Plscope By Eddy Odivwri
It had come like a flying thought which had nowhere to perch.
But it kept hovering and pushing itself on our faces, using the vehicle of the social media. A certain group, suddenly woke up and conceived the idea of “Third Term” for President Muhammadu Buhari. It was as strange as finding a virgin in a maternity ward. Not many credited it with any chance of possibility.
But the group pushing the idea was unrelenting, believing or hoping that with enough noise around and about it, it could gain some attraction that could be “examined” for possible adoption.
Those who did not dismiss it outright were guided by the experience of a recent past, when in the guise of amending the constitution, the Ibrahim Mantu committee in the Senate had néstled in the third term agenda for the Obasanjo presidency. That was at a time the presidency had seemingly broken and split apiece, with Obasanjo and his then Vice, Atiku Abubakar holding a piece each.
Unknown to many Nigerians, the whole idea of constitutional amendment was a mere camouflage to “smuggle” in the third term agenda into the polity.
Expectedly, that singular item on the amendment bill took the shine off the exercise.
Thanks to the courage and perceptive clarity of the then Senate President, Ken Nnamani, the Bill was summarily thrown out along with the entire amendment plan. That was the end of the Obasanjo’s Third term agenda, even as he (Obasanjo) kept denying that he was the power behind the well-laid out script.
The Buhari-Osinbajo Support Group, which had made plenty of noise before the 2019 elections had suddenly woken up with the scheme of a third term agenda.
It was difficult to understand the reason for this weird thought, aside unbridled sycophancy.
Here was a president that is struggling, so-to-say, to complete his second term, a man who is over 76 years, who had been graciously saved from dire health conditions, to now be pushed into wangling the Nigerian constitution to get a third term in office. Simply put, the idea was not only satanic; it was indeed, a growth from depraved minds.
Apart from the constitutional crisis and possible social disquiet it could trigger, President Buhari, has thus far not exactly impressed Nigerians with a fantastic governance model, to warrant being rewarded for another term. Indeed it was a weird idea.
But the ill apostles of the scheme had already designed aso-ebi (campaign uniform) and were already staging public processions to drive home their crisis-bound agenda.
It became even more worrisome knowing that like the Obasanjo scheme, there was loss of confidence in the presidency between the two first citizens of the country, just as it is seeming between Mr President and his Vice, even though the presidency claims there is no cause for alarm between both leaders. But those who are wont to analyse every act of government are quick to point out that the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, with a substantive minister, is aimed at containing the influence and powers of the Vice President, because the agencies and parastatal corralled into the new ministry were hitherto under the purview of the Vice President. Everything seems to have had a good aping of the Obasanjo scenario in 2006/2007.
So, it was with great relief that, unlike the Obasanjo scheme, the Buhari-led presidency has categorically disowned the plot and declared that the Presidency was not interested in third term agenda. But that signal from the pressure group is ominous as it gives a hint of the affront that the rest of the administration’s years could have with the laws of the land and basic governmental propriety.
So, the campaigners would now shamefully unpack their campaign materials and gongs and go home, to scheme for another plot.
It is not difficult spotting the enemies of Nigeria, even among the led
Amuwo-Odofin Council Bracing Up the Challenges
It is no longer news that the public infrastructure in Nigeria are almost all collapsed. The tell-tale signs are all there for everyone to see. And for too long, we have been shouting ourselves hoax over the legendary negligence by government at all levels. But in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, in Lagos State, there appears to be some level of responsiveness on the part of the council leadership to address some of the many challenges facing the people. The Local Government leadership is rising to the occasion of fixing the decrepit roads in parts of the council. Its headquarters, Festac Town has been a beneficiary of the new consciousness. In the last two months or so, there are visible efforts aimed at reducing the agony the people go through commuting from one part of the town to the other. In recent times, the 2nd avenue stretch, !st avenue. 23 road, 71 road and now 4th Avenue have been fixed or being fixed by the Council.
This is aside the relative peace that has become prevalent in the town. The menace of violence, attacks, and robbery have reasonably reduced. And the people are heaving a sigh of relief.
Yet, it must be stated that much as reparative efforts are being made, there are quite a number of roads within the Festac town, like 6th Avenue and parts of 21 Road that are a near nightmare.
What baffles me is why almost all governments choose to fix roads (if they ever do) during the rainy season. Why are these repair works not done in the dry season when the works are bound to pan well and align appropriately? Some uncharitable persons argue that it is all aimed at ensuring that the road repair budgets are huge enough for “the settlement of stakeholders”.
Of course, not many people bother about whatever the cost quoted for such repair jobs. Most Nigerians are just keen about driving through smooth roads, without caring the cost of the said smoothness.
However, one looming menace the council in collaboration with the larger state government , has to contend with is the issue of motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders. They have practically taken over every space and alley in the town. Too often, they cause mayhem as they are both rough and violent. With many of them being those who fled from the hostility in the northern part of the country, it is not for them the decent traffic rules or even a good skill in riding the motor cycles. So, accidents are bound to happen. And this is often. And they are often too ready to mob their victim, whether they be right or wrong, as many of them strap daggers and other dangerous weapons on their body as they sweat it out running from one end of the town to the other.
Surely, this is a challenge. But that is why the Council leaders are elected: to tackle the problems that so commonly beset the people, especially the ones within the purview of the local councils.