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Opinion

Amotekun By South-West Is Illegal: How To Respond To AGF’s Opinion

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By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

The governors of South West had recently established Amotekun, a regional security organization to protect the people of SW. Mr. Malami, the attorney General of the federation has declared this formation to be illegal. The leaders of SW, SE and NC have cried out against the proclamation by AGF as not correct and Mr. Falana, a well know civil rights leader and a respected attorney has said the AGF is wrong. Merely saying that the AGF is wrong is a timid response to AGF and the federal government that the represents.
No matter what the Supreme Court declares as the constitutional requirements, the first law of nature is self-preservation. Anybody, who fails to protect himself from any enemy has himself to blame. Any government that is incapable of protecting its citizens has lost the authority of the people. And lost the reason for its existence. The leaders of SE, SS and NC should go beyond verbal challenge of AGF’s opinion (it is only an opinion). They should move on to form their own versions of Amotekun. They should also sign a cooperative agreement whereby an attack on one Amotekun is an attack on all the others.

The reign of King Muhammadu Buhari has been nothing than a reign of terror. It has showered a situation in the places around and below the confluence of Niger and Benue where neither life no property is safe. Ordinary citizens, in pursuit of their legal businesses are kidnapped and killed; their property, like farm lands, have been taken over and if they dare resist, their lives go with the property. These criminal activities are blamed on Fulani Herdsmen, yet nobody is in the police custody, nobody has been tried. The laws and the law enforcement apparatus are incapable of protecting innocent citizens from the attacks by enemies within and without.

We the people have absolute right to protect ourselves and in situations where one cannot do so by himself, one should form alliances to help. That is what Amotekun is intended to do.

Man is not made for law; but laws are made for man.

What should the federal government do?

1. The FG should listen to the voice of the people (onuorah) and hear the fears that are driving the formation of Amotekun.
2. The FG should come to the negotiation table in good faith and negotiate with the zonal leaders to amend the laws and allow for the regional protection forces and establish the modus operandi by the forces.
3. The regional leaders must show that they could control the forces they have created so that they don’t become another kind of armed marauders. In USA each municipality has its police force which calls on neighboring police for help in difficult situations. This round robin calls go all the way to the state and FG police until the emergency is resolved and eventually to the armed forces of the US if the enemy is from without.

The emergence of Amotekun is not good for Nigeria, but it is an opportunity which if seized would make Nigeria better and safer.

If President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed interested in the future of Nigeria he should seize this opportunity or he will be forever remembered as the architect of Nigeria’s collapse.

~ Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba writes from Boston, Massachusetts.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Don

    January 16, 2020 at 8:49 am

    You said it all mr.writer Infact more applause for your opinion furthermore I wish the SE will combine with SW and form the same kind of security which was formed earlier by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but our idiot SE politicians proscribed them

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Opinion

Lending A Voice To Persons With Disabilities (PWD’s) In The Face Of COVID-19

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By Odunayo Oluwatimilehin

According to Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (‘DDA’), a person is perceived to be a disabled if:

a. ‘ They have a physical or mental impairment, and

b. the impairment has a substantial and long term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

The above definition covers:

  • People with HIV, and cancer. People that have multiple sclerosis are also deemed as disabled as soon as they are diagnosed.
  • Other progressive conditions, such as motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, and forms of dementia.
  • A person who is certified as blind, severely sight impaired, sight impaired or partially sighted by a consultant ophthalmologist is deemed to have a disability.
  • Severe disfigurement is treated as a disability.
  • A range of conditions are treated as a disability, as long as the other factors from the definition are met, in terms of having substantial and long-term impact on the ability to do normal day to day activities,

– Sensory impairments, such as those affecting sight or hearing.
– Auto-immune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).
– Organ specific conditions, including respiratory conditions such as asthma, and cardiovascular diseases, including thrombosis, stroke and heart disease.

– Developmental conditions, such as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

According to the World Health Organization’s 2011 World Disability Report, about 15 percent of Nigeria’s population, or at least 25 million people, have a disability with over 3.5million of them having difficult challenges of moving around. Many of them face a number of human rights abuses including stigma, discrimination, violence, and lack of access to healthcare, housing, and education.
In the face of the global threatening and dreadful Coronavirus pandemic, the community of disabled persons have been excommunicated and relegated to the background by the State and Federal Government in Nigeria.

An aggrieved citizen pointed out that it would have cost the government nothing to attach a sign language interpreter beside the President and State Governor’s while they addressed the citizens over the developments as regards COVID-19. As this would enable those who are deaf and dumb to understand the critical times we are in, and also make them have a strong sense of belonging and be informed about the need to be cautious during this period. It was gathered that all the adverts, gingles, announcement, etc about or on how to stay safe in this period are tailored wholly for the typical citizens. This to a large extent is not fair enough as this does not portray our country has been Disability sensitive.

Disabled persons in our societies are the most vulnerable and indigent. A Disability Ambassador in Lagos, Mrs Franca, expressed her pain of government neglect of PWD’s especially in such a critical time as this, “I want to say that my people have been excommunicated or boycotted from the Covid-19 safety and precautions awareness and even the Covid-19 stimulus package”.
‘Based on the above submission, I wish to remind us that the Disabled persons are more vulnerable to Covid-19 than pregnant women and the elderly’.

Mrs. Franca later updated that Lagos State Government, on Thursday 2nd April, 2020, gave 100 bags of COVID-19 relief packages to the disabled community in Lagos State. Though minute to the number of persons with disabilities in the state, the government promise more in the next batches. This is a laudable effort which can be improved on, I also implore other State Governments to imitate and exceed this.
Before the Stay at Home directives, People with Disabilities experience difficulty in fending for themselves and families, how much more now that they are asked to stay indoor without hope of where their next meal will surface from. Their plight this period of Lockdown can only be imagined than experienced.

I therefore call on all State Governments in Nigeria to ensure that this group of people receive the best possible care this period. In the various States, the welfare of PWD’s should top the list while urgent considerations should also be given to them in the process of distribution of Stimulus Packages as a means of alleviating their plight. Various NGO’s are not also left out in this utmost service to humanity at this crucial time.

Be a voice, be a helping hand, and a miracle to Person’s With Disabilities around you during this downtime, posterity will never forget your good deed.

#AVoiceToPWD’s
#COVID-19
#NaijaLockdown
#IAmMegaTimmy

Odunayo Oluwatimilehin, OYEWOLE.
A Postgraduate Student, University of Ibadan.

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Opinion

Between Coronavirus & Hunger-Virus

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By Charles Ogbu

Any govt, whether at the federal, state or local level that is asking people to stay at home as a way of curbing the spread of Coronavirus WITHOUT providing relief materials such as food, water and most especially electricity for the same people is an irresponsible govt.

Praising the President, Governors or local govt Chairmen for the lockdown is the height of conscientious idiocy bordering on the fringes of lunacy. Declaring a lockdown doesn’t make one a leader. Even a complete imbecile can declare one. What makes a leader is the wisdom to know that when you force people who mostly exist on subsistence level to stay indoors and not go to work or go to the market, it is your job to provide for them for as long as the lockdown lasts.

Hunger is an existential threat to every living thing. More dangerous to our very existence than even a million and one Coronaviruses. And when you consider the fact that MOST Nigerian families cannot eat if they don’t go out every day, you’d begin to appreciate how moronic it is to declare a total lockdown without providing anything for the people you are forcing to stay at home.

If we want to do ‘copy and paste’, we should at least do it well. In other countries we are copying this lockdown from, citizens are provided with 24/7 electricity, running water, free money and they wake up in the morning to see food waiting for them at their doorstep. Here in Nigeria, the govt is only forcing people indoors with absolutely nothing.

No light, no water, no food, no money.

Yet,

You want people to stay at home for two weeks which from every indication, is going to be extended. If they stay at home and starve to death, has the purpose of your so called lockdown not been defeated?

Meanwhile, when COVID-19 was very far away from here, Nigerians begged this irresponsible govt to close all our borders just like most countries did but the same govt which closed our land borders over foreign rice refused to do the same over a deadly pandemic. Now that their friends, families and fellow members of the political cult have imported and spread the virus all over the country, they now want the poor masses, most of whom do not have international passport not to talk of having traveled abroad to suffer for their criminal negligence. Nothing could be more wicked than this!

If there has ever been a time the people need to use every means to hold the political class to account, that time is now.

I had wanted to publish the phone numbers of all our National Assembly lawmakers for people to call and text, demanding they use the same means they used to share rice, beans and garri when they are begging for vote to also share the same food items now that the masses need it most. But the thing is, I don’t think we should focus only on National Assembly members and ignore their counterpart at the state level, the local govt chairmen and councilors, all of whom are even closer to the grassroots than the ‘Abuja boys’. Now the problem is, I don’t have the means to acquire the contacts of the aforementioned people. So I’m urging you all to individually source for the phone numbers of your own local govt Chairman, councilor, member representing you at the state house of Assembly, federal house of Reps as well as the Senate and OCCUPY THEIR PHONE with texts and calls, demanding they go beyond distributing cheap stuff such as hand gloves and facemasks and start distributing food to the same people in whose name they are receiving outrageous salaries and allowances.

This is the time to know who is a true leader and representative of his people. I see some politicians busy copying the same messages from W.H.O and pasting same on big signboards with their names attached to it after which they feel they’ve done something great for their people. That’s nonsense!

Make no mistake, this lockdown might last for MONTHS. I take no joy in telling you this and I will give anything to be proven wrong but to be honest, we are in for a long ride.

Ignore the donation some of the politicians are announcing. Some of the pledges won’t be redeemed and most of the redeemed ones will simply be looted. It is silly for a politician from a state with no functioning isolation centre, no equipped hospital and certainly no ventilator to be announcing a donation of 500 million naira or one billion naira to the FG to aid the fight against Coronavirus. Is the virus a native of the federal govt? If you are genuine, why not use that money to build or equip existing isolation centre as well as get protective gears for health workers in your state?

Hunger-virus poses more threat to Nigerians at this particular time of lockdown than Coronavirus.

Occupy The Politicians’ phone lines until they share food the same way they do when they are seeking our vote. This is not you begging for food. This is you demanding your rights because these politicians represent you. All the salaries and allowances they are collecting plus the siren and escorts they move about with is because of you. The legitimacy of the office they occupy flows from you. So they owe you. It is time to call in the debt!

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Opinion

A Salient Note To Nigerian Youths In Such A Time As This

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By Odunayo Oluwatimilehin Oyewole

It is more of a fact than a statement that COVID-19 pandemic is a reality in Nigeria. With the daily rise in figure of confirmed cases in Nigeria, I find it necessary to pen down my thoughts for the reading of vibrants, agile, skillful, artistic, articulate, and promising Nigeria youths.

I wish to get the attention of those who make themselves ready tools of terror, destruction, vandalism, kidnapping, and manipulations to the political moguls during electioneering period. Who unashamedly sell their future and conscience for a piece of cake without a second thought.

Months ago, the Nigerian border was closed against importation of rice, the masses were forced to patronize the stone garnished local rice known as ‘Nigerian Rice’. Few months later came the COVID-19, we expected the Nigerian Government to take a proactive measure of banning foreign flights from entering the country as they vehemently stood against closure of border to imported rice but the reverse was the case. The time lag it took them to decide whether or not to stop foreign flights enabled their children and other notable elites who are outside the country to come in, hence they endangered and exposed others to the COVID-19 pandemic that has no case record in Nigeria. What a selfish motive!

An average Nigerian does not have access to quality health care service, while those who employ you for nefarious activities have the means to fly out of the country for quality medical check-up’s and treatments at the lightest feeling of illness.

COVID-19 exposed the stark debilitating reality of Nigerian hospitals, few hospitals have ventilators, while others don’t have at all. The few available ones could not cater for the rising number of infected person’s within the country.

The COVID-19 testing kits donated by the Chinese Philanthropist, Jack Ma, are being used for politicians and their families, while the masses are being left to their fates. What a country!

The Nigerian educational system, most especially, the Federal Universities, where an average Nigerian parents could manage to send their children is at the brink of collapsing, little or no attention is being taken by the government to salvage it from shattering into extinction. Sadly, Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike, has become a yearly anniversary for both students and lecturer’s in Nigeria as a result of unmet conditions between the ASUU and the Federal Government.

Students bear a large chunk of the brunt, as those who are meant to graduate within 4years end up wasting 2-3years extra. While the children of those who employ you as machinery for snatching ballot boxes have access to globalized quality education in well organized and developed Western countries. Hope I’m making sense?

A Nigerian Senator’s monthly running cost is #13.5million, including monthly salary of #750,000 while implementation of #30,000 minimum wage bacame an Herculean task.

Dear fellow Nigerian youths, how long shall we allow leaders who have no plans for us to continue to make us instrument of political thuggery and disruption at the detriment of our bright and promising future.

I raise a Clarion call for us to wake up from our slumbers. The future is ours, if only we are ready!

#COVID-19
#IAmAConcernedNigerianYouth
#SayNoToYouthExploitation
#IAmMega~Timmy

~ Odunayo Oluwatimilehin, OYEWOLE
A Postgraduate student, University of Ibadan

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