Monday, 29 September 2014

The Next Governor of Delta State: Why Orubebe Should not be.



Elder Goddey Orubebe may seem to be putting his political machinery in place to be the next Governor of Delta state but in real sense, who is this man called Orubebe? What has been his political antecedent that made him so sure of gaining access to government house Asaba?

The man Orubebe, a political science graduate from the University Of Lagos was formally a councillor, Burutu LGA chairman, chairman of ANPP delta state but swiftly joined the PDP as soon as he realize the juicy opportunities parties like that offers to men without principle so long as they are ready to play the dirty game.

Elder Deacon Orubebe as he his wide known in his church and amongst his kinsmen quickly rose through the rank in his political journey simply because of two fundamental factors that played to his favor. First, the foremost Niger Delta political gladiator EK Clark saw him as loyal and so decided to pull him along till the mighty doors of Aso rock opened.

Secondly, president Jonathan thought this man could deliver and so made him his right hand man, probably because they are from the same Izon clan. Deacon Orubebe easily became the Minister of State for Niger Delta  and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; positions he never dreamt of largely because of these factors highlighted.

Today both his political mentor EK Clark now know better who this man is. To say the least, even the good people of the Niger Delta cannot point to a single project Elder Orubebe successfully executed as a Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Yet he still nurses a tall dream of becoming the governor of Delta state. The one asks : With which antecedent(s)?

Nations that understands the true tenet of democracy bring in capable hands who can translate the ideals of democracy into concrete reality for the common good of all. This is the quality of leader that the good people of Delta state should go all out to vote come Election Day and not self serving men whose aim is what to cart away from the state treasury.

Delta state is not only in need of a leader that is in touch with his people, but also requires a leader that must feel the pain of his people. This is because the average Deltan yearns for change, improvement in their economic situation and also Infrastructural development. A drive through Warri, Asaba, Sapele, and Ughelli e.t.c will convince an outsider upon seeing the existential situation of the people that all is truly not well.

Is Orubebe a leader that understands the urgency of the situation at hand? Let's leave that to the dictate of reason.

Delta state requires a leader who understands the cultural diversity of the different nationalities that constitute the state not a man that sees the supremacy of his ethnic nationality over the others.

Whoever becomes the next governor of Delta state must understand that he or she needs to seize the existing peace currently enjoyed in the state to build bridges among the different people of the state so as to deepen the root of brotherhood, thus creating the platform to build a socio-political and economically progressive Delta State.


Yek Keme
A socio blogger with special interest in culture, people, technology and business.
He writes mainly for the Yekipedia House, and Delta Forte Magazine.
Twitter @yekeme

Thursday, 25 September 2014

2015: Why Atiku deserves our attention


Earlier in the day (24/9/14) the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar made a formal declaration of his ambition to run as a candidate for the highest office of the Land. I was one of those who was overwhelmed by the concept of the whole event.

Nigeria Newsdesk (@NigeriaNewsdesk)  led me to the livestreaming of the event. While the event progressed, the twitterspace as usual was flooded with pro and anti support tweets. I rendered my humble opinions concerning the style and Strategy of the event which some twitter acquaintances attacked almost endlessly.  One even by his tweet assumed I was being deceived by the whole razzmatazz. Such commentaries move me less for they depict guesses farther from the truth.

However, in a private chat with a colleague- one I respect so much- I saw how some brewing resentments could raise more cognitive dissonance to the fragile reputation of the Turaki Adamawa. Thus, for morality sake I was propelled to write this piece. Since Atiku cannot go back to years behind to rewrite or undo the past some of us ,out of magnanimity , can give encouragement to his noble course. There can't be an entirely bad product, remember? Some things are simply relative. Iwaju to Ko si e ehin ni fun elomi . Hence, this may just take the form of a consumer testimonial.

First, I don’t agree that Atiku is becoming overzealous for signalling interest to run for president. It is an intrinsic nature of man to strive for more greatness provided it doesn't disrupt the way of nature. Besides, he sees himself qualified to make Nigeria greater. He has been in the corridors of power before, he's therefore no learner in politics and governance. He may just be the one to set us on that dream path. Who knows? Morever, his ambition only adds beauty to the contest. Healthy Competition only improves Value.

More so, Atiku Abubakar is too liberal to be a bigot. He married a Yoruba woman as first wife and has large  friends and associates of different tribes and faith all across the country. Perhaps his long public service life contributes to this nature but he can't be one who can nurse or habour negative tribalism. I doubt it based on those premises


If you have been monitoring presidential hopefuls the past few months and their performances you would agree that Atiku glides as one with the best team(maybe for now). The PR is superb! Atiku knows when to talk, when to write and what to say. I give credit to his team and I give him credit more for gathering the best focus group. May be other Aspirants would borrow a leaf is another question. Nigeria deserves the best in whatever we do. Let's make this Presidential colourful.

One word of advice to the Turaki once again is to be gracious in goodwill to take whatever is the outcomes of the Presidential Primary of his Party. Politics at the peak, most times, is not all about winning because the winner and the runner up will both end up as historical materials in the museum of time. Then how we handled everything will matter most. That is why Awo still possesses more cult followership in death than most of his contemporaries and successors.

Thus, I wish that Atiku uses this few weeks to purge out all the uncomfortable perceptions that some people have built around his figure. Whether there's victory at the primaries or not, Turaki should see it as a win-win for his reputation.

Best of Luck, Turaki Adamawa.


*Showunmi Rex is the Senior Editor @ DeltaForte Magazine ; Contributing Editor @ Hype9ja Ent. & www.yekipedia.blogspot.com Twitter Handle: @remirex.

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lagos 2015: APC' s Succession Story -- Between The Chosen, The Special and The Hungry One

Every so often we come to the crossroads of Destiny when and where the importance of a decision so urgent,  so crucial becomes so inevitable.  All of our life, it would seem, is reduced to the result of that very decision.  In most cases such issues are as fundamental as who takes over the mantle of leadership. There is a popular adage which says Success without a successor is failure. May be we can add that any leadership feat that has not transferred from one entity to the next isn't matured enough to be tagged Success.  Leadership question can make a Phenomenal person  lose sleep countless times and weaken his drive to achieve more. Who takes over from here?  The unknown, the becoming is such dreadful experience. It is well illustrated in the story of a man who has built a business empire but doubts the capacity of his first son or any of his children to step into his shoes. Paradoxically,  it seems that the assurance of a subsequent custodian is as crucial as every successes won and aspired.

This is a political writing and it is going somewhere.  It is a reflection of what is to come (or befall) Lagos in a couple of months. When you drive through the Lekki Suspension Bridge by night or you walk past the Ikeja Shoprite axis at late night, knowing what used to be the case before this administration then you would ponder on what next after this man leaves office?

Are we going back to the old style of Governance where anything goes or we are set on this developmental path for almost forever? Would there be continuity or what? If yes, at what pace?

 That question would be answered very soon. Not in this essay but in the activities of all stakeholders including Political parties and the electorate.

As it stands , there are two major political parties in Nigeria today and one of them is likely to give us the next Chief Executive come 2015.  Talking of the major opposition party in Lagos there is not much to say for now. Nevertheless, because the party's fortune would much depend on who becomes the standard bearer we can wait for such outcomes to see if there's hope for eventual surprises.  For now, for this state , Lagos , the Incumbent party's primary is the Election.


APC Primary School , Lagos.

In the eventuality of adherence to the  standing order, aspirants & supporters need to brace up for a Primary election. Hence, barring all unforseen circumstances there are three frontline contestant for the Party's nomination ; The Chosen One, The Special, and The Hungry One.


The Special One

The man who currently holds a sensitive position in the current cabinet is gathering support and hope from the party loyalists as time ticks closer. He is special because of the big barrier hanging over his nomination. He seems to make history as a non-indigene of a state but gathering strategic forces that may eventually lead to clinching the highest position in the state. Anybody conversant with how things work in Nigeria would admit that even State Civil Service leadership like Permanent Secretaries and others are rarely ceded to non-indigenes of the state let alone the Chief Executive of a State. But rules and records are made to be broken. This may be that special case.

He is Special also because he enjoys, allegedly, the maximum support of the sitting Chief Executive. The number one man it seems is saying subliminally; "my spirit is upon him".Like the biblical Moses and Joshua endorsement.

Moreover,  to have the structure of a father to bank on is no small advantage. But what do we say about the 'institutional' jinx to be broken? The First Royalty of the state already made a statement, one that could fan the flames of unusual resentment towards this Cause.

Also, Strategically, the fronting of the Special One by the Chief executive may just be a negotiating tool for private gains. Horse-trading is a regular tool in politicking and this one may not be an exception. The Senate, or even a Vice Presidential slot may be a good bargain for the Chief Executive.  If such isn't feasible, other very important slots can serve a good compensation. At both ways, the Chief would still walk home happy.


The Chosen One

Shakespeare's definition of Leadership highlights three possible ways to greatness. One of which is having leadership thrusted on your laps. No matter how we put it, the Chosen man is the man to beat. Although he enters this race as an underdog and would remain as such till the contest is over for so many reasons. What else do you call a man making a first appearance into active, partisan politics as a Governorship aspirant? Indeed winning promises to be pyrrhic.  It would be a highly challenging endeavour, the one likely to choke the aspirant and sap energy. But there are enough 'shock-absorbers' for this man. The first and biggest endorsement came from the First King of the State and that's a statement loud enough to be understood.

The Chosen one's records as a selfless servant is a good leverage even though politics is a wielding  game. In most cases, irrespective of who stands behind you what you educe matters more. It is all about you- your charm, your charisma, your grace. All the attestations & endorsements already opens up the compound pressure of living up to expectations. When much is given much is expected. There's much work to be done but the good thing is it won't be without the support of the Captains of the Party, the main men whose attention he already got.

There's one important thing to hammer on and it is that there is no done deal in politics. This man of the moment must try as much as possible to ease the pressure of those who already declared support for his candidature. The need to be reminded often, by action , that they made the right choice thrusting him forward. His mettle will be tested with fire like a furnace to gold and it would only make him better.

Although on being an underdog in this race, many supporters of the man have likened it to how it first happened some Seven years ago when an underdog ,now his excellency, clinched the party nomination. But few points must be considered.As a chief of staff, one isn’t an outsider,  kind of, in the polity. In fact, the powers of the chief executive is put to optimal use through the arm of the CoS. What does this suggests? That the antecedents aren't purely the same.

The is more work to be done. There are many challenges but they are not insurmountable. The times have changed and the circumstances partially different. But there's always courage of the possibility looking back to the past to inspire the future.

However, there are hungry hawks around waiting to feast on the chicks. How prepared is the mother hen? We shall soon find out when we discuss the qualities of hawks and how some people are hungry for action.





...To be continued


Showunmi Rex (@remirex)  is the Senior Editor @ DeltaForte Magazine (www.deltaforteng.com) & Contributing  Editor @ Hype9ja Ent. (www.hype9ja.com) & www.yekipedia.blogspot.com

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Monday, 11 August 2014

Why you may need a private blog






In today's world, Identity plays a vital role in virtually every human endeavor.  Whether in Business, Politics, Public Service or even Religious association, every party feels at home with somebody they are familiar with. Nobody trusts easily an Individual without a story, a trace, a background they're familiar with or put simply somebody they hardly know.

A name, a face, a record, a profile, or even a referral etc can be a good starting point for   building new relationships that transcends our immediate environment.  If God gives you a Vision of a whale you don't go to the lake in your farmyard. Whales don't live in Lakes. Instead, you go all out there to the High Sea to "launch into the deep". But it takes time to gain acceptance in that highly promising but volatile environment. 

However, when people are acquainted with little details about you, it can spark up their interest and that may just be the opportunity you need to win acceptance. 

More so, with a private blog  you are presented with a platform that offers you the opportunity to express yourself,  what you want out of life, your values, views and opinions about life, living and other endeavors. As it were , you cease to become  a first timer to the global community. Running a web log can be a right way to register your Interconnectedness to the World.


Your Content
The problem of content is enough turn off for so many individuals.  It could even get more complicated when you see yourself as a never-achieved-enough person. But in most cases what really happens is that  we under-estimate our achievements. If you can find something to put down in your CV or resume then you can run a private blog. In fact, that's the least among the reasons you should run a blog.

For me, a choice of a private blog was more of a (social) necessity . The Platform gives me the privilege to express myself and communicate to the world through Writing.  As a Writer,  Public Speaker, Entrepreneur and trained Philosopher,  my desire to affect not just my immediate environment but the hundreds of people that I could connect through the 'IT miracle' influenced blogging for me. When people visit my blog  they should gain insights on Business,  Politics,  and Capacity building as a whole. Also, I want  people to see this experience as a mutual value-based exercise and thus flourish it with content . Through that process a synergy births a new Energy into this Universe of Knowledge. Who downplays the maxim "Knowledge is Light"?  

In addition, for the benefit of those who are always more interested in the messenger than the message, there's a short profile to intimate.


Exceptions:
If you are xenophobic or you have an agelong paranoia,  perhaps having a personal blog may not be good for you.

But if being shy or suffering from any of the Complexes is the reason you want a "low- key" life then now is the time to shake it off. You cannot live to be average so embrace Excellence and the price/prize of Prominence that comes with it.  As one scripture verse says, "a city set on a hill cannot be hidden" 

Signing out with the Wisdom deduced from Chinua Achebe's quote: "If you don't write someone's story, write your own". Let me add that this is the generation of Globalization if you don't tell your story somebody else will tell it. You may just have to pray the buddy isn't a blackmailer.


By Showunmi Rex is the Senior Editor at Delta Forte Magazine (www.deltaforteng.com) | Twitter Handle: @remirex



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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pep talk to Voters in 2015: Keep calm and vote right even with the rice.





Easy... It's your season. 2015 is almost here! It's the Christmas of Nigerian politics,  a time of harvest of and for the electorates. This electioneering period is special in so many ways. Your leaders would remember your house address now. They would impress their speeches on how inevitable your support is to their aspirations. And importantly, they would honor with gifts and titles, slot for injury time service.  That's just the way it is.

After these rituals are concluded it is now time to touch the pigs for slaughter directly. Password correct, access is granted now to lie as much as possible to the electorates just to get one more shot at power for the coming term. In the realm of politicking,  no price is too high to pay for the power in your thumb. It's the reason men would leave their beloved families, stop down from their prestigious thrones to the streets despite the vulnerabilities. 

For influential men to be convinced to endorse candidates there may be alot of technicalities but for the common man who holds the majority the answers are far too simple and less sophisticated.  Speak no much English, let the stomach infrastructure do all the ' Rock and Roll' . It speaks volumes.

 Let me be more specific-- Bring more rice! Rice is medicinal, it is the Nigerian opium approved by N***** to be used by the masses. And it is not harmful to the body.

Money has found its way into Nigerian campaigns because of the Third degree poverty level that has bedevilled the vast majority.  It has seized the voice from the call of reason and that may just be disastrous.  So what do I have to say? If I advise people not to collect money from politicians or rice coming masked as charity would I not be speaking German to rustic Africans?

Just like telling someone with HIV that they should live without anti-retroviral drugs when you haven't found the cure for the virus. A poor man lost his belongings to flood, no bank, no means of livelihood and then after a hungry midnight rice came with the morning.  Knowing his story, would you advice him to say no to the rice?  Of course you should not if you are not offering anything better.  Situationism, remember, is also an ethical theory.

I'll tell you what to do dear Electorates. The same wisdom that was employed during the  Mimiko re-election campaign.  Collect what they bring but don't vote for them. By that logic the burden of conscience versus pleasure disappeared like a fleeting shadow. The dichotomy between Money and Morality erased and people calmed down to vote overwhelmingly for their choiced candidate.

You may not have the power to stop a bird from flying over your head but you can keep it from building a nest over it. So when they come luring you with their rice be sure to do the needful which is giving thoughts to the credibility of each candidates.  Scratch deeper to see what lies beyond their dramatic roles and vote for who you think is best.


Never let anyone bamboozle you. Keep calm and vote right even now that rice is involved.


Rex Showunmi is the Senior Editor @ DeltaForte Magazine(www.deltaforteng.com).  Twitter handle : @remirex

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Short Tribute to Wole Soyinka : The Williams Shakespeare of our time.



The advantage of being 80 years old is that one has many people to love" says Jean Renoir , the French film Director and Author. Let me add that living up to 8 decades gives you the privilege of being loved by many, as well. Let's all thank God for the Life of Wole Soyinka,  the Williams Shakespeare of our time . For while History may have been garnished with subtle prejudice during documentation,  the present offers us with a better reality to grasp. Even with the subjectivity of diverse humans we still find objective grounds to agree.  We may have arrived this place through inter-subjectivity. However, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the Man Wole Soyinka has lived a life not only worthy of emulation but also Worthy of education.

Starting out with a life of excellence that far out runs time, he has turned out to be greatness personified. While in his Thirties he had already written some of the best African literary works  including  The Man died, the Lion and the Jewel , The Trials of Brother Jero, etc.

A thorough bred African who admonished the pragmatism of Negritude  stressing that with the anology of "a tiger does not shout its tigritude" instead it acts. He reflected in almost all his works the need for Africa to develop. This he emphasised in his numerous satirical works.

If we sum up Soyinka's life in a little phrase it has been one marked by an unusual zest for all that is humanistic. Aside that, Kongi has lived a highly productive life -- absolutely phenomenal.   The one that has seen several masterpieces come out of his literary loins. Some immortal, many living. One of which I will be honored to be called. Perhaps we should connect his "high tension" energy to his spirituality which radiates around him. For he speaks dearly of Ogun -the Yoruba deity  which he acknowledges as his companion deity.

Twenty Eight years ago he won the Nobel Prize for Literature which is unarguably the most remarkable event of his career being the first African ever to win such  prize. It opened several doors including the rapport with World class( Ivy League) Colleges . He earned honorary doctorates and  faculty membership, among other benefits.

After all said, it interests me to affirm that He will remain to us a source of Inspiration...that we can achieve a lot within our lifetime by being creative , hardworking  and passionate in our calling.

Long Live Wole Soyinka! Ogun, Nigeria and Africa as a whole is proud of you. And as you grow younger remember;  "Igba odun ojo kan ni".

•Wole Soyinka clocks 80 today 13th July,2014.

Rex Showunmi (@remirex) is the Senior Editor at Delta Forte Magazine (www.deltaforteng.com)

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Agony from Sambisa Forest




I woke up that morning, unsure of what the day holds for us, but certain of one thing, that the WAEC examination is still ongoing, I got dressed and bid farewell to my folks, unknown it was the last time I will ever set my eyes on them, that I and many other girls will become the victim of the evil lurking round the noon.
We filed into the examination hall, waiting for our question papers and answer booklets to be distributed to all the candidates. Amidst the examination jittery, I heard several gunshots, there was great pandemonium, students and teachers scampering.
I heard a crusty voice from a megaphone, we were commanded to lay down wherever we were, which we obediently obeyed, I was scared to my skin and suddenly blacked out.
The operations lasted for hours, I was revived and ushered into a waiting sport utility vehicle and sandwiched among my mates, like cows taken to abattoir, we were driven away. There was great wailing, we cried until we lost our voice. I stopped crying few weeks ago, and told myself probably this is the prize I have to pay for been a girl child in a country like Nigeria.
It is almost the first semester since we were forcefully adopted from our country, however it seems like eternity. We have become victims of political propaganda, forsaken by a country we call our own, neglected by a government our parents elected. We were carted away like the spoils of war, our adopters in jubilation and chanting victorious songs.
Life in Sambisa has been traumatic, few days after our adoption, our human dignity was forcefully taken away from most of us, freedom of worship which is enshrined in the Nigerian 1999 constitution was taken away, those of us who were Christians were forcefully converted to Islam. We were distributed among our adopters, in hot tears and pain, our dignity is serially violated.  Amidst fear and trepidation we unwillingly submitted our pride to our captors. Daily I feel awfully lonely, and I have become an outcast. Sleep has become an enemy, I stay up late every night escaping into the wonderland of mystery that contains broken fragments of my dreams. Tears and sore is salty, I long to return home if help will ever come before my last breath.
Let me leave now, you will hear from me soon, if I am still alive.
With pain from Sambisa.

By
Onyibe Oliver.

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