Connect with us

Opinion

That Call For Elite Support

Published

on

One of the hallmarks of great leadership is the ability of the leader to acknowledge the existence of a problem and seek solutions to it.
That was exactly what President Muhammadu Buhari exhibited last Monday when he played host to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, members of the Federal Executive Council, service chiefs and heads of MDAs to a breaking of Ramadan fast at the Presidential Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
He lamented the high rate of poverty in the nation and solicited the support of the elite in addressing the education needs of the less privileged in society.
For the president to have admitted we have excruciating poverty in the land instead of the usual denial of the obvious by some of his aides, shows true leadership and he should be commended for that. It is then expected of the elite, including the president, to respond positively to this clarion call putting in place programmes  that will guarantee basic education for the poor. This kind of benevolent gesture has been in great lack in our country. Instead, the well-to-do persons among us prefer showing off their wealth through the acquisition of private jets, state-of-the-art vehicles, mansions and other properties.
Recall how about 30 private jets landed in Minna, Niger State, for the wedding of the daughter of a prominent Minna indigene in 2017.  A visit to the garage of some of our elite, especially those in politics, will make you wonder if they are dealers of exotic cars.
They take pleasure in flaunting these material acquisitions even when many children in their villages cannot go to school due to lack of fund; many people around them go hungry for days; many people are committing suicide due to hardship.
Is it, therefore, not time these men and women considered ploughing back some of their resources into the society by creating foundations to train poor children, support research work to lift people out of poverty and others? How about giving scholarships to the brilliant less privileged ones among us? We know a few foundations like TY Danjuma Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Rochas Okorocha Foundation and others exist but we definitely need more.
States and local governments are not left out in this call for poverty alleviation and educational support for the poor and needy. No doubt some states like Rivers have set up agencies to attend to such needs. Such agencies had granted both foreign and local scholarships to hundreds of the indigenes of the states. But the question is, what caliber of people were beneficiaries of such scholarships? How many children of the poor and down trodden who the scholarships should be meant for got them? You can’t allow the rich and well placed individuals in the society to hijack the scholarship scheme and claim to be helping the poor.
It is therefore time for those at the helm of affairs in these states to look into the goings on in such agencies and with a view to ensuring that the right persons benefit from them, release more money for scholarships where necessary, while the states and local government areas yet to embark on scholarships and education support for the needy should consider doing so.
Meanwhile, the federal government should do everything necessary to save the nation from the present educational and financial predicaments. It is good the president is concerned about the situation but what are the plans of government to tackle the challenge?
Apart from the Tradermoni, free school feeding, N5000.00 for the poor and vulnerable which the government always boasts of, though many people say they don’t feel the impact, what else has the government in stock? What has been the annual budget for education and how has it been implemented? In short, what premium does government place on education?
Reacting to Buhari’s statement, leaders of some socio-cultural groups in the country made comments that ought to be given serious thought.
For instance, the Ohaneze Ndigbo said if the president is serious about solving the problem of poverty, he should address the problem of insecurity bedeviling the nation.  Speaking through the Media and Publicity Adviser to the President – General, Chief Emeka Attamah, the body said, “there is no way people cannot be poor when their sources of wealth have been destroyed by insecurity”.
Similarly, the pan-Yoruba Socio-Political organization, Afenifere, posited, “Until we talk about the social system that produces Almajiris, any lamentation about their plight doesn’t mean much” It therefore means that for the pathetic situation to change, government has to rise up to the responsibility of providing adequate security for the citizens. The issue of herder/farmer clashes which had rendered many farmlands desolate and cattle breeders cattle less and idle must be urgently and sincerely addressed. Also, more importance and attention has to be paid to education as one can only reap what he sows. As the elite are being persuaded to show more interest in alleviating poverty and making the poor citizens and the society better, government has to play its own role which will encourage these people to do what is expected of them.

 

Calista Ezeaku

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Opinion

The Tomfoolery of RIVLEAF

Published

on

There indeed seems to be no end, as far as nay sayers are concerned, in the quest to frustrate the efforts being made by the Rivers State Government to ensure that the spread of the coronavirus in Rivers State is reasonably checked.
On a daily basis, this becomes more apparent to the chagrin of genuinely concerned people of the State.
Although it is not a surprise that RIVLEAF, supposedly a pressure group has always announced itself as a purveyor of ill-contrived negative information, its latest attempt to dismiss a genuine alarm raised by the Rivers State Government regarding a foreseen build-up to a declaration of State of emergency in the State, has further exposed the membership of the organisation as persons with cowardly and sychophantic intentions.
At a time like this, when the whole world is still baffled over the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not only exposed even the hitherto world super powers in all spheres of their existence, but has so made it clear that everyone must be involved in order to check the pandemic, all RIVLEAF has to offer is an attempt to discredit the world acclaimed efforts of the Rivers State

Government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike to ensure that the coronavirus does not get to the stage of Community transmission in the State.
It is indeed an irony of faith, that people who say they’re a pressure group do not actually know what it means to be a pressure group. They do not know, for instance, that one key role of a pressure group in the development of a society is to provide specialised and expert information to the government and explain government policies to the understanding and benefit of the general public. Thus they are an important link between the government and the people.
This explains their choice of caption, “Governor Wike Needs Help”, and the fact that rather than address in cogent terms the issue at stake, all they could do is to seek to raise irrelevant issues to cause rife between the President and the Governor, and with his Deputy.
What is really “funny and disturbing” about a clear statement that there is “a plan to declare a state of emergency in Rivers State? And, rather than categorically state what makes it funny and disturbing, all Onyeche Nnatah Peters could say is that Governor Wike “boasted that he was beyond the reproach of the Federal Government and, could do and undo as he so wishes”.
This statement in itself is a confirmation of the Governor’s proclamation of a plot to declare a state of emergency in the State, for reasons that have to do with Wike being seen as somebody who must be dealt with. The question is, for what reason?.
The most clear answer to this question is that from the point he started preparing to be the Governor of Rivers State, through his first tenure, and about a year into his second tenure, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had had to accept the peculiarities of Rivers State in the present State of affairs in the country, and had adjusted to the point of being able to provide good governance to Rivers people as minimally as possible in the face of unrelenting and determined efforts to frustrate him.
This is why every step of governance he has taken has turned out to be timely, and lauded in the given circumstance it is taken by all well-meaning public globally, especially as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, which the world knows is a new virus, hence decisions to combat it are mostly taken based on the exigencies of the moment. This is, of course, knowing the peculiarity of the virus as it relates to Nigeria, and Rivers State in healthcare delivery.
To say the least, Governor Wike has been setting the pace in steps taken to contain the coronavirus across Nigeria: amongst others, he was the first to set up an Interministarial COVID-19 Committee, the first to set up a palliatives committee, first to declare border lockdown, etc.
Even in the face of clear attempts to sabotage his efforts, Wike had been undeterred towards ensuring that the State does not get to Community transmission of the virus as is the case with some States. Beyond this determination to give good and transparent leadership to a people who understand his every step, and so are fully behind him, what else can the likes of RIVLEAF blame Wike of?
If the membership of RIVLEAF are truly of Rivers origin, and have the State at heart, they should be in a better position to appreciate the kind of development the State has recorded in the last five years.
Therefore, seeking to forment trouble where there’s none, such as between the Governor and his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, is a wasteful venture. This is because Rivers people have come to know what the interest of RIVLEAF is, and it has nothing to do with the overall interest of Rivers people.
Soibi Max-Alalibo
SA on Media to the Hon Commissioner for Information and Communications
Rivers State
May 21, 2020.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Opinion

Dakuku Should Stop Playing To The Gallery

Published

on

Sociologists have what they call “Looking Glass Theory”. The crux of this theory is that people are prone to naming others, or something, by what they truly are, or what they have in store as experience.
For someone whose dream to be governor had been scuttled severally because of his unpopularity ,one can easily understand where Dakuku Peterside is coming from.
In his veiled attempt to be one of those who “came out openly to oppose Governor Nyesom Wike” at this point in time he exposed himself as a political toddler.
 All over the world today, well-meaning people are joining hands with their governments to check the spread of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, it is in this context that Dr Dakuku Peterside has displayed his lack of knowledge of the key ingredients of governance at crisis periods.
The need for law and order at all times, more so in crisis periods as the COVID-19 pandemic has instituted globally, compels governments  to take painful but necessary actions to save lives.
Thank God Dakuku Peterside supports “the Governor to ensure that the state is free from Coronavirus”, but how he expects this to come to fruition if people disobey directives put in place at will, raises a huge question mark.
In the light of  his latest condemnation of the Governor’s order to demolish two hotels found to have flouted a lockdown directive, Dakuku has again displayed his penchant for grandstanding.
Maybe he should learn some lessons from the role played by the  Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva who attracted Federal presence  to Bayelsa State during this period eventhough he belonged to the opposition in home State.
Dakuku’s stance in the face of an affront on an Executive Order which resulted in the demolition of two hotels in Eleme yesterday, without  considering the true circumstances that led to the demolition questions his citizenship as a Rivers son.
He should know what it means  to attack people authorised to perform legitimate duties under an  Executive Order.  Dakuku would not have declared genuine people-oriented actions by Governor Wike as “destructive” if he was well informed.
Rivers people are not foolish enough not to know that but for the stringent proactive measures put in place to check the spread of the virus by Governor Wike, the State would have entered community transmission like some other States in the Country.
Dakuku Peterside should therefore desist from the temptation of endangering the lives of the people he pontificates to care for, knowing that every act has its day of reckoning.
Soibi Max-Alalibo,
SA on Media to the Hon Commissioner
Ministry of Information and Communications
Rivers State.
May 11, 2020
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Opinion

Austin Tam-George: An Intellectual Prostitute Let Loose

Published

on

Austin Tam-George has consistently been biting the finger that fed him because he is an intellectual prostitute.
He looks for every available opportunity to lampoon Governor Nyesom Wike in order to impress his paymasters as a paid hack without conscience.
Someone like Austin Tam-George does not have the moral standing to discuss governance because his tenure as Commissioner for Information in Rivers State was a monumental failure.
A man who used his first month in office as Commissioner to throw 2O Rivers indigenes who were earning a living in the Ministry as casual workers into the unemployment market surely loves Rivers State.
Perhaps Austin Tam-George’s patriotism also led him to seize the monthly imprests meant for Departments in the Ministry.
Maybe he should explain to Rivers people and the those he is serving why a Commissioner should arm twist Heads of Parastatals under him to make monthly returns to quench his voracious appetite for money.
Was it not his kinsman in one of the parastatals that engaged him in a verbal warfare along William Jumbo Street in Port Harcourt that helped to tame his unquenchable taste for money?
His grouse with Governor Wike is because the over inflated and bogus proposals he made under the guise of upgrading the State Media Houses without recourse to the Bureau for Public Procurement were turned down by the governor who insisted on due process.
Austin Tam-George was quoted as saying that he will never forgive Governor Wike for not allowing him dupe the government.
The likes of Austin Tam-George are always available for the highest bidder that is why his recent outburst should not be taken seriously.
When he was looting the money generated by parastatals under him he never remembered United Nations and European Union.
As the proverbial dog that eats the bone hung on his neck, he milked the media houses dry before he was sacked from the State Executive Council.
He should know that the record of monies siphoned from the Media houses are still in the archives and will be released if he dares to make any more noise.
If Governor Wike did not retain him in his cabinet because he lacked character is it enough to look for any slightest opportunity to impugn his integrity?
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. A word is enough for the wise.
Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State
May 11,2020.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending