By Ehichioya Ezomon
Who’s next among the 19 outgoing State Governors to plead for forgiveness for “knowingly or unknowingly stepping on toes” in the course of governance?
Eighteen Governors of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto and Taraba will leave the stage on May 29 after eight years in office; joined by the Governor of Zamfara who failed re-election on March 18, 2023.
While nine Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Nasarawa and Oyo won re-election for a second term; the eight Governors of Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Edo, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun were chosen at different off-season polls, and will accordingly leave office.
Many of the Governors ruled like tin-gods that brook no opposition. But facing the exit door, they’re admitting – as human beings – their imperfection, and fallibility.
Hanging their all-knowing attitude, the Governors of Benue, Ebonyi, Kano and Taraba have sought forgiveness from their residents, but without due accountability or show of genuine contrition for the sins they glibly want to atone for.
A quick reminder though that the ask for absolution isn’t limited to the Governors. The Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, is the cheerleader.
Even as he didn’t kickstart the season’s pleading episode, Buhari’s craving for pardon met with sharp rebukes from a traumatised citizenry his government has taken on a rollercoaster for several years.
Like the Governors, Buhari merely wanted to fulfil all righteousness, without situating the wrongs and the affected – definitely not the few parading the narrow corridors of power, but majority of Nigerians that are out in the elements.
Does Buhari’s plea for remission qualify as repentance for the socio-politoco-economic and security challenges most Nigerians have endured on his watch since 2015 that bear no recataloguing?
Buhari’s petition for grace was at the 9th and last Eid-el-Fitr Sallah homage that residents of the Federal Capital Territory paid him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on April 21.
Buhari told his guests, led by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, that he’d accepted Nigerians’ complaints and criticisms in good faith, as part of the leadership he prayed and asked from God.
“God gave me an incredible opportunity to serve the country. We are all humans; if I have hurt some people along the line of my service to the country, I ask that they pardon me. All those that I have hurt, I ask that they pardon me,” the President said.
Certainly, Buhari’s speech was directed to a circle of privileged Nigerians, not the vast majority that had seen hell on earth, especially since late 2022 when government’s Naira redesign policy turned many into beggars.
The Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele – on Buhari’s authority that defied a Supreme Court ruling for status quo ante – confiscated citizens’ hard-earned money in Bank accounts that they could only access by buying back a token amount of cash if available.
Many deaths were recorded across Nigeria from the resultant starvation, ailments and riots by aggrieved Nigerians over the haphazardly-implemented, and spectacularly-flopped policy sprung during a General Election.
The situation is dicey, as the new and re-legal tendered banknotes remain scarce commodities.
Buhari ought to utilise the sober moment the Sallah homage by Abuja residents presented, to show genuine penitence for the untold financial and economic crisis that his government imposed on long-suffering, and law-abiding citizens!
The cases of Governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and Darius Ishaku of Taraba may not be different from Buhari’s.
They court exoneration devoid of admission of their particular sins against the people, and offer of commensurate restitution.
Umahi, who heads to the Senate in the next dispensation beginning on May 29, admitted to workers in Abakaliki on May 1 Workers’ Day that he must have stepped on people’s toes in the discharge of his duties since 2015.
“Let me formally thank our dear workers for their partnership, love, prayers and cooperation, these being eight years of my service to Ebonyi State,” Umahi said.
“There is no doubt I stepped on toes and offended some. It was never intentional; it was the best I knew and for the good of our people. Please forgive.
“As I bow out, I have forgiven all those who thought they offended me. May God bless our state, our workers and our people.”
Ortom, who lost his Senate bid, told members of his constituency and campaign council in Makurdi on March 28 that, he might’ve offended some in his duties.
“For those I might have offended in this journey of serving the state and our country, I seek their forgiveness, as I also forgive those who have offended me,” Ortom said.
Stressing he’d always ensured equity, fairness, justice and the rule of law in execution of the mandate given to him by God through Benue people, Ortom said he’d be available and ready to carry out God’s mandate in the future.
Ganduje, at a Ramadan lecture series at Al Furqan Juma’at Mosque in Nasarawa GRA, Kano, on April 17, sought clemency from those he said he’d pardoned for wrongs against him.
Ganduje, citing the Mosque leader’s espousal that “forgiveness occupies a prime spot in our religion,” begged for mercy thus:
“I’ve forgiven anyone, who at one time disparaged my person and my character for whatever reasons, and on my part, I equally beg or seek for your forgiveness for all that I’ve done wrong to you.
“My tenure as governor of Kano state has come to an end, and this is a farewell greeting. I wish you all the best. For those who we have wronged, forgive us, on my part, I have forgiven those who wronged me no matter the weight of the offence.”
Somehow, Ishaku, who failed his senatorial aspiration, displayed a semblance of remorse, as he begged for compassion at separate thanksgiving services at the Anglican Church Mayo Dasa, and secretariat of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Taraba State chapter, both in Jalingo, the capital city.
Kneeling before the congregation at the Anglican Church on April 23, Ishaku said it’s Biblical to openly apologise to people he might’ve offended carrying out his duties.
His words: “As a leader who has led the state for almost eight years, it is likely that I might have offended so many people either knowingly or unknowingly in the course of discharging my duties as the Executive Governor.
“Biblically, we are taught to forgive those who offend us. In this case, I am asking those I have offended to forgive me. I did this in the House of God, and if they did not forgive me, it is between them and God.”
Urging Tarabans to let the spirit of peace, love and forgiveness guide their attitudes, actions and relations with their fellow people, Ishaku expressed appreciation to God for giving him the wisdom to serve the people effectively despite the challenges that confronted his administration.
Buhari and the Governors claimed they’d worked for the good of the people.” If that were so, why would they seek pardon for undisclosed offences against Nigerians?
As they exhibit a righteous indignation of, “I have forgiven those who wronged me,” Buhari and the Governors’ plea for mercy appears as a last attempt to play on the people’s intelligence. It’s farcical and an afterthought!
Mr Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria
Alleged admissions racketeering in Law School uncovered
Fresh facts have emerged over allegations of admission racketeering involving the management of Nigerian Law School.
Multiple sources told the Newspoint that the process of entrance into the Nigerian Law School has been made so rigorous that university authorities pay huge amount of money, which they get through the parents of the students or the students themselves, so the paying university can get a high number of its undergraduates into the Law School.
A deputy dean from one of the South-West universities, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, ‘it’s an established fact that universities pay the Nigerian Law School huge amount of money to be able to give admission to the graduating Law students. These unfortunate acts have been going on for many years. ”
“It’s just sad that there is nothing anybody can do about it, the whole system is corrupt and if you don’t pay, some other universities will pay and take your slots and that will be to the detriment of the graduating students”, the university don lamented.
A parent of one of the graduating Law students who wouldn’t want their name mentioned added that, “I am surprised when my daughter asked for N1.5m for admission push into the Law School. I was shocked, I kept wondering if the people that are supposed to sanitise the law are these corrupt, then the profession is in trouble. ”
“I launched a private investigation through other families and colleagues and it was then I gathered that graduating Law students are made to pay from N1m to N4m each for entrance into the Law school”, the parent added.
Also speaking, a junior staff in one of the branches of the Law school told Newspoint that, its an open secret for the institution to collect money from univerisities and students, according to him, “you can hear the senior staff telling foreign Law students that, ‘you can pay dollars outside the country, we will collect ours too”.
For the record, admission racketeering in the Nigerian Law School can simply be described as money for admission. It is a practice or situation whereby persons, particularly staff of Nigerian Law School, demand money from prospective universities in exchange for admission.
This exchange can also be said to be willing extortion, given that the universities or, in some cases, parents/guardians of the students agree to the offer to pay money for the admission. Worst is, such students do not qualify for admission to study in the law schools but are asked to pay for such, thereby reducing the chances of those qualified to get placements in this institution.
While it may seem like a new practice, this newspaper learnt that admission racketeering in the Nigerian Law School undoubtedly has been silently “normalised” as it has been going on for decades, and by extension, impacts the country itself as the quality of lawyers produced annually begs for question.
Also, many of these lawyers are incapable of navigating the tough realities of the legal profession or in the words of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, “unlawyerable” thereby preventing the country from developing legally.
Similarly, in 2022, the Ministry of Justice, in a publication, stated categorically that the caliber of lawyers graduating from the Nigerian Law School might not be able to handle the intricacies associated with the legal profession.
The Nigerian Law School, established in 1962, plays a pivotal role in the legal education system of Nigeria. It serves as the final bridge that transforms law graduates into full-fledged legal practitioners.
All efforts to reach the spokesperson of the Nigerian Law School have proved abortive as text messages and calls were not responded to as at the time of filing this report.
Culled from Newspoint
President Tinubu: Stunts Of The Salesman
By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz –
IT was pin drop silence. All heads turned to his side of the hall listening as the man gently, but firmly, made a case for his country to this crème de la crème of the Saudi Arabian economic bureaucracy and business community. He grabbed attention with an off the cuff speech that exuded confidence, authority, assurance and truthfulness. It was a little wonder his audience followed through and nodded all through!
The setting was the Saudi-Nigeria Business Summit and the speaker was President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It was a forum held on the sidelines of the recent Saudi-Africa Summit held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
President Tinubu went into the meeting hall at the JW Marriot Hotel in upscale Riyadh as the President of Nigeria. By the time he picked the microphone he quickly wore the garb of a chief salesman for a product he is excited to market.
It was an effortless exercise in sophisticated arts of marketing and advocacy. It was a presentation from the heart that was as unpretentious as it was unscripted. He spurned out the facts and the figures, reeled out the justifications and tickled the boardroom chiefs where it mattered without appearing weak or pitiable. It was a classic case of economic diplomacy and salesmanship at the highest level.
Since the beginning of his campaign for office, one of the most frequent words on his lips has been “prosperity”. President Tinubu is a prosperous man. His life is tinged with footsteps of prosperity, from the corporate world where he was a successful businessman to the prosperous political career that was capped with his election to the highest office in the land.
It had not always been rosy for him. He had told his story again and again to motivate the younger generation and inspire the country. He had toiled to reach the top. He knew the pains of want and starvation, and the sweetness that comes with economic liberation and prosperity. It is the latter that President Tinubu is desperately working to see that all Nigerians have tested.
He had the lifelong ambition to lead his fatherland. He has fulfilled this ambition. He could, if he chooses, stay back and enjoy the pecks that come with it and pass the time in office. But because the ambition was not a vain one, President Tinubu is up and doing. “I campaigned for it. I begged for the job. I even danced to get elected. There is no excuse!” That is his mindset and the philosophy of leadership for him, and it is for this mindset that he is willing to go to any length to ensure that he bequeath to Nigerians a prosperous country that everyone desires.
It was in his quest for this objective that the President chose to use his time in Riyadh to address the country’s top boardroom chiefs. It turned out to be not just another meeting or a boring address from just another President. It was dazzling interaction that stole the minds of almost everyone in the room, by their own admission.
“We came with high expectations but you have exceeded them,” said the Saudi minister of investment, Khalid Al Falih, who moderated the three-hour session, after the rousing applause that greeted President Tinubu’s address to the Saudi business community. The minister had in his welcome address spoke about how they had followed President Tinubu’s campaign promises and how he started off with the “boldest economic reform agenda in decades” for Nigeria, likening it to happenings in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed Abunayyan, Chairman of Saudi’s ACWA Power confessed to being “inspired and motivated” by the President promising to see how his company can make foray into Nigeria. In the same vein, Abdulrahman Alfaqiq, the CEO of Saudi oil trading company, SABIC, promised to upscale their business relationship with Nigeria due to the assurances he got from the top.
They were just a few of the many who spoke in glowing terms about the President and in optimistic sense of the new business environment being created by President Tinubu for domestic and international investors.
This was not the first time and certainly not the last. In September, the President’s participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, was a potpourri of achievements. He maximally used the time to network with the right people and seek out investments for Nigeria.
It was, in every sense, a bumper harvest for the country as the President came back with a basket full of goodies amounting to billions of dollars in investment pledges. Most of the commitments are in areas dear to the heart of the President and at centre of our quest for development. These include the $3 billion promised by Jindal Steels for iron ore processing to aid Nigeria’s drive for industrialization, Skippersells’ plan to invest $1.6 billion in the power sector by building 2000MW power plants across the country in 4 years, Indorama’s pledge for $8 billion expansion of their petrochemical facilities in Rivers State, a billion dollars secured by the Defence Industry Corporation Of Nigeria (DICON), among others.
The President’s last trip to Germany for the G20 Compact with Africa Summit also garnered as much fruits with the signing of the $500 million gas and renewable energy pact with the German government, among others.
As a young man, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was trained as an accountant. He was a very good student, his records show, who finished from the Chigaco State University with flying colours. In the aftermath, he pursued strings of career opportunities in Accounting and Auditing.
He left his job on his own volition and ventured into politics. But in his new job President Tinubu is demonstrating that beyond his training in Accountancy, as omo iyaloja he has imbibed not a few skills from his revered mother and notable businesswoman to apply in his bid to market Nigeria to investors and the larger international community.
Abdulaziz is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media. He’s on X @AbdulFagge
Don calls for investment in Solid-State Physics Research project, energy technologies
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Professor of Solid-State Physics, Tajudeen Oladele Ahmed, has called for establishment and proper funding of Solid State Physics Research Projects from where new high-tech enterprises would evolve on the long run.
Prof. Ahmed made the call in his lecture at the 16th Inaugural Lecture Series of the University on the topic “Solid-State Physics: Materials Development For Sustainable Energy Technologies”, presented on Wednesday in Lokoja.
The Professor of Solid-State Physics explained that the development of materials in the context of Solid-State Physics refers to the reproducible synthesis methods, structure and property characterization.
“This, according to him, is needed to develop varieties of materials for energy sources and storage devices that are required to solve the problem of energy crisis that is being faced currently in Nigeria and the world.
“The need for green technology and low-carbon economy is rising rapidly and the abilities to create varieties of new energy technologies with improved efficiency would give an edge in the long run to the country.
“The global economy is today driven by cutting edge technology and the top eighteen (18) most sought after technologies are not limited to information and communication technology and quantum computing but include sustainable energy technologies.
“Thus, Nigeria as a country has to be a partaker in this drive for a new world order. It is in the light of the above enumerated facts and the associated benefits that I chose the title “Solid State Physics: Materials Development for Sustainable Energy Technologies,” he said.
Ahmed said Nigeria as nation need not abandon this frontier of STI for advanced nations but should invest in it as this would in the long run put the country in the fore front or as a contender for green technology in the new era of low-carbon economy.
He challenged the management of the Federal University Lokoja to take advantage and play a critical role in the materials development and sustainable energy technologies for inclusive economic development of the nation.
He said this can be achieved by establishing and funding Solid State Physics Research Projects where in the long run new high-tech enterprises would emanate from the research outputs.
This is indeed a paradigm shift the University has to contend with not only for the purposes of sustainable and inclusive national economic development but for her own survival too, hence this innovation and entrepreneurial-driven thrust must be embarked upon as soon as possible.
“Whilst there is need to enhance capacity in FUL as a new university in Nigeria which is strategically positioned, the critical ingredients for FUL to adequately perform and contribute to STI development needs to be provided by the government and other agencies.
Speaking after the two-hour lecture, Vice-Chancellor of FUL, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi described the Inaugural Lectures series as a cherished tradition in the university to meet the academic requirements.
The Vice Chancellor said said that through the delivery, Prof. Ahmed had discharged one of the requirements of his calling in the academia and had therefore, been acquitted. (Ends)
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