In a unanimous ruling that defied the business-as-usual characteristic that has been synonymous with many countries in the African continent, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa was ordered to pay back a part of the $15m he spent in renovating his Nkandla private residence by the supreme court. It came as a pleasant surprise to see a court rule against a sitting president (a clear indication of an independent judiciary), a plot that would have struck as unrealistic if it had been cast in an African movie.
When you are born, bred and have lived all your life in this country called Nigeria, there’s always a tendency to assume or even believe beyond any reasonable doubt that you have seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. And one can hardly blame you. In a country where we have seen all sorts, especially among the political class; ranging from a former military Head of State who allegedly died in the hands of prostitutes to a former civilian Governor disguising himself as a woman in order to flee from the long arms of the law in the United Kingdom to another former Governor and Senator who staunchly defended his decision to find marital bliss in the arms of a yet-to-be-fully-physically-developed 13 year old to an entire Senate that makes a show of suggestion boxes in the 21st century and appears to be in love with setting up committees for the flimsiest of reasons. Yes, it is difficult to argue with the one who believes they have seen it all in Nigeria.
The demolition of Owonifari market in the popular Oshodi metropolis of Lagos State on Wednesday has understandably resulted in plenty of uproar among Lagos residents and observers alike. The market which has been in existence for over 40 years undoubtedly holds some form of attachment to it by residents and the traders who have plied their trade there for decades. Many of those affected by the pulling down of the market have accused the Ambode led government of being insensitive, elitist and further trampling on the already down trodden of the society by depriving them of their daily bread.
Recently, the government at the federal level and many states of the federation marked 100 days in office. A tradition that is largely supposed to give a clear blue print they intend to fully implement in the course of the next (almost) four years in office. While the average Nigerian can be said to be upbeat about definite strides at the federal level especially in areas such as power generation, the oil sector which has recorded a remarkable turnaround in the hitherto comatose refineries, and the fight against corruption, the same cannot be said of developments in Lagos State under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
In his most definite address regarding the growing criticism of his administrations delay in naming a cabinet since he assumed office over 2 months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed that he will not appoint ministers until September in his 20th of July Washington Post article following his four-day official visit to meet and discuss burning issues with President Obama of the USA in Washington D.C. He also cited the example of his US counterpart who also did not name a full cabinet as soon as he assumed office stating that that didn’t stop his administration from functioning in the interim.
It is now well over a month since President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and to say that many Nigerians are somewhat disappointed at the seeming slow pace of activities of the Buhari led administration would not be off the mark. There is a growing sense of discontentment in the air. Buhari’s victory at the polls and subsequent assumption of office came on the backdrop of extremely high expectations. Like I had predicted in a previous article here. Many Nigerians expect nothing short of the miracle of turning water into wine from Mr President, his pedigree as a no-nonsense former military head of state during his first stint at the helm of affairs further strengthened the popular belief that Mr President would dive right into things commando style, guns blazing and firing from all cylinders. But that has not been the case.
“I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”- President Muhammadu Buhari.
When General Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner of the presidential elections on Wednesday, the Ist of April, 2015, the streets were jubilant, social media was agog with the news, and a good number of Nigerians basked in the euphoria of the new wave of hope and optimism in the air. Not a few could wait for him to take over the reins of leadership of the most populous country in Africa. It almost appeared as though the 29th of May would never come as the days dragged by. But alas! It did! And now we have a new Sheriff in town who shoulders the hopes and expectations of over 170 million people.
It’s just over two weeks to May 29, also known as democracy day in Nigeria. This time around, the circumstances are slightly different. Nigeria has a date with destiny. A democratically elected incumbent president who lost at the polls in his bid for a second term in office will be handing over power to another democratically elected one – the first time this would be happening in Nigeria’s sixteen years of democracy. As expected, many issues are coming to the fore, with the most pressing being the embarrassing problem of the scarcity of premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol which Nigerians have had to deal with yet again! Even though as usual, this too shall pass, and the average Nigerian who has been naturally imbued with a never-say-die spirit will trudge on in spite of whatever is thrown their way.
The presidential elections have come and gone, with many heaving a huge sigh relief as a result of a potential unrest being averted by the timely concession of defeat by President Goodluck Jonathan. But it is not yet uhuru. The gubernatorial elections in majority of the states of the federation comes up this Saturday. Lagos in particular is on the radar, and understandably so because it is the commercial nerve center of Nigeria, it is the hub which generates a substantial proportion of the revenue of the country. Lagos being the most populous city in Nigeria, the second fastest-growing city in Africa and the seventh fastest- growing city in the world, with a population of about 20 million people has earned all the attention it receives as the microcosm of Nigeria, and so when Lagos sneezes, the rest of the country catches the flu!
When God says it’s time…it is time! Change is here – Ololade Ajekigbe
I type this with so much excitement and joy in my heart. History has been made in Nigeria. We are going into the history books for all the right reasons! For the first time in the history of our dear nation, an opposition candidate defeated a sitting president through the ballot box! Whoever thought that day would come, and soon too! Since, Nigerians cast their votes on Saturday, the country has been on the edge as people earnestly waited with bated breaths to hear the outcome of the polls which saw an unprecedented number of people who were hitherto nonchalant about voting in previous elections turn out en-masse to vote for their preferred candidate. Nigerians had had enough! They were ready to take their destiny into their own hands by not only being patient enough to cast their votes despite the hitches with card readers and other challenges, but also waiting for their votes to be counted in order not to be shortchanged in any way.