Opinion

Is Lockdown Necessary for African Countries

The biggest public health risk in Africa is not Covid-19, but the consequences of regional and global measures designed to reduce its effect on public health. The cost-benefit analysis of these measures yields a different result in Africa than in Europe, North America and large parts of Asia. By far the biggest risk factor for serious, critical or fatal Covid-19 ...

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Don’t Envy Political Office Holders, Pity Them

By Uche Nworah My brother and colleague Emeka Ozumba, the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to The Governor of Anambra State, visited me in the office recently. As we were getting on with our usual banter on work, family, life, the 2020 Police Games holding in Anambra State then and other stuff, a relative of mine was ushered in. His visit ...

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Souls Lost in Earthly Gains

By Paschal Chisom Obi What is that which your soul is longing for? Psalm 130:6 says, “My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman waits for day break.” St. Augustine posits that true happiness is found in the Lord and our souls are restless until they rest in God. Beloved, what does it profits a man if he ...

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Business Mogul, Ozigbo, Provides N100M Personal Guarantee to Small Businesses

Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, Valentine Ozigbo, has announced a N100 million personal guarantee to small businesses who wish to access the Central Bank of Nigeria’s COVID-19 N50 billion intervention loan. In a video statement shared on his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts on Friday, April 17, 2020, Mr. Ozigbo noted the devasting effect of the coronavirus pandemic and the ...

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NIGERIA AND ENDLESS CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS

By Nwabueze Akabogu The 9th Senate of the National Assembly recently constituted fifty-six members Senate Committee to carry out further review or amendments of the military imposed 1999 constitution. The members of the Senate Committee drawn from the six geo-political zones and headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege as its chairman was inaugurated by the Senate ...

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By Nwabueze Akabogu The 9th Senate of the National Assembly recently constituted fifty-six members Senate Committee to carry out further review or amendments of the military imposed 1999 constitution. The members of the Senate Committee drawn from the six geo-political zones and headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege as its chairman was inaugurated by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan with the mandate to immediately carry out extensive amendments of the 1999 constitution that will reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Nigerian people. It will be recalled however, that previous attempts to amend the military contrived constitution had always ended in fiasco or monumental disaster due to political intrigues and glaring insincerity on the part of the political class. The first attempt to amend the anti-people constitution was carried out during the former President Obasanjo Administration when the 5th Senate under the leadership of the former Senate President Ken Nnamani outrightly rejected the lofty amendments based on the alleged 3rd term ambition of former President Obasanjo, thereby “throwing out the bath water with the baby”. There was yet another attempt to amend the constitution during the 8th Senate when the immediate past Senate President Olusola Saraki constituted Senate committee on constitution review headed by the then Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu. Although that committee carried out extensive work on the constitution amendments including conducting public hearings, and yet the exercise was later aborted as its recommendations never saw the light of the day. Again in 2014 former President Jonathan constituted a high powered constitutional conference tagged “2014 confab” which was made up of eminent Nigerians headed by the erudite jurist and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Late Justice Lutigi of blessed memory as its chairman with the renowned Professor and former Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister Bolaji Akinyemi as the Vice Chairman. That noble committee was mandated to fashion out a brand new constitution for the country that will satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigeria people. After about three months of intensive debates and political horse trading, these eminent men and women finally produced what could be described as generally acceptable document as the country’s new constitution which was later submitted to former President Jonathan for immediate implementation. It is a matter of deep regret and national calamity that the envisaged new constitution which would have offered Nigeria a new lease of life and by extension the consolidation of her unity did not see the light of the day but had since been gathering dust at the Presidency without being implemented for the common good of the Nigerian people. There was again another committee set up by the Buhari administration on restructuring during his first tenure. The report of that committee which was headed by the Governor of Kaduna State El-Rufia is yet to be made public up till this moment. One could go on and on ad inifinitum on the previous attempts by successive administrations in the country to further amend the 1999 anti-people constitution. However, there had been persistent clamour for a brand new constitution that would satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people and which would truly be called the people’s constitution. It is needless to emphasize the point that for Nigeria as a nation to record any meaningful progress in her socio-economic cum political development, the country urgently needs a brand new constitution through a Constituent Assembly whereby the people of Nigeria from all shades of opinion and diversity would participate in fashioning out a new constitution to be truly called the people’s constitution. The current military imposed 1999 constitution has obviously outlived its usefulness and must therefore be jettisoned to make way for the people oriented constitution that will satisfy the wishes and aspirations of the over two hundred million Nigerians who had been subjugated by the anti-people constitution for many decades. If Nigeria must join the comity of advanced democracies in the world and stop her current retrogression, our present crop of leaders must rise to the occasion and quickly create the conducive political environment for the enthronement of true and genuine democratic principles and norms within the frame work of the people’s constitution. In fashioning out a new constitution, the current unitary system of government being operated under the guise of Federalism must be totally abrogated to make way for true fiscal Federalism as obtainable in advanced democracies such as the U.S from where Nigeria borrowed her federal system of government. The country must therefore be restructured in such a manner that regions and not the present states would constitute the federating units while the states or provinces as the case may be would operate under the regions and those regions would also determine the number of states or provinces as well as their statutory functions. The envisaged constitutional arrangement would obviously engender healthy competitions among the regions and they must be allowed to develop at their own pace based on their individual peculiarities and natural endowments. The Central or National Government would only be assigned with such functions namely: National Defence, National Currency, Foreign Affairs among other functions as may be prescribed in the new constitution. Again in order to further strengthen national unity, cohesion and integration, Nigerian citizenship must be based on place or state of residence rather than the current archaic and primordial policy of state of origin which had greatly impeded the orderly growth and transformation of the nation as a modern state. The above patriotic recommendations for a brand new constitution are the only panacea for the survival and continued existence of Nigeria as one united country. The only alternative to the envisaged new constitution is the disintegration of the country which now seems inevitable given the prevailing extremely dangerous and precarious situation in the country. In the circumstances therefore, Nigeria could be allowed to disintegrate peacefully by giving effect to the formal abrogation of the infamous amalgamation treaty of 1914 by the erstwhile British colonial powers. The diverse ethnic nationalities that were forcibly lumped together in an unholy union by the British Imperialists could now go their separate ways as was the case in the former powerful Soviet Union or USSR where the fifteen Republics that were originally forcibly brought together by the former Soviet dictator Stalin in 1922 and the union was later dissolved by the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1992. Consequently, every constituent Soviet Republic declared its independence from the defunct Soviet Union following the end of the cold war in 1991. Nigeria could as well take a cue from the experience of the former Soviet Union and peacefully dissolve the rather unwieldy and unworkable union and later work out the modality for economic co-operation between or among the various independent nations that might eventually emerge after the dissolution of the Nigerian union. Nze Nwabueze Akabogu (JP) is a Regular Public Affairs Commentator and Analyst.

Remarks of The President Of Catholic Bishops’ Conference Of Nigeria (CBCN), His Lordship, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze, at the Peace Protest by the CBCN In Abuja, 1st March 2020 Today, we the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria and with significant support of priests, consecrated persons and our beloved lay faithful embark on a peaceful protest against the high level of insecurity ...

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Christians And Maundy Thursday

By Emeka Arinze Many Christians are observing today as Maundy Thursday, one of the days in the Holy week when Jesus had His Last Supper with His disciples. During the supper, Jesus removed His outer garment, wrapped a towel around his waist, poured water into a basin and washed the feet of His disciples. Peter was overwhelmed by the meaning ...

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25 Great Things You Can Do for Lent

. . . Besides giving up chocolate By Renée LaReau Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation for the Easter season when Christians are called to deepen their spiritual lives through the practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. The belief is that our consistent participation in these practices — like exercise we do for our ...

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ANAMBRA STATE AND POLICE GAMES 2020

By Nwabueze Akabogu The cheering news that the Nigeria Police High Command had chosen Anambra State to host the upcoming 2020 Biennial Police games was received by the good people of Anambra State (Ndi Anambra) with great joy and excitement. The decision of the Police High Command to select Anambra State for the historic games clearly underscored the general belief ...

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An Open Letter to the Bishop

Respecting the Rights of Igbo Speaking Congregation During Masses By Ereodichukwu B. Anulunko The motivation to write this piece derived from the article I read titled, ”Do we have faith in Priests or in God?’ written by Jude Atupulazi on the 19 -25th January edition of the Fides newspaper. The thrust of the article was on how some Priests of ...

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