Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Dr Joseph Ochogwu has attributed economic decline and crisis that have bedeviled Nigeria and Africa to leadership failure.
The DG spoke in Abuja during an Experiential Leadership series in Africa themed: Post Crisis Cohesion in Africa: Leadership and the practice of no victor no vanquished.
According to him, in recent times, Nigeria and Africa as a whole have been confronted with heightened spate of crime, insecurity and in particular leadership crisis which has led to a decline in her economic growth and development.
“The narrative of political leadership in the African continent is replete with corruption, misgovernance, nepotism, mediocrity, abuse of power, human rights abuse and mismanagement.
“This happens in a continent endowed with huge deposits of mineral resources, vast arable lands for agriculture, huge earnings from mineral resources’ exportation and strategic location in the world map.
“Additionally, the phenomenon of leadership failure has continued to pose a serious challenge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa Union – Agenda 2063 in the continent.
“The United Nations for instance, sets the 17 SDGs as the developmental plan targeted to be achieved by all nations in the year 2023.
“Since the SDGs came on stream in 2015, the African nations have been grappling with acute poverty, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, demeaning political culture of ‘Winner takes All’ and the latest reign of coup d’états.
“Indeed, Leadership failure is at the heart of these challenges.
“Furthermore, the damning challenges have continued to connote fundamental threats to peace, stability, security and economic development in the African continent,” Ochogwu said.
The IPCR chief added that the Institute is partnering with TEL-Africa to advance conversations around leadership issues, security and socio-economic development in Africa.
The aim is to bring African leaders and past leaders to share their experiences on how they’ve been able to manage some certain practices that they face towards transgenerational, peacebuilding.
“You recall that former head of state General Yakubu, was able to manage Nigeria in the pre Civil War era, in terms of, no Victor, no vanquished.
“We need to understand how to build cohesion in a society that is highly heterogeneous,” he stated.
Ochogwu also appealed to the government and leaders in Nigeria and Africa to consciously and deliberately implement policies that are inclusive, that makes for elite consensus and looks out for positive political settlement, and that’s the only way to build our nations and build nations of Africa.
In his remarks, Amb. Cui Jianchun, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria said that to build a stable economy, there is need for engaging the 5-Es namely; Education, Economy, Environment, Equality and Enforcement, adding that they are the most important things in governance both national and internationally.
Also speaking, Mr. Masudur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Nigeria, added that Nigeria should diversify her economy to create a sustainable development, Peace and progress and prosperity for its people.
He also reiterated that Bangladesh is willing to partner with Nigeria in various fields including peace, Democracy, social justice among others.
The highlight of the event is the Investiture of Fellow Peace Institute (fpi) was conferred upon General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former head of State.
Akpabio expresses hope of a united Nigeria where all tribes will speak in one accord
The President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio has expressed the optimism that a day will come in Nigeria when all tribes and tongues will come together in patriotism to push the country to its Eldorado
Akpabio spoke on Sunday at the Occasion of the NTA Carol Night, 2023.
“I believe that one day, Nigerians of all tribes, peoples and tongues will come together in unity and patriotism, and share the love of Jesus Christ.
He indicated that Nigerians are in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest ever ensemble of Christmas Carol Singers.
Explaining further, he said the feat was attained when he was the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“We wanted to have a taste of Heaven when the Bible says in Revelation 7:9 that “… a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
He recognised Former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon as he thanked him as grand patron for being steadfast uptil today
“I used to ask my self a question, what if we were not praying? In a difficult time such as we faced during the COVID a lot of people in the world thought Nigeria was going to go down with every household carrying dead bodies but God though otherwise because of the prayers of the Church abd prayers of good men who struggled with the believe that God will definitely intervened and God intervened nit just for Nigeria but for the reat of the world.
“The administration of Preaident Tinubu believes strogly in renewing the hope of all Nigerians so it is coming very apt at this time. Our hope is being rwnewed in the activities going on.
“The joy if this Christmans starting from the 3rd day of December shows us clearly that you have been steadfast for 20 years
While commeding the NTA, Voice of Nigeria and the FRCN who put the event together and have been doing it for the past two decades, he said, “I am thrilled that at your 20 anniversary, you are the senate president who believes so much in Chrismas Carols.
“I have this believe that the only reason that God made man was for man to praise and worship God and therwforewhen I had the opportunity to be Governor between 2007 and 2015, I drew the attention on yearly bases of about 59 countries to know that Jesus has come and therefore we organised the largest choir on earth and we broke the guinness book of records and it is still there till today. My people named it after me, Godswill Akpabio Choir.
“Just as the star led the way to the humble manger in
Bethlehem, Jesus continues to light the path for those who place their trust in Him. “His birth represents a promise, a divine covenant calling us out of darkness into His marvelous
light. His life exemplifies limitless compassion, forgiveness, and unwavering love.
“By embracing Jesus as our hope, we discover strength, redemption, and the promise of eternal
“In Nigeria, the power of hope resonates deeply within us. We have faced our fair share of trials and tribulations, but our faith and the hope found in the message of Jesus have kept us resilient.
“In a world grappling with uncertainty, strife, and challenges, Jesus remains the beacon of hope, offering solace and assurance to all who seek Him.
“Today, as we celebrate Christmas in unity and love, let us rekindle that hope within our hearts, inspiring change, forgiveness, and compassion towards one another.
“This Christmas carol event, graciously organized by the
Nigeria Television Authority, serves as a reminder for us all that our hope in Jesus shall never fail because God’s word shall never pass away.
“His love which was made manifest In Christmas shall never cease and it brings good will and peace
to all of mankind.
“In celebration of this, we have come to witness the power of music, transcending barriers, and touching the depths of our
“We are reminded of the angelic music the shepherds heard when they heralded his birth. As we embrace these harmonious melodies, let us remember that they, too, carry the message of hope through the ages, reminding us of Jesus’ everlasting impact on humanity.
In this season of joy, may Jesus’ birth echo within us all, guiding our thoughts, our words, and our actions. May “His hope reignite our spirits, encouraging us to spread love and kindness to those around us.
“Each small act of goodwill can illuminate a life, bringing light to the darkest corners of our world.
“As we sing our carols and rejoice together, may Jesus, our eternal hope, fill us with renewed faith, strength, and
“Let us carry His message of love and hope throughout the year, illuminating our homes, communities,
and our beloved Nigeria.”
“As we gather here today, united in celebration and joy, we are reminded of the true essence of Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ, our eternal hope.
Let us, therefore, reflect upon
this profound theme of “Jesus Our Hope,” and embrace His love and grace.
Christmas is a time when hope fills the air, when merriment and goodwill permeate our hearts. Yet, amidst the glittering
lights and festive cheer, it is essential to remember the
reason for this season — the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Senator Kadiri eulogises ex-president Shagari for initiating Ajaokuta Steel company
***Says, Kogi governorship election was a sham
An All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart, Senator Alex Kadiri has eulogised late former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari for several infrastructural development initiated by his administration, notable among which is the conception and construction of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, in Kogi State.
Senator Kadiri who represented Kogi East in the Senate from 1999 to 2003 said the Shagari administration made giant strides towards the advancement of the Nigeria with a nationalistic view
The steel complex which was said to have been about 90% completed in 1984 by late Nigerian first executive President Alhaji Shehu Shagari had been abandoned by successive administrations and the gigantic project has been lying fallow almost in the shadow of its potentials.
He lamented that if subsequent governments after the Shagari administration in 1983 had been sincere in completing the project, it would have taken Nigeria to its Eldorado.
Senator Kadiri spoke to journalists receltly in Abuja after a trip to his hometown Odu in Dekina, Local Government of Kogi State.
He urged Nigerians to pray for the late president Shagari because the level his government left Ajaokuta as the president of Nigeria is where it is today as he described the gigantic project as a national disgrace and shame.
“Nigerians, we are so wasteful, so indecent. I don’t think Nigerians deserves any good thing,” he said.
He said the road leading to Lokoja the Kogi State capital has been under construction for the past seventeen years, yet the road has no portion that can be said to have been concluded.
“There’s no other state capital that looks like mine. Which was also the first country’s capital. I passed through that road with tears in my eyes.
“It’s very unfortunate for me that my party is APC. It has not done any thing across the river Niger for the past eight years.
“God knows, we know, If this is democracy, then we are not practicing such in that part of kogi state. Nigerians resources were just wasted by INEC by conducting a sham election.
“Once I arrived at my village, everyone was looking very frail and impoverished and dispirited in a country in which they live. They can’t go elsewhere, they’re stuck.
“I’m even mocked by my children about the fact that I speak about such things and I’m being paid with a deaf ear. They feel that I’m criticizing the government too much and should just keep quiet like every other person, because that’s what Nigeria wants.
“Nigerians are bing treated like conquered slaves. We’ve not conquered Nigerians. We’ve not conquered Kogi State. We’ve not conquered the Igala people. We’ve not conquered the individuals. We’ve forced them and this force cannot be sustained.”
According to him, the November 11, governorship election was a rape of democracy as nobody voted for anyone, adding that there was no election.
“The government will feel like, they in control of all the local governments, we’ve all the councils, all the chairmen.
He pleased with God to forgive him, his family because we know not what we’re doing. We’re taking Nigerians as nothing, and in fact they have no choice. They can’t protest.
He blamed the National Assembly members from Kogi State who want to play roles of the executive.
“They now want to construct boreholes, roads, schools and so on, which are the functions of the executive. They are supposed to make laws for good governance of the country, the state and the local governments. They are not expected to do such.”
ACF chairman makes case for host communities to get 13% revenue derivation
**Says Governors have been misappropriating the monies
The Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) chairman, Architect Gabriel Aduku has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that the 13% Revenue derivation is not given to States but for communities bearing oil and other mineral resources.
He said the monies should be directly given to the communities instead of their State governments
Aduku who was a former Minister of Health was also an elected member of the Abacha’s Constitutional Conferece between 1994 to 1995 where he was the chairman of the Revenue Allocation committee which was on the schedule.
“So for this particular 13% revenue derivation Formular I will appeal to the president of the country to ensure that the governors have nothing to do with it.
He said, Tinubu who himself is experienced in governance as a two term Governor of Lagos State, a former senator and is a person that has mixed with people to reconsider the implementation and ensure that the host comunities benefit directly.
“The implementation of these should be strictly put together. The governors will have nothing to do with the derivation of thirteen percent fund that is in the constitution, its for all the communities that are affected.
He said the derivation is good but implementation had been the problem. “Many of the governors thereafter saw money and they would look at what to do, they would prefer to do the things themselves rather than give it to the people that are affected for the purpose for which it is derived.
“So that has been wrong, it became a major problem and one of the problems in Nigeria since the 13% revenue derivation came into law during the administration of Obansanjo in particular.
“We have seen what some governors have done with it and it encourages them to aspire to become President of Nigeria since they have money now. They use money making a factor for democracy so unfortunately it’s one of the evils that have eaten up this country.
“But it can be simply managed if only there is sincerely of purpose in the people. So I submit again that the derivation factor is a blessing to Nigerians, and in all other considerations it affects the people, because governance is about the people, not about individuals, how much one can make out of it, or how much their friends made out of it.
He said Implementation of ideas or critical decisions for the progress of this country has been bedeviled overtime and it appears to continue to get worse. “So my candid input is that we should ensure that that particular 13% is allocated to the communities, by identifying the communities and putting an instrument, a management instrument that will be composed of people of integrity within the communities.
“And when they put themselves together they should constitute their leadership themselves, and such leadership can only be supervised by the government of the State and that of the federation on how that resource of thirteen percent is used within the communities.
“The interesting thing is that discussion were taken, we made an agenda for it and more of it was amicably discussion all through.
“Cardinal among the issue is the decision which is the derivation factor. Derivation factor from our search and researches has been on even during the self government of Northern Nigeria, western Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria and so on.
“Derivation were being applied to manage resources. We found out that derivation is important and so it should come to play in what we are doing.
“So in the course of our meetings and so on the 13% derivatives formular became necessary for the areas of oil production of which at that time were mineral contributing States substantially to the nation’s economy.
He said the approval was given and it was organised and members of the committee travelled to the oil bearing areas in Portharcourt in the South South, warri for a physical visit to the sites where we can observe for ourselves the extent of damage the exploration has caused the people, the pollution of the natural water, the danage to the arable lands and so on
He said after their trip they settled to discuss the issue of 13% derivation as basis for revenue allocation.
According to him, the Olu of Warri at that time after they explained their mission to him and what they had done so far, asked what the committee had seen.
He provided an aircraft to come or one of those oil expert to come and take to go and see more.
“That’s how he provided for us and got the oil companies to aid us to see these sites and that’s why we were able to fly over areas where the oil exploitation was carried out, including areas where gas flaring took place and we could see the effect.
“We flew round and in fact came as near as certain points where they were habitations within the area of this gas flaring. We saw people living in some kind of islands on top of the river.
“The effect of the oil was very obvious on the water. So we had the opportunity of seeing quite a bit of what was going on, and it made our discussion a little more fascinating for everyone that was in the committee, in the sense that we could appreciate the difficulties that people who lived in those areas were facing.
“Their water polluted, their atmosphere polluted. So there’s definitely need to take care of these people who by nature are already living in that area. They were pockets of agricultural activities but you could see certain areas where the agricultural activities were also affected by the oil spillage all around.
“This is not to talk of the open naked water that is polluted, and that’s where they drink water from. So we could imagine their difficulties. By the time we came back through Ajaokuta, because the same Olu of warri provided us an aircraft which could land on water and on ground.
“So it was easy for us to come back through Ajaokuta, so we landed on river Niger in Ajaokuta, at the Julius Berger’s port.
“It was amazing for the members. Most of the members had never really travelled South to see things,
not to talk of with an aircraft that lands on water and then goes like a boat to the port, and then drop us and went back.
“By the time we met at Ajaokuta and reviewed the situation in Ajaokuta we could only sympathise that Nigeria has the opportunities, but are we tidying them up?. It made our discussion, again a lot easier with full attention of my members most of the time.
“We got a resolution that says final resolution apart from details. It is to say that for all, the Revenue Allocation will be based on derivation.
“The derivation factor we arrived at was, not less than 13% of the minerals produced in that area which should go back to service the people.
“That is the ultimate aim. Looking at the sufferings of the people. The first set of governors that were to utilise the place was shortly after Abdulsalam’s administrstionAnd when they got in there was derivation factor of course had gone in and it should go to the states that are affected that’s how it was simply put.
Today the surprising thing is that Abacha’s regime was not accorded the opportunity of turning that conference outcome into reality because of the change that occurred. “And we could see that because of the value of that derivation committee work the regime of Abdulsalam decided to extract that portion, and carry on.
“And that is why it is today in the constitution which is being used and of course the normal ammendment today is resolved into the Petroleum bill as we started.
“So the background is very interesting and I’m happy that I chaired that controversial issue and it has become a reality and it should be applied.
“Now Nigeria has a problem as some of us have observed in all sectors the problem of implementation.
Why do we have that? We have loaded ourselves with so much of insincerity and lack of purposefulness of what we are to do to manage our country, we lost it.
“With the insincerity, indiscipline, it has resulted into what we’re having now,Total insecurity that is destroying our development. By the time we analyse this in things that is insincerity, indiscipline that is equating to insecurity, we are not very safe.
“But the intentions have always been there a lot of desires are all in the cupboards of all governments ,but implementation is. So we saw it coming.”
“Today, I find myself in kogi state and I chaired that occasion. Kogi state has become the only state in the North that has been marked as oil producing state after some protractions here and there but at last it is there.
“I would like to give you the insight on how this implementation should be carried out just in the way I have said it.
“We have traditional leadership which was established before the colonial times and we have a head of it of which we call the Atta of Igala. “The area of petroleum that came out is in his domain, Ibaji area, so to say and there are several locations that are very close to it.
“The communities are obvious and whatever derivation comes out of it should directly be used in the interest of the people through the community administration, native authorities administration.
“That is how we grew up, that is how we saw sense in using and enjoying government facilities and caring for it. So the idea of sincerity of purpose has to come into administration of these resources otherwise it can be another blow”
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