Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration might have come and gone, however, discussions around sovereignty and freedoms still linger.
Rights and the issue of governance have continued to stir questions of public interest across the globe, and stakeholders have continued to weigh in on various matters regarding leadership.
This week, we bring you some very striking quotes that, when pieced together, shape the narrative of what the world witnessed within the last 7 days.
They also help us to make projections of certain things to expect as we go into the new week.
1. “Every elite in the south-east is not desirous of Biafra. We don’t want Biafra. We only want to be treated equally like other regions in Nigeria.”
Governor of Ebonyi State, who is also the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi describes agitations for Biafra as “madness”, saying that most elites in the region do not want it.
2. “They are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”
Chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen speaks about the works of journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia who won the Nobel Peace Prize.
3. “Good relations with Afghanistan are good for everyone. Nothing should be done to weaken the existing government in Afghanistan which can lead to problems for the people.”
Taliban warns the United States not to “destabilise” the regime during their first face-to-face talks since the US withdrawal as a deadly sectarian bombing raised further questions about their grip on power.
4. “Though he attempted putting up some resistance when troops made efforts to take him into custody, he was not assaulted or subjected to brutalization.”
The Nigerian Army reacts to the arrest of Nollywood actor, Chiwetalu Agu, saying he was “inciting members of the public and soliciting support for the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)”.
5. “Where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria, and I can cite examples; neither will it be the solution. There is no such thing as a president from Southern Nigeria or a president from Northern Nigeria.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says where the president comes from has never been the solution to the series of problems facing the nation.
6. “It is unlikely that our recovery from these recessions would have been as fast without the sustained government expenditure funded partly by debt.”
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, again defends recent borrowings by the Federal Government, insisting they were instrumental to the country’s exit from recessions.
7. “Why you are having separatist agitations everywhere today in the West, in the South, in the South-South, is that some people are unable to manage our diversity, that is just the fact.”
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, says there are dozens of separatist groups in the south-east region of the country because the ethnic divide has not been properly managed.
8. “We find the renewed desperation by the south to threaten [the] northern people’s right to franchise a deliberate attempt to bastardise democracy, cause greater instability in the guise of contentious undemocratic power shift arrangement and therefore unacceptable.”
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) oppose the zoning arrangement by political parties, describing it as unconstitutional and a plot to intimidate the north from contesting for the presidency in 2023.
9. “We gave them the name bandit probably to just soft pedal because terrorism in the international arena is regarded as the most heinous crime that any group of people can engage in.”
Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa says bandits are no different from terrorists, insisting that both groups operate the same way.
10. “The conditions make a mockery of the case pending before the ECOWAS court, and create a risk that the course of justice will be seriously impeded or prejudiced in this case.”
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), urges President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently withdraw the impermissible conditions imposed on Twitter pending the final determination of the suit at the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja.”
11. “We face a global recovery that remains ‘hobbled’ by the pandemic and its impact. We are unable to walk forward properly.”
The IMF predicts that global economic bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis will downshift this year as countries struggle with rising prices, high debt loads and divergent recoveries in which poor nations are slipping behind wealthier ones.
12. “In developing or Third World countries, it is the escalator of strife, pogroms and civil war, and has played a big role in countries torn to pieces by tribal war, such as it is playing out in Syria, which has become the hotbed of Captagon, and Afghanistan, which controls the opium trade.”
Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) says cannabis cannot be legalised in the country considering the current security challenges.
13. “Nigeria must go beyond a never-ending potential for becoming a great nation to an actually great one. Many presidents have said it. Shehu Shagari. Olusegun Obasanjo. Umaru Yar’Adua. Goodluck Jonathan. But here we are today, still just a country with potentials.”
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says the inherent potentials, which in the past have remained dormant in Nigeria, have started to be utilised.
14. “Some have expressed concern over our resort to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps; they are right to be concerned.”
President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerians have a right to be concerned about recent borrowings by the Federal Government.
15. “We believe that the debt level of the Federal Government is still within sustainable limits”.
President Muhammadu Buhari says though Nigerians have the right to be concerned about the nation’s additional loans, still, the country’s debts remain at a sustainable level.
16. “If you are going to get in, in the Nigerian system, in this system of ours, to walk through all that is required, I think you need some experience; a bit of it, you don’t have to be very old.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says age should never be a barrier for young Nigerians to get involved in holding strategic positions, especially political offices.
17. “For the majority of our people, 1960 provided an opportunity to start all over again but, unfortunately, the nationalist politicians who took over the reins of power from the British colonial regime did not decolonise the country and the psyche of our people.”
Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, insists that if Nigeria is to forge ahead in the right direction, then the citizens must be mobilised to take charge of their political destiny.
18. “I want to tell you that Mr President has the magic wand. His attitude, [and] language to the South-East; he has to change it.”
The lawmaker representing Enugu North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Chukwuka Utazi asks President Buhari to change the way he addresses the people of the South East region.
19. “Everyone is stunned, but we do not have to be emotional or negative about things. The same team defeated Liberia here in Lagos and Cape Verde away. They still have that ability to deliver.”
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) backs the Super Eagles to bounce back from their shocking defeat to lowly-rated Central African Republic (CAR) in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
20. “Nigeria’s Federal Government is already making efforts to use large shares of clean energy sources, but the development of gas projects poses a dire challenge.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo argues that climate change policies must reflect “the different realities of various economies” to be successful.
21. “If we had a policeman for everybody, nobody is going to obey any sit at home.”
Governor David Umahi says agitation in the South East has been hijacked by criminals.