The beginning and the end of each year are very significant in dating calendar. As the year 2017 rolls by in the next 48 hours, quite a number of people in troubled relationships are thinking seriously about what next to do: either to quit or re-strategise to make their affairs work. I quite empathise with people battling with recurring failed relationships and, in particular, those whose precious times, years and hard earned resources are being squandered over fantasied and superficial affairs. This is the lot of many singles especially those in their 30s and early 40s. Single parents feel the pain the most.
There are single women who, after investing in relationships with men they hoped to build homes, came out dejected, sapped and exploited. It is a regrettable experience for any caring and trusting woman that falls prey to a selfish man; such a woman becomes harder, mean and stingy consequently. Men who have experienced soar relationships equally have tearful tales to tell.
There are three common problems associated with men that stay so long in relationships without consummation:
• An average man do have more than one woman to choose from. While he might have identified a ‘good match’ among his lady friends, his crave for a more endowed, economically stable and more beautiful choice might propel him to play away more of his time.
• These days, many men are being plagued with serious economic instability, low cash in-flow and joblessness. This is a fundamental problem that could not only prolong relationships but may likely collapse them.
• Men’s ability to decipher between the type of women they ‘need’ and those they ‘want’ is seriously lacking. In most cases, many men are so confused not knowing what to look out for in women. Rather, they are more inclined to go for women they want and not those they need. Men that value peace, fidelity, marital stability and partners that will complement their efforts to actualise their dreams won’t be blind to good wife materials when they see them.
Unlike men, the major problem confronting single women is getting serious, responsible and committed men that will make good their promises towards marriage. Many women are tired of motion-without-movement kind of relationships. Several men are not just enthusiastic about moving their affairs to the next level thereby keeping the fate of their partners hanging in the balance indefinitely. What a frustrating condition! Sometimes I find it somehow difficult to blame the men because some women feel comfortable clinging to unproductive and purposeless relationships for too long.
They know their men are not the serious type, yet, they remain optimistic just to feel attached. Some women remain involved with their flippant partners pending when they meet better suitors. Another set of women hang in there just to feel among whenever her mates are talking about their affairs; at least, they will have something to say about men in their own lives, too. Like men, some women are the architects of their own prolonged spinsterhood. They have problem of making the right choices because of the tempting offers available to them.
Greedy ones would care more about the type of cars, jobs or businesses, and charming look of the guys. Whereas intelligent women should concern herself with the potentials, dreams, aspiration, godly traits and commitment to the relationship.
Time-wasting affairs should be discarded immediately. Single and searching women should wake up to reality and go for who they really need. They must stop dreaming about hunting already-made guys as it is a delusion to keep them perpetually in the ‘market’. Such adventure often leads to a regrettable end if you marry a man because of his material wealth without bringing an added value to his life or the family.
Many women, like some men, too, can’t distinguish between who they need and who they want. Need is basic. God only provides for your needs and not your wants. In most cases, wants are ostentatious in outlook, profligate in package, inordinate in desire and sometimes morally abnormal.
The need of every man and woman is to marry who has the potential to be great now or in the future; a partner that will ensure peace of mind, faithful in the relationship, actualizer of dreams, a great friend and hardworking person. With this kind of a partner, other expectations, desires and goals are very attainable with patience, love, prayers and faith in God. Let your unproductive love affair roll off with 2017.
Take stock of your relationship, be candid to yourself in the assessment and you will surely know if it is worth keeping or not. Terminate time-wasting partners in your life. Quit any burdensome and purposeless relationship. Think on the way forward and relaunch your net into the ocean of love for a new ‘fish’ in the New Year.
Compliments of the season!
Send your responses/private issues to: firstname.lastname@example.org or 08035304268 (SMS/WhatsApp)
Tinubu’s uphill task
“You cannot influence a political party to do right if you stick to it when it does wrong” – John Bengough
When a doctor is called in to handle an ailment after the disease has eaten deep into the patients, the task of saving that life would depend only on divine intervention. It does not matter the quality of that doctor or his antecedents in handling such issues in the past.
The challenge of such doctor is analogous to the one being faced by the former Governor of Lagos State, Aswaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu, who was recently appointed the arbitrator and at the same time a reconciliatory officer to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Incidentally, President Muhammadu Buhari who gave Tinubu the gigantic task cannot absolve himself from the problem. In fact, political observers believe that the problem of APC derives largely from the shortcomings of its leader, the President, due to his indifferent approach to political party matters.
Going by the analysis of experts, the style of the President in political party management has been underwhelming and clearly falls far below the required standard and this has led to the emergence of all kinds of cliques within the party. Pundits in political matters would always say that there can never be a vacuum in political space. The space President Buhari’s poor political strategy could not fill easily got occupied by pockets of chiefdom.
It is largely believed that the foundation of the myriads of APC challenges was long laid when the President at the inception of his administration told all who cared to know that he would not be interested in who emerges as the leaders of the National Assembly but when those he did not want emerged, he led the onslaught against them since June 9th 2015.
Political watchers believe that on the issue of National Assembly the hide and seek approach from the President actually helped to fertilize the crisis that eventually engulfed the ruling party.
Among those within the party who shared in the President’s obvious bitterness and anger against the leadership of the National Assembly was Tinubu who ostensibly remain embittered because his cronies in the parliament lost out in the scheme. Tinubu then literally supplied the amour with which the National Assembly particularly the Senate was and is still being tormented.
The sudden appointment of Tinubu as chief arbiter at this time is therefore curious and raises a number of questions. The appointment is trying to help observers discern the mind of the President on the situation in the party.
Could it be that the President after his review of the situation has decided to embrace one of the factions in the party at the detriment of the others? Or is it that Tinubu has been identified as the bigger problem and has to be given the task of confronting the task of removing the heap of refuge he probably helped to assembly?
For Tinubu, the view out there on his new job is similar to what happens when a party to a case is appointed to make peace, two things are likely to play out, he buries his own interest and accommodates other people’s interests for peace to reign or he stands on the point of advantage and pushes through his own agenda. Either way Tinubu decides to go it’s not going to be an easy task both for him and the party.
That is why it is very germane the verdict of the embattled Comrade APC Senator of Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani that APC would be finally ruined if Asiwaju Tinubu fails in his mission to bring peace in the party.
Even though Tinubu is a master in the game of politics and the intrigue therein, he would need the courage of biblical David and the Wisdom of Solomon, David’s son, to figure out an acceptable solution to the APC crisis.
Other posers waiting to be unravelled in Tinubu’s assignment is whether the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun who has spent the last three years of his political life eulogizing President Buhari would be thrown out just like that as has been the wish and desire of Tinubu? Why not, you may say, election year for politicians is a time of betrayal and sacrifice especially of those whose electoral value is inconsequential. Electorally, Tinubu stands head ahead of Oyegun, and this is not in dispute.
Also, can Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State dine together politically with Comrade Senator Sani and Senator Hunkuyi whose building was even demolished during the fight?
After Governor Ibrahim Ganduje of Kano State declared publicly recently that he has parted ways forever with his former boss, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, and his Kwakwasiyya group, would Tinubu make him leak his vomit?
What of Tinubu himself, can he stand with the Senate President Bukola Saraki to say old ways have passed away for a new way to begin? Even when it’s widely believed that he contributed to the inconveniences that prevented Saraki from enjoying fully his number three position? Today if you Google Saraki the image you get is not that of a nation’s head of parliament presiding but that of a criminal suspect in the dock, can this wound be easily healed by Tinubu’s drug box?
However, there is this optimistic attitude indicating that in politics everything is possible. Believers in this optimism easily embrace Maurice Barres, the French novelist who captured the never say die spirit of politicians in his statement that “the politician is an acrobat. He keeps his balance by saying the opposite of what he does”. How sincere is Tinubu and Buhari on this reconciliatory project?
There are so many other possibilities to Tinubu’s assignment that cannot also be overlooked. It could have been a strategy of a drowning Presidency itching into general election and hoping to keep up with whoever can help at such a critical period.
It could also be the geo-political North’s own strategic response to halt the seeming unity in the Southern Nigeria, a development that could be the deadliest blow to the Northern hegemony. There couldn’t have been a better way to tie apart that dangerous geo-political romance in the South than pulling out the biggest political tree in the region and whispering into his ears, the goodies that await him. There couldn’t have been an easier way to achieve this especially as the Aswaju is not enjoying the best of relationship with the Yoruba socio-cultural and political group, the Afenifere, who has been at the forefront of this crusade. There is also the other treachery aspect indicating that Tinubu might just be playing a fifth columnist role against the system for deserting him after victory only to rush coming because the day of reckoning has arrived.
Also as a possible instigation to Asiwaju’s assignment is the scorching attack by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo on both President Buhari and his ruling party. The easiest way to contain and possibly help divert the conversation away from the huge effect of that outburst on the government and the party is cleverly to draft from the same region as Obasanjo a formidable political iroko to quell the accompanying political uprising.
It could also have been that what President Buhari did in drafting Tinubu to go and make peace in a war where he has been a top commander is just the extension of taking the people for granted. No wonder American Journalist, Franklin Adams once remarked that “there are many politicians who believe, with conviction based on experience, that you can fool all the people all of the time.”
But in reality, after President Buhari and his party rode to power cruising on the falsehood of propaganda and deceit, can they fool Nigerians again after the hellish journey since 2015?
For Tinubu, there are some landmines on his political career that he must apply all his political wizardry to manoeuvre his way in this difficult assignment. At stake is his goodwill with the people and no politicians would want to toy with it.
American businessman, Marshall Field, aptly captured it better in these words: “Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.” Nigerians are watching to see how the Jagaban will writhe out of this. God help Nigeria.
A national security strategy
The present government should as a matter of national emergency roll out a comprehensive, forward looking, national and acceptable strategy for combating extant and emerging security challenges in Nigeria. This national security strategy must of necessity involve a summit of all the critical stakeholders involved in the prevention and detection of any crime against the internal and external security of Nigeria.
It must involve all the agencies and organs of government charged with the responsibility of or employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations.
The security summit must involve all those vested with legislative and judicial powers. It must involve religious, traditional, community, professional and civil society leaders. The National Security Summit (NSM) must map out extant and emerging and future security challenges and design strategies of combating, degrading and neutralizing them.
The Summit must review the report of past conferences and their recommendations and flesh out the ones that are still fresh and can assist in tackling the myriad security challenges affecting the country.
In undertaking this assignment, the government must avoid puritanism and grandstanding. When the nation is grieving or in pains, national security interest demands that all patriots must unite and chart a common agenda of national rebirth and reconstruction.
This period demands that opposition political parties and other vested interests must not play politics with national security issues but must unite with the government in finding solution to the security challenges of the nation. In constituting the membership of the summit, government must realise that the issue of security affects everybody and government must never play politics with the security of lives and properties.
The government must marshal the best brains and the representatives of individuals and organisations with credibility. National security challenges should not be used for the settlement of the “boys” or for opportunistic purposes.
We must not allow the country to go to blazes before we realise that the country is drifting and requires urgent surgical attention. It should be very clear to the leadership of our country that Nigerians are increasingly becoming apprehensive about the security of their lives and properties.
It is not as if the Nigerian people expect magic or miracles from the government. No, the people know that the government is run by human beings and that government is based on rules and procedures.
The Nigerian people know that government controls the means of gathering information and that the government controls the instruments of coercion and law enforcement.
The people expect the government to listen to their concerns. The people expect the government to react to their concerns and the people expect the government to degrade, neutralize and or obliterate extant and emerging security challenges threatening their lives and their properties.
The Nigerian people have the right to be apprehensive about the future and their conviction that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan did not have the will power or commitment to protect lives and properties contributed in no small measure in their resolve to dispense with the regime.
The Nigerian people find it difficult to connect with the cyclical and unending security challenges bedevilling the country.
The country went through the crisis in the Niger Delta that resulted in the blowing up of pipelines, the kidnapping of expatriates and the proliferation of small arms by self-styled militants. The government declared a ceasefire and granted monetary amnesty to the repentant militants and there has been relative calm in the Niger Delta with pockets of resistance.
This does not mean that the military has pulled out of the Niger Delta. The presence of the military is still very strong as they are maintaining internal security in the whole of the Niger Delta.
From the Niger Delta challenge the country witnessed heightened cases of kidnappings and ritual killings. From there we migrated to and progressed to the “Boko Haram” challenge that has led to the death of thousands of Nigerians, the displacement of millions of persons and the killing of countless number of security operatives.
The country is still battling with the challenge and committing millions of dollars to the “Boko Haram” project. As if the “Boko Haram” challenge was not enough, we had separatist agitations in the South-East that threatened the corporate existence of Nigeria. Fair enough the present regime acted decisively even if too late in putting it down.
As if we revel in new issues and new challenges, the farmers/ herders conflict, cattle rustling and rural banditry has assumed a monstrous and murderous dimension.
The government has a constitutional and statutory obligation to listen to the Nigerian people when they say that the government is not doing enough in the area of security. When the citizens are uncertain or steeped in confusion regarding what tomorrow portends for them, every other activity being carried out by them or by the government becomes tentative as fear and apprehension becomes the order of the day. It is my opinion that the present government is too slow in reacting to the mounting security challenges in the country. When something happens the people want to hear from their government and from their leaders.
This is because the government has security agents on the ground and has multiple channels of getting information. When the people do not hear from their government, opportunists, merchants of conflicts, speculators and gangsters take over information dissemination and fill the void left by the government. In Nigeria, rumours and rumour mongering is a big business and rumour travels at the speed of light.
There must be something alluring and salacious in embracing and believing unbelievable tales and stories which on their face value appears unbelievable.
Yet, government sometimes out of a culture of silence leaves the people no choice than to believe what ordinarily a rational and thinking fellow should not believe. We must therefore constantly remind the government at all levels that the security of lives and the guarantee of their welfare is the primary purpose of government and there is no ambiguity in this.
Any government that lacks or loses the ability to protect lives and properties is not worth being in power and the oath of office taken by persons in government loses its efficaciousness.
Saying so does not amount to running down any government. It does not amount to playing partisan politics. It means being patriotic because if the country goes down, Nigeria goes down and nobody can determine who will be internally displaced and who will become a refugee and nobody can determine who will die and who will survive.
We must consciously map out some of the security challenges bedevilling the country and make conscious efforts at degrading them. We must remain vigilant at all times and degrade potential security threat before they overwhelm us.
To this end, the government has a responsibility to find out why intolerance has become the order of the day and why ethnic nationalities that hitherto lived in peace have become murderous enemies.
The government should and must remain proactive in dealing with and speaking out on measures it is taking in tackling security challenges as silence in the face of threats to the nation amounts to abdication of responsibility.
Tinubu: A note to the Re-conciliator-in-Chief
Politics is such an interesting engagement. It accommodates all manner of behaviour; the good, the bad and the ugly. It is a field where all categories of players are recruited to participate. It is called all-inclusive because it is a game for all, old and young.
It is a game of contradictions and varying possibilities. It is a game where the summations are often not accurate. I have stated elsewhere that in politics, truth is a sacrilege and morality is a sin. You can’t preach truth and honesty in politics and get the pre-determined outcome.
In fact, the more your act of circumventing processes and procedures, the better you are celebrated as someone who possesses political savvy. In fact, you will be called several sobriquets; “Mr. Fix it”, “the Enforcer”, “the political Iroko”, “the ultimate masquerade”, “the conqueror” and many other names that conjure some mystical aloofness.
Just consider this funny side of politics. Last week, I read in the news a statement credited to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu where he advisedly told IBB and OBJ to enjoy their retirement and be collecting their pensions.
At first, I thought he was being quoted out of context because if anything, that advice should serve President Muhammadu Buhari better like a well prepared a la carte. PMB and IBB are almost age mates going by official records and I thought as a reconciliator-in-chief, he should be bold to remind PMB that his time is also up, he should join his colleagues of pensioners to echo the rhythms of retirement. Once given this onerous assignment unilaterally, I had thought Asiwaju would display his characteristic boldness by pointedly telling PMB to go into retirement. IBB and OBJ are already in retirement.
At 70, seven years ago, IBB formally sang the songs of goodbye to partisan politics; reason why chieftains of all political parties consult with him at different times for political endorsement and perspectives. At 75, Nigeria’s chief executive who recruited Asiwaju recently is still making all the moves to seek a second term.
He hasn’t spoken like the late Abacha political diadem, but all signs and signals are pointing in the direction of a second term; not with the vocality of his appointees including the SGF to press home that creed.
As a reconciliator-in-chief, Asiwaju Tinubu has enormous but simple responsibility to dispense with, reason being that he was part and parcel of the initial problems that took the party to different directions after the electoral victory in 2015.
First, APC just like any other political party, is an amalgam of strange bedfellows and parties that deliberately swallowed the phlegm of their idiosyncrasies and ideologies to cohabit a platform for the sole purpose of defeating a lacklustre Goodluck Jonathan presidency. Having won the election, instead of the party calling an elaborate meeting to take far-reaching decisions on power distribution and sharing, every political formation that was part of the merger struggled for political control.
PMB suddenly became elusive. He ignored the party and searched endlessly for his cabinet members for six months and finally came up with a list that was not pro-APC. A lot of those who made the list were persons who were not contributors to the APC victory.
How much a President Buhari can be trusted by a Tinubu remains a matter of conjecture. The second leg of the inertia and internal squabble was the politics of the National Assembly which created its own schisms because certain persons were seen as natural candidates for the principal positions of the parliament.
The tussle between Senator Saraki and Senator Lawan on the one hand and that of Dogara and Gbajabiamila on the other hand was the initial muscle-flexing political drudgery that almost polarized the party. A reticent PMB kept mute, and distanced the presidency from the political horse-trading and gerrymandering. The party was torn between two dominant political heavyweights: Saraki and Tinubu.
While the struggle lasted, tempers were high, nocturnal meetings were held, signatures were collected, unity lists were freely displayed, but both candidates of Tinubu, namely Femi Gbajabiamila and Senator Lawan, lost out in what seemed like a democratic coup d’état between members of the same party.
Because the leadership of the party was weak, the party couldn’t stamp its authority other than to watch with helpless awe as the tidal waves almost wrecked the sail. After the initial anger of Tinubu, he took a deserved rest and holidayed abroad in order to re-strategize for the future.
What people will not tell Tinubu is the fact that he is part of the problem of the APC. There are those who will never trust Tinubu no matter how much they smile and laugh in public with him.
They believe rightly or wrongly that Tinubu cannot be trusted to strike any concrete political deal with, and that when push comes to shove, he would capitulate. There are others who distaste his appetite for raw power, saying why must it be him alone.
The choice of the VP becomes an easy reference and why he wanted to control the National Assembly through his candidates formed part of why it was a fight to finish amongst those who eventually got the positions.
There are yet others who feel Asiwaju Tinubu must have struck a deal with PMB for his sudden turnaround to become the arrowhead of a deliberate plan to reconcile the party in preparation for the 2019 elections.
Some really want to know what that deal is, before they cave into the reconciliatory gambit. The rumoured presidential ambition of Tinubu in 2023 some say, might be the motivation for this new job.
In the light of the above, Tinubu must first and foremost reconcile himself with the party. He must put the cards on the table and try to convince the various factors and persons what the real issues are.
Even his unilateral appointment by President Buhari conveys its own kettle of fish. In the real sense, the party ought to realise that it deserves some measure of reconciliation and would have called a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where it will form an item on the agenda. Having deliberated on the need for reconciliation across board, a reconciliation committee will be set up and could possibly be chaired by Asiwaju Tinubu.
This unilateral decision by the president to appoint a sole individual as chief reconciliator is fraught with problems. Some highly placed chieftains of the party are just sitting back watching with unvoiced interest, how far Asiwaju can go.
They reason why the president would narrow the assignment to him alone, as if he alone represents the sole conscience of the party when in actual sense, his earlier desire to control the power was part of the reason why the party went over the bar.
Those categories of persons would give Asiwaju audience. They will listen to him. They will swallow his message, but once he departs, they will vomit what they have swallowed and get back to their normal selves. In the months ahead, expectedly there will be movements across parties. Smaller groups will be formed within bigger groups.
Different groups will scout for new alliances. New alliances will try to expand their frontiers to gain some in-road into the political architecture of the country. Horse-trading, manipulations and gerrymandering will be deployed to maximum advantage. Cross carpeting will happen as individuals would try to funnel their political route towards 2019. Asiwaju Tinubu is no doubt not a new comer in the politics of Nigeria, but there are those who understand his motives too well when the tempo of politics gets to a particular crescendo.
His capacity for reaching out is equally legendary, but whether people will trust his motive this time will be another kettle of fish. As someone who invested so much of his political capital into making the merger possible, no one can deny him his rightful place as one of the formidable leaders of the APC. But to embark on this journey of reconciliation alone might be an uphill task.
The only difference might be in Asiwaju’s capacity for striking at gold anytime he feels the urge to make an impression. Traveling from the North to the South, East to the West meeting APC stalwarts could be energy-sapping and quite challenging, but the coming months would unveil a set of variables that would prove the success or otherwise of this latest effort to reposition a party that has been firing its salvos in different directions. The clock is ticking.
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