Covid-19: Nigerians should begin to look inward – Yusuf Adamu
The increase in the number of cases as being announced by states as well as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control is alarming. The few days or rather few weeks lockdown across the country has been a disaster to the economy of this country. So sad is that, too many Nigerians are still ignorant of what is happening despite the fangs of death and bodies in our streets as foretold looking at our attitude and approach in dealing with serious issues.
The deaths are no longer a story told, but have seen it with our very own eyes. Some are our friends, brothers and associates or even somebody we know from a distance. Death has came in another fashion. This is not an enemy we can see, but an invisible one in the name of civid-19 pandemic. We are all shrink in our fears and seperates relationship because we all wants to live. But my fear is not about this unfriendly hand touching individuals now. This too shall pass and we may all forget it. However, what we have built in many years is being destroy on a daily basis and we are seeing without help.
My most fear is that, we are still a nation living in our past glory. I am therefore calling from my little corner that, this is the right time for us to look inward . This is a time for a paradigm shift. We have indeed found ourselves in a chaotic situation. But in this country, are we taken unaware in respect of the covid-19 pandemic? Of course not! However, now that it has came, it is time for us to start to look inward towards salvaging ourselves by preparing for the next line of action to redeem our country from the shackles of economic meltdown, which came with this pandemic.
I see trouble with our economy after this. Certainly, one cannot close his eyes to say that all is well with the Nigeria’s economy with all the stories making headlines. But I believe we have hope of redeeming this country with our God’s given human resources. We have people from all works of life, who are in position to bring about the needed change. It is time to begin to look for such people. It is time for us to look towards resuscitating our research institutions. We have them in Ibadan, Kaduna, Jos and Enugu to mention few. If countries like Maleysia and China can do it, we can also do it.
When the President banned the importation of rice into the country, there was a lot of noise about the economy on the ground that, the action will yield no good result. I remember when our late Head of State, General Sani Abatcha banned the importation of gypsum, people make noise, but the end result is that, as a country we are now self sufficient in cement and rice.
We should not waste time importing things that are not necessary for our development in the country. It is laughable that we are importing pomade and hair for our women and we feel proud doing so. But these are not necessary and we do not need to waste resources doing these things. We have our shear butter, all we need to do is rebrand it locally and it is even better than most of these imported pomade.
Also we have our agriculture, It is time we begin to look inward towards developing this sector. We have the agric extension workers, but they have gone into oblivion. We need to make sure all our agric extension workers are back in the field. We should work on improving their capacity with new farming technology in the use of hybrid or improve seedling for better yield and to boost our economy through agriculture again.
I always tell whoever cares to listen that, the time has came, business will no longer be as usual in this country. For those who are good listeners of news making the round. ‘Things Fall Apart’ as Achibe of blessed memory would put it. The crude oil price has gone down. Now there is going to be more trouble with the usual states allocation fund from the crude oil selling. The US dollar has skyrocketed N470 to $1. The bench mark being put in expectations is no longer there, and before it would come back again, if it does, perhaps it will take a lot of time.
While we still are able to do something, it is time we begin to think of becoming exporters of food to other countries. This may help in stabilising the country as substitute to oil. The Almighty God has so blessed us as a people, we need to look at these blessings and used them in an appropriate way. I know that, we are also a people of religion and tribe, but this is not going to save us. We have to put aside religion and tribalism if we must move forward. Posterity will judge us in the end if we did not correct the mistake that has so divided us as a people.
In my state, we are beginning to make that move perhaps due to the conflict and activities of Boko Haram. People now no longer talk about religion and tribe as it was before and we are learning to become self sufficient too. My governor is also encouraging this through the Fadama agricultural emancipation, which is laudable. He has been up and doing move from one end to another to encourage farmers despite the challenges of Boko Haram. The last time I checked he was at lake Alau to see things for himself as well as to encourage the people and ensure they started doing something on the Fadama farming.
The yield has been proudly encouraging for those of us who are practicing farming in our own small way. In my house, I also have a garden and I am so satisfied with the yield. I can now say that, I am eating the fruits of my labour and less some spending. At least, this is supporting my family economy. I believe if everybody will do the same, very soon many homes will begin to grow its own food and by so doing, the country will become food sustainable and that will translate into economic sustainability for Nigeria.
An idle man they say, is a devils workshop. We have eaten the fruits of idleness in this country and today, what is happening is the result of what we have neglected in the past. Now with the Covie-19 pandemic, our government needs to wake up to fight idleness, which is key to creating lack of social distancing. If people are busy, there will be no time to form group of idle talkers on our streets and social distancing will naturally come to play. But now I observed that, when one goes to a local government, you find our that, the local government has only three functioning vehicle with almost one hundred drivers. You will also notice about three hundred cleaners having nothing to clean. In the government ministries, you will find only ten vehicles with about two hundred drivers. This is not healthy for our society, states and country particularly with the pandemic of corona ravaging countries across the world.
Our own case must be different, these idle drivers and cleaners, the children of the poor roaming the streets and the army of almajirai that are being relocated and rejected because of the pandemic if proper care and a blue print is put in place to get them busy, we would have no cause for the striking fears from this state to that. Government should come up with a programme for agriculture. The Nigerian Society of Engineers should bring a blueprint so that, we stop bringing the Chinese to construct our roads, build our bridges and laid our rail lines. We have serious minded engineers and we should start penciling names for a change and for our growth.
Also the Nigerian Medical Council should stop being spectators and move for their calling by ensuring our hospitals are well equipped and staff as well as ensure that, hospitals and laboratories do not operate without being certified especially those in the local government areas. Our judiciary is suffering from epilepsy and need cure. People who have ruined this country are walking freely on our streets because the judiciary has no power to send those ones to jail. We pray for a miraculous healing for this third arm of government so that, they can come back to discharge justice in this country.
* Yusuf Adamu is the former Political Adviser to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima
Kashim Shettima; My Boss/Friend @ 54
Kashim Shettima: My Boss/Friend @54
By: Inuwa Bwala
The story of Kashim Shettima, former Governor of Borno State, now’ Distinguished Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial district in the National Assembly, could be likened to that of the hunter, who picked what he thought was a puppy during a hunting expedition, only to realise that it was actually a baby lion on returning home.
From the background of a university lecturer, Shettima became one of the Most successful but quiet bankers north of the Niger. His records in Zenith bank where he was discovered and picked for political office speak volumes about Kashim Shettima’s rise to Stardom.
As a commissioner in the cabinet of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the then Governor of Borno State, Shettima distinguished himself so we, and was on the move very frequently from one ministry to another, where he set standards in job delivery and resources management.
Many of his colleagues thought he was over pampered, but most of us also could not deny the fact that he was ahead in meeting the expectations of our boss.
Regarded as a greenhorn in politics at that time, nobody gave him the chance of being picked as Sheriffs successor. Even when he eventually emerged, so many people, including the then Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, thought the furthest he could go is a one tenure Governor. What was not known to all of us, was that, Kashim Shettima deliberately concealed his potentials like the lion cub, and when they began to manifest as he took full control, there seemed no stopping him, not even by the forces we thought were indispensable.
He conquered the political space and rendered those who wrote him off voiceless. Even his ardent critics hailed him as the emergent political force from the Sahara. He went on to become the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum at a very challenging time. He made the greatest impact of that office, leaving behind an oversized shoe.
I often tell people, that, Kashim Shettima is the type, that. the more one tries to know him, the further one tends to get away from his concealed personality.Even those who loath him, do secretly admire his intellectual candour, his mastery of English and his delivery if speech
Kashim Shettima can mesmerize even the best of orators whenever given the opportunity to make public speeches.
Very often, when he rises to speak in the Senate, Shettima holds his colleagues spell bound and delivers his message with the mastery of a born orator.
I cannot help agreeing with one of my friends who observed that Kashim Shettima reads so many books, especially philosophical books, and that explains why he could quote so many philosophical texts in a row with such precision that one may think he is the original author.
He is what journalists describe as a reporters delight, when he begins to philosophise on contemporary events marrying same with past philosophical forecasts.
His sheer intellectual bravado has endeared him to so many people, including his older colleagues in the red chambers, and political pundits rate him amongst Nigeria’s upcoming politicians to watch in the nearest future.
I have had my very bitter quarrels with him and could claim to know him very well. One aspect of him I am yet to comprehend is Kashim Shettimas ability to win the confidence of people, including his arch enemies. Such men are rare nowadays.
He often reminds me that we are contemporaries and compatriots, but he is far ahead in so many things. And it is because I do not hope to ever catch up with him in those areas he has comoarative lead, that I regard him more as my boss, much mire than my friend, even though he prefers we relate as friends. Happy 54th birthday my boss friend Distinguished Senator Kashim Shettima.
The Governor arrived the government house Damaturu together with some of the state’s important dignitaries.
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