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Showing posts with label Obafemi Awolowo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obafemi Awolowo. Show all posts

Critic disagrees with writer on Buhari status as a progressive

Critic disagrees with writer on Buhari status as a progressive

...As President’s aide presents book on political cases

Muhammadu Buhari
Fiery critic and historian, Dr. Umar Ado has painted a stark picture of disagreement with presidential aide, Sylvester Imhanobe’s description of his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari of belonging to the progressive hue of in Nigeria’s political history.

He also carpeted the author for his classification of Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the 1992 presidential election under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as progressives.

Dr. Ado who was the reviewer of the book titled, ‘Long Walk of the Progressives in Nigeria: Political Cases in Perspective’ criticized the author who is the Special Assistant to the President on Research and Special Projects, Mr. Sylvester Imhanobe at the official presentation of the book on Tuesday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.



The former governorship aspirant in Adamawa state said he was hard pressed to accept any of the three, President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief MKO Abiola listed by the author as progressives even going by the author’s explanation. He has their photograph on the book’s cover.

“In the same vein, based on the definition of the author, President Buhari himself cannot be said to qualify as a progressive any more than President Ibrahim Babagida.

In the first place, the military coup that brought Buhari to power in 1983 is generally viewed in the academic cycle as a revisionist coup; meaning that it was carried out by the conservative wing of the military to save the status quo that was threatened by the failing civilian (Shehu) Shagari administration.”

The historian affirmed that, “secondly, during the course of the regime, no outstanding welfarist policies such as free and compulsory education or healthcare programme or increase in wages and labour rights were undertaken.”

Ado also reasoned that when Buhari became a democrat, he first contested the presidential election under a viewed conservative party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, with ex-President Shehu Shagari’s political adviser, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as his running mate.

“Although Buhari has subsequently contested twice under political parties with ‘progressive’ appellates, this by itself hardly made him a progressive. Granted his current party carries progressive title, but it is so composed of all sorts of critical members that the meaning of ‘progressive’ seems to be lost.

The simple trust is that Buhari was and is still viewed as a man of personal and professional integrity with mass public support, but this does not equally qualify him as a progressive”, the critic summed up.

He also explained that Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s first political party, the Action Group which metamorphosed into the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Second Republic, was an offshoot of his ethno-cultural organisation, Egbe Omo Oduduwa, stressing that this influenced two political developments of grave consequences that subsequently shaped Nigeria’s national politics.

According to him, “In like manner, I cannot in all honesty also accept Chief Abiola as progressive any more than say Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s president of the 2nd Republic. In the first place, Abiola was a member and the major financier of the then governing National Party of Nigeria, and had wanted to be its presidential flag-bearer.

Having later contested and won the presidential election of June 12th, 1993 Abiola would have most likely remained within his former ‘NPN conservative fold’ had his election not be annulled. The annulment of the election and his struggle to reverse it cannot thus translate him from his conservative background into a progressive”, Ado affirmed.

In his goodwill remark at the occasion, former governor of Edo state, Professor Osarhiemen Osunbor said the book contains lessons for current and future generations of politicians to appreciate the ideals which should propel people to serve in political offices.

He stated that it is sad that to many, politics is an avenue for self enrichment with only incidental or pretentious regards for the common good, adding that politics should be about service to the people and how to ensure their welfare and security as well as to enhance their quality of life.

“A true progressive must eschew corruption and other negative tendencies that have held us down as a nation, such as anti-democratic tendencies, ethnic and religious intolerance, cynicism and lack of patriotism”, he hinted.
...As President’s aide presents book on political cases

Muhammadu Buhari
Fiery critic and historian, Dr. Umar Ado has painted a stark picture of disagreement with presidential aide, Sylvester Imhanobe’s description of his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari of belonging to the progressive hue of in Nigeria’s political history.

He also carpeted the author for his classification of Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the 1992 presidential election under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as progressives.

Dr. Ado who was the reviewer of the book titled, ‘Long Walk of the Progressives in Nigeria: Political Cases in Perspective’ criticized the author who is the Special Assistant to the President on Research and Special Projects, Mr. Sylvester Imhanobe at the official presentation of the book on Tuesday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.



The former governorship aspirant in Adamawa state said he was hard pressed to accept any of the three, President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief MKO Abiola listed by the author as progressives even going by the author’s explanation. He has their photograph on the book’s cover.

“In the same vein, based on the definition of the author, President Buhari himself cannot be said to qualify as a progressive any more than President Ibrahim Babagida.

In the first place, the military coup that brought Buhari to power in 1983 is generally viewed in the academic cycle as a revisionist coup; meaning that it was carried out by the conservative wing of the military to save the status quo that was threatened by the failing civilian (Shehu) Shagari administration.”

The historian affirmed that, “secondly, during the course of the regime, no outstanding welfarist policies such as free and compulsory education or healthcare programme or increase in wages and labour rights were undertaken.”

Ado also reasoned that when Buhari became a democrat, he first contested the presidential election under a viewed conservative party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, with ex-President Shehu Shagari’s political adviser, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as his running mate.

“Although Buhari has subsequently contested twice under political parties with ‘progressive’ appellates, this by itself hardly made him a progressive. Granted his current party carries progressive title, but it is so composed of all sorts of critical members that the meaning of ‘progressive’ seems to be lost.

The simple trust is that Buhari was and is still viewed as a man of personal and professional integrity with mass public support, but this does not equally qualify him as a progressive”, the critic summed up.

He also explained that Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s first political party, the Action Group which metamorphosed into the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Second Republic, was an offshoot of his ethno-cultural organisation, Egbe Omo Oduduwa, stressing that this influenced two political developments of grave consequences that subsequently shaped Nigeria’s national politics.

According to him, “In like manner, I cannot in all honesty also accept Chief Abiola as progressive any more than say Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s president of the 2nd Republic. In the first place, Abiola was a member and the major financier of the then governing National Party of Nigeria, and had wanted to be its presidential flag-bearer.

Having later contested and won the presidential election of June 12th, 1993 Abiola would have most likely remained within his former ‘NPN conservative fold’ had his election not be annulled. The annulment of the election and his struggle to reverse it cannot thus translate him from his conservative background into a progressive”, Ado affirmed.

In his goodwill remark at the occasion, former governor of Edo state, Professor Osarhiemen Osunbor said the book contains lessons for current and future generations of politicians to appreciate the ideals which should propel people to serve in political offices.

He stated that it is sad that to many, politics is an avenue for self enrichment with only incidental or pretentious regards for the common good, adding that politics should be about service to the people and how to ensure their welfare and security as well as to enhance their quality of life.

“A true progressive must eschew corruption and other negative tendencies that have held us down as a nation, such as anti-democratic tendencies, ethnic and religious intolerance, cynicism and lack of patriotism”, he hinted.

I Issued WAEC Certificate To Buhari - 86yrs Old WAEC Ex-Registrar Confirms

I Issued WAEC Certificate To Buhari - 86yrs Old WAEC Ex-Registrar Confirms


First graduate from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, and campaign director to the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo during the 1976 Presidential election, 86-year-old Alex Ajayi said he issued President Muhammadu Buhari, Sani Abacha and Ibrahim Babangida their WAEC certificates.


Speaking with the Punch, he recalled how his hard work as the Principal of Fiditi Grammar School, Oyo State, at age 26 in 1956, where he produced the first set of students in 1959, gave him a job in the West African Examinations Council.

He said, “With that level of achievements, I joined the West African Examination Council as a pioneer staff.


“I was the first substantive Nigerian Assistant Registrar. I took over the control of the examination from the University of Cambridge.

I took examiners to Cambridge for training across 10 years and trained them in Nigeria.

“I had the opportunity of issuing WAEC certificates to three former Heads of State: Buhari, Abacha and Babangida in the 60s.

“When I was in WAEC, I was put on the council of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1966 by the national government of Aguiyi Ironsi.


“I was put on three important committees. The vice-chancellor and others were interested that I became a full staff of the university which I was not really keen about.

“But I finally accepted out of pressure. When I was serving on the council of the University of Ife, I was among the three-member committee selected by Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the first chancellor,” he said.


First graduate from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, and campaign director to the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo during the 1976 Presidential election, 86-year-old Alex Ajayi said he issued President Muhammadu Buhari, Sani Abacha and Ibrahim Babangida their WAEC certificates.


Speaking with the Punch, he recalled how his hard work as the Principal of Fiditi Grammar School, Oyo State, at age 26 in 1956, where he produced the first set of students in 1959, gave him a job in the West African Examinations Council.

He said, “With that level of achievements, I joined the West African Examination Council as a pioneer staff.


“I was the first substantive Nigerian Assistant Registrar. I took over the control of the examination from the University of Cambridge.

I took examiners to Cambridge for training across 10 years and trained them in Nigeria.

“I had the opportunity of issuing WAEC certificates to three former Heads of State: Buhari, Abacha and Babangida in the 60s.

“When I was in WAEC, I was put on the council of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1966 by the national government of Aguiyi Ironsi.


“I was put on three important committees. The vice-chancellor and others were interested that I became a full staff of the university which I was not really keen about.

“But I finally accepted out of pressure. When I was serving on the council of the University of Ife, I was among the three-member committee selected by Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the first chancellor,” he said.

Who Says Buhari Is A Failure?, By Goke Butika

Who Says Buhari Is A Failure?, By Goke Butika

A friend and fan called and demanded my take on the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last one year. He wanted a candid view and provable data for or against his government in my piece.

However, he landed me with a caveat, that he knew that I have sympathy for the President, because I prefer his ascetic lifestyle and his unblemished integrity. So, he wanted me to divorce emotion from bare-it-all assessment. And I promised to say it the way I see it.

So, why I elected to write, the words of Oliver Cromwell, the once upon British warlord came to mind. He once commissioned an artist to paint his portrait, for there was no video or photograph then, and when the artist brought the "oil on the canvass" portrait, it was more strikingly beautiful  than the real person. Not wanting to be deceived, the General roared with decree laden tone, "this is not not me, where were the pimples and watts in my face-return to the drawing board, and paint my picture in exact form".

The instructive lesson there is, most of the commentators and writers were busy assessing President Buhari from the prism of ideal situation, leaving the details to suffer. Whereas, there is devil in the details. For me as a student of philosophy and mass communication, Buhari should be assessed from two spheres. We can begin the debate from a cup with half filled water; to determine whether the cup is half filled or half empty.

Not to be swimming in the water of ambiguities, I shall lay some indices that can be used for the quantities. 1. Economy 2. Corruption 3. Security 4. National integrity 5. Institutions of state 6. National thinking 7. Life expectancy. I would have love to roll out more, but space is not friendly. Now, let's work the Maths together.

On the state of economy, some opinion moulders and critical stakeholders coupled with ordinary people on the street have handed guilty verdict to Buhari, because to them, prices of food have hit the roof, job loss is commonplace, salaries of workers were not paid and the people are suffering. As beautiful as the arguments appear, anyone with deep insight would know that they are just symptoms of the systemic failure.

There was a time in this country when we heard nothing about oil boom, the administrators of each region came up with strategic planning which defined it. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo knew that agriculture was the credible source of revenue, and he invested in agric extension services, he formed cocoa produce board to encourage cocoa cash crop farmers on a better price regime, and got people to plant trees that would be a viable alternative to cocoa money, if the market reacted negatively. Ditto for wide net taxation which brought all adult to duty of paying tax. In return, schools, libraries, roads, towers, bridges and industries were created, and life abundance was achieved.

That was the state of the Western region, before the confederation arrangement was truncated in 1966 by the ambitious military guys. Along the line, the nation was delimited into states, and centralized at the centre with terrible decrees which gave all powers and resources to the federal government, while the states became appendages. Hence, "feeding bottle federalism"arrived.

Forget about the long history, begin the assessment of this democratic experiment in 1999, and interrogate issues on how this country has been governed since then. Shortly after the democracy was restored, the price of oil rose astronomically; there was plenty money to throw at the nation's challenges. Instead of embarking on strategic planning, President Obasanjo raised jumbo pay for the political office holders; politicians painted the country in red with cheap money; corruption was on its four as civil servants began to pad payroll to steal like politicians; the new money began to manifest as the nouveau riche began to import everything including toothpaste, and the fake lifestyle of proverbial rich country began to fly.

Late President Yar Adua wanted to correct the anomaly, he reversed some of the thoughtless policies, but terminal illness reversed his effort and handed the country to President Jonathan whose ineffectual buffoonery gave a country where corruption and impunity were elevated to state policies. The country earned more money, spent lavishly and when the reelection bid approached, the central bank, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and other revenue sources were offered to individuals to make the reelection of the President happen.

Individuals were carting away billions of naira and foreign currencies from the national vault of the Central bank for prayer and mobilization for election; signature bonuses in billions of dollars from oil wells were stolen for reelection purpose, and funds were stolen under the guise of security votes. Do we think, the theft of billions would not have consequences?

Having x-rayed the gravity of the state of the economy and corruption, you will agree with me that Buhari got a thumb up in the area of security, particular on the way he dealt a deadly blow to boko haram activities in the North East. Yes, you may have your reservations, but I know that with way the boko haram menace was before Buhari took over, the national integrity of the nation was on the line, and degrading the terrorists have earned Nigeria a respect. If that is not an achievement, I wonder what it is.

Of course, the issues of Niger Delta Avenger is burning, but it is obvious that the forces that were fleecing the nation at expense of the Niger Delta environmental challenges were unhappy with Buhari who wanted to institute a clean up and possibly restore life to the area instead of dashing national wealth to few individuals who had stolen so much that they could wage a war against the nation, and the only way to checkmate the man is to launch new violence in the area.  Let it be reminded that if Niger Delta Avenger is not crushed, then we do not have a nation, and I would not side with those who are calling on the president to pamper the criminals who called themselves avengers. So, Mr.  President is on point on the military option. Those criminals must be degraded like boko haram before any talk can be meaningful to them.

Yes, it would bring hunger and pains, because we have no other viable source of revenue, but I would rather submit that the avengers should continue to pollute the land for their people, while contending with the superior fire power of the nation military. They are nothing but terrorists, and by the time we are done having no oil to sell, people would think, create and innovate. After all, the richest man in the world is not dealing in oil, but technology.

On the issue of national integrity, Buhari has shown to the world that we are capable of governing ourselves, and it is not a mistake that he shone on the international stage. For the state of our institutions, it is zero for now, but that is not a recent failure, it is systemic too, and the way the budget is handled suggested that corruption was the unwritten rule in our institutions. However, with Buhari on the saddle, the music appears to be changing. National assembly, civil service and agencies can bear witness to that now, and I think it is a moving train.

Oh, things are hard now, and life expectancy seems to have dropped, but the dialectics of development dictates that there would be thesis before we have antithesis. We had great country abinitio, now the country is rotten, and surely with perseverance, there is going to be a new day called synthesis. A yam tuber gets rotten before it brings out new life for another fresh and bigger tuber.

The change Buhari promised is here. The national thinking is different now. When was the last time u heard that a Permanent Secretary traveled to Dubai to celebrate marriage of his daughter? Who among the minister is boasting with private jet now? Why are the yesterday' big men are begging for their lives in detention for sharing of national wealth? Who is looking for corners to cut now, when people like Omotseye are being sentenced into prison? Who wants to be a guest of EFCC now? Why are the bankers returning loots to the government? The answers are known to us.

Of course, Buhari has his shortcomings, but he did not promise to make things happen like magician, and it will be unfair to pass the judgment on the man who has chosen to correct the ills of the past in 12 months.

Butikakuro is an intercontinental journalist.
A friend and fan called and demanded my take on the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last one year. He wanted a candid view and provable data for or against his government in my piece.

However, he landed me with a caveat, that he knew that I have sympathy for the President, because I prefer his ascetic lifestyle and his unblemished integrity. So, he wanted me to divorce emotion from bare-it-all assessment. And I promised to say it the way I see it.

So, why I elected to write, the words of Oliver Cromwell, the once upon British warlord came to mind. He once commissioned an artist to paint his portrait, for there was no video or photograph then, and when the artist brought the "oil on the canvass" portrait, it was more strikingly beautiful  than the real person. Not wanting to be deceived, the General roared with decree laden tone, "this is not not me, where were the pimples and watts in my face-return to the drawing board, and paint my picture in exact form".

The instructive lesson there is, most of the commentators and writers were busy assessing President Buhari from the prism of ideal situation, leaving the details to suffer. Whereas, there is devil in the details. For me as a student of philosophy and mass communication, Buhari should be assessed from two spheres. We can begin the debate from a cup with half filled water; to determine whether the cup is half filled or half empty.

Not to be swimming in the water of ambiguities, I shall lay some indices that can be used for the quantities. 1. Economy 2. Corruption 3. Security 4. National integrity 5. Institutions of state 6. National thinking 7. Life expectancy. I would have love to roll out more, but space is not friendly. Now, let's work the Maths together.

On the state of economy, some opinion moulders and critical stakeholders coupled with ordinary people on the street have handed guilty verdict to Buhari, because to them, prices of food have hit the roof, job loss is commonplace, salaries of workers were not paid and the people are suffering. As beautiful as the arguments appear, anyone with deep insight would know that they are just symptoms of the systemic failure.

There was a time in this country when we heard nothing about oil boom, the administrators of each region came up with strategic planning which defined it. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo knew that agriculture was the credible source of revenue, and he invested in agric extension services, he formed cocoa produce board to encourage cocoa cash crop farmers on a better price regime, and got people to plant trees that would be a viable alternative to cocoa money, if the market reacted negatively. Ditto for wide net taxation which brought all adult to duty of paying tax. In return, schools, libraries, roads, towers, bridges and industries were created, and life abundance was achieved.

That was the state of the Western region, before the confederation arrangement was truncated in 1966 by the ambitious military guys. Along the line, the nation was delimited into states, and centralized at the centre with terrible decrees which gave all powers and resources to the federal government, while the states became appendages. Hence, "feeding bottle federalism"arrived.

Forget about the long history, begin the assessment of this democratic experiment in 1999, and interrogate issues on how this country has been governed since then. Shortly after the democracy was restored, the price of oil rose astronomically; there was plenty money to throw at the nation's challenges. Instead of embarking on strategic planning, President Obasanjo raised jumbo pay for the political office holders; politicians painted the country in red with cheap money; corruption was on its four as civil servants began to pad payroll to steal like politicians; the new money began to manifest as the nouveau riche began to import everything including toothpaste, and the fake lifestyle of proverbial rich country began to fly.

Late President Yar Adua wanted to correct the anomaly, he reversed some of the thoughtless policies, but terminal illness reversed his effort and handed the country to President Jonathan whose ineffectual buffoonery gave a country where corruption and impunity were elevated to state policies. The country earned more money, spent lavishly and when the reelection bid approached, the central bank, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and other revenue sources were offered to individuals to make the reelection of the President happen.

Individuals were carting away billions of naira and foreign currencies from the national vault of the Central bank for prayer and mobilization for election; signature bonuses in billions of dollars from oil wells were stolen for reelection purpose, and funds were stolen under the guise of security votes. Do we think, the theft of billions would not have consequences?

Having x-rayed the gravity of the state of the economy and corruption, you will agree with me that Buhari got a thumb up in the area of security, particular on the way he dealt a deadly blow to boko haram activities in the North East. Yes, you may have your reservations, but I know that with way the boko haram menace was before Buhari took over, the national integrity of the nation was on the line, and degrading the terrorists have earned Nigeria a respect. If that is not an achievement, I wonder what it is.

Of course, the issues of Niger Delta Avenger is burning, but it is obvious that the forces that were fleecing the nation at expense of the Niger Delta environmental challenges were unhappy with Buhari who wanted to institute a clean up and possibly restore life to the area instead of dashing national wealth to few individuals who had stolen so much that they could wage a war against the nation, and the only way to checkmate the man is to launch new violence in the area.  Let it be reminded that if Niger Delta Avenger is not crushed, then we do not have a nation, and I would not side with those who are calling on the president to pamper the criminals who called themselves avengers. So, Mr.  President is on point on the military option. Those criminals must be degraded like boko haram before any talk can be meaningful to them.

Yes, it would bring hunger and pains, because we have no other viable source of revenue, but I would rather submit that the avengers should continue to pollute the land for their people, while contending with the superior fire power of the nation military. They are nothing but terrorists, and by the time we are done having no oil to sell, people would think, create and innovate. After all, the richest man in the world is not dealing in oil, but technology.

On the issue of national integrity, Buhari has shown to the world that we are capable of governing ourselves, and it is not a mistake that he shone on the international stage. For the state of our institutions, it is zero for now, but that is not a recent failure, it is systemic too, and the way the budget is handled suggested that corruption was the unwritten rule in our institutions. However, with Buhari on the saddle, the music appears to be changing. National assembly, civil service and agencies can bear witness to that now, and I think it is a moving train.

Oh, things are hard now, and life expectancy seems to have dropped, but the dialectics of development dictates that there would be thesis before we have antithesis. We had great country abinitio, now the country is rotten, and surely with perseverance, there is going to be a new day called synthesis. A yam tuber gets rotten before it brings out new life for another fresh and bigger tuber.

The change Buhari promised is here. The national thinking is different now. When was the last time u heard that a Permanent Secretary traveled to Dubai to celebrate marriage of his daughter? Who among the minister is boasting with private jet now? Why are the yesterday' big men are begging for their lives in detention for sharing of national wealth? Who is looking for corners to cut now, when people like Omotseye are being sentenced into prison? Who wants to be a guest of EFCC now? Why are the bankers returning loots to the government? The answers are known to us.

Of course, Buhari has his shortcomings, but he did not promise to make things happen like magician, and it will be unfair to pass the judgment on the man who has chosen to correct the ills of the past in 12 months.

Butikakuro is an intercontinental journalist.

It Takes Two To Tangle, By Najeem Salaam

It Takes Two To Tangle, By Najeem Salaam

I am bothered just as you are about the state of our nation. Fuel scarcity has shut down our nation, threatened freedom of movement, and the crisis of forex has taken away our purchasing power, while the conflict of perception between the rich and the poor appears wider. Obviously, any creative writer would be tempted to adopt China Achebe's popular cliche~ that, "falcon can no longer hear falconer, things fall apart, because the centre cannot hold"

However, must we just look at the issues at hand from surface and pass the judgment on the drivers of our nation's economy? Is it necessary to trace our steps via historiography with a view to knowing where we got it wrong as a nation? Do we really need magic that will resolve our concerns overnight or must we endure the pain of the new order? Shall we proceed with the old order of ad hoc processes in fixing things, or we begin to fix enduring institutions? These are the questions men of power must share with us as a people.

In my days at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, as an undergraduate of Political Science, I was made to borrow courses from other disciplines. I was wondering then why the management elected to trouble us with "distractions" instead of allowing us to face and battle our departmental task alone, but the import of that management style later dawned on me that it was designed to have a well rounded complete person after school.

One department that offers me some courses of interest is Philosophy department, where I have faint idea about the thinking process in the state of affairs, the conflict of opinions and varieties of fallacies. Why my discipline as empirical science describes and prescribes how our society could be organized and governed, philosophy offers theories for the configuration of the superstructure of each society. So, do not be surprised if I delve into some theories to justify the present state of nation as I intend to do in this piece.

Different opinions about issues have unveiled five categories of the people in the system: 1. Oppressors, 11. Oppressed, 111. Ignoramuses, iv. Floaters, v. Religionists. How do I reach the categorization? I must confess that it was not obtained from any theory, but through my deductions of the people who are ventilating their views on one thing or the other.

As touching the oppressor, I mean  Nigeria as a country was pulled down from a promising status by very few individuals who had placed their personal interest above national interest. These were the individuals  who benefitted from the system on qualitative education, healthcare of best quality, organized society and organized institutions, but when it got to their turn to give back to the society, they demolished the ladders they used and reduced the system to nothing.

In that class, the military leaders who strayed into politics got a seat, because their incursion into politics brought new breed of greedy politicians who were once described as "militicians" whose stock in trade was stealing spree. Yes, we all read about Tafawa Balewa, the first Nigerian Prime Minister and how he lived ascetic life; we learnt about how Chief Obafemi Awolowo built the Western region and made it envy of the West, and the struggle of others for a better nation.

I am made to understand that the zeal of those people who labored for our independence from the imperialist rule was what defined our thinking then. Our fathers were paying taxes, companies were responsible, institutions were not corrupt, people were not greedy, the elite loved their countries and the poor were busy in the farm, providing subsistence and commercial produce;  people were secured and cultures were thriving. But, the military, whose intervention was premised on correcting the then entrenched corruption ended up institutionalizing corruption.

It is a pity that those who put Nigeria in this sorry state are the ones who expunged  history as a subject from our schools' curriculum so that their horrible acts would not be documented for the future, but because we have always been  having complacent oppressed class, nothing much is heard of that.

So, let it be known that the same people who misgoverned the country are still holding the economic rein long after they had cleverly stepped aside from power, because to them, economic power is stronger than political power, and here we are today.

For those who are following South African history, the majority black chased the minority white who ruled with iron hand out of power, but today, the vast economic rein of the South Africa is still with the white. This allegory of apartheid speaks to the fact that the class of oppressors know how to calibrate  the nation if they elect to, just the way we are experiencing it in Nigeria. So, our people should be cautious about literature they read, and which side of the media they pay attention to, because the class of oppressors is elitist, and they control our superstructure which shape our thinking, our perception and belief system.

Having lamented the horrified act of oppressors, I think we should examine what happen to the oppressed. Right from the creationist account, the nations of the world irrespective of culture or tradition, have been segmented into the class of haves and haves-not. So, the have-not have always been regarded as the oppressed class, a situation that made African leaders of the past laid emphasis on humanism and socialism as the political tradition of Africa. Though, only Zambia under Kenneth Kaunda declared humanism as political direction in the 60s, the likes of Kwame  Nkrumah, Sekuo Tuore, Obafemi Awolowo, Julius Nyerere, Nnamdi Azikwe and others canvassed socialism of African value, and the reason for their collective demand was to mobilize an active masses, but what do we have today?

I recalled that in my early days as a child, my foster mother who happens to be my aunt would ring it to my hearing on daily basis that, I should trust my hands only, which connotes hardwork, and that I need not to  hero-worship anyone if my hands chose not to deceive me. In fact, as a boy from a humble background, I was made to hate stealing like hell fire, because according to her: "eni ba jale lo ba omo je" meaning he who steals contaminates his human person.

I know for a fact then that people with questionable characters were not celebrated even if they had all the riches, but today, we have assimilated a new culture of celebrating thieves, robbers, oppressors and looters. It begins with election-no one wants to vote for a poor but principled politician, except the rich recommended by the lead oppressor in our area. So, the last time I checked, no politician was made to enter into covenant of good governance at all levels; what we want is quick cash. In that wise oppressors are socially constructed by the oppressed, which makes the two to tangle.

Where were the masses of Awolowo that were using their hard earned money to finance his party? Where were the 'talakawas' of Aminu Kano who wanted a poor but principled man to govern them? Where were the indomitable Nigerians who chased the military away from power? Could they be found today hailing politicians with criminal charges at various courts? Could be found today supporting a political office holder with false asset declaration? Could be found today giving a certified looter of public resources chieftaincy titles? Could they be found today watching looters of our collective patrimony storming our courts with hundreds of lawyers with silky wigs? The answers to these questions would definitely provoke our thoughts on the raging issues in the state of nation.

However, among the oppressed class, the ignoramuses are worse, because they are willing tools in the hands of those who manipulated their miserable lives. I read the story of Adegoke Adelabu, the maverick politician of Ibadan. He was so popularly among his people and loved by them, because he was so witty and gifted with oratorical power. It was learnt that while he reigned as a Federal Commissioner, equivalent of Minister now in the first Republic, he was asked by the opposition to account for how he procured a mercurial car said to be above his means, and instead of responding with fact, he reportedly took the car to Dugbe market in Ibadan, and asked his supporters to enter and feel the comfort, because according to the report, the money used to buy the car was theirs. There and then, the drummers and supporters who were poor and victims of the system burst into lyrics: "
"ma kowo wa na
  ma kowo wa na,
  igunnu loni tapa
  tapa loni igunnu,
  ma kowo wa na"
It translates, spend our money as you like, the igunnu masquerade belongs to Tapa tribe, and Tapa belongs to Igunnu masquerade.

So, what we are witnessing today in the political arena  does not start today, but for us to find a new lead, we have to start a new thinking, and I suggest we begin with the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, because we have a President who is not ready to release our collective resources to the privileged few perceived to be oppressors.

Of course, things are difficult at the moment, times are hard, cost of living is higher now and we are enduring skyrocketing inflation in our economy. Workers are struggling, artisans are gasping for breathe, the unemployed are suffocating, marketers are lamenting, our nation is on the precipice, but all great nations had passed through this road when great leaders emerged. I plead for more patience and understanding, but obviously the class of ignoramuses who think with their mouth would never hearken, because they feel more comfortable with ad hoc arrangement of the past; they would rather go back to Egypt instead of crossing the red sea.

The class of floaters are interesting. They belong to the oppressed class, but have no opinions, they are contended listening to anything, but I do not blame a person being controlled by his stomach, just that the level of reasoning would not go beyond eikasia stage described by Plato, an ancient Greek Philosopher as dream state, where a man would not be able to differentiate between shadow and reality.

The reality of today is that this country had been badly raped and plundered by the greedy leaders who were once flaunting private jets as achievement, but the floaters among us are listening more to the narrative of "rule of law" which seeks bail for billionaire looters, but long jail term for petty thieves. As for me, I want to see a more proactive bar and bench, not judiciary that defer to the rich, only to use its sword against the poor. And if President Buhari is making looters answerable for the past misdeeds, then I do not get a better narratives from the looters and their friendly media. Oh, we are the Justice Abiodun Kessingtons? Where are the Akinola Agudas, Kayode Eshos, Nikki Tobis?

The fifth one is the Religionists. I deliberately chose the name, so that we would not misconstrue the men of faith or typical religious faithful for religionists. Men of faith believe in God and the day mankind would stand before Him to account for what we do on earth. They live ascetic life, where luxury and waste are abhorred; they canvass for humanity for the sake of after life; they take us through metaphysical journey, but religionists are pretenders. They only took to religion, because they were stranded and stucked.

The religionists found partnership in the class of oppressors, they preach what they want to hear for them and justify the illicit acquisition of wealth of their paymasters. Unfortunately, the drunken sailors we had as leaders in the past succeeded in elevating the opportunist religionists to level of state actors, and that seals the fate of the poor masses in the hands of their oppressors. Where are the Bolanle Gbonigis? Where are the Imam Yayi Akoredes of Akure?

The long and short of my story is that we have to put up a new thinking as a nation, so that the masses can be active in the scheme of things, while the country under the leadership of President Buhari is undergoing a painful repair. Remember, it takes two to tangle.

SALAAM is the Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Osogbo.
I am bothered just as you are about the state of our nation. Fuel scarcity has shut down our nation, threatened freedom of movement, and the crisis of forex has taken away our purchasing power, while the conflict of perception between the rich and the poor appears wider. Obviously, any creative writer would be tempted to adopt China Achebe's popular cliche~ that, "falcon can no longer hear falconer, things fall apart, because the centre cannot hold"

However, must we just look at the issues at hand from surface and pass the judgment on the drivers of our nation's economy? Is it necessary to trace our steps via historiography with a view to knowing where we got it wrong as a nation? Do we really need magic that will resolve our concerns overnight or must we endure the pain of the new order? Shall we proceed with the old order of ad hoc processes in fixing things, or we begin to fix enduring institutions? These are the questions men of power must share with us as a people.

In my days at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, as an undergraduate of Political Science, I was made to borrow courses from other disciplines. I was wondering then why the management elected to trouble us with "distractions" instead of allowing us to face and battle our departmental task alone, but the import of that management style later dawned on me that it was designed to have a well rounded complete person after school.

One department that offers me some courses of interest is Philosophy department, where I have faint idea about the thinking process in the state of affairs, the conflict of opinions and varieties of fallacies. Why my discipline as empirical science describes and prescribes how our society could be organized and governed, philosophy offers theories for the configuration of the superstructure of each society. So, do not be surprised if I delve into some theories to justify the present state of nation as I intend to do in this piece.

Different opinions about issues have unveiled five categories of the people in the system: 1. Oppressors, 11. Oppressed, 111. Ignoramuses, iv. Floaters, v. Religionists. How do I reach the categorization? I must confess that it was not obtained from any theory, but through my deductions of the people who are ventilating their views on one thing or the other.

As touching the oppressor, I mean  Nigeria as a country was pulled down from a promising status by very few individuals who had placed their personal interest above national interest. These were the individuals  who benefitted from the system on qualitative education, healthcare of best quality, organized society and organized institutions, but when it got to their turn to give back to the society, they demolished the ladders they used and reduced the system to nothing.

In that class, the military leaders who strayed into politics got a seat, because their incursion into politics brought new breed of greedy politicians who were once described as "militicians" whose stock in trade was stealing spree. Yes, we all read about Tafawa Balewa, the first Nigerian Prime Minister and how he lived ascetic life; we learnt about how Chief Obafemi Awolowo built the Western region and made it envy of the West, and the struggle of others for a better nation.

I am made to understand that the zeal of those people who labored for our independence from the imperialist rule was what defined our thinking then. Our fathers were paying taxes, companies were responsible, institutions were not corrupt, people were not greedy, the elite loved their countries and the poor were busy in the farm, providing subsistence and commercial produce;  people were secured and cultures were thriving. But, the military, whose intervention was premised on correcting the then entrenched corruption ended up institutionalizing corruption.

It is a pity that those who put Nigeria in this sorry state are the ones who expunged  history as a subject from our schools' curriculum so that their horrible acts would not be documented for the future, but because we have always been  having complacent oppressed class, nothing much is heard of that.

So, let it be known that the same people who misgoverned the country are still holding the economic rein long after they had cleverly stepped aside from power, because to them, economic power is stronger than political power, and here we are today.

For those who are following South African history, the majority black chased the minority white who ruled with iron hand out of power, but today, the vast economic rein of the South Africa is still with the white. This allegory of apartheid speaks to the fact that the class of oppressors know how to calibrate  the nation if they elect to, just the way we are experiencing it in Nigeria. So, our people should be cautious about literature they read, and which side of the media they pay attention to, because the class of oppressors is elitist, and they control our superstructure which shape our thinking, our perception and belief system.

Having lamented the horrified act of oppressors, I think we should examine what happen to the oppressed. Right from the creationist account, the nations of the world irrespective of culture or tradition, have been segmented into the class of haves and haves-not. So, the have-not have always been regarded as the oppressed class, a situation that made African leaders of the past laid emphasis on humanism and socialism as the political tradition of Africa. Though, only Zambia under Kenneth Kaunda declared humanism as political direction in the 60s, the likes of Kwame  Nkrumah, Sekuo Tuore, Obafemi Awolowo, Julius Nyerere, Nnamdi Azikwe and others canvassed socialism of African value, and the reason for their collective demand was to mobilize an active masses, but what do we have today?

I recalled that in my early days as a child, my foster mother who happens to be my aunt would ring it to my hearing on daily basis that, I should trust my hands only, which connotes hardwork, and that I need not to  hero-worship anyone if my hands chose not to deceive me. In fact, as a boy from a humble background, I was made to hate stealing like hell fire, because according to her: "eni ba jale lo ba omo je" meaning he who steals contaminates his human person.

I know for a fact then that people with questionable characters were not celebrated even if they had all the riches, but today, we have assimilated a new culture of celebrating thieves, robbers, oppressors and looters. It begins with election-no one wants to vote for a poor but principled politician, except the rich recommended by the lead oppressor in our area. So, the last time I checked, no politician was made to enter into covenant of good governance at all levels; what we want is quick cash. In that wise oppressors are socially constructed by the oppressed, which makes the two to tangle.

Where were the masses of Awolowo that were using their hard earned money to finance his party? Where were the 'talakawas' of Aminu Kano who wanted a poor but principled man to govern them? Where were the indomitable Nigerians who chased the military away from power? Could they be found today hailing politicians with criminal charges at various courts? Could be found today supporting a political office holder with false asset declaration? Could be found today giving a certified looter of public resources chieftaincy titles? Could they be found today watching looters of our collective patrimony storming our courts with hundreds of lawyers with silky wigs? The answers to these questions would definitely provoke our thoughts on the raging issues in the state of nation.

However, among the oppressed class, the ignoramuses are worse, because they are willing tools in the hands of those who manipulated their miserable lives. I read the story of Adegoke Adelabu, the maverick politician of Ibadan. He was so popularly among his people and loved by them, because he was so witty and gifted with oratorical power. It was learnt that while he reigned as a Federal Commissioner, equivalent of Minister now in the first Republic, he was asked by the opposition to account for how he procured a mercurial car said to be above his means, and instead of responding with fact, he reportedly took the car to Dugbe market in Ibadan, and asked his supporters to enter and feel the comfort, because according to the report, the money used to buy the car was theirs. There and then, the drummers and supporters who were poor and victims of the system burst into lyrics: "
"ma kowo wa na
  ma kowo wa na,
  igunnu loni tapa
  tapa loni igunnu,
  ma kowo wa na"
It translates, spend our money as you like, the igunnu masquerade belongs to Tapa tribe, and Tapa belongs to Igunnu masquerade.

So, what we are witnessing today in the political arena  does not start today, but for us to find a new lead, we have to start a new thinking, and I suggest we begin with the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, because we have a President who is not ready to release our collective resources to the privileged few perceived to be oppressors.

Of course, things are difficult at the moment, times are hard, cost of living is higher now and we are enduring skyrocketing inflation in our economy. Workers are struggling, artisans are gasping for breathe, the unemployed are suffocating, marketers are lamenting, our nation is on the precipice, but all great nations had passed through this road when great leaders emerged. I plead for more patience and understanding, but obviously the class of ignoramuses who think with their mouth would never hearken, because they feel more comfortable with ad hoc arrangement of the past; they would rather go back to Egypt instead of crossing the red sea.

The class of floaters are interesting. They belong to the oppressed class, but have no opinions, they are contended listening to anything, but I do not blame a person being controlled by his stomach, just that the level of reasoning would not go beyond eikasia stage described by Plato, an ancient Greek Philosopher as dream state, where a man would not be able to differentiate between shadow and reality.

The reality of today is that this country had been badly raped and plundered by the greedy leaders who were once flaunting private jets as achievement, but the floaters among us are listening more to the narrative of "rule of law" which seeks bail for billionaire looters, but long jail term for petty thieves. As for me, I want to see a more proactive bar and bench, not judiciary that defer to the rich, only to use its sword against the poor. And if President Buhari is making looters answerable for the past misdeeds, then I do not get a better narratives from the looters and their friendly media. Oh, we are the Justice Abiodun Kessingtons? Where are the Akinola Agudas, Kayode Eshos, Nikki Tobis?

The fifth one is the Religionists. I deliberately chose the name, so that we would not misconstrue the men of faith or typical religious faithful for religionists. Men of faith believe in God and the day mankind would stand before Him to account for what we do on earth. They live ascetic life, where luxury and waste are abhorred; they canvass for humanity for the sake of after life; they take us through metaphysical journey, but religionists are pretenders. They only took to religion, because they were stranded and stucked.

The religionists found partnership in the class of oppressors, they preach what they want to hear for them and justify the illicit acquisition of wealth of their paymasters. Unfortunately, the drunken sailors we had as leaders in the past succeeded in elevating the opportunist religionists to level of state actors, and that seals the fate of the poor masses in the hands of their oppressors. Where are the Bolanle Gbonigis? Where are the Imam Yayi Akoredes of Akure?

The long and short of my story is that we have to put up a new thinking as a nation, so that the masses can be active in the scheme of things, while the country under the leadership of President Buhari is undergoing a painful repair. Remember, it takes two to tangle.

SALAAM is the Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Osogbo.

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