June 12 is at the soul of our democratic struggle; a threshold in our national life by Atiku Abubakar Gcon

. #DemocracyDay
The significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country. On this day twenty-six years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.
The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandize the political elite or to replace the military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.
Suffice it to state that the idea of June 12 is not merely to declare it as a Democracy Day – much as celebratory and commendable it might seem. The idea behind the event of June 12, 1993, embodies something much bigger than that.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a Democracy Day when the government of the day is disrespectful of the rule of law and wantonly disregards court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when the ordinary people of Nigeria still don’t have the freedom to find a better life from the suffocating grip of poverty, when Nigeria is now the global headquarters of extreme poverty.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed.
As a compatriot who stood shoulder to shoulder with the icon of the June 12 struggle, Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory, I know first-hand that the choice of HOPE as his campaign slogan wasn’t merely a populist tokenism.
He didn’t mean to deceive Nigerians with a hope he could not deliver upon. And, today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be – either in government or in private lives – to deliver on the promises they made to the people.
It is therefore unacceptable that an administration which had an opportunity of 4 years to deliver the promise of change to Nigerians, not only reneged on that promise but propelled the country into a near-comatose state will lay claims to being a true friend of June 12 struggle.
To be a lover of June 12 is to believe in the common good of the people. June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy.
It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.
As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was twenty-six years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the HOPE alive.


June 12: The Truth that Sets Democracy Free in Our Land by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Jagaban

In the statement the APC leader said observing May 29 as Democracy Day delinks the country’s democratic experience since 1999 from the protracted and bitter struggle against military dictatorship from June 12, 1993, till the exit of the military in 1999.

“Without those who stoutly stood on June 12 and sacrificed life, limb, freedom, economic ruin, psychological devastation and more in the battle against tyranny, there would most certainly not have been any May 29, 1999, handover to commemorate.

“Nigerians do not take the democracy we enjoy today for granted or do anything to threaten its existence because it was not won on a peaceful and comfortable “platter of gold.

“The power of truth to set men free from the limiting chains of falsehood and limiting superstitions is one of the most poignant spiritual verities that has proven to be valid across time and space over the last two millennia.

“In the realm of politics, the most fundamental truth that man has discovered is that power can be the handmaiden of progress and accelerated development only if it flows from the will of the electorate as determined in regular, free, fair and credible elections.

“This is why, in spite of its many flaws and failings, man is yet to invent a form of government superior to democracy – the famed government of the people, by the people and for the people.

“It is thus understandable and indeed justified that Nigerians are elated that the country has recorded 20 years of unbroken democratic rule since 1999.

“Today, we commemorate the country’s emergent democracy in a way that is certainly more spiritually fulfilling and psychologically satisfying than has ever been the case since 1999.

“For, thanks to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the assent of the National Assembly, we are for the first time today celebrating our democracy as a nation on a historic day, June 12, which coincides with the day that the seed of today’s democratic sprouting was sown 26 years ago.

“What we had been commemorating on May 29th of every year since the democratic restoration of 1999 has been the day of the handover of power from the military regime to the elected civilian administration.

“Observing May 29 as democracy day delinks the country’s democratic experience since 1999 from the protracted and bitter struggle against military dictatorship from June 12, 1993, till the forced exit of the military in 1999.

“Without those who stoutly stood on June 12 and sacrificed life, limb, freedom, economic ruin, psychological devastation and more in the battle against tyranny, there would most certainly not have been any May 29, 1999, handover to commemorate.

“The democracy we enjoy today was not won on a peaceful and comfortable “platter of gold”.
‘’It was not gifted to Nigerians by a benevolent military regime. It is the product of the sweat, tears, blood, pain, toil and anguish of millions of Nigerians. That is why we can never afford to take it for granted or do anything to threaten its existence.

“June 12 must serve as a continual reminder to Nigerians on the imperative of pursuing the cause of justice in all spheres of our lives at all times as a necessary condition for peace, prosperity and progress.

‘’As we kick off from today the annual celebration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, let us renew our commitment to utilizing democracy as a vehicle for eliminating poverty in our land as well as providing prosperity and life more abundant for the teeming millions of our people.

“It was indeed his deep aversion to poverty and the avoidable suffering of the majority of our people that compelled Chief MKO Abiola to contest Nigeria’s presidency and thus his campaign slogan was “Farewell to Poverty”. The problem of poverty remains primal and fundamental in our land today.

‘’Indeed, at the root of the severe existential challenges, which confront the country today such as religious extremism, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cultism, ritual killing, armed, robbery, communal violence and herdsmen/farmers clashes among other is the protracted economic crisis that has worsened poverty, unemployment and inequality in Nigeria over the last four decades.

“It is indeed incumbent on us all, particularly those in positions of authority at all levels, to vigorously support President Muhammadu Buhari administration as it invests massively and on an unprecedented scale in the renewal and expansion of infrastructure as well as its various social intervention programmes aimed at uplifting the vast majority of our people out of dehumanizing poverty, political instability and insecurity.

“We must take concerted efforts to banish poverty from Nigeria. To rid Nigeria of poverty is indeed a task that must be done. As the historic restoration of June 12 to its proper place by the Buhari administration sets democracy free to soar in our land, let us rededicate ourselves to the challenge of utilizing democracy to set Nigeria free from poverty.

“God bless our fatherland”


Your Excellency,

I want to seize this opportunity to wish you the best of the Ramadan season as you prepare to be inaugurated for your second term in office. May the lessons of Ramadan — especially the aspects of sacrifice and service to God and humankind — guide your next steps as the leader of this potentially great country called Nigeria. I have many complaints about your first four years in office, some of which I have written about in this space, but I would rather let the past be gone and hope for a new chapter as you renew your mandate on May 29. But I also have many things to say ahead of the next four years, some of which I will be writing about in the coming weeks.

Can we first talk about your ministers, Mr President? Before I proceed, I have a sad story to tell you. I was a fierce supporter of the candidature of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo at the dawn of this democratic era in 1999. I campaigned for him in my little corner, believing that he had the capacity and the goodwill to take Nigeria to the right place. I believed he was not corrupt, and was further energised by his promise to fight graft if he was elected into office. I was also fascinated that he could keep the military guys in check so that we would consolidate our new experience of democracy. I voted for him even though my political sympathies were elsewhere.

On his inauguration at the Eagle Square on May 29, 1999, Obasanjo delivered a powerful speech, promising to fight corruption. At some point he stamped his foot on the platform to demonstrate his determination. He said it would no longer be “business as usual”. Good God, I was over the moon! I said finally, Nigeria was going somewhere after the devastating years of Gen. Sani Abacha. To tell the truth, Your Excellency, police officers stopped collecting their N20 tribute from commercial bus drivers at checkpoints. Civil servants started resuming work at 8am. Everybody seemed to take Obasanjo seriously. It definitely looked like the dawn of a new era. But it was short-lived.

As soon as Obasanjo appointed his first cabinet and named Chief Tony Anenih as the minister of works, my heart broke into pieces. That singular gesture proved to me that Obasanjo was joking about fighting corruption. At that point, I gave up on Obasanjo. It was not about Anenih per se, but I tend to analyse people’s intentions by their actions. It was a foreboding signal. If Obasanjo had made Anenih special adviser on political affairs or minister of cooperation in Africa, I would not have minded. But ministry of works is too central for any government to use for political patronage, so I immediately understood Obasanjo’s direction. It was a sad story. It broke my spirit.

Now, Mr President, let me say here that I will pre-judge your second term by the ministerial appointments you make after your inauguration. First, I have asked my fasting Muslim friends to help pray that we would not wait for another six months for a cabinet and they have assured me that they would spare no “rakat” in doing that. You are aware your delay in naming a cabinet in 2015 did no favours to the economy. I would even say we are yet to recover from the damage this inflicted on the system. That period was so critical to the repair of many economic fundamentals that would later shape the exchange rate and worsen inflation, unemployment and poverty.

Mr President, I will now be straightforward: if you retain certain ministers, I will finally give up on your government. I have seen enough reasons to lose faith but there is this never-say-die spirit that keeps me hoping even when it does not make sense. That is in my DNA. I have, however, been gravely worried that most of the ministers have been saying quietly that they are returning. In fact, I am told more than half of your cabinet will be re-appointed. I hope this is a joke, Mr President. Tell me it’s a joke, Mr President. Assure me, Mr President, that this is a joke. This is a cabinet you should have dissolved years ago! How on earth would they be retained? Say it ain’t so, Mr President.

Your Excellency, if you retain Mallam Abubakar Malami as your minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, I will finally give up on you. It will show that you are not getting the memo or there is something you are not telling us. One of the most important cabinet positions in a civilised society is that of the attorney-general. In fact, that is the only ministerial position mentioned in the constitution. The position is too critical and too powerful to be toyed with. A president will never get sound and frank legal advice if the attorney-general prostrates to greet him. The position requires a cerebral and principled appointee. I will leave it at that.

Mr President, if you appoint election losers as ministers, then I will surrender. One of them is Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the “constituted authority” in Oyo state who lost his bid to return to the senate after spending eight years as governor. Tell me he is not on your list, Mr President. Of course, we know Alhaji Adebayo Shittu will not return as minister. Or will he? No, Mr President, you won’t do that to Nigeria. Neither would you reward Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari with a ministerial appointment after his election as a senator from Zamfara west was annulled by the Supreme Court. I know you have the power to appoint whoever you want, but use that power wisely.

I hope, Your Excellency, that we are not going to see Chief Audu Ogbeh in your cabinet again. If you love him so much, you can send him as ambassador to Thailand so that he can go and regale Thais with his tale that the Asian country is experiencing increasing unemployment because of the “rice revolution” in Nigeria. Ogbeh is very good at embarrassing the country at the slightest opportunity. I hope never to see Solomon Dalung at FEC meetings again, and this has nothing to do with his beret. To cut a long list short, Mr President, if you return more than five ministers, you will be sending a depressing message to Nigerians about your direction in the next four years.

Beyond the issue of individuals to be appointed, Your Excellency, is the need to bring in relevant people into the cabinet to meet the glaring skill deficiency. I cannot believe that you have never appointed an advanced and experienced economist as minister since you came to office. I just cannot believe it — not at a time of our worst economic crisis in decades. We have a ministerial team full of lawyers and not one economist. I don’t understand. This is a great opportunity for you to address the glaring deficiencies in your appointments. It also affords you a golden chance to correct the lopsidedness against some sections, including women and youth.

Mr President, what is keeping your administration going is not the performance of your team but rather the enduring faith in you and the hope that you will eventually come good. But you are as good as the people you assemble to assist you. If he you had IOUs in the first term, you have either discharged them or they have expired. It is now time to prove the growing army of critics and doubters wrong and to reassure the enduring believers that you are on top of your game. You need a brand new team of those whose competence is not in doubt and those who have fire in their bellies. Trust me, Mr President: most of your ministers are fatigued and have nothing more to offer.

If you are bent on doing favours, there are some ministerial slots you cannot afford to joke with. I list them: finance, education, health, defence, petroleum, power, attorney-general, works and interior. Long after you have left the stage, those are the things Nigerians will remember you for. A strong economic team (in which there are indeed economists), a revamped education system, a fit health sector, an infrastructural revolution, an efficient petroleum sector and massively improved internal security will change the fortune of Nigerians if you make them your priorities. All ministers are important, but some are more important than the others.

Finally, Mr President, you must now take your cabinet more seriously. Your “non interference” philosophy, which you take as a strength, is actually a weakness. It is your government. You cannot afford to be aloof! Where is monitoring and evaluation? It would make sense if you fire ministers once in a while. The joke in town is that you are the best employer of labour: you never fire anyone, no matter how woefully they perform! Non-interference has given many ministers the cover to be doing things at odds with the advertised values of your administration, secure in the faith that no one is watching and no one will be punished. Not good, Mr President, not good.

Lest I forget, Mr President, can we have a new way of doing things at the federal executive council? All I hear every Wednesday is that a contract has been awarded to buy dustbins for Damaturu or clear the drainage in Akungba. That is a bit disgusting. Governance is serious business. There should be more to FEC than contract awards. They should be discussing serious policy issues. Let Nigerians look forward to ministerial briefings that will give them confidence that the country is in safe hands and that a great future is loading. All these contract talks are banal. It has been so since 1999. We need a new direction, Your Excellency. Enough of these meaningless routines!

*Meanwhile, until my next letter, please accept, Mr President, the assurances of my best wishes*.




Permit me to express my profound gratitude to God and to the people of Adamawa State who have made it possible for me to come back as your governor for the next four years.
This historic event taking place today embodies and highlights the heroic sacrifice of patriots and a celebration of the triumph of the will of an embattled and battling people, loudly expressed through the last election.
As a Government of popular consent I am mindful of the honour and the responsibility this has bestowed on me I hereby affirm and declare that hope has been restored, and true change has come to Adamawa State. Let us embrace, as I solemnly pledge to provide the leadership that is required to make this change work for the good of all.
It will be a change that will balance policy and politics; a change that will eschew might over right and treat all citizens as equals; a transformational change that will harness the vast human potentials of the people into attaining and enjoying the dividends of Democracy which have so far eluded them.
A change where security of lives and property of citizens will not be negotiated or compromised.
In doing so, we must put behind us the twisted narratives of the past and break out from our self-imposed limitations realizing that each and every one is a repository of potentials waiting to be tapped and dreams waiting to be actualized.
Politics is over and the stage is now set for the extra ordinary job of making Adamawa State work again.
I am conscious of the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead but someone once said that “the task ahead of us can never be greater than the power that lies within us”.
This means that nothing can stop the momentum of a determined people with a purpose to accomplish.
Today is therefore a call to action in the face of the tremendous support needed to make change a reality for everyone.
How well we respond to this call will determine how far we will go in meeting the expectations.
The journey to Dougirei House has been a long one for me and victory could not have been possible without your support. Those who followed my journey will know the hurdles, the accusations, my incarceration but God Almighty is the ultimate planner who gives power to whom He wills. I did not get this far because I am the best politician or better than the other contestants; I was simply chosen by the Almighty Creator to be your Governor once more.
With your support no mountain will be too high to climb or problem too difficult to surmount. After all, a leader is only as good as the people he leads. As a people, we need each other to progress more than ever before. God has deposited on each of us, a unique personality and talent our diversity should be our greatest strength not weakness.
I do not claim to have all the answers, therefore each and every one who desires to have a say in how the State is governed is welcome to do so but to do so constructively.
On my watch, security of lives and prosperity shall be the primary responsibility of Government, while the rights of citizens justice, equity, merit, competence and diligence shall prevail.
In this regards, let me sound a note of warning to the Local Cult group currently terrorizing our neighbourhood not to test our resolve but to shape up or ship out. The so called Shilla cult group have two weeks to reform as this Government comes to power after which the full complement of the Law will be unleashed against them and other criminals terrorizing our State.
This dispensation shall habour no scared cows neither will we be bullied or intimidated by disgruntled elements seeking to derail the wheels of State craft.
We shall be fair but firm, resolute but considerate.
Never again shall the divide-and-rule policy of the inglorious past determine the deployment of public resources and services.
We shall improve the lot of Adamawa State workers and pensioners and free them from the fear of victimization, the pangs of injustice and abuses; all the direct results of bad governance and wrong decisions. What happened in 2014 was a child play and nothing compared to what will happen now. Payment of salaries, pension and gratuity on time shall be routine as will be yearly increment and promotions.
We shall strive to build a robust harmonious government / labour relationship based on the trust and experiences accumulated over the years.
My fellow citizens, progress in government will not come the day after, just as greater height is not attained by sudden flight, except by the determination, drive and the character for getting things right. My aspiration for Adamawa State is to be listed among the comity of best States not just in Nigeria but the world. My dream is to restore it to its original name and glory as the State of Beauty and Hospitality.
The central message is, think progress, think development, put Adamawa first. Hopefully, we will set the pace and become the standard by which others measure themselves. This is achieveable with your support. I challenge all from today to contribute your quota, no matter how little, towards achieving this development of our dear state. I invite all citizens / residents alike, my dearest Talakawas, our elders, Royal fathers and stakeholders in the Adamawa project to come together to lay a solid foundation that will stand the test of time because this is the only place we have, we have no option but to make it work.
It is heartwarming to see that the people have embraced our eleven point agenda to begin building the new Adamawa State for which they have loudly made their voices heard.
I am glad to assure you that this leadership will be about adding value to the lives of people not taking away from them. Transparency shall be our watchword, fairness and accountability, the new mantra. Never again shall Government be run as a personal estate of a single individual. The fear of God not the fear of man shall be the guiding light of our government; a government that shall do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, as the oath of office which we have subscribed to outlines.
We will gradually and systematically implement and sustain our eleven point agenda until Adamawa State shades its toga of a pariah State, a State in which anything goes.
In this dispensation, there will be no quick fixes, short-cuts or actions inspired by fiat but a knowledge driven socially accountable Governance based on global best practices.
Our inability to see ourselves as members of one big family has been the bane of our growth.
We have every right to be proud of who we are as citizens of Adamawa State whose contribution to the political stability of the country at large has long been acknowledged.
Regrettably, a State founded on lofty ideals and hope borne of equal opportunities and real prosperity has been brought down on its knees, gasping for a breath of “Fresh Air”. I therefore invite all sons and daughters of the State who are making their marks in all spheres of human endeavour within and outside the shores of this country, to rally round and support this New Direction Agenda.
I invite each and every citizen who has something to offer to come back home, so that together we can work for the greater Adamawa State of our dreams.
I am sure you all know that it is not so much about how rich our State is, it is about how well we can apply the resources we have to meet the needs of our people.
In this regard, the growing youth population is our greatest asset. We shall harness the strength and creative energies of the youth into a winning formula.
This is not going to be easy given the number of frustrated and shortchanged army of unemployed youth but this is a task our government is committed to accomplish.
We will also work urgently on resuscitating the Health sector and break the jinxs of Educational excellence by investing in Teacher’s welfare, Training and infrastructure. We will revive Primary Health Care for children, empower our women and grant the easy access to effective medical services.
My fellow citizens these programmes I have so far outlined are not just paper work. They are the objectives we are passionate about and the indices to hold us to account. They are also a means of making our pact with the people very clear.
We challenge the electorate to judge us based on extent to which we have fulfilled this pact. Be rest assured that we will strive to give a good account of ourselves, live by our words and not promise what we cannot deliver.
Finally, as we depart forth, let us be prepared to roll-up our sleeves for the job of building a State that works for everyone, a State in which everywhere and everybody is involved and nowhere is left out.
May the same God who was with us throughout the struggle for this mandate remain with us as we commence the quest to take Adamawa to the promise land.
Thank you and God bless.

CP Wakili (Singham): Farewell to an epitome of integrity in public service, by RAYYAN ALHASSAN

His integrity costs him lots of privileges (including promotions) at several occasions, even at the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) where as a founding officer; he had to work under his juniors. Throughout his career, he has been side-lined, side stepped, supplanted and embarrassed. The superior officers sent to Kano and negated his authority could all be his juniors. Despite all these form of deliberate persecutions, he still remains comical, professional and fearless self. To date people of Kano and even the country at large appear to still have confidence in him. The rate at which he receives goodwill is amazing; he is cheered and treated like a super star everywhere in Nigeria. The CP Singham as he was popularly been called is already household name and an expensive brand in Nigeria today!
CP Wakili’s stewardship in Kano gave me and many other youths hope that within the police force, there are very credible, honest and fearless officers who can be used by any serious government to change the status

Let me begin by looking at the unfortunate nature of my country Nigeria, not because I am happy but simply, it is the truth that we virtually avoided. Today whenever you talk about Nigeria especially among aliens whether here in Nigeria or abroad, what will come to the mind of many is that, a country where corruptions thrive? The kingdom which was fraught with enormous leadership deficit? Or that particular part of the world characterized by anarchism? In some certain instances, Nigerians were seen shying away from disclosing their real identities for the fear of been misjudged. As we speak today, the inefficiency in the educational sector, economic sector, poor governance and many others are voices down to corruptions, POOR ATTITUDE to work and BAD BEHAVIOUR that characterized public and private services in the country.
One thing capable of grounding the country down to its knees is the inability to adhere to the rules of law and enforcement of such legislation. The enforcement of the law is the most important aspect recognized in the constitution of Nigeria. Nigerian Police Force (NPF) is one of the institution responsible for law enforcement in Nigeria, as the apex law enforcement body in the country, NPF is believed by rules and practices to be highly placed and organized, where honesty and integrity become the watchwords, by its nature the men are expected to act and protect with integrity; it is indeed one of the most fundamental values that are anticipated, when employing or hiring personnel to man its activities. It appears like honesty is a common trait to be found among police personnel. The question always in the minds of Nigerians is, if really such trait is indispensable in the police, why is it so hard to find? The answer may be because adhering to the principles and values listed in being an honest, just and ethical is really not easy to sustain in an environment such as Nigeria.
In the history of mankind, integrity and honesty are always rewarded with the highest honour through recognition and appreciations. Michelle Obama once opined that, “We learned about honesty and integrity that, the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square” This popular saying brought me to my starting point, where I intend to look at the sincere depiction of integrity with an example from a fearless, incorruptible and committed police officer, who in spite of all the integrity questions in this highest law enforcement body (NPF) stand to be different, this is no person other than Commissioner of Police Muhammad Wakili (Rtd), the erstwhile Kano police boss.
READ ALSO: IGP, Senators bicker over police reform bill
CP Mohammed Wakili popularly known as ‘CP Singham’ in Kano and other places in Nigeria was officially retired from active services on the 24th May, 2019 on the ground of age and years in service. He hails from Gombe State and holds a Bachelor Degree in Languages and Linguistics from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State. In 1986, he participated in the National Youth Service Corps scheme, and then got enlisted two years later (1988) into Nigeria Police (NPF) as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent. CP Singham as described by his colleagues and associates as well as everyone who works with him in one way or the other is a committed and hardworking police officer and above all patriotic and honest. He has the passion to transform the force right from his childhood as according to one of his friends and a close associate Ardo Chindo, CP Wakili’s passion to join the police was a childhood dream:
“Since we were kids, Yaya Yelwa, as he was fondly called by his younger siblings, a kind, honest and sincere person in all of his dealings. He was very generous as he could give you his last kobo and go empty pocket. He hates dishonesty and hardly backbites a person in his absence. When we were still in secondary school, he confided in me that after his studies he would like to join the police to correct the bad image that characterized the police force”.
It is a well-known fact that CP Wakili has been in the services for over 30 years, though been heard from time to time on the background, but his popularity became known to the entire world on his assumption of duty as police commissioner in Kano state, whether that, has a connection with the position of Kano in the country is another thing, but sure his actions and approach to policing further exposed this lucky diligent and honest officer almost closed to his retirement.
CP Wakili came to Kano, when the state was almost overrun by drugs quagmire and ranked as number one in illicit drugs dealing and addictions in the country, an unfortunate trend that became a serious threat to every Kano citizens especially leaders at all levels. His professional conduct and commitment shown by his war against drug abuse and trafficking with an adequate arrangement to serve an impartial policing help in establishing confidence in the police. His actions and rhetoric on drugs first earn him respect and love from Kano and its environs. On coming he immediately led the onslaught on all the drug addiction syndicates including dealers and the final consumers (users). Despite higher perceived financial offers to him, he was very firm and fearless in disrupting the activities of the logistics of the drug and getting to the roots including end users. He proved to be a strong drugs fighter!
Another serious negative trend in Kano that CP Wakili found on arrival was that, the political atmosphere at that moment was tense, hot and disposed with lots of violence threats and accusations of intimidations with politicians making provocative comments at their various rallies and meeting points. His fearless nature and impartial application of laws with professionalism to everyone built and restored the long-standing reputations of the police and within a short stay the inciting comments, accusations and counter-accusations became almost history in Kano. A political rally began to be held with minimal banditry and where such happen the police commands play their expected role to arrest the situation. These approaches displayed by this gently and an honest police officer saw Kano through by conducting both the presidential and the first-leg of the gubernatorial elections largely peaceful. This feat was largely seen as impossible from nearly all political actors and other stakeholders prior to the coming of CP Wakili.
However, few days to the then scheduled re-run gubernatorial elections in Kano. A news was all over media both prints, online and social media that, the honest police boss was transferred out of Kano on which was believed to be his stand against electoral malpractices by the powers, failure of which culminated into what was then termed as “inconclusive”. A few days after, 1 Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), two AIGs, as well as some police commissioners, were reported to have been deployed to Kano to supervise an election in about 200 ballot units. With the wide publicized deployment of CP Wakili’s superior officers, what comes to my mind and that of many was that, the authority of CP Wakili would absolutely be supplanted by these officers and that Wakili is as equal as no more in the scene. The IG of police who probably took that decision knew much more about their action.
What follows the deployment and displacement of CP’s power and the ‘sham’ re-run gubernatorial elections almost became a general knowledge within the country. The opinions of the majority of Nigerians and most importantly that of Kanawa were that, the first leg of the elections involving the whole 44 local government with over 8000 polling units was more peaceful and successful than the second-leg involving only about 200 polling points. With the wide reported cases of violence with some scores of deaths, it was clear that, CP Wakili was able to deliver better than the combined team of his superiors in terms of policing. This feat was believed to be achieved by Wakili as a result of his honesty, intellectual ability, humility and above all his well-represented integrity!
The displacement was assumed to be made to punish him for his stand to be fearless and impartial to all. He was at several times been punished for been honest, this fate was what makes him almost a dissident police hero in the past. He was widely unwelcomed around the police force and ‘top-notch’ politicians. It was a public knowledge as even the leaders who are supposed to applaud him, were heard at one time condemning him for been professional and impartial. If not a shameless set of leaders, who could in sound morals, condemn a man for taking care of his own integrity and protecting the image of the institution he represents? But this clearly shown, in Nigeria, to be good, honest and professional is a crime! This is Nigeria.
His integrity costs him lots of privileges (including promotions) at several occasions, even at the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) where as a founding officer; he had to work under his juniors. Throughout his career, he has been side-lined, side stepped, supplanted and embarrassed. The superior officers sent to Kano and negated his authority could all be his juniors. Despite all these form of deliberate persecutions, he still remains comical, professional and fearless self. To date people of Kano and even the country at large appear to still have confidence in him. The rate at which he receives goodwill is amazing; he is cheered and treated like a super star everywhere in Nigeria. The CP Singham as he was popularly been called is already household name and an expensive brand in Nigeria today!
CP Wakili’s stewardship in Kano gave me and many other youths hope that within the police force, there are very credible, honest and fearless officers who can be used by any serious government to change the status quo. He retires on the 24h May, 2019 not as IG, DIG or even AIG and not as a millionaire, but with a believed that, “the greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”.
To CP Wakili, as you retire from active service, keep in your mind that, you have won. The great losers as usual are Nigeria and entire Nigerians who find no moral qualms in punishing the upright amongst them. We will continue to remember you as an officer who inspired us and made us to believe that, honest and professional policemen still exist in Nigeria. You will continue to be remembered as a meticulous police officer who bluntly refused to be compromised. We will continue to remember you whenever we think of fairness and integrity!
While, joining all well-meaning Nigerians in appreciation of your excellent stewardship of police force in Kano and praying for a prosperous life after retirement, I still can’t help, but to conclude that, ‘ BEING GOOD IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH IN NIGERIA’
CONGRATULATIONS! As you retire in good health and above all with your integrity intact!
Mr Abdu-Bichi is a Teacher, Research and Statistics Consultant based in Kano

Dear Buhari, Don’t End Up Making Jonathan, Obasanjo, IBB Look Like Heroes By Your Failure – By Fredrick Nwabufo

In Nigeria, governments come and go, but each one outpaces the other in impunity, non-performance, corruption, and incompetence. Before the administration of President Buhari, that of Goodluck Jonathan was knocked as the archetypal highhanded, clueless, corrupt and wasteful government. But before Jonathan’s reign, Obasanjo’s administration was pilloried as a corrupt and iron-fisted “regime”, and before that, the military administrations were adjudged the “portmanteau of all evils”.
I must say, most Nigerians still consider the military administrations as the “portmanteau of all evils”. And I assent this view. But lately, I chanced on some conversations with the pesky question: “20 years of democracy, how well we have done?” For me, democracy is a rudimentary system of government, essentially for its freedoms, that cannot be bartered for any other system. But in the past 20 years, our practice of democracy has not resulted in improvements to infrastructure and general well-being. However, there is something to be said for the relative freedom enjoyed by citizens.
The Buhari administration came in the saddle with so much hope for citizens. The hope of better security; of a strong economy, of better welfare for citizens and of an end to corruption. But these hopes have taken flight like the summer birds. The administration has failed uninhibitedly in tackling insecurity. This is, perhaps, the biggest failure of this government.
In April, Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, disclosed that 1071 Nigerians have been killed and that 685 have been kidnapped since January. A few days ago, about 24 persons were killed in Katsina, the president’s state. The jagged appendages of insecurity have even stretched far to claw some traces of the first family with the kidnap of the district head of Daura, who is said to be an in-law of President Buhari.
Really, I found the response of Prof Ango Abdullahi, the chairman of Northern Elders Forum, to the presidency’s statement that the insecurity crushing Katsina in a feisty grip was a confirmation that the president is not partial to his own state on matters of security.
Abdullahi said: “They (presidency) should be concerned that the security failures are everywhere, including the hometown of the president.”
Even now, the killings are unabated. But there appears to be no plan or strategy to halt them, except for wishes and feeble promises. And after four years, the president still says, “I will fulfill my promise on addressing insecurity.” After four years?
Really, casting off every pretension and sentiment, what exactly has this administration achieved in four years? I find it hard to put my finger on any. The much vaunted Social Investment Programme for which N500 billion was budgeted has turned out to be a fatal fraud. According to Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, the “programme failed in the north.” So, if it failed in the north where exactly did it succeed?
Hear her: “…I don’t know where the social investment worked… I was expecting that the N500 billion to be utilised in different methods in the north for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used but most northern states did not get it.”
Ordinarily, the wife of the president’s allegations should spur some serious investigation into the spending of the programme. But I have little faith that this will happen. If corruption was democratised under Jonathan, it has been privatised under Buhari.
As a matter of fact, Mr. President’s failure in his first four years is making the administration he deracinated look good. It has been a full-term of comparing failures and of outpacing impunity, corruption, and incompetence.
Mr. President has another four years to show competence, sensitivity, integrity, and even-handedness, because, at the current pace of low-hanging failures, Nigerians may have better things to say about the administrations of Jonathan, Obasanjo and even Ibrahim Babangida than his own when the day is done.
I wait with measured optimism for “Next Level”.

Whatsoever a Man soweth By Simon-Kolawole.


Eleven years ago — to be specific, on July 7, 2008 — the title of my column was: “One Day, the People Will Rebel”. I warned that the extravagant lifestyles of our elite in the face of crippling poverty in the country would come back to bite all of us one day. At the time, kidnappings were a Niger Delta thing as militants agitated for resource control, but I was talking about what I called the “non-oil” kidnappings which I said would become the fad in the near future. I said the Nigerian elite must get the message that they could not continue in their ways and expect peace and safety. I warned that there was a lot of frustration, anger, bitterness and resentment in the land.

I wrote that when “blood relations of wealthy people are being kidnapped in exchange for ransoms, that is a clear danger signal to the elite. You have a driver. You have a cook. You have a security guard. You have policemen guarding you. They are all human beings. They see things happening around them. They hear your phone conversations as you conduct your mindless transactions. They are hearing the mind-blowing figures. They see the movements of Ghana-Must-Go bags. In an attempt to ‘redistribute’ the loot, they will resort to kidnappings and demand ransoms. It is happening already. More are in the offing, I think”.

A reader was so angry with me that he sent me this SMS: “Simon, you are sowing evil ideas in the minds of our drivers and domestic staff. You are highly irresponsible. I will never read your column again.” Typical of me, I did not respond. I had realised early in my column-writing career that those who really want to engage in constructive debates normally use decent language. I hate street fights. As a kid, I was never involved in street fights. My grandmother (God bless her soul) was always proud to show me off to her friends as a “good boy”. I would be letting “Iya Kola” down in her grave if I engage in internet street fights. So I always let attacks and insults pass — with all pleasure.

However, I am always unhappy whenever I lose a reader because of my views. I feel I have lost a potential co-evangelist in my “leadership by example” approach to the building of a nation “where peace and justice shall reign”. That reader clearly misunderstood me: I was only forewarning on a disturbing development with the sole aim of gingering our leaders to act. Growing criminality is a product of our broken social system that deprives the majority of Nigerians the basics of life such as roads, water, healthcare, education, security and jobs. I was fighting for social justice. I was warning the elite that they were not safe in their fortresses no matter how many police escorts they have.

As a philosopher said, all I did was to hold up a mirror for the society to look at itself. Breaking the mirror — as that angry reader decided to do — would not change the picture. The inequality in Nigeria has been too much for too long. In a country where people lose their lives because they cannot afford drugs of N1,000, you have people buying private jets and flashy cars not from some hard work but by feeding on the commonwealth. Our hospitals are rejecting poor patients because there is no bed space. Pupils are sitting on the floor to learn chemistry and biology in schools the governor cannot allow his relatives to attend. Such a society cannot escape doom.

In that “offensive” article, I asked, sarcastically: “What is the way forward? More policemen? More bullet-proof SUVs? More private jets? More Banana Islands? More signs of ‘military zone, keep off’?” I then replied myself: “I don’t know, but I have a hunch that more equitable management of resources could be of help. I suspect that more jobs, more housing, more medicine, more books, better roads, and better power supply would be of use. I suspect that less looting, less waste of resources would go some way. But if things continue the way they are, there is no doubt about it: one day, the long-suffering people of this country will react. They will rebel. Mark my words.”

The rebellion seems to be in full motion today as Nigerians groan under the pandemic of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, internet fraud and all kinds of criminality. Worse still, the security system cannot protect either the rich or the poor. We should ask ourselves how we got here. One of my favourite Yoruba proverbs, as oft-repeated by my late grandmother, says “when a child stumbles, he looks at his front; when an adult stumbles, he looks at his back”. Someone else would add: “Where did the rain begin to beat us?” If only we could retrace our footsteps, we will gain insight. We can then begin to sow a different seed today so that we can reap a different harvest tomorrow.

Last week, I watched as some members of the house of reps took turns to lament the state of insecurity in the country. One speaker after the other complained that they can no longer travel to or sleep in their villages because of insecurity. They are overwhelmed by the army of criminals. However, they just cannot see a link between their greed — their obscene allowances, their extortion-driven oversight activities as well as the padded budgets — and the poverty and insecurity in the land. That is the problem with Nigerian politicians: they think Nigeria is like this by mistake. They think if we are able to deploy more troops, kidnapping will stop. If only it were that simple!

Let me say this yet again: the Nigerian ruling elite need to have a meeting, perhaps a “meeting of minds”, and agree to change their ways. We cannot continue to run a system of an overfed elite minority and a malnourished majority and expect to keep travelling to the village in glittering SUVs without consequences. No. It won’t work. We cannot run a system where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and expect peace. We have been living a lie for too long. Commonsense tells us that inequality comes with a price. We cannot sustain a system that ruins the lives of the majority of 200 million Nigerians and hope to sleep and snore at night.

Although the economic downturn in the last five years and some of the policies of President Muhammadu Buhari are implicated in the current socio-political crises, the truth remains that for too long, we ignored the warning signals. For decades, the UNDP told us that 70 percent of Nigerians were living on less than $1 a day. What did we do to prevent the incoming disaster? It was all Greek to us. We spent our petrodollars as if there would be no tomorrow. Well, today is yesterday’s tomorrow. You don’t have to be a development expert to know that any country where the bulk of the youth are unemployed or unemployable is headed for chronic insecurity.

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Don’t take my word for it. Check the poverty and unemployment rates of countries with the least incidence of crime and you will get a better idea of what I am driving at. When young men and young women wake up in the morning with nowhere to go, they are tempting the devil. He will give them something to do. Their energies will be misused and abused as they struggle to survive. No human being will sit down at home and die of hunger. Survival is a basic human instinct. The human being will survive by any means necessary — even if it is to steal, beg or borrow. The police and the army combined cannot contain crime when the factory producing criminals has not been closed.

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. We have sown the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind. The teens and teenagers that we refused to care for yesterday have become our nemesis today. They are now in our neighbourhood and on the highway, making life unbearable for us. The security system we failed to overhaul and modernise for ages — despite security budgets in billions of dollars — is now unable to protect us. But if I may ask, what are we doing today to make sure our trouble does not double tomorrow? Are we investing properly in the future? Are we striving hard to make the country conducive in the future so that ordinary people can enjoy the basics of life? The elite must realise that it is in their own interest to make Nigeria habitable. This milking must subside.

Until the elite across board reach a consensus to curtail their greed and put Nigeria first, we cannot begin to make meaningful progress as a nation. Our predatory system will continue to breed terrorists, kidnappers, ritual killers, yahoo boys and circumstantial sex workers. What we are witnessing today would be child’s play compared to what is ahead. Nobody is safe in Nigeria, including those who think they are covered by a convoy of armed escorts. It is just a matter of time. Until we begin to sow the good seeds at all levels — federal, state and local — our troubles will keep multiplying. Nigeria will not develop overnight, but if we fail to act decisively and intelligently today, we cannot hope to reap gainful jobs, lasting peace, security and national prosperity tomorrow.