Getting government back on track: focus on agency governance

How can a government be sure that the goods and services produced by the career public service are the same as those promised the electorate? The honest answer is it can’t. Were all the beans to be counted and duly accounted for, the government would still not be able to say with confidence that the bureaucratic agents’ delivery matches the people’s or their elected representatives’ expectations. If statutory mandates are not ‘rewritten’ along the way by the prevailing rules regime and sundry … [Read more...]

Reconstructing Nigeria: Putting the Citizen First

In a previous article, I argued that the time spent wondering how to rebrand or restructure Nigeria ought to be devoted to transforming the state from the lord and master that it currently is to the service provider that the citizen expects it to be. This is a major paradigm shift. It is an enormous task that calls not only for a new mindset but also and more especially for the active involvement of all the stakeholders. However, the fact that the task is beyond the capacity of an individual … [Read more...]

Reconstructing the post-2015 Nigeria: the Priorities

My esteemed readers deserve an explanation for my long silence. It isn't as if my pen ran short of ink, or that there aren't topics worth writing about. I had to take a 'sabbatical' to meet an urgent publishing deadline, and at the same time, participate in online debate on the 2015 elections. With the publishing project out of the way, I can now focus on issues of national concern. At least two 'medicines' have, at one time or the other, been prescribed as cures for our country's maladies. … [Read more...]

Partisanship in the security and law enforcement agencies: a clear and present danger!

“Thank God the APC won the Osun election or else…(APC’s loss would have been blamed on the N14 million bribe which SSS personnel refused to collect?)” – SSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar “Thank God, the APC won the Osun election. There was no bomb blast” (But there were bomb blasts in other states lost by the APC, especially, Ondo captured by the Labour Party, Anambra won by APGA, and Ekiti won by the PDP) -- SSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar If the two pull-out quotes … [Read more...]

The Case Against Rotational Presidency

In November last year, I posted an article on President Goodluck Jonathan's decision to convene a national conference, hereafter referred to as "the conference" or "the confab" ( The conference has since settled down to business. To give the delegates the breathing space they needed to, as they say, "jaw-jaw", I took a break from my regular blogging activity. I maintained a studied silence since most of the … [Read more...]

Dying to get a job

It is not what one looks forward to with fondness. I mean, whoever derives pleasure from writing about a national tragedy should have his/her head examined. But write about the latest in the series of tragedies we must. At the risk of having our heads examined, we must ask why innocent men and women should die in the process of looking for gainful employment. Dying to get a job? What a contradiction in terms! One would have expected that the whole purpose of looking for a job is to stay alive … [Read more...]

Power of incumbency, impunity and corruption: the linkages

Is corruption an issue in Nigeria? What kind of question is that? Isn’t the answer obvious? Apparently not-- obvious, that is. In fact, judging by the way the government and the apathetic-cum-cynical public are going about it today, one should be forgiven for asking whether corruption is, or will ever become, an issue in the struggle for, and exercise of, power. At a time when Transparency International ranks Nigeria among the most corrupt countries in the world (144th among a total of 177 … [Read more...]

Boko Haram: Focus on Internal and External Dimensions

"(The Project for the New American Century/PNAC) is dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world, and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle"--William Kristol, PNAC Chairman "As it is among individuals, so it is among states. When one state claims to know what is 'good' for another, it is merely using that as a cover for motives that are at best, non-altruistic, at … [Read more...]

Nigeria’s same-sex prohibition law: mark of intolerance or affirmation of sovereignty?

The Nigerian government’s decision to outlaw gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender/LGBT relationships raises cogent issues not only about individual rights but also about the extent to which the state is justified in circumscribing those rights. At the core, however, is how to reconcile conflicting and parallel wills, specifically, those of the individual, the society to which s/he belongs, and the international community, howsoever defined. The same-sex prohibition law poignantly raises the … [Read more...]

2015 elections and attempted disenfranchisement of Nigerians

That Femi Aribisala thoroughly dislikes Muhammadu Buhari should by now be beyond doubt. He has made no secret of his loathing for the former military Head of State or his horror at the prospects of Buhari re-emerging as an elected President. His Premium Times article of 21 January 2014 titled “Why Buhari will never be president of Nigeria” gave me an idea of his grudge--and the depth of his feeling—against Buhari. The article started with the run-in which Aribisala had with the State Security … [Read more...]