NigeriaAt59: We’ve Not Been Lucky To Have The Right People In Power – Adebanjo

Elder statesman and a chieftain of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, has decried the quality of leaders Nigeria has had over the years.

Chief Adebanjo made this known during a special edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today in commemoration of the country’s 59th independence anniversary.

“We are not where we should be because we have not been lucky to have the right people at the top,” he said while reviewing the state of the nation at 59.

Adebanjo believes that the myriads of challenges the country has faced since 1960 and its inability to find solutions to them are mainly due to the quality of leaders.

As far as he is concerned, the country was only fortunate with governance from 1960 to 1963, the first three years after it gained independence from Britain.

Elder statesman Ayo Adebanjo believes restructuring is critical to Nigeria’s progress.

According to him, it’s been a thing of shame to those who struggled to liberate Nigeria from the shackles of colonialism.

He said, “It has not been impressive. To those of us who fought for independence, it is a big disappointment. We are not where we should be.

“The people whom we have been unfortunate to have, have not had the direction of those who fought for independence mostly because the army did a lot of havoc.

“Their intervention was not a blessing. And you see where we are today. The people who fought for independence did not get into office after independence.

“We were lucky at the beginning from 1960 to 1963, which was the best period for civilian government. Since the army intervention in 1966, we have not been fortunate.”

NigeriaAt59: Moments That Have Defined Nigeria Since Independence

At 59, Nigeria has continued to survive, against all odds. The country hasn’t lived up to its shimmering potential, but it has also not been all gloomy. Here are a couple of moments that have defined the country since independence in 1960.

1960 – Independence

Nigeria achieved independence from Great Britain on October 1, 1960. On October 1, 1963, Nigeria became a republic.

Why it matters:
Independence gave Nigerians the freedom to govern themselves.

1966 – First Coup

Nigeria’s first coup was orchestrated by Chuwkuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna. Since then, the country had been embroiled in numerous conflicts over elections and tribal sentiments.

Why it matters:
The first coup ushered in the military into the governance of Nigeria, ending the First Republic. The military would go on to lead the country
for more than two decades in total.

1967 – Civil War

The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War, started on July 6, 1967 and ended on January 15, 1970.

Why it matters:
It was the longest, most devastating conflict in the young nation’s history. It was also the most serious threat to the continued existence of a united Nigeria.

1973 – Naira adopted

In 1973, the country adopted a truly national currency in decimal form instead of the Pounds, replacing the imperial system which she inherited from the British colonial administration.

Why it matters:
Adopting a fully homegrown currency put the country’s financial planning into its hands.

1973 – NYSC starts

There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973, graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the
National Youth Service Corps program for one year.

Why it matters:
The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reunify the country after the Nigerian Civil War. It is perhaps Nigeria’s largest and most enduring national integration project.

1978 – ‘Arise O Compatriots’ adopted

Nigeria adopted a new national anthem in 1978, replacing ‘We Hail Thee’, which had been composed by a British expatriate living in Nigeria.

Why it matters:
The national anthem is perhaps one of the most important national treasure, a call of action that seeks to unify and galvanise the country into
greatness.

1979 – Obasanjo hands over to Shagari

Nigeria’s second attempt at democracy started in 1979, when Military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, handed over to civilian President, Shehu Shagari.

Why it matters:
The Second Republic did away with the parliamentary system of governance in favour of the presidential system, although it was another experiment
that ended in failure.

1983 – Buhari topples Shagari

On December 31, civilian president, Shehu Shagari was toppled by the military, effectively ending the Second Republic.

Why it matters:
The end of the Second Republic meant Nigeria’s second attempt at democratic governance failed. It also ushered more than a decade of military rule.

1986 – Dele Giwa Assassinated

Journalist, Dele Giwa, was killed by a mail bomb in his Lagos home on October 19, 1986, just two days after he has been interviewed by State Security
Service (SSS) officials.

Why it matters:
Giwa’s death typified the country’s intolerance against free press, and marked one of the biggest blows to press freedom in Nigeria’s history.

1986 – Soyinka awarded Nobel Prize

Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, becoming the first African to be so recognised.

Why it matters:
The award added to the prestige of the country’s literary canon and helped to inspire a new generation of literary giants.

1992 – ‘Living in Bondage’ released

Living in Bondage, a film produced by Kenneth Nnebue, was shot and released.

Why it matters:
It was the breakout straight-to-video film which helped to lay the foundations for Nollywood, an industry which is now globally recognised and respected.

1993 – June 12 election

Considered as the freest and fairest election ever conducted in Nigeria, June 12, for many, represents one of the biggest opportunities passed up by the country.

Why it matters:
It showed that a virile form of democracy was possible in the country.

1993: Babangida hands over to Shonekan

Under intense political pressure, Ibrahim Babangida handed over to Ernest Shonekan in 1993, completing another military to civilian handover.

Why it matters:
It created a poorly accepted interim government, which unwittingly paved the way for arguably the most notorious military regimes in the country.

 

1993 – Abacha sacks Shonekan

Supposedly preempting a coup action by radical junior officers, Sani Abachi overthrew Ernest Shonekan on November 17, 1993.

Why it matters:
Abacha’s action effectively set in motion one of Africa’s most vicious, corrupt and intolerant military governments.

1995 – Ken Saro Wiwa hanged

Activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged in Port Harcourt on November 10, 1995.

Why it matters:
Saro-Wiwa’s execution summed up the callousness of the Abacha regime, which was infamous for silencing and eliminating any form of political dissent or activism.

1996 – Nigerian wins Olympics Gold in Soccer

Nigeria beat Argentina 3-2 to win Olympic Gold in soccer for the first time.

Why it matters:
The Olympic gold medal was Africa’s first in soccer and remains the country’s biggest international achievement in the round leather game.

1996 – Chioma Ajunwa wins Gold

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Chioma Ajunwa became the first Nigerian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. She specialised in the long jump.

Why it matters:
Ajunwa wasn’t just the first Nigerian to win an Olympic gold medal, she was also the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a field event.

1998 – Abacha dies

Sani Abacha died on June 8, 1998, reportedly of a heart attack. He was 54.

Why it matters:
Abacha’s death put an end to his authoritarian regime and laid the foundation for the birth of the Fourth Republic.

1999 – Abdusalami hands over to Obasanjo

On May 29, 1999, former Military Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, became Nigeria’s first elected civilian President after Shehu Shagari.

Why it matters:
This was the beginning of the Fourth Republic and Nigeria’s next attempt at democracy.

This ushered in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, the country’s most enduring so far.

 

2001 – Nigeria deregulates telecoms sector

The federal government liberalised the telecommunications network in 2001.

Why it matters:
Deregulation allowed the telecoms industry to thrive, making Nigeria one of the leading growth markets for mobile technology.

2001 – Agbani Darego wins Miss World Competition

Agbani was an 18 year-old Nigerian computer science student when she won the 51st Miss World pageant held in Sun City, South Africa.

Why it matters:
Her victory represented the first win for a black African and news about the triumph dominated the media amounting also to a win for a resurgent Nigerian  lifestyle industry.

2007 – Yar’Adua succeeds Obasanjo

On May 29, 2019, Umaru Yar’Adua was sworn in as Nigeria’s new president in Abuja.

Why it matters:
The inauguration was the first time in Nigeria’s history that one civilian leader had taken over from another.

2009 – Boko Haram blows up

In July 2009, Boko Haram chief, Muhammed Yusuf, was killed in police detention.

Why it matters:
Yusuf’s death set off the Boko Haram crisis, which had been simmering for years.

 

2009 – Nigeria grants Niger Delta Militants Amnesty

After years of conflict, the federal government offered Niger Delta militants amnesty in August.

Why it matters:
The offer helped to reduce unrest in the oil-rich Niger-Delta, which is crucial to the nation’s economic fortunes.

2010 – Yar’Adua dies

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in May 2010, after a long battle with an illness shrouded in secrecy.

Why it matters:
Yar’adua’s death ended the power vacuum and political and economic uncertainty that had been created by his protracted illness and paved the way for his Deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, to take over.

 

2011 – Jonathan is elected as President

Goodluck Jonthan was declared winner of the 2011 Presidential Election, which was held in April that year.

Why it matters:
It was the first time an individual from the South-South, which is mostly made up of minority tribes, would lead the nation.

2014 – Chibok girls abducted.

On the night of April 14, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State.

Why it matters:
The abduction attract global condemnation and shed a spotlight on the gruesome reality set in motion by the Boko Haram crisis.

 

2014 – Adadevoh helped curb the spread of Ebola

In July 2014, Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh raised a red flag when attending to a Liberian patient at the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos.

Why it matters:
Dr Adadevoh’s action and ultimate sacrifice helped to prevent a catastrophic spread of Ebola in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

2015 – Buhari defeats Jonathan

Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s presidential poll by 2.57 million votes.

Why it matters:
It was the first time an incumbent President was defeated in an election in Nigeria, further strengthening the nation’s fragile democracy.

NigeriaAt59: Without Power, It Is Difficult To Move Forward – Gupta

An expert on globalisation and emerging markets on Tuesday highlighted the importance of electricity in moving a nation forward.

Dr Anil Gupta, who was one of the speakers at The Platform, a programme convened by Pastor Poju Oyemade of Covenant Christian Center, stressed that Electricity is the lungs of the economy of a nation and without it; it is difficult to record progress.

He also stressed that electricity is a major aspect of Nigeria’s infrastructure which needs to be considered by the government.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Lacks Mental Discipline To Execute Plans, Says Bismarck Rewane

“The seeming most important aspect is electricity. Roads, highways and other segments of infrastructure are important but electricity, I will put ahead of these.

“If we look at the Industrial revolution that made America and Europe rich, starting from the early 19th century its really that the lungs which gives power to the body. It was steam engines first and electricity next.

“So, without the power, the lungs of the economy it is very difficult, it is impossible to march ahead.”

Gupta also lamented that “The electricity produced in Nigeria is very inadequate and obviously that is a segment of infrastructure where the government has almost always has played a major role.”

Making reference to statistics and estimates, he said Nigeria will experience development if electricity is given proper and adequate attention.

Financial Times statistics show that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria spends 40% cost of production on power, Gupta said, if this is not promptly curtailed by Nigeria’s government it will “act as a constraint in terms of development.”

NigeriaAt59: Top Quotes From Buhari’s Speech

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday addressed the nation.

The President gave the speech on the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary.

Here are some of the top quotes from President Buhari’s speech below:

Change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation. We must all remain committed to achieving this positive and enduring Change.

Good governance and economic development cannot be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security. In the last four years, we have combatted the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram. We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results.

We remain equally resolute in our efforts to combat militant attacks on our oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.

Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.

The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.

The economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from the recession. The exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016.

Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments. We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.

As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimising the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector. We will working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment.

We will also continue our fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, including the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts.

I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.

Our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward, as the new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets.

We are also committed to ensuring that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.

Our ongoing N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme. To institutionalise these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date.

We are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalised in public service.

We must commit to installing a culture of Good Governance in all we do. This Administration has fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources.

The P&ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians. The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences.

NigeriaAt59: Religion Must Not Be Used As A Divisive Tool, Says Oyemade

The Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Center and Convener of The Platform, Poju Oyemade.

 

The Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Center and Convener of The Platform, Poju Oyemade, has called on Nigerians not to allow their religious orientations or leanings to create division in the country.

Speaking at the Covenant Place, Iganmu to mark the nation’s 59th Independence Anniversary, the cleric asked citizens to instead use their religious beliefs as tools to appeal to the conscience of both the leaders and followers.

“The religion of this nation must not be used as a divisive tool but a tool to appeal to the moral conscience of men.

“We have heard from them that know that when men gather to steal public funds, the issue of tribe and religion is not taken into consideration,” he said.

He added that “the seed of our dream for a better Nigeria requires nourishment from this earth, institutional knowledge gathered all over the years.”

He recalled that when former United State President Barack Obama was launching his campaign for the presidency in 2006, he acknowledged the importance of faith.

The realisation that faith is important, according to Pastor Oyemade, perhaps explains why America is technologically and economically advanced.

“I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in and around people. If we are going to speak to the people where they are, we must understand that Americans are religious people.

“90 percent of Americans believe in God, 70 percent are affiliated to organized religion and that 38 percent call themselves committed Christians. This is probably the most advanced society in the world,” he said.

The Platform – Redesigning The Nigerian Economy With New Ideas

Economic analysts and experts including Bismark Rewane, Charles Soludo, Anil Gupta among others are currently at the Covenant Place, Iganmu for this year’s edition of The Platform.

The bi-annual event is in celebration of Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary.

The theme for this edition of the programme is, ‘Redesigning The Nigerian Economy With New Ideas.’

Pastor Poju Pyemade, the Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Center is the convener of The Platform.