Browsing: Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim

The following day, NEC will accept to temporarily call off the general strike after accepting the meagre offer on the table while claiming offer demands will be eventually met. Workers who had been mobilised, riled up and emotionally charged would be demobilized, downcast and disappointed with their radical leaders who suddenly turned coat and became docile and “reasonable”. That’s the end of the story until the next general strikes.

The problem is that everybody in this country knows this is a lie and no sector of society regularly gets a minimum of 20 hours of electricity a day. You cannot build a new policy on lies and such a huge increase of tariff in the middle of the most severe cost of living crisis in Nigerian history cannot stand. The new tariff is also aimed at eliminating annual electricity subsidies of NGN1.14 trillion we are told.

The convener, Professor Attahiru Jega argued that Nigeria has one of the most educated, professional and astute elite any country would be proud to have. He however pointed out that the same Nigerian elite is one of the most divisive, fractious and quarrelsome in the world, apparently set at destroying the unity and developmental potential of the country.

The Tinubu Administration is a fanatic believer in economic liberalism and market forces. Based on its belief, it cancelled fuel subsidy and floated the naira so that it can find its true value. The naira played its part and has been rising steadily desperately searching for its true market value, which it turns out, is still very far away. The result is a “misery crisis” as cost of living rise beyond the incomes of ordinary citizens whose naira is too small to enable them purchase food and hunger and anger spreads throughout the land. The President who always tells Nigerians that he understands their pains then offers a solution and orders distribution of free grains from the Strategic Food Reserves. It turned out the civil servants forgot to brief him that the reserves are empty.

The Federal Government alongside the governments of the 36 states are considering the creation of state police. This followed an emergency meeting between President Bola Tinubu and state governors at the Aso Rock Villa yesterday. According to reports, Thursday’s meeting follows the recent hike in food prices, economic hardship, and rising insecurity all over the country. In other words, there is fear of widespread insurrection. Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, explained that the process is still in its infancy and would only take shape after more deliberations between stakeholders.

Cardinal Onaiyekan is insistent in the book that although we Nigerians pride ourselves as being very religious and we claim that our religion is for peace, our nation is full of violent conflicts, sometimes said to be due to, or related to, religion. It is a tragic contradiction we must resolve How can we make sure that we retain our religious convictions and at the same time ensure that religion plays its true role as an asset for peace, not a liability? Is it true that religion brings peace, or is it a myth? We often say that religion, in itself, is all about peace and goodness, while the evil actions giving it a bad name come from other factors that have nothing to do with religion. Two such suggested factors are ignorance and greed.

This book was presented yesterday as part of the ceremonies for the 80th birthday of John Cardinal Onaiyekan. I am an Ahmadu Bello University brought up which meant in my earlier years, I spent a lot of time reading the collected works of Marx, Engels and Lenin for their commitment to creating the public good. Now in my twilight years, I find myself reading a lot of the collected works of Onaiyekan which I find educative, inspiring and useful pointers to the pathway to achieving the collective good. As we wait for the next volume, the current one composed of 15 chapters is his collected works between retirement in 2020 and 2023.