TURKEY COUP: U.S Alleged Involvement And The Brewing War Over Extradition Of Gulen

More than the coup that has generated tensions and attentions the world over, talks that the US government is ‘allegedly’ involved in the Turkey coup is a dangerous development that’s prone to bring Washington to a battlefield with more enemies, never imagined.

Aside, Ankara may have to learn how to reconsider the nature of their relationship with the White House.

That being a humble advice, lets have a cursory glance at the allegations levied against the US by the Erdogan government.

In its claims, Turkey maintains that Fethullah Gulen, a former ally (of Erdogan) turned foe, is involved in religious terrorism and has been consistently requested back home from his U.S. abode. In the case of the current failed coup, U.S again disagree to extradite Gulen unless irrefutable evidences of his involvement in the coup are provided.

That has since triggered mixed bags of feelings in Ankara, with the Prime Minister even ready to lock horns with Washington.

Give me my son. NO, I can’t. I can’t allow you punish him for no offence committed.

No offence you say? Yes. You have the chance to proof me wrong.

I might not have the reason to further comment on the extradition request and the brewing rift between US and Turkey but I wish to recall:

U.S was allegedly fingered in the coup that successfully unseated the erstwhile President of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi. Following the military takeover that left behind a fatal history of a blood bath in Egypt, an ally of the US, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, contested and won effortlessly.

In spite of his atrocities, the U.S. practically rubber-stamped the ‘coup’ regime by giving billions of dollars of arms to the Sisi’s government.

From the above, would it be wrong that the end target wasn’t actually to distort the democratic ambience in Egypt but to come through the window of a military coup and force out the enemy for the friend to take over, eventually?

After all, democracy remains dearly important to the U.S.

Here comes my question…

As it is, can we underscore the nexus between the shield of Turkey’s enemy (Gulen as presently alleged) by the U.S and what the immediate future might look like if the coup had succeeded?

Hey! Let Turkey tread carefully.


Poverty Eradication: The Restart Button For Africa To Achieve Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]

The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) –an outlined universal agenda that is predicated on raw motives for transforming the world for human family– come with an objective to end extreme poverty, foremost on its list. This sounds so much infallible, most particularly in the case of the African people! It is the truth that the most notorious threat faced by Africa is poverty and hunger. Let it be therefore established that a full accomplishment of the new SDGs without actions to eliminate extreme poverty may be an uncharitable venture, just like the MDGs have been said to be inconclusively achieved. In order to understand the symbiotic relevance of the first goal to others, particularly in the African context, there’s the need to give a brief account of the meaning of poverty.

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Poverty therefore, according to the World Bank, is: hunger; lack of shelter; being sick and not being able to go to school; not knowing how to read; not being able to speak properly; not having a job; fear for the future; losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water; powerlessness; lack of representation and freedom.

The above apt and encompassing definition suggests that poverty is the bedrock of other human predicaments. It equally reveals how poverty encapsulates all other challenges confronting human existence on the planet earth and how it remains the main gateway for all sorts of health, educational, social and environmental, among other challenges. It is thus explicit that all other goals of the SDGs can and should simultaneously be pursued in furtherance of the first goal. On the strength of this argument, The Economist (a weekly news magazine owned by the Economist Group), had opined that all other Sustainable Development Goals are founded on achieving SDG number one.

Although the UN, in its MDGs 2015 Report, has called the erstwhile Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the most successful anti-poverty movement in history. That the Poverty goal is appearing on the apex rank of the SDGs is an indication of partial failure or inconclusive success, nonetheless. According to the UN, the number of the global people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015. From this report, and sincere credence to other sources that have raised serious suspicions about its veracity, what is indisputable however, is that the percentage of the destitute people who are starving across the world is still alarming. It honestly poses a huge anxiety!

Where does Africa belong in this realm of extreme poverty and hunger?


Four hundred and fourteen (414) million people out of the eight hundred and thirty six (836) million living on $1.25, or lesser, per day are from Africa. After Asia, the Sub-Sahara leads other part of Africa in making the second continent with the largest number of hungry people in the world. The shocking rate of mortality, literacy, insecurity and environmental crisis killing the African people is solely as a result of entrenched poverty in the region.

Seventy-five (75) percent of the world’s poorest countries are located in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, the Africa’s second largest country, which has also been ranked the poorest in the world. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations also estimated that 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were hungry in 2010. This is the highest percentage of any region in the world. Also, malaria deaths in Africa alone account for 90 percent of all malaria deaths, worldwide.

If poverty is truly worse than malaria and HIV/AIDS which are claimed to be the highest killer diseases and even worse than EBOLA’s rate of killing, it is truer that it cannot be compared to any disease in the history of mankind. If poverty, in the same vein, is the foundational cause of illiteracy, increasing insecurity, under-development, and impoverishment of ideas and ideals, then there’s no iota of doubt that this continent needs expedient action on achieving the first goal of the SDGs than any other one, or needs all others to work for its achievement, so to say.


The falling percentage in the above analysis rekindles our hope. It may be argued that the institutional frameworks and mechanisms put in place by several domestic and international bodies to alleviate poverty and increase standard of living in these regions, are somewhat productive. Strides by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP), African Union (AU), African Development Bank Group (AFDB), OPEC Fund For International Development (OFID), and the impacts of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) didn’t only play substantive role but reinforces the hope for a poverty-free society.

For the umpteenth time, poverty is the source of our multifaceted problems as a continent. If defeated, there’s high chance for the return of our refugees abroad, accelerate an end to endemic diseases and high mortality rate in our communities, human capacity development would improve. There would equally be more abundant workforce to boost our economy with full exploitation of our resources, which is loosing cheaply to foreign hands; internal crime rate and unnecessary terrorism would end. Our internally displaced persons (IDP) would be taken back to their lovely homes, and our continent would stop begging for every-time rescue and help from her sisters. Consequently with more secured lives and intact welfare for the people of this continent, the dream of Africa becoming the power-holder of the world will be at the brink of actualization.


Corruption, poor governance, impunity, nepotism, poor resource usage, wars and unending conflicts, poor and inconsistency of policies, all these and other factors are responsible for MDGs inconclusive success. For the sake of the SDGs uninterrupted realization, within the next fifteen (15) years of its life span, there must be renewed commitment by governments, immense contributions from institutions –public and private sectors, equitable distribution of resources, zero tolerance for corruption, proper monitoring of implementation rate and reinforcement of actions must be given constant priority.

It is imperative to end with a call that the timeframe of the SDGs is not ambitious enough. Instead of aiming for an end to poverty by 2030 (another 15 years to come), the dire need of eliminating hunger and under-nutrition is enough to quicken all plans and make things happen in a lesser period. Shenggen Fan and Paul Polman in alluding to the above postulation had opined in a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that poverty alleviation should be achieved in 5 years less. (i.e. 2025).


Article by:

Akorede Shakir

8 people who broke the law to change the world

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Nelson Mandela is, hands down, one of the most important and celebrated figures of our lifetime.

Mandela represents equality, fairness, democracy and freedom in an often unequal, unfair and undemocratic world. But he wasn’t always seen like this…

Twenty-five years ago he was getting his first taste of freedom after being imprisoned for 27 years. Yes, you read that right. For what? What could he have done to get such a long sentence? Well, he stood up for what he believed. In 1942 he joined the African National Congress and fought against apartheid in South Africa, and was imprisoned for sabotage.

Without Nelson Mandela’s commitment to the abolition of apartheid in the face of oppression and imprisonment, the world could be a very different place. It is because of Mandela, and others like him, many more people live a free and fair life.

To honor his bravery and determination, we take a look at 7 other brave and committed people who have been prosecuted or persecuted for standing up for what they believe in:

Aung San Suu Kyi

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Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.

Now the Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma, she spent 15 years under house arrest for advocating for democracy.

Suu Kyi, who was heavily influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent protest,  helped to found the National League for Democracy. Because of her campaign for democracy in military-ruled Myanmar (Burma), she was detained and kept imprisoned by the government, as it viewed her as someone “likely to undermine the community peace and stability” of the country.

She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused to let her party down and stayed in Mynanmar.

In one of her most famous speeches, she said: “It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

Liu Xiaobo

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Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is a political prisoner.

Liu was detained in 2008 because of his work with the Charter 08 manifesto, which called for an independent legal system, freedom of association and the end of one-party rule.

He was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. He was sentenced to eleven years’ in jail and two years’ deprivation of political rights.

During his fourth prison term, he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

He is the first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China and is the third person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Aung San Suu Kyi (1991).

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India’s great independence leader first went to prison in 1922 for civil disobedience and sedition after a protest march turned violent, and resulted in the deaths of 22 people. The incident deeply affected Gandhi, who called it a “divine warning’.

He was released from prison after serving 5 years of his 6 year sentence, and went on to become the most famous advocate of peaceful protest and campaigning in the world.

Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, for which he was imprisoned for a year without trial, and later lead the Quit India Movement, calling for Britain’s withdrawal.  He was arrested many times but never gave up. An advocate until the end, Gandhi sadly paid for his beliefs with his life when he was assassinated by a militant nationalist in 1948.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, as the face of the Civil-Rights movement in the 1950’s.

Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors.

King was arrested 5 times, and wrote his second most influential speech whilst in prison in 1963 for protesting against the treatment of the black community in Birmingham, Alabama. Letter From Birmingham Jail, which was written on the margins of a newspaper and smuggled out of the prison, defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

Tragically, in 1968 he was assassinated in his hotel at the age of just 39.

Rosa Parks

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Rosa Parks was an African-American Civil Rights activist who became famous when she stood up for what she believed – by sitting down. On the evening of December 1, 1955, Parks was sat on a bus in Alabama, heading home after a long day of work.

During her journey she was asked by a conductor to give up her seat to a white passenger, but she refused, and she was arrested for disobeying an Alabama law requiring black people to relinquish seats to white people when the bus was full. Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. It also led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation.

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Or Susan B as some gender studies students know her as, was an American social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement.

Actively involved in social justice from a young age, Anthony and friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the Women’s Loyal National League, which conducted the largest petition drive in the nation’s history up to that time, collecting nearly 400,000 signatures in support of the abolition of slavery.

In 1866, they initiated the American Equal Rights Association, which campaigned for equal rights for both women and African Americans, and in 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting in her hometown of Rochester, New York, and convicted in a widely publicised trial. Although she refused to pay the fine, the authorities declined to take further action. In 1878, Anthony and Stanton arranged for Congress to be presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote. Popularly known as the Anthony Amendment, it became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920!

Roxana Saberi


Roxana Saberi is an American journalist who was arrested in Iran and detained for 100 days after being falsely accused of espionage. She had been living in Iran for six years, doing research for a book that she hoped would show a more complete and balanced picture of Iranian society. Under pressure and being threatened with a 10-20 year sentence or even execution, Roxana falsely confessed to being a spy. She quickly realized this was a mistake and recanted her confession – knowing this would jeopardize her freedom. Instead of freeing her, her case was sent to trial, sentencing her in eight years of prison.

 “I would rather tell the truth and stay in prison instead of telling lies to be free.”

After her trial, she began her hunger strike – only drinking water with sugar. After two weeks, Roxana’s attorney appealed her conviction. She was released from prison after an appeals court cut her jail term to a two-year suspended sentence.

 “I learned that maybe other people can hurt my body, maybe they could imprison me, but I did not need to fear those who hurt my body, because they could not hurt my soul, unless I let them.”

This article firstly appeared on one.org

What a year for Europe! By Caroline Dollman

In 2015, Global Citizen launched in Europe, making the movement’s collective voice for change even louder on the global stage. From music events in Munich, to getting the European Commission to pledge half a billion euros to refugees, it’s safe to say we’ve seen some fantastic and life-changing things happen from the continent over the past 12 months.

We always knew that 2015 was going to be a massive year, with historic summits, elections, global treaties popping up left right and centre – but wow, I don’t think any of us realised quite how big we were talking. Here’s a quick recap of everything we have achieved together in Europe in 2015.

UK Aid: We liked it so we put a law on it

We kicked off the year in spectacular style by enshrining the amount of money the United Kingom will spend on overseas aid into law. You may remember that there was a proposal put forward – the “Private Members Bill” (catchy name huh?) which proposed the nation protect its commitment to spend 0.7% of our Gross National Income (GNI) on international aid.

Global citizens got together with all the other great campaigning organisations in the sector and we made sure that every MP we could reach would vote in its favour – and it worked! This means the UK aid budget is protected, so the government is able to focus on the quality of aid given, rather than having to battle for the amount spent. Hooray!


$1bn pledged toward life saving vaccines

So once the UK aid budget was sorted, Global Citizen got straight to work in making sure the money was being spent in the right way. In January 2015, Global Citizen worked with our friends at Results UK, ONE and Save the Children to secure $1 billion USD from the UK government toward GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. Why is this important? Well, in a nutshell, by ensuring that GAVI is adequately funded, they can continue their proven and important work to ensure every child is reached, no matter where they are born, with live-saving vaccines to stop preventable child deaths.


Global Citizen gibt es jetzt auch in Deutschland!

Sorry, sometimes I just slip into German these days – one of our biggest and best successes this year was to launch Global Citizen in Germany, providing a platform for campaigning at the European level.

Our first big step was to set up a German version of the Global Citizen platform, so if you’re a German speaker (or know someone who is), tell them to check it out – schnell!

You may also remember that the G7 was hosted at Schloss Elmau in Germany this year. So with our new German wing, Global Citizen hosted our first event, United Against Poverty, which brought thousands of global citizens together on the Königsplatz in Munich to call on the G7 to take important steps toward ending extreme poverty. The most notable outcome was the G7 leaders committing to lift 500,000 people from hunger – now global citizens just need to make sure they follow up (and you’ve guessed it – that’s exactly what we’ll be doing in 2016)!


We ate and drank on £1 a day for 5 days, raising £750,000 GBP to combat extreme poverty

Meanwhile, in the UK, over 6000 people took on the Live Below the Line challenge, raising a whopping quarter of a million pounds and changing the way we think about and act on poverty. Living on the equivalent of £1 GBP a day is a harsh reality for 1.2 billion people in the world today and is exactly why Global Citizen exists – to fight the systems and rules that allow this to happen.

Live Below the Line challenges groups and communities to eat and drink on £1 a day for 5 days, not to replicate what it’s like (because we could never, nor would we want to do that), but to bring the issue to the forefront, and to fundraise to for some of the best UK charities fighting poverty across the world.

The Live Below the Line campaign will be back in 2017 after an exciting make-over.You can register your interest here to be the first to know when we’re back.


We got to grill Bill Gates

We were joined at Facebook HQ by the one and only Bill Gates to talk about how we can end extreme poverty and the role we all have to play as global citizens. Hosted by the lovely Greg James from Radio 1, we heard thought-provoking questions from global citizens in the room, celebrities via social media, and young people from Mexico, Kenya, India via video link (how’s that for modern technology?). We were delighted to hear Bill Gates conclude the event with these words: “Global Citizen is the idea that all humanity matters. What we want is people’s voices. Your voice is the most important thing”.

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The Global Citizen Festival: Europe stood up for refugees and girls’ education 

There were many stars on the stage of the Global Citizen Festival this year – Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Big Bird, Leo DiCaprio, Malala and loads more. They were joined by 60,000 people in New York’s Central Park, and watched by an online global audience of millions, who collectively took 2.7 million campaigning actions in order to secure the 27 commitments announced on stage. These commitments – from governments, institutions and businesses – are set to affect the lives of 92 million people.

You know who else was a star at the festival? EUROPE! The team successfully convinced the European Commission to commit 500 million euros to assist the facilitation of refugees, which was announced on our festival stage. What made this commitment so significant is that it’s in addition to the Commission’s existing Overseas Development Aid budget.

UK Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening was also a star of the show. She reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to women and girls across the world, saying we’ll ensure an additional 6.5 million are able to access an education over the next 5 years.


The new Global Goals were launched

You (hopefully) have heard us talk A LOT about the Global Goals which were gavelled (yes, gavelled – look it up) into existence by the UN on 25 September 2015. These are 17 Global Goals which have the power to combat the three biggest issues of our time: poverty, inequality and climate change.

We believe that to ensure these Global Goals don’t become yet another government piece of paper, we need as many people as possible to know that they exist, so they can hold their government to account for the promises they’ve made.

So – in partnership with Project Everyone and the World Bank, we used our Global Citizen Festival stage to launch the Global Goals, broadcasting them into 160+ countries, reaching 3.2 billion people. We also convinced a dozen companies to communicate to their about 2 billion customers about the Global Goals – you might have been one of the billions of people who received a Global Goals text message…

This is just the first step, and we’ll need all our global citizens to now make sure these Global Goals are realized.


We saved the planet

Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but we did manage to get a breakthrough agreement at the COP Summit in Paris in December 2015, which many considered to be our last chance to save the planet.

The day before world leaders met, 785,000 people took to the streets in cities across the world which is the single biggest demonstration against climate change that the world has ever seen. This agreement sets us on a good path to convert to the use of renewable energy – a critical decision if we’re to lower global warming below 2 degrees celsius. Take a read here about why the agreement is such a breakthrough.


Thank You

We have only achieved this because of you. In order to influence policy, secure vital funding and government commitment, we need a movement of global citizens speaking out for change. Our collective voice is getting louder every year, meaning we’re able to influence decisions and make sure our governments, institutions and business leaders are making the right choices.

Our work isn’t done yet – now that we have the Global Goals, we’re going to need everyone to ensure they are realised. Thank you for being a global citizen in 2015 and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in the years to come.

This piece is originally posted by global citizen.org 

My Comment, Others’ On Oil Spill In The Niger Delta Region Of Nigeria

Sometimes in November 2015, I was privileged to share my view on the unending environmental disaster in the ‪#‎NigerDelta‬ region of Nigeria, on that famous international show –@AJStream of @Aljazeera.
It’s really pathetic that oil spill has rendered life so miserable for the people of ‪#‎Ogoniland‬, and so unfortunately to say, it never appeared as if it would stop doing so.

Click here to watch the video, captured in the main show!

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Would you like to read my brief comment here?
Kindly do so below!
Why do oil spills continue to occur in the #NigerDelta?
Succinctly, let me put it that oil spill has been an endemic disaster in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, unlike nowhere else in the world. Reports have it that oil companies like Shell and others, in 2014 alone, have been guilty of oil spills in this region more than 500 times. You can imagine! This is a situation that never occurred in the Europe more than 10 times in 40 years.
However, the major reason why this crisis keeps occurring and re-occurring, like it’s uncontrollable, is nothing but the negligence of the Nigerian government and that of the local traditional rulers, likewise pipeline vandalization. The prime factor however, is the entrenched corruption in the whole system.
How are residents impacted?
Talking about the impact of oil spillage on residents of the #NigerDelta region, of course I must reiterate that nothing good has ever come from disaster, whatever pattern it adopts. To be honest anyway, habitants of this part of Nigeria, particularly the people of #Ogoniland, have suffered enough of ravaging havocs of oil spill and other environmental disasters.
Not only the people, the phenomenon equally poses hazardous threat to farmland and wildlife in the region. From this, life has been a complete torment for all living things in Ogoni area.
Would it be disputable if I say that people have been made to regret being residents of this Nigerian oil-producing region, having none or little benefit to show for it?
Recalling that a UN report posits that the clean up of #Ogoniland, either fast-tracked as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari or not, would take complete 25-30 years, I feel deeply sorry for our brethren living in the region.

e-Parliament; Efficacious Tool Towards Accountable #OpenNASS, By Akorede Shakir

Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 definition of democracy as “government of the people by the people for the people” has, remained a foundational framework for governance and a blueprint that every polity strives to exemplify in its core values and sustaining its principles. Devoid of alterations, the concept of open (masses-oriented) democracy has truly elevated several nations successes, as demonstrated by the unprecedented dividends of democracy that their citizens enjoy.

On the other hand, in some climes where democracy has been constantly abused for the purpose of perpetrating self-aggrandisement, one cannot help but feel sorry for the citizens in countries where the dividends of representative governance are only enjoyed by the representatives in government. Such systems are muddled with impunity in decision-making and a closed-door system of governance that does not appeal to the engagement and participation of regular citizens. Expectedly, such climes usually amount to little positive effects on the lives of the governed, leading to a situation where Abraham’s theory of democracy becomes questionable.

To avoid such abuse of democracy, nations like Nigeria that are at the verge of likely occurrences are under urgent need to devise systems that open up governance the institutions and practices of governance to the populace. The recent reformations introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Nigerian socio-political system are quite impressive, however, the role of the parliament in the restoration of an efficient democracy can never be undermined. As a matter of fact, huge responsibilities are placed on the legislative branch of government – as the lawmaking arm – to take the lead in ensuring the transparency and accountability of governance.

Considering the escalating calls for more accessible and open legislative practices, the proposal of the Senate President of the 8th National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki is a noteworthy stride in the right direction as it pushes for modern technologies to be deployed in both the Nigerian upper and lower legislative chambers. A the goals of any parliament in the 21st century can be better achieved in an ICT-compliant fashion that eliminates many of the restrictions of the past, Nigeria stands to eliminate many of the practices that gave birth to its previous culture of legislative impunity.

Furthermore, this development – the path to launch e-Parliament procedures in the legislature – is also timely as it meets the calls for #OpenNass that many social media activists and Twitter warriors have campaigned for. Such procedures will be beneficial in the short, medium and long run as they are capable of providing numerous opportunities, like: 

§  Bringing close the relationship gap between the citizens and the parliament, by ensuring civic communication, and effective engagement with citizens.

§  Hastening the realisation of openness, transparency, and accountability in the legislative chamber.

§  Ensuring better and safer management of parliamentary documentation.

§  Creating official recognition for the vital contributions of the citizens to the parliamentary debates and legislative matters.

§   Most importantly, giving back a life to the theory of Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy –“government of the people by the people for the people”

As Nigeria forges ahead in this new era of ‘change’, revolutionary thinking, and outside-the-box practices are needed to ensure that our problems as a nation are solved in the best possible manner. As it stands, the Senate President, having being the first to call for e-Parliament, has demonstrated that truly, he is ready to take some of our delicate and bullish predicaments by the horn, in the attainment of a New Nigeria that works to the benefit of all.

UNILORIN: Celebrating 40th Year of Academic Distinction – Akorede Shakir

Since the departure of the colonial era and the early periods of independence, public education in Nigeria has become devoid of an efficacious system that operates a modern standard of curriculum, technical, logistic, administrative and other aspects of premium education in the milieu of the 21st century.

It will give me a deep satisfaction to start this piece with a brief about the state of education in Nigeria, as captured in the shocking statement of a social-network guru, Japeth J. Omojuwa, who says “it is a thing of generational shame to see Nigerians run to Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, even Sudan, to acquire tertiary education. There are even Nigerian students in Ghanaian polytechnics. We spend over N200 billion/year on paying school fees in Ghana. Is that not a shame? Why are our schools still teaching courses that prepare students for the jobs of the 1960s…?”

The aforesaid is indeed a shameful generational challenge!

It doesn’t need any equation or graphical proofs to show how repugnantly Nigerian education has deteriorated in the recent decades. However, there continues to be a renewed and re-encouraged optimism that education in Nigeria would still retake the global standard. The 29th Convocation lecturer, Ambassador Walter C. Carrington (Former United States Ambassador to Nigeria) said on the podium of the university of Ilorin auditorium on Monday 20th October 2013 that “there is a more optimistic world yearning to be born.”

Lending credence to this hopes, I want to say it categorically that University of Ilorin has over the journey of forty years become an “epitome of excellence” in the midst of its senior and second-generation contemporary universities in the country. The university, without any doubt, has never ceased to remain an outstanding institution that builds young potentials with rare brands of excellence and championship in various fields of learning, research and life endeavours. This citadel of learning is second to none in the recent age of our country, in terms of its standard and vast overall growth. The truth of the matter is that Unilorin takes the lead among other institutions that keep the hope of those that cannot afford schooling abroad. The numbers of exchange programmes enjoyed by students of the university, internships, scholarships, leadership training, and in fact the increasing number of international students from across African regions (including Anglophone and Francophone countries) schooling therein will continue to attest to the internationality of the University.

As an affiliate college to the premier University of Ibadan, Unilorin started in 1975 with 200 admitted students, sequel to an entrance examination. In the mean time interestingly, a proper academic work started on 25 October 1976. The university’s sojourn in tertiary education however started with only three academic faculties of Arts, Science and Education. Today, this university has become fully-fledged with rapid human, learning and structural evolvement. It has rose through highest ranks championing unprecedented milestones in the Nigerian education sector. Her imitable feats have won her, severally and repeatedly, the ‘Number One University in Nigeria’ award. At the moment nonetheless, Its quite enthusing as the Fortieth Anniversary of the University brings forth outstanding moments to celebrate the institution’s Founder’s Day and other awesome historic events that impel every mind to eulogise the monumental strides of this great citadel of learning and appreciate its enormous contribution to the development of tertiary education in Nigeria.

The world-class innovations by the varsity, such as: the CBT exam, fifteen years of uninterrupted academic calendar, Tablet PC for new students, plantations and e-voting at Student Union level and other first of its kind feats in the history of tertiary institution in Nigeria pose irrefutable justifications for the international encomiums showered on her as she celebrates her 40th anniversary. It is noteworthy that the strenuous efforts by her staff are indeed commendable. It is impossible to dispute however, that the university has day-in-day-out caught up with many of the first generation universities, competed with them and has become better by far than many of them. As the most-sought-after university in Nigeria today, the roles of all heroes –the past and present Vice Chancellor(s) and the Students’ Union leaders of the University can never go unacknowledged. They are duly appreciated for the sustained mechanism put in place to foster stability, peace and progress of the university. In all variables, Unilorin has really achieved a lot of feats to make her proud at 40th.

As the town and gown of the university look forward to a resounding anniversary, the university is set to host several international icons ranging from giant African leaders; outstanding academics; monarchs; top government officials, to accomplished entrepreneurs, among other dignitaries coming to celebrate with her during the anniversary and 31st convocation ceremonies. President Muhammadu Buhari and his Ghanaian counterpart, President John Dramani Mahama shall make the most-distinguished personalities to confer great honours on this university, as they both would be present on Friday, October 23, 2015. The Ghanaian President and Chairman of ECOWAS shall be delivering the University’s anniversary lecture entitled “Africa’s Agenda 2063: Ending Poverty and Ensuring Prosperity in Africa” on that day. While in honour of this thrilling anniversary, a commemorative Book “Unilorin @ 40: The Soaring Eagle” shall be unveiled, as well as commissioning of about 22 new projects executed by the University administration in the last one year which shall be anchored by the Visitor to the University, President Muhammadu Buhari.

As we observe this monumental event, areas of inefficiency and dysfunction in the education sector must be seriously discussed. The staunch challenges facing our education must equally be underscored and worked upon by the government and all stakeholders so as to throw life to the hopes of the people without further hesitation. As a matter of dire need to achieve this, the Buhari-government must be charged to develop and ensure thorough implementation of policies that will resuscitate Nigerian education and reposition it to fit in with the modern class. Also, matters revolving teachers and students’ welfare should also be looked into with the progressive mind of making education endearing, affordable and absolutely empowering to the citizens., once again. As the nation enters a new era of governance that preaches positive change, measures to fast-track education development must be made paramount. On a special note however, I once again reiterate my support for the opinion by Chief Dele Momodu that the President should make his government more committed to the youth and students by hosting public events on campuses and engaging them constructively. Hopefully by this, the Nigerian campuses and other youth constituencies will witness significant transformations that are highly required.

I’m one of the classified ones by destiny to be part of the products of this remarkable year. As such, it gives me a proud memory to join voice with other colleagues to congratulate ourselves saying: VENI VIDI VICI.

We celebrate this great Alma matter particularly on this twin occasion. We congratulate the management, especially the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdul Ganiu Ambali and his efficient team, all staff and students of the university on the 40th anniversary and the 31st convocation. Our prayer for the university is to continue to keep championing excellence. By the next ten years when the school shall be reaching the golden jubilee age, we have strong convictions that greater climax of academic landmarks would have been attained.

A hearty “congratulations” to the better by far University!

Akorede © 2015

THE WRITER: Akorede is a fresh graduate of Arabic Department, University of Ilorin, a university scholar throughout his years of learning, research and unionism, a former NANS Chairman (Kwara State) and a veteran contributor to the developmental success of the Student Union activities of Unilorin. He tweets from @akorive001, and can be contacted on: akorive001@gmail.com