When, a few weeks to his 95th birthday, former South African President Nelson Mandela’s latest health crisis notched a new high, I am sure I was not alone in nursing the private thought that, perhaps, he was being kept alive by all means medical science could permit, to at least prolong his life until his 95th anniversary, just five years shy of a Centurion. The world rose in celebration to mark that birthday on July 18, while Mandela remained in a Pretoria hospital, with varying reports of his beleaguered recovery, although your guess is as good as mine that Mandela, the global icon, is not in a race to become the world’s oldest living man. Continue reading Let Mandela Go
By GBENGA OKE
Former Secretary to Bayelsa State government, Professor Steve Azaiki (OON), has urged Nigerians to always respect the sacred office of the President. Continue reading Respect your President, Azaiki tells Nigerians
Before 1999, the Ijaw nation had no one whom they affectionately called the governor-general. Not because the Ijaws, Nigeria’s fourth largest ethnic group spread over a wide swath of the coastal terrain had a shortage of personages, anyone of whom could be hero-worshipped. Continue reading Alamieyeseigha in the Eyes of the Ijaws
Professor Steve Azaiki (OON), is an astute administrator and his achievements cut across several fields including Academics, Environmentalism, Consultancy and Public Service. Prof Azaiki is a Professor of Conflict and Crisis Management & International Relations at the Ukrainian Academy of Personnel Management and International Relations and a visiting Scholar/Fellow of the Institute of Petroleum Studies, University of Port Harcourt.
He was a lecturer, Department of Phytopathology, Faculty of Plant Protection, Ukaraine Agriculture Academy; State Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment Oyo State; Commissioner for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Bayelsa State; State Director, National Directorate of Employment, Rivers State; Secretary to Bayelsa State Government. He voluntarily retired as Director Inspectorate National Directorate of Employment of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Abuja.
Professor Steve Azaiki is the Author of three books and has published hundred of articles. He is currently the President, World Environmental Foundation of Africa (WEFFA) National Coordinator, National Think Tank, Chairman, Intercontinental Group and a Member, Bayelsa State Advisory Council.
He attended Harvard University, Oxford University and University of Abidjan Ivory Coast.
Jonathan’s Looming Political Battles
Until a few months ago, President Goodluck Jonathan was striving hard to get the public to focus on governance, rather than politicking. Thus, whenever the issue of the 2015 presidential election popped up, and answers were demanded whether or not he would run, the President, or more frequently, his media handlers, retorted that the incumbent was focused determinedly on justifying the overwhelming mandate which he received freely and fairly in the 2011 general elections. He would rather proceed with the implementation of the Transformation Agenda, than be drawn into premature calculations of whether or not he would seek re-election. This was notwithstanding the fact that depositions in certain affidavits had asserted the incumbent’s constitutional right to contest the 2015 election. Continue reading Jonathan’s Looming Political Battles
Resolving Rivers’ Political Crisis
While the Boko Haram menace raged, destroying lives and property and bringing the economy of Northern Nigeria to its knees, no group of governors in the North deemed it wise to gather and approach the country’s former military Heads of State, to save the North, and by implication, Nigeria. Boko Haram Islamists had slaughtered Christians and Nigerians from other parts of the country, and threats of reprisals portended civil strife. But no former military leaders were beseeched to save Nigeria. Yet, some northern governors have latched onto the Rivers State political crisis as a pretext to beseech two former military Heads of State not to gloss over the turbulence from the South-South. It seems like an after-thought that the same set of governors later approached Second Republic President, AlhajiShehuShagari, ostensibly on the same Save-Nigeria mission. Continue reading Resolving Rivers’ Political Crisis
Dickson’s Fresh Momentum in Bayelsa
Every government always has work to do and no government can fully undertake or finish all the work that is required in the polity. It is therefore unthinkable that any government will be so bereft of tasks that it idles away, until its tenure expires. The fact that new seasons present their unique challenges that combine with issues carried over from a preceding season, coupled with a forward-looking agenda that stretches beyond the present, means that governments will always be gainfully engaged. However, what is often at stake is how the incumbent administration applies itself to the work at hand. Continue reading Dickson’s Fresh Momentum in Bayelsa
State of Emergency against Boko Haram
By most accounts, save a few disagreeable voices of implacable opposition foes, the May 14 State of Emergency imposed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States is as much a welcome development, as it is a political masterstroke. The country had been long-suffering in enduring the spiralling menace of Boko Haram in parts of the North. With thousands of human beings killed, schools razed, places of worship bombed, markets attacked, businesses destroyed, and a pall of insecurity draped over mostly the north-eastern flank of the country, it is difficult for even the most cynical to muster any plausible argument against the latest measures taken by the federal government to bring the insurgents to heel. There had been a limited state of emergency in some local governments in the not-too-distant past, coupled with equally limited security forces operation but that failed to produce the desired peace. As the Boko Haram elements shunned the calls of the Sultan for peace, ignored the pleas of northern elders for a ceasefire, and even when the government announced amnesty, the insurgents not only rejected the offer but were audacious enough to proclaim that they, a lawless set of faceless, destructive vagabonds, should be the ones to grant the government amnesty! Continue reading State of Emergency against Boko Haram
The Shame of Bayelsa
It was Thomas Carlyle in Heroes and Hero Worship 1, 1840 who said; the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time is rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing Ocean – tide, on which we and the entire universe swim like exhalations.
Perhaps, deriving from the above, it is also true, that Bayelsa State was a creation of late Gen SaniAbacha on October 1, 1996. Short history: But to paraphrase the German poet and playwright, Hohann Wolfgang Von Goethe, ‘Bayelsa has time enough, if only it applies it well’.
The truth is that Bayelsa is yet to apply time well. However, the short history of Bayelsa and its snail pace of development is not the point this piece is devoted to. It is the lack of proper persons interested in the governance of the state that has raised my blood pressure. Continue reading The Shame of Bayelsa