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SEEKING PEACE WITHOUT ENTHRONING JUSTICE, EQUITY & FAIR PLAY

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Of recent, General  Abdulsalami Abubakar former military Head of State who ushered in the current civilian democratic governance, which is in its 20th year, has been in the news. His National Peace Committee got the 2019 Presidential candidates to sign a peace accord or rather an accord for peace. Wonderful gesture! This is actually not the first time, this committee that seems to have no tenure limit has gone on its missionary assignment of preaching peace in the Nation. They did so in the lead up to the 2015 elections and got Jonathan and Buhari to sign an accord for peace. I also noticed that at the heat of the Cattle - Fulani/Herders conflict that threatened to consume Nigeria, they were active in preaching Peace and arranging some meetings. 

Over many years, General Yakubu Gowon, the man who led the Nigerian Civil War, who is also a member of this National Peace Committee, has been going round ‘praying’ for Nigeria. If the measure of the efficacy of his prayers is that Nigeria is …

THE NEW THREATS TO A CHALLENGED ECONOMY

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After fIve quarters of economic contraction (Q1 2016 - Q1 2017), Nigeria exited recession. With a positive 0.72% GDP growth in Q2 2017, economic recovery has been slow and grinding, reaching 1.9 % in Q1 2018 and declining to 1.5 % in Q2  2018. Consequent on this, the economic well-being of many Nigerians has been unsatisfactory. Indeed for many, there is actually no evidence that the recession was over. And this is understandable because unemployment and underemployment continued to grow reaching 40% in Q2 this year (Unemployment =18.8%: Underemployment = 21.2%). Because inflation, though moderated remains at double digit, combined with the high unemployment rate resulting to an improved misery index of 30% (the eight highest in the World, behind Argentina, Kosovo, South Africa, Mozambique, DRC, Yemen and Venezuela).  Indeed, the difficulties in the economy are logical, giving that a GDP growth of 1.5% against a population growth of 2.5% can only result in decline in GDP per capita, an…

HAS RELIGION IMPROVED THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA?

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There has been this argument as to whether Nigeria is a secular or non-secular state, religious or non- religious Nation. A secular state is a state which purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/non religion over other religions/ non religion. Secular states do not have a state religion. Some states become secular upon creation of the state, for example the USA or upon secularization of the state (e.g. France & Nepal). Historically, the process of secularizing states, typically involves granting religious freedoms, disestablishing state religion, stopping public funds being used for religion, freeing the legal system from religious control, freeing up educational system, tolerating citizens who change religion or abstain from religion and allowing politica…

EMPOWERING PHARMACISTS TO CHECK DRUG MISUSE & ABUSE IN NIGERIA

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In the year 2001 or thereabout, I was a member of a delegation of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) that visited President Olusegun Obasanjo at Aso Rock. The delegation was led by the President of the chamber at that time, Chief (Mrs) Priscillia Kuye SAN. When Mrs Kuye finished addressing the President, she graciously requested if I had something to add. I rose up to grab the opportunity. But before I would speak, she introduced me to the President as a Pharmacist and Chairman/CEO of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, a successor company of Pfizer Products Plc. As I tried to open my mouth, the President charged at me, “You Pharmacists, you are the ones that import Fake Drugs into the Country!”. I was stunned, but quickly remonstrated that his statement was untrue. When he insisted, I told him emphatically that no trained and licensed Pharmacist will deal in fake, adulterated or counterfeit drugs, except if he was insane (mentally deranged) or did so unknowingly.…

IT MUST BE MINIMUM PAY FOR MINIMUM WORK

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The National Labour movement represented by NLC and TUC is threatening to shut down the Nigerian economy soon if their demand for a minimum wage of thirty thousand Naira is not accepted by the Governments of Nigeria in the next few days. The Nigerian economy is still struggling despite the efforts of government and it will be disastrous to allow the labour to proceed on the planned indefinite strike. I must say that it is within the ambit of the labour movement to demand a review of the national minimum wage. I also  must state that I absolutely agree with labour that there is absolute need to review the minimum wage As at 2011 when the present minimum wage of eighteen thousand Naira came to effect,the exchange rate of the Naira against the US dollar was 156 Naira. Today it is about 363 Naira to the US dollar, and this represents 132 % depreciation. Since the last raise, inflation had climbed from 10.8 % to nearly 18% though it is now about 11.8% Therefore from every objective analys…

CREATING LEVEL PLAYING GROUND FOR NIGERA’S HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

I was in the United States of Nigeria recently and I felt that I needed to go to the clinic. My sister inlaw booked an appointment. When I arrived, I was warmly  received by a receptionist who gave me a form to fill. He was neatly dressed and after collecting my data, ushered me into a room. Soon afterwards a lady walked into the room to take my vital signs- blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature.Thishealthcare professional who I got to know was a nurse was decently dressed in a white over coat. But at first he could have passed as a medical doctor. He asked me a few questions and got me ready to see the physician. A few minutes after, the medical doctor also walked in wearing a white overall. He took his time to examine me, asking questions . At some point, he asked me to undress for a thorough physical examination.  Then he left. Thereafter some one I suspected must be a health technologist walked in with an ECG machine and  strapped some wires on my chest. When he finished, he l…

WHY HAVE THEY THROWN AMBODE INTO THE LAGOS LAGOON?

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Many Nigerians will remember the story of the threat which the Oba of Lagos was said to have issued to Ndigbo who lived in Lagos during the 2015 political season. Those who decide what happens in Lagos State were in great panic. They looked into their crystal balls and found that a majority of Ndigbo in Lagos had planned to vote for Jimmy Agbaje of PDP as governor of Lagos. All the political principalities in APC in Lagos went berserk. What to do? Oba of Lagos was recruited. He summoned some of the so called Eze Ndigbo in Lagos and issued the infamous threat. They must vote for Ambode of APC or they better be prepared to be thrown into the Lagos Lagoon. It was a desperate situation that demanded desperate action. Ambode went on to win the election. I do not know if the threat succeeded in frightening the Igbo Lagosians into voting for Ambode in order to stay alive or if it did not. But that threat actually awakened the Igbo, both in Lagos and elsewhere in Nigeria. When later in 2017, t…

THE INCONCLUSIVE CONCLUDED ELECTION

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There are ominous signs in the air. Seeds of instability are being sown and we seem to be watching helplessly. I held my breadth as I watched concluded election transit to inconclusive and the concluded return to inconclusive. On Saturday 22nd September 2018, Osun people went to vote for who would take over from Comrade Rauf Aregbosola as their governor. Rauf who became "popular" for owing arrears of workers' salaries was completing his very tumultuous tenure. It was a hotly contested election with an unprecedented number of parties-about 38 fielding candidates for the elections.                                                                                                                            
Everybody expected the competition to be fierce and so it was. The elections closed and were counted at the different pooling booths. Then collation started at ward levels and was concluded. Then it moved on to the Local Government Collation Centres and was concluded. The LG…