Google+ Followers

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

180 DAYS to SPAIN



INTRODUCTION


Some people are born to stay at home,others are born to travel. This story is about a trip. It is a story for people who travelled and enjoyed it, and for people who wanted to travel but never made it. It is a story of a young man, who after much hardship and disappointment, both in the university system and the labour market decided to leave Nigeria for Spain.
           Joe decided he would walk to Spain en route the Sahara Desert where he found himself sitting in the Sahara Desert by an empty road in 140 degrees Fahrenheit bake-oven heat, with approximately 1,600 miles between him and his destination. This journey, filled with discouragement, disappointment and even death, took him 180 days. It was a dare devil attempt .He lost several friends on the way and almost lost his own life.
           Unfortunately, he got to the point where he sighted and felt Spain but never entered Spain. For 180 days, the plan to enter Spain became a mere figment of his imagination.
My heartfelt desire is that you not only understand this story about traveling but also feel at least in part, like a member of the team. Whichever way you look at it; as a story about traveling; as a search for truth; or as a biography ,one thing is clear : It is entirely true. Joe did it.    



 HOW IT ALL STARTED
     Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? Why is it that some people enjoy better health, happier relationship, greater success in their careers and achieved financial independence and great wealth -and others do not?
      What is it that enables some people accomplish remarkable things and enjoy wonderful lives while so many others feel frustrated and disappointed?
      These questions were important to me when i started out in life .Right from my early days, i had dreams of being rich and doing great things in life. I had always wanted to be like other respected and recognised people in my neighbourhood.
      “Joe”, as close friends and people fondly called me, was not the person to be satisfied by what i had then. I was a believer of everything is possible as every sixteen year old kid would believe, maybe because i was exposed to motivational book and literatures early in life. I spent hours reading and searching for solutions to the overwhelming poverty all around me.
      I am from a large polygamous family, and the first son with six siblings from my mother. My father was a local farmer who could not support his family from the crops of his farm because the harvest was usually poor due to lack of money to purchase fertilisers and other farming implements . As it is the custom where i came from in the southern part of Nigeria where large polygamous families like my own find it hard to survive, everybody was on his/her own except for the mercies of the mothers. How far could my mother help to take care of my six siblings and i?  She however tried to make her children happy by providing what she could afford. She was hard working, she cultivated cassava and groundnuts for sale to make sure her children ate and were well taken care of. In all, she was a strong disciplinarian, a woman of prayer and a believer of destiny.   
        After years of searching and reading i came to understand that[1] [2]  “the key to success is for you to set one great challenging goal and be prepared to pay the price, overcome any obstacle and persist through any difficulty, until you finally achieve it”. There and then i made up my mind to get myself educated, by making the move to gain admission into one of the Nigeria universities .
          Such  plans in other countries especially developed nations should have been plain sailing, “but not here in Nigeria”, and certainly not the university i attended .Everything that could go wrong went wrong .At a point i thougth i was jinxed, yes; it looked like i was under a spell ! After all, it was not me alone. My fellow campus mates had the same problems too.
        What are the problems?
        They came in all shapes and sizes with different names too. Students unrest with the resultant riots were a regular occurrence. Often it ended in school closure; don’t even mention cult activities as good looking young men were becoming monsters overnight, such that violence became the order of the day! Each problem resulted in the locking of the school gates and everybody was usually asked to go home.
         We would spend endless weeks and months at home making our lives miserable and after several months they would recall the students, but before we could settle down we would again be confronted with the same situation. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) or Non Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASUU) go on strike frequently. The reason you find a program designed for four years lasting six or seven years and you can imagine what it was for medical students.
          Meanwhile, my relations-half brothers and sisters who had abandoned their education and travelled abroad were as we call it,        “making it”. They would come back from abroad “loaded” parading flashy cars and building the latest houses.

Copyright @180 days to Spain.                                                                    Jeffery Igbinigie.



..To be continued.

Friday, 19 August 2016

EDO 2016 GOVERNORSHIP: PROGRESSIVE CONTINUITY OR RETROGRESSION?

By: Oteghe Adams
It seems that the Edo PDP governorship candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu wants to destroy the lineage of logic in his desperate bid for power; Ize-Iyamu is corroding and insulting the intelligence of the Edo State electorate by engaging in retrograde history and prescribing poisonous potions of amnesia for some innocent voters in the 2016 governorship elections. The PDP candidate who claims to be running on the mantra of ‘’ experience’’ is simultaneously fleeing from his own history; he does not want to be judged on the chronicles of his (non) performance in the government of Lucky Igbinedion where he served in two major capacities. First as a Chief of Staff between 1999 – 2003 and later as the Secretary to the State Government between 2003 – 2007.Unfortunately, these years of service constitute the major basis of the’’ experience’’ that Ize-Iyamu is trumpeting in his campaign propaganda.

Indeed, Lucky Igbinedion directly referred to Ize-Iyamu as the ‘’ clearing house’’ of government while being sworn in as Secretary to State Government (SSG), other knowledgeable persons referred to Ize-Iyamu as the de facto governor in view of the almost permanent absence of Lucky Igbinedion from office. The indestructible narrative is that Ize-Iyamu was effectively the “captain in the engine room” of the (plundering) ship that was PDP’s government. Why then does Ize-Iyamu want the electorate of Edo State to down play this section of his curriculum vitae? , and if they do, his entire resume especially the ‘’experience’’ part, will be hauntingly empty. It must be recalled that under the ‘’captainship’’ and mastermind of Ize-Iyamu, the office of the then Deputy Governor Ogiadomen was rendered useless, Ogiadomen was reduced to laughing stock in the Government House. The infallible truth is that whenever the Governor travelled, the commissioners and big conspiring contractors were instructed to report directly to the diabolical “Capo’’. And so the control of some substantial resources and the shaping of the economic destiny of the people of Edo State were frequently under the control of Ize-Iyamu.

But the former ‘’Captain’’ now seem to be telling the people of Edo State that he was a mere errand boy in the kitchen beneath the luxurious ship’s deck. So scandalous it is that the PDP candidate has almost degenerated to the point of invoking the equivalent of the infamous Nuremburg War Crime plea by the Nazis: the hollow excuse of ‘I was only carrying out the orders of my superiors’, Edo electorate could not dare ask Ize-Iyamu questions when he wallowed in the tower of power. Now in this 2016 election, from the teachers to the civil servants and students who suffered undue hardships under Ize-Iyamu, this is the time for them to regain their voices. It’s time for the vegetating pensioners and all the citizens whose lives were traumatized by Ize-Iyamu to constitute a public jury at the campaign grounds and try the ‘’co-governor’’ for his economic crimes against the people of Edo land. I hope that Ize-Iyamu will show the same courage he had as SSG and step forward to render full account of his stewardship in the years under reference.

History must have consequence. There must come a time in the lives of individuals as well as communities when they must courageously confront some unchangeable truths as they construct dependable channels for their forward march in history. Oddly here in Edo State, Ize-Iyamu’s campaign is advocating a return to PDP failed years; the former SSG is trying to bully his way back to the Government House without adequate response to the several troubling questions still lingering from his previous years in power.

This issue is far beyond propaganda, it’s a matter centrally germane to the economic and political survival of Edo people. The two major candidates must submit themselves for intense scrutiny. Godwin Obaseki of APC has persuasively articulated the essence of progressive continuity: that the people of Edo State will see the consolidation and expansion in the gains established during Governor Oshionmhole’s tenure in essential spheres of the lives of the people - that the legacy of regular payment of salaries will continue, that the construction and maintenance of roads will remain a priority, that the welfare of teachers and building of schools will be accelerated and that the state-of-the art hospitals established by the Comrade-Governor will be well equipped and kept at international standards. In addition to all of these, the APC candidate has solidly pledged to make Edo a national pride in agro-industrialization and to stimulate the creation of 200,000 jobs within the first four years of his administration. This is the reality of the future that Edo people yearn for.

While the APC candidate stands proudly with Comrade Oshionmhole at rallies and other public places, Ize-Iyamu hardly mentions the name of the Governor under whom he served as Chief of Staff and SSG for an aggregate of eight years. The PDP candidate fails woefully to point to any concrete achievements while he held sway at the government house. Observers have listened and watched Ize-Iyamu at public lectures and rallies where he conducts reviews of the achievements of governors that preceded Lucky Igbinedion and those after, but he would “miraculously’’ skip the Lucky Igbinedion years. If there are records of some achievements of that period, why won’t Ize-Iyamu lay them out instead of engaging in diversionary campaigns. Edo people will not surrender to political skullduggery.

In the topography of Comrade Oshionmhole’s iconic achievements, we see the footprints of Godwin Obaseki following closely as the chairman of the State’s Economic Advisory team. In mournful contrast, to Oshionmhole’s inspiring landscape, we can still perceive dark smokes rising from the piles of burning files of Ize-Iyamu last days as SSG as he tried to conceal the crimes of their government , we hear the blood- cuddling cries of Edo grand mothers whose children’s career dreams were turned to nightmares under Ize-Iyamu era of mismanagement. Edo was plagued with the imageries of the biblical pestilence in the years of 1999 - 2007. “Pastor” Ize-Iyamu as a clergy must understand that a group of people who have crossed the “red sea’ ’will not wish to return to Egypt. The educated electorate of Edo State will not embrace a retrogressive paradigm; rather they will follow the lineage of logic and massively vote for progressive continuity as epitomized by the APC. The Edo electorate will send a clear message to the rest of the nation that Edo is not the political theatre for the glorification of impunity; the peoples’ verdict will be accordingly resounding

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

How Abba Kyari, Buhari’s Chief Of Staff, Abuses His Office For Personal Gain

SaharaReporters has obtained a letter which reveals how Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff (COS) to President Muhammadu Buhari, is using his office in the presidency to further his personal businesses and contradict his boss’s so-called anti-corruption initiative.
The letter shows Mr. Kyari prospecting on behalf of Valiant Offshore Contractors Limited, a private business that is being fronted by the major owner of SeaWolf Oilfield Services Limited the single biggest debtor of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
Seawolf Limited owes First Bank of Nigeria about N160billion, as a result of which two oil rigs owned by the company have since been seized by AMCON and parked at the Lagos Marina.
Nonetheless, COS Kyari went ahead to show his hand in refining the company as a Special Purpose vehicle to immediately commence business with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where he is a board member.
Sources knowledgeable about the deal revealed that as a result, the COS has been piling enormous pressure on AMCON to give Seawolf a clean bill of health so that it can resume business as a drilling services company with the NNPC without meeting its debt obligation to AMCON.
Seawolf is owned by Nigerian businessmen Uwamu Adolor, Okulola Remi (who is close to former President Olusegun Obasanjo), Rasheed Mahey Rafindadi, Wessels Alwyn, Odunlami Remi, Waziri Ibrahim Dahiru and Oduntan  Adetunji.
But while Adolor took loans from banks and frittered them on automobiles using Seawolf, he also secretly formed a company known as Valiant Offshore Contractors Limited, a company that’s now being pushed by Mr. Kyari to get huge oil services contract from the NNPC.
In the letter obtained by SaharaReporters, it is revealed that the COS, in trying to pressure AMCON to sign off on Valiant’s worthiness to do business with the NNPC despite its terrible state of indebtedness, blames First Bank of Nigeria for giving out the loan to Seawolf.
AMCON has reportedly replied Mr. Kyari, saying Valiant could not be given a pass without paying off the debt it acquired through Seawolf.
Our source described the letter as a prime example of how Mr. Kyari has continuously abused his office to engage in corrupt activities and influence peddling right under the nose of the President.
In the past year, the COS has strategically expanded his role at the Presidential Villa, where President Buhari is known to delegate authority to his subordinates.  A presidency source told SaharaReporters that the COS considers himself the alternate President of Nigeria, in most cases jumping into and standing next to President Buhari in official photographs even at high profile events, in contravention of the general protocol.
Recently Mr. Kyari ordered government ministers to report to him rather than the President, contrary to the constitution.  The President, our source said, signs all memos brought to him by Mr. Kyari, without reading them.
Observers describe Mr. Kyari as one of the most evident contradictions in President Buhari’s anti-graft profile.  Two months ago, SaharaReporters revealed that he was playing a prominent role in blocking an investigation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into a huge fraud by Sahara Energy.
Sources at the anti-graft agency later told SaharaReporters that officials of the government had placed a freeze order on information about the raids it had carried out on the company’s offices in Abuja and Lagos.
Our enquiries unveiled Mr. Kyari as an ally of Sahara Energy and the government official behind the efforts to muzzle that investigation.
Right after we published that story, it emerged that Mr. Kyari, in collaboration with the Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS) and the influence-peddling newspaper publisher Nduka Obaigbena, were working to hound out of office the EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu, with the objective of having him replaced with an official who would do their bidding at the agency.   The agency had tied Obaigbena to Dasukigate, and compelled him to refund hundreds of millions of naira.
Our sources said Mr. Kyari accused Magu of leaking the Sahara Energy story to this website.

Buhari Vs IBB: Finally the defining moment


    By Louis Odion, FNGE

"...I found out that some officers were spending money. I asked, 'Where did they get the money from?' They said it was from the Military Intelligence fund... Later, I learnt that General Aliyu Gusau who was in charge of intelligence took import licence from the Ministry of Commerce, which was in charge of supplies, and gave it to Alhaji Mai Deribe. It was worth N100,000, a lot of money then. When I discovered this, I confronted them and took the case (to) the army council... I said if I didn't punish Aliyu Gusau, it will create a problem for us... So I said General Aliyu Gusau had to go. He was the chief of intelligence. That was why Babangida got some officers to remove me."

With the foregoing account, President Muhammadu Buhari has sensationally reopened a deep wound the nation has nursed for the past 31 years. In disrobing the Daura-born general in the palace coup of August 27, 1985, his failings listed by erstwhile comrades included arrogance, inflexibility and emptiness.
In the December 2015 edition of The Interview magazine, General Ibrahim Babangida had dismissed the notion that there was an ulterior motive other than the catalogue of transgressions read by Brigadier Nimyel Dogonyaro in the dawn broadcast announcing Buhari's ouster.
Asked if the coup was prompted by the fear of imminent censure by the Buhari administration, Babangida stated: "Do not forget that I was one of Buhari's closest aides. I was the Chief of Army Staff. So I had an important position, an important role to play within that administration. I don't think it had to do with a memo."
But in the conversation published in the current edition of wave-making The Interview, not only did the president dismiss IBB's theory as false, he laid bare the acute moral bankruptcy of those who brought his reign as military head of state to an abrupt end. According to him, the desperation of a few tainted generals to evade justice, rather than national interest, inspired the regime change then. And in what could perhaps be described the most pointed challenge in recent history, he dared Babangida and Gusau to controvert him: "Let him (General Babangida) repeat his own story. Aliyu Gusau is still alive."
Buhari's revelation only adds to the existing and by far more salacious myth of Gloria Okon often whispered in informal public chat. Back then, the media had reported the arrest of one Ms. Gloria Okon while allegedly trying to smuggle hard drugs out of the country at a time the no-nonsense Buhari regime had imposed capital punishment on such. In fact, same law had already been invoked retroactively to publicly execute some Nigerians for attempting to smuggle heroine.
So, naturally, there were fears that Okon would be next on the death-row. Then, a twist. The rest of the suspenseful drama is already meticulously captured in a documentation by the nation's leading legal historian and consistent human rights crusader, Richard Akinnola. It turned out that the suspect was reportedly only a courier for a powerful figure in the sitting military administration.
Soon afterward, the nation was told the suspect had suddenly dropped dead in custody! But in reality, the real Gloria Okon was said to have been smuggled out in a high-stake conspiracy while the corpse of someone's else was presented as hers. The then commander-in-chief smelt a rat and set up a panel to unravel the mystery. It happened that before the panel could submit its report, power had changed hands at Dodan Barracks! End of inquiry. A year or two later, the real Okon was reportedly sighted at a high-society soirée in London, attended by the glamorous spouse of a key figure in the government of the day!
Another account, though unsubstantiated, states that it was the general who arranged the escape from custody of the real Gloria Okon who later found himself ironically being implicated in a subsequent coup plot and was eventually executed alongside other convicted co-conspirators. A further twist was brought to the narrative with the claim that it was in an attempt by a Lagos-based news magazine to piece all these dark happenings together into a thriller cover-story that eventuated in its chief editor being bombed to death one Sunday morning in Lagos. This October marks the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of star journalist Dele Giwa.
While circumstantial evidence may weigh heavily in public opinion, it is less admissible in the court of law. So, for now, in the absence of cogent proof, the Gloria Okon story will, at best, still be entertained as merely speculative, if not entirely fictitious.
But with Buhari's weighty salvo in The Interview, IBB, undeniably a key player in the nation's political history in the past four decades, has undoubtedly now been put on the spot, from where there seems no easy escape. Silence is sometimes romanticized as golden. But not in the present circumstance. How the self-styled military president explains the weighty charge may now effectively define his place in history as either an unacknowledged saint or the ultimate patriarch of grand larceny.
Well, there is no doubt about Buhari's motive for revealing a dark secret. Time is said to be the greatest healer. But it is obvious Buhari will carry the bitterness of 1985 to his grave. Attempts by some do-gooders to reconcile them over the years have only achieved cosmetic results. Deep down in Buhari's heart is the hurt from the pain of losing power and the trauma of his subsequent ordeal in custody. For instance, when Buhari lost his mother, IBB refused to allow him one last opportunity, even if on compassionate grounds, to see her remains before burial. Just as another account says that the "irreconcilable differences" that led to the collapse of his first marriage to Safinatu arose from how she chose to comport herself around his traducers while he was languishing in solitary detention in Benin.
Tellingly, Sambo Dasuki currently at the centre of $15b arms fund scam was part of the team that physically seized Buhari from his residence on August 27, 1985 and would end up as one of the influential "IBB boys" who wielded enormous power between 1985 and 1993.
But any allusion to Buhari's ancient malice will hardly provide any back-door for IBB to escape scrutiny here. For at issue is the question of public morality. Could it be possible that the nation was deceived and taken for a ride then with the quest to protect the illicit transaction of a few greedy generals falsely presented so seductively as a patriotic intervention to defend national interest?
From Buhari's sketch of Gusau, the caricature that emerges is that of a buccaneer, a profiteer ready to barter public trust away for material gain. It gets more disturbing considering that he is easily regarded today as the most influential player in the nation's intelligence community in the last three decades during which he was recycled as national security adviser by successive administrations.
It is open secret that the Zamfara-born general directed single-handed the drafting of Olusegun Obasanjo by the military establishment to becoming the president-elect in 1999 on PDP's platform. Going by this damning testimonial of his one-time boss, how are we now to believe the stated value deficit did not also corrode all Gusau's later engagements in public office? Worse still, here is a man who could have ended up as elected civilian president in 2007 and 2011 having put up a strong bid in the PDP primaries.
Taken together, in case IBB prefers to shy away from Buhari's categorical claim that graft was at the bottom of his overthrow in 1985, the Minna-born general risks having his reputation further cemented in infamy as one who formally inaugurated sleaze as the cornerstone of governance in the nation's history. If corruption has now morphed into a humongous industry today, some historians have always identified the man fondly called Maradona as the one who provided the seed capital decades ago.
Such reading is based on empirical proofs. His rise in 1985 is seen as signposting not just the shift in the character of national politics, but values as well. As months rolled by, every thing the nation had held high was cheapened. No measure was considered too extreme nor institution too sacred in the ensuing orgy of contamination. Even in music, vulgarity became the new lyrics as fast-tempo beat gradually displaced meditative sound of old that placed more emphasis on philosophical messages.
In social space, the culture of "settlement" supplanted the tradition of due process. Ostentation replaced modesty.
In the academia, violent cultism soon overshadowed the chivalrous exuberance of what used to be known as student confraternity as might became valorized over right. Outside, philistinism flourished as some palace intellectuals formed a cult around the crafty general who seemed to prefer the ill-fitting apparel of a philosopher-king. Just as the state clamped  down on "undue radicals" in the varsity classrooms intent on "teaching what they are not paid to teach."
At a personal level, IBB was quick at prefacing any commitment in the public with the chant of "Insha Allah", but his deed later often reflected a willful betrayal of that solemn invocation. He was never in short supply of great fanciful ideas. But lacking personal disciple, whatever he planted with the right hand was soon subverted with the left as cronies were issued blank cheques to plunder such undertakings.
By the account of now late Pius Okigbo, foremost economist, a staggering $12.8b of the 1990/91 oil windfall could not be accounted for under IBB.
Where the cultural damage inflicted on the nation is perhaps most deep and enduring is politics. In a fevered bid to clone a new generation of actors in his own grotesque image with little or no ethical grounding, the national landscape was soon besieged by monstrous creatures. An affliction that has in turn haunted the nation till date as it became fashionable to play politics without principle, with parties seen merely as a make-shift vehicle to capture without fidelity to any ideology.
As the genetic re-engineering continued in Babangida's derelict lab, the test-tube babies that mutated were laughably christened "new-breed politicians" to be engaged in what at the time became the longest-running transition programme in modern history, guzzling estimated colossal N40b (when naira was still strong) by the time it finally unravelled in the June 12 crisis of 1993.
Actors in Babangida's political roulette were banned, unbanned and re-banned in a manner that defied logic nor accord respect to human dignity.
But, as events later revealed, behind all the chicanery of eight years was Babangida's incestuous desire to parlay the entire transition programme to his own coronation as civilian president. By the time he was forced to surrender power in August 1993, Babangida left the nation in the cusp of chaos.
In summary, IBB's eight reign set the nation on a ruinous course from which she is yet to recover. A cardinal sin for which he is yet to atone, let alone show any remorse.

*Kenwood Dogara: The shame of a nation*
Following report that a member of parliament (MP) had defrauded British taxpayers of a "modest" £20,000 some years ago, hell was literally let loose in the United Kingdom. It was not until David Chaytor had been sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2011 after a speedy trial that the media and watchdog groups finally relented.
Chaytor, who represented Bury North, was convicted at Southwark Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to three charges on false accounting of over £20,000 (less than N9m today). He could have earned a maximum 7 years had he not taken the wise option of owning up and pleading guilty.
He had pilfered the money by claiming rent for his own flat in London and rent for a house in Bury owned by his mother. He falsely produced a tenancy agreement which said he was paying £1,175 as monthly rent.
Now, the Nigerian media has been awash in the past few days with reports of an alleged monumental scam involving the leadership of the House of Reps and hundreds of billions of taxpayers' money and business seems to be continuing as usual at the lower legislative chamber with the rest of the country watching with amusement, rather than outrage.
Last week, a falling out between principal officers of the House led to the "resignation" of Abdulmumin Jibrin as the chairman of the Appropriation Committee. An embittered Jibrin chose not to exit without opening the Pandora Box. He pointedly accused the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, of offering a rogue leadership alongside three other principal officers namely Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leo Ogor.
Specifically, he accused the Speaker of greedily cornering to himself and three principal officers a whopping N40b out of the N100b earmarked for Constituency projects in the 2016 budget.
The original 2016 appropriation bill brought by the presidency had allocated N60b for constituency projects. Jibrin claims to have documentary evidence where the Speaker directed a topping up of N40b and re-ordering the allocation formula in the same manner a typical butcher would, by the swish of the knife, divide the meat on the slaughter slab.
He did not stop there. He also accused the Speaker of a slew of other financial malfeasance and corporate extortions too lurid to be restated here.
Expectedly, the accused have counter-punched, accusing Jibrin of not only being the culprit of the last padding scandal that delayed the passage of the 2016 budget months back but also complicit in past illegal injection of extraneous provisions into the appropriation bills submitted by the executive arm of government.
At this writing, the orgy of accusations and counter-accusations had degenerated to a point where Jibrin alleged threat to his life while the Speaker on the other hand demanded that the "libelous" statement against him be retracted.
Overall, serious issues have inadvertently been raised by the throwing of mud at the House in the past week. The litany of claims and counter-claims put a big question mark on the moral integrity of the House leadership as presently constituted under Dogara. It speaks directly to the culture of greed, shamelessness, cant and profanity now mistaken for legislature in Nigeria.
Rather than issue ultimatum for Jibrin to withdraw his statement, the least one therefore expects of Dogara and others accused is to step aside, even if temporarily, to allow an independent investigation of the matter. The allegations are far too weighty for the Speaker to continue to sit pretty and pretend all is well. What is involved is people's money running into hundreds of billion.
Perhaps, the latest incident will afford us the opportunity to interrogate the essence and sustainability of the so-called "constituency projects". Often than not, it is a euphemism for the head where the pecuniary interests of members are satiated. Those who conceived the idea in a democracy may have meant well. But the operation in our own environment is quite problematic.
The lawmakers would rather they be allowed to personally draw down the vote to "execute" a project of their own choosing or be allowed to nominate the contractors. So, the question is: how wholesome is such arrangement? Ideally, the business of legislature is to make laws, not executing contracts. At best, legislators can perform oversight during the execution of such. To think otherwise is to create room for corrupt practices.
When such "projects" are executed at all, the standard practice among the legislators is to privatize same. Usually, a giant bill-board bearing the life-size image of the respective lawmaker will be hoisted there giving the false impression that it is a personal donation from the representative to the constituency.
Time has come to sanitize the idea.

TEXT OF A PRESS BRIEFING BY MR. JEFFERY IGBINIGIE, DG #YesTo Better Edo#


Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press,
The APC 2016 Governorship Campaign tour of local government are on going followed by massive rallies.

It is worth noting here, that the APC Governorship Candidate in Edo State  Dr, Godwin Obaseki has used the days of intensive campaigns to unveil his blueprint of job growth, industrialization, human capacity development- all anchored on the plank of sustainable development, and those hopeful and lofty messages resonated across the state as witnessed by the massive and mammoth crowd of supporters that showed up at campaign stops.
The Obaseki /Shaibu  2016 Governorship campaigns was flagged-off with a humongous rally at Benin  where Dr.Godwin Obaseki assured his teeming supporters that he will turn the state into an economic hub through an aggressive industrialization and agricultural revolution programs once elected into office.
Addressing a mammoth crowd at Benin , he told them that his vision for the State was to consolidate the gains brought about by Governor  Adams  Oshiomhole infrastructural renaissance and to open up the state to the world through industrialization and job growth.
Gentlemen, at this point I wish to state that the tremendous show of support has been made possible by the message of hope that the APC  Candidate, Dr. Godwin Obaseki has been preaching allover the state- a message of wealth creation, Jobs for our teeming youths, industrialization, human capacity development, and agricultural renaissance among others.
He has promised to ensure job creation through the creation of a vibrant industrial atmosphere that will boost entrepreneurship and human capital development. He added that his administration will also focus on the overall well-being of a common man by providing employment and empowerment for all.
Obaseki at every turn has thanked the people of the State for their massive show of support to his aspiration and extended an olive branch to other aspirants of the APC  in the Governorship race to come back home and join in the task of building the State, emphasizing that sustainable development can best be driven by peace, unity and harmony.
In their separate messages at the various campaigns rallies, different notable chieftains and party elders have consistently described  Godwin Obaseki as a product of thorough research and divinity with proven intellectual capacity to take the state to the next level and pledged their total support to ensure that he is elected the next governor of our state.
The Edo South People have disclosed that they have no other governorship candidate to support other than Dr. Godwin Obaseki , and appreciated the leadership of the APC in the state, Governor  Oshionmhole , the State Caucus of the party, State Working Committee, and stakeholders in the state on their decision to zone the governorship seat to the Senatorial district, and they promised that Obaseki,  their son will not disappoint the state.
In summary, all the stakeholders and political stalwarts and elders who spoke at rallies have constantly described Obaseki as the right man imbued with the needed capacity, credentials and character that will sustain the current tempo of transformation witnessed in the state, pointing out that the time has come for industrialization of the entire state, and solicited support from all to enable the governorship hopeful actualize his blueprint for the state.Most of the endorsements and support enjoyed currently by Dr. Godwin  Obaseki  and the  APC ahead of the general elections have been based on his track record of achievements in both private and public sectors, and his blueprint and governance platform which the people believed in.
The State Governor Comrade  Adams  Oshiomhole  has remained a great teacher and leader in the State, has repeatedly pointed out that his decision to support Godwin Obaseki as the next governor of the State was borne out of his desire to leave the sustenance of the legacies brought about by his government, in capable hands.
But the greatest support the team has so far enjoyed has been from the respectable royal fathers in each local government areas, who have respectively granted Dr, Obaseki  their blessings with intense prayers for his ambition. The same can also be said of the various socio-cultural groups, and political organizations who on their own have been drumming support for the APC Governorship candidate and the APC  at large.
We commend all of you gentlemen of the Press for your selfless efforts in propagating the activities of the campaigns in your respective tabloids, print and social channels and we are sure that your belief in the  Obaseki /Shaibu  2016, project convinced you to carry out these gestures. To ensure that the memories of the events are effectively shared, we engaged in the live streaming of most of the rallies via the social media while others where beamed live on the terrestrial television and the cable TV. It could be seen then that Obaseki /Shaibu  2016 Campaign has maintained an issue-based campaign that clearly highlights his vision to take the state to the next level, and had eschewed all forms of  chicanery or character assassination and we will love to use this opportunity to advice other political parties to embrace peace and avoid actions capable of igniting ethnic or political tension in the state.
We hereby use this opportunity to most especially thank the Edo  people for their momentous support and solidarity with the  APC in the State under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor, Comrade  Adams  Oshiomhole . This support can be seen in the light of the recent spate of endorsements, and solidarity carnivals by different sections of the Edo society. They include 15 Transport union and affiliate groups that assembled under the aegis of Edo Transporters, to adopt Dr, Godwin Obaseki, as their candidate. Following suit, were the traders in the major markets in the state that voluntarily came together to endorse Dr .Godwin Obaseki and the APC  as their preferred choice during the general elections. Previously, petty Businessmen, the Amalgamation of Labour Movements in the State among others had thrown their full weight behind the APC governorship hopeful.