No Poor States In Nigeria, Only Poor Leaders – Adegbulu

Femi AdegbuluAn Associate Professor at the Redeemer’s University, Dr Femi Adegbulu on Saturday debunked the assertion that there are poor States in the federation, noting that there was only a prevalence of poor leaders and ideas.

Adegbulu who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, commented on the debate over Nigeria’s resource control, at the National Conference.

According to him, no State in the nation was poor because each State reportedly had resources that can be developed for sustenance. He maintained that the problem of most States was poor leadership and “poverty of ideas” which led them to abandon what they have for oil.

He argued that the government would buckle up if nations of the world reject Nigeria’s oil or the oil should dry up.

“When oil gets dried, it is then all the regions will now come together and face what they have abandoned all this while,” he said, arguing that many of the States are considered poor because they are not tapping anything that nature has bequeathed to them.

He noted that the Constitution does not encourage the States.

Social Commentator, Bala Zaka, who was also a guest argued that Nigerians are only united geographically and are not so in all other ramifications.

He complained about the composition of the National Conference, noting that President Goodluck Jonathan must have been in school, during the reign of most delegates.

According to him, “what the conduct of the delegates has demonstrated is that Nigerians are only united geographically and are disunited in all other ramifications”.

On the issues of resource control being debated at the Conference, Zaka advocated that the economic life of each State should be examined and if there is a need, come up with suggestions and see if you can collapse some States, merge some States.

He argued that the creation of more States would only lead to political balancing but “what we need is economic balancing; Adding more to the aggregate economy. So the issue of resource control has practically shown that Nigeria is only united geographically”.

On his part, immediate Past President of NBA, Ikeja Branch, Onyekachi Ubani, berated the self centred attitude of leaders and citizens, which was tearing the nation apart. He noted that the National Conference should have provided a platform for Nigerians to discuss their unity, so that they can agree to chase a singular ideal.

He noted that the assumption that all stakeholders want to be together is wrong.

Adegbulu further argued that the nation’s leaders were not patriotic and that if the National Conference did not come forth with “true federalism”, the whole exercise would have been a waste.

Workers Day: NLC, Govt Should Curb Growing Unemployment – Ubani

As Nigerians join the rest of the world to mark International Workers Day, the federal government and the Labour Union have been advised to use this opportunity to put on their thinking caps and find ways to curb the growing unemployment rate in the country.labour

According to the chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, Mr. Onyekachi Ubani and the Vice Chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Custom Agents Mr. Dom Onyeka, the Nigerian Labour Congress still has a lot to do to protect the interest of workers.

They also believe the Trade unions  have a role to play in ensuring proper welfare for small business by pushing for more access to credit among other things.

Anambra Poll: INEC Messed Up This Election – Ubani

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja Branch, Onyekachi Ubani has blamed the outcome of the November 16 Anambra governorship election on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

He made this declaration while appearing on Channels Television’s live breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He said that the conduct of the 2011 general elections being relatively successful gave Nigerians hope, but there were still systemic problems that should have been addressed. He mentioned logistics problem and having authentic voters register among the long standing issues that should not have reoccurred in the Anambra election.

“Even prior to the election, they’ve been crying that the election may not be free and fair, I don’t know what they saw but it turned out that INEC messed up this election, even by their own admission.”

“They promised that this election was going to be a litmus test towards the election of 2015 and they are prepared for it. But there are institutional things that really conspired against this election and most of the problems are systemic and unless we address them and remove those cancers from the root, they will keep on repeating themselves.”

Speaking on the justification for calls from political parties that the election be cancelled, he asked “if the larger percentage of people that you call registered voters were not allowed to vote, can you regard that election as free and fair? Can you regard the person that has emerged as a credible candidate for that particular electoral process?”

In further criticizing the INEC’s management of the Anambra elections, Ubani described it as the worst election ever in the history of Nigeria. According to him, “INEC may have deployed over 10,000 workers for that election in Anambra, how many were under their direct control in terms of staff? Maybe staff that are available for INEC in Anambra may be 300 workers that owe loyalty to INEC because they are employees.”

“When election comes you now go and employ what you call ad-hoc Staff, NYSC graduates and other people whose integrity you cannot guarantee.”

He continued, “over the years we have covered our nakedness and we’ve been hiding it, but some of us who do not belong to any political party will be the persons to tell this country the truth that things are not OK.”

“As long as you have so much access to the treasury of a particular state when you win election (as a governor), there is no way you would not do anything humanly possible to be there, you will borrow money.”

He concluded that the word ‘supplementary’ is subject to interpretation before the Court of Appeal because it is not in the Electoral Act and also not in the Nigerian constitution but it looks like the most logical thing for the INEC to do.

Clamour For Nat/Dialogue Is Same As For New Constitution – Analyst

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, Onyekachi Ubani, has faulted the intention of the Presidency to subject the outcome of the proposed National Conference to the verification and possible adoption by the National Assembly.

In what he described as a ‘master stroke’ by President Goodluck Jonathan who set up a committee with the mandate to establish the ground work for the Conference, Mr Ubani, on Thursday said “if we do that then we don’t know what we have been clamouring for.”

While speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Ubani explained that the National Conference is the nation’s ‘golden opportunity’ to re-write the wrongs it has been living with since the colonial era.

“It is very commendable that they have realised that this nation cannot move forward except we sit down as a nation and talk and resolve some of those bottlenecks that have acted as a clog in the will of progress.”

He stated that crucial decisions would be made at the Conference, one of which would be interest in remaining a united entity as well as how the entity should be governed.

An agreement on how the country should be ruled indicates that there may be a New Constitution owing to the agreements made at the Dialogue.

“We have never had an input in all the constitutions… so the people have never had an input in the governance system.”

The Conference, he said, would present ‘golden opportunity’ for Nigerians to produce a constitution they agree with.

“What we have been clamouring for is a new constitution” not an amendment of the existing one, he said.

However, he raised concerns that the committee’s activities may be interfered with adding that “it is also very important that if you have set up a committee and given them terms of reference, you must allow that committee to do the job of doing the recommendation of the way forward.”

He called on stakeholders not to preempt the committee’s work as that would only give credence to what skeptics have been saying about the conference.

He faulted the National Assembly’s decision that the committee’s recommendations would have to be vetted by the House. “That is not healthy at this point in time,” he said, adding that,  “If the President begins to say that the outcome of the conference would go back to the National Assembly for consideration, you are spoiling the process.”

He added that “the President should be advised to be a bit circumspect, at this point, until the recommendation of the committee comes out.”

Ubani opined that submitting the Conference’s resolutions to the National Assembly would be wrong as that is not what Nigerians are clamouring for.


Political Scientist, Lawyer Debate Whether Nigeria Should Mark June 12

Democracy in Nigeria has always generated mixed reactions; the proponents, those “against” and the indifferent ones. This mixed grill continues as regards the day that should be call “DEMOCRACY DAY”.

While the various schools of thought continue their debates, one is forced to ask if these dates are necessary for the benefits of democracy to be seen by all.

In this episode of Faceoff, a sociologist, Sam Olisah, advises that Nigerians should forget the events of June 12 1993 and move on with their lives while a lawyer Onyekachi Ubani opposed this view insisting that being the foundation of democracy, Nigeria should revisit the election that was adjudged freest and fairest in Nigeria.

Nigeria Governors Forum Crisis Is ‘Bad Omen’ For 2015

A legal practitioner, Onyekachi Ubani on Monday said the inability of the ‘First Citizens’ of the country, the 36 members of the Nigeria Governors Forum, to conduct a rancour free election portends bad omen for the general elections which will hold in 2015.

“There is really big problem for us as a nation.” He said.

Some members of the forum on Friday rejected the re-election of Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers as the Chairman of the forum. A faction of the forum, dominated by governors of the People’s Democratic Party, insists that Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state is the actual winner.

Mr Ubani while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily described the crisis as appalling and sad. He also said that Nigerians are not happy with the forum.

“If 35 governors could not conduct … a free, fair and credible election that produces a chairman of their forum in a manner that is less controversial, then you can imagine when we have election in 2015 that involves the entire country.”

“It is very appalling, it’s very sad and Nigerians are not happy… It portends bad omen.” He said.

He said that Nigerians are not happy with that forum in the first place because the members of the group “have lost focus.” He added that the reason for setting up the forum is no longer adhered to as a result of members seeking after ‘self-interest.’

He explained that the NGF was established for peer review as well as engaging government in some of the developmental strides. He however said that this is no longer the case.

“The concentration is now on self-interest.” He said.

Mr Ubani said that although individual governors are trying in their various states, “Nigerians are not benefitting anything” from the NGF as a whole.

“People are not getting good governance as a result of that group.” He said.

Nigerians Are Encouraged By Judiciary Reforms – Onyekachi Ubani

The chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Onyekachi Ubani, has claimed that Nigerians are encouraged by recent events in the nation’s judiciary such as the punishment erring judges.

While speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast; Show Sunrise Daily, Mr. Ubani said “justice must not only be said to be done but must be seen to be done” and “that is what the present Chief Justice Nigeria (CJN) Justice Aloma Mukhtar is trying to restore, the confidence that has been lost in the system”.

Ubani who admitted that the judiciary is corrupt and needs to be reformed, expressed believe in the CJN’s ability to complete the reforms she has initiated.

Dwelling on the issue of appointment of judges, Mr. Ubani explained that it’s a brave responsibility to be a judge.

He describe the position of a judge as the “temple of justice,” stating it must not be defiled and whoever occupies the position has to be intellectually sound and must posses good integrity and character.

Judiciary blamed without critical analysis

Also talking on the roles of the Judiciary concerning the daily running of the Nation,Onyekachi Ubani who is a legal practitioner was with the crew on the eye on the judiciary.

Relating the roles of the Judiciary to the recent sentencing of a the former Delta state governor James Ibori in the UK, the question is what is the judicial system of the Nigeria not doing right?