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OPINION

How To Help President Buhari Overcome Post Protests  Adversities  BY Umar Ardo, Ph.D

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BY Umar Ardo, Ph.D

For President Mohammed Buhari to have any hope of substantially overcoming the gathering political storms of the post-youths protests and stabilize the country once again, he urgently needs a better and more sophisticated line of strategy for the implementation of his government; not just simply making appeals, relying on understanding and, when all fails, resorting to brute force. Things have obviously changed and such inutile methods can no longer work. What is needed now is strategic thinking.

In modern day politics of governance, strategic thinking stands out as the most critical skill for success in the management of human societies. It is all about understanding and distilling constituency politics; about being able to see, predict, and plan ahead of all and sundry, and by taking a broad, long-range approach to problem-solving and decision-making that involve objective analyses. That means being able to think in multiple time frames, deciphering the real material problems and their protagonists, identifying what can be accomplished over time, and what has to happen now, in six months, in a year, etc. It also means thinking systemically, and stimulating certain impacts of certain inputs on certain segments of the society. Some call this as SWAT Analyses. It may well be, but whatever it is for us to succeed as a nation, our leadership must at all times possible, try to promote insight, foresight and long-term thinking. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that most times intelligence trumps experience. An intelligent candidate can quickly learn a job and frequently ends up doing it better than someone (less intelligent) who has been doing a similar job elsewhere. Experience is certainly valuable, but brains are the horsepower that drives strategy, good leadership and success.

In fact, the president has started on the protests episode on a good note. To the credit of the C-in-C, security forces were not initially unleashed on the peacefully protesting youths. In truth, the government at the beginning took a conciliatory stance and had demonstrated its readiness to make concessions. I want to commend the stance of the government in its initial response to these national protests. I earnestly urge the government to continue on this line and withdraw all forces later deployed. While we all regret the unfortunate incidents of deaths when hoodlums hijacked the process, we must also be gladden by the show of solidarity to the protesting youths displayed by our gallant troops. Against the questionable narrative of ‘security forces mowing down children they were supposed to protect’, I saw several videoclips of officers and troops of our military in accord and unity with the protesters, to the exhilaration of the latter. All citizens of good standing should feel encouraged by this.

What the president also needs to do now is to join millions of good Nigerian citizens to commend our indefatigable youth for taking the initiative of organizing the mass peaceful protests against police brutality and other ills of society in our country. He should take pride particularly in the ability of our youth to have leveraged on the advantages of technology and globalization to make the protests not only go viral globally but also generally very sophisticated. The president must recognize that sophistry in organizing the peaceful protests as an unmistakable dawn of a new era in Nigeria’s democracy, explaining why Nigerian citizens readily lent their support and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the youths.

But it is both unfortunate and regrettable that such well organised and supported peaceful protests have festered, degenerated, deteriorated and even spiraled out of hand into almost a state of anarchy. All of a sudden, the peaceful non-violent protests have turned violent with terrible news reports and video clips of rioting, breaking prison and releasing criminals, fighting, killings, stampede, arson, looting, destruction, etc. across the length and breadth of this country. This is unacceptable, and is what government is working hard to contain.

While we stand for and submit to peaceful protest as basic element of liberal democracy, we must also object and condemn all acts of lawlessness, violence, arson, looting and destruction. We must all therefore not just call on all our youth to uphold, entrench and engender peace and orderliness in all their actions, but also support government to bring this looming anarchy to a complete halt in line with government’s fundamental duty of protecting and securing lives and property of Nigerians.

In addition, President Buhari as a matter of urgency needs to also immediately constitute a committee of inquiry to investigate the unfortunate incidents of peaceful protests hijacked by hoodlums to cause destruction and murder and bring those responsible to book. The president should also urgently summon meetings of constitutionally established consultative bodies such as the National Council of State, National Defence Council, National Security Council, etc. for consultations and advise. This is with a view to establishing a wide and all encompassing by-partisan national committee of academics, youths representatives, business community, civil society, the labour, credible politicians of key political parties, etc. to deliberate and proffer concrete and durable solutions to government on the contentious issues in the country raised by our youths. To be given 3 months to submit its report, the committee should serve as an institutional network and channel of communication for engagement, consultations and dialogue among the apparatuses and leaderships of all the key strata of the Nigerian society including eminent Nigerians, stakeholders, civil society organizations, intelligencia, opposition organs, community, traditional and religious leaders, etc.

It is my sincere belief that if government can act decisively on this, we shall be able to succeed as a nation in overcoming the adverse social and political consequences imbedded in the current situation. Let President Buhari see this protest phase as a window of opportunity to act in stabilizing our great country. I appeal to the president not to fail to seize the opportunity. I also appeal to our elites, not withstanding their political leanings, to give government support to resolve the current national adversity like is done in all civilized democracies. In the meantime, let the protests halt and let government act now. An informed and elaborate engagement at this point, I am confident, will secure, save and preserve our government, our democracy, our country and our future.

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OPINION

My husband and I agreed that another man impregnated me ’cos he has low sperm count —Wife

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A woman, Toyin Dotun, has appealed to Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, to dissolve her 11-year-old marriage to her husband, Bello Dotun, on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Toyin stated that her relationship with her husband was devoid of intimacy.

The plaintiff explained that she was tired of covering up for her husband and pretending that all was well.

She thus pleaded that their wedlock be ended.

Bello however insisted that their union should not be dissolved.

According to him, Toyin is God-sent and his destiny helper.

Toyin in her evidence explained, “I have endured this long in our marriage because I didn’t want the world to know that things were not going on fine between us.

“I have covered up enough and it is taking its toll on my health which is one of the reasons I came to court.

“My husband and I are just living together under the same roof but there is no relationship or intimacy between us.

“Bello carries out no responsibility towards me as his wife, but has rather been using me to meet his needs.

“I built and moved into my house 10 years ago and my husband moved in with me. My husband and I have never had sex since then.

“We lost the only child in the union at age six and I requested that we had another. To my chagrin, my husband refused that we had sex. He stated that his doctor advised him to abstain from sex because he was on treatment.

“I didn’t understand this nor believed him, but I later came across the result of a test which read that he had low sperm count.

“I sought the help of some medical doctors and they fixed appointments with my husband at different times but he refused to honour these appointments.

“We both agreed that I had an affair with another man who would impregnate me. Our plan was to raise the child as that of my husband and cover up for his inadequacy.

“My lord, my husband failed to show me and our child any love or affection while he is in the habit of disgracing and humiliating me in the public.

“Any time we had a disagreement, he would threaten to take the child away from me.

“My lord, I’m fed up with our relationship. I pray that you separate us, “the plaintiff said.

Bello giving his testimony said, “My lord, I refuse that our marriage be dissolved. My wife is God-sent. She is my destiny helper

“Our marriage is blessed with two children, but we lost one.

“It is true that the doctor told me I have low sperm count, but she never told me our child is not mine.

“Toyin lied that I refused to have sex with her. She is in the habit of closing her door against me. She accused me of wanting to have sex with her through diabolic means when I once forced myself into her room.

“Toyin and I both take care of this child while I do that which is within my capacity in fending for the home. But to be sincere, my wife bears the brunt the responsibility.

“My wife and other family members prevailed on me to move in with her in her house, it was never in my plan,” he concluded.

Giving his judgment, the court president, Chief Olasunkanmi Agbaje stated that more evidence was needed.

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OPINION

Change of guards and expectations, By A.A. Gadzama

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By A.A. Gadzama
The President and Commander-in-Chief has finally succumbed to public pressure and replaced the former Service Chiefs.  The changes were long overdue and justified considering the fact that there was not much progress in defeating the insurgents in the North East, stopping the spate of killings by people suspected to be herdsmen across the country and the state of general insecurity in nearly all parts of the country.
These were not the only acts of insecurity and criminality that concerned the populace. Equally of concern were, the virtual state of siege in parts of the country as exemplified by attacks on public highways and the rampage by lawless individuals and groups. The change of Service Chiefs  is therefore commendable.
The President and his advisers once again proved responsive to public opinion. The decision took time understandably to avoid past mistakes of appointing unfit persons into sensitive positions of leadership. Many of us believe that the President made well informed choices in the appointment of the new Service Chiefs. Not even his most ardent critics could fault the choice of the new Service Chiefs.
The appointments addressed the twin problems of lopsidedness and brazen disregard of the Federal Character principles and ethno religious balancing. Much more important however is the issue of competence, loyalty and restoring professionalism in the Services which demand extreme caution.
I am compelled to write to underscore the importance of caution which in the past was not exercised in such appointments resulting in failure to defeat the security threats that have engulfed the country in the last one decade. We believe the President and his advisers exercised due diligence. It is important to note that past efforts failed to appreciate our realities.
The persistence of insecurity in the country is to a large extent also due to lack of required assets to pursue the wars and deficiencies in strategies being deployed. There is also the problem of dishonesty. I have often advised that there can be no success in any enterprise when there is no honesty in the pursuit of the mission.
There is also the indispensability of the support of the citizenry. It is a known fact that no counter intelligence war has ever been successful without the support of the citizenry. In almost all cases, the efforts of the security forces should be complemented with the support of the citizens in intelligence sourcing and identification of criminal elements. Some of us believe that the forces can make do with more psychological support to encourage the troops to defeat the criminal elements.
It should also be pointed out that the ongoing counter insurgency war in the North East suffered immeasurable losses due to uncomplimentary remarks by individuals who should know better. Demanding invitation of foreign mercenaries to deal with the insurgents is ill-informed and smacks of lack of knowledge on the issues being dealt with that constitute serious distractions.
There are also other tendencies that should be discouraged. Change in the attitude of those who find themselves in political leadership is necessary. Politicians must appreciate the predicament of the security forces. We need to insulate the current efforts from politics and parochial sentiments. Conversely the security forces must accept genuine criticisms from critics in order to make amends.
It has been observed that a major problem in the ongoing war against the current security challenges is that many in the corridors of power are allergic to what they misconstrue as unwarranted criticisms. We believe some of the criticisms are honest and well intended as suggestions that some things could be done differently are acceptable in democratic settings. Those defending the Government inevitably end up making more enemies for the Government when they are less tolerant of honest advise.
Another deficiency that is very glaring in the ongoing wars against insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and attacks on communities  is the dearth of actionable intelligence. Not much progress can be made without the required intelligence. The new Service Chiefs must therefore revitalize their intelligence gathering strategies and assets.
The new Service Chiefs should avoid is deception and playing to the gallery and be weary of false claims being churned out. This is the reason why some critics wondering just how many insurgents and bandits there are, considering the frequency of announcements of successes and “neutralization”. There is so much sceptism over some of the claims being made by the spokesmen of the security forces who have formed the habit of only telling their principals what they want to hear. This attitude needs to be discarded as it is poses serious credibility problems in the ongoing efforts against the security challenges.
There are also the challenges of welfare of personnel. The major area of concern of those prosecuting the wars is the negligence of their warfare and the non-availability of assets and platforms that could help bring the various security threats to an end.  Their efforts have also been undermined by the activities of insider saboteurs and those that have lost relevance. The fact is our security forces are generally resilient and could give their best in every situation but they could easily be frustrated when their leadership is not living up to expectations. Accordingly, the new Service Chiefs if they are to succeed should frontally deal with the menace of sycophancy, nepotism and compromise that frustrate honest attempts to deal with problems at hand. The near mutinous situations in some military formations in the past hardly speak well of those in command positions. Finally, there is the problem of inadequacy of men in the theatres of war. It will be fool hardy to expect that the security challenges would be won with security forces that are terribly inadequate, ill-equipped and overstretched. Not much progress would be made without addressing the problems of lack of adequate equipments, increase in staff strength and very inspirational leadership. The new Service Chiefs should note that what the country expects from them is bringing to an end all the security challenges in the land. This is possible.
We wish to congratulate the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor and the New Chief of Army Staff Major Gen Attahiru who previously were Commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East. The two officers did exceptionally well and gave good account of themselves  as commanders of operation Lafiya Dole. We pray they will live up to expectation.
   A. A. GADZAMA OFR, mni, Chairman Board of National Institute of Security Studies.

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OPINION

A city has fallen: Professor Dahiru Yahya By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa

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By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa

 

“The Mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.  William Arthur Ward.

Professor Dahiru Yahya was one of my favourite teachers and remains a good mentor to this day. In Professor Dahiru Yahya, true scholarship and humility meet.

A generous, charismatic and prolific thinker. I first met him at Bayero University, Kano when I was an undergraduate student in the Department of History. Since that time, Prof as he once said, enjoyed every moment he spent with me.

He believed that young people always have novel ideas and be updated; he would always listen to me as if I was his teacher.

He used to call young people his teachers whenever they told him something new. In one of the moments I spent with him, Prof. told me that ahead (brain) of a professor is just like a city. He, therefore, advised me to value every moment spent with Professors by exploring the city.

During my MSc degree between 2012-2014, Prof was so keen to read my thesis when I informed him that I was writing on Boko Haram and AQIM.

He helped me with whatever I needed to complete the thesis. A year later, I informed him that I was presenting part of the work in a Faculty seminar. He was so happy and promised to come all the way from Abuja to listen to my presentation. After the presentation, he ushered in intellectual discussions on the origin of ‘Islamic activism’. He even responded to the questions I was supposed to answer. What a great honour!

As a humble person, Prof allowed me to explore his city as much as I could. I wanted to explore more when I informed one of my course mates that I wanted to see Prof to discuss the situation of the country last week. He deliberately shared some of his life encounters with people I considered great men in Nigeria. I have a lot to say on this. Perhaps this is not the right place.

In 2014, Prof and I were having dinner in his sitting room. His wife served us with a variety of foods. After a few minutes, Prof looked at me and said “Danguguwa! You have a masters degree but you have zero experience regarding what women can do” I was single without even a fiancé. He taught me what he jokingly called “makircin mata” .

He advised me not to underestimate the power of a woman. He said “your wife’s money is hers, while your money is for hers. Make sure you take good care of her”

When one of my course mates wanted him to write a reference letter for him, Prof gave him his letterhead and directed him to meet me. I wrote whatever I thought was right and Prof signed the letter without a second thought. In 2019 during a conference organised by Faculty of Humanities, Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, Prof served as a lead paper presenter.

The thought-provoking paper was sent to me for review prior to the presentation. I was confused for I couldn’t even comprehend the content of the paper. How could I review what Prof wrote? He was not happy though.

Prof joined academics almost two decades before I was born. In 2010 Bayero University Kano organised a Festschrift conference in his honour. By that time, he spent four decades teaching in the University. Out of more than seven and a half decades he spent on earth, over half a century was dedicated to teaching, research and mentorship.

Hundreds of students and colleagues attended his funeral today. Hundreds of tributes will be written in honour of the diplomatic and intellectual historian. This six hundred and forty-one words tribute says nothing about Prof Dahiru Yahya.

Allah Ya sa Aljanna ce makoma.

Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa, a historian and lecturer with Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, writes from, Kano.

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