Sunday, 22 February 2015

Nigeria: Human Rights According to Onwubiko


Nigeria: Human Rights According to Onwubiko

BOOK REVIEW
WHO cares about human rights is a massive book by Emmanuel Onwubiko, a distinguished journalist and human right activist. Dr. Sam Amadi an attorney at law and former adviser to the Senate President on Research and Strategy, wrote the book's foreword. He detached human rights protection from the perspectives of the publicist. These essays are Nigeria's foundations of human rights, showcasing a humane environment for human rights to flourish.
The author formulates human rights into a template upon which to build a great nation state. Here, Onwubiko follows the activities of the law enforcement operatives, the politician, and the lawmaker into the recesses of each operational theatre where each is called to protect or promote human rights. The author brings an activist perspective into the essays. As an insider who knows where the problems lie, the author writes critically like an outsider. This volume is a repertoire of human rights literature extant in Nigeria in this day and age.
Who Cares About Human Rights has 144 chapters, an introduction, a foreword, 1030 pages and an acknowledgement. It was published in 2014 by Epikaya Communications Limited and printed by Yaliam Press Limited, Abuja, Nigeria. This book is a compilation of published articles written by the author between 2005 and 2014. As such, it ought to be read by every journalist, public officer, lawmaker and politician. It is a source of enlightenment to all and sundry, particularly the student and those interested in solving Nigerian problems creatively.
The first chapter wets reader's appetite as it makes an interesting reading. It is captioned, "Lies of Subsidy Removal proponents." Stating his intention not to ridicule the President of the Republic from the outset, the author avers that it appeared then that notwithstanding the President's good intentions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were bent on forcing the president to pull out whatever government pays as subsidy on petroleum products. That was in January 2012.
However, the proponents of subsidy withdrawal, who have populated the seat of power were clever by half because they foolishly padded up the subsidy withdrawal reinvestment blueprint with the same projects that for the past ten years have always appeared as part of the yearly budget approved by Parliament which never get executed by the Federal Executive. According to Onwubiko, this document titled Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme or SURE-P was a beautiful piece of fraud, intended to hoodwink Nigerians. Government framed subsidy as one big demon that has frustrated development and the building of the basic social amenities for the poor people of Nigeria over the years.
From the briefings the author received from Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the Minister of Finance; Vice President Namadi Sambo; and the President himself, Onwubiko came out with the impression that the protagonists of oil subsidy withdrawal have purely run out of ideas and that they have chosen to use falsehood presented in the form of statistics to hoodwink Nigerians. Moreover, SURE-P is so packed with projects which ought to be handled by the ministries and indeed as opined by the president, if government was tired of borrowing money to service capital projects, and that only savings from SURE-P can enable the government to deliver these projects, then why didn't federal government collapse all the ministries into one office so that Nigerians can know that their oil wealth are not funneled into servicing the horde of lazy bureaucrats in those good for nothing ministries.
Even the Abuja-Lokoja dual carriage way that was started by the late President Umaru Yar'Adua has found its way into the SURE-P that is being paraded by the government as the only solution to Nigeria's social economic problems.
Human Rights and Nigeria at 49 is another interesting chapter of the compendium. Therein was shown that Human Rights infractions became much more pronounced during Nigeria's military rule soon after our independence in 1960. Some Nigerians considered as pro-democracy campaigners suffered one form of repression, imprisonment and rights abuses or the other.
Journalists like the late Dele Giwa who was killed through a parcel bomb during General Ibrahim Babangida's era, others were incarcerated by successive military tyrants for their commitment to ensuring that political rights of Nigerians were respected.
Chapter 11 treats Boko Haram imbroglio we are in now. The violent insurgency by Boko Haram is the biggest security nightmare confronting Nigeria since 1914, the year Nigeria was amalgamated. President Jonathan who took over in 2010 first as acting President and later as substantive president after the demise of Umar Yar'Adua told reporters that the Boko Haram insurgency was the largest and most disturbing challenge to confront Nigeria since independence. The on-going insurgency could be traced to 2009 when the police killed Mohammed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram in Borno. The remnants of Boko Haram then launched attacks on government institutions and banks. Some high profile attacks were successfully carried out at the United Nations Building in Abuja and the Police Headquarters.
Those attacks gave Nigeria a bad name, forcing countries round the world to convene conferences in London and Addis Ababa. In 2012, Nigeria and Cameroun signed an accord on border security. But unlike other leaders, Jonathan had not named any commander for the Boko Haram insurgency. Those mistakes have led to the festering of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Stay Prepared For Your Opportunity


On The Path Of Winners

BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

File-Ludwig_Erhard_916-1328.jpgStay Prepared For Your Opportunity


SUCCESS evolves from working hard at the business at hand every day. Studies have been conducted over the years trying to determine why is it that some people are more successful than others. Thousands have been interviewed, tested in an attempt to unravel the common denominators of success. One success factor discovered however, is the quality of ‘‘action orientation” of a person.
  It was discovered that successful people are intensely action oriented. They seem to move faster than unsuccessful people. They are busier, try harder than mediocres. Successful people start a little earlier and they stay on the project a little longer. They are in constant motion.
  Unsuccessful people on the other hand, start at the last minute necessary and quit at the first moment possible. Mediocres are fastidious about taking every minute of coffee breaks, lunch hours, sick leave and holidays. They often brag, ‘‘When I am not at work, I never ever think about it.” In his essay on Compensation, the American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson averred that you will always be compensated in life in direct proportion to the value of your contribution. If you want increase in your rewards, you must increase the quality and quantity of your results. If you want to get more out of life, you must put more into it. There is no other way. Researchers have found the key quality of winners, most of whom started at the bottom, was that early in life, they developed the habit of ‘‘going the extra mile.” They knew intuitively that there are never any traffic jams on the extra mile.
  In a study of self-made millionaires who in the course of their careers had accumulated more than a million dollars, researchers found, almost unanimously that their success was hinged on always doing more than they were paid for. They had made it a habit of always putting in more than they took out. They were always looking for ways of contributing beyond what was expected of them.
  For lifelong career success, I often advise beginners in two ways. First, as soon as you get settled in a new job, go to your boss, tell him that you want more responsibility. Say that you want to make your maximum contribution to your organization and that you would like to get more responsibility whenever it becomes available. But when such opportunities for responsibility occur, if performed well, it will pave the way to promotion and future executive power.
  Secondly, always move fast on opportunities. This is how to prepare for your opportunity. It has been said that good luck is the point where preparation meets opportunity. Thus, your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you have done what you are expected to do. Also, at every turn in your career, do more than you are paid for. Do more than others expect. Go the extra mile. Get busy, get going and take action. Determine never to be idle. Gaining the reputation of a man of action will accelerate your career more than anything else you can imagine.
  A key to high income is the ‘‘momentum principle of success.” This principle says that it takes great energy to get yourself into motion. But it takes less energy to keep yourself moving on once you have got going. This momentum principle explains success factors. It shows successful people are busy people. They get going and going on all day long. They create meaning out of a meaningless existence. They are constantly moving from targets to goals. The highest paid millionaires with whom eighty per cent of the wealth of the nation is kept, always kept their time in terms of minutes spent on projects. From this came the aphorism, time is money. The faster you move, the happier you become, the more enthusiastic and creative you become. The faster you move, the more  you get done and the more you get paid. Have a sense of urgency fast tempo is essential to success. All great people have a bias for action.
  Our champion this week is Ludwig Erhard, the West German economist and statesman who as economic Affairs minister (1949-63) was the architect of Germany’s post-war economic recovery. Born in February 1897 in Furth, Germany, Erhard studied economics after World War One, eventually joining an economics research institute. For being untainted by Nazi associations, he was entrusted by the Allied occupation authorities with German reconstruction. Thereafter, he served as economics minister in Bavaria (1945-46) and later director federal currency reform commission. As an adherent of the Freiburg School of neoliberal economics, Erhard promoted the social market economy in which a free market economy is combined with state responsibility for promotion of economic development and a welfare state.
  Entering parliament of the new federal republic as a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy in 1949, he was immediately appointed minister for Economic Affairs by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Then, Erhard initiated policies responsible for the German economic miracle which gave full employment and prosperity to Germany within five years.
  Erhard was appointed vice chancellor as a reward for his economic prowess in 1957 and succeeded Adenauer as federal chancellor in 1963. His government was troubled by tepid foreign policy and a budget deficit. His decision to raise taxes in response to recession in 1966, caused the refusal of his coalition partners, the Free Democrats. He was forced to resign in October 1966. Later he was named honorary leader of the CDU. He lived in retirement until his death in 1977.