BAT: THE NEW NIGERIA VISION AND THE GHOST OF JUNE 12
I have never joined discussions on the older generations handing over to younger generations because the issues are much more than that. Handing over of leadership is not a choice. It’s an established natural law that nothing can change the ageing process. Those nations with enlightened leaders are conscious of the inevitability of death that is why they train younger ones to take over. I am not going to be discussing why a candidate is better than the other. My reasoning is not founded on faults nor fallacies; but on the reality of things that are before us as Nigerians.
Asiwaju made his own mistake in 2011 by delivering the southwest to PDP rather than CPC with whom they could have at least provided alternative governance for Nigerians and naturally he must receive his due chastisement as divine penalty. He actually allowed himself to be ‘used’ by the old Afenifere/NADECO caucus whose agenda since after June 12 is to move the Yorubas out the Nigerian nationhood. The same folks are his greatest enemies today when he chose to correct the mistakes of the Buhari led government. His merger with Buhari was seen as a game taken too far by some silent gladiators but the eventualities of the APC primaries proved a bigger point than many of us could imagine. Asiwaju truly meant the statement, e lo fo kan baale – you guys should go and relax. His emergence has reawakened the hopes of many Nigerians that good times may be imminent.
The achievements of Asiwaju in our national polity are too significant to be made feeble by anybody not to talk of many of the constituents of my generation – The Nigerian Youths. Asiwaju had not only provided the people of southwest with a performance-based leadership template since 1999 but has successfully engaged his own party by compelling it at all times to prove itself to be virile. A closer study of Asiwaju’s politicking towards the Nigeria agenda is the fact that he had successfully been able to involve a lot of people from various ethnic backgrounds in his refining system of governance. The appointment of individuals’ that were not from Lagos State into key positions in the governance of Lagos State is a good pointer. I boldly say that he was that single man that stretched this path of honour just for effective governance. To him, we all must get the job right whether you are Yoruba or Igbo. Asiwaju remains the most detribalized Nigerian politician on Earth – res ipsa loquitur. Asiwaju is a master strategist and a political titan of no mean measure. He is a product of many factors ranging from his political consistency, training and planting of political associates and in particular social capital programmes and philanthropic gestures over the years. It is no longer news that Asiwaju has really paid his due in the political atmosphere of Nigeria; hence there is no dispute as to the everlasting relevance in the political history of this Nigeria from his NADECO days to this present Fourth Republic where he has navigated through various potholes to stage himself. One reason why he can lay credence to being a true-born democrat is his salutary efforts to redefine the concept of party politics in the effervescent terrain called Nigeria. This is no doubt a man with the Nigeria Agenda. In the game of politics, Asiwaju is a master planner, commanding force and arresting personality who has not only raised men and leaders, he is also a great friendship builder and manager. It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.
MUSLIM – MUSLIM TICKET
Asiwaju fought for our democracy from the days he was exiled from Nigeria alongside other pro-democracy activists over the June 12, 1993, presidential election crisis. That election which was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) was won by Chief MKO Abiola who died fighting to actualise his mandate freely given to him by Nigerians. This is the journey that Asiwaju is leading at the moment. It is safe to conclude that Nigeria might get to see a replica or a better version of June 12 elections. The spirit of are alive and would be set to work again. No doubt the Muslim-muslim Ticket is coming to play again. In 1993, Chief MKO Abiola chose a Kanuri man as his Vice; and 30 years later Asiwaju also picked a Kanuri man has his Vice. This can never be a mere coincidence but a substantive one. A brief into what Senator Kashim Shettima stands for is his action towards the issue of insurgents in Nigeria, more particularly Boko Haram. Contrary to the propaganda that has filled the media space on the fact that he was the cause of the captivity of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram insurgents. It is notable to point out that Senator Kashim Shettima has been coordinating the rehabilitation and resettlement of victims of the Boko Haram insurgents. This is what over 50,000 children are benefitting across the 27 local governments in his State. It just doesn’t measure up saying he made the Chibok girls case happened. We had a federal government that failed woefully in that aspect. A part of the solution that many feared to take is what Shettima has been doing before now.
The June 12 mantra of hope was not based on religion whether was it premised on bias and sentiments. It was founded on the believe that Nigeria must work. It’s just so insensitive that at this critical time of our governance, we are playing the religion cards as a yardstick to good governance. Many have forgotten so quick that Asiwaju being a Muslim sacrificed his Vice President’s slot for a Christian even when it was considered then that a Muslim – muslim ticket was not in a bad place. We also forget so soon that sometimes in 2011, the Action Congress of Nigeria fielded a Muslim-muslim ticket. Nuhu Ribadu and Fola Adeola were both Muslims but I guess hell was not let loosed because many never believed the duo could emerge victorious at the general polls. Is this present outcry indicative that Asiwaju-Shettima is a goal already? If yes, it is a sure bet from antecedent of the duo that they are both leaders who exercises uncommon influence as well as considerable power. As it is, we have the duo that truly understands that challenges that all in Nigeria must face. Beyond flattering, they have proven that they are always set to assist in the setting of goals and priorities, to work with others in finding paths to those goals chosen, maintaining public morale and motivation and nurturing a workable level of public unity. The implication is that both men possess the power or influence of transforming something common into something valuable. To many who do not know, our land that is watered by the Niger and Benue and located between the sandy wastes and Gulf of Guinea, washed by the mighty Atlantic is set to be purified by the renewed June 12 hope again. The way of knowledge is superior to the way of action.
Amb. Habeeb Whyte Esq.,
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Secret behind Hilda Baci’s strength
Although the real secret behind the latest Guinness world record-breaker’s unflinching strength remains a mystery, speculators have mentioned many possible reasons why she didn’t give up despite the tedious days’ marathon of cooking.
Recall that the extraordinary Hilda Baci cooked for 100 hours non-stop between May 11 and 15, 2023, to beat the record of 87 hours, 45 minutes and 00 seconds set by Chef Lata London, in Rewa, India in 2019.
The Cook-a-Thon took place at Amore Gardens, Lekki, Lagos and was originally staged for four days Cook-a-Thon journey.
One of her obvious strengths is that in preparation for the competition, Hilda had a successful 24-hour dry run from April 12-13. She also partnered with a fitness trainer and nutritionist to lose some weight and adjust her diet.
She and her team had designed over 100 recipes to be served at the event open to the public through registration.
Secondly, according to her, the essence of the Cook-a-Thon was an inspirational platform for young people. Her motive of being a motivator would give her more strength and would not want to let young people down by giving up.
Another third secret is the support she got from Nigerians. Hilda Baci was never left alone in the course. she got unflinching support from Nigerians both online and offline, through prayers and many inspirational utterances. As a matter of fact, the Nigeria’s President-elect also extended words of inspiration to cheer her up by referring to her as Idan (a trending word for an extraordinary person).
I hope more youths will follow Hilda Baci’s footsteps – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he wished more Nigerian youths should follow Chef Hilda Bassey Effiong, aka Hilda Baci’s footsteps.
Buhari stated this in his congratulatory message to Hilda, who broke the world record of longest hours of cooking, finding her way into the Guinness Book of Records, and placing Nigeria on the global spotlight.
He lauded the 27-year-old Chef, for turning her talent and passion into a career, with a rippling effect on the economy as she runs a restaurant in Lagos, and trains other talents on entrepreneurship, and now leads the world in resilience, perseverance, and consistency in cooking.
Femi Adesina who signed the statement noted that: “The President notes the antecedents of the restaurateur, who dazzled at the Jollof Face-off Competition, 2021, preparing mouth-watering dishes that won the choice prize, and settled an age-long rivalry with Ghana on which African country should own the trademark for cooking better jollof- rice.
“President Buhari believes Hilda Baci’s drive and ambition have brought more interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food, as another cultural icon, with huge tourism benefits, hoping more young people will follow in her footsteps.
“The President thanks the sponsors of Hilda Baci Cook-a-thon, government officials, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, celebrities from the bubbling music and movie industry, and fans of the chef for all the support that has brought glory to the country. President Buhari wishes Hilda Baci more grace for a prosperous career.”
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