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Osinbajo: No, Prof. Farooq Kperogi, No! By Ozodinukwe Okenwa



Professor Farooq Kperogi is a Nigerian-born Journalism and Emerging Media lecturer at the Kennesaw State University in Atlanta Georgia, the United States. He is one of the writers I read religiously week in, week out. Few others are Azu Ishiekwene, Olatunji Dare and Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo. He is insightful, intrepid and patriotic. His profundity of thoughts, analysis and delivery marks him out as a great mind worth giving attention to.
Prof. Farooq knows the inner workings of power in Nigeria that sometimes his predictions or submissions turned out to be true turning him into a glorified oracle with authoritative takes on power and the wielders back home. He spares no one, muslims or christians, and calls a spade a spade no matter whose ox is gored.
I have never met Prof. Kperogi before but we had exchanged a couple of emails last year or thereabout. Of course, he is a great writer and through his public commentary he has a lot of reach with readers (online and offline via traditional media outlets) following his social activism.
Prof. Kperogi recently called out the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in a scathing article he published on his popular blogging website known as “Notes From Atlanta”. Entitled “10 Reasons Osinbajo Will Ignite a Religious Civil War” Kperogi sounded more like he had an outstanding issue awaiting settlement with the number two citizen.
Displaying his usual verbosity and grammatical superiority complex he had sought to take down the Vice-President hammering out ten reasons why the affable VP could unleash a religious civil war in the event of his election as President post-Buharism.
In the diatribe he had described Osinbajo as “a suave, charming but toxic Islamophobic bigot who clothes his bigotry with oratory. He is only associating with Muslims because of his political agenda…He visits mosques (with his shoes on — in a betrayal of his ice-cold disdain for the religion) and awkwardly utters salaams only as a stoop-to-conquer strategy.”
And quoting a ‘Nigerian Tribune’ columnist, Festus Adedayo, he revealed that while Buhari was sick and away in London, Osinbajo attended a Redeemed Christian Church of God prayer in his home state of Ogun where the resident Pastor prayed for Buhari to “die” so that Osinbajo would take over as president “with the VP shouting (a) thunderous ‘Amen’.” The article from which he quoted was dated Nov. 10, 2019, in a column titled “The trials of Brother Osinbajo”.
I had read that article by columnist Adedayo but what he said in it was a bit different from the interpretation it was given by Prof. Kperogi. He said the RCCG Pastor had indeed prayed for Osinbajo to rise to the top as President but not at the expense of Buhari’s ailment or death!
I am not a fan of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Nor that of the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo or Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the ruling party’s so-called National Leader. I believe both of them deserve to be beaten electorally when the time comes for the successor of President Muhammadu Buhari to be chosen next year in the event of any of the two throwing their hat into the presidential ring.
President Buhari’s presidential scoresheet is null, so any party could easily defeat the ruling party next year. The 8-year presidential pestilence, Buharism, must be sent back to the showers no matter who holds the broken broom next year as the APC flagbearer. Whether Osinbajo or Tinubu, for us, it is akin to six and half a dozen!
We believe religion in general and God in particular should be removed from our national politics. God does not play politics! Again, the constitution does not allow a President to be elected as a religious leader or on religious ground. The last time we checked Nigeria is still a democracy and not theocracy.
If God should be put in the larger political picture then the monumental failures of the system could have been averted long ago. To His utter consternation God must have turned His back on our national woes after observing from above the oppression and repression of our elite; their penchant to pauperize Nigerians and steal what would have made them comfortable.
If God is the issue, politically speaking, then China and Japan, for example, cannot be leading the world economically and technologically. Now, Nigeria with our thousands of churches and mosques, millions of worshippers and hypocrites little or no progress is being made on every front. Who is fooling whom!?
The national power grid had recently collapsed leading to more darkness. At the best of time it was obscurity galore in many villages, towns and cities and now with the generalised power failure coupled with toxic fuel supply (which had led to steep increase in PMS pump price) the nation is living its version of hell on earth.
If Osinbajo was in attendance at the religious event where a prayer was offered for Buhari’s demise and he, instead of condemning it vehemently, applauded it then he must have committed a criminal, nay, treasonable offense worth investigating thoroughly and dealing with. If the veracity of the claim was proven to be true (which is not the case) then VP Osinbajo ought to have been sacked long ago for insubordination and disloyalty.
Osinbajo is often accused by critics (including yours truly) of being blindly loyal to the system, to Buharism that he is willing to sacrifice anything or everything to please his boss. Despite their religious differences Osinbajo and Buhari have governed together in harmony and deep respect for each other’s faith.
We refuse to accept the controversial submission made by the respected America-based Professor concerning Osinbajo especially where he said the diminutive VP shouted a resounding ‘Amen’ to a prayer for the death of his principal and his consequent enthronement as President.
No, Professor Kperogi, no! We disagree!

Strictly Personal

As African leaders give excuses, peers reach for the skies, By Tee Ngugi



Many Africans might have missed an event that should have been at the centre of the news. On August 23, 2023, India landed a spacecraft on the moon, making history as the fourth country to do so.

India is in exalted company. The other countries in that rarefied club are Russia, the US and China. India did not just land a spacecraft on the moon, it landed the craft near the south pole of the moon — the only country to achieve such a feat.

The reporting on this in the African press missed the significance of India’s achievement. Most media reported it as if it was another routine space mission by another power. First, any landing on the moon or any missions into space by any country are not routine.

They demonstrate the most advanced science and technology and their economic might. They showcase meticulous organisation, steely political will to achieve national ambitions, and an extraordinary sense of patriotism among citizens to make their country great.

Read: India becomes first nation to land spacecraft near Moon’s south pole

There is another reason why this news should have dominated our airwaves and discourse. India was colonised for more years than most African countries. India, like African countries, is multiethnic and multireligious. India, like Africa, has suffered from social strife. India, like many African countries, has gone to war with neighbouring countries. India, just like us, has to deal with disabling outdated traditional customs and beliefs.

And yet it did not use any of these characteristics as an excuse not to reach, quite literally, for the skies.

Further, India suffers from Monsoons and volcanic activity from which, for the most part, we are spared. It has a huge population, which many African countries do not. Yet it did not use these as excuses not to compete with, and sometimes beat, the best.

Perhaps we let this event pass without much commentary because we felt ashamed. Ghana became independent in 1957, 10 years after India.

Decades later, India had expanded its railway network to become the largest in the world. Ghana just expanded the railway left by the British the other day. As Ghana’s economy collapsed, India’s rose steadily. As Ghana’s education system stagnated, India advanced in science and technology, enabling it to explode a nuclear device in 1974, 27 years after Independence.

As Ghana’s heath system collapsed, India advanced theirs. Today, India has very advanced medical science and health system. Our leaders, after collapsing our health systems, seek treatment in India. India has expanded its GDP to become the fifth largest in the world. Ghana’s GDP is $80 billion, below that of Luxembourg, a tiny country of less than a million people.

Ghana is, of course, representative of the African post-independence experience of mismanagement, thievery and collapse. Will India’s example wean us from our “Pathological Excuse Syndrome” (PES)? Unlikely.

The Kenya Kwanza regime has churned out more excuses in one year than all previous regimes combined.

Tee Ngugi is a Nairobi-based political commentator.

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Strictly Personal

What a beautiful summit! Now to vague promises by rich North, Joachim Buwembo



In an average lifetime, an African is expected to get involved in and attend many weddings (and funerals). First, you attend those of your elders, which leaves you hoping that yours too will not only come one day but that it will also be more glamorous.

Then there were those weddings (and funerals) of your contemporaries for which you have to pay the ‘African tax’, partly out of fear and hope that when your turn comes, people will contribute generously since you will have been known to be a generous contributor yourself.

Finally, you have to attend weddings of the younger generations, including virtual ones like the ones that were held during the Covid-19 lockdown, or those being staged in different countries where the wedding couples live.

In my idealistic opinion, one shortcoming of many wedding formats and texts is the vague and often immeasurable nature of the promises made.

Fine, the specifics and details could darken the joyful, colourful ceremony and even bog it down, but in a separate, written and signed agreement, things should be spelt out. This would probably even make divorce proceedings less messy.

How for instance is love measured? What does providing for and protecting include? And comfort? At least “until death do us part” is fair for it specifies an event and so no one can compel a surviving spouse to be buried with a dead partner (and you know how many relatives would love to do that and then take over the house and other valuables). But one can argue their way out of the other wedding promises.

The climax of wedding injustices comes from the preachers who urge the partners to always forgive the other party for whatever crimes they commit. If courts operated in the same spirit, all murderers and robbers would walk free to continue murdering and robbing more victims while counting on systemic forgiveness.

The text of the declaration at the end of the big Nairobi climate summit for Africa brought to mind a glittering wedding, whose success is measured first on its having been held at all, the number of guests, the size of the cake and the courses of the meal. Africans should hope that future climate summits are not measured the way a bride measures a wedding (including how less beautiful her lady friends looked), but in tangible, countable outcomes.

At the Nairobi climate summit, we Africans demanded specifics from the rich countries with which we are justifiably angry. We were accurate on what they owe and should pay in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Then we also made our ‘commitments’ but were careful enough to remain non-committal. We promised policy formulations, the right investments and job creation.

Somehow, we did not say how many jobs and by when. This was a climate summit, for God’s sake, and the heads of state who have armies of researchers at their disposal should have specified, or at least estimated, the number of jobs to be created in the provision and application of clean energy.

Was there any commitment to investing in the conversion of the continent’s ‘abundant rare’ earth minerals into mobility batteries that reduce pollution rather than “exporting jobs” to already rich countries for a pittance? Was there a commitment to how many megawatts of hydroelectric power will be committed to the electrification of railways by which year?

We remained silent on acres or square kilometres in reforestation. We mentioned the carbon sinks of the Congo and the savannah but did not specify how we shall protect them. In short, we did not put any figures or timelines on our ‘commitments’.

The Africa Climate Summit was thus like a wedding which the bride sees as an achievement in itself, that she has been taken down the aisle (even if the guy turns out to be a wife beater and drunkard).

For Kenya, again staging the inaugural summit in itself was a success, for beating the other potential brides on the continent – Morocco, South Africa, Egypt and lately Rwanda – from a tourism promotion point of view.

All the same, we rejoice for the very good effort by Kenya and do hope that subsequent such summits will have explicit deliverables and timelines on which the Africans can hold their leaders to account.

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