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Redirecting People’s Mindsets for Positive Change against Corruption



BOOK REVIEW: Ayo Joan Olatoyosi's Thesis, Antithesis And Synthesis Of Life


Grace Ego Omoni

Nigerians are noted for collecting more than one plate of food or a bottle or a sachet of water or just a souvenir at parties under the pretence that such are being secured for an unknown person who left the seat beside him or her for a few seconds. We also see public servants who demand inducement to perform assigned duties in their places of work; conductors hiking bus fares because a crowd of commuters are waiting anxiously for a bus; or politicians sharing money to influence votes in their favour during elections or pastors manipulating the congregation to sow seed faith to enhance better relationships with God or guests shamefully dishing large quantities of assorted food for themselves at buffet parties when they know they will be unable to consume all.

Have you also observed that public servants who go to work late also leave their offices before the closing time or a security man asking for tips from visitors as part of their work schedule or lecturers not only asking for inducement in cash and kind from the poor students but also claim authorship of other people’s works without acknowledging them?

Recently, it was reported that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs relieved his Press Secretary of his duty for allowing people to see the “Ghana Must Go” bag containing money, I mean hard currency when they recently visited an ex-warlord for a crucial discussion on constituting the NDDC substantive board members’ matter. How do you describe these scenarios other than to assert that they are a sheer display of greed and corruption?

Corrupt practices are now the order of the day in the Nigerian society. They are actions that disrupt the moral habits and good image of the nation. No nation can function or develop where corruption thrives unchallenged. The confidence reposed by the citizens would be severely damaged in a corrupt society. Corruption is a negative phenomenon. It emanates from the mindsets of the people.

This write up X-rays  some of the corrupt practices in Nigeria, the causes, negative effects on national development and strategies for redirecting their mindsets to facilitate positive changes against corruption.

READ ALSO: Judiciary Workers Suspend Strike

Mindset, Change and Corruption explained:

Mindset: This is a set of established attitudes held by someone. It is a set of beliefs that shapes how one makes sense of the world and himself or herself. According to Cambridge Dictionary, mindset is a collection of thoughts  and beliefs that shapes one’s habits. This is also in line with Merriam’s Dictionary which sees mindset as a collection of all one’s beliefs assumptions, things one was taught or has  learnt through past or current experiences consciously or otherwise  which impact how you feel, think, how you approach things, what you do and  ultimately how they interact and influence you.

Your mindset could be positively or negatively inclined. It can influence your interpretation of the experiences and determines your future opportunities and relationships. In other words, everything you do is determined by your mindset. It borders on your emotion, needs, thoughts and behaviour. Learning new things can change your actions and reactions. For instance, understanding the complexities and the negative things about a phenomenon like corruption can help you change or redirect your attitude positively.

Change: Change is a process and not an event. Change is constant. It is the most significant concept in any human organisation. Those who resist change risk losing their competitive edge and tend to remain in  the past. Change is essential for growth and survival for it is a way of life. It is concerned with making things different. Oxford Dictionary says that change means to give a different  position or direction  or to make a shift from one position to another. Baker (2007) asserts that change is a continuous process brought about through a transformation process while Havigopal(2007) adds that change means dissatisfaction with the old  and belief in the new.

Thus, change means to turn an institution or a person towards another direction. It is an inevitable human characteristic meant to modify the way things are done or to overhaul the structure of a system to improve it. It represents a movement from a dissatisfying state of affair to desired better future opportunities.

Honestly, that was my thought when  the present Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari talked about CHANGE during his campaign days: to see a Nigeria that is free from corruption, anarchy, poverty, crimes, redundancy, ethnicity syndrome, lopsided political appointments, favouritism, political gimmicks, embezzlement, banditry, deceptions, illiteracy, gagging of the press and unemployment to name a few. However, what we are seeing is a change for the worse.

The change in  Nigeria today is directed towards turbulent circumstances. It has been transformed to a battlefield perpetrated by those clamouring for power and supremacy against innocent citizens coupled with uncertainty, fear, political agenda propagated by  Minister of Lies and Deceits, threats and mindless killings of defenceless people including gross declining effectiveness of those in public offices.

People do not always welcome change because the purpose is not well-defined. Again, people are  not given awareness on the need to change. They lack the understanding or the knowledge of what change is and its goal, so there might be resistance. Some might not want a change because of the remuneration they are getting from the old order. This is why politicians want to hold on to their exclusive positions even if they have been there for a century. You see a councillor moving to the post of a chairman, then  to a governor, a senator and then fight to become the president! Changing positions without changing the society or making any impact on national development( chaining the people instead of  changing the lives of the people).

Positive change is a welcome idea but whenever people are confronted with a change that erodes their fundamental human rights, there is bound to be opposition and resistance. The present ban of Twitter by the presidency is  a typical example of a change that will trigger resistance, conflict and disaffection. It does not promote development. Instead, it stagnates development. Change requires a leader who can inspire others to attain greater heights.

Here in Nigeria as well as in some other African countries, we see the same people in government with the same mindset they started with many years before, making the same mistakes socially, politically and economically and expecting new changes/ results. What a misplaced idiosyncrasy!

Corruption:This refers to the abuse of power entrusted to one for private or personal gain. It is a behaviour of public officials who deviate from accepted norms in order to serve personal needs. It is a human behaviour that is a departure from an original form that is pure or ideal. Corruption from the moral view is a loss of virtues in the polity or a generalized  condition afflicting political elites and citizens, a negative occurrence in many societies and its goal is to achieve improper purposes and illegal gratifications.

Corruption is both a cognitive and a moral failure, a decline of values with no sense of differentiating between right or wrong. It is an illegal, dishonest behaviour especially exhibited by powerful people. A primary example of corrupt behaviour is bribery.

Other forms  of corruption are inducements by improper or unlawful means, favouritism towards particular persons  or groups involving partiality in dispensing job opportunities and other advantages  to friends, kinsmen which is called nepotism, a phenomenon very rampant in Nigeria.

Corrupt Practices: There are various corrupt practices trending in Nigeria today and they are hindrances to national development. These are:
1) Police Corruption. We are all witnesses to the level of corruption practised by these supposed law enforcing agents. You see them extort money from drivers and motorcycle riders, bribe from offenders and perversion of justice instead of promoting it.

2) Political and Electoral Corruption: In this instance, the use of entrusted  position for self-gain is most prominent. Partisan manipulation of the electoral system during vote counts, political patronage at all levels of the government with favoured business interests, embezzlement, favouritism in the allocation of funds and appointments and outright partiality and biases pertaining to electoral tribunal judgement in favour of the choice party are obvious examples  of corrupt practices.

Again, the accumulation of financial power by politicians is continuously in vogue in Nigeria despite the establishment of EFCC and ICPC. It is an open secret that most of the defection by politicians from one political party to another is a way to escape being prosecuted for embezzling public fund. Stealing of state assets and government financial resources is a form of political and bureaucratic corrupt practices.

3) Public Officials: Public and civil servants also engage in corrupt practices. They ask for financial inducement before services are rendered. Years back a colleague of mine was seeking an interstate transfer. Her file got missing for months not until the husband greased the palm of a messenger in that office. Again, these officers are never at their duty posts regularly or punctually.

Educational Corrupt Practices: In the school system, both the students and teachers are engaged in corrupt practices. While the students recklessly engage in examination malpractices before their invigilators, supervisors from examination bodies and law enforcement agents and the teachers are also enjoying plagiarism without acknowledging the original authors.

Years back, the vice chancellor of a university had to buy a scanning machine which was used to detect those who plagiarized. For this, their promotions were stepped down. Lecturers in higher institutions take bribe in cash and kind to pass their students. Added to the above, some teachers do not actually go regularly to the class to teach. All these are corrupt practices.

Lastly, there are other forms of corrupt practices and legal offences such as alcohol and drug taking/ trafficking, child trafficking, unfairness, thuggery and extortion of money from market women and bus drivers by thugs planted by “unknown known politicians.’

Causes of Corruption

Most cases of corruption are caused by the government because they are far away from the masses.  There are communication gaps. They are blind to the  plight  of the people and no affection attached to their predicaments. The media is also a cause. The media is also a factor; the anxieties of the people through misinforming or disinforming the masses. Religious bodies are not exonerated. They cause conflicts in the process of defending their faith.

The ongoing destruction of lives and property by Boko Haram/ religious fanatics and other terrorists are examples. What do you term a situation where a particular set of people are allowed to carry  guns and other dangerous weapons whereas others are not allowed to defend themselves and their property with any when attacked by the sacred cows?

The effects of corruption in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Briefly, it retards national development, it breeds bitterness among the citizens. Unfairness is the order of the day and this also brings disaffection and dissatisfaction against the government of the day. There will be moral decadence in the society. With corruption on every side, there will be low productivity in the public and educational sectors. The economy will totally dwindle and there will be no investments especially by foreign investors.

Lastly, because corrupt  people are in government, policies  formulated by people in government will be faulty without any tangible vision. A people without vision are bound to fail.

Counselling Strategies for Redirecting People’s Mindset Against Corruption

1) Qualitative education must be provided for the citizens. Focus on character building. Train the people on moral values and our  cherished norms. Religious instructions are of great values for they help to shape positive attitudes in the individual.

2) Culture of silence must be discarded. Teach people to voice out their opinions about a negative administration. Teach them to ask questions and not just believe in everything they are told. Having the knowledge of how and why things happen and why people behave in a certain way is paramount in relationships.

4)Educate people to think instead of  compelling them to remember facts. Lord Byron asserts:
“ Those who will not reason are bigots; Those who cannot reason are fools; And those who dare not are slaves.” I am sure the reader is not one of these! Thus reason out things before taking decisions.

5) Information and communication campaigns: Disseminating stories of negative consequences of corruption should be told.

6) Reinforcing positive role models. People of integrity should be invited to give talks in public gatherings, schools and religious institutions on what influenced their mindset.

7) Raise the awareness on the rights and duties of the citizens. Nigerians are not conversant  with their rights and the responsibilities of the government to them. They should know the rules and regulations and the punishment attached to the laws of the land. For instance, citizens should be aware that there are laws against  corrupt practices. Organisations such as EFCC and ICPC are bodies put in place for such.

8) There is a need to reframe the cultural environment and identity. There are some practices that are corrupt but seen as normal in the environment. These should be replaced with positive ones through formal and informal education. For instance, appreciating a person who helps the needy in the society.

9)Engaging in activities such as discussion. People are encouraged to talk while facilitators moderate. People can be made to identify some behaviours that are  corrupt and the good ones that can replace them.

10) Drama, role play and storytelling can be used in  teaching them the ethics of good behaviour.

Lack of sanctions and legitimising corruption has led to its  entrenchment across communities in Nigeria. For instance, celebrating notable corrupt public figures or those who abuse of public office for personal gain is unacceptable. Ethnicity syndrome and the  culture of silence instead of crying out should be condemned. Misappropriation of public funds, negligence of duties and expecting inducements before performing your duties should be discouraged. These practices lead to retrogression instead of national development; they lead to chaos and civil disobedience. It is recommended that the citizens should redirect their mindsets towards a positive change against corruption.


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Overcoming Policy Execution Trap As Nigeria’s Development Challenge



Prof. Tunji Olaopa

By Tunji Olaopa

If I am asked to give a succinct and apt summary of the entire challenge faced by the Nigerian state in terms of her policy architecture and development management, in spite of contestation in the development literature, I will not hesitate in stating clearly and unambiguously that it is the challenge of policy implementation; the whole dynamics of getting things done. By elimination, the implication is that the challenge cannot be located as that of the dearth of development ideas, insights, models and paradigms. Right from her independence, Nigeria has been inundated with several ideas, both local and global, about development policy and frameworks. And yet, policy outcomes keep getting bogged down in the murky waters of political shenanigans. This means that the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has its challenge mapped out, in red, for it.

There is no shying away from this postcolonial predicament that has limited and kept limiting Nigeria’s capacity to honour the terms of her social contract with Nigerians. Hence, the Tinubu government will soon be inundated with the impatient agitations of Nigerians for a quick and tangible fix that will address their sufferings. And they are justified since they have not been given any real deal for the past sixty-three years of sovereign independence. And the new administration is obligated because that is the reason for seeking office in the first place.

Prof. Olaopa’s new book on public policy and development challenges

How then can we begin to understand this policy execution challenge? It is simple: how can an administration in Nigeria transition from governance vision and policy intention to policy outcomes that elevate and transform the quality of life of its citizens? Failure to understand and give critical and political attention to this question lies at the heart of the governance failures of successive Nigerian administrations. The new Tinubu administration cannot afford such a glaring mistake. And so, a fundamental case must be made out of the question of how policy intentions get circumscribed in the dynamics of policy execution that occasions policy failures in past administrations.

Modern states all across the world are distinguished by the traditional four functions they discharge as part of their administrative responsibilities—security i.e. securing the sovereign territory against lawlessness, policy formulation and implementation, governance regulation and service delivery.The capacity to perform each and all of these functions very well within an integrated framework in the governance context is what delivers the dividends of democratic governance to the citizens, and it enhances the state’s competitive and human development rating in global reckoning. With these functions, we have the metrics to differentiate between high-performing states like China, India, the United States,Botswana, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirate, Germany, Rwanda and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea), and low- or even under-performing countries like Nigeria that is still cluelessly stuck within a dysfunctional vicious cycle within her arrested development.

From the perspective of governance, there must be something these states are getting right in the connection between leadership, politics, and policy articulation. For instance, there is a trajectory of relationship that links elite bargains to development bargains. In other words, development is a
function of elite nationalism and the extent to which the political class of a state can commit elite suicide and gamble on development on behalf of the people they are leading. In Nigeria, low
manifestation of elite nationalism has made it really difficult for the political class to set aside their personal and egoistic class interests in ways that enable them to clearly and ideologically discern and navigate the deadly developmental landmines strewn all over our governance landscape by the
neoliberal implication of ideological apparatuses and frameworks to which Nigeria is beholden. And here, the factor of development gamble of the Asian Tigers’ elites comes into bold relief. From within the ideological ambit of the developmental state, the leadership of the Asian Tigers were able to define a policy space that consciously and critically weighed the benefits and shortfalls of external influences, especially the type that came from the World Bank, IMF and the other cohorts of the neoliberal policy dynamics. Their developmental circumspection paid off!

Since we cannot argue that Nigeria has been stumped by the lack of vision documents, development plans and blueprints, or even policy expertise, the locus of the new administration’s focus  must be directed at the possibility of mustering the political will to undermine the mystified Nigerian Factor, and face the global neoliberal consensus in order to begin the crafting of an enabling policy architecture to drive development. And to achieve this translates to creating the delicate balance between ‘doing the right things’ (a function of decision making quotient) and ‘doing it right’(project and change management effectiveness), and overcoming the various political, cultural, structural and systemic constraints that trapped past well-meaning policies and intentions of Nigerian leaders in the dynamics of implementation.

There is first the conspiracy of elitist interest that ensures there is a poor resource allocation that focuses on elite bargain than development calculations and taking care of the national interest. Other constraints follow: (a) the disconnect between policy design and implementation due to  weak  implementation planning, risk assessment and incompetent change management strategies; (b) unstable and poorly managed macroeconomic policies; (c) policy and project discontinuity; (d) public service low capability readiness; (e) political interference; and finally (f) deep-seated political and bureaucratic corruption. In essence, development has failed not because Nigeria lacks the blueprint or paradigms to make it happen, but due to the dynamics of the politics that the political elite plays with Nigeria’s development potential.

Let me outline what we can regard as the “politics of policy implementation” that Nigeria has played for many years, a politics the new administration must take into serious consideration if it
does not want to fall into the category of failed administration right before it commences. This politics throws Nigeria’s development and policy non-performance right into the frame of the 2005 World Bank review findings about policy and development projects in Africa. According to the finding, 29% of development projects ever get completed, 45% of on-going projects are rated as satisfactory, while 26% of such projects invariably get cancelled. Such a review can never backstop a solid development project of a developmental state.

The politics of policy implementation in
Nigeria is founded on the following assumptions and practices. One: there is that dangerous presumption, that the new administration must resist, that once policies and development plan are designed, they are automatically implemented by the public service. And such a presumption is against the background of a scant investment in implementation analysis and planning, as well as the failure to facilitate the capability review, determine public
administration system’s capability readiness, and strengthening of the MDAs as the powerhouse of government administrative functionality. The MDAs, that is, are not working according to any
specific theories or praxis of change that can guide the functional integration of blueprints or paradigms. This kind of policy inattention draws attention to the policy contradiction: launching a
national development plan and strategy that are not implementation- ready in terms of adequate capability review of the MDAs integral to ensuring implementation success. Two: this
presumption is compounded by the uncritical reliance of past governments on policy experts and consulting firms who are tasked with designing high-end policies that are then dumped on MDAs whose capability reviews and implementation readiness have been neglected in the first place. The
extroversion of the policy design is then compromised by poor functional integration. The truth is that most of these consulting firms lack the appropriate deep content and solution frameworks that are in tandem with the context of policy dysfunction they are supposed to work with. Three: governance policy or project are hardly subjected to feasibility test determined in terms of scope and expectation that are captured by their framework of time, cost and risk assessments before
they are pushed into implementation. This makes it very difficult to benchmark funding projections for these policies and projects against revenue estimations, as well as facilitating in-built flexibilities that enable the policies and projects to adjust to volatilities and contingencies.

All the issues raised above constitute binding constraint that will undermine any governance possibilities the new administration requires to make a success of democratic governance. Undermining the binding constraints demands returning to the fundamentals. The first and most significant is that the new administration needs to interrogate the framework of how government business is currently being conducted. Governance successes are necessarily a function of how government business engages the complexities of the policy design and execution processes within a results-oriented frame. And that entails undermining the structural gaps between policy objectives, development strategies and policy outcomes. This demands second, setting the public service on a performance curve with the institution of a performance management system. This means that the public service must, for example, unfailingly now deploy KPI-based metrics to replace the cumbersome annual performance evaluation report (APER). And at the backend, it becomes imperative to have a monitoring and evaluation system supported by databases that enable staff and program continuous assessment, human resource development rooted in iterativep performance gap identification, supervisors-staff dialogue and multisource feedback mechanismsf for overall national development policy tracking and reporting.

The governance mantra must be on getting the balance between doing the right things and doing it right. And this cannot be achieved through the wanton multiplication or even duplication of
governance plans, programs and blueprints. What is needed is sequencing the blueprints into a coherent and feasible implementation programme, with the right amount of political will behind it. This gives the success of democratic governance a 95% chance of succeeding. The new administration  needs that fighting chance!

. Olaopa, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor of Public Administration .

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Rigged Elections And The Moral Burden Of Illegitimacy



Prof. Hope Eghagha

By  Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Adamu: A man who rigs his way to power carries a moral burden!

Orezime: A moral what?

Adamu: You heard me, didn’t you?

Orezime: I’m not sure I heard you right. Moral what you said?

Adamu: A moral burden, I said!

Orezime: Hahahahahahaha! You make me laugh! Are you from the moon?

Gani: Or Mars?

Emeka: In which country? In Nigeria? That principle does not apply in Nigeria! There is no moral burden on anybody in this country! The election which produced Bubu in 2015 was rigged. Where are the two million voters from Kano State who voted in 2015? Was an INEC official not burnt alive after that election? The one which brought Obj to power was also rigged by the forces which wanted him to ease the tension of the Abiola tragedy on the Yoruba people. Yet those men had the temerity to preach against corruption!

Orezime: The international community winked at the whole exercise.

Gani: Yes! That’s why those two could only preach; they couldn’t really act decisively. A moral burden? They spoke from both sides of their mouths on the issue of corruption. The late President Yar Adua confessed that the election which produced him was compromised. An honest man, he didn’t live long enough to right the wrong of the period!

Orezime: That’s why I laughed when Adamu talked about a moral burden arising from rigged elections.

Bankole: In the ideal world, any power that is stolen and acquired through a dubious means imposes a moral burden on the power holder. No matter what the person does, that power remains stained.

Orezime: What does that amount to in our country? Even the brigands who shot their way to power in the notorious days of military misadventure in Nigeria soon became legitimate.

Emeka: You are going too far in our history. See what happened in Lagos State in the governorship elections of March 18. Ethnic jingoists went about preaching hatred against Igbo people and warned them against coming out to exercise their constitutional rights. Security officials looked the other way when ballot boxes were snatched in broad daylight in places where the opposition was leading.

Gani: A serving state governor personally went about snatching ballot boxes and threatened to shoot whoever got in his way. The same governor declared somebody wanted without recourse to the Inspector General of Police! He worked against the party on which platform he won the seat to spite the party hierarchy!

Adamu: And to think that this is the President-elect’s state. He kept mute through the horrendous attacks on Igbo people in Lagos State just the way the incumbent president has looked the other way when herdsmen went on the loose!

Bankole: Rigged elections are so familiar yet notorious in our land. It was the main trigger to the crisis in the Western Region in the First Republic because the people reacted when they saw a rape of their rights and wishes! It soon snowballed into a conflagration that consumed the nation in the late 1960s. Already, the youths are talking about a protest in the ENDSARSNOW# manner. I hope it doesn’t result in disaster. We have lost too many lives already!

Orezime: What I fear is the rise of ethnic profiling in a supposedly democratic society. To be sure, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party hierarchy did not single out any ethnic group for verbal attacks. They even courted them. Yet they didn’t caution their followers to stop the degeneration into ethnic hatred. It is a dangerous curve what is happening in Lagos. I don’t subscribe to the Lagos is no man’s land nonsense which some misguided fellows are spewing, but threatening anybody not to vote their candidate is a new low! Can a Sanwo-Olu victory be said to be legitimate if a significant percentage of the electorate is disenfranchised?

Emeka: Good question. They did not stop there. They rolled out the culturally dreaded Oro rituals on election night. Come on! Who is fooling who? The Oro festival was designed to drive fear into non-Yoruba in Lagos. In the 21st Century?

Gani: I am sure the reports from election observers will be damning.

Bankole: I don’t care about those biased observers.

Adamu: Where are we headed in this country?

Orezime: We are on the road to Kigali!

Bankole: May we not travel that route!

Orezime: It’s a good prayer. But what are we doing to avoid the descent into anarchy? Nothing. Those monkeys are simply interested in acquiring power.

Gani: The Obedient Movement seems to have lost steam once it was misbranded as an ethnic agenda to grab power at the national level. Peter Obi needs to tread carefully so he doesn’t become another June 12! Some people are egging him on to challenge INEC through protests.

Orezime: If he decides to lead a protest, it would be within his constitutional right to do so, especially as INEC is stalling on the issue of inspecting elections materials despite an order from the courts. Peaceful protests are guaranteed by the Constitution.

Adamu: No one can be sure whether a peaceful protest will remain peaceful after it starts. That’s the experience the ENDSARS people had.

Gani: It’s not enough to stop people from taking to the streets. Protests are fundamental to democracy.

Adamu: We do not want dead heroes! Mark my words.

Bankole: That’s ominous!

Emeka: It means nothing. Nigeria must change. We cannot go on like this forever! Things are just going down. No cash. No fuel. No power supply. No security. No nothing.  Peter Obi gave a glimmer of hope. Now that has been dashed to the ground.

Adamu: Rigging will remain a moral burden each time our President-elect travels outside the country, each time he meets foreign observers, especially those ones who have a dossier on him. History will also judge him and assess how he came to power. This applies to all the states as well where some politicians have turned themselves into demigods and have compromised poor INEC officials with mouthwatering sums. This is not how to build a democracy. The votes must be counted and must count. Seventeen people have their lives during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. We are supposed to count ballot papers, not bodies. Sad!

Bankole: The moral burden of rigged elections is on all of us. Without our connivance there would be no rigging. We can only hope that this will end some day!

Emeka: Tough luck!


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Professors On INEC’s Will (2)



Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement
Prof. Tony Afejuku

By Tony Afejuku

On Thursday, 2 March, 2023, the Financial Times based in London, England published a blistering editorial on the February 25, 2023 Presidential election which up to now is the talk of everywhere beyond our shores. The said Financial Times editorial was entitled “Nigerians badly flawed election fails to set an example.”  Indeed, it was a positively blistering presentation as any positively blistering presentation can be. Professor Olu Obafemi FNAL; NNOM drew the attention of the literati to the editorial that argued succinctly that “If Tinubu’s victory is challenged the courts should take a hard` look.”  In his summation of the editorial Professor Olu Obafemi, who headed the debating literati, said he had nothing to add to the efficacious editorial but he would be happy – by my inference – to have the viewpoints of others. Thereafter the debate began. The arguments and counter-arguments began. Whose will was INEC propagating:  Was it its will or the will of the cabal in the presidency or the will of the Nigerian people?

    By the way, be it noted here and now that the Financial Times, though headquartered in London as already indicated, is owned by Japanese, by Nikkei, a Japanese holding company with “core editorial offices across Britain, the United States and continental Europe.” Why this point is necessary here will reveal itself in the debate I hereby tender to fit my creative and journalistic purpose. But you will notice that there is a shift in focus from the substance of the editorial to the question of anti-black or anti-African Western propaganda.

This is how Professor Ademola Da Sylva, FNAL puts it:

    “The Western media are so powerful that they have their ways of turning non-Western genuine patriots and revolutionaries to look like some nameless demons all because they failed to toe servile line as underdogs! Idi Amin, for example, might not get it right in his choice of modus operandi, but he knew what he wanted for his Uganda people. His successful ejection of the British Asians was one of his policies that did not go down well with the hegemons because it devastated the British economy. So the Western media descended on him and painted him as a blood-sucking Dracula! Of course, there were Uganda compradors and cronies of multinationals from within who tried to undermine Amin’s revolution, too. Dedan Kimathi was also considered a “terrorist and a bandit” by the British imperialists; they got him arrested and hanged him, but we know he wasn’t a demon they tried to make us believe he was! Furthermore, no matter what we may think of Mugabe, the immediate past Zimbabwe President, he meant well for his country, he revoked the licences of large parcels of fertile lands, and also a large chunk of the lands from the White occupants and re-distributed the lands among the black peasants. That was ordinarily unthinkable in Africa by an African leader who wanted justice and equity for his people, but he did it and called the bluff of the West. Again, the Western media took over from there, painted a devil of him, and many Africans uncritically swallowed the gambit, too!  The first accusation of the West against these patriotic leaders has always been that they were antidemocrats! Democracy is anti-African governance principles. It is the primary reasons why we never get it right, but it has always paid the West because it keeps Africa underdeveloped to the advantage of the West. The truth is: Why would you want to change a leadership that is up and doing, responsible and responsive, and doing very well, why? That principle foregrounds our sense of monarchy. A king remains on the throne for as long as his reign brings progress and security. Where a king fails, as in the cases of the indigenous Yoruba Obas, he is made to commit a voluntary suicide, and another Oba replaces him. Anyway, let me pause here.”

    Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano’s stroke goes thus: “My view is that if humans have (or bear) an original sin, according to Christian eschatology, and if humans need to pray and carry out religious duties to be worthy of divine grace, and if secular education requires progressive edification of humans, and if humans are brutes unless they are inserted into a humane culture complete in all its sides (as Matthew Arnold has argued), and if the classical calculators looked forward not to human nature, with its brutal immersion in self-interest and wars and strife, and if humans have repeatedly to struggle to rise above their petty narrowness, then how can their voting behaviour or action be perfect, pristine or excellent? Those who expect a perfect electoral behaviour or outcome in a country brutalized by a savage economic policy and an insensitive and thieving cast of state officials, and the electors riven by religious and ethnic divisions are expecting a miracle. Yet at the local level, the electors did succeed in electing a new set of people to represent them. The problem with macro analysis is that it is positivism at its worst. At the micro level, the elections were expressive of the will of the people. In Kano State, for example, the newly formed NNPP swept the board with more than 18 out of the available 22 seats for the House of Reps and 2 out of the 3 Senate seats.  Thousands turned out to vote. Finally, why should we believe anything the Western press says about us? Look at their reporting of the war in Ukraine. They keep saying, against the evidence and the facts, that Ukraine is winning the war with Russia, despite the former being slaughtered on the battlefield and having lost a staggering number of soldiers.

    “Humour comes from the ridiculous and the ridiculous from the comical. Here is an example of a statement that is hilarious because it is ridiculous and ridiculous because it is comical: “Ladies and gentlemen, meet the newly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Reverend Mullah Professor Mr. Mallam IBK of Madagascar!”

 Do I have any doubt that our readers will find it hard and uneasy to follow the mind patterns and strokes of the debaters who are trying in their peculiar ways to say something tangibly tangible about our will as voters and INEC’s will as electoral umpire? Not at all!

To be continued.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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