Connect with us

COLUMNISTS

GODSWILL AKPABIO: The Count Down

Published

on

(Part 1)

  1. Introduction

Godswill Akpabio, Hon. Minister, Niger Delta Affairs has dominated the news so far in 2020 for all the wrong reasons. The Corona Virus Pandemic is only slightly ahead for obvious reasons. Why has Akpabio been so controversial? Indeed, the President deserves an international award for his uncommon patience with Akpabio given all the embarrassment caused to his administration. Of all the Ministers in Buhari’s Cabinet, Akpabio stands out like a sore thumb and is currently tasking the President’s restraint. Why is decorum so difficult for him to maintain? In the recent past, he operated as Lord and Master; oppressing the Akwa Ibom people mercilessly and absolutely without question.

 

A simple matter of constituting a new Board for the NDDC was made to look impossible to achieve. The President of Nigeria forwarded names to the Senate for approval as required by law. The names were duly approved. Then Akpabio came up with this whole idea of Interim Management Council! Why was it considered impossible for the Senate-approved Board to undertake the Forensic Audit? Okay, this had been overtaken by events? The first IMC prepared grounds for the Forensic Audit. Then the Acting Managing Director, Dr. Joi Nunieh was sacked for reasons now emerging as her refusal to accept juju oath-taking! The new IMC headed by a Professor and former classmate of the Honourable Minister is in charge now. He also fortified the IMC with the addition of two persons, thus making it appear as though Dr. Nunieh was not the issue but the need to expand and be more representative. How has that helped accountability? There is the issue of US$200 Million left in the Dollar Account of the NDDC y the Nunieh led IMC. It has been depleted now. Then there is the perennial issue of the Headquarters Building. Some N16 Billion has further been spent against Government regulations. Again N40 Billion is reported to have been spent on unauthorised disbursements! And then, as if to tender some defence, the new IMC claims to have spent N22 Billion as against the N40 Billion alleged. What a defence?

 

  1. Questions

The IMC was designed to prepare grounds for Forensic Audit and then quit. Technically speaking, having transmitted the relevant documents to the Auditors, the IMC ought to have been dissolved and a permanent, independent Board sworn in. Some of the questions now begging for answers are:

 

  1. a) What difference does it make if the NDDC-IMC spent (misappropriated) N22 Billion Naira in 3 months and not N200 Billion? How does that exculpate the IMC from the allegations of irregular selective payments for jobs not cleared by the Forensic Audits? Is it not shameful that while the Minister goaded the IMC to make selective payments for jobs not cleared by the forensic audit, it failed to meet recurrent obligations to students on NDDC scholarships in foreign institutions?

 

  1. b) Is it not an affront to the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari Administration for the IMC to have made selective payments for the NDDC Headquarters building, supply of Lassa Fever kits, etc. when these projects had not passed through the integrity test of the forensic audit?

 

  1. c) The directive of the Minister that substantial payments be made, including the payment of N22 Billion conceded by the management, for whatever purpose for jobs not cleared for payment by the Forensic Report; does it not compromise the outcome of the Audit and undermine the authority of the President over this Minister?

 

  1. d) The Audit process, having been sabotaged by the Minister and the IMC and caused embarrassment to the President and the National Assembly, what measure of punishment does the Minister deserve in the circumstance?

 

  1. e) In the light of the Minister’s implication in some of the contracts, whether it makes sense to insist that he should continue to supervise the project?

 

  1. f) Concomitantly, whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should continue his perceived policy of restraint in the face of this barbaric rape of the NDDC, the only interventionist hope of the Niger Delta Region till, what now amounts to eternity?

 

  1. 3. The Essential Akpabio

Akpabio is a very ambitious person. He had shown ambition from his days in Secondary School. In the University of Calabar where he read Law, he showed promise as the Speaker of the Students Union Parliament. He leveraged on all these in his Political career. He is also a Schemer of dangerous proportions. He would identify his target and eliminate every obstacle to that achievement. He would use Machiavellian tactics to arrive at his destination. He has always had the ambition to become the President of Nigeria. Some of his buildings in Uyo, Lagos and Abuja are fashioned to evoke prestige, in his quest to become the President of Nigeria. From those who have worked very closely with him, he is intellectually lazy and acts on impulse. His miscalculations are always disastrous. He has no stamina for long suffering, independent project conception or any long term planning. His quest for gratification and vain-glory is legendary. How else does anyone rationalise the fact that he is the only Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a Chief of Staff, just like the President? Even the Vice President has no Chief of Staff! Upon the demise of Abba Kyari to the dreaded Corona Virus, Akpabio flew a kite. Dubious publications emerged from all corners of the Social Media suggesting or in some cases nominating Akpabio to succeed the late Chief of Staff to the President. He overrated himself! He does not believe anybody else exists. He recoiled under the backlash. His Social Media boys changed tactics and abandoned the inglorious campaign. His close associates are steadfast and insist that he will still take a shot at the Presidency but would settle for the Vice Presidency in the hope that an opening by some providence, might open for him to emerge as the President. Surely, he needs money for the endeavour. Who does not know that it costs billions of Naira to get close to the Presidency?

 

  1. Some Insights

Akpabio’s idol was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Of course for the wrong reasons! Tinubu is well known to be a builder. He is loved by his people for his peculiar Human Capital Development. Tinubu has produced a few Governors in Lagos and elsewhere. His foundation membership of the APC, long-suffering and influence in the Party is respected. Akpabio is a Gate-Crasher to both the PDP and the APC. He reigned as Emperor of Akwa Ibom and installed Governor Udom in spite of the violence that characterised the 2015 General Elections. He expected Udom to kotow to him in every respect and thereby compromise good governance. Udom disappointed him there and is the source of the unending friction between him and the Akwa Ibom State Governor. Akpabio’s appointment as a Minister was God-sent. His means of vain-glory and ostentatious living was almost extinct.

 

Akpabio’s penchant for scandalous upward revision of contracts is legendary. He started what is now a monumental waste of Akwa Ibom State resources in the name of The Tropicana Project. The project was originally estimated to cost N33 Billion. As at 2012, He had revised it upwards to a whopping N120 Billion! He knew all along that the project was a white elephant conduit pipe never intended for delivery. He awarded the contract to an entertainment company with no engineering experience.

 

  1. Lamentations of Akwa Ibom People

It is heart-warming that some Akwa Ibom persons and groups have lent their voices against the embarrassment caused by Akpabio to our dear Akwa Ibom State and the Federal Government. Is he the only Minister? Akwa Ibom people have been thoroughly humiliated by the financial improprieties discovered under his watch at the NDDC. The impression was already being spread that the scrutiny of the interventionist agency was being masterminded by non Akwa Ibom persons and groups solely to insult the Akwa Ibomites. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the sponsored articles by persons and groups affiliated to Akpabio make that suggestion. Some even imagine that Akpabio is the only Minister that can reasonably emanate from Akwa Ibom State. What insult! We have had Ministers from Akwa Ibom in the past and they made us proud. There is nothing sacrosanct about Akpabio and his office. There are fantastic materials from which the President can make his choice of Minister from Akwa Ibom State and they will deliver.

 

  1. Proclivity for Violence

This subject has become imperative in the light of Dr Nunieh’s personal safety alarm raised specifically to the Inspector General of Police. She warned that Akpabio should be held responsible in the event of any danger to her person. This should not be discounted as pedantry. There is a frightening pedigree. What is more, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) had issued a warning by their publications of the 7th May, 2020 to all those distracting Akpabio from his ministerial role to steer clear or continue at their peril. The threat did not go unnoticed. Akpabio was Governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007-2015 (8 years). Under his watch as the Chief Security Officer of the State, it was pure hell. The following scenarios played out:

 

  1. a) Senator John Udoedehe. He contested the Governorship elections in 2011 under the ACN against Governor Akpabio. He was one of the first victims of Political intolerance. So many of his supporters were hounded down and killed in Uyo and Ikot Ekpene where he had gone for his rallies. He was subsequently arrested in Abuja and arraigned at the FCT High Court on trumped up charges. These facts are in the public domain and available on the internet.

 

  1. b) Chief Sunny Udom, the Director-General of the APC Governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Umana Okon Umana was the target of political assassination in his office. He held a press conference on Thursday the 8th May, 2014 in which he highlighted the fact that one of the assassins lost a finger in the process of indiscriminate gun shots. Some security agencies to which the incident was reported had dismissed the report as mere armed robbery by the local Police. There was no condemnation or any interest by Akpabio the Governor. The APC candidate was then his immediate past Secretary to the State Governor.

 

  1. c) Albert Ukpanah, a well-known opponent of Governor Akpabio’s 2015 Senate ambition was strangled to death in his residence in Abak, Akwa Ibom State on the 5th of March, 2014. The Government did not show any interest and the matter went cold.

 

  1. d) In December, 2013, Hon. Umana Okon Umana himself was the target of hired assassins when he received threats at his Uyo residence. It is instructive that contemporaneous with that threat, His Excellency, the then Governor ordered the withdrawal of his security details. This was widely reported in the press. That matter was promptly reported to the Police in Uyo.

 

  1. e) Her Excellency, Mrs. Comfort Ewang: wife of a former Military Administrator of Ogun and Rivers States, Group Capt. Sam Ewang, was abducted by kidnappers who reportedly demanded that her husband rescind his decision to contest the 2011 elections. She was released after her abductors had secured a heavy ransom.

 

  1. f) Madam Philomena Udonwa, a retired civil servant; a grandmother of over 70 years, and mother of a Singapore based Marine Engineer and Governorship aspirant, Iniekong Udonwa, was kidnapped. Her son was shot at, in a failed assassination attempt, but escaped with bullet wounds. Once again, the kidnappers allegedly demanded that Engr. Udonwa rescind his bid to contest the 2011 Elections as a pre-condition for his mother’s release. Madam Udonwa was not lucky after-all. She was abused, murdered, stripped naked, and abandoned on a lonely rural road.

 

  1. g) Mr Mike Eduok, the brother of the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok, was kidnapped, over his brother’s perceived opposition to Akpabio’s tyrannical governance, pre 2011 elections.

 

  1. h) Barr Umo Udonwa, slated to take over as the State PDP Chairman, was murdered in shrouded circumstances. He was a close ally of prominent members of the opposition to Akpabio.

 

  1. i) Elder Paul Inyang, a PDP stalwart also billed for the State PDP Chairmanship, was shot dead in the premises of his church. Inyang was the associate of the opposition duo of ex-Governor Victor Attah and Senator Udoedehe, on account of Akpabio’s high handed administration of the State. It soon became clear that Elder Inyang had shifted his political allegiance after he began to hold meetings with key opposition members. Clearly, Paul Inyang’s murder was not unconnected with his allegiance to the opposition.

 

  1. j) GENERAL EDET AKPAN: a former NYSC Director and prominent Akwa Ibom son, was kidnapped after a reported disagreement over sale of shares of Universal Energy Resources (Akwa Ibom indigenous oil servicing company) of which he (Akpan) was Chairman. The General was in Church and other innocent worshippers in the church premises were murdered. He was released after a ransom was paid and subsequently relieved of his office.

 

  1. k) OKUIBOM RJ OBOT: The most senior Ibibio monarch on earth was gruesomely murdered in his palace.

 

  1. l) THE EKPENYONG BROTHERS. Engr. Emmanuel (aka Submarine) and his brother Matthias (aka Mbota), were murdered in the family quarry site. Knowledgeable sources claim the brothers refused to sell. Fabian (the surviving sibling), was framed for the murder of his brothers by the State Government, after he had identified two of the actual killers. He was detained for several months and later released for lack of evidence.

 

  1. m) Dr Chris Ekong, an Economist and University teacher and former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, and later Economic Development, was framed for complicity in a kidnap case, detained for over two years but later discharged and acquitted of the charges. He was a subject of relentless persecution.

 

We have taken pains to demonstrate the infamy that was the lot of the Akpabio Government. It is, in the circumstance, unwise and indeed stupid to ignore any sign of threat to violence as raised by Dr. Nunieh.

 

CHIEF JACOB ESHIET

Chairman, Akwa Ibom Solidarity Front

267, Oron Road, Uyo

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

COLUMNISTS

Iniubong Umoren: The Wicked Attempt to Link Her Death to Akpabio Family Will Fail

Published

on

The country was recently awash with the sorrowful story of the heinous crime of kidnap and gruesome murder of the innocent job seeker and University of Uyo graduate, Iniubong Umoren recently somewhere in Akwa Ibom State.

Nigerians were shocked to their marrows when it became apparent that one Frank Uduak Akpan was responsible for not only raping her but killing and burying her in a shallow grave somewhere in the State. The police declared the said Frank wanted but arrested his father who was suspected as an accomplice when it became apparent that Frank was on the run. As God would have it, he was eventually arrested through the effort of one Kuffre Effiong and the police who lured and promised him that he will receive the co-operation of the police if he is innocent as he originally claimed.

It is of utmost interest to note that Frank’s arrest was somewhere in Shelter Afrique Junction, Uyo, not in a hotel or a house of anybody.

This story is so tormenting and horrendous that emotions naturally went high when the sad news was broken both on the traditional and social media. The prayer of everyone was that whosoever was responsible for this heinous act for whatever purpose should be brought to justice and no one born of a woman who has blood running in his veins will want this kind of crime to be covered up, no matter the personality/ties involved.

However, it is astonishing and profoundly wicked for any being, let alone a trained journalist to sit in the comfort of his home or office in far away America and concoct lies just to drag the name of Senator Akpabio and his dear wife in the murder saga just to satisfy whosoever is paying him for that kind of “dirty job”.

At what point does fiction transform into a reality and to what end can any sane being market cock and bull story to un-discerning members of the public? It is still shocking that mere conjectures of a journalist have been made  to develop a life and be termed factual without any shred of evidence linking the crime to the Akpabios. The only snag in all these though, is that marketing fictions today through the social media has become the pastime of evil doers and the un-discerning members of the public have become so gullible that these tortoise  stories are taken in, line, hook and sinker without any pinch of salt.

In a short while, we will analyse this story as put out by this David Hundeyin who is said to be a Nigerian Investigative Journalist  resident in America from where he has perfected his nasty habit of running people down with his fictional stories about matters he has no knowledge of, maybe for money or just to garner fame. Reading many of Hadley Chase books is very good, but the danger is when the reader cannot distinguish between fiction and reality.

By the way when his lies fell like pack of cards, he is alleged to have  hurriedly pulled down the story of linking senator Godswill Akpabio  and his dear wife to the murder allegation from his blog or someone’s blog by name Newswirengr where he titled the story “Murder in Uyo: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?” He has a right to refute the story of having pulled it down.

In his report, the journalist claimed that he analyzed the telephone calls of the prime suspect in the murder case, Akpan . According to him, Akpan called a number of people after the murder of the female graduate. He  stated that the said Kuffre Effiong works with Niger Delta Civil Service. He further alleged that  the  killer and the said Kuffre Effiong met physically at a certain 58G, Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo. His “investigative skill” revealed that Akpan the alleged killer worked for an “illegal organ trafficking ring to feed the booming global black market organ trade”.

His fictional story line continued from his Twitter handle on 11th of May where he further published his falsehood as follows ” It has just come to my attention that Davok Suites, the hotel at the centre of the 58 Unit G/S 9, Unit G, Ewet Housing Estate nexus involving Kuffre Effiong and Frank Uduak is owned by none other than Ekaette Akpabio, wife of Godswill Akpabio”

As evidence of pure insanity occasioned by excessive use of terrible and self destructive drugs, the said David Hundeyin continued,  “In other words, this place where Frank Uduak Akpan, fresh from murdering Ini Umoren came to meet Kuffre Effiong, belongs to the wife of Kuffre’s boss and Federal Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio. So which politician has Kuffre been running errands for?”

Before analyzing David Hundeyin’s super script meant for Nollywood, this writer is very grateful to God that the said culprit, Mr Frank Akpan, his cousin Kuffre Effiong and one Local Government Chairman of Uruan in the State who is a relation to both Kuffre and Frank  are all alive, and happily too the culprit is presently in the custody of the Nigerian Police Authority for proper investigation. These people have made and are still making useful statements to the police authority whom we implore to employ extreme and painstaking professionalism in investigation and come up quickly with their findings, including what steps should be taken to ensure justice to the family of the bereaved. The girl’s death as a matter of fact,  must surely be avenged by the Authorities.

This innocent victim sought to be gainfully employed instead of engaging in anything illegal or criminal like some do,  but met her end in an unfortunate circumstance that demands remedy and justice.

Back to David Hundeyin’s story. He said “he analyzed the telephone calls of the prime suspect and he found out that the suspect called several persons after the murder”. One of the persons he allegedly called, according to him, was Kuffre Effiong who worked with Niger Delta Civil Service. Having found out that the said Kuffre works with Niger Delta Civil Service,  he must have been told by his co-conspirators who specialize in smearing Senator Akpabio’s name to go ahead and link by all means the heinous crime to him in order to make headline and give them a false sense of victory. If only men were God?

In no distant time, his collaborators fed  him another lies that the alleged killer, Mr Frank Akpan met Kuffre in a hotel named  Davok Suites at Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo and they mentioned the address of the place. The Hotel according to him  belongs  to the wife of senator Godswill Akpabio. With that,  he ran to the market with the story that Akpabio and his dear wife were certainly the ones responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent girl, more so since they must have been engaged in his imaginative illicit global market specialising in  trading on human parts!

Fortunately the culprit has made both written and oral statements which the police authority are in custody of. The cousin, Mr Kuffre Effiong has also issued a comprehensive statement on his Facebook Page  which can be seen online by those who want to know the truth and the Local Government Chairman who is in opposing political party with Senator Akpabio has also issued a statement on the incident. By virtue of their various  statements, the following are the emerging truth about this case pending when the  police  will conclude their investigation:

(a) The alleged culprit Mr Frank Akpan, Mr Kuffre Effiong  and the Local Government Chairman of  Uruan are all related as they are cousins. None of them have any relationship with the Akpabios either remotely or directly. None of them has ever met Senator Godswill Akpabio or his wife or their existence known to the couple.

(b) The culprit Mr Frank Akpan was arrested at Shelter Afrique Junction by the Nigerian Police in conjunction with the said Mr Kuffre Effiong, a cousin to the culprit who used his relationship to lure the culprit into police reach for the seamless arrest.

(c) The culprit was taken to the house of the Local Government Chairman of Uruan which is at Ewet Housing Estate in company of the DPO, one ASP and Mr Kuffre Effiong who facilitated the arrest. Taking the culprit to the house of the Chairman at Ewet Housing Estate was the suggestion of the said DPO of the nearby Police Station who felt that it will be a proper place and method to use to calm the suspect down in order to elicit his co-operation.

(d) The alleged Davok Suites, a hotel in Uyo which from the story as stated by the parties in this case  was never utilized either before, during and after the crime, has never been owned and is presently not  belonging  TO THE WIFE OF SENATOR AKPABIO. That the said hotel is alleged to be owned by Her Excellency Mrs Akpabio has been a myth used by the patronizers of the hotel  to boost their ego as to the quality of the hotel they patronize in Uyo. The Akpabios have nothing to do with the hotel in terms of management or ownership. Most importantly in this fictional story of the said Hundeyin,  is the fact that the hotel was never used either before, during or after the crime by the culprit or his alleged accomplices.

(e) To exhaust this issue and make an open show of the concocted cock and bull story of the Investigative journalist David Hundeyin, let me go further to give him the benefit of the doubt that assuming but not conceding that the said Kuffre Effiong, a relation of the culprit who from his own account only assisted the Nigerian Police to arrest the culprit,  works in Niger Delta Ministry, does that mean that any crime he allegedly commits will be attributed to the Minister of the said Ministry? How stupid is that kind of assumption,  especially in criminal jurisprudence which requires mens rea(intention) and actus reus(act of the accused) to establish criminal liability? In the absence of any conspiracy,  direct or circumstantial evidence, no individual can be convicted of a crime he knows nothing about in Nigeria. None here was established in the said story.

(f) Let me extend my generosity further to Mr Hundeyin by assuming but not conceding that the alleged Hotel, Davok Suites is owned by the wife of Senator Akpabio. Will this mean that  any crime committed in the hotel by a user who has no legal, biological or any direct or indirect relationship with the owner will be legally established against the owner of the hotel? In other words, in the absence of any established conspiracy, direct or circumstantial evidence against the owner, can our jurisprudence be suddenly  transformed to hold the owner of a hotel criminally liable for any crime committed using his or her hotel in the absence of any mens rea and actus reus as earlier explained?

Few months ago, I was aware of the  several meetings called by certain persons in Nigeria where activists, top journalists and chronic critics were recruited to engage in public smearing of Akpabio’s name by all means. The battle has been on, they started with the case of the Professor who was recently convicted for alleged electoral fraud during the last Senatorial Election in Akwa Ibom State. When the attempt to link the said fraud with Senator Godswill Akpabio failed like pack of cards as superior and more logical arguments were presented, they recoiled and came up with this one that sounds more stupid and idiotic. We never knew that they can descend into a pit like this, all in a bid to destroy a man for whatever reasons,  known to them.

The Nigerian Police, hopefully are on top of this Umoren’s unfortunate death. They should be allowed to carry out a full scale investigation as to who and those behind the gruesome rape and murder of that innocent girl. Using the unfortunate incident to run down Senator Godswill Akpabio and his family has failed woefully. The truth of the matter is that “No weapon fashion against Senator Godswill Akpabio whether now, tomorrow or in the future will stand”. The reason for this is,  “No man can curse a man whom God has marked out for blessings”.

Mr Hundeyin has committed both criminal and civil wrongs in this campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio and that of his wife. If he thinks that by being in  far away America he can utilise the social space to malign someone and escape justice, he has committed a grievous  error.  The arms of the law will ultimately catch up with him if he fails, refuses and neglects to withdraw his  cock and bull story about the involvement of the Akpabios in the unfortunate incident of Ini’s death and apologize to them, he stands all the legal risks associated with such criminal and civil defamation. It is his choice!

Enough said.

Written by Mr. Smart Chizurum, a socio-political commentator and analyst writes from Akwa Ibom State

Continue Reading

COLUMNISTS

Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s courage

Published

on

By: Bayo Onanuga
Governor Nasir El-Rufai is fighting a new war that both the Federal and other 35 States and the FCT are shying away to confront, choosing instead to cower in fear of the blackmail of labour.
How much of state resources should be spent on governance, in paying salaries, pensions and other emoluments of civil servants and political appointees? 40%, 60%, 80%, 90% or even all?
Aregbesola confronted this question as governor of Osun, leading to his innovative formula of paying a percentage of workers emoluments as he allocated resources into building roads, schools and other infrastructure. His government was badly cash strapped and he could not even do anything for the people of Ilesha, his hometown, who rewarded him by snubbing his party in the 2018 governorship election.
Despite the efforts by President Buhari to spread state debts over 30 years, giving them a huge financial relief, the states are back with the same problem, unable to pay salaries.
Kwara has refused to pay the minimum wage of N30,000. Gombe also announced a default. Kano recently announced wage cuts. Many states are groaning as the workers demand full payment for their services.
My state of Ogun has a huge bill of N50 billion in pension arrears. I laughed when Gov. Abiodun said he would reduce the bill by N2billion every year, which means in eight years, he would have paid just N16billion, with the bill growing bigger and bigger every year.
No one begrudges workers for demanding full payment for working for government, some spending 35 years in service. They retire, awaiting retirement benefits or the contributory pension, many states are not paying. Their plight is pitiable and we have seen pathetic scenes of retirees dying on the queue, while waiting for payment.
Government must think out a solution. El-Rufai has taken a route that Federal and States avoid, by deciding to rightsize the civil service. The pandemic has been an eye-opener, when workers were ordered to stay at home. It became clear that government does not need the thousands of people on its payroll.
If everyone had taken a rational decision by asking the redundant workers to go, this would have freed money to enable govt provide roads, hospitals, schools and others.
Resources are shrinking for these hugely critical capital heads, a reason, our roads and schools are failing and hospitals have become worse than consulting centres.
The way out is what El-Rufai is saying in Kaduna to striking workers.
“KDSG will not submit its treasury to the entitled minority. We will reform and rightsize our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strikes ad infinitum.
“The government remains committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, providing social services beyond paying salaries, always putting the interests of the many ahead of the few’.
El-Rufai should not be left to confront this issue alone. Federal, states need an urgent summit on how to strike a balance between paying civil servants and allocating resources to the needs of the majority.
Back to my question: how much percentage of a state resources should go into salaries?
I will say that anything above 30 percent should send the alarms ringing, as it will cause the acute social and economic problems we have today, when government has become a total failure in catering for the masses.
For now Governor El-Rufai wins my trophy for courage.
Continue Reading

COLUMNISTS

THE NIGERIAN CHURCH AND THE DADABIADA PRINCIPLE

Published

on

BY MOSES OLUDELE IDOWU
                                                                  Pastor Adefarasin And The Incredible Option
“I urge you all to have a plan B and start making moves on how to leave this Country. I know you have faith. I have faith too but I have a plan B.
With Technology I can speak to you from anywhere in the World.
Get yourself a plan B. Whether that’s by Okada to Cameroon or a flying Boat to Seme Border.
Do whatever you can to see you leave this Country.”
Those are not my words. They belong to one of the notable Votaries of modern Christian religion in Nigeria today. And one of the best.
Pastor Paul Adefarasin is a Man I like and who I believe carried a special unction.
I was invited once to a Dinner at Sheraton Hotels where he was Guest Speaker. It was my first and only time I heard him and I had a favorable impression about him. He really impressed me.
Somehow, I used to consider him probably one of the best Pastors we have, a former PFN Chair in Lagos until I read the words of the epigraph.
Now it appears even the best need to be taught. Now I see why Nigeria is going nowhere and why the Church seems stranded in this Nation.
Now I see why Leonald Ravenhill, the Author of WHY REVIVAL TARRIES says that “before revival can come to a Place a Prophet must first preach to Pastors”.
I am troubled, greatly troubled by those words.
Since morning when I read them I have not been able to shut them out of my mind.
I have always known that Nigerian Pastors are weak in the knowledge of History what I did not know is that that weakness encompasses a whole gamut of knowledge systems which also include even Theology, Logic and Philosophy.
I am troubled that a Man who speaks to thousands of Parishioners weekly is asking them to get ready to bolt away before the Boat capsizes with everyone on board.
But what if like Jonah’s Boat it fails to capsize ? After throwing Jonah overboard?
I am troubled that a Man who is supposed to be a Stakeholder in the NIGERIAN Project and a Beneficiary from Nigeria, Son of a High Court Judge is the one encouraging his Admirers not to stay to salvage Nigeria but to leave by the next available flight in the event of failure or war.
I am amazed that a Man who has built multi Billion Naira project as Church building with sweat and labour of the People is ready to leave all as a Plan B, leaving his Congregation behind to their fate.
Of what use is a Gospel that cannot survive or encounter a crisis ? Is that a Gospel ?
Paul encouraged his Ephesian Congregants to “stand firm, immovable and resist all wiles of the Devil” and they faced worse hostility in Asia Minor against CHRISTIANITY then.
But our own bearer of that name, our own imitation of Paul is asking all his Congregation to have a plan B so that in the event that God does not answer prayers, they can leave Nigeria…
Leave the Nation to the Antichrist, Islamists, Jihadists, Cultists etc.
This is where I disagree with him and with his plan B.
There is nothing wrong in making contingency plans or alternate plans. It is good and a sign of wisdom.
But not in this case.
On matters that are not too important, why not ? On matters of job, career, income, residence etc.
But to surrender your Nation, the Land of your Fathers and Ancestors, your birthplace and heritage to Sadists, Rogues, Bandits and Jackals is not only contemptuous it is treason against the Gospel and the spirit of Apostolic CHRISTIANITY.
Did I say treason? No it is more than that. It is high treason.
Three things are wrong in those statements by Pastor Paul Adefarasin which I want to point out before I round up this piece.
1. The idea of running away from trouble. (Although he did not expressly say so this is what his counsel points to.)
2. The false and ignoble idea of eating your Cake and still have it. (“With Technology I can speak to you anywhere in the World”)
3. The false ideas that Nigerian Leaders are crazy or idiotic.
The futility of running away.
It is not always wrong to run from danger. Sometimes it is the only course left. That is understandable.
The Infant Jesus and his Parents had to flee to Egypt but it was at the command of God.
Elijah had to leave Israel but at the direction of God. Moses had to leave Egypt his native land for rebellion and for his life.
These are however different.
These are Individuals and isolated cases which cannot be used to build doctrines upon.
It is a different thing when an entire Congregation running to thousands is being asked to down tool and run from their Fatherland. I cannot see this in the Bible.
If a genocide is coming is the only option available is to run?
If a war is coming is plan B the alternative?
Why are we so sure even before the battle that we shall lose?
The American Christians are preparing for their own battle to recover their Nation and Fatherland not to run here or to any Nation.
And our own plan B is to run away? To be a burden to other People rather than to contend for the faith here by all means either by fire or by thunder?
That is why I fear Nigerian Pastors.
You can see why Nigeria Christians are so weak and fickle minded. You can see why modern Nigerian Christianity is, in the words of a Ghanaian critic, “1000 km wide but 1/2 inch thick.”
History tells us that running away solves nothing. It merely postpones the evil day.
What you run for will run after you and overtake you.
Abraham saw famine and ran to Egypt. That singular incursion brought Hagar into his life and Ishmael and the distortion of a destiny and history which we are still grappling with today.
Did the famine go away? Not at all.
It came again in the days of Isaac. He too ran away to Abimelech.
The famine again came in the days of Jacob and he too ran to Egypt.
It came also in the days of Joseph; and Joseph confronted it manfully and technically and overcome it.
That was the end of famine for a long time.
Joseph’s Sons never saw famine because for once their Father fought the battle and won rather than running away like his Ancestors.
The point is: What you run away from will one day run after you and pursue you and your Children.
If this is what Adefarasin wishes for his Members, good luck.
2. The second issue is what I found very uncomfortable if not despicable. “With technology I can speak to you anywhere in the World”
How about that ?
Our Pastor is not only planning of running away he also wants to keep his Church in one breath.
If everyone runs or leaves according to his plan B who would he be speaking to back in Nigeria ?
Therein is the logic of our Pastors and why the wheel won’t roll.
What moral authority do you have to still speak to a People after abandoning them in their hour of need ?
Does a Pastor still have a moral tight to preach to a People after running for his life even before the first shot is fired ?
The unworkability of this plan B is the most worrying aspect of the whole thing.
How many Nigerians can survive Abroad ?
Many of those who are hearing this won’t make it in America with its expensive setting. Neither Britain.
The economies of these Western Nations are so developed that they won’t need most Nigerians with their third rate education, for those who even have.
The African Nations are becoming tired of us.
Ghana no longer want us but she is too polite to say so officially.
Cameroon is not a place most Nigerians will find pleasant. Niger is no go. Chad is taboo. Benin Republic cannot take the flood of Nigeria for it would cause its economy to snap.
So you can see that plan B is not workable for all but few.
3. The last point Adefarasin made is what I consider interesting. Hear him:
” Just get your plan B because these People are crazy. The Leaders we have, they are all bunch of Jokers” (Source : Sahara reporters online 11/5/2021.)
With deep respect, I beg to disagree.
There is something we are missing that is ruining us. Nigerian Leaders are not crazy, Nigerians are.
Nigerian Leaders are not idiotic (as he was quoted somewhere else), it is Nigerians that are both foolish, crazy and idiotic.
Once we miss it here we shall continue to miss it everywhere.
Nigerians put all the blame on their Leaders and exonerate themselves.
Was it God and Angels that elected Buhari ? Or Nigerians ?
Is there anything Buhari is doing now that he did not do in his first 4 years ? Yet even in spite of this Nigerians still voted him in 2019. So who is crazy ? Certainly not Buhari.
Are there no legislators ? Is democracy no more a Government of checks and balances ?
Where are the checks and balances in our own Democracy ? Where in the midst of all these, is our overpaid but underused Absentees, the highest paid in the World. Missing in action.
So our Leaders are not crazy, Nigerians who sent dudes, to Abuja to represent them seem to me the craziest of the lot.
No, our Leaders are not the crazy ones it is Nigeria’ system and Nigerians that are crazy.
Look at this and pay attention.
Obasaanjo according to his own Book and Account and which Alabi-Isama confirmed lost about 1400 Soldiers on his first day in battle with Biafrans. How about that ?  He still became a General and Head of State.
Murtala Mohammed lost several too, he still became a General and a Head of State to boot.
Now look at this: Another General who ended with a far lesser casualties at the Yom Kippur War was dismissed by the Israeli Defence Force for taking wrong decisions that led other Israelis to their deaths.
That is the difference between Nigerian system and Israel’s and between Nigerian Army and Israeli Army.
And that is why till tomorrow Israel is a terror to its enemy while Nigeria is being terrorized by its Enemies.
No. Our Leaders are not crazy, our systems are and Nigerians who accommodate it.
I want to now close this essay.
Why is it morally reprehensible to run away from the Place of your commission ?
For anyone to run from the place where he has been assigned by God is not right. For a Soldier of Christ to run away from the Zone of danger is a letdown to the Almighty.
If everyone runs what happens to God’s Purpose for Nigeria ?
Where you are running to if they too had bolted during conflict where would you have gone ?
Do our Pastors not say God called them ? What happened to that calling ? Does it include running away ?
Paul was beaten,, stoned and sawn several times yet he would return to that same Land to see the Brethren.
People have suffered and even died for the sake of their ideology, several BH Fighters are in the forest now fighting and suffering, killing and been killed just to institute their Caliphate and implement Sharia.
And to think that all we could offer out own Christ for all He has done for us is to flee and abandon His Sheep in high Waters for whom He died ? The very thought of it is sacrilegious. It is a let down.
Where is the spirit of ancient CHRISTIANITY ?
Watchman Nee was away when the Communists took over China. He still went back home to face them.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in the West working for World Council of Churches when Hitler and the Nazis took over. He returned Home rather than stay and abandon his People.
He reasoned that if he was not part of the struggle of the German People in their hour of need it would be difficult to be part of the Restoration after the war.
If he did not suffer with them, then he cannot have any moral authority to speak after the Conflict.
And that is the truth Pastor Adefarasin should bear in mind and all People with plan B.
Once you abandon us at this time then you can’t come back again as Leaders.
No way. It is deceit.
Enough said.
Whoever wants to leave can leave Nigeria. Whoever is afraid let him leave. Those of us who still believe in Nigeria and its Manifest Destiny will stay.
A Gideon and 300 is enough and more than enough for the Children of the East.
We are not afraid.
History again will repeat itself.
Those who wish to leave can go immediately rather than weaken the hearts of others.
I choose to stay. Nigeria is the place of my primary assignment. Nigeria is my Fatherland. I will not leave and I will not run.
You push me, I will push you too. You hit me and I will hit you too.
Speak your words and let me speak my own and see which would prevail.
Bring out your Rod and let me bring my own and let us see which Rod will swallow each other and who is the Apostle recognized by Heaven between us.
There is no shaking. I am not running away.
By His Grace I am here to stay.
© Moses Oludele Idowu.
May 12, 2021.
All Rights Reserved.
Continue Reading





FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Trending