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El-zakzaky and the tragedy of medical tourism – Dr Ikubese




By Dr Wilson Ikubese

A few days ago, a Kaduna High Court granted leave to leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat, to travel abroad for medical treatment

Consequent upon this position, El Zakzaky boarded the flight on his trip for medical treatment, not to America or Europe, but to INDIA!!!

Just a couple of years ago, India was on the same pedestal with Nigeria.

Today, it’s the home of Medical Tourism.

It’s imperative to state here that the majority of hospitals that patients visit in India for Medical Tourism are not owned by government. They are Private Hospitals!!!

The government of India went out of its way to empower the private health sector with policy incentives.

The result is what we are seeing today; patients from around the world flying across many seas to access healthcare in India, a country that only recently was overtaken by Nigeria as home to the highest number of poor people on earth.

When India became independent of British rule in 1947 the private health sector provided only 5-10% of total patient care. Today it accounts for 82% of outpatient visits, 58% of inpatient expenditure, and 40% of births in institutions.

Spending on health in the public sector has not been a priority for successive governments in India, a situation that calls for knocks on the Indian governments, though they have encouraged the growth of the private sector tremendously.

They have subsidised the private sector by releasing prime buildings, lands at low rates, exemptions from taxes and duties for importing drugs and high tech medical equipment, and through concessions to doctors setting up private practices and nursing homes.

Here in Nigeria, private hospitals are treated like any other business venture by the Federal and State governments, with multiple taxations and back-breaking policies.

The age long appeal to the Federal government by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Association of General And Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) for the setting up of dedicated Bank of Health to provide credit facilities at a single digit interest rate to health institutions has not been given a favourable consideration by the powers that be.

If the government gives the needed incentive to the private health sector in Nigeria, we have far more potential to overtake India and become the destination for Medical Tourism globally as Nigeria has abundant qualified personnels, who but lack the financial muscle to set up 5 star private hospitals.

It’s not too late to start, if only we have the political will to start now!

Dr Thomas-Wilson Ikubese
13th August, 2019

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And Trump’s cookie will continue to crumble



And Trump’s cookie will continue to crumble, by Hassan Gimba

Those familiar with novels, especially before the advent of the internet, can remember a famous novel recalled in my headline. The book, The Way The Cookie Crumbles, first published in 1965, is one of the ninety or so thrillers written by Rene Lodge Brabazon Raymond, better known as James Hadley Chase.

Ordinarily, a cookie represents many things ranging from the inanimate to the animate but The Way The Cookie Crumbles in Chase’s novel means “how things worked or panned out”. It is a plot in the author’s imaginary millionaire’s playground called Paradise City. A sinister criminal called Ticky Edris was planning the “perfect heist”. It had taken him years planning a bank robbery in broad daylight, with only two accomplices: a smooth conman and a streetsmart, beautiful blonde.

As Ticky’s plan gets put into action, luck is on his side, but as people start dying and disappearing, detective Tom Lepski picks up the trail. Suddenly, Ticky’s plan is in danger, and if there is one thing he didn’t count on, it was the personalities of the very people who are most vital to his plan. At the end of it, his planning came to nought, and the cookie crumbled.

The moral of the story is that good triumphs over evil in the end. That no matter how far the hurricane of falsehood carries the people, the rain of truth would ultimately halt the hurricane’s borrowed time.

But then this is the nature of the world from the beginning of creation. The God that never sleeps makes it so. In the Holy Qur’an 5:100, believers were told “Not equal are evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.” No matter how impressive or intimidating the toga of wrong looks like, ultimately, like the cookie, it will crumble.

In this, there is a teaching for humanity – both leaders and the led – to ponder upon. The led must think good and live nobly and see each other as brothers and sisters from different parents. He must wish no one bad, and he should be his brother’s keeper. The leader must lead based on justice, equity and fairness. A leader of a people is like a father in a household. Just as the father should not be unjust to his children, a leader must shun unfairness to those he leads.

It is bad leadership for a leader to treat particular people better than another or love another more than the other and show it clearly. It is wrong leadership for a leader to exult over pains of the led or treat those in his class as humans, and take others for granted. It is the leader’s responsibility to make his people feel and have a sense of belonging. How he leads can encourage followers to live his dreams: if noble, a nation is built and if evil, a country is destroyed.

The founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, spoke of this. In his book, Bayan Wujub ul-Hijrah alal Mukallafi, he wrote: “a kingdom (nation) can endure with unbelief, but it cannot endure with injustice”. Frederick Douglass, an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman, also spoke in a similar vein. He said: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”.

Any leader who governs tangentially to the above truism has no escape route than to come a cropper. The Holy Bible in Revelation 12.9 says, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him”.

Donald Trump’s fall from grace is a lesson for not only leaders but humanity in general. Unwarranted hate based on religion or skin colour will not be left unpunished by the Creator of the man of colour.

However, some people may not know that Trump’s ascendancy is traceable to the 1850s split of the Whig Party (precursor of the Republican Party). It had a progressive side that elected Abraham Lincoln four years after that split, trouncing a regressive pro-slavery side. The beaten side seemed to have resurfaced with his Phoenix-like rise with his band of ‘rednecks’ to the presidency.

Therefore, it is not surprising he appeals to the slave masters’ sentiments, those who think they are the best of creation and have to take their country back from non-whites who, to them, are no more than slaves. Supremacists are shallow in thinking. That is why Trump and his mob forget that America is the land of the Red Indians which their fugitive grandparents plundered from them by the bullet. No wonder some of the Capitol invaders dressed like Vikings that pillaged the coasts of Europe between the 8th and 10th centuries. No wonder the police department described the attack as ‘medieval.’

Blacks are scum and Africa a s**t hole to his supremacist ego. South Americans are criminals, and a wall is needed to stop them from entering America. Highly resourceful Asians are predators to be pauperised, and he must make fiercely independent Iranians, Cubans, Venezuelans and North Koreans bend. Because of his hatred for the Black race, he got consumed with destroying his more successful predecessor, Barak Obama. Were it in his hands, he would have obliterated Obama, the Black man, from the face of the earth and his legacies and memory wiped from the minds of mortals.

It was this unbridled hatred that made him issue the battle cry to like-minded Americans to “fight like hell”, warning them that if they did not “you are not gonna have a country anymore”. The problem with any form of tribalism is that when the proponents are allowed to be, they turn on themselves.

But tribalism is frowned upon by the Creator of tribes. Unlike even religion that takes one to Elysium or the netherworld, no one can choose or change his tribe. You are what God wants you to be, so why fight over what was not even your choice but done by the Most Wise for a purpose? In chapter 49, verse 13 of the Holy Qur’an, God in His Majesty said “O mankind! Lo! We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the best in conduct; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware”.

When a person decides to be opinionated and go against the grain, the person starts fighting the Creator of man and tribes. While it is left for people to remain intransigent and continue telling God they know better or turn a new leaf based on love for all humanity, Trump’s ending is a lesson for all to learn that God does not tolerate rivalry. Our God is a jealous God. He rubbishes His rivals such that they wished He had not created them to start with.

Today, Trump, in an attempt to play god – he is always the best and most perfect in everything – has become a pariah in a world that was his oyster yesterday. Nations, world leaders, cities – at least New York City, banks, social media platforms, corporate bodies and responsible people have all turned their backs on him. He has set records, albeit ignoble ones, and broken some others that mothers in the future would caution their sons not to behave like him to avoid ending up like him.

Apart from becoming the first American President to be impeached twice – a new all-time low record, he is among 12 American presidents who could not get more than a term. He is also among six others who contested for a second term but couldn’t win it. He is again one of five in the history of America’s 58 presidential elections to have lost the popular vote but became President through the backdoor offered by the Electoral College. He also is among the only three that lost the popular and electoral votes twice. You see, if democracy were a game of numbers, our man was just a pretender because he never won an election.

Yet this kind of man has immense following. But so also were Hitler and Musolini. He has taken hold of his party by the jugular, and sadly it has lost in places it has been winning for years. While the veil is lifting from his supporters’ eyes in America, with some crying for pardon or committing suicide, his Nigerian supporters are further digging in. As if afflicted with a slave mentality, they will choose Trump over fellow African, Obama. They will hail the racist over Joe Biden who has so far appointed three – and counting – of their countrymen into his administration.

They mimic Trump even in speech and writings. Coming from a background that always sees village people, witches and wizards as those hindering their prosperity, they claim Trump is a saint fighting the Illuminati! They shuffle around Ajegunle or Surulere in bathroom slippers, wearing three-quarter length trousers, hustling to survive to the next day. Yet you hear them calling Joe Biden “sleepy Joe” in mimicry of their Illuminati fighting deity.

Between November last year and the first week of January this year, they were all over the social media space. They were the ones shouting “we have won Pennsylvania, Supreme Court will declare us, wait and see”. or that they had burned the midnight incense for victory. Their self-delusion makes me recall Musa, a Manchester United supporter in Damaturu. He will look at me in the face and say, “We will buy Ronaldo” or “We will win the League Cup”. We!

Trumpism will remain in America because of the supremacists who see “others” taking over “our America”. But the Republican Party will regenerate and in doing so, do away with its Retrumplicans if it hopes to survive. As for the Nigerian Trumpideens, they will soon find another renegade to latch on to.

By and large, Trump’s stormy life is a book written by God for people, especially leaders, to take heed and learn lessons. No matter how long it takes, no matter the applause, just as life on earth is temporary, so are the trappings of office.

God, the Ever Wise and Ever Strong, can bless any man He feels like with all blessings and place him among the stars, high above all others, to show that only He can. After all, Trump did not win the election in the strict sense of the word the first time, but God gave it to him – and his opponents accepted His Will, saying, “May thy Will be done, oh God!” God does everything for a purpose. If the man acknowledges the Lord’s favours and does good, he does good for himself. If he does bad, he does it to himself too.”

But the Creator of man always yanks the rug of blessings from under the feet of the narcissist leader who loves people or hates them based on tongue and, as a result, causes division among them. His curse will visit them either in power or out of it. And like the cookie, they will crumble in humiliation. And the people will witness it until another like comes on stage. It is cyclical, the history of the world.

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Is Bindow Apc’s new Judas Iscariot?



Is Bindow APC’s new Judas Iscariot?

By Munnir Gidado

Recent actions and utterances of former governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow have been given stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress goose pimples and sleepless nights, because the former governor betrays no emotion in speaking from both sides of his mouth.

Rightly or wrongly, a number of stakeholders believe that Bindow is a Janus-faced traitor, and Fintiri’s political factotum in APC whose sole purpose is to rock the ship of the party for self serving motives.

Such actions of the former Governor have made a number of stakeholders to take his utterances with a pinch of salt as they did not only doubt his sincerity but believe that his touted loyalty to party is questionable.

Is it not preposterous for a man who rode on the crest of the party to power for four years to ask members of the same party in the state not criticize the current ruling party despite its numerous shortcomings?

The fact that Bindow has become a master of doublespeak who has been championing the cause of PDP in his private and public engagements instead of charting a course for his party’s victory ahead of the 2023 general election is indisputable.

Simply put, Bindow has uncannily transformed to an incorrigible apologist of the PDP sparing no effort to defend the ruling party, its the government and the governor whenever an opportunity to do that presents itself.

The fact that the governor proclaimed to be a member of the APC and campaign for the PDP even at the party secretariat has been both befuddling and confusing as the action betrays lack of conscience, humility and the needed dose of loyalty expected from an individual that benefitted so much from the party.

Why the former governor refused to shift tent with his new found love so as to conveniently and openly campaign for it remained puzzling.

It is on record that the former governor has in recent times become so much obsessed with defending his new hobby to the extent that he felt no qualms about the notorious image such endeavour is giving him. Simply put, Bindow seems too preoccupied to notice that his actions are earning him general rebuke and portraying him as everything wrong in the APC.

Since he came back into the state almost two years after he was ousted from power, by the PDP behemoth, Bindow has poignantly maintained the posture of a sellout, dining with the APC in the morning and sleeping with the PDP in the night.

Bindow’s comments during his first visit to the party secretariat was the icing that portrayed his innermost biases and insincerity towards his party.

Otherwise, how can Bindow appeal to party members not to criticise the Fintiri-led government despite its many failings?

Many were angered by the rather awkward comments made by Bindow whose government had received a number of hard tackles from Fintiri who in expressing his disgust about the level of economic malfeasance that took place under Bindow even promised to investigate him.

But instead of paying Fintiri in the same coins, Bindow suddenly lost his voice when it mattered most and to the chagrin and consternation of all and sundry the former governor chooses to became the mega phone of his traducers.

” Adamawa state Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is my younger brother, friend and confidant. I will not be a party to anything that will spoil or portray his government in bad light and I will not encourage anyone to do so. The Governor is doing his best and needs the support of all citizens to succeed,” was all that Bindow could muster to say during his first home coming to the party.

The fact that many people were not happy with such crestfallen partisanship and open support for the enemy immediately reverberated as both the state chairman of the party Ibrahim Bilal and the deputy publicity secretary of the party, Mohammed Mayas openly told the former governor that nobody could prevent them from criticizing a government whose performance was to say the least abysmal.

Many believed that Bindow’s quest for political survival has been largely responsible for his strange posture. But unknown to the former governor, the impropriety of such actions have been stirring the hornet’s nest and currently causing seismic ripples in APC as Bindow’s subterfuge became the most topical issue in Adamawa APC circles.

There is a general belief in the party that for the expediency of political correctness, and self preservation, Bindow is willing to offer his party as a sacrificial lamb.

To elucidate their point, those making such postulations are insinuating that, the ex-governor has collected huge kickbacks from Fintiri to help him destroy APC on the premise that the ex-governor will be rewarded with the senatorial ticket of Adamawa north senatorial zone, so as to fight governor Fintiri’s arch enemy, Senator Ishaku Abbo who has become a torn in the governor’s flesh.

It is believed that even the tour to the various chiefdoms and emirates embarked by Bindow recently were craftily conjured and bankrolled by the Fintiri led state government.

Many in the state believed that Bindow’s tour has received the blessings and imprimatur of governor Fintiri, otherwise, it remains doubtful if those chiefs and emirs who are in total obeisance to the state governor and are seriously afraid of his fury will host Bindow with so much exuberance and fanfare.

Buoyed by the belief that a fifth columnist in the party has promised to offer it to him as sacrificial lamb, the governor during a chat with newsmen after his return from his annual leave ecstatically and forcefully said there was no opposition in the state when reporters sought to know what he feels about the rising profile of the APC in the state as witnessed by the high profile defections.

The response that Fintiri give to the effect that there is no opposition in Adamawa State was the icing that portrays the governors innermost beliefs that with Bindow in tow, there is no opposition in the state.

Suffice it to offer Bindow a candid counsel so as not to fall prey to the antics of Fintiri like Modi and co-travellers who are now licking their wounds after being ditched by the governor who made mouth watering promises to them when he was looking for their support but conveniently discarded them after he became the governor.

Many discerning students of power believe that Bindow is trading on a landmine laden path and the earlier he capitulated and takes a more honourable path, the better for him and APC.

It will be a great disservice for Bindow to succumb to the diabolic antics of the PDP government at least for posterity sake.

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Senator Wamakko: A political gladiator to watch come 2023



Senator Wamakko: A political gladiator to watch come 2023

By Mahmud Mohammad, Sokoto

Senator Aliyu magatakarda Wamakko has recently witnessed forces of old cold war against him that hindered him from peace and advocacy campaign which he is best known with for 35 years. Earlier, since the demise of his daughter and his Nephew, the senator has been going round paying sympathy visit and condolences message to all stakeholders that today opponent see him as threat.
In another development, they described the technocrat as a figure, stalwarts and stakeholder that is wholeheartedly out to touch the life of the poor in the society. Even though, sometime technocrat can only be differentiated by their words which according to Gen. Ibrahim Babangida made the assertion that he is there for the masses, he said is the only leader that after serving his people, he decided to erect his mansion at the middle of poor.

Even as, he added that all of us ran and build our houses uphills, but common man reach Wammakko through phone and this signify he is a real technocrat.

Meanwhile, it could be recalled that Wammakko anointed the present incumbent Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and brought him into power in 2015 single handedly. To draw people closer as he anticipates. But till date no body can described their relationship.

To this end, Tambuwal betrayed Wammakko and defected to PDP his former party, were he was silent althrough, while he was Speaker House of Reps.

However, Senator Wammakko has remain silent and adamant throughout 2019 to decide the guber election that brought Tambuwal back for scond term to power through inconclusive election.

Penultimate, Senator Aliyu who is double, Sarkin Yanman Sokoto is today waxing stronger, which triggered masses, politicians, technocrats as well movers and shakers of Sokoto think towards his direction ahead of 2023.

Even though, nobody nows the faith of 2023 for now that only Allah decide the future endeavours, but from all indication Wammakko has over the time taken over the political arsenal of Sokoto whom Analyst as well Public Commentators, said he has all the arsenal to remove Tambuwal 2019 but he smartly kept mute to allowed him enjoyed second tenure.

As at press time Wammakko has never see Aminu Waziri as technocrat like him and serious politician that can give him headache in sokoto politics.

Beside, the naked true about wammako today, he has facilitate and anointed all his people at the top and bottom, the present Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, Police Trust Fund Secretary, Ahmed Aliyu as well newly appointed Ambassador to Jordan Farouk Malami Yabo were all his boys that many will now watch to see 2023 the way Caliphate will look like.

It will be recalled that Wammakko from 2007 to date has won series of elections with majority vote cast, while opposition suffered defeat by the great Allies Godfatherism, who is spearheading APC mandate at different fora for now.

Senator, Wammakko is a silent Politician that has brought so many followers of Aminu Waziri, for instance, Alhaji Muktari Maigona, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, presently Commissioner, Bello Guiwa, Iname, Commissioner Health to mention few.

Others are: Alhaji Abdullahi Gwandu all were boys that play vital role in Wammakko’s cabinate circles.

Similarly, those academicians, Prof. Bashar Garba and Prof. Gajam Ardo all are players during Wammakko was Governor.

Alhaji Aminu ACY Sokoto is a close allied of Aminu Waziri, during recent interview with newsmen said, “there is no permanent enemy” or permanent friend in politics”, saying today politics is a game of number.

Adding that Wammakko is a gladiators to watch in Sokoto politics.

Even as many says one cannot speaks about Sokoto without mentioning two gladiator, but today one gladiators is active who is a technocrat, while the other one is Bafarawa who is already seen as already dead and retired politician.

Even though, he debunked that he is not romancing with Wammakko, but even his followers that neglected him said his ego will not allowed him to say the truth, because he has looses followers and associates, despite the fact he openly told his followers that he is a businessman, not a technocrat, so, his recent romance with Dasuki gate was his spirit to embark on prayers for Jonathan to be re-elected that found his name mention as beneficiary of insecurity money and EFCC later kept mute about it.

The statement, finally appealed to Bafarawa to joined hand and forget the pass so as to move Sokoto the way Ex-governor Wammakko is doing. “That Wammakko has laid foundation, see all new Ppliticians that are wholeheartedly out, today, look at Sani Umar is today Permanent Sec, Dan Shehu Head of Services Sokoto are all Wammako close allied before and they are closed allied of Tambuwal, just to mention few.
In a related development, A Forum of Professional Journalist(FPJ) with Offices across the country have urged all Sokoto politicians to buried their weapon’s to move the state to a greater height.

The coalition, which comprises of Abuja offices, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto and Kogi as well Zamfara to mention few.

In a statement which a copy was made available to newsmen in Kano and signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Mahmoud. A. Muhammad a secretary General, Hamza Baba Lokoja said they are optimistics that Wammakko is waxing strong and they will do any thing to protect his image from being tarnished by some elements.

explanation further that who soever, would tarnish his image will see the frown face of the forum without looking at who is behind him. The statement, added that Aliyu Magakarda is the only strong senator, who has been on the pages of newspaper frown at the recent attacks by Boko Haram, bandits, Kidnapping that is major causes of insecurity affecting the entire region. The forum in a statement quoted saying ”he was always support anything that would affect the integrity of our traditional rulers which jas been the tradition for quite sometime, while seize the opportunity to call on many stakeholders to support his mandate so as to move the region and make peace, tranquility in the county.

The Forum, appealed to all followers of APC to rally support for the magnet, considering his peace agenda. Already, the statement has described the technocrat as a figure who is endowed with zeal to ensure peace is accorded in sokoto and its environs and the country at large.

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