It’s a Wonderful New Year

HURRAY! It’s a wonderful New Year. And today, the first Monday of the Year 2016, is very bright and beautiful with the dusty harmattan breeze blowing. A perfect day God has made. Hurray! It is also a day most workers and student returned back to offices and classrooms after the holidays. At Realnews, we also resumed worked today in earnest after we went on a three-week break. As you, our dedicated readers, must have noticed since we started in 2012, we work all through the months of the year but close down for a much desired rest in December. We opted for end of the year break for most of our staff to go on vacation because most companies, institutions and organisations we cover choose the period to wound down their activities for the year. So, we also settle for that time of the Christmas to be near our loved ones, rest and refresh our tired bones to come back in the New Year to serve you better. …

It’s The Nigerian Economy, Stupid.

HOW time flies. It’s been three years when the life journey of Realnews started on November 19, 2012. And the journey has not been easy at all. Our very existence was threatened when our website was hijacked barely a year after we started publishing. We have had one of our reporters illegally detained when he went to investigate the crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. We have equally survived the death of two pillars of Realnews – Victoria Chigbo, my mother who was one of our directors and Mike Akpan, pioneer editor-in-chief who died on June 22, 2014 and September 30, 2014, respectively. …

The Ding-Dong Affair in National Assembly

THE All Progressives Congress appears not to know how to get out of its present quagmire in the National Assembly. The crisis in the National Assembly started since June 9, when the leadership election of the legislative arm of the government was held and winners who emerged were not the candidates endorsed by the party hierarchy. The ding-dong affair transcend to verbal war of words which eventually climaxed to the physical free-for-all fight in the House of Representatives. …

Government of Afterthought

THE resurgence of Boko Haram terrorism in the country is a source of concern to many Nigerians. This is because many lives are being lost to senseless bombings by terrorists on suicide mission in several parts of the Northern States of Nigeria. At the last count, about 600 people have been killed there by suicide bombers in the past one month. This has made many people wonder what is happening because the Nigerian troops appeared to be on top of the game between April/May 2015 when they bombarded the dreaded Sambisa forest filled with landmines, dislodged the terrorists and rescued many women and children who were held hostage. …

Fixing the Rot in the Oil Sector

THE debate on the rot in the oil and gas industry and what to do to stop it has been on for quite some time now. Often times some of the debaters marshal their arguments with a lot emotion and strong conviction that is oblivious of all the actual facts of the matter. Sometimes the argument is shallow simply because most people genuinely do not know how the oil and gas industry operates. This can be seen in the effort of some governors who at times present just an aspect of the figures from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to bamboozle and work up the public who are already aggrieved by the perceived corruption that pervades the industry. …

Resolving the Conflict in APC

CONFLICTS and the resolution of conflicts either through compromise or consensus are some of the basic tenets of democracy. There is no country in the world where democracy is practiced that politicians will always be at their best behavior whenever there is conflict within the party. This is also true in the case of parliamentarians who are elected into the legislature on the platform of a political party. Sometimes these politicians cum legislators display their worst form of behavior and throw all social etiquettes and civility to the winds in the quest for power or lubricants of office. It has happened in other parliaments in countries such as India, Taiwan, Turkey, Hong Kong, Ukraine including Nigeria.

How to Fix Nigeria’s Internal Crisis

INTERNAL security crisis is not new to Nigeria. It predates the country’s independence. But each time, violent crisis erupts the military is often deployed to quell it professionally. But it has not stopped a recurrence. From the Aba Women Riot of 1929, Tiv riots of 1960-63, western region crisis, the civil war, the Maitasine religious riots in the 1980s to the present Boko Haram insurgency, groups have always made demands with violence threatening the corporate existence of the country. …

Is APC Confused?

CONFUSION! This is the last word anybody would have used to describe the All Progressives Congress, APC. Since the party was formed in 2013 to grab power from the erstwhile ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, it has always conducted its affairs with remarkable maturity and decisiveness. In its quest for power, the party has had a clear vision and carried out all its strategy to achieve its objective with uncanny doggedness and precision laced with wild propaganda machinery. But since it shoved the PDP out of power in the March 28 and April 11 general elections in Nigeria, the APC appears lost albeit confused on how to manage its success. …

Editorial Suite

AFTER he was sworn in on Friday, May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged why he was hired for the job. Under the previous dispensation, the government had been unsuccessful in dealing with Boko Haram insurgency that has been ravaging the North-Eastern part of the country in the past five years. Not only that. The economy is bad and corruption is eating deep into the fabrics of the nation, thereby turning things upside down for a country that supposed to be virile and prosperous. It is an enormous task ahead. In any case, Buhari knows he has to act fast. The only available option to him was to declare a total war on Boko Haram insurgents because without peace there cannot be economic stability and foreign investment. Hence, in his inaugural address to the nation, Buhari gave his first order as the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian armed forces by ordering the relocation of the command centre to Maiduguri until the Boko Hram insurgence is totally subdued or eliminated. …

A Great Expectation Dashed

THE administration of President Goodluck Jonathan held so much promise when it started in May 29, 2011. It also had so much goodwill from the masses who, for once in Nigeria, voted massively for somebody they saw as rising from a not so privileged background to the first job in the country …

Darkness in the Land

THE privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigerian by the present administration in September 13, 2013, gave Nigerians the hope that power outage will be a thing of the past. But 18 months after the privatisation was completed, Nigerians all over the country have been agonising over the incessant power outages. …

Editorial Suite

LIFE in Nigeria now has become very short, brutish and unpalatable. The hardship resulting from the economic blues the country has been facing since the decline in oil revenue has been made worse by the current fuel scarcity brouhaha. This is in addition to the massive salary arrears being owed workers in many states of the federation. …

Much Ado about Handover

WITH the elections over, it is no longer news that winners and losers have emerged. And with that, it is expected that the rancor between the two political parties – the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, will abate until the next election season. But that is not the case. Last week, the political atmosphere was charged with threats and counter threats flowing from both political quarters much to the annoyance of right thinking citizens of this country. …

Buhari’s Cabinet: Getting it Right

THE 2015 general election is over. The peace of the graveyard now pervades the nation. Many things gone awry before and during the election have been swept under the carpet and a false sense of grand accomplishment sweeps over the country with the whole world acclaiming. In a way, what is happening is akin to letting the sleeping dog be. Maybe that is the way it should be just to avert the large scale anticipated violence that could have been unleashed on the country otherwise. …

Chibok Girls: Are they Nowhere to Be Found?

WHEN more than 200 Chibok girls who were sitting for their West African Certificate Examination were kidnapped April 14, 2014, many Nigerians had hoped that the nation would wake up from the nightmare soonest. But that is not the case one year after.

Despite all the global outrage that trailed the incident, the sound bites and all the politically correct speeches laced with fervent promises by all and sundry that mountains will be moved to bring them back, one thing that is crystal clear today is that the Chibok girls are still at large. They are nowhere to be found. Really? Why?

The Precarious Governorship Race #Nigeriadecides

IF there is any easy lesson politicians involved in the April 11 governorship election and the State Houses of Assemblies election learnt from the March 28 presidential election, it is the need to be vigilant and on guard. These two attributes are very necessary for them to guard against systematic and scientific rigging of any sort if they hope to emerge successfully at the end of the exercise. This is because despite being described as free, fair and credible, the presidential and National Assembly election, in some states of the federation, was anything but that. It was hugely manipulated by all the participants and political parties involved in the exercise. …

Perennial Candidate turned President-Elect (Editorial Suite) #Nigeriadecides

WHEN General Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect was warming up for the presidential race which came to pass on March 28, Realnews in its editorial suite on May 6, 2013, had discussed the fate of perennial candidates. That editorial suite was hinged on confidence which every politician must have to achieve victory. It was that dose of confidence that made Buhari to overcome all odds against him to beat an incumbent president. …

Editorial Suite

MARCH 28, the D-day for presidential election is here. All the rancorous preparations, vacuous politicking, mudslinging, lies, half-truth and grandstanding in the media, at campaign rallies have all come to an end midnight Thursday, March 27. But the pains inflicted on the psyche of the nation and on political candidates, on Nigerians in this most divisive political season will take time …

Editorial Suite

TONY Momoh, veteran journalist and former minister of information, is not new to Nigerian politics. His insignia is deeply engraved in the nation’s political landscape both during the military regime and in the current civilian rule which started since 1999.

During the unsavoury military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, Momoh was appointed minister of Information and Culture from September 1986 until 1990. He was chairman of the African Conference of Information ministers from 1988 to 1990. In his position as minister, he vacillated on some views he had on topical issues in the country. For instance, in 1983, Dele Giwa, editor-in-chief of Newswatch, was detained for a week by police for publishing what they called “classified material”. He was later killed. At first, Momoh pledged that there would be a government probe of the incident but he later reversed, saying a special probe would serve no useful purpose. …

Editorial Suite

FREDERICK Fasehun is a man of strong conviction who will give his life to defend any cause he believes in. A medical doctor by profession, who was born in 1938, Fasehun owns a hotel and has been the leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, a Yoruba-based organisation which was formed to actualise the annulled mandate of late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, a Yoruba, who won the presidential election of June 12, 1993 but was barred from office. …

Editorial Suite

NIGERIA is in a state of war. If you are in doubt, do consult the Geneva Convention to have it cleared. The Geneva Convention Common Article 3 relating to Non-International Armed Conflict states that “the certain minimum rules of war apply to armed conflicts that are not of an international character, but that are contained within the boundaries of a single country. The applicability of this article rests on the interpretation of the term armed conflict. For example, it would apply to conflicts between the government and rebel forces, or between two rebel forces, or to other conflicts that have all the characteristics of war but that are carried out within the confines of a single country. A handful of individuals attacking a police station would not be considered an armed conflict subject to this article, but only subject to the laws of the country in question.” …

Editorial Suite

SINCE the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, blew the whistle for political campaign to begin in January, 14 political parties which fielded candidates for the general election were expected to junket the 36 states and the federal capital territory to canvass for votes. But this is not so. Only two political parties have dominated the political scene.

The parties are the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC. The discussion in the polity now is as if the only choice left for Nigerians to make in the presidential race is between President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP and General Muhammadu Buhari of APC. …

Editorial Suite

M. FAROUK Radwan, in his article Dealing With the Past published posits that almost everyone of us is haunted by his past in a way or another. “You might be thinking that those who are haunted by their pasts are only the people who are suffering from breakups or trust problems but in reality almost all of the psychological problems we suffer from are somehow related to our past.” The Politicians being human beings are also not immune to their past actions which could be used against them by their opponents. That’s precisely what is happening now in the country in the current political dispensation. …

Editorial Suite

IT IS not an easy job to be a referee in any contest, especially in a political contest. The referee will have to do its utmost best not only to be impartial but to be seen as such in order to satisfy all the contestants. The job of an electoral umpire is much more difficult in Nigeria, where many politicians can easily smell a fat rat, especially when the game is not going their way. Someone has to be blamed for things going awry. Someone has to take the rap for seemingly scuttling political permutations. …

Editorial suite

THE tension in the land is on the increase as the February general elections approaches. And politicians are solely responsible for that due to the inflammatory speeches they and their supporters have been making about what they will do should the outcome of the election not favour them. This is expected.

But the unexpected happened on February 5, when the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, SNPA, pointedly accused Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral …

Editorial Suite

LISTEN! Can you hear the drumbeats of war resounding from the four corners of Nigeria? Can you see that the drummers and dancers are not the typical soldiers in a typical war? Neither are they soldiers of fortune a.k.a mercenary. No. But the dancers and soldiers share a common purpose – the enemy must be crushed at all cost once the battle line has been drawn. The dancers to the drumbeats of war now are the politicians from both the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, the ruling party and the All Progressive Congress, APC, the opposition. The foot soldiers of the chief warriors (the presidential candidates of both the PDP and APC, President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari, (rtd), respectively) in the ensuing political battle in Nigeria are all very media savvy.

Editorial Suite

For any first time visitor to Nigeria who is paying attention to the daily political developments albeit the presidential campaigns in the country, he or she is likely to think that there are only two political parties in the country. For the records, there are more than eight political parties fielding candidates in the February 14, presidential election. …

Editorial Suite

IMPUNITY! That seven-letter word, according to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, “arises from a failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations”.…

Editorial Suite

THIS is the season of politics. That is why where two or three are gathered now, the discussion centres primarily on politics. On the road side, in buses, cars, bars, salon, offices, school, mosque and church premises, the drum beat is politics. Teachers talk politics, Clerics lace their sermons with politics. It is to be expected. After all, the general election in the country is mid-February. And the presidential election for the first time will be keenly contested between President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and General Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress and former head of state. The stakes are high and that is why politicians on both sides do not want anybody to rock their politics boat. It explains why political statements from certain leaders are taken very seriously because of the impact (real or imagined) it could have on electorates.…

Editorial Suite

BY the time you will be reading this we will be already in the New Year. As at the time of writing this piece, it’s remaining five days to the end of the year. And most people are already counting their gains and losses in 2014. Those who recorded appreciable results in their endeavour will resolve to do better in the year 2015, while those who lost out will equally resolve to do better in the New Year. And so everybody is looking at 2015 with a lot of optimism and apprehension. …

Editorial Suite

THESE are perilous times for the country and there is no respite to the violent actions of the Boko Haram sect which are being thrown to our faces every day. No aspect of our national life is being spared in this season of perfidy – politics, economy. What with the hard times facing the masses because of the dwindling revenue from crude oil sales and uncertainty over elections in 2015. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know who to trust or believe in our country. A citizen is supposed to believe what the government of his or her country is saying. A citizen is supposed to be patriotic and support the government and its officials. Over the years, the common bond between the citizen and the government has been broken on the altars of failed promises by the latter and its corrupt officials. Government, on the other hand, is disheartened that the citizen can no longer trust it even when it means well. …

Editorial Suite

LAST week witnessed intense political activity from major political parties in the country. It started on Monday, December 8, with a lot of horse trading among contestants in the heat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship primaries. By the time the result came out, the unexpected happened. Most of the people who were expected to win, especially ministers who oozed confidence when they left their plum jobs at the federal government, woefully crashing out without clinching the ticket in their states. Those who won are smiling and strategising for 2015 while the losers are licking their wounds while some are already protesting profusely …

Editorial Suite

IT IS the era of politics now in the country. And serious business affairs of the state are being swamped into the murky waters of politics. From the East to the West, North to South, every national issue going the wrong way is being viewed from the prism of politics. The escalation of insurgency in the land is being blamed on politics. Much to the confusion of the masses who are bearing the brunt of the politicians inability to attend to the business of the state before delving into their political affairs. …

Editorial Suite

THE economic managers in the country, albeit Nigerians have been living in denial of the true state of the economy. In the last two years, the hard facts stared us in the face about the impending dwindling revenue to the country. But nobody paid attention. Nobody took action. Even when the news broke that the United States of America was no long buying Nigeria’s oil, those who were in charge of the nation’s cash cow — the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation waved the threat aside, saying that the country will find new markets to supply the almost 50 percent of the country’s oil which the America hitherto was buying. As at that time, the tumble in oil price had not occurred …

Editorial Suite

THE buzzword now is politics. Since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, blew the whistle for political campaigns to start last week, many politicians have already started politicking. Those who know how to politick are making the most of it. Realnews at its second anniversary lecture also joined the debate when it organised a lecture on the “Nigerian Democracy: Getting it Right in 2015” and the “Economic Implications of Getting the Right Leadership”. The lecture which was to mark the second anniversary of Realnews Magazine on Wednesday, November 19, was delivered by Professor Maurice Iwu, former INEC chairman while Roberts Orya handled the economic aspect. Benjamin Dikki, director-general, Bureau of Public Enterprises also discussed the later. In the lecture, Iwu frankly talked about the dangers that could mar the 2015 elections. …

Editorial Suite

THERE is no doubt that we are in a season of politics. A glance at the happenings in all the states of the federation will show that politicians are doing what they know best to do — politicking. It is an era of intense and grandiose plots and counter plots, schemes and manoeuvres by politicians to be in a vantage position to outwit their opponents. It is an era of rapid nocturnal meetings where decisions are taken in one moment and jettison in another, where disagreements trashed and agreements are hashed. …