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In My Opinion: Dear politicians, walk the (democratic) talk, or keep quiet – Buchi Obichie

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In My Opinion

In My Opinion: Another Democracy Day was celebrated in the country on Tuesday, May 29, 2018; and as usual, politicians seized the occasion to bombard the airwaves and social media with messages espousing norms and ideals that the country should live up to.

At the same time, they used the occasion to highlight whatever achievements they think they have made, and also take subliminal shots at their opponents; turning the day into an occasion for self promotion – self promotion on overdrive, considering the fact that the 2019 elections are just around the corner. I tried to read through as many of them as I could; but I had to stop when it started to feel like I was going through campaign manifestos! Phew!

These politicians are a wonderful lot. Their ability to shamelessly tout ideals and accomplishments that often times only exist in the realm of their imaginations is truly the stuff of great comedy. They like to imagine that they are some sort of statesmen on this great democratic stage; when for the most part, most of them would not even recognize Democracy, even if it appeared to them in a brown envelope – a very popular staple in the field of Nigerian politics.

When the late great Abraham Lincoln used the occasion of his famous Gettysburg Address to extol those who fought and died in defense of democratic principles during the Civil War, he described the system of government as that which is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” and prayed that it would not perish from the earth.

However, going by what Lincoln saw democracy to be, I dare say that we cannot give our leaders over here a high grade in living up to its tenets. Is this so-called ‘Democracy in Nigeria‘ really of the people, by the people and for the people; or is this country’s system of government really an ‘Oligarchy’, where a few elites have held sway from time immemorial, to the detriment of the many?

It is hypocritical, and even quite ironical, that Nigerian politicians – many of whom came into office via undemocratic means, rubbishing the will of the people and scheming their way into power – would suddenly become vocal champions of democratic values, one day of the year! What do they know about the rule of law, when they themselves do not obey the rule of law; and employ extra-judicial measures to keep their opponents and others in check?

What do they know about the dividends of democracy when many Nigerians are not really allowed to participate in the democratic process on established platforms, because they do not have a certain standing in society, or are not backed up by ‘powerful forces’? Even when these people form their own platforms, they are not permitted to stand on equal footing as others, and are stifled out via rigging and intimidation. What do they know about credible processes – one of the tenets of democracy – when elections are not really free and fair?

In My Opinion Continues…

PAY ATTENTION: Democracy Day Full Speech – President Muhammadu Buhari 

What do they know about the gains of free and open societies when the majority of the people cannot enjoy the wealth of the nation; because it is shared, piece by piece, amongst cabal members? What do they know about democratic norms when free speech is tagged as hate speech and citizens are fearful of voicing opposition so that they do not get thrown into jail?

And what do they even know about democracy and statesmanship, when they have not really made any worthy sacrifices for the nation? The true mark of any democratic government would be when the citizens can truly testify that they are reaping dividends. Do not get me wrong, Nigeria has come a long way. We have come past the days of coups and counter coups, when military officers seized power at will. We have also experienced a transition of power, peacefully, from a ruling party to an opposition party. We are thankful. However, we have not gotten to the Promised Land…it is not yet Uhuru! These politicians who use the occasion of May 29 to give speeches that they mostly did not even write, would serve the nation better, if they actually commit themselves to living up to the words.

In My Opinion continues…

It is my hope and prayer that by the next Democracy Day in 2019, everyone occupying public office would actually be the people’s choice, and that these leaders would serve as they should – that they would respect the rule of law; not stifle free speech; work hard for the people; not squander the nation’s resources; ensure that the nation’s wealth trickles down to the poorest Nigerian; be worthy ambassadors of the country and strengthen its image, home and abroad; commit to true national development; encourage discussions from all citizens that would help move the country forward; promote national unity and reconciliation; among others. But if they cannot commit themselves to these, then they should do us a great favour and keep quiet! Let us enjoy our public holiday in peace! This opinion piece was written by Buchi Obichie.

In My Opinion Section updated.

Credits: Naij

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Business Africa

Namibia Bans Cattle Movement Following Food, Mouth Disease Outbreak

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Namibia bans cattle movement following food, mouth disease outbreak Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/10/namibia-bans-cattle-movement-following-food-mouth-disease-outbreak/

Namibia has placed a ban on the movement of all cloven-hoofed animals and their products in the country’s Kavango East region after an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was confirmed.

In a statement, the executive director of  Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture Percy Misika said that Namibia had detected a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the FMD protection zone.

The Executive Director added that all movement of animals across the Namibian or Angolan international borders has also been suspended.

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“All animal gatherings such as auctions and cultural shows are suspended including the slaughtering of cloven-hoofed animals except vaccinations,” Misika said.

Misika said surveillance teams have been sent to the region to establish the extent of the outbreak and So far, investigations by officials showed that 13 out of 657 cattle tested positive for FMD.

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President Buhari Warns ECOWAS Against Tenure Elongation

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President Buhari Warns ECOWAS Against Tenure Elongation

President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly warned that with the enormous socio-economic and security challenges confronting west Africa, the sub- region cannot afford another political crisis in the guise of tenure elongation.

Buhari said this while addressing the 57th Extraordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, the Republic of Niger.

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“It is important that as leaders of our individual member states of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.

“As it is, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic matters to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot therefore afford another political crisis, in the guise of tenure elongation,’’ he said.

He also expressed worry over the premature adoption of ECO as a single currency by French speaking West African Countries, stressing the need for them to return to the agreed roadmap.

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Nigerian Stocks Beat Global Slowdown With N154B Gain

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Nigerian Stocks Beat Global Slowdown With N154B Gain

Nigerian stocks continued to increase as investors took advantage of low share prices and continued to buy bargain stocks throughout the week, resulting in the stock price closing with an average return (increase) of 1.17% at the weekend, the second highest gain among global advanced and emerging markets. Kenya recorded an average return (increase) of 3.4%

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Trading reports at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend showed the overall consensus across the market was for buying stocks across major sectors as investors continued to react positively to news of how much money is being made by companies in the first half of 2020. The benchmark index for Nigerian equities, the All Share Index (ASI), closed weekend with average increase of 1.17 per cent, equivalent to a net increase across all the shares in the index of N154 billion

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