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Femi Falana And Lady Justice – By Chidiebere Kalu

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Even weeks after, the haunting ghost of the completely senseless and subversive #EndSARS protests have refused to desert me. I kept wondering why a sane man or woman would take a knife and consciously inflict a cut on his body in the guise of anything or for whatever excuse. That’s the highest grade of self-masochism. But some Nigerians excitedly did it to themselves.

There is no mystery I have found completely very complex to interpret in recent times like the madness exhibited by #EndSARS protesters, particularly in Southern Nigeria. Understandably and for these reasons, the reverberations of the destructive #EndSARS protests have refused to dissipate in my psyche.

It is basically because the overt and covert protagonists of the dubious protests have refused to bow to reason, more especially as they now sit back to take census of the awful ruins, they caused to themselves, states and the country. What is more baffling to me again is the actors’ thoughtlessly ruinous move to the next level of threats and intimidation of the Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria Army, who rather saved the day.

What keeps recurring on my mind is the name of rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and his clan of street activists on human rights. I have not read of the history of any country where the bargain for the enforcement of human rights of citizens or a drastic change in an unpopular government policy should lead to such public roguery and destruction of national assets. I stand corrected.

But the Falanas are more comfortable with suppressing the truth and elevating lies to officialdom. Meanwhile, these are supposedly senior citizens of the country. In spite of the upbraids and the disfigured idiosyncrasies flaunted by some people, I have no modicum of doubt that justice still exists in Nigeria. Our leader, President Buhari still allows all components and institutions of a democratic nation function maximally and without interference.

That’s why I believe designers of Nigeria’s symbol of Justice must have been wisemen or people imbued with the Solomonic wisdom. The stature displays a blind folded woman, with a sword in the right hand, and scales in the left hand. In the ancient world, the fragrance of truth and innocence of humanity was more expressed by women. Our forefathers of whatever clime were right.

Let me remind that Nigeria’s Lady Justice represents this philosophical thought. Lady Justice derives her originality from the Roman Goddess “Justitia” who shares the same prowess with “Dike” the Greek Goddess. In the ancient Greek world, both goddesses were famed for truth regardless of whoever was involved. They had diabolical or superstitious influence to fish out a liar, extract the truth and severely punish the culprit for lying to the gods.

The contents of 1 Kings 3:16-28 reminds me of that profound virtues of truth embedded in women as reflected in the Holy Bible. In the Holy Scriptures, most episodes we encounter about women signifies them as a creation more amenable to truth and honesty than their male folk. Even in today’s adulterated world, true women of virtue still stand for truth and abhors injustice or falsehood.

A rewind of the expired #EndSARS protests struck me strongly about the Biblical story of the two mothers who lived under the same roof and gave birth to babies on the same day. One of the mothers mistakenly smothered her baby to death. But satanic instincts influenced her and dubiously, in the course of the nigh, she cleverly exchanged her dead infant with that of the woman whose baby was alive. A controversy and quarrel ensued between the two mothers.

The matter came before King Solomon of ancient Israel for Judgement as each of the mothers claimed ownership of the baby alive. The King called for a sword and thus, declared his judgment; “the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half.” The impostor mother consented to the decision instantly; while the actual biological mother hotly contested it and preferred her child’s survival in whoever’s hand’s than the killing.

The biological mother passionately begged; “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!” King Solomon thus declared the second woman the true mother, as the real mother of the baby alive. King Solomon was nowhere near where the evil was contrived and executed. But he sensed the truth in words and actions of the real biological mother of the baby alive.

These are lessons we must cherish and learn from it and Nigeria’s emblem of justice derives its potency from the purity of a virtuous woman’s heart. At its core is the touchy lesson that truth can never be concealed and buried forever. When the hour of truth comes, it exhumes it unexpectedly like in the case of the two mothers in the Holy Scriptures.

Falana and his apostates seek desperately to bury the truth about the Lekki Toll Gate incident, where they conspiratorially alleged, soldiers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters; killing scores in the process. But the casualty figure and proof of it have remained a burden to the masterminds of the fake news. Every avenue of combing for evidence has been exhausted by that witch-hunting the Nigerian Army, but to no avail.

My greatest worry has been that for weeks now, no evidence to align soldiers under the leadership of the COAS Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to any killing has been found. Let’s ignore the desperation of other malicious hunters of Nigerian soldiers.

The anger in me bubbles more against Falana for specific reasons. I have noticed overtime that Falana is a clandestine third force assiduously working for foreign forces against the destabilizations of Nigeria. This lawyer freely aligns with any agenda hatched towards the destruction of Nigeria.

He is always ready to give the back-up force and with his credentials as a lawyer, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). And because of him, his doomsday slayers and soulmates believe absolutely of their protection under the law.

Let’s forget his previous malfeasances in Nigeria coated in his darkened and defiled silk and gown. But a reminder to Falana again, that he had no reason to conspire with the lawfully detained leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or the Shiites in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky to mislead the country by feigning his severe sickness and endorsing his evil plot to escape from trial in Nigeria to either Iran or Iraq. These are countries globally acknowledged as the fountain and exporters of terrorism world -wide.

We have not known Falana and coy as the first and only human rights campaigners in Nigeria. But rights and social crusaders of the older generation before Falana, such as Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Tai Solarin (both of blessed memory) and even today’s Prof. Wole Soyinka never compromised patriotism to Nigeria despite the anger against Government.

No one is above the law. All of us are subject to the laws of the land, with Falana is also inclusive. Let him show Nigerians concrete evidence of the claimed shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki in Lagos or else, some of us would be compelled to institute a suit against him for instigating national subversion, killings and destructions.

But if Falana fails to find a cogent and certified evidence, he can only return his honour, escape our retaliation and be pardoned, if he bows to nothing less than humility by apologizing for his wrongdoings against his own country. Falana has been getting away with so many instigations of the populace towards violence. So, #EndSARS protests is one wrong too many. He has the right like every other Nigerian to either love or hate President Buhari or Gen. Buratai. But he mustn’t tell injurious and public instigative lies to justify the hatred.

Mr. Rights Lawyer, Falana, time has come for you to take full responsibility for your actions. Already, I have learnt that some people have dragged him to the Internal Criminal Court (ICC) over the #EndSARS scam of Nigeria. It is my conviction that the only path of plain truth left for Falana is to apologize to Nigerians and the rest of the world for this crime and previous ones he has committed against humanity and his country, Nigeria.

Kalu Esq is a legal practitioner and wrote from Lagos.

Even weeks after, the haunting ghost of the completely senseless and subversive #EndSARS protests have refused to desert me. I kept wondering why a sane man or woman would take a knife and consciously inflict a cut on his body in the guise of anything or for whatever excuse. That’s the highest grade of self-masochism. But some Nigerians excitedly did it to themselves.

There is no mystery I have found completely very complex to interpret in recent times like the madness exhibited by #EndSARS protesters, particularly in Southern Nigeria. Understandably and for these reasons, the reverberations of the destructive #EndSARS protests have refused to dissipate in my psyche.

It is basically because the overt and covert protagonists of the dubious protests have refused to bow to reason, more especially as they now sit back to take census of the awful ruins, they caused to themselves, states and the country. What is more baffling to me again is the actors’ thoughtlessly ruinous move to the next level of threats and intimidation of the Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria Army, who rather saved the day.

What keeps recurring on my mind is the name of rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and his clan of street activists on human rights. I have not read of the history of any country where the bargain for the enforcement of human rights of citizens or a drastic change in an unpopular government policy should lead to such public roguery and destruction of national assets. I stand corrected.

But the Falanas are more comfortable with suppressing the truth and elevating lies to officialdom. Meanwhile, these are supposedly senior citizens of the country. In spite of the upbraids and the disfigured idiosyncrasies flaunted by some people, I have no modicum of doubt that justice still exists in Nigeria. Our leader, President Buhari still allows all components and institutions of a democratic nation function maximally and without interference.

That’s why I believe designers of Nigeria’s symbol of Justice must have been wisemen or people imbued with the Solomonic wisdom. The stature displays a blind folded woman, with a sword in the right hand, and scales in the left hand. In the ancient world, the fragrance of truth and innocence of humanity was more expressed by women. Our forefathers of whatever clime were right.

Let me remind that Nigeria’s Lady Justice represents this philosophical thought. Lady Justice derives her originality from the Roman Goddess “Justitia” who shares the same prowess with “Dike” the Greek Goddess. In the ancient Greek world, both goddesses were famed for truth regardless of whoever was involved. They had diabolical or superstitious influence to fish out a liar, extract the truth and severely punish the culprit for lying to the gods.

The contents of 1 Kings 3:16-28 reminds me of that profound virtues of truth embedded in women as reflected in the Holy Bible. In the Holy Scriptures, most episodes we encounter about women signifies them as a creation more amenable to truth and honesty than their male folk. Even in today’s adulterated world, true women of virtue still stand for truth and abhors injustice or falsehood.

A rewind of the expired #EndSARS protests struck me strongly about the Biblical story of the two mothers who lived under the same roof and gave birth to babies on the same day. One of the mothers mistakenly smothered her baby to death. But satanic instincts influenced her and dubiously, in the course of the nigh, she cleverly exchanged her dead infant with that of the woman whose baby was alive. A controversy and quarrel ensued between the two mothers.

The matter came before King Solomon of ancient Israel for Judgement as each of the mothers claimed ownership of the baby alive. The King called for a sword and thus, declared his judgment; “the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half.” The impostor mother consented to the decision instantly; while the actual biological mother hotly contested it and preferred her child’s survival in whoever’s hand’s than the killing.

The biological mother passionately begged; “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!” King Solomon thus declared the second woman the true mother, as the real mother of the baby alive. King Solomon was nowhere near where the evil was contrived and executed. But he sensed the truth in words and actions of the real biological mother of the baby alive.

These are lessons we must cherish and learn from it and Nigeria’s emblem of justice derives its potency from the purity of a virtuous woman’s heart. At its core is the touchy lesson that truth can never be concealed and buried forever. When the hour of truth comes, it exhumes it unexpectedly like in the case of the two mothers in the Holy Scriptures.

Falana and his apostates seek desperately to bury the truth about the Lekki Toll Gate incident, where they conspiratorially alleged, soldiers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters; killing scores in the process. But the casualty figure and proof of it have remained a burden to the masterminds of the fake news. Every avenue of combing for evidence has been exhausted by that witch-hunting the Nigerian Army, but to no avail.

My greatest worry has been that for weeks now, no evidence to align soldiers under the leadership of the COAS Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to any killing has been found. Let’s ignore the desperation of other malicious hunters of Nigerian soldiers.

The anger in me bubbles more against Falana for specific reasons. I have noticed overtime that Falana is a clandestine third force assiduously working for foreign forces against the destabilizations of Nigeria. This lawyer freely aligns with any agenda hatched towards the destruction of Nigeria.

He is always ready to give the back-up force and with his credentials as a lawyer, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). And because of him, his doomsday slayers and soulmates believe absolutely of their protection under the law.

Let’s forget his previous malfeasances in Nigeria coated in his darkened and defiled silk and gown. But a reminder to Falana again, that he had no reason to conspire with the lawfully detained leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or the Shiites in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky to mislead the country by feigning his severe sickness and endorsing his evil plot to escape from trial in Nigeria to either Iran or Iraq. These are countries globally acknowledged as the fountain and exporters of terrorism world -wide.

We have not known Falana and coy as the first and only human rights campaigners in Nigeria. But rights and social crusaders of the older generation before Falana, such as Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Tai Solarin (both of blessed memory) and even today’s Prof. Wole Soyinka never compromised patriotism to Nigeria despite the anger against Government.

No one is above the law. All of us are subject to the laws of the land, with Falana is also inclusive. Let him show Nigerians concrete evidence of the claimed shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki in Lagos or else, some of us would be compelled to institute a suit against him for instigating national subversion, killings and destructions.

But if Falana fails to find a cogent and certified evidence, he can only return his honour, escape our retaliation and be pardoned, if he bows to nothing less than humility by apologizing for his wrongdoings against his own country. Falana has been getting away with so many instigations of the populace towards violence. So, #EndSARS protests is one wrong too many. He has the right like every other Nigerian to either love or hate President Buhari or Gen. Buratai. But he mustn’t tell injurious and public instigative lies to justify the hatred.

Mr. Rights Lawyer, Falana, time has come for you to take full responsibility for your actions. Already, I have learnt that some people have dragged him to the Internal Criminal Court (ICC) over the #EndSARS scam of Nigeria. It is my conviction that the only path of plain truth left for Falana is to apologize to Nigerians and the rest of the world for this crime and previous ones he has committed against humanity and his country, Nigeria.

Kalu Esq is a legal practitioner and wrote from Lagos.

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NCPC And The Footprints of a Colossus – By Best Agbese

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The appointment of the Plateau-born famed minister of the gospel, Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam as the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), on June 26th 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari attracted loud applauses within the Christian community in Nigeria. Rev. Pam emerged leader of the commission on the hills of the unceremonious exist of his predecessor, Rev. Tor Uja following faulty leadership outings and crisis of trustworthy leadership.

The NCPC is the apex national regulatory body for Nigerian Christian pilgrimages, an exercise for spiritual rebirth and deeper understanding of the Christian faith by worshippers. Additionally, it also, has a mandate to create platforms conducive for national inter-religious dialogue, harmony, peaceful co-existence, and development in the comity of the Body of Christ in Nigeria.

Issues of religion are quite thorny, sensitive, and explosive in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria is always concerned with the constant frictions and altercations among the diverse religious sects in the country. So, it is incumbent on any leader of a national religious body to work towards vacating issues which propel disharmony and animosities in religious circles.

Therefore, the mandate of the NCPC leadership is hinged on exiting these unnecessary brawls, entrench inter-religious harmony and enhance the spiritual welfare of Christians in Nigeria. Presently, the NCPC coordinates and supervises activities of intending pilgrims to Holy Lands around the globe, including Israel, Greece, Rome, with the latest addition of Jordan by the Rev. Pam leadership in the 2021 pilgrimage exercise.

These were the onerous tasks placed on the shoulders of Rev. Pam when he mounted the saddle about a year ago, precisely in July 2020. In order to deliver to Nigerians, worthy services of a pilgrim’s commission, Rev. Pam ensconced his vision in battling corruption; rebranding the tainted image of the commission; changing the faulty perception and mindset of the people; strong synergy with the church and the establishment of an NCPC peace desk to resolve emerging disagreements.

So far, Rev. Dr. Pam who parades over 30 years of leadership experiences in the Christian community on the local and national stages, have armed him with enough wisdom to discharge his responsibilities honestly, conscientiously and with the fear of God Almighty.

In effect, Pam considered his elevation to the national leadership of the Christian community in Nigeria under the auspices of the NCPC as a golden opportunity to redeem the battered image of the commission and Christians, which also negatively affected the global reputation of the nation.

The NCPC boss has brought to the table his wealth of experience in promoting inter-religious harmony and conflict resolution, especially in Northern part of the country in the administration of the commission. These have not only been his weapons, but trusted assets in leading NCPC to its towering ambience at the moment.

Barely a year into office, Rev. Pam has admirably proved his mettle as a leader of the people. He has reorganized and repositioned the NCPC as the most organized and efficient pilgrimage body in the world, recognized for excellence in faultless services. These are driven on the principles of fairness, equity and justice as his anthem.

Ab initio, Rev. Pam was convinced that his failure to lead the NCPC on the path of glory will bring shame to the church and canvassed inclusive leadership from all stakeholders in Christendom in the country. Pam enthused that “There’s a need to bring out talents to build NCPC. The time has come to work together and collectively re-build the image of our country and the NCPC.” It has been his operative doctrine inspired by orderliness and commitment to a service which repulses all manifestations of corruption in the commission.

Pam is a team player and keeps constant touch with Executive Secretaries and Board Chairmen of States’ Christian Pilgrim Welfare Boards and other stakeholders in piloting the affairs of the commission. He has sustained synergy with disparate bodies for the smooth dispensation of the operations of the commission.

To get started, Rev. Pam trained staffers of the commission in Lagos for effective Pilgrimage operations and refreshed their memories on the discharge of official responsibilities at a three-day staff retreat in Jos. The NCPC under the leadership of Rev. Pam also organized the maiden Ministers Conference of Network of Gospel Ministers in Northern Nigeria (NOGMINN), in Jos, Plateau state as part of his deliberate policy of his inclusive administration of the commission.

This platform which assembled ministers of the gospel was utilized by Pam to sermonize to the church in Nigeria to assume complete ownership of Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria and the operations of the NCPC generally. With a mind always fixated on peace, the NCPC boss invited these ordained messengers of God to assist in restoring peace and unity in the Northern part of the country.

To his credit and the expansion of the experiences of Nigerian pilgrims, Rev. Pam has worked out modalities for the 2021 intending pilgrims to explore new Holy sites around the world, outside the routine sites. The Kingdom of Jordan has been added to the list of countries to be visited by Nigerian pilgrims because of its historic religious significance to Christian faithful.

And proactively, Rev. Pam embarked on an inspection and exploratory visit to the new sites; dialogued with the Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities in Amman and finalized the arrangements. It will be a novel experience for the 2021 pilgrims.

The NCPC executive scribe is also conscious of the Coronavirus pandemic and its effects. To ensure Nigerian pilgrims are protected from contracting the disease, Rev. Pam has kept in constant touch with the Israeli authorities to monitor and detect any unusual or awkward development that may endanger and compromise the health of Nigerian pilgrims.

And in consonance with one of his visions, Rev. Pam has introduced and vigorously pursued peace-building among religious sects in the country. His intervention in the perennial Southern Kaduna crises between Christians and Muslims tremendously assisted in brokering peace to warring factions. It terminated with a three-day peace summit, where the agenda of de-escalation of crises was extensively discussed and a report, containing recommendations on enduring peace has been forwarded to Governor Nasir El-Rufai for necessary action.

To expand the tentacles of the NCPC and bring its services closer to Northern Christians, the commissions executive secretary is currently in persuasive dialogue with the Northern governors for the establishment of pilgrim welfare boards in states with any such office. He is optimistic that the fruitful discussions would create more pilgrim boards in the North to deeply unite Christendom and generate progressive ideas for the development of the country.

Conversely, NCPC under Rev. Pam has intensified sensitization visits to State Governors as well as advocacy for sponsorship of pilgrims in Nigeria. Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam has demonstrated in all ramifications, an impactful leadership of the commission in a short while. At the expiration of his five- year tenure, NCPC would surely be transformed into an enviable national asset for both Christians and the nation through Pam’s purposeful and focused leadership. #

Agbese is a UK based scholar and wrote from Dundee.

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Nigeria Army And War Against Insurgency Beyond Slogan – By Isaac Ikpa

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I don’t know him; may be, only a few Nigerians might have encountered him in the sanctuaries of books and there is no possibility that any Nigerian would ever have a chance of knowing him personally, but Frederick C. Blesse is a living legend or a genius of wisdom by conquering the essence of existence with his timeless philosophy. Blesse told his generation and those who cared to listen that “No guts; no glory.”

So, Nigerians are fervently asking; where are the guts of the incumbent Service Chiefs barely three months after they sauntered on the turf of anti-insurgencies and insurrections as Nigeria’s chief sentinels worthy of a glory? Could it be physical and intellectual fatigue this early in office? Or, are some gods or invisible celestial forces chasing their shadows to the point of disarmament?

It is incredible to the discomforting reality that we are now tethered to the mercy of armed gangs, in ceaseless torments and wails. We are now operating on a frequency akin to a typical village market in the countryside, directionless and unfocused. We are forced to sleep, wine and dine with terrorists and bandits near Abuja. Is it the new glory the incumbent Service Chiefs wish to earn for us and the nation?

Peace and security have eluded us. Our enclaves are seized by gunmen, known and unknown. The unending fires in Southern Nigeria, specifically, Southeast region have felled both civilians and soldiers. The infamous leader of the outlawed IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has changed the configuration of his rogue armed gangs several times and boldly dare the Nigerian Military. Yet, we appear helpless and rather enter a plea of bargain for mercy? Nigerian Military Chiefs, where is the glory?

We are only searching for the glory in the number of our kidnapped or abducted children by bandits in the Northwest; we only sight a tainted glory in the dingy dungeons of terrorists who have held our people captive. We are forced to sing lullabies to sword-brandishing hoodlums and miscreants; the plain rogues whose only strength is the uncontrolled thirst for bloodshed, in the excitement of feasting on our soldiers.
Asking further, I repeat; where is the glory of our Military or they’ve got no guts anymore? What else can we remember in this quagmire? The ceaseless bloodbath, arson and ashes staring us in the face? We are now standing on rooftops and selenic heights to inspect the ruins brought upon us, as our military fumbles and trembles before deadly enemies. Like romantic poets, Nigerian Military chiefs now are inured to sloganeering and have turned deaf ears to the lamentations around them.

I reminisced on what the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru voiced out when he took the mantle of leadership from his predecessor in Abuja. Gen. Attahiru was stern and appeared like a ferociously devouring lion.

He told his eager audience and pledged to Nigerians on January 28th 2021 to sustain the giant strides of Nigerian Army as he experienced and inherited from his predecessor. Sadly today, Nigerians can neither sight the giant nor the strides in Attahiru’s actions. The spirit has waned unceremoniously. Sometimes, he appears more phobic than the civilian Nigerians he has the mandate to secure. Where are the guts, to transform into glory? Blesse was right!

The guts starts and ends with slogans of the Army Chief. Gen. Attahiru told another audience two months later in March 2021, at the opening of the Combined Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference and Nigerian Army Operations Retreat 2021 in Abuja that;

“I want to state that the Nigerian Army under my watch will remain resolute in decisively dealing with any threat confronting the country…I have directed that serious attention must be given to sustaining and improving the tempo in all ongoing Nigerian Army operations across the country…Commanders must therefore glean from my command philosophy to ensure that operational and administrative proficiency of Nigerian Army formations and units are sustained and improved upon.”

Sometimes, it is not good enough to overstretch limits of reasonableness in assessment of anybody on a hot seat, like where Attahiru has found himself. He is not in the game alone. His colleagues, other Service Chiefs are also there with him. But we cannot divorce the reality that Attahiru is the Chief honcho of counter-insurgency operations and together with his colleagues are absolutely lost on positive impressions in the terrorism combats in the country.

So, it’s a tedious task to attempt to discern Gen. Attahiru’s philosophy of “operational and administrative proficiency” now. Is it the proficiency which has allowed terrorists and bandits surround Abuja? Is it the proficiency of the everyday kidnapping of our children and adults all over the North or the closure of schools in Abuja because of the unexpected influx and infiltration of the capital city by truckloads of bandits?

In case Gen. Attahiru and the other Service Chiefs forget, I chose to remind them now. That at the point they took over from their predecessors, the Nigerian Military was only battling with Boko Haram insurgents/ ISWAP terrorists most dominantly on the fringes of Borno’s Lake Chad Basin area. Now, they are very close; the terrorists have come too close to us in courageous braggadocio.

We can no longer sight the guts to which any glory can be earned by the leaders of the counter-insurgency operations. Who will deliver us now? Nigerians now are only entertained with the barrage of slogans from the Military Chiefs than dexterity in warfare. Military Chiefs often assure us of protections from armed gangs; but the assurance consistently fails every time and everywhere.

Hesitantly, our Military Chiefs are compelling Nigerians to trust the haughty spews of Boko Haram’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau more than their actions have so far espoused on the battlefield. Shekau boasted two days after these Military Chiefs came into office in a nine-minute video that the new Service Chiefs can’t outshine their predecessors in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast or elsewhere in Nigeria.

Shekau thundered; “(General) Leo Irabor, the head of the military, you should have sympathy for yourself, repent and convert to Islam. There is nothing you can do.” I am confused now! Whose words should I trust as stronger and bear any consequence on Nigerians? That’s why Generals Irabor and Attahiru must tighten their seat belts beyond sloganeering.

Nigeria is running out of patience with itself. Terrorists and bandits are making merriments; whilst Nigerians mourn and agonize in bloodshed, abductions and arsons. Shadows of bandits and terrorists loom large and freely roam our city centers, villages, communities, highways and every conceivable place. Courage has given way to numbing fear in our homes and offices.

One is infinitely perturbed watching the effeminate actions of the COAS and leader of the anti-insurgency operations, Gen. Attahiru and the new Service Chiefs in the theatre of war these three months. It is easier to conclude that Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are infinitely endangered. It has been donated to the terrorists under these new sheriffs or Military chiefs who initially, held so much promise, but have faltered terribly.

There is neither spark nor gusto in their deportments in the frontlines of the Northeast, Northwest or Southeast. Jubilant armed gangs have seized our peace and security, shattering dwelling places. We are pathetically tossed on bended kneels under these new masters of terror, as Gen. Attahiru gazes elsewhere.

Therefore, Nigerians make bold to demand that at this time in the history of insurgency in the country, there is the dire need for quick actions and not slogans; we want deafeningly positive results beyond the niceties of rehearsed speeches in the conference halls of Abuja and elsewhere. Will the slogans ginger the troops? Will it deliver the desired results? These and many more are the issues confronting us today as a nation. What ought to be done that has been left undone?

We abhor the demons of terror and the Nigerian Military should not foist them on us. We neither want to worship Abubakar Shekau nor bow to the praxis of the bloody swords of the ISIS-backed Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists commanded by Musab Al Barnewi. The armed bandits in the forests and caves of Zamfara, Katsina to Niger states have tormented us enough. Herdsmen should give us a break; and it is a break, which Gen. Attahiru must necessarily impose on them because he is not crowned for a feast of romance with insurgents in the theatre of war.

The rogues camouflaging as secession agitators in the Southeast must be reined in. We seek no protection from some gods; other than our Military. Gen. Attahiru and his colleagues, the Service Chiefs must wake up from slumber to redeem their names and salvage our fatherland in patriotic and true sacrificial service without further delay. We want to again, make bonfires of celebrations, as against the feasts of blood and whines. Like Blesse intoned, our Service Chiefs should immediately show us the guts and the glory now.

Chief Ikpa writes from Abuja.

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NYSC And Ibrahim’s Two Years’ Impactful Leadership – By Leonard Aluor

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A Congolese proverb says; “You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.” The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (DG-NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim is an old administrative gorilla in Nigeria. He has dispensed himself perfectly, both as a soldier and administrator per excellence. Anywhere he berths his feet, it leaves in its trail, remarkable accomplishments.
Like his brief sojourn at the Nigerian Army University (NAU), Biu, Borno state, as pioneer registrar, Gen. Shuaibu’s two years’ stint as the DG-NYSC have similarly ingrained his peculiar mark of excellence as a scholar, an astute administrator, innovator, reformer, team player and goal getter in administering the scheme.
 He has proven exceptionally, the ageless wisdom in the old Ghanaian adage that “All heads are the same, but not all thoughts are the same.” Gen. Shuaib’s thoughts bubbles with germinative ideas, which he monitors closely to fruition.
Gen. Shuaib has changed the fortunes of the NYSC from a wobbling, but sensitive agency of Government to a formidable youth scheme, through dexterous management.
NYSC is now amply meeting its core mandate of bridging the gulf between the years of academic work and the first practical experiences of young Nigerian graduates towards the ideals of ethnic inculturation, repulsion to religious prejudices’, self-reliance and personal development and national productivity.
The DG-NYSC has determinedly faced and overhauled the hitherto dormant Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme of the scheme and turned its dwindling fortunes into harvestable gold for corps members. He has successfully utilized the one month’s practical skills training in the orientation course content for corps members during camps for expansion of personal knowledge in various trades; an antidote to personal development and self-reliance.
Through faithfulness to this policy thrust, Gen. Shuaib is dialoging with The FGN and other relevant stakeholders to formally establish a legislation-backed   NYSC Trust Fund.  The NYSC Trust Fund envisages to source funding from a certain percentage of profits netted by some mega corporate bodies operating in the country; which in addition to financial empowerment of passing out corps members, would confer financial independence in funding NYSC projects such as expansion of orientation camps and renovation of dilapidate camp facilities.
Gen. Shuaib has tenaciously fought and purged the scheme of the menace of corruption in NYSC, evident in the admittance of prospective corps members with fake results. NYSC is no longer an abode for jobless Nigerians or roadside artisans, who never went to school, but dubiously sneaked into the scheme and became perpetual corps members, through his stern physical verification.
The NYSC boss, prioritizes the welfare of corpse members. Under his leadership, the Presidency approved an increment in the monthly allowance of corps members to N33,000, above the prescribed New National Minimum wage. It is intended to create a window for prudent NYSC members to save part of the stipends to invest into employable initiatives after service. And when the NYSC Trust Fund finally takes off, employment would have been dealt devastating punch in the country.
The NYSC leadership is restless and relentless to gain its financial independence, by harnessing initiatives designed to increase revenue flow into the agency. Therefore, the scheme is aggressively pursuing its investments initiatives to boost its income generation, rather than depend on the mono-source of revenue which at the moment majorly falls on the FGN and intensifies its financial stress.
Consequently, the abandoned NYSC water and bakery factories at NYSC orientation camp Kubwa have been revived and functioning maximally.  The NYSC now uses its own water at orientation camps in many parts of the country and the products from these investments are competitively visible in the markets of neighboring states such as Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and, Niger among others.
Furthermore, Gen. Shuaib’s leadership, the NYSC   has constructed a two thousand bird capacity poultry farm at Kwali, FCT. And it has almost completed the resuscitation of the NYSC Poultry Farm, Ita Ogbolu, Ondo state. He is injecting life into moribund NYSC ventures, as the NYSC Rice Mill Ezillo in Ebonyi is nearing completion for full operations; likewise, the NYSC Feed Mill in Lagos state, which is primed and technologized for the production of animal feeds.
The highly innovative DG-NYSC, in alliance with stakeholders have dialogued and obtained the consent of the State Governors of Edo, Ekiti and Nasarawa states on support for the scheme’s investment drives. These State Governments have graciously donated land for the establishment of NYSC Garment Factories for South -South, Southwest as well as a whooping 16 hectares of land for crops production for revenue generation and platforms of training of more corps members in industrial and agricultural capacities.
And through the direction of the NYSC boss, the first time ever, NYSC Wood (Film Company) and NYSC National Cultural Troupe have been established.  And he has secured their thriving and sustenance by striking a smooth relationship with National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) for the proper indoctrination, training of corps members and technical supports.
Gen. Shuaib has repositioned the NYSC to begin to disseminate and articulate its activities to the public. He has therefore secured an operational license for the scheme’s proposed radio station, where corps members will directly be empowered to speak to Nigerians wherever they are domiciled for the primary assignment.
Partnership with relevant agencies, bodies and corporate organizations for the benefits of serving corps members is a focal policy of the Brigadier Gen. Shuaib’s administration.  So far, the NYSC under his directorship has partnered a dozen of such organizations for the personal development of corps members and national productivity.
Gen. Shuaibu recognized instantly that the diversification of the economy through agriculture was a central policy and obsession of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has spared no stone in ensuring corps members are trained on the latest farming techniques and encouraged to embrace agriculture as their contribution to national food security.
In the pursuit of this laudable vision, as soon as Gen. Shuaib assumed duties at NYSC, he revamped the scheme’s four farm settlements across the country as part of efforts to key into the FGN’s agriculture diversification initiative. NYSC mega farms in Abuja, Bauchi, Kebbi and Oyo states have been activated.
Corps members have also been compelled to embrace the FGN’s rice policy programmes  and excitingly, the scheme massively  cultivated  rice in  its Abuja  and Kebbi farms in the 2020 cropping season; as in  the  2021 farming season,  its  rice farm at Ezillo, Ebonyi state, would join the fray of robust NYSC rice fields. And the hectarage of its farmland rose astronomically from 60 hectares to 160 hectares in the 2020 farming season.
To this end, the NYSC also partnered for the training of   68 corps members among the 269 pioneer graduates,  trained  as soil doctors and extension services workers,  by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) in collaboration with the  Government of Borno state. It is a major step towards the rejuvenation of agricultural engagements in the country.
Additionally, the NYSC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Leventis Foundation Nigeria on training of corps members in agricultural best practices.  The initiative is also to fully empower corps members with the relevant skills, bolster self-reliance and avail them incentives that would encourage the pursuit of food sufficiency in the country.
Similarly, the modalities’ have been worked out between the NYSC and the British American Tobacco Nigeria   Foundation for the training for corps members on agro-allied related ventures. And Gen. Shauib also induced corps member to enlist in the national battle against the raging Covid-19 pandemic, which they participated excellently.
The Ghanaians have also posited in a proverb that; “If we put a hammer in every person’s hand, could they all become blacksmiths?” But Gen. Ibrahim Shuaib has demonstrated his competence as a blacksmith, who has effectively applied the hammer in his hands in the management of NYSC.
Aluor is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Oduduwa University, Ife.

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