The freedom to express one’s self includes the freedom to receive ideas without interference. Access to information is highly invaluable in a democracy hence, the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act by the Nigerian legislature.
The era of shrugging over details we are unsure of is long gone. The Freedom of Information Act now guarantees our access to information of public relevance. Since the enactment of this statute, there has been a very low level of compliance and awareness of its novel provisions. Despite the existence of landmark provisions, there are some areas of this law that need judicial clarification in the court room.
The purpose of this study is to appreciate the Act through its legal and legislative framework an increase the awareness of the public on its right of access to information and recourse to the court in an instance of wrongful denial of such access.
My current reading list is made up of books that have won the Booker Prize (the Man Booker prize). This prize is awarded each year for original novels published in the United Kingdom. You can read more about that here.
Ben Okri is the first Nigerian author to win the Booker prize with his work the Famished Road. My first impression of the book was, ‘where have you been all my life?’ The story begins on an imaginative note. It tests the boundary of your imagination as you follow the spirit child who has resolved to stop going back and forth between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Yet, he must live with the consequences of his seemingly whimsical decision.
At the end of the book, it so happens that it is the first of a trilogy (songs of enchantment and infinite riches are the other two books in the trilogy), one is left with no choice but to come to the conclusion some things were missing. As much as the story is centred around the life of an abiku*, it fails to link that the world of the dead to the world of the living. For instance what is the attraction in the land of the living for Azaro? It is expected that the setting of the book would transcend physical locations, yet we would have loved to see what Azaro’s life was like in the spirit world.
Okay I do. I start with this apology. I was going to call yesterday, but I didn’t. No. I have no excuse. Please forgive me. Please. And this is me try to make up for my omission. Please forgive me.
Happy birthday Modupeoreoluwa Sanwo-Olu. Happy Birthday Charles Adekunle. I wish the both of you a very fulfilling year ahead. And I pray that this is the least you will ever be. I pray that the two of you will fulfill purpose. I pray that you are light and salt to the world, to your family, to your workplace and wherever else you may find yourselves. I pray that your lives continually remain a testimony of God’s greatness. I pray that you grow in all areas of your life. I pray that your parents will never weep over you, that you continually remain a source of joy to them, and that they reap the fruits of their labour upon your life. (Amen).
I just realized that I haven’t written an opinion piece in a long time. You would notice, that I try to keep my personal life out of the Internet (in this case, my Blog) as much as I can. My opinions, of course, are influenced to some extent by my personal experiences. Nevertheless(I like this word), I would like to share my few thoughts in the next three to four paragraphs (I am not counting).
Presently, I am a member of the National Youth Service Corps. Some call us Otondo, some call us Corper. I think the name that has stood out for me is ‘Buhari Pikin’. I still don’t understand that one. And no, I am not getting into the argument of whether the NYSC should be scrapped.
I went for the Orientation Programme in a state in Eastern Nigeria. (Please permit me to spare little personal information. Thank you.) Culture shock? Not really. I mean, I can’t count the number of times, people walked up to me and started conversations in Igbo. And I have to admit I wasn’t as adventurous as I would have liked. I had the famous ‘Okpa’ (Soya Bean Pudding) and ‘Abacha’ (African Salad) only once. And I learnt to say ‘I am in Enugu’ in Igbo. Not good enough, I agree. But I digress.
For France, 7 May, 2017 will remain a historical date for a country that prides itself in its great history and enlightenment. Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron, a 39 year old relatively unknown political figure hitherto never elected to a political post has been saddled with the momentous responsibility of dragging a nation out of the brim of hostile Islamist insurgency and terrorism, a failing economy and a youthful population that yearns to play a greater role in its national affairs.
The lessons of this political development can be quite enriching to our contemporary Nigeria where in their forties the vast population of its citizenry still questions their role in a society that has self-perpetuated men of yesteryear at the helm of affairs even amidst constant failures in every segment of the fabric that makes up the nation. There has always been the case for youth inclusion in politics and governance. Ironically, while the youths control the majority of votes cast during elections and events leading up to elections, they are actually left with nothing when elections are over.
However a close reflection on Nigerian history will show that the youth has not always been at the back seat of political vehicle in Nigeria. But down recent memory lane, the story is not exactly the same. Yakubu Gowon became a military head of state at age 31, Richard Akinjide became Minister of Education at the age of 32. Audu Ogbeh was a Minister at the age of 35. He is still serving today as a minister of Agriculture under the Muhammadu Buhari government who himself served as a petroleum minister at the age of 35. Continue reading “MACRON AND THE LESSONS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA”→