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Shift to Parliamentary system: Ex-President Obasanjo tells proponents it should reflect ‘Afro Democracy ‘



By Gloria Ikibah

Ex-Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has advocated for an admixture of local content if Nigeria must shift from presidential system to Parliamentary.

Obasanjo also expressed support for the ongoing call for a shift from presidential democracy being currently practised by Nigeria.

Obasanjo made this disclosure during a meeting with the group of House of Representatives members, who are at forefront of the campaign, on Tuesday also stated that the adopted western liberal democracy has failed to deliver, and even failing its originators, urging the lawmakers to adopt something like ‘Afro-Democracy’ as an alternative.

The former president also cautioned that lawmakers that they should not be too hopeful in getting fast results for their ongoing efforts, as doing so will end up disappointing them.

He said “We statrted on a faulty base, and what is a faulty base; western liberal democracy. Our problem started from what we inherited from our colonial masters, so it is up to us to do what you are trying to do. Western liberal democracy brought in opposition, and what’s opposition? Enemy.

There’s nothing in western liberal democracy that is African, Nothing.

“For a long time, we should have sat down and say yes. Even the people who we inherited it from, it is no longer serving them the purpose”, stressing that what Nigerians were known for was “Communalism”, where there was mutual relationship, and decisions made through consensus. “That’s our life. That’s our way of life”, he submitted.

The former leader noted that if Nigeria had wondered away, and realised that it was a mistake in adopting western liberal democracy which has failed to deliver,  “nothing is wrong in coming back home like the prodigal son. It can be done. It should be done”, advising the group to adopt a name outside “parliamentary system” for something more afrocentric, to wade off undue opposition.

To the group of lawmakers on the ongoing move, he said “don’t expect results tomorrow. Don’t expect results tomorrow,  if not, you’ll be disappointed”, as he gave them his word that “I will join you…we’re in the same boat”.

Speaking earlier, leader of the group, and Minority Leader of the House, Rep Kingsley Chinda, argued that the presidential system of government as being practiced in Nigeria today “is so burdensome. It is so difficult for us as a nation, make that move that we require with this heavy loads on our shoulders, and so we are thinking on how to contribute our own quota to this nation.

“We’ve listened to leaders like you, that are actually role models. We are saying that a home-grown system of government that will be more accountable, a system that will make leaders more  responsive and accountable to the people. Having studied this deep, we felt that something close to parliamentary, but a home-grown one, not the British parliamentary system but something that will emerge from within, to reduce the burden of government, to make it more responsible and accountable” was what they were canvassing.

Also, spokesman of the group, Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki while appreciating the former president for honouring their invitation, disclosed that a national dialogue on the subject matter is up for early July in the group’s bid to gather wider inputs, as well as an essay competition for Nigerian students both within and outside the country.

“Based on that, just a week ago, we put out an essay competition for all students that are in universities all across the globe, to participate in what they think is best for Nigeria. We tagged it home-grown parliamentary system, but with your advice today, I believe we are going to have a meeting to reconsider the proposal.

“As we are moving, we are learning new things everyday. As at today, I can tell you, we have almost 500 essays that have been written on that platform by persons interested in making Nigeria a better nation”, Dasuki disclosed.

He used the opportunity to appeal to Obasanjo to honour the National Discuss billed for July 1st, 2024.

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No Amount Of Foreign Aid Can Save Nigeria – Says Tinubu, Gives Reason



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday stated that no amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation will fix Nigeria because “they take care of themselves first.”

The President said this when he appeared before a joint sitting of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Tinubu’s visit to the lawmakers comes as the nation marked 25 years of unbroken democracy.

The President stepped into the parliament at 12:28pm, accompanied by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima.

Upon his arrival, the lawmakers recited the new national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee” which the President had earlier signed into law.

He briefed the MPs and praised them for their efforts in preserving the nation’s democracy for over two decades.

He continued: “Out of respect, I want to say thank you very much. This is the institution building the country.

“Our friends, old and new, to every Nigerian, I say congratulations to 25 years of unbroken democracy.”

“You rang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn.”

The Senate and the House of Representatives had previously passed the legislation to swap the national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” at separate sittings.

Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria during its independence, penned the lyrics for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” while Frances Berda composed the music. The anthem played a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s national identity and unity during the 1960s and late 1970s.

He said, “Without this house (parliament), probably, I may not have found the path to the Presidency. It started all here. Please, continue to collaborate and work together. We have no other choice. It is our nation.”

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Reno Omokri Criticizes Tinubu Government: Calls Return of Old National Anthem a Step Backward and Unnecessary act



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Reno omokri a former Aide to President Goodluck Jonathan had reacted to changing of the Nigerian anthem to the old anthem, In a tweet on X (formerly known as Twitter) , he said “My heart is very heavy about Nigeria right now because, in my opinion, we just took a giant step backwards in our national journey. Now, do not get me wrong, I support the current economic policies of my country. Fuel subsidy removal and Naira flotation are necessary policies that any lover of Nigeria should adhere to regardless of party affiliation.

One of the most unnecessary acts of governance in Nigeria in recent times is the law returning the old National Anthem. First of all, there was nothing wrong with the existing anthem. Secondly, with all of the multifaceted issues we face, it seems like we have a lack of priorities, when we major on such a settled issue as an anthem.

To me, it looks like a step backwards to discard the ‘Arise, O Compatriots’ National Anthem written by a collective of young Nigerians, including John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P. O. Aderibigbe in 1978, for ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’, written by an English woman, Lillian Jean Williams.

Does it not sound preposterous that a foreigner should write our National Anthem? Are we that shallow and uninspired that we cannot come up with our own indigenous anthem? You can imagine the land of such music icons, like Fela Kuti, Osita Osadebe, Dan Maraya Jos, and contemporary stars, like Sade Adu, Burna Boy, Davido and Wizkid, importing music of national significance from Britain. As my Yoruba brethren will say, ‘O wrong now!’

Already, the name Nigeria was given to us by another English lady, Flora Shaw. And she named us in 1897 in much the same way you name a dog. She did it tongue in cheek, for an article she wrote for The Times of London.

We ought to have even changed that name to something indigenous, such as the Republic of Wazobia, as Ghana did in 1957 when she changed from Gold Coast to Ghana at Independence in 1957.

We should also have reverted to the original name for Lagos, Eko. Lagos is an imposed Portuguese name. The annoying thing is that the Portuguese who renamed Eko as Lagos were just opportunistic slave traders who did not set up any viable administrative structure.

Instead of undertaking these name changes, we are rather doubling down on another colonial relic by discarding the anthem written by our own citizens for one written by a foreigner.

I dare anyone reading this to name another country whose National Anthem was written by a foreigner. Even a Banana Republic would not do that!

In my humble opinion, President Tinubu ought not to have assented to that bill. Instead, he should have written a strongly worded letter to communicate to the National Assembly the implications on our sovereignty and national psyche to revert to an anthem written by a foreigner, which would make us a free nation that willingly chose to return to the yoke of imperialism.

Is it too late for the President to do what he ought to have done? No. He is our Head of State and has a duty to promote indigenous ideas over imperialistic ones”.

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APC Lawmakers throw weight behind Ado Bayero



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

As the emirship tussle continues in Kano State, the 12 members of the All Progressives Congress in the House of Assembly have pledged allegiance to the 15th Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero.

Led by the minority leader, Labaran Abdul Madari, the 12 lawmakers from APC paid homage to Ado Bayero at the Nassarawa Palace after the assembly’s plenary session on Tuesday.

Recall that a crisis has broken out since the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano at the weekend, after Governor Abba Yusuf repealed the five emirates council.

Both Sanusi and Ado Bayero have refused to bow to pressure of different court orders asking them to vacate the palace.

This has created tension in the city as different organisations including the police, ulamas, eminent figures, lawyers, politicians have tried to wade in to resolve the matter but the two sides refused to budge.

Meanwhile, as the APC lawmakers in the State House paid a visit to Ado Bayero, Kantin Kwari Market Traders Association did the same to Sanusi on Tuesday.

The delegation of the traders led by the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Adamu Aliyu Kibiya, was at the emir’s palace, Kofar Kudu to register their allegiance and loyalty to the monarch.

Sanusi enjoined the traders to uphold the principles of honesty and fairness in all their business transactions, noting that Kano remains a leading commercial centre, attracting merchants from outside the country because of the contribution of traders.

The emir has been receiving visitors coming to pay homage since Sunday when 40 district heads and title holders pledged their allegiance.

Findings showed that vigilante groups and local hunters (Yan Tauri) are still keeping vigil at the palace.

Five DSS operatives were seen manning an entrance to one of the offices of the emir at Gidan Rumfa.

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