Introduction I need to take a short break from my weekly commentary on Nigeria's power struggle to address a global and broader theme--that of state reform within and across countries. While the article would first appear to be targeted at my academic colleagues, the issues raised therein will resonate with the general reading public. There is no country which has not at one time or the other experimented with a variety of state-led development strategies. However, while some states have … [Read more...]
What is your citizenship worth?
Introduction Against the backdrop of the on-going dialogue on the essence and structure of the Nigerian state, I have decided to reproduce a revised version of the paper that I presented last June on the value of our country's citizenship. Though still fairly lengthy, the new text is considerably shorter than the original. I. Identity value of citizenship: meaning and significance Ever since our emergence as an independent nation on 1st October 1960, our single dominant concern has … [Read more...]
Nigeria, Time for change!
This is not the topic that I had chosen to write about this week. I had planned to move away from the increasingly boring debate on the 2015 power play and focus instead on something really exciting—like a no-holds barred assessment of Nigeria’s investment climate, otherwise termed ‘ease of doing business’, and the country's international competitiveness. I had to reconsider in light of the persistent rumour that the President was determined to run for another term in 2015. Apparently, the … [Read more...]
On GEJ’s Rebuttal to OBJ’s Open Letter
I saw it coming. I had predicted in my last post that ex-President Obasanjo's open letter to President Jonathan would not go unanswered. And answered it was earlier this week. Although the sitting President's self-appointed media consultants had tried to dismiss the issues raised by OBJ as a non-issue (with some arguing that a weightless letter deserved no response) the current President knew better than to act as if the ex-President said nothing extraordinary. The President and his lieutenants … [Read more...]
The Mandela Legacy: an inspiration or a millstone?
Twenty years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Rolihlalala Mandela, finally joined his ancestors. Madiba, as he was fondly known, died last Thursday, the 5th day of December 2013. As to be expected when a colossus passes on, the earth trembled, the sky wept, and humans, wherever they were, showered encomiums on an all-time hero. Tributes to Madiba’s memory poured from all parts of the globe. Over ninety heads of state and government (a record number) left their domains and showed up … [Read more...]
Open letters, trust deficit, and red herrings
What a week it was! First, Nigeria's former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, sent an open letter to the current President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, carpeting the later for various misdeeds. Then, as readers were still digesting the content of the radio-active missive, another one--this time from Iyabo Obasanjo to her father--surfaced. As at the time of going to press, both open letters had pried nothing from the addressees by way of a response--unless of course a deafening silence counts as a … [Read more...]
INEC and 2015: planning for tomorrow’s trouble today!
I. An Overview of Nigeria's Electoral Management Challenges As 2015 approaches, Nigeria must brace itself for the difficult challenges ahead. Political parties, opinion leaders, and other stakeholders must start in earnest to anticipate and tackle the challenges confronting that organization charged with the responsibility for electoral administration and management, the Independent National Electoral Commission/INEC. The Commission is constantly in the limelight. This is not surprising … [Read more...]
You want change? Start with yourself!
In an earlier blog (https://balogunjide.net/people-driven-constitution-nigeria-yes-open-ended-dialogue/), I argued the case for a constitution that is drafted with the knowledge and consent, and preferably, under the supervision, of the People. The question which I left unanswered is whether we, as a People, are ready for this type of social contract. Is there any evidence that Nigerians are willing to accept the responsibility that a People-driven constitution entails? The answer to the … [Read more...]
To rig or not to rig: these are the 2015 questions
Alhaji Mujaheed Dokubo-Asari is in the news again. Never one to pass up the opportunity to galvanize foes and embarrass friends, the leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force /NDPVF, chose the occasion of his release from police detention in the Republic of Benin to boast of his high-level connections, and to repeat an earlier threat, the threat to wage war on Nigeria should the electors make the mistake of not returning his kinsman, President Goodluck Jonathan, to office in 2015. By … [Read more...]
A People-Driven Constitution for Nigeria? Yes! Open-ended Dialogue? No!
President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to establish the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue (hereafter referred to as the “Dialogue Committee” or “the Committee”) has generated a lot of reactions, some positive, others negative, yet others, somewhere in between. The Federal Government justified its action by highlighting the multiple challenges facing Nigeria as a nation, and arguing that only open dialogue offered a way out of the abyss in which Nigerians currently find … [Read more...]