Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has endorsed Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), for President.
Soyinka and his civil society group, Citizens Forum, made the announcement in a statement personally signed by him and obtained by us on Friday.
According to Soyinka, the decision to endorse Moghalu was reached after months of rigorous analyses of the profiles and manifestoes of the various candidates vying for the nation’s top job.
THE FULL STATEMENT:
“The nation has been brought to her knees. Internally, the blaring media testimony needs no augmentation. Beyond her borders, Nigeria is the tale of citizens designated pariahs of the global community for whom special dossiers are opened, and units of security agencies are specifically assigned. Online transactions are programmed to reject basic usage once the word ‘Nigeria’ is inserted in the Data profile. There are few nation left, within or outside the continental borders where – no matter the codeword – a Nigerian ‘room’ has not been designated. Her humanity litters the sand trails of the Sahara, it lines the Mediterranean sea-bed with the bones of a desperate generation, seeking ‘green pastures’. Lines from my poems have been appropriated and embossed as epitaphs on the tombstones of Nigerians washed up the isle of Catania and accorded dignified burials by total strangers, certainly paid more respect than Nigerians themselves consider due to their own humanity. Other would-be migrants have been slaughtered by religious fundamentalists on the shores of Tripoli, while waiting for their precarious crossing on suicidal boats. Yet others end up as commodities in the slave markets of Libya and Mauritania, hundreds recently rescued and airlifted – credit where credit is due! – repatriated by government.
“It was not always thus. Numerous Nigerians believe that it need not remain so. There is always a choice to be made outside any presumptuous orders – in reality associations guaranteed to perpetuate social disorders and the politics of inequality. This is not the thinking of any one individual but of a large section of this populace. If it were not, there would not have been a record number of nearly a hundred political groups aspiring to take over the reins of governance. We do not need any instruction however to estimate that several of the aspiring groups are mere plants, raised to sow confusion. It redounds to the credit of a few individuals, including some of the candidates themselves, who embarked on efforts to winnow down their own ranks, then seek a consensus candidate as standard bearer for the battle against the two political behemoths.
“They did not succeed, but that is no cause for despair. They still deserve the gratitude of Nigerians for their uniquely principled efforts. The CITIZEN FORUM – last heard of during the time of the dictator, Sani Abacha – was pulled out of retirement to join in their effort to arrive at peer consensus. The Forum worked peripherally with them. It made no attempt – I stress this – no attempt whatsoever to impose its own preferences, but utilized material from the deliberations of at least four such selection groups. It remained on the fringe, except on invitation. Our mission today is simply to present the result of that effort by Citizen Forum which, I am especially gratified to reveal, coincides with my own personal preference. The CF conclusion is obviously not binding on other groups or individuals involved in the exercise. May I take this opportunity to advise the public that neither Citizen Forum nor myself, belongs to any Third Force or other Consensus seeking councils by any other name. Please ignore any such attributions.
“Over the past few months, we studied the careers, experiences and track records of most of the presidential aspirants, and most intensely those actually short-listed by the opposition parties themselves. Like millions of Nigerians, we watched the debates. I physically interacted with some of the acknowledged top contenders, in some cases several times. We participated in HANDSHAKE ACROSS NIGERIA, where some candidates presented their briefs. Among others, I delivered a keynote address. We watched television interviews. We have exchanged notes with highly respected international Civil Servants. The drive towards Consensus among these dedicated groups sometimes took the form of test questionnaires to the aspirants, including items such as: ‘Who among the contestants would you choose, if you did not emerge as the ultimate preference?’
“There was nothing complicated about assessment parameters: mental preparedness, analytical aptitude, response to the nation’s security challenges, economic grounding, grasp of socio-political actualities, including a remedial concern with the Nigerian image in foreign perception etc. etc. not forgetting a convincing commitment to governance and resource decentralization – commonly referred to as Restructuring. The Forum rejected retrograde propositions of a political merry-go-round, which urge the electorate to choose this or that candidate in order to ensure “our turn” at the next power incumbency. Overall, the exercise was exacting but also – therapeutic. It proved yet again that there is over-abundant leadership quality locked up in the nation, and that it is a collective shortcoming that the political space has not been sufficiently opened up to let soar such potential. Well, to cite the Chinese proverb: a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
“Let me reiterate: there is over-abundant, but stifled leadership material, and there can be no excuse, now that that potential of high quality is being manifested, for constricting the political space in a population that is nudging two hundred million. And that statement is of course specially addressed to those who took part in this exercise, those who deliberately opted out of it, some of whom were assessed anyway. Such potential compelled us to exercise utmost rigour in what proved to be a most daunting exercise. The final determination however is – the flag-bearer of the Young Progressive Party – KINGSLEY MOGHALU.
“I shall conclude with a somewhat interesting aside. I met Moghalu again on Monday morning, February 4th, and informed him of the Forum’s decision. During our discussion, I happened to ask him – what is the meaning of Moghalu. I was curious, because it had taken quite some time along the way for me to know to which ethnic group the name belonged. He replied, it means – “Evil Spirit, Leave me Be!” Then I asked him for his other names and he spelt them out: “Actually my full names are Kingsley Chieedu Ayodele Moghalu”. Eyebrows raised, I asked, How come, Ayodele? A piquant revelation resulted: “Oh, that came from Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. She was friends with my father. Mrs. Kuti was my godmother, and she gave me the name Ayodele”.
“I was learning this for the first time. Moghalu’s CV is however in the public domain – his publications, record, and vision. The above is just a side-note that contains its own mild, thought provoking instruction, for those who care to examine the distractions of ethnic equivocations, and the rigid mind-sets and stereotypes imposed on products of circumstance.
“That immediate task being now completed, Civic Forum will now join forces with those who pray, “Evil Spirit, leave us be!” – at least those who subscribe to the belief that political elections are not a Do-or-Die Affair!
“Wole SOYINKA Convener, CITIZEN FORUM 2019”
ASUU Strike: Awaiting meeting result of FG with the union is out
The meeting of the Federal Government with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), was meant at evaluating the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MOA) which was entered into by both parties and became successful.
Chris Ngige was interviewed and he said that the meeting analysed seven main issues with both parties expressing satisfaction with the completion stages, adding that “work is in progress”.
According to him, some of the items in the MOA were nearly done 100 percent within the time of the meeting.
The minister said that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was instructed to carry out action on the integrity test on the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS).
He said, ”If successful, it will eliminate the challenges posed by the peculiarities of the university system to the current payment platform.”
Ngige said the government had also paid the N30 billion as the University Revitalisation Fund contained in the MOA since January 2021.
He said, “The report has been turned in, deliberated upon and both the Education Ministry and the NUC have promised to write to the Accountant General of the Federation next week for the release of the money to the NEEDS Special Account for onward disbursement to universities shortly.”
”ASUU is to go back to its members so that we can have a proper update on the extent of the inconsistencies in payment.
”We expressed our displeasure that these things are happening – amputation of salaries, not-too-clear, foggy things happening over peoples monthly emoluments. So we’ve asked IPPIS and ASUU to work together over this.”
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of a closed-door meeting in Abuja on Monday.
ASUU Meets FG today over predominate strike causing anxiousness in Nigerian Universities
As the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, make arrangements to meets the Federal Government on Monday (today).Some students have shown concerns over the planned industrial action by ASUU
9jaflair reports that the FG through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has scheduled to meet with the leadership of the union over the predominate strike action.
Recollect that the union had on June 19, threatened to embark on another strike over the alleged deliberate refusal of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, to pay the salaries and remittance of check-off dues of over 1,000 staff for 13 months.
The ASUU chairman University of Jos, Dr Lazarus Maigoro who made the revelation in a press statement accused the AGF of fanning the embers of discord between the Federal Government and the Union.
In a move to forestall the industrial action, the Federal Government would meet with the union 2pm today to look at the unending issues.
Recollect that the union had on March 23, 2020, embarked on an industrial action which lasted for over 9 months, the longest of its strike in 10 years over the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues and implement some agreement the two parties entered years ago.
Consisting thea fresh development, some students spoke with 9jaflair to register their grievances over incessant strike actions in Nigerian Universities.
A 300 level student of the Benue State University, Makurdi, Miss Martha Onuh, lamented the current move by ASUU, urging the union to put the interest of the students at heart.
She said, “After staying at home for a while during academic calendar year in 2020, you think I will be happy hearing that ASUU may still embark on strike? Sometimes I don’t even care to know who is at fault and who is right. The Federal Government and the union should put our interest at heart.
“I applied for 4 years course, this is my 5th year in the university yet I’m in 300 level. It’s bad,”she lamented.
Similarly, James a final year student of the University of Nigeria, Nnsuka in a chat with our correspondent, appealed to both parties to find a means of settling their differences without industrial action.
“Most times, ASUU would say that they are fighting for the benefit of the students but at the end, the students who they claim that they are fighting for are the ones losing.
“Is there no other way for a union to register its grievances without a strike action? The incessant industrial action by the union, to me has crippled Nigerian universities,” he added.
Also, a Master’s Degree student in the university of Abuja, Adebayo Micheal urged the Federal Government and ASUU to settle their differences once and for all.
He said, “We can not be talking about strike every year. It’s quite shameful that our education system is never stable. I think even if it would take them one whole year to settle their differences and end it forever, it would be better for the students.
We await the result of today’s meeting by the union with FG.
Procrastination flew you away
Oh my loving Desdemona
Time could not wait for you
Your owners procastinate your life
But could not procrastinate your death
Delay caught you by the throat
Even when your owners were ready
Ready to save your life
Mr A was the problem
But Mr B cure was administered to you
Different pins went into your skin daily
These wicked vets., refused to allow your owners know about the nature of your sickness
These vets became useful fools
Even when the nature of your sickness was discovered
It was already too late
Too late to revive you
For the cold fingers already held you by the throat
For the sickness has eaten you deep
Deep beyond measures
The last pin entered your skin
Its content deliberating life or death
The last pin entered into your skin and its content sent you packing
Out of these beautiful world
Oh no the youngest owner watched
Watched the world crumble
For our beautiful Desdemona breath her last
Breath her last; at the same time tears dropped
Out of our last born’s eyes.
Summary: This write up is an Eulogy for the death of a dog. The owners of the dog lives at Oko-afo, Badagry. It was written by the last child of that family because of how close the child was to that dog, the last child is now a grown up and has decided to write an Eulogy for her lost Desdemona… Eulogy for a dog?
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