required to look out for themselves.
Now, section 14 of the Nigerian Constitution, which is still the supreme law of the country, regards the ultimate decision makers (sovereignty, is the word) as “the people”, the citizens themselves. That’s right. When it comes to final decision making, the people as a whole have the last word. In Nigeria, as well as most countries, the people are generally: the elderly, the working class, the students, and the young.
First, let us eliminate the elderly and the young from the categories of active people, leaving us with the working class and the students (“students” in this context refers to the students of tertiary institutions). These two remnant groups often overlap but are both still distinct.
Now, generally, once a person has joined the working class, the social construct forces he or she to be a pragmatist. Pragmatism, in the Nigerian setting, simply means, doing what you can to guarantee food on your table for as long as possible. The average working class person is keen to find ways of buttering his or her bread—on all sides if possible, and except he or she is an idealist—generally considered a fool, all the slogans and cries that were chanted as a youth are forgotten, he or she joins the rat race and that’s the end of the revolutionary story.
So, we can safely dismiss the working class from the group of people who will be responsible for changing society. We are left with the youths—the students who are at the stage where they can accommodate burning ideals without the worry of a family or the burdens of employment. You students, ultimately, bear the responsibility of directing the course of change in this country.
Let’s see what history has to say on this.
In May 4, 1919, about 3,000 students from universities in the Beijing area demonstrated in Tiananmen Square to protest against a certain treaty, the students marched on government offices and clashed with the police. In an age without twitter or Facebook, the news of the student protests spread out and inspired boycotts by traders and workers’ strikes. With the students and workers already in protest, the intellectuals were able to get into the action and proposed ways to stimulate Chinese nationalism, modernize Chinese culture, and strengthen the Chinese nation against Japanese and Western imperialism. This protest led to the new wave of Chinese nationalism that has affected its politics, women’s rights, literature and economics—and led to the formation of the Chinese Communist party and has emerged in China’s dominant role today.
In France, 1968, a lapse in the French educational system caused disquiet among students. Eventually, the Sociology students at Nanterre University near Paris occupied the campus, resulting in the closure of the university. With the closure of the university, the students’ and teachers’ unions called for a general strike and 9 million workers responded ultimately resulting in the government meeting the demands of the students.
Of course, you may have heard of the anti-war protests in the United States. In the 1970’s student demonstrations against the involvement of US troops in the Vietnam War were common in the campuses of many American universities and colleges. At one of such protests, in Kent State University, the National Guardsmen fired into a crowd of students, killing four people and injuring nine. This incident triggered a nationwide student revolt. By 1971, there was widespread unrest in public schools across the country—the effects of these led to the end of the war and President Nixon’s eventual resignation from office.
A caution, however: violence has rarely been a solution to any problem. It may sweep the problem under the carpet, but the problem is still there. Violence should never be initiated. In most cases, however, violence is initiated by the government—at that point, the citizens have a civic right to retaliate against their oppressors.
From the above examples, it is clear that at one time or the other, nations have found themselves facing an existential crisis, and it was the relentlessness of students that resolved the situation. I have shown you three examples: from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. You, a Nigerian, can set a trend for Africa.
It is possible you have protested against your vice-chancellor or rector against certain wrongs, but the vice-chancellor is not your problem, neither is the president of the country. Both the vice-chancellor and the president are as much victims of the social construct as the next person. The problem is the system and the problems it breeds, and it is this system that needs to be changed, the entire social structure, from the very roots. And this can be done legally too.
The senators and representatives may be hardworking, but we haven’t tasked them enough. In fact they spend far too much time pushing themselves out of office—when we could do the job for them. You as a student have a better chance of monitoring the affairs of the legislature much more than the ordinary worker, you students can organise and execute the house-to-house collection of signatures required for the purpose of recalling an elected representative.
You complain that legislators rarely visit their constituencies, but they would respond fast to your when notice of such a move by the electorate gets to them. Now, if this exercise was co-ordinated by the student body and was happening all over Nigeria, in all senatorial districts and constituencies, don’t you think any imaginable wish of the electorate will be met soon enough?
You may not be able to control the president directly, but when the seats of the legislators become too hot for them, they will do control the executive on our behalf, as they are supposed to.
There is more to say, but this is a time to act. Only you and your colleagues can prevent the present class of students from following the same pattern, graduating into the same working class and continuing the vicious system. When will you take action?
Ayo Sogunro can be found frequently acting as a student should and mounting barricades on Twitter. Join him via @ayosogunro.

CELEBRITY INTERVIEW: Lovers should engage in premarital sex – Nollywood star Temitope Osoba

Lovers should engage in premarital sex

Temitope Osoba isn’t just any rookie looking for the big score in Nollywood, she’s right in the middle of things and making things happen. Even though she would never agree she has arrived, she has done many Yoruba blockbusters to have her name written in gold.
Beautiful, sexy and ever-smiling, Temitope bedazzled the movie world as stripper in the late Bisi Komolafe’s strippers’ film “Igboro Ti Daru” and certainly got some tongues wagging about her. In this chat with Showtime, she opens up on variety of issues. Meet the ‘golden girl’ of Yoruba film:
Who is Temitope Osoba?
Temitope Osoba is a simple girl, an actress by profession. I was born and bred in Lagos. I graduated from Olabisi Onabanjo University with a BSc. degree in Business Education. I have been acting since 2005 and to date I have done, well, if I am not exaggerating, over 20 films and I am still counting.
How did you actually start acting?
My journey into acting was by accident or do I say by fate. It wasn’t a planned thing. I didn’t have any intention of acting, I was actually into dancing when the opportunity to act came knocking at my door.
I was lucky to be there when they were rehearsing for a Yoruba dance movie titled “Ijoya” when one of my friends called the attention of the director of the movie, Bayo Alawiye, to me saying; “ that’s the Tope Osoba I have been telling you about” and they said okay let’s see what she could do. I was given the script and that was it. I played a supporting role to the producer of the movie, Laide Bakare who played the lead role.
In the movie, I was the jealous girl who was always beefing the lead character because she seemed to be getting all the attention even when I thought I was a better dancer than she was.
Someone once said doing music videos pay more than doing movies. Is that right?
I wouldn’t say that but while I was a dancer I was appreciated for what I was doing and now that I am in acting I am being appreciated for that as well. Whoever said that might have a point  because doing music videos consumes less time and pay just as well as movies, depending on your part in the movie.
At least when I was dancing I made enough money to pay my way through school conveniently. Yeah, it was good but I would not go as far as saying it pays more than movies. In movies you can get a huge pay-off that makes all the difference. Moreover, nothing compares and pays more than producing your own films. Through that you make much more money. And definitely, people appreciate actors more than dancers.
Now Temitope Osoba is a known figure in Nollywood. What were the challenges like trying to rise to stardom as an upcoming actress?
So many; the first is getting noticed as an upcoming act. In the industry there are so many talents lining up there and they not given a chance, so it takes the grace of God and something extra in you to get noticed and be called for jobs.
Secondly, moving from one location to another isn’t easy. Sometimes you are on location for days doing nothing and have to wait for your turn to be called on set. Then, you have to build a profile as a dependable actress to get called upon from time to time for roles.
In a nutshell, I think the beginning is the hardest part. Once you have started and have created an impression the rest isn’t so difficult. For me, I was lucky. I didn’t even go looking to start acting it fell on my laps on a platter of gold but then it’s my passion and talent that keeps me going.
Which movie would you say gave you your break?
First of all, I must say I have not had my break yet. I am about to, very soon. I can feel it on the way. But that is not to say I haven’t done a lot of lovely films that have pushed me out there to be known. “Oogun Mi” was my first major film and I guess it was from there people began to know there is an actress called Tope Osoba. It was produced by Dayo Amusa. Then “Gucci Girls” by Mercy Aigbe also launched into limelight and “Igboro Ti Daru”, produced by Late Bisi Komolafe,  was the icing on the cake. And there are still a couple more
Yes, “Igboro Ti Daru”, you played the role of a stripper. Wasn’t that a bit on the raw side?
Common, it wasn’t raw. We were supposed to be strippers and we didn’t even strip. I played the part of the girl who was dating the Senator. The film was produced by Late Bisi Komolafe and I was her friend in the movie. As far as I am concern that movie wasn’t raw I was comfortable with the script.
Okay, maybe you didn’t actually strip but there was enough striptease in the package?
Well, I was only doing my job. We didn’t reveal vital parts of our body. Maybe we wore some sexy dresses, that was all. Hey! That isn’t raw, it just playing the part.
But there were enough flashes of the cleavage, the laps and even your backsides weren’t so covered, so to say?
I don’t know what you are talking about. Every day we see ladies wearing dresses that reveal their cleavage and shorts that reveal their laps. You wouldn’t call them strippers, would you? About the backsides, you are on your own because I don’t see where we revealed anything of sort.
See, the film wasn’t about showcasing the life of strippers, the message in it is to teach girls not to live wayward lives and that’s what we did in the film. You would see all the girls who lived waywardly ended up bad.
How many movies did you do in 2012?
Oh, I can’t really put a figure to it. 2012 wasn’t a bad year, I think I had my share of good jobs. I think I did about 5 or 6 movies. Don’t forget I am still an upcoming actress. I am not there yet but I know I am on my way. Presently, I have jobs lined up. It seems 2013 is going to be a good year too.
What were your parents reaction when you picked acting as a career?
My parents are late, I was raised by my grandparents. When I picked up dancing I saw no negative reaction and didn’t see any either when I picked up acting. I can say they have been supportive, knowing this is what I have always wanted to do and I enjoy doing it.
Have you ever encounter the issue of sexual harassment or the case of sex for role?
Never. I have never encounter such a thing I only hear of it but never seen it happened. See, the question is when you offer yourself for a role; how many times would you want to do that? How many directors and producers are you willing to sleep with? It’s a bad thing. Those who do it never get any respect in the industry.
Even though you think people don’t know, those you have been with definitely know what goes around and what goes around comes around.
What’s your idea of sex generally. Some believe it should be for married couple alone?
I think sex is meant to be enjoyed by two people who have serious feeling for each other. Sex is good, it is there for two lovers to enjoy themselves and share the secrets of their hearts.
On whether one should engage in premarital sex or not, I would say, yes. Premarital sex is okay as long as it is a safe sex. Our society allows  it. These days, you can hardly keep a relationship going without sex
I once saw a picture of you and Desmond Elliot, as your Black Berry ‘Display Picture’  in a rather snuggling position. Is there something between the two of you?
Nothing between us O. It was his birthday, I only used that picture as my ‘Display Picture’ to congratulate him on his birthday. That picture was taken the first time I met him on a movie location and I was so happy seeing him. You know, he is a great actor and I felt it was a privilege to meet him so I hugged him and snapped with him.
Would you say you are friends?
Yeah. He is a good friend. We don’t talk regularly but we talk once in a while. He is really someone I admire. I admire his talents and achievements.
Have you ever dated anyone in the industry?
(laughing): No, I haven’t
Because I haven’t seen any need for it.
Must there be a need before you date somebody?
Exactly. If there’s any need maybe I would have done so but so far I have no need to do that. After all, I am in a relationship that is working just fine. So there won’t be any need for that.
So, what attracted you to your man?
I guess it was a natural and mutual attraction between us. We have been together now for 3 years. By the grace of God we hope to go all the way very soon.
What was your first love like, the first time you fell in love?
Well, my first love was way back in school. I was a little girl and I think it was much of a childish thing. Seriously, I can’t remember the details. It’s been so long ago.
What about heartbreak. Have you ever been heartbroken over a relationship before?
Well, every girl must have had their hearts broken once or twice before. Yes, I have been heartbroken  and I must tell you it wasn’t a nice feeling. It was as if the world stopped moving but life has a way of healing everything. Even when you don’t want the pain to go away life has a way of making it all okay again.
Are you a jealous person?
Every woman is jealous but to different degrees. Mine is mild not a wild kind of jealousy
What if  you catch your present man in bed with another woman?
(laughing): I won’t do or say anything. I will just walk away. Of course, that will be the end of the relationship,no woman wants to share her man  with anyone. I am a woman with feelings. Yes, I am a jealous person.
Most of your colleagues are getting married to married men, would you?
I have never considered doing that. Those who have done so have their own reasons for doing so. As for me, I can’t see myself doing that. I hate polygamy. It’s not a good thing. I can’t marry another woman’s man, it is like marrying another woman’s man, I can’t do that and I wouldn’t want it done to me  too.
What do you first consider before taking up a role?
First of all, the producer. Then the director and the people I am going to be working with. The next thing is the script. I need to understand the story very well to know I can be comfortable with the role and my character.
Which of the movies you featured posed the biggest challenge to you as an actress?
I will pick “Oogun Mi”, it was done in 2009. It was my first major role. Before 2009 I have done many jobs but they were nothing compared to “Oogun Mi” where I took the lead role for the first time in my career.
When I got the script, I was like “my God what was I going to do”. Playing the lead role in a movie that has top stars like Sikiratu Sindodo, Ronke Odusanya, Iyabo Ojo, Kemi Afolabi, Dayo Amusa and others was a big pill for me to swallow but thank God I pulled through.
You have acted as a stripper before. Does that mean you can do a sex scene?
Of course, that is just make-believe, it is not like you are actually going to be having sex on set. I don’t know of pornography but in real movies there is never anything like actual sex taking place on set
Have you ever missed your line on set?
Yes, I have. Nobody is perfect. It is an annoying situation and  you feel so terrible with yourself. Sometimes with the top celebrities you feel you are not good enough especially, when you see them going on without as much as any interruptions. Meanwhile, everybody makes that mistake, it is all part of the trade.
Why do you have tattoos all over your body?
(smiles): I don’t have tattoos all over my body, they  are just on my arm, my leg, my neck and my back.
Do they mean anything to you or they are just fashion?
Certainly, they mean something to me and I have had them before I even start acting. On my arm is a ‘Healing Cross’. My leg has a ‘Sun goddess’ and it represents brightness in my life. On my neck I have ‘Stars’ and  on my back I have my late mum’s name. I have them because I like tattoos.
Are you in any way related to former Governor Segun Osoba of Ogun State?
Yes, I am related to the former Governor through my paternal grandfather.
What is sexy about you?
(smiling):The whole of me is sexy. I have a sexy body. I can’t say this is the sexiest part of me, the whole of me is sexy
Who are the people you admire in the industry
I admire a lot of people but if I am going to mention just a few I will mention Ayo Adesanya, she has been a great sister and a big inspiration. I will also mention Bimbo Oshin, she’s wonderful to me too. Then Yomi Fash Lanso and so many others I cannot mention here.