September 27, 2022

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Where Is Nigeria In Science And Technology? -By Jide Ojo
Beware Ogun Central: SAS is a Ticking Time Bomb -By Temidayo Akinyele
Vision 2020, Political Development Enterprise in a Country of Giant Children -By Jimi Bickersteth
Sadique Abubakar and Nigeria’s Air Supremacy -By Greg Odogwu
‘Japa’ And One Life To Live -By Lekan Sote
Conversations At Kaduna Book And Arts Festival -By Namse Udosen
Structural Anomaly of the Nigerian State -By Ambi Moses
Unauthorized Video Recording Of Persons In Public And Their Fundamental Right To Privacy In Nigeria: A Myth Or Reality? -By Oyetola Muyiwa Atoyebi & Emmanuel C. Sogo
What Is The Meaning Of Magnum Opus? -By Joe Dauda
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The Role Of Arbitration In Relation To Doping Issues In Athletes -By Oyetola Muyiwa Atoyebi & Jedidiah F. Akpata
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Nigeria: Avoiding Lebanon’s Sectarian Trap -By Abachi Ungbo
A New Structural Reform Programme -By Olugbenga Jaiyesimi
The Role Of Luck In Wealth Creation -By Ambi Moses
Shaky foundation for 2023 fiscal budget -By Sheriffdeen Tella
Nigeria’s Invidious Inflation -By Kene Obiezu
Revisiting Structural Adjustment Programme of 1986 -By Olugbenga Jaiyesimi
University Teachers’ Strike: Why Nigerian Govt Is Not Perturbed -By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
Admonitions to Newly Matriculated Ladokites -By Olayode Inaolaji
ASUU Strike: 5 affordable private universities to consider
ASUU MATTERS: Comparing apples with apples -By Leonard Karshima Shilgba
Do We Still Value Education In Nigeria? -By Adekunle Adekoya
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How Bola Tinubu’s achievement as Lagos Governor may take him to Aso Rock in 2023 -By Mutiu Olagunju
2023 Elections: What We Must Get Right -By Olalekan Odewale
Wike And The Exegesis Of The PDP Crisis -By Hajia Hadiza Mohammed
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Strengthening NBA-SBL for enhanced performance -By Adewale Kupoluyi
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Relevant Laws On Settlement Of Football Disputes -By Oyetola Muyiwa Atoyebi & Ibrahim Wali
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From the point of view of national development, the development planning experience was a history of misplaced priorities and missed opportunities. Although oil revenues allowed government to invest increasingly in strategic industries, a coherent plan for industrial linkage, integration and self-reliance is yet to be seen. There remain too many gaps in the industrial mix.
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“How beautiful, how buoyant, and glad is morning!” — L.E.Landon
The harmattan breeze was
fresh and cool, the train was rolling its bogey clumsily. I felt alone in a wonderful world. Wrapped in a strange peace, I stood there taking no heed of time, and as 2023 nvariably, come into site one became lost in a reverie and an aura of contemplation about us, about our nation and things in general. There were fleecy white clouds hovering above this beautifully laid out locality, nestling right down to the sea was the sleeping village glided and bewildered by the early morning sunlight.
If you’ve ever been to Langalanga, you’ll see the valley and the curve, and 
every time we went round a particularly appalling curve, some curve it was, if you can photograph the front part of a train from the back and with the valley in the background. It looked awfully dangerous. One often do not think of such simple things. No one could possibly tell it had been taken from the back of the train. Taken from the train. Engine going round a curve.

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It was rather a wonderful trip and sight. The mountain all around, through which the train turned and twisted and laboured ever steadily upwards. Beyond sheer optimism, patriotic fervour and some measure of prayer in the believe that things would change for the better when some forces somewhere answers our supplications, what you see presently is a country of giant children.
The Nigeria of our making and passions emerging out of the Nigeria of our dreams, with all barking up the wrong tree, being led completely astray with our acquiescence and complicity by politicians. With no one being an authority on the nation’s politics and the direction of its policies.
The woes were compounded by its complex political history, if not simply complicated, because it was written in another culture, and in another language and setting, thus, copying it, translating it, modifying and applying it evidently was no small task. Translating it and applying it for the general society has been daunting. It involved understanding the truth as it was significant to the culture from where it came, then translating that significance to the nation’s politics and life to-day.
Given the climate of recession in which the nation marked her 62nd year of independence, reflected that the Nigerian state owes its foundation, not to the interests and initiative of its present-day citizens or their forebears. It was an enterprise whose character and fortunes reflect the circumstances of its formation; and, the concerns of the land and its people were merely incidental to the purposes of the State.
Since ‘flag’ independence, 

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the various governments began to look at and seek solutions to the problems of the country from the point of view of Nigerian citizens. It was a formidable task, considering that the system inherited was otherwise oriented, and considering, even more critically, that the political leaders (military or civilians) themselves were, for the most part, products
and beneficiaries of that system and had internalized many of its values and imbibed much of the style and attitudes of its creators.
The problems were eminently supreme(“B’omode se tête ji  oko lonba kukute”), in spite of the haphazard attempt the problems persist. The nation and its blind adventure in public management kept wallowing in crisis, a downward plunge of the state of the economy and the condition of the people were added spices.
At the end of the sixty-two years of independence, the Nigerian Nation was in crisis. The roots of this crisis go deeper than the mismanagement and malfeasances of the last few years, into the kind of society and economy we have created, into the way
the system works. Because, basically, the nation carried on the colonial tradition of dependent and externally-oriented development. It was yet to sufficiently addressed itself to the task of defining the national goals, and mobilising and organising the people, and managing its resources to attain them.

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From the point of view of national development, the development planning experience was a history of misplaced priorities and missed opportunities. Although oil revenues allowed government to invest increasingly in strategic industries, a coherent plan for industrial linkage, integration and self-reliance is yet to be seen. There remain too many gaps in the industrial mix.
There is a very high level of external dependence with its attendant vulnerability. The reservoirs of resources and skills represented by the nation’s small-scale industries remain largely untapped. Social development, curiously considered non-productive, has been consistently neglected, the only major effort being in education. The primacy accorded the transport and communication sector continues to bear testimony to the external dependence of our development strategy.
The changes in the character, size and scope of government have not been matched by corresponding changes in the size, structure, orientation, organization and methods of the public service. This was creating difficulties. Thus, maintaining the antiquated tradition of bureaucratic aloofness, the civil service leadership still has very limited access to the people and often is in no position to identify with, inspire or mobilize them.
The nation was completely definitive in its judgment of the rot and misapplication all around its body polity. With unbreakable strategy, its Societé Anonyme and moving dynamics got the nation moving like the second hand of a wristwatch tick would in spasmodic jerks. The questions about the way forward and the numerous answers went around and around in my mind, like a rudderless carousel with the wooden horses prancing up and down on their steep poles; and as fast as I reached for one idea, another would pop up, that seemed more logical.
Whatever that was making the economic and political emancipation growth, development, and planning wirhout goals unworkable, there would be no time for deliberately planned action, survival would depend on the sheer speed of a collective initiative and physical reaction. But, first, the nation must begin to move in the right direction by doing something on the degree of animosity, disagreement concordiale, beetled brows and faces turning themselves into a humourless parody of friendliness. Venom from lips that barely moved, the tone quiet with vowels as liquid as the water still beading on the body after a bath. We seemed not to be talking to ourselves again, when we do, its on tribal lines, this was making the journey a tedious one.

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One is beginning to have an inkling why. Why politicians are callous and
cold-blooded, why the nation was where and how it was, in spite of itself and the parlous state of infrastructure, desolate grandeur and an infantile disguise, there was something new and exciting to see everyday. Hope – that is.
While still struggling with ill-defined, menacing dreams, it has become clear to me that to get the nation into the 2020s and beyond defensive tactics must be adopted as well as aggressive ones. Are we ready? To be ready, needs brain-work and collective creative ingenuity not allied to a weak and tumorous Constitution and a grand vizier, so to speak, of the All Highest. Who have always have an explanation for every ills and everything that has befallen the nation, Y–es, but they’re not very convincing in the least, and that’s why the palliatives proposed and applied to the nation’s woes were not given the desired results.
It is time indeed for the nation’s reposed politicians, though without character and charm, to begin to deal with the nation’s shattered dreams, broken connections and truncated destinies that have come to occupied a good deal of the nation’s three-dimensional space as best as they could. Best so for the present and the future.
By and by the character of the country changed. Great boulders appeared, piled up into fantastic shapes. I felt suddenly that I had got into a primitive era, ex-Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Women politicians outnumbered by their male counterparts, worship physical strength in men: it’s what they once had and have lost (remember Eden). The men pursuing ambition, just that – pursuing ambition. “By that sin fell the angels…”.

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In this locale in the eastern district of the federation I was struggling with a headache and was watching through the window where a bouquet-shaped white mist hovered over one portion of the bush; it was fresh and lovely, and everywhere, as far as one could see, were the undulating wooded hills. I loved it – loved it more than any place I had ever seen. I wished then that I could have a little hut somewhere in the heart of the scrub and live there always – always. Run away from the filth, rut and rot of Abuja and or Lagos.
There must have been giants once, and their children were just like children are to-day – they played with handful of pebbles, piling them up and knocking them down, and the more cleverly they balanced them, the better placed they were. A country of giant children. Simple, primitive, big with embarrassment of riches, much more than they know how and what to do with it.
When asked the question why perfectly rational policymakers in government do not always bring that analytical rationality to play on their policy formulation, or why some public problems and perception are not taken on as policies, one begins to gain increased insight into the character of our political order and how tragic it has been for the nation’s political systems.
A nation where opinions may differ as to what were and were not growing, but the conclusion of all regarding the nation’s growth and development is that of a giant country sleeping in the sun on a bag of basmatic Rice, teaching the people to realize life as it is – teaching them to be hard and ruthless. That’s the secret of strength and of success.
The relationship and how the people viewed its politicians even as they (the people) have resigned to fate was a marvelous sight, the great chasm its (hideous as sin politicians) 

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the rushing waters below and its veil of mist and spray (the nation and its resources) in front of everyone, parted every now and then to show the cataract of water ( the grand conspiracy, the national questions bordering on inequality, marginalisation, resources control, sociopolitical and religious conflicts, ethnic sentiments, nepotism and tribal jingoism) and then closed up again in its impenetrable mystery.
That to my mind has always been the fascination of the Nation – its elusive quality. You always think you’re going to see – and you never do. Everything seemed dream-like and unreal. What you see is the edge of precipice round the brink of the gorge overhanging the ravine. The US intelligence agency saw it too, way back. But for Providence would have been dashed to smithereens.
Most of them in the legislative and Exco chambers looked exactly like the Mock Turtle in ”Alice in Wonderland”, whose minds needs to be detached from their peculiarities and own justification and begin to think and work on what it is the people really want, desire and or need and what the priorities, correct priorities in the light of current dispensation should be.
By some miracle or other the nation have not been killed. Has been bruised, licked and left aching and very weak, but its alive. What are its politics! Would the era of zero-tolerance for corruption and unpardonable liberty last beyond 2023 and PMB or lapsed into oblivion of the looming APC Apocalypse and implosion in a ( ò’nhò sùkùsùkù dà wà) come easy go easy fashion.
With the nation’s youths and all the world before them – love, life, everything as against those old men with theirs

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behind them – scorched, spoiled, with a taste of bitter ashes still struggling to haggle for 2023 high offices in the nation’s political space. Some of whose betrayal of the trusts reposed  in them tore up the very roots of life and had left the nation paralysed but its people were leaving a peaceful existence, neither happy or unhappy – numbed of all feeling.
Good governance rather than government without rhyme and reason but goaded instincts would take all to a big clearing on the path of the 3p’s – progress, peace and prosperity. The processes must start today, the nation can no longer afford to leave it until a tomorrow.
PMB is not expected to
role-play the Trump way, perhaps reason why Donald labelled him “lifeless”, he should just confess the hidden things of dishonesty, keep building the wall until the job is done or tenure is over. Your friends don’t need an explanation, and your enemies won’t believe, if you held them at gunpoint. So he should stay focussed and to the best of your ability, get the job done.
PS.

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It seemed to me that the train just stopped whenever it felt like it, and no sooner had it done so that a horde of natives  materialised out of the empty landscape, holding up their haberdashery wares, and assorted fruits. I still think it was a miracle I was not left behind at some oasis of the line. Lagos, here I come!
#JimiBickersteth
Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and writer.
He can be reached on Twitter
@bickerstethjimi

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@alabaemanuel
Email
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