PMB’S REMARK ON ‘RESTRUCTURING’ AND MATTERS ARISING

By Jerome-Mario Utomi

From observations, there is no doubt that our leaders are experts in listening without being attentive to the masses; an attribute that has, in turn, made their relationship with the people civil but cold. A situation occasioned by our handler’s inability to learn that ‘success is a lousy teacher which makes a winner feels that he cannot lose’.

Accordingly, these cold silences have become ‘a word made flesh and now dwell among us’ in the form of the Fulani herdsmen mindless and continual use of the innocent Nigerian’s blood to irrigate our arid political space.

This climate of opinion surrounding leadership in Nigeria has again made the recently well-chiseled speech of president  Muhammadu Buhari as delivered in a nationwide broadcast on Monday 1st, January 2018 unacceptable by the critical minds. A Particular reference to that speech that has received several knocks is the president’s hanging and the asymmetrical statement about the nation’s restructuring where he among other things stated that ‘no human law or edifice is perfect. Whatever structure we develop must periodically be perfected according to the changing circumstances and the country’s socio-economic developments’.

With appropriate humility, the above statement made by the president was correct and commendable but his silence on how this imperfect structure/edifice should be corrected is condemnable

In like manner, identifying that imperfection exist in the first instance in my views makes the call for the nation’s restructuring inevitable and eminently desirable.  Catalyzing the process of reforming this changing circumstance as muted by the president should be the preoccupation of the FG .and   also acts as the propeller to having our federal framework reworked.

The above is imperative as the current posturing has made the government at the centre become the dispenser of goodness by proxy while leaving the federating states idle and lazy which is against the spirit of the federal system of government and the expectation of the masses.

What the masses are saying and wanting in my understanding is that the padding of the second schedule of the exclusive legislative list, of our 1999 constitution with sixty-eight (68) items has made Abuja suffer ‘political obesity’ and need to shed some weight via power devolution

What the people are saying is that the over blotted exclusive list has made our nation to currently stand in an inverted pyramid shape with more power concentrated at the top and the base not formidable enough making collapse inevitable if urgent and fundamental steps are not taken.

What the proponents of restructuring are saying is that majority of the items are too trivial for the Federal Government to handle and should serve the greater good of the people if left in the hands of both the state and the local government. This is the hub of the masses expectation.

Items such as; Police and some government security services, mines and minerals; including oil fields, oil mining geological surveys, control of parks, stamp duties, public holidays, taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, and insurance among others  to my mind  should find their  ways back to the states and the local councils.

To illustrate the effectiveness of the above, If we had had state police in Nigeria, chances are that these gruesome killings that is ongoing in some sections of the country would have been better managed.

However, it will not be out of place if the states and local councils are allowed to handle all these and made to pay taxes when necessary to the federal government coffers. By so doing, the federal government will be freed from handling the tiny details which prevent them from looking at the bigger national issues. In the same vein, it will empower states/regions and local councils that have been technically rendered redundant.

This, in my views, is the synoptic baggage of what  Nigerians are asking for and achieving it is a simple assignment.

.To get started will require  Mr. President presenting an executive bill demanding for the nation’s restructuring before the National Assembly as waiting for the lawmakers to initiate such bill may translate to waiting till eternity.

The president needs to do this as that may be the only major effort he needs to convince the masses that he can take the nation out of these political and socio-economic impasses.

But in making this call, I am well aware that there is nothing more ‘difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through than initiating such changes as the innovator will make more enemies of all those who prospered under old other’. But any leaders that do, come out powerful, secured, respected and happy. This is an opportunity that Mr. President must not miss.

Therefore, this is the time for my President to prime and position for this major national transformation. This time is auspicious for Mr. President to make his vision sharp and his goal clear to all. And this is the time in history for President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate that the credibility of his leadership is built not in words but action.

Another key point on the part of the masses is that for us to achieve this, we must rise above our divides by undressing ourselves of the garment of tribal loyalties which in many cases has proved to be stronger than a common sense of nationhood. Let us at this critical moment of our existence remember that we cannot solve our political and socio-economic challenges with the same thinking we used when we created it.

Let’s make no mistake about it, for us to build the Nigeria of our dreams, we most graduate our ‘thought system and loyalty to a level of being united rather than sectional. Our loyalty must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and we must develop a world perspective on the affairs of our nations’.

Jerome-Mario writes via jeromeutomi@yahoo.com

JANUARY 6TH LG ELECTIONS: AS DELTANS GO TO THE POLLS – A REMINDER

Jerome-Mario Utomi

With the Saturday 6th, January 2018 Delta state Local Council polls now around the corner, all eyes are on the state. This feeling is understandable as the ‘’ground of battle’ and the battlers have swiftly become unpredictable, full of intrigues and uncertainty. But what is adding fuel to this political battle in my view, is the belief by many that the outcome of this LG polls will shape the support structure come 2019 general election.

Interestingly, the joy so far observed is that the state-actors (the government, the DESIEC and the Security agencies etc) are taking the right steps in the right directions while the political parties have learned that aggression has a way of bringing devastation to all parties, hence, have refused to get involved in any action that will be inimical to the electoral process.

In like manner, to ensure that this trend continues among all the parties and credible candidates elected at the end, it is imperative that the political players; the Governor, the DESIEC, the Electorates/Deltans, the Youths and the Security agencies are further reminded of what is expected of them. Thus, this memo to;

 

THE GOVERNOR;

While it is important to commend the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa led administration for this initiative, and the political will to have this election conducted, it will be of higher importance for him to put in the needed consciousness and industry to prove to all, that he is ‘Politically Innocent”. To achieve this, the Governor must first remember that his responsibility in this election is to facilitate and not to regulate the process. This, the people would appreciate if he will adhere to strictly.

Failure to make this LG polls credible, free and fair will amount to a failed decision on the part of the governor and behind every failed decision, lays a Government that has failed its people.

The governor should remember that the handling of this LG poll will go a long way in shaping the people’s opinion/perception of him as there have been some pockets of concerns expressed in the time past about his administrative style. So, getting this   LG poll right will assist in no small way in getting the reputation of his administration repositioned.

Invariably, his handling of this local council exercise will also affect his 2019 outing. I again advanced this opinion based on my belief that he is watched closely by all Deltans, that people are noting every move he makes, that the electorates are learning a great deal about him and what he really believes as opposed to what he says.

 

TO DELTANS

The truth is that democracy will never guaranty development until it is mixed with the needed proportion of discipline on the part of the people. That discipline is accentuated in the ability and resolve to elect the right/credible people. So this January 6th local council poll is providing yet another platform to demonstrate that political discipline on the part of Deltans.

Secondly, the people should be reminded that elections are won not by the contenders but electorates. So, for the people to win this election come Saturday 6th January 2018, voters must avoid contenders coming with financial inducement/instant gratification. They should remember also that any office seeker that offers any form of inducement has made his/her ulterior motive barefaced.

To further support the above, let the people again be reminded that ‘the precondition for an honest government is that candidates must not need the large sum of money to get elected, or it must trigger off the cycle of corruption. For having spent a lot to get elected, winners must recover their cost and also accumulate funds for the next election’.

Viewed differently, it is relevant for all to remember that Delta as a state is not an easy state. So, any aspirant coming to promise you a soft solution is not just deceiving you but a cheat. Deltans must bear in mind that ‘a soft people will vote for those who promised a soft way out when in truth there is none.

So, for this local council poll to bear the expected fruit, the people must wear the new habit of depending on their consciences, convictions and their creator.

 

THE DELTA STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (DESIEC).

For the Chief Michael Ogbodu led  Delta state Independent Electoral Commission(DESIEC), it is imperative that you are humbly reminded of your engagement with history and posterity as the Chairman of the body charged with the responsibility of facilitating and regulating this electoral exercise in the state come Saturday 6th January 2018. While your effort so far is commendable, it should be to your best interest to carry on in that manner and  organize an election that will be perceived/seen as most credible and  devoid of rancor  in the anal of the state as that may be  all you  need to imprint your footsteps in the golden sand of time.

Finally, like your name implies, it should be of greater good to the entire people of Delta state and that of the future generation if you can remain visibly independent in the facilitation/ regulation of this local council election.  On the other hands, Deltans may not expect you as a body to remain neutral in the face of a political party or group of individuals seeking to take undue advantage of the process.

 

THE POLITICAL PARTIES

It is again commendable that so far, political parties in the state have been very orderly with their political activities in preparation for the forthcoming local council polls. But likewise, it is observed that while some political parties have been busy with their political campaigns, others, through their actions or inactions have demonstrated some level of apathy to the entire exercise as they are neither seen on the streets campaigning to woo the voters nor organize any political rally as a means of awareness creation.

In the vein, my imagination tells me that some of these parties are still holding on to the age-long believe that the local council polls will be neither free nor fair. Others in the same token are more preoccupied with how to tell the world that they were rigged out than campaigning. To my mind, this should not be the way to go. We cannot achieve the hypermodern Delta state of our dreams with such faulty way of thinking.

 

The YOUTH

The youths though part of the electorate should use this local council poll as a golden opportunity to commence their journey to assuming leadership positions in the state by making effort to elect candidates of their choice.

The outcome of the youths demonstration of ability to organize and form a movement will be a pointer to how seriously the ‘’political adults” shall be considering them in the future elections at both state and federal levels.

 

THE SECURITY AGENCIES.

It is my sincere hope that the security agencies be in the news this time around for a very good reason by demonstrating the highest level of professionalism expected of them at this defining moment.

Finally…

While wishing all the contenders in the forthcoming LG election success, it will be germane, that we collectively use this local council election as a watershed in the anal of our State. We have to do this bearing in mind that our wrong decisions and choices in the past still affects our present.

Jerome-Mario writes via jeromeutomi@yahoo.com

 

 

 

33 YEARS OLD DR. ARINZE MADUEKE (OKAKA) EYES REPS SEAT, PROMISES PROACTIVE REPRESENTATION

Politics in Nigeria today is seen as an avenue of amassing wealth for the political office holder. It is now generally believed that indulging in Nigerian politics is only for self serving purposes. However for Dr. Arinze Madueke, politics is all about service to humanity. For him, the only service to be done for the downtrodden is to give them quality education, to develop their capacity to think for themselves and draw from the unlimited well of greatness within.

Dr. Arinze Madueke is a Medical Doctor by training, an entrepreneur per excellence and a serial philanthropist. He hails from Ukpor, in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He clearly stands out in the congregation of indigenes of Anambra State, who have distinguished themselves in different spheres of life.

Dr. Arinze Madueke (Okaka), is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Zidora Group. A multi million, multiple brand business he founded a few years ago.

At 33, Dr. Arinze Madueke is no doubt one of Nigeria’s most successful entrepreneur. He is a man of many parts; one who does not waste time in extending assistance to the needy, irrespective of religion or ethnicity. His philanthropic gestures are loud and speak volumes about his commitment to quality education and his stance as an apostle of pragmatic leadership.

Dr. Arinze is a moral instructor and believes in living a good legacy for the younger generation to emulate. His passion has driven him at an early stage to several community project and social responsibility. In turn,  he has been recognized severally by different establishments for his selfless services. He has also received so many awards from various parastatals, corporate organisations, the Nigeria Police Force, schools, among others, most importantly, he has remained committed to the service of mankind.

Dr. Arinze easily comes by as a source of motivation and inspiration to many, as an innovative entrepreneur; one who is constantly looking for new ways to solve old problems, there is surely many things one, especially young people, can learn from him.

Dr. Arinze’s  Zidora Group  has various subsidiaries such as; Zidora Travel and Tour, Zidora Real Estate and Realtors, Zidora Agricultural and Food Services, Zidora Medicals, Zidora Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Limited, and Zidora Consults Nigeria Limited, among other business interests.

Dr. Arinze is one man you must meet at least once in your lifetime to understand the true meaning of humanity. He is an outstanding Philanthropist of his generation who started giving even when he had little.

Much of his philanthropic activities are carried out through a Non-Governmental, Non-profit charity organization he founded; Zidora Aid Foundation, ZAF.

ZAF is a not for profit charity organization, doing fantastic work with the disabled, the less privileged, and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

With his background, exposure and experience both Nigeria and the Diaspora.Dr. Arinze Madueke’s decision to venture into partisan politics is worth welcoming with both hands and an open mind. His decision to contest for House of Representative seat come 2019 is certainly good for Nigerian politics. Here is a Nigerian youth, who is not just a young Nigeria but also has what it takes to deliver modern governance to his constituents. He is a card- carrying member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and come 2019, he is determined to deliver quality representation to the people of Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency, when he emerges winner of that contest on his APGA party platform.

Speaking Dr. Madueke, he underscored that his decision to veer into the murky water of Nigerian politics is to deliver unmatched representation to his constituents, correct governmental/official impunity, develop a responsive system of representation, speak the mind of his people, and use other legislative instruments to profitable advantage, in a bid to directly and indirectly impact the lives of the people of his constituency and the nation by extension. Having spent time within the Federal Constituency, Dr. Madueke expressed clear understanding of the problem in the area which included; lack of opportunities, poor knowledge of how the system works, poor education, lack of infrastructure, slow development of road network, among many others. Expressing confidence in the leadership of His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano, Dr. Arinze remarked that young visionary people from Anambra state has to come on board to assist the Governor in the good works he is doing for the sake of continuity and sustainability.

While commending Governor Obiano for transforming Anambra State and making it a reference point for other States, Dr. Arinze also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a credible governorship election in Anambra State and for the measures being put in place to ensure credible elections in  2019.