Category: Politics

A STITCH IN TIME …

I was  61 years old by His grace on the 12th December 2017. It also means I have spent one year in retirement. My hope for a peaceful rest after spending 35 years of meritorious service seem to turning into despair and resentments about the system, I thought would be there for me. 

While pondering on why in spite of the pension reform, one year  after my retirement I could not access my benefits. 
As I continued pondering on what may be the reason, I recall one of the major assignment I did early in my career was on the issues  relating to the pensions of the defunct Ex Nigeria Airways staff.  
The term reference given to the committee of which I was Secretary was to verify and ascertain the number of staff that were entitled to be paid their pension, pension arrears and gratuity; 
The committee was also mandated to examine and recommend to government if the  payoff option would be acceptable to the staff in order to put matter to rest; 
This was in the light of the fact that the issue was becoming embarrassing to government. 

The  defunct Ex staff of airline were threatening to shut the Nigeria space if their pension and pension arears were not paid.
The problem we faced at the time was the air line has been liquidated, all its properties at home and abroad had been sold by the liquidators without taking into consideration the plight of the personnel benefits. 

We flew to Lagos with the chair person of the committees Mrs Jaji Olabisi Bolanle to start the job we were confronted with problem of lack of  management on ground to assist in  the job the company has  liquidated some years ago. The only help that was available came  from the pensioners themselves. 

 We were shown  thousands of files and records heaped in some few offices dating from the time  when the company was then called the British Overseas Air lines to sift through. I was so astonished with the way the records were kept and didn’t know from where to begin. 

My initial reaction was to abandon the exercise  and advice government on what should be done in the circumstance, but for the  gloomy reality of suffering on the faces of the pensioners, my sense  of pity for the staff over shadowed my initial temptation  to walk away. 
Thirteen years down the line  in spite of the pension reforms that took place to sanitise the pension operation in Nigeria the process still leaves much to be desired.

The founding fathers of the Reform envisaged that when the reform act comes into force, it will eliminate some of the troubling issues that were part the administration of pension in Nigeria. 

Some of the intended benefits of the reforms are;

1. To establish uniform rules and regulations for the management and payment of retirement benefits to beneficiaries as and at when due; 

2. To stem the growth of outstanding pension liabilities and reduce fiscal cost to government, stimulate domestic savings, 

3. To generate a pool of long term funds for investment in social and economic development;

4. To ensure contributors receive their benefits as and when due and 

5. To assist improvident individuals to save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age;
These are some of the lofty ideals of the pension reform act.

For the thirteen years or so that the new arrangement is in force it has brought some level of sanity in the system.

We have not been hearing people dying on cues waiting to collect their stipends, the level of corruption that characterised pension administration is either not there or have been reduced to the barest minimum.
Unfortunately, however recently some hick ups have started pulling this noble objectives down.

The Reform instead of benefiting the pensioners may end up benefitting the Pension Fund Administrators and the government. 

It is a fact that pension funds base now ran in to trillions so why should pensioners wait a period of over one year before they access their benefits?
This is a  fact I retired from public service on the 12th of December 2016 and today is 13th December 2017 and each time I reach out to my pension fund administrator, I am always being told they treating payments batch by batch. This means I am not the only one.
What my pension administrator seem to have not realised the Accountant General of the Federation has knocked out my salary from the system on the 12th of December 2016. Worst still the bureaucracy only paid me the twelve days I worked for in December of that year no mercy. Here I am no salary no pension for solid one and the future is uncertain.

Might be pencom also need to look up to some states who have not join the system but are in the process to join and borrow some the innovations they have. 
I can at least advice Pencom to follow the examples of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State my home state. 

Today he is the only Governor who does not owe any worker a salary for even one month and ensures that as you retire you begin to receive your pension the following month you leave service, the transition from a salary earner and pensioner is seamless. 
Infact he has little or no backlog of salary or pension arrears as is the case in most states of the Federation.

Let me also say this before critics start shouting and crucifying me that  he pays the least salary. 
Yes even if this true at least he is paying them as when it due after all issues relating to wages and  salary by law is contract between the employee and employer.

If one knows Yobe, we are among the most poorest state in the Federation our internally generated revenue (IGR) is nothing to write home about. If Gaidam fails to pay the meagre salary he has been paying regularly the economy and living standard of the people would nose dive and in the light of the problems caused by Boko Haram, The number of the  refugees in the state would be phenomenal. 
I am therefore appealing to Pencom to do what is necessary to stop the ugly trend rearing its heads in the system by avoiding the  filling of pension payment so that the credibility in the system is not eroded. 

Human beings, when confront with a source of threat, if not corrected on time will begin to innovate and this has the capacity to bring in un wanted practices. 

So “A stitch in time they say…

MY ADVICE TO WAZIRI

Its amazing how the big and small are talking about Atiku’s return to the PDP after all he was a founding member of the party. They created, nurtured and took it to a level of greatness before some concerns forced him to shift ground.  The man has given reason why he had to leave APC and return home. I personally think people should allow him to exercise his rights as a citizen, since neither the national or party constitution prohibits that.  

We had instances where politicians who had used a flat form of the party to achieve their ambitions came out demonising the same party. 

Some became President of this country ruled for eight years courtesy of the PDP, yet when the going became tough, when their protégées were not forthcoming on their demands. He went on a public television tore the party membership card there by denigrating the platform that made him who he is in eyes of the world and no love was lost.

The real reason behind the hews and  cries  about  Atiku’s return to PDP by some members of the party, simply put  they are afraid Atiku has capacity, he has what it takes to give every party member who shares similar ambition of picking  the party’s presidential ticket a ran for their money. 

For those who are still crying foul that Atikus wanted to kill them and have taken it on themselves to  do everything to truncate his ambition. They still believe if he gets there, it would be very un safe for them.

Fear, greed and selfishness are  the reasons they are labelling Atiku as somebody who hob nobs from one party to another. 

Life is about choices and that is why  democracy flourishes, where there are multiplicity of parties to accommodate all shades of opinions and interests.

 It is therefore not un common to shift base to where your interest can best be served. 

To find answers to this dictum one does not need to go far. A cursory look at our political space will provide you with answers. The Senate President is an example of base shifting. The President was a CPC man when he wanted to fulfil his ambition he  entered into marriage of convenience with other  parties and today he is the President of the Nigeria because of  the amalgamation that took place.

In the end it is the electorates through the instrumentation of the will of  God,  they decides who becomes the President of Nigeria.

My advice to Atiku is, he should  not worry about what the distractors are saying. 

As Muslim he knows that power comes from God. No one and I emphasize no one among all those trying to play God can stop him from the achieving his ambition, If Allah swt ordains it. However it is not wrong for him to visit, consult and talk to people whom he believes are statesmen, elders in the party and even beyond. 

But you must remain focussed on what you want to achieve. The bottom line is, it is Allah swt who gives power to whom wants. Seek for  assistance, blessings and ask for power from  Him and forget about those who think they can anoint you, they are mare mortals none among them knows tomorrow but HE. 

Never give up WAZIRI

MY APPEAL TO BUHARI

Mr. President may I crave your indulgence to use this medium to reach you because I have no other means. Many tried to get things across but it never got through, consequently, they had to leak things to the press. I don’t have the resources no do I have access to the traditional media. This is the only medium that  provides the platform and a vehicle for me to reach out. It is my prayer if you do not see this appeal personally someone close to you would and pass the information.(No disrespect intended).

Nigerians have shown compassion, love and respect  to you when you were trying to hold on to life. We prayed in mosques and churches. We all went down on  our knees seeking for Allah swt intervention in what ever was the ailment that was affecting your health. 

Allah swt has shown His compassion and mercies to you by answering our collective prayers as a nation. You are well again and we are grateful to Allah swt who our lives are in His hands for healing you.

Mr. President we have known you to be a pious and religious person and I am sure you know what forgiveness in Islam is all about. I don’t intend lecture you on that, even though I may have to come  back to it in the light of the demands of this appeal.

Your Excellency, recently, I  read a lot about the flight of the former National Security Adviser, Mr. Dasuki,  the rumour mill is full with gossips and insinuations that  the executive is behind the continued denial of bail granted Dasuki by courts of competent jurisdiction. 

Mr. President don’t get me wrong I am not in anyway condoning what the former NSA did. And I am not saying he should not be tried for the mistakes and abuse of office he is being alleged to have committed. 

I am speaking from the point view of law and compasion. The judicial system we operate in this country works on the praxis that “one is not guilty unless proven by a competent court of law as guilty”

Mr. President I have never met the former NSA in my life apart from seeing his pictures on the pages of Newspapers or news clips on Television.

I was only moved by a write up of one Yushau Shuaibu on the plight of the former NSA. He was lamenting that “It’s exactly two years ago, in the morning of December 1, 2015, when the security operatives invaded the residence of the former NSA at Asokoro and whisked him away”. And since that day, he remained in detention even after being granted bails by at least four separate High Court Judges. 

They are, Justice Adetokunbo Ademola and Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, as well as Justice Hussein Baba- Yusuf and Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Courts, they all considered the merit of his applications and granted him the bail”. 

The ECOWAS Court of Justice also ordered for his  immediate release with compensation of N15 million for the unlawful detention” 

I became curious why should a government that has rule of law as one of its governance principle be involved in such draconian abuse of due process of rule of law.  I didn’t believe what I read so I decided verify the claim.

During the  research I conducted before I wrote this appeal, I came across  Newspaper reports, Court documents and listened to personal accounts from people of goodwill and the rumour mills that corroborated the claims made by Yuahau.

In fact at some point I was almost discourage by my colleques who believed  I will be embarking on a futile exercise as the state is behind the incarceration of Dasuki for some personal reasons.

Un perturbed by their  insinuations I decided to dig deep to know the real reasons why the government is behaving in this manner.

I quickly recalled Yashau in his write up, made this comment which I initially over looked; He said, “While I won’t like to talk about your past relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, especially on 1983 Coup and others which I published in previous articles and my recent book “An Encounter with the Spymaster,” the toxic speculation and misleading information that you arrested Buhari in 1985 remain unabated. Even while you have denied the allegation, with principal actors including, retired Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu publicly admitting their involvement, the rumour is sustained for ulterior motives.”

In my continuing search for the truth I stumbled on a press statement credited to Hon. Minister of information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lai Mohammed; giving official position of the government on why Dasuki should continue to be in detention.

The  Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism disclosed this in an interview with journalists, after a Ramadan lecture in his home town, Oro, in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, that “Dasuki had bluntly refused to disclose the whereabouts of $1.2 billion traceable to him.”

 According to him, unless Dasuki does that, he will not be released by the Federal Government. He said further “Dasuki was in custody of a sensitive document which could not be divulged for national security reasons, stressing that at any point in time, government was bound to take a hard decision between personal liberty and national security.”

In contrasting the two positions the one by the Hon. Minister would be more believable and one would ordinarily want to associate with the   government position.

 Conversely, however  if one  considers the decisions of the four (4) High Court Judges who had ruled on the same case,  with each and everyone of them returning a verdict that Dasuki should be granted bail, this too appeal reason 

Why should government interfere in the judicial process by denying Dasuki his rights to bail?  For this reason one would lean towards Yushau’s position that the matter goes beyond officialdom. 

Mr President if the government is still refusing Dasuki to exercise his fundamental human right to bail for reasons adduced by the Hon. Minister of Information Culture and Tourism then one would like to pose the following questions

1. Why was Nemdi Kanu the proscribed leader of IPOB allowed bail by the court of the same jurisdiction that granted Dasuki bail but federal government did not object to the bail in spite of the fact that Kanu’s offence borders on treasonable felony?

2. If the offence committed by Kanu is bail able, Dasuki who committed a lower offence should be allowed to enforce his fundamental human right to bail;

3. Why are  the government agencies handling the Dasuki prosecution frustrating the efforts of the courts by refusing to produce him in court to defend himself through the due process of the law? 

4. We know the Minister of Information said government is keeping Dasuki for security reasons and that he has in his possession certain security document or information’s that are too sensitive for the public to know. Government should in the light of the above classify those informations and I am sure Dasuki knows the consequences of divulging classified information;

5. Is the  government afraid  Dasuki would spill the beans which may have some consequences on hegemony just like in the Halliburton oil saga?

6. Another reason given for keeping Dasuki by the Hon. Minister is that Dasuki has refused to disclosed where he kept the $1.2b traced to him does the Minister realy want us to believe this?. 

7. Records released by EFCC has shown the beneficiaries of some of the monies collected from the former NSA  and culprits are still enjoying their freedom could this be a plausible reason to refuse him bail and at same time frustrate his prosecution?

Mr. President your government is being accused of double standard and this is undermining your crusade for due process? Rule of law and the image you have built over years as a just person and fearless 

Mr. President in the opening paragraph of this write up I  appealed to your sensitivity by showing the love and the solidarity the people of this country showed to you and how we stood by you in your times need. 

I also said we see you to be an upright human being, who is very pious and religious. A person who understand what forgiveness means in Islam.

Islam recommends forgiveness, because Allah values forgiveness. There are numerous verses in Quran and the Hadith recommending forgiveness. Forgiveness is mentioned 35 times in Quran. However, Islam also allows revenge to the extent harm done, but forgiveness is encouraged, with a promise of reward from Allah.[23][24]

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.

— Quran 42:40

In the light of the Quran verses above,  if the reasons for frustrating the judicial process and  keeping  Dasuki away from his family is for personal reasons as is being rumoured.  Mr. President we urge you show compassion and magnanimity to direct the agencies holding Dasuki to allow due process of the law to take its course.

Mr. President, I know as you equally do. There will be a day when you as the leader of all Nigerian Allah swt will hold you in chains and ask every single Nigerians whether you have been just him. Think of that day,  if Dasuki is guilty of the crime he is being alleged to have committed and deserve to be kept in the gulag, How about his family  who are being agonised daily by the system for failing to give  their bread winner a fair trial? They would certainty want the  legal process concluded so that they pick the pieces of their lives and move on.

Mr. President I am saying these because according to Yushau,  Dasuki has said, “ I have forgotten and had “no ill-feelings against all ‘good friends’ who are currently on the other side and other ‘people’ who cannot do anything in the case”.  He added with this “In every Challenge, every temptation and every situation one finds himself, there are lessons to be learnt and to be thankful to Almighty Allah.” 

Your Excellency this shows remorse and  this is what inspired me to write this solo appeal. 

Secondly Mr. President,  You and Me  come from the North, we have seen the type of solidarity and the clamour the South Eastern Nigerian people did to rescue one of their own in spite of the gravity of the offence that was committed.

We in the North are orphans, our leaders because they want play the game by the book, hardly come to our rescue when  the chips are down.

My appeal to you Mr President is not to stop the prosecution of Dasuki but show compassion and reconsider government  position in the matter. 

By continuing to keep and frustrating the prosecution of Dasuki justice will not be served. Two years has passed since they took him away from his family. Everyone would be happy if the rule of law is allowed to take precedence. 

Mr. President I appeal to your sense of modesty, decency, compassion and justice  to do the needful by directing those holding and frustrating the legal process to allow the rule of law to take its course.

I wish Mr President increased good health and long live the Federal Republic Nigeria.

ONE LEAK TO MANY

For sometimes now the traditional and the social Media have devoted a significant percentage of their news space with leaked materials. Some of the leaked material were government sponsored while others are politically motivated to serve personal interests and political agenda.

In fact the leaks have now become a vogue and the best way to speak to this government. 

The executive and all the other tiers of government now have their pages on Facebook and Twitter, some are managed by their Media Staff, others by faceless individuals and groups masquerading behind banners that depict state symbols , but in the actual sense they are fake. 

Ministries, Ministers, Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments have also joined the band wagon. 

Ordinarily one would welcome the pluralism in sources of information, but to what extent the pluralism assist in governance is what is of concern us. 

The danger of these leakages are that  you don’t know which  to believe or trust. I am sure the Honourable Minister of Information is having a sleepless night  how to deal with the situation. 

To put this discourse into perspective it necessary to understand what is a leak and why do we have leak information ?

 Leak is defined as “a way (usually an opening) for fluid to escape a container or fluid-containing system, such as a tank or a ship’s hull, through which the contents of the container can escape or outside matter can enter the container. Leaks are usually unintended and therefore undesired. The word leak usually refers to a gradual loss; a sudden loss is usually called a spill.”

“A news leak is the unsanctioned release of confidential information to news media. It can also be the premature publication of information by a news outlet, of information that it has agreed not to release before a specified time, in violation of a news embargo “.

Coming back to our question, why do we leak information?  We leak information for some of the following reasons :

1. Politicians and Policy makers may leak information because they wish to judge the reaction of the public to their plans before committing a social programme (a trial balloon). Leaked information may be plausibly denied without blame for proposed unpopular measures affecting their perpetrators.

2. People with access to confidential information may find it to their advantage to make it public, without themselves appearing to be responsible for publishing the information. For example, information which will embarrass political opponents, or cause damage to national security, may be leaked.

3.  People privy to secret information about matters which they consider to be morally wrong  or against the public interest — often referred to as “whistle blowers” — may leak the information to correct certain distasteful events or check the excess of the rulers .

4. People may be enticed to expose secret information for other self-serving motives, such as financial gain. 

 5. Government also uses leaks to manage the press in order to maintains its own popularity. 

6. Leaks can also be used as signal to foreign terrorists or governments that you know what they are up to, this is done to deter contemplated actions .

7. Sometimes governments trade leaked information to reporters, to curry favour. 

8. In some cases leaks are used to hurt rivals within the public sphere, 

9. Leak can serve as a “trial balloon” to test the popularity of an idea or policy . 

10. Leaks also may help  President’s cabinet members build up their own internal empires, which can boost the president’s agenda.

Leak as un instrument of propaganda if used wisely by the Government can assist in governance but where it is used unwisely it can have a damaging consequences on the leaker, be it individual, group or state. Simply put leaks can be positive and negative. 

The worrying aspect of the leaks  that are going the round in our political space is that they are centred around individuals seeking for favours . 

Consider the following leaks that had been in the headlines, you would notice they have similar kind of  trends. 

You can recall the Maina saga, I mean the fugitive Ex Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, if you peruse all the leaked materials that are in the public domain on the Maina saga, you can see the hands of the executive or apparatus of the state in the leaks. 

The leak by the Minister of State of Petroleum Ibe kachukwu against the Group Managing Director NNPC Mai kanti Baru, was deliberately released to the media to achieve some personal gains . 

 El Rufai’s leak of his personal letter to Mr President, was perhaps due the frustration the letter did not get to Mr President. 

The Leak by the NHIS boss on frosty relationship between him and the Minister Health, was possibly done to buy in sympathy from the public . 

The  most recent Leak was the one by the Head of Service of the Federation denying she reinstated the Ex Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina. She did this to protect herself from the blame game when it became apparent to her some people are trying to rope her. 

In all these instances the reasons for the leaks are self serving. 

The most disturbing aspects about the leaks are, they all came from officials who are highly placed in the corridors of power and they must have known the leaks had the potentials to embarrass Mr President and Government that appointed them to serve. 

Given the calibre and hierarchy of people  involved in the leakages something must be fundamentally wrong with the government. Why should we be having these discordant views from members appointed by the same administration fighting themselves on pages of news papers and social media? 

Curiously all the leaks seem to have the same objectives lack of “access”. Does this confirm the insinuations going round that Mr. President has been shielded by some cabals as they are popular being referred to?

The many embarrassing leaks from the big and mighty in the cabinet makes nonsense of the oath of secrecy  public officers, have sworn to protect in the act of governance. 

The manner and the way government businesses are being conducted is laughable and it begs to question,  if the authority is  really in control.  The ridicule and crass abuse of practice and procedures are so phenomenal that it makes us  look stupid and uncultured as a people and a nation. 

What is going on can only happen in a dictatorship where citizens have to buy favours to have un fettered access to the king. 

My second worry about the developing scenarios is how are we sure Mr. President is getting the information about what is going on in our political space?

The silence and the slow response by the President to issues  of national significance also gives us some sense of worry especially in the light of the hardship prevalent in the society, the break down of our infrastructure, the decay in our educational and health facilities and the hydra headed corruption that permeates the fabric of our society. The failure of the  agencies created to provide social services. 

These are issues that require the urgent attention of the President. But in the light of the unfolding events that even  the high and low hardly  have access to their leader in a democracy, then we must engage in a National prayer just like we all did when Mr. President was sick. We must seek for the intervention of Allah swt to open the eyes of Mr President  to separate the bad and the good in his administration so that we can “enjoy  the dividends of democracy”. 

As we continue praying for increased good health of  Mr President. We must not also forget to pray he reciprocate our goodwill with good governance by eliminating or reducing our  underdevelopment issues that are begging for attention. 

We also call on Mr President to direct the public officers to end the unnecessary leaks that are injurious to the administration and damaging to our collective image as a people and Nation. 

THE DOUBTING THOMASES 

The piece today is a follow up to my last write up in which I vouched on the character and integrity of Vice President, that he would do the right thing on any state matter devolved to him  by Mr President, I urged my readers who were un settled with the appointment of the VP to chair the committee set up by the President to investigate the graft against the former SGF. a chance. Very few of them agreed with me while many  cried foul that the committee would not come out with a far reaching decisions on the allegations of corruption labelled against the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr Babachir .

I said it then and I still stand by my  statement that the VP is a good man and anybody who doubts his ability to be fair, just, diligent and a political in any State matter is either ignorant of his antecedents or is just playing politics.
Since my last write up on the issue the Vice President has proved me right at least on three occasions.
Firstly, the way he kept the country together at the height of the agitations of the members of IPOB  for the actualization of  independent state of Biafra and the call  by the Northern Youth Group requesting the Ibos to vacate the North. The way he handled the situation with dignity and character was exemplary.

His performance during period  when Mr President was on medical sojourn out of the country for a period of more than 103 days  was commendable, un paralleld in the history of our great country.

To date, since  Mr President, resumed office no single Nigerian Media however critical they have been of the VP have written any single story accusing the VP of fumbling in the discharge of his responsibility as the acting President. This demostrated the general acceptability of the VP stewardship.

Secondly, when the President appointed the VP to chair the   committee to investigate the allegations of financial impropriety labelled against the former SGF, many  doubted the ability of the committee to be fair and  a political in their recommendations. All sorts of hypothesis  regarding the committee’s ability  to come out with conclusions that would be acceptable, became a subject of intense debate among political pundits.

Now that the report is out and  Mr President had acted on it by formally sacking  the former SGF for the thievery in the grass cutting saga. Those who doubted the impartiality of the VP must be bitting their fingers .

As to when  the former SGF will have his first day with the EFCC, the buck still remains with the President.

Thirdly, when the debate on Sukuk Bond dominated the headlines in the Mass Media, the Christian Association of Nigeria, raised  alarm that the Federal Government is trying to Islamatise Nigeria.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in a statement issued by its General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, demanded the abrogation of the laws and framework behind the bond and threatened to seek legal redress if that was not done.

The group said the FG was trying to sell the nation to Arab countries through the Sukuk Bond, arguing that the government was pursuing an Islamisation agenda.

According to the Christian body, Nigeria is a secular state and the government is expected to be neutral on issues involving religion. It argued that the promotion of a sectional religious financial policy was a violation of the Constitution.

It went on to say, “The recent floating of Sukkuk Bond by the government is not only sectional but illegal and a violation of the Constitution. Every law that has been promulgated to back the Sukuk issuance and promote an Islamic banking system in Nigeria is ultra vires, illegal, null and void.”

“Therefore, the manipulations and scheming to smuggle the country into a full blown Islamic state should stop; these manipulations became apparent with the smuggling of Nigeria into the Organisation of Islamic

“The FG must dismantle all legal and institutional framework established to promote Islamic financing in Nigeria.

“We affirm that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is undermined through the issuance of Sukuk in the country. We hope that the government shall desist from its policies of unbridled religious sectionalism,”
WHAT IS SUKKUK?
Sukkuk is an islamic bonds, structured in such a way as to generate returns to investors without infringing Islamic law (that prohibits riba or interest).

Sukuk represents undivided shares in the ownership of tangible assets relating to particular projects or special investment activity. A sukuk investor has a common share in the ownership of the assets linked to the investment although this does not represent a debt owed to the issuer of the bond.

In the case of conventional bonds the issuer has a contractual obligation to pay to bond holders, on certain specified dates, interest and principal. In contrast, under a sukuk structure the sukuk holders each hold an undivided beneficial ownership in the underlying assets.

Consequently, sukuk holders are entitled to a share in the revenues generated by the Sukuk assets. The sale of sukuk relates to the sale of a proportionate share in the assets.

Since the beginning of 2000, sukuk have become important Islamic financial instruments in raising funds for long-term project financing. 
By 2011 over more than $19bn had been raised through 30 issues of sukuk bonds on the London Stock Exchange. 

The Federal Government in an initially response to CAN, through the Minister of Information and culture denied any plan to Islamitise country.

The Minister Lai Mohammed, said the financial initiative was borne out of the need to include people who are opposed to interest-yielding enterprises.
“Sukuk is not an attempt to Islamise Nigeria in any form. On the contrary, it is an attempt at financial inclusiveness. The difference between Sukuk Bond and other bonds is that if you invest in Sukkuk bond, you earn no interest.

The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a senior clergy at the penta coastal church of Nigeria choose the occasion of the Greater Nigeria Pastors Conference convened by Apostle Wale Adefarasin and Rev. Abayomi Kasali to declare that “it was impossible for anyone to Islamitise Nigeria as claimed by Christian leaders

He cautioned that the recent uproar over the country’s subscription to Sukuk Bonds was not justified.

He bluntly stated that “Part of the problem is the failure of Christian leadership to take its rightful place. We focus our minds on something we call the Islamic agenda. We look for it everywhere as if we are looking for demons.

“But where is the Christian agenda. Are we not entitled to one? We are too divided as Christians to have an agenda. The key to the unity and progress of Nigeria is in the church.”

According to him, there were no plans to Islamise Nigeria through the Sukuk bond or the country’s membership of the Islamic Development Bank.

He said that apart from Nigeria, many nations of the world including the United States of America and the United Kingdom had also embraced the system as a result of its progressive nature.

He said, “The Sukuk is an Islamic concept, which enables people to have access to credit. It is essentially like a bond. The US, UK, China, South Africa have all used the Sukuk. Once there is money in the market, let us not get sentimental. The most important thing is for us to use those monies well.

“Some people say there are some hidden things in this arrangement and that one day somebody is going to take us over. Where? How will that happen?

“These are straightforward financial systems used all over the world. I don’t think it presents any real problem. It is a very progressive financial system.

“Nigeria became a member of the Islamic Development Bank in 2005 and the first person to sit as director of the bank was Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

“The second person to sit as a director is the current Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, and both of them are Christians. So, when people talk about Islamic agenda, sometimes I am lost.

“The person who brought us into the bank is not a Fulani or Northerner, the person was a Christian, so why are we complaining? Nigeria is the fourth largest shareholder in the Islamic Bank.

“This wasn’t Buhari’s making. We must have facts before saying things. But above all, we must ask ourselves if being a member of the bank profits us or not.

“For me, I have no problem with this. We can use what we get there to develop our society. This is the most important thing to me”

By now you can see the reason why I chose these three issues because all have the potential to over heat the polity and they  represent some challenges to our Cooperate existence as Nation.

It also shows the passion, the bluntness, the nationalistic conviction of the VP to address matters affecting the State without mincing words.

Speaking to the Ohanaeze leaders at the height of Kanu agitations for the actualization of independent Biafran state.
The VP demonstrated similar Nationalistic fervour when he said  “I firmly believe that we ought to address these agitations and proclamations urgently and decisively. Burying our heads in the sand and expecting the storm to blow over of their own accord is not an option. But equally not reasonable is falling for the temptation for tit-for-tat. It has never worked or moved us closer to a solution or resolution.

“Government, must  deal with these pressing issues and grievances. And we will never shy away from the responsibility to ensure and uphold the peace and security of Nigeria.
“As leaders, we carry the burden to secure the peace, progress and prosperity of our people, and that is why our voices ought to be heard and heard loud and clear at moments like this in the defense and articulation of what is truly beneficial to the nation and the people, and what is right and patriotic”.

The VP in my view is the type of people we need in leadership in Nigeria. People who can  speak the truth irrespective of their religious tilt, regional or political persuasion. Every time he speaks you feel the sincerity, honesty, patriotism and the nationalistic fervour in his words.
Next you hear the VP is involved in any National assignment   believe in him and expect that the matter would be handled truthfully and deligently as he is not given to frivolity, nepotism and sectionalism.

Today, the VP remains one of the most respected and trusted member of the administration. He commands respect and admired across the political divide. 

 Maina AND MATTERS ARISING 

The dust over the controversial reinstatement of the flamboyant Deputy Director and the fugitive Ex chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina, who brags of recovering over two hundred and eighty two billion Naira pensioners money to the corpers of the  government may be settling down, just like the reports of many high profile scandals, that are picking dust in government vaults and shelves un implemented across the country . 

    The saga will die down like many before it. We have seen the hype and frenzy generated by the millions of Dollars recovered at an apartment in Ikoyi, the millions impounded at Kaduna airport, the Babachir  grass cutting scandal, and many allegations against the President’s men, the list goes on and on. But so far no one  has been punished for the alleged crimes. 

    The import of this write up is not to find out who to blame for the reinstatement, the sacking of Maina from the civil service, this will be saved for another discourse when the report demanded by the President on issue is made public. 

    The purpose of this write up is to advice Maina to stand up and clear his name in the light of the claims of evidences he said he has regarding the activities of his committee.

    In the ensuing debate a friend of mine  scastically told us that  if you want steal money in Nigeria, steal “BIG” the Police will send you a senior officer to investigate and in the process you could  cut some deals and matter would go into lacuna forever. However  if one wants to go to prison steal “SMALL” a junior police officer would be sent  to harass your life and you would ultimately end up in prison.

    As if this is not annoying enough, he further added that If you want eat and enjoy your loots in Nigeria make sure you become a conduit,  steal for the bosses and accept to pick the crumbs from the table, you will be guaranteed protection by the “Big Men”

    However, in the event  the media stumble on the matter or a whistle blower decides to speel the beans since the bosses are involved a committee would be set up to  investigate the matter and the report will never see the light of day.

    Equally, the agencies who are responsible to deal with such  issues  will have their hands tied down and rendered prostate since “Oga at the top” is handling the matter. Consequently, the culprit is free the bosses are happy and life goes on. 

    One of such high profile cases that is still drawing the name of the country to the mud is the Malabu oil saga. The Vice President speaking at a conference organised by Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday, October 23.
     Said “It is important to underscore the fact that opacity in one section of the globe undermines openness in the other. We need to break down this wall together as we are all at risk of the evil effects of opacity in business ownership.

    To further underscore this statement he added that: “Nigeria is still grappling with the negative consequences of the use of opacity by senior members of government and their cronies between 1993 and 1998 awarding themselves juicy contracts in the extractive industry.”

    The  Malabu oil saga where the high and low in our society were involved is still a subject of litigation internationally, but the government is not keen in persuing the culprits because” Very important Persons” (VIP’s) were involved. The matter should therefore be put under the carpet at the expense of our collective National image and pride.

    Maina a Deputy Director in the civil service with rising profile leaves un precedented flamboyant life style which even the Head of Service can not afford. He is  the cause of his problems. He was too loud and upfront, this makes his bosses perhaps uncomfortable so he must be sacrificed quickly so that he does not speel the beans. The guy may need to read the 21 laws of power. 

    To know who is Maina one needs to look at the background of the officer. If it is true that Maina was just an Assistant Director in the civil service and could buy a house worth Two Million US dollar in Asokoro as is  being alleged then something is definitely wrong somewhere.

    Maina in his defence to the allegations labelled against him In a telephone conversation with presenter of “Radio Barekate”
    He said,  the committee recovered about N282billion pensioners money, established e-payment schemes for pensioners.  He also claimed no body gave him any kobo,  and that the committee had no account of it own. Then how come the Senate committee and EFCC are accusing him of embezzling billions of Naira? 

     In another interview with the press  he said ” the Pension cabal was after his life. “I am fast losing confidence in the country called Nigeria. “Imagine, I have suddenly become a villain for saving the country billions of naira, being stolen daily by pension thieves.
    “I’m saddened, demoralised by the whole mess. It is baffling that the hunter has become the hunted. It is simply ridiculous. How can one continue to fight for the country and the poor pensioners, when the system is so rotten to the effect that the thief catcher is being branded as the thief?” he lamented. 

    I think Maina needs to take some lessons from the EFCC Chairman on how corruption fights back.

    If Maina’s claim to have,  recovered N282 billion, blocked areas of leakages where pension funds are being siphoned, is true then he does not deserve the treatment he is getting, in fact he should be nominated for the National Merit Award.

    The question to ask is why does Maina go into hiding each time the heat is on. With all the documents he claims he has that would exonerate him from all the charnges.  why go under or even ran away from your home country and remain a fugitive forever. Good men never fear or  hide they confront their problems head on, especially when they have the conviction they are right.

    So far in all that  Maina has said, he did not address the main issues the government is accusing of, rather he was just  trying to generate sentiments so that he could be seen as a good man  being innocently persecuted by the cabals and the agencies of the state.

    My advice to Maina if wants to be taken seriously,  he should as a matter of urgency willingly submit himself to the EFCC answer all the queries they would confront him with and clear himself of the allegations against him.  

     I know he is claiming of several attempts on his life but since he can suruptitiously enter the country and resume duty,  nothing can stop him from paying a visit to the EFCC to answer their query. For how long would he remain under and a fugitive?  

    But if he still feels un safe he could  take the  bold step by authorising his lawyer to swear an affidavit and deposit all the documents he has in court and publish same in the National dailies for the records and put the whole matter in the public domain and allow the due process of the  law to take its cause and exonerate him and his committee from blame. 

    Posterity is there to judge him in the event what he fears happens to him. These are part of the hazards of public life,  so be bold and do the right thing. 

    BEFORE THE RACE BEGINS 

    BEFORE THE RACE BEGINS

    The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has passed the half mark of the time allocated it by the Nigeria electorates courtesy the revised 1979  constitution, wether or not it has  fulfilled its promises to the Nigerian people in the 28 month, it has been power, would be saved for discussion another time.

    A lot had been said and written on our  move towards the egalitarian society we all yearn for and wish to bequest to the next generations of Nigerians.

    Our successes and failures down lane in the 57 tortuous years that we passed through as an independent Nation State  speaks volumes about us as a people.

    Nigeria like any of the nation states  that were calibrated by colonialism  had its own fair share of the polemics. and contradictions  in its journey towards nationhood. The path has been  turbulent, and full of uncertainty.

    The polemics and the booby traps along the way, which has arrested our collective desire to move forward, integrate and develop as one indivisible people seems to be with us, in spite of the great strides in western education and relative development we have achieved.

    57 years ago  since we wrangled our selves from the shackeles of colonialism, several years since the military went back to the barracks to allow our nascent democracy to grow, nurture and mature, we are still  pointing accusing  fingers at colonialism and the military for our woes and failures in moving the country on the path of development.

    In spite of the evils of colonialism, we must agree it nurtured our economy  through the development of trade and cormmerce, banking, civil service, transport, rule of law and good governance.

    It has served as catalyts and linchpin of our drive towards building a great nation.
    However it may be argued that the colonial government built institutions which  main goals were to develop their own economies at expense of the settler countries. The relationship was un arguably exploitative, but it served as the bedrock for our journey towards self governance.

    The Military in depending their  incursions in to the national body  politics, claimed the political  class failed to steer the  affairs of the country towards the path of growth and development. 

    They often sighted, leadership deficiet, corruption. nepotism maladministration. bickering and civil strife as the reasons why they had to intervene in order to save the country from abyss and self distruction.

    The antogonist of the military dictatorship also argued their intervention in the polity has trancated our march towards achieving a stable demcracy.

    To them everything about the military is bad and they have no business with governance .  For them the military ethos introduced to the political space are antithesis to all  democratic tenant’s .

    According to them the military only succeeded in militerising  the pysche of the Nigerian people and trancated our journey towards building an enduring democratic structures and government.

    The political class that emerged  during the  colonial  period gained support because their  nationalistic and patriotic desire to wrestle power from the colonial government.

    But soon afterwards they realised the importance of power and its benefits. They clinged to power in order to achieve  their selfish, personal, group and subtreanian interests. They  continued with legacies of the colonial government of divine and rule.

    The country which is now above half a century,  has grown and can longer be considered as young, even though it is still grappling with teething problems of growth. 
    Some still believe Nigeria is an artificial construct  put in place by colonialism with out taken into cognisance our differences as a people, a marriage which is imperfect and must therefore be desolved.

    They hold the view that the arrangement did not respect our cultural and geographical boundaries. And they want us to believe this has been the root cause of our problems and underdevelopment .

    Be it as it may, 57 years since our journeys towards  nationhood and after undergoing a civil war that consumed about one million lives if we are still thinking of succession or redefining how we can  live together, then something must be fundamentally wrong with us a people .

    America hinges it successes as a nation on its immigrants population. China and India the world’s most populous countries  are striving because of their populations. 

    China is not monolithic but today nobody is calling for successions. In fact till today they lay claims on renegade regions of  Taiwan and Hong Kong who are agitating for self rule and wanted to break away. The same thing between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir Province . The  Kurdis movement and Iraq. The latest in western Europe, Spain and the Cataland Province.

    In today’s world where population has become a factor in economic growth and power. Here we are still calling for the valcanization of our society.  Our diversity could be used as a source of strength in the interdependent world system which is  governed by globalisation and world trade.

    The Nigerian problems  are not our linguistic pluralism or diffrences in religion, but rather greed, nepotism, corruption, selfishness  and the docility of the population. The people have over the years mortgaged their conscience to the tiny ruling elites who have understood their psyche. They have come to the conclusion that we can only bark but cannot bite.

    Our docility has given the ruling elites the false assumption that they can leads by the shackles. They have come to believe with the stipends they give during election and the use of the cohesive agencies of the state at their disposal they can determine the course of events in their favour. 
    For how long shall we continue to allow our “leaders” to box us in to submission and blind following.

    In a democratic society, the people have the right to decide and hold their leaders to be accountable. They hold the key can change their leaders every four years.
    We must never again allow the bad and ugly in our society to continue thieving our common wealth with impunity and treating us like the slave and slave matters, while we hold the franchise to determine who will rule us.

    All the heus and and cries about seccessionism, restructuring and whatever acronym the elite would choose to define our existence . They are doing so no out of love for  the masses. But rather their main goal  is to see how they can continue enslaving us in order protect the massive wealth they have stolen from our common wealth.

    They thieved our Treasuries dry  in the states and frustrated the entry in to the political process through anointing their cronies and purchased their tickets to the National Assembly where they can continue to legislate mega salaries and allowances for themselves and cool down to protect and eat their ill gotten wealth while our collective fortunes continue to nose dive to a level of pity .

    The falacy did stop there they continued to  use the instrumentality provided the assembly to keep chocking the system to favours their lust for the good things of life at our expense.

    1. The PMB government which many Nigerians believed would be the messiah in solving to our collective national problems, has so far demonstrated that it too, had been overwhelmed by the cabals that are all over the space watching like the proverbial vultures searching for wherever they can spot our common wealth so that they can swoop and feast on it.

    So before the whistle is blown and RACE BEGINS  for another circle of rituals of selecting our “leaders,” we must ensure that only good people of proven integrity and honesty are returned or elected to the three tiers of government.
    We must not return the kleptomaniacs, the rapists, the amoral , the rogues, the charlatans, the vote stealers back to the States and National Assemblies to make laws for themselves.

    We must not also allow the government houses in the States and Aso Villa to be occupied by indecent people.We have been short changed for too long. 

     Let us take interest  in those that are going to represent and lead us. 

    Join me in this crusade for political correctness  by sending your comments and contributions to yabaniblog.com