Saturday, May 31, 2014

STILL NO LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IN OYO STATE

The next general elections in Nigeria is less than one years from now and till date local government elections are still pending in Oyo state. Elected local government officials; chairman and councilors are statutorily allowed three years in office and as is in Oyo state they may end up spending less than one years in office that is, if governor Ajimobi deems it fit that local government elections should hold at all.

The continuing delay in the conduct of local government elections is a clog in the wheel of progress in Oyo state. Local governments are grassroots government and for federal and state developmental programmes to trickle down to the rural areas the local governments have to be manned by democratically elected representatives of the people such that, they are accountable to the people,independent and free from the overbearing control and influence of the state government who appointed them in the case of caretaker local government appointees.

We have all expected that a supposedly progressive ACN government will deviate from the usual anti-democratic antics of its predecessors by ensuring that local government elections were held a few months after, but now three years afterwards it’s the same old story. Caretaker local government chairmen and councilors still continue to control the affairs of the 33 local governments in the state. Far more disturbing is the fact that there is no visible sign that the elections will hold anytime soon. 

Concerned indigenes of the state have continued to voice their concerns at this disturbing development. Rather than start the process that would lead to the conduct of elections in the state, the state government has continued to argue that it would amount to contempt of court for it to urge the State House of Assembly to proceed with the screening and clearance of the chairman and members of OYSIEC already forwarded to the House of Assembly by the state governor. In view of the judgment of a High Court sitting in Ibadan stating that the dissolution of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) by the Oyo State government on June 2, 2011 was unconstitutional, null and void. The court was also reported to have declared that the dissolved members are entitled to continue functioning as officers in their various capacities until their tenure of office lapse on September 5, 2012.

From the above it is obvious that the Ajimobi led Oyo State government is only being mischievous since there has been a precedent of such a situation when the Otunba Alao Akala led Oyo state government dissolved the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC)  before the expiration of the tenure of the officers appointed by the Ladoja government. An Oyo State High Court Presided over by Justice P.O. Ige, now of the Court of Appeal, in its judgement on the case held that the OYOSIEC officials were illegally sacked and declared their sack null and void. It ordered that their entitlements up to the expiration of their tenure of office in 2008 be paid.With such a precedent, no one would expect the Ajimobi government to have made the same mistake, let alone taking the case to the appeal court. One would have expected the government to settle the entitlements of these officers and let sleeping dogs rest just as it claimed to have settled those of 2003-2008 based on a similar judgement.

Critics from certain quarters have argued that the ACN is only bidding for time as the party is currently in disarray in Oyo state due to leadership tussle between the governor and other gladiators on the one hand and inter-party squabbles on the other. The welfare of the state and its people is far greater than any other consideration and the continuing perpetuation of illegality under the guise ofa court order is a mere ruse, while not encouraging the disregard of the ruleof law. The state government was reported to have still gone ahead to demolish certain structures in its ongoing dualisation of roads exercise in Ibadan even though there was a court order to the contrary.

As is, appointments to local government positions are being done on compensatory and appeasement bases without regard to the capacity of those these positions are been dole out to. Local governments in Oyo state are being short changed and a shadow of their usually boisterous selves and the average man is at the losing end. For any meaningful development and transformation to take place in the state, local governments officials must be democratically elected people who are responsible and committed to the people. The government should ensure that local government elections are held in the next few months in the interest of the people of Oyo state. The court order has in no way stopped local government elections from holding; it had only declared the dissolution of Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) by the Oyo State government before the expiration of their tenure in office unconstitutional, null and void. The court was also reported to have declared that the dissolved members are entitled to the emoluments from the day of their sack to the end of their tenure on September 5, 2012.

 It is just about twelve months to the end of the current 2011-2015 tenure Instead of continuing to play to the gallery and complete the current tenure without democratically elected officials at the local government level in Oyo state. The state government can elect to withdraw it appeal from the court of appeal and settle all contending issues and the entitlement of the former OYSIEC officials as prescribed by the High Court, go ahead to constitute a new OYSIEC, and conduct local government elections in the next few months in the interest of the people.
Governor Ajimobi 

Monday, November 5, 2012

NOVEMBER 2012 PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATIONS TIME-TABLE

NOVEMBER 2012 PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATIONS TIME-TABLE

 Candidate’s Number………………………
 The time-table and the centers for the Institute’s NOVEMBER 2012 Professional Examination are as indicated below:
 
DAY

TIME

FOUNDATION

INTERMEDIATE

P.E. I

P. E. II




TUESDAY
20 NOVEMBER 2012

               
9.00 a.m. -
12 noon
Fundamental of Financial Accounting               

Costing and Quantitative Techniques
Financial Accounting               

Financial Reporting and Ethics







2.00 p.m. –
5.00 p.m.
Economics and Business Environment               

               
Audit and Assurance               
               

Information Technology
Strategic Financial Management







WEDNESDAY
21 NOVEMBER
2012
               

9.00 a.m. -
12 noon



               
               
Corporate and Business Law               
               
               



Taxation


Advanced Audit and Assurance


Advanced Taxation







2.00 p.m. –
5.00 p.m.


               
               
-
               

Business Communication and Research Methodology               
               



Management Accounting


Public Sector Accounting and Finance


NOTE:
 1. Kindly take note that the transition period of the new syllabus has ended. Hence candidates can no longer combine papers at two levels of the examination. Candidates are now required to write and passed the paper(s) at the lower level before proceeding to the higher level of the examinations..

 2. The Council had approved Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA) as replacement for Multidisciplinary Case Study (MDCS). Where candidates have other papers outstanding at the PE II level, they shall no longer be allowed to combine. They shall write and pass AAA before proceeding to write such other papers in PE II.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

late M.K.O. Abiola-Epetedo " Enough is Enough" Speech - Saturday, June 11, 1994,


Text of the proclamation speech by the late M.K.O. Abiola on Saturday, June 11, 1994, announcing the formation of a Government of National Unity (GNU) at Epetedo, Lagos.

PEOPLE of Nigeria, exactly one year ago, you turned out in your millions to vote for me, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But politicians in uniform, who call themselves soldiers but are more devious than any civilian would want to be, deprived you of your God-given right to be ruled by the President you had yourselves elected. These soldier-politicians introduced into our body politic, a concept hitherto unknown to our political lexicography, something strangely called the “annulment” of an election perceived by all to have been the fairest, cleanest and most peaceful ever held in our nation. Since that abominable act of naked political armed robbery occurred, I have been constantly urged by people of goodwill, both in Nigeria and abroad, to put the matter back into the people’s hands and get them to actualise the mandate they gave me at the polls. But mindful of the need to ensure that peace continues to reign in our fragile federation, I have so far tried to pursue sweet reason and negotiation. My hope has always been to arouse whatever remnants of patriotism are left in the hearts of these thieves of your mandate, and to persuade them that they should not allow their personal desire to rule to usher our beloved country into an era of political instability and economic ruin. All I have sought to do, in seeking dialogue with them, has been to try and get them to realise that only real democracy can move our nation forward towards progress, and earn her the respect she deserves from the international community.

However, although this peaceful approach has exposed me to severe censure by some who have mistaken it for weakness on my part, those with whom I have sought to dialogue have remained like stones, neither stirred to show loyalty to the collective decision of the people of their own country, nor to observe Allah’s injunction that they should exhibit justice and fair-play in all their dealings with their fellowmen. Appeals to their honour as officers and gentlemen of the gallant Nigerian Armed Forces, have fallen on deaf ears. Instead, they have resorted to the tactics of divide and rule, bribery and political perfidy, misinformation and (vile) propaganda. They arrest everyone who disagrees with them. Even the 71-year old hero of our nation, Chief Anthony Enahoro, was not spared. How much longer can we tolerate all this? People of Nigeria, you are all witnesses that I have tried to climb the highest mountain, cross the deepest river and walk the longest mile, in order to get these men to obey the will of our people. There is no humiliation I have not endured, no snare that has not been put in my path, no “set-up” that has not been designed for me in my endeavour to use the path of peace to enforce the mandate that you bestowed on me one year ago. It has been a long night. But the dawn is here. Today, people of Nigeria, I join you all in saying, “Enough is Enough!”

We have endured 24 years of military rule in our 34 years of independence. Military rule has led to our nation fighting a civil war with itself. Military rule has destabilised our nation today as not before in its history. Military rule has impoverished our people and introduced a dreadful trade in drugs which has made our country’s name an anathema in many parts of the world. Even soccer fans going to watch the Green Eagles display in America are being made to suffer there needlessly because Nigeria’s name is linked with credit card and fraud and “419.” Politically, military rule has torn to shreds the prestige due to our country because of its size and population. The permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council that should be rightfully ours is all but lost. For who will vote for Nigeria to get the seat if Nigerian military rulers do not respect the votes of their own people? Enough of military rule.

We are sickened to see people who have shown little or no personal achievement, either in building up private businesses, or making success of any tangible thing, being placed in charge of the management of our nation’s economy, by rulers who are not accountable to anyone. Enough of square pegs in round holes. We are tired of the military repetitive tendency to experiment with our economy: Today, they say “no controls.” Tomorrow; they say “Full controls”. The day after, they say “Fine tuning”. The next day, they say “Devaluation.” a few days later, they say “Revalue the same naira upwards again Abi?” All we can see are the consequences of this permanent game of military “about turns;” high inflation, a huge budget deficit and an enormous foreign debt repayment burden, dying industries, high unemployment and a demoralised populace. Our youths, in particular, can see no hope on the horizon, and many can only dream of escaping from our shores to join the brain drain. Is this the Nigeria we want?

We are plagued also by periodic balance of payments crises, which have led to a perennial shortage of essential drugs that has turned our hospitals and clinics into mortuaries. A scarcity of books and equipment has rendered our schools into desolate deserts of ignorance. Our factories are crying for machinery, spare parts and raw materials. But each day that passes, instead of these economic diseases being cured, they are rather strengthened as an irrational allocation of foreign exchange based on favouritism and corruption becomes the order of the day. Enough is enough of economic mismanagement! People of Nigeria, during the election campaign last year, I presented you with a programme entitled “HOPE ’93?. This programme was aimed precisely at solving these economic (problems) that have demoralized us all. I toured every part of Nigeria to present this programme to you the electorate. I was questioned on it at public rallies and press conferences and I had the privilege of incorporating into it much of the feedback that I obtained from the people. Because you knew I would not only listen to you but deliver superb results from the programme, you voted for me in your millions and gave me an overwhelming majority over my opponent. To be precise, you gave me 58.4 per cent of the popular vote and a majority in 20 out of 30 states plus the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Not only that, you also enabled me to fulfill the constitutional requirement that the winner should obtain one-third of the votes in two-thirds of the states. I am sure that when you cast an eye on the moribund state of Nigeria today, you ask yourselves: “What have we done to deserve this, when we have a president-elect who can lead a government that can change things for the better?

Our patience has come to an end. As of now, from this moment, a new Government of National Unity is in power throughout the length and breadth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, led by me, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola, as President and Commander-in-Chief. The National Assembly is hereby reconvened. All dismissed governors are reinstated. The State Assemblies are reconstituted, as are all local government councils. I urge them to adopt a bi-partisan approach to all the issues that come before them. At the national level, a bi-partisan approach will be our guiding principle. I call upon the usurper, General Sani Abacha, to announce his resignation forthwith, together with the rest of his illegal ruling council. We are prepared to enter into negotiations with them to work out the mechanics for a smooth transfer of power. I pledge that if they hand over quietly, they will be retired with all their entitlements, and their positions will be accorded all the respect due to them. For our objective is neither recrimination nor witch-hunting, but an enforcement of the will of the Nigerian people, as expressed in free elections conducted by the duly constituted authority of the time.
I hereby invoke the mandate bestowed upon me by my victory in the said election, to call on all members of the Armed Forces and the Police, the Civil and Public Services throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to obey only the Government of National Unity that is headed by me, your only elected President. My Government of National Unity is the only legitimate, constituted authority in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as of now.” People of Nigeria, these are challenging times in the history of our continent, Africa, and we in Nigeria must not allow ourselves to be left behind. Our struggle is the same as that waged by the people of South Africa, which has been successfully concluded, with the inauguration of Mr. Nelson Mandela as the first African President of that country. Nelson Mandela fought to replace MINORITY rule with MAJORITY rule. We in Nigeria are also fighting to replace MINORITY rule, for we are ruled by only a tiny section of our armed forces. Like the South Africans, we want MAJORITY rule today, that is rule only by those chosen by all the people of Nigeria as a whole in free and fair elections. The only difference between South Africa and Nigeria is that those who imposed minority rule on the majority rule whether it is by black or white, remains minority rule, and must be booted out.

I call on you, heroic people of Nigeria, to emulate the actions of your brothers and sisters in South Africa and stand up as one person to throw away the yoke of minority rule for ever. The antics of every minority that oppresses the majority are always the same. They will try to intimidate you with threats of police action. But do not let us fear arrest. In South Africa, so many people were arrested, during the campaign against the Pass Laws, for instance, that the jails could not hold all of them. Today, apartheid is gone forever. So, let it be with Nigeria. Let us say goodbye forever to minority rule by the military. They talk of treason. But haven’t they heard of the Rivonia treason trial in South Africa? Did those treason trials halt the march of history? People of Nigeria, our time is now. You are the repository of power in the land. No one can give you power. It is yours. Take it! From this day, show to the world that anyone who takes the people of Nigeria for fools is deceiving himself and will have the people to answer to.

God bless you all.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Long live the Government of National Unity.




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

‘Right to protest is inalienable’

THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER

TUESDAY, 07 FEBRUARY 2012 00:00 BY ABIODUN FANORO FEATURES -LAW
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Nigeria has just witnessed a nationwide civil disobedience in the form of strikes called by civil society groups, in collaboration with the organised Labour, to protest the removal of subsidy on petrol by President Goodluck Jonathan. The protests, which totally shut down the economy and the country, have continued to generate diverse comments and reactions from both local and foreign analysts. In addition to these comments, analysts are of the view that the incident has raised a number of legal matters that must be addressed to forestall future occurrence. Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), a civil rights campaigner who specialises in Labour law, examines some of these legal matters that arose in the course of the nationwide protests in this interview with ABIODUN FANORO Excerpts:
CAN you explain some legal issues that were brought to the fore in the recent protests against the removal of subsidy on petrol?
There is something that we have to get right. There is a difference between a strike embarked on by the organised Labour and the protest by ordinary citizens in the country. Only a recognised union can call its members out on a strike. Strike is recognised and regulated by laws, as a weapon used by workers to express their opinion on a point of dispute between them and their employers.
However, the right to protest unjust government policies is reserved for every citizen of the country, to express his or her opinion. Every citizen of Nigeria has the right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression. Protest is a form of freedom of expression. So, the right of the people of Nigeria to protest unjust government policies is separate and distinct from the right of the organised Labour to go on strike.  For instance, market women found all over the country, are not members of the organised Labour. Also, lawyers do not belong to any trade union. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is not a member of any trade union. Taxi and bus drivers who thronged to Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, Lagos, tomato and onion sellers in Kano, who trooped to the city’s square, were not on strike, they were protesting. So members of the organised Labour and the ordinary citizens are two different groups of people, but they are working for a common purpose.
The focal point is that workers have two rights. The right to go on strike and the right to protest. Workers have their right as members of a recognised trade union, to protests. They also have their rights as citizens of Nigeria to protest, so you could ask which right was being exercised when they all stormed the various rallies across the country. Majority of those who went to Ojota were exercising their general right of protest. The government has right to recognise that fact. Calling civil servants to return to work was not a solution, threatening the organised Labour also not a solution.
What is the significance of this?
The spontaneous reaction by Nigerians and their eagerness to join the protest, in mind is the beginning of a new and positive thing in Nigeria. It is a healthy development for the country, that Nigerians who had been labeled docile, on their own without being promoted, suddenly realised that they have the inalienable right to protest unjust government’s policies. It is even more remarkable that while government was saying it could not and must not go on strike, the workers recognised their seemed rights as citizens to go on a protest.  Certainly, this is the beginning of a new thing.
Could you again identify some other legal matters during this protest that deserved attention?
It must be boldly noted that when the Federal Government went to court and the court restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), the suit at the National Industrial Court (NIC) was against the two organisations. So, where do you situate the people of Nigeria? It is settled in law that only parties to an action can be bound by an order made in the action. The court, as I understand, did not restrain and could not have restrained the people of Nigeria, from going on protest. I do not see how any court would make an order against the people of Nigeria restraining them from protesting an unjust government policy.
So, can you say that the right of the people of Nigeria to protest cannot be outlawed?
Exactly, that is what I am saying. If anyone wants to do that, then who is the defendant in such an action? Of course, in public interest litigation, the Attorney-General of the Federation could take an action on behalf of the public. But in this suit, it was the Attorney-General that was in the swing, and he cannot sue himself. The Attorney-General cannot go to court as plaintiff and also sue himself on behalf of the Nigerian people as the defendant.
Should the judiciary have brought itself into this matter, knowing full well that it is difficult to outlaw protest by the people of Nigeria?
No! You cannot say the judiciary cannot intervene in any matter. Courts exist to adjudicate on disputes. If a party believes that there is a genuine dispute between him and another person, or a group of persons, it is legitimate for such a person to approach the court. It is also legitimate for the court to make relevant order that justice demands.  But again, the suit you are referring to, has nothing to do with the right of Nigerians to protest.
What the court sought to achieve by its order was defeated when the protest and the strike broke out. In these, where is the integrity of the court?
The integrity of the court cannot be called into question. The court retains its integrity at all times. What is important is for the case that is before the court to fall within the jurisdiction of the court.
What I am saying is this: it would appear the court gave a ruling that could not be executed?
No, that is not true. Remember that there had been an occasion in the past when the government approached the court and got injunction to stop an industrial strike action. It has happened in the past. I think that was what the government intended to do in this case. Who says the court cannot intervene? The court can intervene in appropriate cases.
But in this case, why did the intention of the court fail?
Well, let’s leave that to the court to determine. I don’t want to comment on the merit or otherwise of the case for now. One other thing that I found very interesting is government’s argument that one of the reasons that necessitated the removal of subsidy was because all other countries around Nigeria sell petrol at higher prices. Therefore if Nigeria sells at a lower price, it would heighten smuggling of the product across our borders. Certainly, this is an untenable argument. Venezuela, an OPEC member-country, sells its oil locally at a price much more lower than N65 per litre while its neighbours who have no petrol, sell at much higher prices. Yet, this does not prompt Venezuela to remove subsidy on petrol. Venezuela has not adopted the Nigerian argument. What this means is the failure of law and order, as well as failure of governmental structures and institutions.  The question is, who are the people smuggling? Fuel is transported in trucks and these trucks pass through the highways. Are there no security agents manning these highways? How do these trucks cross the Nigerian borders? Has the government now surrender completely security on the highways? That is an argument the government must not promote, because it is an admission of failure of institutions. If it is established that some officials were posted to ensure security at the borders and while on duty fuel was smuggled across the border, why are such officials not made to face the law?
One other issue of law that the government has refused to explain why it breached is the 2011 Appropriation Act, which provides for fuel subsidy and whose life the National Assembly has extended to March 2012?
There is no doubt that the 2011 Appropriation Act is still in force, since it has been extended till the end of March 2012. It is also a fact that there is provision for fuel subsidy in that Act. Since it is still running, subsidy must also be fully implemented until the Appropriation Act runs its full course. When I listen to government officials who have come to promote its position on subsidy, they said from January 2012, government did not release fund for subsidy. What this means is that it is either money had been appropriated but is not being disbursed. That certainly violates the Appropriation Act. Or the money that was appropriated for subsidy has been exhausted. Again, that means there has been disbursement outside the purview of the provisions of the Act, because no money ought to be spent without being duly appropriated. If the government is supposed to spend say one billion naira in June and it went ahead to spend say two billion naira, who authorised the excess one billion naira?     This is a question the government needs to address and answer. The second thing we need to hoot into is government’s argument is not getting to the generality of Nigerians because a cabal has been benefiting and profiting from subsidy by submitting invoices that are not backed by fuel importation. What actually infuriates me is for a government to admit that there exists a cabal that is profiting on Nigerians and the economy of Nigeria. That shows that cabal or whoever they may be have been identified because the money goes to a particular purse and it is released by a particular person and goes to a particular person. The question now is, is the government afraid to deal with these individuals using the relevant laws? Until the government is able to answer these questions that are begging for answers and until the government is ready to expose all those involved in these shady deals and prosecute them, it would be difficult for it to convince Nigerians that there is justification for the removal of subsidy, if there is any.
Is it possible to make payments to people supplying goods to the government, which the so-called cabals were doing, without approval and authorisation by elements in the Presidency?
It may be difficult to answer that question until the government tells Nigerians how the cabal operates, could it be that members of the cabal simply submit invoices for fuel purportedly supplied without any such supply. But logically speaking, that is not how payment would be authorised, approval made without the knowledge and involvement of relevant government’s officers in the Presidency. Certainly, a can of worm is about to be opened and it would be strange how the Presidency could be exonerated.
Where the Executive breached the Appropriation Act as it is with the 2011 fuel subsidy fund, what should members of the National Assembly do?
You see, there is the doctrine of separation of powers under our Constitution.  Once the National Assembly has passed the Appropriation Bill into law, disbursement is the statutory duty of the Executive.  However, the National Assembly can under its oversight function, which is permitted by the Constitution, look into how the money approved under existing Appropriation Act was spent before approving another Appropriation Act. This is where the investigative function of the National Assembly comes in. It could seek to investigate how the money approved for subsidy under the 2011 Appropriation Act was spent before passing the 2012 budget.
How would you place the Sunday emergency session held by the House of Representatives on the subsidy crisis?
The session was perfectly in order, regardless of the intolerant reaction of the Presidency, which described the House’s resolution as inciting the people of Nigeria against the Presidency. The House has the constitutional responsibility to legislate for peace and order in the country. So if in its wisdom, the House felt removing subsidy will not promote peace and order, it has the constitutional responsibility to advise and urge the Executive to reconsider its decision.
No doubt, it is the duty of the Police to maintain peace and order. But looking at the over 20 posters of people reportedly killed by the Police, how justifiable are the killings?
None of the killings by the Police is justifiable in anyway. If a man is embarking on a peaceful protest, there is no justification under Nigerian law for the Police to use life bullet to shoot such a person. It is most unjustified even in the face of a riot, there is a way the Police could quell a riot without killing any of the rioters. And in any event, what took place in Nigeria in response to the insensitive removal of alleged fuel subsidy was not a riot. There is a difference between a riot and a protest, protest is legitimate, while a riot is criminal. What took place in Lagos in particular, and in other parts of Nigeria, was a protest, it was not a riot. I repeat, there was no riot in Lagos. It was a civil protest.
In the light of these senseless killings, have men of the Police been educated to know the difference between a riot and a protest?
I don’t know the extent of the training that men of the Nigeria Police have been exposed to. But the way and manner they handled the protest, which in my view stemmed from the earlier threat by the Inspector General of Police not to allow any protest and his further threat to crush any protest, it was obvious that the police has not been educated on the difference between a riot and a protest.
The Police is said to be relying on a law called Police Order 237 in committing these extra-judicial killings…
I have just said that there is a difference between a riot and a protest. If Order 237 empowers the Police to shoot at rioters, that would not apply to protesters. If a group of citizens gathered together, carried play-card to condemn unjust government’s policies, that is not a riot, that is a civil protest. You could say it was a large crowd. Yet, it was a large crowd of protesters, which we have not witnessed in this country since June 12, 1993, crisis when the presidential election won by late Chief M.K.O. Abiola was annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Amnesty International and some other rights group have called for immediate abrogation of the Act. What is your view on this?
Even in the criminal code, there is a way the Police should deal with rioters. The Police are not allowed to just shoot at rioters. Even the Constitution does not empower the Police to kill rioters; it only allows them to arrest rioters. The highest level the law allows the police are to shoot a rioter on the leg and that is if he is about to endanger the lives of many other people. In an attempt to prevent this, the Police can shoot at the leg of rioter to demobilise him. The Police has no power to kill a rioter, how much more a protester. Under the Nigerian Constitution, when a person is arrested, be he a rioter or even an armed robber, he is entitled to be heard and be given fair trial. He is not to be summarily executed as it is with the killing of a rioter. So, if the Police have no constitutional power to kill a rioter, then how is it going to nationalise or justify the killing of a lawful protester? If a man is alleged to have caused riot, how would the Police prove that if he has been summarily executed? How would he be able to defend himself if he has been killed? That is why the Constitution opposes the killing of a rioter or any suspect whatsoever. By now, Nigeria should have gone beyond the use of life bullets to deal with rioters, not to talk of protesters. It is not only primitive, it is callous, it shows again that in this part of the world, we are crude and that we have no simple regard for life, human sanctity and dignity. It also goes to show that the government in this part of the world does not see the citizens as fellow human beings, but as foes who have no right to complain or express their views, they are best seen as foes to be hunted down.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The Nation

Ringim falls at the feet of history

By    Jan 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM WAT

Ringim Ringim
It was said of a one-time King of France, Louis XVI (1774-1793), that “he arrived in the wrong historical place at the wrong time.” No fate can be more implacable, and no destiny more cruel, than that a man should be held hostage by history. Nineteen years after he inauspiciously donned the crown, Louis XVI and his wife went to the guillotine, even though the crises France experienced under him began during the dissolute reigns of his predecessors, Louis XIV and Louis XV, at such a pace no man twice as gifted as he could control, let alone reverse. Mr Hafiz Ringim, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) who was made to retire yesterday morning, may not have studied the role fate played in the rise and fall of Louis XVI, but he found himself a prisoner  of destiny at that famously cruel juncture familiar to many great men forced to cede power – where history meets inescapable fate.
It is safe to say that Boko Haram, the Salafist Jihadist sect dedicated to violence and anarchy in Nigeria, ended the career of Ringim. He did not show himself an incomparable police officer, but he was passably articulate, even had middle class manners, and fitted in with the thin crowd of IGs (many of whom were indistinguishably average) who preceded him. Had Boko Haram not upended his plans to cruise along as an average IG, there is little doubt that he would have retired in March with his head held high. But whether out of naivety or overconfidence, he was deemed by the terrorist sect to have challenged their prowess when he boomed after the Eagle Square bombing that the days of Boko Haram were numbered.
In methodical succession, and with an abandon that at once shames and enrages every security man on the public payroll, Boko Haram detonated powerful bombs one after the other, starting with the Force Headquarters bombing on a day Ringim was in office, and according to reports, barely escaped being the direct target of the bombers. As if taunting the police, the bombers detonated another powerful explosive at the United Nations building in Abuja, took out 43 worshippers at a church in Madalla, near Abuja, and finally unveiled misery, horror and death in Kano last Friday. In between, there were sundry explosions of improvised bombs (IEDs) and scattered shootings that ran rings round the police.
The Kano mayhem probably finally undid Ringim, in spite of President Goodluck Jonathan’s puzzling commitment to helping his career to a memorable and honourable end. But there was no way Kano would have achieved such a deadly impact on Ringim’s career had a top Boko Haram suspect, Mallam Kabiru Sokoto, not escaped from police custody days before in humiliating and benumbing circumstances. It seemed Ringim was fated to receive one indignity after another from Boko Haram, and to stumble from one unresolved crisis to another unmanageable security nightmare. In case Ringim brought all these upon himself by careless speechmaking, his successor, Mohammed Abubakar, will almost certainly watch what he says and where he throws down the gauntlet before a sect that takes up gauntlets with alacrity.
It would, however, be an oversimplification of the crises that put an ignoble end to Ringim’s career to suggest that his troubles were caused by an unbridled tongue or that most of the security challenges he encountered during his tenure were self-made. If he showed little initiative in handling the escape of Kabiru Sokoto, and demonstrated overzealousness in attempting to muzzle the press, of which this newspaper was a victim, they were insufficient to end his career had he demonstrated in other areas the sterling quality needed to reposition the police and respond with aplomb to the increasing sophistication of the enemies of the state.
Notwithstanding, it is also probably true that President Jonathan was reluctant to sack Ringim when the indignities concocted by Boko Haram began to rain on the police, the presidency and the nation like a torrent because he knew sensibly that the security challenges facing the nation transcended the police’s lack of initiative and incompetence. Even if he had a revolutionary mind, there was not much Ringim could do to stem the effusive daring of high-profile criminals and terrorists. Kidnapping, the nemesis of Ringim’s predecessor, has continued apace, if now little reported with the flourish that accompanied its dramatic beginnings. The country has not found a solution, and will not, for as long as the conditions that engender it persist. Boko Haram is an inherited social and political disease. No police force on its own, no matter how brilliant, can solve it. It will require concerted efforts by the police and the political establishment led by the presidency to fight it. But the presidency has been strangely remiss in leading the fight.
More importantly, whether we admit it or not, Boko Haram and other crimes threatening the state are products of a dysfunctional society in which the elite stupidly frolics with the incendiary tool of religion at a time scrupulous adherence to secularism would have considerably obviated the crises that inundate the country. In addition, these high-profile crimes are also products of an inefficient and unworkable federal structure resting on an incompetent constitution operated by uninspiring and effete political elite. If not kidnapping today, if not Boko Haram tomorrow, and if not another terrible crime on the day after, Nigeria would always stand the risk of being undone by one crime or the other over its refusal to reform and remould its political system when it still has the initiative.
Boko Haram leaders may smirk heartily over the fall of Ringim, but they are not stupid to imagine that he as a person represented the institution they fought so bitterly. The federal government would be na├»ve to also think that once a new man occupies the IG seat, and he shows some imagination, then all will be well. Boko Haram is just an aspect of the disease ravaging the body politic. The country’s problems are so fundamental and structural that no palliative, either in weapons or rotation of officers or better technology, can prove a useful anodyne.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A COUNTRY WITH SUPPOSEDLY IRRELEVANT YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN… (PART I)


Let me open my write-up with the following quote credited to Ethiopian Statesman and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974-Haile Selassie I “Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life. The key for the betterment and completeness of modern living is education. But, ' Man cannot live by bread alone '. Man, after all, is also composed of intellect and soul. Therefore, education in general, and higher education in particular, must aim to provide, beyond the physical, food for the intellect and soul. That education which ignores man's intrinsic nature, and neglects his intellect and reasoning power cannot be considered true education."
I have deliberately set-out the above statement to set the tone for my write-up and belief it would serve as a yard stick for assessment and proper comparison of some of the things I would talk about below. I know many a person would wonder at the above caption and some would go as far as castigating me for such a theme, but really do our elders and leaders genuinely think that young people have something to offer in the scheme of things in Nigeria, do they truly belief that we have something upstairs? Over the years and till present they have answered this begging question in the no. At every opportunity they have told us we are ill-educated, unenlightened, unperceptive, otiose, and unserious and some of their reasons being that we have contributed little by way of discuss and leadership to national development, young Nigerians are giving the country a bad image all over the world etc. What an Irony, it seems they have never given it a thought; they’ve never had the time, and or luxury to realize that their persistent and unrelenting follies have brought on our generation its present misadventures.
It is sardonic for our leaders and elders to make pronouncements that sound as if they are better than us their children, it is unafrican and unparently. I bet they are disappointed that some of us have refused to be beaten by our environment, have refused to be encumbered by our environment .This reminds me of a Yoruba saying which translates in a question and answer that can be adapted thus “my friend with knock-knees the luggage on your head is rickety and angulated? And he answered “you are looking at the top and not the bottom.” Is it our fault that some our parents bite more than they can chew by begotten more children than they can qualitatively cater for, is it our fault that primary and secondary teachers are poorly remunerated and as such these pivotal level of education cannot attract adequately qualified and highly motivated teacher and as a result many of us cannot be said to be able to read and write well even after secondary school, is it our fault that we were born into an environment which glorifies mediocrity and does not give room for meritocracy or is it our fault that we were born into a system where everything is comatose?
I once attended a programme on the theme “youth are leaders of tomorrow” and funny enough all the nine speakers at the event were above fifty years of age, I then wondered what the mindset of the organizers of the programme was. Is it that the young men and women who were supposedly being talked about don’t have anything to say or what? Nigerian young men and women are making their mark all over the world the only place where they still remain on the back seat is in Nigeria. Nobel Laurel Professor Wole Soyinka was once reported to have made a comment saying that his generation was a failed one and one cannot but agree with him .To drive his point home lets beam our search light on some of the current problems of the Nigerian society and let see if it is the youth and young persons who caused them.
In 2009 a total of 1,182,381 candidates registered for the University Matriculation Examination (UME), and it was reported that the nation’s universities both public and private can only accommodate about 98,000 of these candidates that same year. The plain statistic is that it is only one out of every 12 candidate who wrote the examination that would be admitted and again it translates into the fact that only about 8.3 % of these candidates would get a place in the universities, so it means that passing the examination does not guarantee you would get admitted. This is obviously a case of continuous lack of foresight, planning and or deliberate attempt to frustrate an ordinary citizens’ from getting educated. Our consecutive leaders have caused us this problem and our elders have condoned it.
Every action of our leaders and elders in the past and till present has proven beyond reasonable doubt that their thoughts and actions are always in the present, personal and geared toward self aggrandizement. They’ve planned for themselves and their families and forgotten that if your son or daughter schooled abroad he would definitely come back to lead or rule people who have lived and schooled in Nigeria, and mind you there is nothing like “ceteris paribus “in Nigerian Economics. Our leaders and parents have refused to realize and understand that partial and general equilibrium should be modify to include the human factor because rationality is a mirage in Nigeria. Some people still gullibly thought that Babangida never prayed that SAP should succeed but what they fail to realize is that the economic variables are different in Nigeria.
In conclusion I will say that our leaders and elders have done us a great disservice by not creating the same conducive environment where they grew up, schooled and live in for us .All they do is talk about the good old days, they do forget that some people struggled for the good old days. So it is incumbent on them to start planning and struggling for a better future for themselves ,their children and children which is only possible in a politically stable and progressive Nigeria.http://community.234next.com/content/country-supposedly-irrelevant-young-men-and-women%E2%80%A6-part-i