There seem to be no end to the outbreak of deadly diseases in Nigeria and their relationship with bush meat of which monkeys are part of. When the news of the disease was made public, many thought that the name ‘Monkey pox’ was a joke contrived by a humourist. Soon, it turned out that, indeed, there is a disease by that name. But what is wrong with monkeys? They are always associated with deadly ailments. We recall that HIV/AIDS was also traced to the hapless animal. Before now, Nigerian health authorities had claimed that there were a total of three recorded human cases in 1971 and 1978 of the Monkey pox disease. The virus that carries the disease was first identified in 1970. Then it was associated as the cause of smallpox-like illness in humans in remote African locations first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks occurred in colonies of...

The Gun Control Debate

The horror of the recent massacre of over 59 revellers at a Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, in the State of Nevada, United States of America, is still holding Americans and, indeed, the world firmly in its vicious grip. There is palpable disbelief at the level of wickedness the human mind is capable of. According to reports, one deranged mind, 64 year old Stephen Paddok, possibly acting alone, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel room on innocent citizens out to catch fun at a festival. At the last count, more than 500 others are battling to save their lives at various hospitals. Security agencies are as yet not able to decipher the motive behind that dastardly act as the man cowardly took his own life. In the meantime, it has reawakened the once latent debate on gun control in that country where freedom to do...
One of the special breed of Nigeria’s military officer cadre, Air Vice Marshal Mukhtar Muhammad went the way of all mortals recently. The expired two-star General is recognised as one of the country’s finest and principled military officers who distinguished himself in the various commands and assignments he held and undertook in the Nigerian Air-force. Given who he was in his remarkable life time, those who met and knew him in and out of uniform have been pouring deserved encomiums on this man many agree was a detribalised Nigerian who applied the fear of God in all his doings. Muhammad was a multi-talented man who channelled his skills and endowments to the service of, first his immediate environment, the North which contributed to the realization of the dream of his people for the creation of the present day Jigawa State. The late air force officer was also loved as a patriotic Nigerian...
By Abu Maleek  As a University in the nation’s capital, it is the expectation of many that it should be a model in terms of standard of infrastructure, academic capacity, and ultimately be the envy of others. But after about 30 years since its inception, the struggle to attain both administrative and academic efficiency has been very real, daunting and embarrassing. The latest blow amid others in the past few years is the loss of National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation for courses – notably Political Science and Sociology. There has been a back and forth movement about the legitimacy of courses offered at the University after falling short of NUC accreditation criteria like teacher to students ratio, staff strength, functional and adequate infrastructures like classrooms, libraries, etc. The accreditation crisis is been a long time coming. Back in 2016, the institution, being the most notable casualty lost accreditation for about 14 of...

Paths To Internal Security

We are re-running this editorial to stress the point that the situation in the country when it was first written has not changed in any significant way. If anything, it is assuming what, in our opinion, is a delicate dimension that needs to be addressed urgently.  Some of the seemingly intractable challenges facing the federal government are the pockets of crises across the country which are more serious than the simplistic dismissal of them as threats to internal security.  Until Boko Haram became the monstrosity it developed into, the nation thought the members of the terrorist group were mere irritants that could be dispersed with a whip. Today, we know otherwise even as the Biafran agitators, gun-toting herdsmen and the Niger Delta terrorists are beginning to toe that evil line which is causing the authorities some discomfort. That the government is sending in troops to rout them is evidence that, indeed,...
The latest of the federal government debt instrument is the N100 billion Sukuk which followed a pattern of success story of the Debt Management Office (DMO) in its use of bonds to raise funds to drive the economy and provide for the government other sources of financing development projects. Before it, there were the Eurobonds, the Diaspora bonds and the FGN bonds. The rationale behind the federal government’s decision to issue bonds are varied. But, essentially, it is to finance government fiscal deficits in a non-inflationary and sustainable manner. Similarly, it is part of the effort to enhance fiscal discipline of the government; refinance maturing debt obligations of the government; establish benchmark yield curve, which serves as reference for pricing bonds issued by other bodies, especially the private sector issuers; develop and ensure liquidity in the domestic bond market on a sustainable basis and enhance as well as deepen the...
President Muhammadu Buhari, in his third Independence Anniversary speech to mark the country’s 57th birthday, threw a lifeline to Nigeria’s army of job seekers when he announced a new presidential initiative that will mandate each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to create a minimum of 10,000 jobs. Again, the President placed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the arrowhead of this lofty initiative that will entail the apex bank deploying its development finance capabilities all over again. The CBN had done it before in the agricultural sector with astounding results. The President noted this in the same speech and commended the pro-active financial interventions of the apex bank which aided the diversification policy of the Federal Government. We recall that on assumption of office, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, adopted a policy shift in response to the dictates of the prevailing circumstances in the...
A recent report that a chief executive of one of the federal government agencies is facing trial in court in connection with his involvement in an under the table recruitment of about 38 people without approval exposes the illicit employment going on in the nation’s Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs). The chief executive in question is only going to be a scape goat in a matter that is as sordid as it is reprehensible. It is not altogether an alien knowledge to most Nigerians that openings, when they occur, are shared secretly among top politicians and other notable Nigerians in utter disregard for laid down rules guiding how vacancies are to be filled in the nation’s public service. We believe that this development that brings to the fore the insincerity of government officials in the much talked about unemployment issue also point out symptoms of corruption, nepotism and  the high rate...
The international community, yesterday, marked the World Heart Day. The medical community, especially, joined the World Heart Federation (WHF), a nongovernmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland to draw attention to a prevalence of cardiovascular diseases that have become a serious health challenge. Heart Day is part of an international campaign to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention. The World Heart Federation found that heart disease and strokes are the world’s leading cause of death. Available record indicates that each year more than 17.3 million people die of cardiovascular disease and about 80 per cent of those deaths occur in the developing world – that’s more than victims of cancer, HIV and AIDS and malaria. This, indeed, is something to shout about. The World Heart Federation, by the principles it operates on, exists to prevent and control these diseases through awareness campaigns and actions, promoting the exchange of information,...

No Plea Bargain For Gunrunners

Plea bargain as a concept in law is the practice of arranging with the prosecution, and sometimes a judge, for a defendant to plead guilty to a less serious charge rather than be tried for a more serious one. Since the inception of this administration, this practice has almost been raised to an art form and it is threatening to derail the fight against corruption- the cardinal principle on which the Muhammadu Buhari administration came into office. Critics of the anti-graft campaign claim that, in spite of all the efforts, no big fish is in the net yet. And the reason is that the government seem to be more interested in recovering the money stolen than in putting the culprits behind bars. They are believed to be encouraged to plead guilty, return part not all of what was stolen and then they are allowed to go without guarantees that they...