Congrats to the U23 Team as they have commenced the Olympics on a good note despite the traveling problems; Etebo has now gone ahead to score 4 goals in one game, I guess making him the leading scorer in the tournament thus far; and possibly a record has just been set by him tonight in the history of the Olympics; and while he has already started playing for Super Eagles before now, I sincerely hope our “Football Expert Analysts” would not come up with that favourite line of “he needs time to mature to play for the National Team?”
Please, a good player is a good player and can play in any team; we must stop this attitude of “losing players who are coming up at their prime” to this line of argument; players like these ones should get their place in the senior team immediately – the same way their age mates do for their own countries around the world; we need to have these young players star for the senior teams so they can secure bigger clubs away from the smaller unknown clubs they end up playing for that usually end up having their careers “go south.”
When you have players in bigger clubs, your national teams are more feared; and you are able to secure better ratings and respect when you compete; that way you can have an almost never-ending consistent pool of players to draw from; and you are not left to the mercy of always looking for newer players to rescue you on the “D-Days” – please, we have done this style of creating good U17, U20, U23 teams but less potent National Teams for far too long, we must become more patient to allowing the younger players migrate into the national teams as we have seen work for Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Ghana, Ivory Coast, England, et al; this arguments that seem to suggest that “Nigeria is the only different nation that must do things in a peculiar way that tends to failure” must stop; we must challenge ourselves to be better, not consistently getting worse; all the young players would not end up playing for Super Eagles but a critical number of them must be helped in doing so; a critical number that can help rebuild the fortunes of our senior team.
I have consistently noticed that the average Nigerian is addicted “to the images of when we had the Okochas, Amokachis, Yekinis, etc in the team” – so they are constantly in an Eldorado place of “expecting that day to come back” – well, that day has always been here – they just refused to allow themselves to see that day come – because they have refused to see the players with other names grow into those roles – they keep seeking ‘matured players’ that do not exist anywhere forgetting that you actually have “to allow these younger players to mature.”
Then again, usually, the better coach to raise your national team are more likely those same coaches that raised your younger teams – that way, they together, as youth coaches can groom the same players they have raised from the age cadres into the senior teams because they are the ones that know these players the most – Amuneke, Ugbade, Amokachi, Siasia, et al have done a lot with these younger teams for the last couple of years, and I insist that they together, as a team of coaches should be left with the responsibility of building a potent national team – led by Samson Siasia!
This is how it is done in most other footballing great nations – and please, it is not true as it is often sold by our “expert football analysts” that “you must have coached all the best teams in the world before you can succeed with the senior teams” – Joachim Low of Germany joined Klinsmann as deputy in 2004 from coaching teams in Austria; along with Klinsmann, and Olivier Bierhoff [all former National team players], they were able to rebuild the playing philosophy of the national team – this combination, eventually with Low at the helm of affairs, only 2 years later has led them to successes at the Euros and eventually the World Cup trophy; and despite their Semis ouster at the Euros in 2016, he is taking them to the World Cup in 2018; what lessons can we learn from that?
There has also been this line of thought by some about “Humility” – it is a word that some Nigerians usually love to use when “they prefer mediocres to be in certain jobs” – they love to have people who you can insult; abuse; castigate; mock to stupor and would never respond – someone that you can pick his team for “once you can afford to call into a radio program” and who would change his team for you once you call for such – someone whose playing philosophy would be determined by “folks who analyze football matches at the newspaper vendor spots at the major bus stops in Nigeria” – so, these Nigerians continue on this never-ending push for “a better coach” which they ultimately cannot afford – a coach that actually “does not exist.”
I would rather have “a supposedly dogmatic or seemingly arrogant coach” that believes in his methods and has a working plan built over months or years to succeed than one that “a faked humble demenour and is a YES man” – Nigerians should let Siasia resume the job of the national team coach along with others with him that have played for Nigeria and won trophies for the nation as players and as coaches; and please, this is not about his 5-4 victory this morning; and it is not about anything that would eventually happen during this Olympics, it is about what is okay, right, and actually “affordable for Nigeria.”
Siasia is also the most qualified of all the Nigerian Coaches [we must stop using the phrase local coaches; it is actually used too often in a demeaning way] we have at the moment who has spent the most times combined around working for and with our national teams; he has built a long track record of consistently rebuilding young teams; always manages to pull out unknown names that end up doing well; and gets to always have the players working for him; and being able to have Mikel lead this Olympic team – a player he had “a famous bout” with when he was Super Eagles Coach would also show some newer level of maturity and composure for him; and it almost feels like an insult to all of our collective mentalities that “he is currently being overlooked by NFF for this job.” Who else would do a better job at this moment than this same guy who has also experienced the “dramas with the Glass House” more often than not yet has managed to his keep his cool at it?
Yes, I did make a call for Oliseh in the past, as I supported the late Keshi when others didn’t give him a chance – that’s how life goes – no one coach would stay in the job forever irrespective of their successes, we must also design a consistent pool of coaches to pick from that have understudied others on the job; that can come in to take over from others from time to time without us being forced to gallivant all over the world for months in search of “managers the nation cannot afford.”
Let’s make Nigerian Football great again.
Several years ago, before GEJ became President, before Boko Haram became such a huge menace, in the early days of Umar Yar’Adua, I did a series articles regarding:
1. The Preaching of Islamic Extremism by Clerics in the Core North
2. The encouraging habitat for Islamic Extremism in the Core North based on the receptive nature of the leaders to such excesses of these clerics
3. The impending danger to Nigeria in keeping Sharia Law within our constitution while claiming to be a Secular State
4. How the ex-Leader of Boko Haram had Northern Leaders go and beg Umar Yar’Adua to have him released – which the then President did prior to the clash with the police that led to his death – and led to what has become “the real Boko Haram” today
5. The lousy nature of the elites – first from the North; and then the South to live in denial about all of these – while always choosing to play the political correctness game.
6. As I wrote of all of these, I equally mentioned how the world might increasingly be faced with a situation in which the world would become a larger stage for the Sunnis v Shiite fight – how the Middle East would no longer be the primary turf for this ancient-long fight
7. I warned Nigerians not to encourage Nigeria to become “a stadium” for this by throwing ridiculous rhetorics like “Poverty is the cause of extremism” plus “PDP is the reason that’s causing this poverty” – but true to type, dem no hear me
8. Then, the rest is History, after the Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria is now possibly the next nation that has suffered the most loss of lives and properties; and dent to the economy in the last 5 years to “Core Islamic Extremism”
9. As I kept raising these issues during GEJ’s term, I was told “I was being paid by him to launder his image” – the Soldiers under him were even blamed when El-Zakzaky held his annual procession that led the loss of lives – as happens every other year – including this year – even though he lost two or three of his sons in the last year’s clash – recall that, close to 10 years ago, this guy was listed by BBC as “one of the most dangerous Nigerians”
10. The rest as they say is History – only yesterday, Nigeria almost lost our hard-working Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff to the Sunni Clash!
Well, you can be sure, after reading 1-10 above, some people would still say “I am writing these because GEJ lost the election and that I am still bitter from the loss” – some would still say “the constitution protects the rights of every Nigerian to practice his religion/faith/doctrine as he pleases (even such is leading to the loss of human lives)”; and some would still say “Poverty as caused by GEJ/PDP is the cause of Extremism.”
If you’re not yet tired of the cheap rhetoric in this nation that continually seems to lead the Nigerian State into the doldrums, then you must be a very tough-minded person – and I congratulate you for that – I have not yet seen any nation in which it’s own people seem to passionate to destroy it with their own very hands – and in fact, compete very vigorously to be the first to do so as though “there was a gold medal plus $100 reward for doing so” as I have consistently seen with the Nigerian State in the course of the last two decades.
When as a Democrat, you sit by as “Democratic Institutions” are used to maliciously to deal with others, you never know the day it will be your turn – from all indications, Saraki is about to become the next public official [ex or serving] that will be commando-ed by security forces by force or by fire to face Justice – for the very reason of not being in the good books of the President – the same President that was voted in using the same democratic institutions – in fact, who in a landmark way became the first man in the democratic history of Nigeria to unseat an incumbent President!
A few days ago, I raised the subject of the ambivalence of the West in largely looking away as President Kagame of Rwanda was able to manipulate the constitution to seek a third-term in office – effectively meaning he would be the leader of the nation for 18 years [Rwanda practices one term of 6 years] and you can be sure he would end up extending as well – this was the same Western nations complained bitterly against the Burundian President for doing exactly the same thing – within a few weeks from Kagame’s constitutional victory more so considering that Rwanda and Burundi share – a common border; a lot of intertwined historically; and culture – I chose to discuss at the time how Democratic institutions should not be subverted to suit the whims and caprices of One Man – irrespective of how much such nations claimed to appreciate what the man in question had done for the nation or was doing for the nation – no man should be promoted beyond the sanctity of the state – this always ends up leading maximum dictatorships – one man being above the entire nation and no longer subject to the constitution – some friends of mine had argued against my position on Facebook that “Kagame was loved by his people and by the West and should be allowed to continue in Office more so as the nation could not yet boast of someone to replace him” – well, some of the folks making dropping these lines of thoughts actually live in the United States – and you begin to see that “Africans simply remain Africans even when living in Mongolia.”
Obama on his last trip to Africa had made a case against this same elongation of tenures nonsense that had practically crippled the political and socio-economic development of the larger African region for the last 6 decades yet the continent has continued to reproduce the same template – when you have educated Africans suggesting to you “that the current leader in Office is okayed to go against the norms within the constitution to carry out his so-called ambitious plans to restructure the nation and should not be questioned irrespective of the tactics he is adopting in doing such” then you begin to see why the continent has remained like this forever – those that usually repeat this Lee Kwan Yew nonsense forget that President Lula implemented those same strategies of building the nation in Brasil yet only did so within two-terms of four years each – without seeking to amend the constitution to extend his stay in office with this ideology of “I am the only one that understands the problems of the nation – for now” – in the same way, President Mandela helped put in the place the foundation South Africa needed – in only one term and allowed the nation to continue from there.
The justification, at all times in History for when such this “Let our Leaders use all tactics he needs to build our nation” always happens to be buttressed by the populist appeals of the man on the seat of Power at the point in time – who is often busy cleansing the nation [as he is using the same tactics he claims to be removing from the polity in building up his own inner circle that would end up being the ones to drive his personal marshal plan against the nation] – who in the process secures the support of the elites: politicians, intellectuals, union leaders, civil society, etc who tell him “you are doing the right thing for the nation; don’t be distracted; those against you are the enemies of the nation; please, o lord, reign forever” – History is replete with how these has repeated itself in so many nations – especially in Africa – the man in the center begins to use excessive powers to move against those he considers as enemies – begins to clear such people away from any position of opposing his views and begins to become a maximum ruler in the process – even as others that might want to oppose him grow cold feet as they are warned by their well-wishers “to behave o” – all of these happening as the nation remains divided against itself along the lines of We versus Them – only to wake one day to discover that they have all joined hands to in creating a Monster that might just consume them all.
Nobody knows that right now better than the Nigerian Senate President – Bukola Saraki, he was the one that led the revolt in the Senate under the last administration to have all the PDP leaders there become members of the APC – he was a key rallying factor to see to it that the erstwhile President – Jonathan lost the moral legitimacy to govern the nation – effectively presented by the Opposition at the time as one that could have only cheated if he won the elections. Saraki wasn’t doing that because he loved Nigeria but because he had his eyes on the ball – to become the next Senate President in 2015 and to become the President in 2019 after the 72 year old Buhari he was pitching to become President would have had old age telling on him – deciding to become the next Mandela of Africa that would not seek a second-term in office – you see, when folks like Saraki concoct all these fancy and brilliant personal ambitions and plans, they never stop to listen to how ridiculous such might sound because they are often surrounded by cheap lackeys who tell them “Don’t worry sir, the plan is foolproof; it will definitely work.”
Well, that plan crashed within days after the elections, Saraki, after being promised the actualization of phase one of his 4-year scheme discovered he was no longer favored to be the Senate President – but he would have none of that, he quickly deployed his own Navy Seal-typed elite team to secure himself the Senate Presidency, largely in the absence of the majority of his own party members – who in turn would have none of these, they aligned with the impending Mandela, a known vindictive man extraordinaire [only comparable to another fellow General and one of his newest and closest allies – Obasanjo] to deal with Saraki – he must vacate this seat – and he must leave the Senate – and he must be ridiculed in the process as well – along with his wife – and his businesses and his legacy – they, along with Bourdillon Plc must see to it that “the curse that Saraki’s late father placed on him in his dying days for betraying him must be fully actualized – and fast too” [if you don’t know about that gist, then no be my mouth you go hear am]
Well, as Saraki was going through this ordeal, the next Mandela was effectively setting up his own version own Gestapo machinery – he brought in his own Service Chiefs, localized the National Security Adviser [NSA] and State Security Services [SSS] leaderships to his own inner circles – and their first task was play out a Mission Impossible Part IV movie at the residence of the erstwhile NSA – Sambo Dasuki – they laid ambush on his house for days after securing some court document to search and strip the place, he won’t give in – initially but eventually had to fall to superior firepower – he was discovered to be holding in his home an artillery of weapons – just about enough to bring down the entire North Korean Armed Forces – and to topple the Supreme Leader there – he was charged to court and would most likely end up in Jail!
Thereafter, the SSS took over the roles of the enforcers of election tribunals – they would go on to whisk away electoral officers that allowed the ruling party lose some key states to the useless PDP – these, aside the rumored clandestine operations they have been carrying out to make sure “all those that stole monies from the Petroleum sector purged all they had chopped” – effectively supervising the return of stolen funds without giving public records of what they were recovering – as all of these were going – in barely 100 days of the new administration [I mean you could have thought this was a one year-long stream of events?], the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, the de facto head of the Legislature – that was supposed to be providing checks and balances to the Executive kept mute – he never challenged these excesses – he never raised the issue on the floor of the Senate – never issued a press statement to decry such but was busy releasing statements like “The Senate supports the President in his anti-corruption drive” and when he was not doing that, he was busy pretending all over the nation to be the President – receiving different delegates from home and abroad – visiting crisis-ridden areas – and showing up for the cameras like he was competing for paparazzi attention versus Kim Kardashian!
Well, his own time don come come now, a warrant of arrest has been issued for him; and he is most likely going to receive the Dasuki treatment shortly – and there seems to be no way out for him now – it is too late for hm to go and prostrate at Bourdillon; he is now effectively a political orphan, even the Dino Melaye & Co Partners at the Senate that used to follow Saraki’s wife to EFCC to write statement sef dey fear to lose hin own seat for Senate, so this is looking like a classic case of “All men to thy tents.”
Well, the Saraki story has happened over and over again in Africa – the political actors always turn blind eyes to the emergence of the Ghaddafis, Eyademas, Mugabes, etc – only to discover the tsunami would eventually catch up with them – it was fellow politicians that helped folks like Rawlings, Biya, Wade, etc transit from being “Savers of the Nations” to eventual dictators – at times in history that they believed they would always be in the good books of such people – only for them to end up being swallowed by the history they helped create – as Saraki goes through his own present travails, others who are currently mocking him should wait for their own turns – those at Bourdillon; in some state houses; in the legislature; in the judiciary; in the media; the blogging industry; civil society [now turned an appendage of the ruling party] – everyone should be excited about participating in this #Change that the nation has signed up to.
1. He has refused to officially meet with Abubakar Bukola Saraki being the elected President of the Senate neither has he officially congratulated him for this victory
2. He has met repeatedly with the other faction opposing Saraki without due consideration to also officially hear from the Saraki faction
3. He has met repeatedly with the factions in the lower house led by Dogara v Gbajabiamila
4. He is due to meet again with all APC legislators by 5pm at Aso Rock today prior to the resumption of the houses tomorrow
As all 1-4 above have been going on, both houses have not been able to carry out their functions for the past 60 days – as they continually wait for “The Executive” led by Buhari to “endorse” their positions and elections – suggesting that “it is now official that the legislature has become an appendage of the Executive” – completely away from “the legislature that is really an independent body in its true sense.”
This is a very dangerous trend for our democracy – and complete retrogressive path from the advances the nation has already made in the last 16 years under the PDP – this trend would not be understood in its full depth right now until the house fully resumes after this ongoing brouhaha and critical moments in the nation’s history come to play that would require for the legislature to call the executive branch to order – a house that needed to be rubber-stamped by the executive would naturally lose the moral impetus to perform its functions of oversight of the duties of the executive.
And this trend should be expected with the judiciary as well – when those over there equally know that there would be no legislature to fight for them, they are more likely going to dance to the whims and caprices of the president – knowing that “once he moves against them, they will be in hot soup and would have no one to come to their rescue.”
Then it gets even worse – our civil society and rights activists have all largely become subsidiaries and appendages of the ruling APC governments – and the events in the polity in the last couple of weeks have proven that – all of a sudden there are no ones “standing for the rights of the oppressed” – and there are no ones marching on the streets to “seek payments for workers owed largely because one of the APC states is the biggest culprit in this ongoing scam to deprive workers of their pay” – all of these can only mean one thing and one thing only – the Nigerian nation is headed into a #OnePartyState scenario that would completely domicile all powers in the hands one Lord Emperor – Buhari.
I wish to congratulate Nigerians ahead of time on this epoch making event in our nation’s history – the people have called for #Change and they effectively have it.
I have read snippets what Buhari described as his plan to “eliminate Subsidies” – and I am raising the following questions: 1. Which companies/fuel stations shall be doing the physical dispensing/sales of these refined/imported products?
2. Or would Buhari ask NNPC to take over all the other filling stations in the country?
3. Which Companies shall be responsible for the haulage/transportation of these products to the numerous states/fuel stations that Nigerians would buy the fuel from?
4. Who shall pay for the services to be rendered in 1-3 above?
would now be the landing cost of these products to Nigeria v to the Fuel Stations in the case Buhari’s plan is adopted – compared to the present rates we buy for today?
6. How exactly would this plan be different from being SUBSIDIES when GOVT still has to oversee the process and would most likely have to pay certain companies to render some of these services?
7. Most importantly how is this Buhari’s plan different from the current Subsidies Regime?
8. How long is “in the long run?” 2 years? 3 or 4 or? Is Buhari referring to the Nigerian-owned Refineries or the ones being build by his new allies like Aliko Dangote and Wale Tinubu?
9. How come Buhari is quickly opting for an escapist “Importation Plan” rather than “the Nigerian Refineries can work optimally” option that a lot of his advisers like Tam David West has always told the world?
10. When exactly does Buhari intend to Fully Deregulate this industry? Is he postponing the D-Day for political reasons so as not to be seen as “Doing the same thing GEJ wanted to do in 2012”? Or is he planning to return this industry to a Govt Business out of which a NEWER CABAL would then arise?
See the numbers below – and answer a YES or NO to the question; let’s debate this at @favourafolabi