Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Nigeria a BETRAYED Nation

Who Betrayed Nigeria?
The Nigerian nation no doubt is one of the naturally endowed nations under the sun with vast concentrations of anything made by God. It’s been 58 years since the British colonist packed their baggage, filled with their culture, ideologies and vision out of the rich black nation. They left the heterogeneous country in the hands and tricks of the people. But something glaring seemed to have bedeviled Nigeria since then – underdevelopment in all facets of the country’s socio-economic and political structure. Who betrayed this giant and still holding it to ransom despite its size, strength and strive?

Could it be the under listed?
•The Nigerian bogey politicians and their bogey policies and visions?
•The Nigerian judiciary and their arbitrary segregated and discriminatory laws?
•The self-centered and self-fortified Nigerian elites and their returnees of offspring and stooges?
•The colonist, the capitalist and the new modern invaders?
•The politicized Nigerian army, its dented images and bullied frame?
•The corruption infested Nigerian police, its unprofessionalism and its neglected personnel?
•The Nigerian religious society and its unparallel congregation of pastors, reverends, bishops, imams, sheiks and mallams?
•The large number of Nigerian Diasporas, the brain drains and their unpatriotic abandonment of their fatherland?
•The large redundant Nigerian Civil Servants and their money induced service and unpatriotic annual strikes?
•The Nigerian Academia and their blight vision of money propel ivory towers and battle grounds for unpatriotic annual strikes?
•The Nigerian Journalists, the doctors, lawyers, writers, traders, artisans and the elderly, including those with disabilities and the ‘lazy’ Nigerian youth?

Nigeria the hitherto prosperous nation is a betrayed nation today trying to stand back on its feet as the furious rage of terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and ritualism unleashed their poisonous fangs on the country and its people. Their mission no doubt is to cripple the rich nation by all means.
Could the above listed group have anything to do with it? Well, the decision is yours as the readers...

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ahmed Dodo: Ahmed Bobboi: the Man who changed the Face of PEF

Ahmed Dodo: Ahmed Bobboi: the Man who changed the Face of PEF: ‘’The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.’’ -- Brandon...

Ahmed Bobboi: the Man who changed the Face of PEF

‘’The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.’’ -- Brandon Sanderson

By Ahmed Ali

Among the first positive things Ahmed Bobboi did when he took over the mantle of leadership at the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) was to introduce a staff posting and deployment policy, the first of its kind in the history of PEF. It was a sign that the Petroleum Equalization Fund was into a new dawn.
Not many people, even among the staff envisioned the remarkable positive change that was to take over the running of affairs of this important government agency when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Ahmed Bobboi as the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board in October 2016.
Although many who worked with him or have came in contact with the unassuming public servant described him as a man full with ideas and very passionate in doing his job. Ahmed Bobboi no doubt has etched his name in golden ink in the history of Nigerian petroleum management within the short time he took over an organization set up in the 1970’s to ensure uniform pricing regime of petroleum products across the country and its distribution.
 Most critics would agreed that the Bobboi led management effectively checkmated the hitherto scarcity of petroleum products and also efficiently ensured that the products get across the country as of when due. One glaring fact was that the Ahmed Bobboi led management stepped into the murky water of Nigerian oil and gas sector and made a tremendous impact in an agency that was facing a myriad of challenges. It is therefore logical to commend him going by the unprecedented achievements he has made just within one year in office. Among some of his achievements is the patriotic zeal at which he has been able to breakdown nepotism and favoritism the two degrading factors that had previously held down the wheels of the agency which has now been stabilized with his collective policy direction. The current giant stride being experienced today since the past four decades when PEF was established is as a result of this new visionary and nationalist approach by the Bobbi led management.
His unique staff posing and deployment policy has refocused PEF in as much that the staff now works in harmony as team players with refocused energies and a mindset blended with patriotic and nationalist focus.  The workforce is now more vibrant and skillful as they are constantly transferred to various departments in the agency to build up their skill and capacity.
It is also commendable to note how the Ahmed Bobboi led team have effectively improved and deployed Information Technology ( IT)  in the daily operations of PEF and the remarkable achievement recorded so far. Top on the list is the automation of the 130 locations of PEF operations at various depots and tank farms to deliver services at the best minimum cost.
Again, the fund synergy with various stakeholders and other government agency like the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is yielding fruitful results. Commendable is the innovative idea to develop software that will make it possible for PEF to ascertain the quantity of products available in ships, tank farms, depots, trucks, pipelines and outlets. Also worth mentioning is the idea by his management to implement transportation of petroleum products across the country through the rail, and already a task force is already in the peak of working out the logistic for a smooth take-off targeted at early 2019. It is reported that Ahmed Bobboi who is vigorously driving the process has given the task force all the necessary support and order to ensure that the take-off deadline was met.
 The current operations by PEF with its efficient IT arrangement have made payment easier to marketers and more credible. Payments and allowance are now being remitted regularly.    It is equally important to mention and commend his focus on staff development and training which are two important elements Ahmed Bobboi has so far deployed in his managerial proficiency. He has used these important factors to uplift the staff confidence and also brought out the best in them which in turn resulted in the current stable distribution and deployment of petroleum products being experienced by Nigerians across the country.
No doubt that the President Muhammadu  Buhari led administration rightly placed the right peck in the right hole when it appointed Ahmed Bobboi  to steer the ship of this cumbersome agency and so far the administration’s change agenda, including Nigerians are benefiting tremendously from his effective managerial skills and vision as he boldly steers the country petroleum fund towards prosperity.
Copyright SEE Magazine 2019

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Abbas Idriss: The Quintessential Disaster Manager

’It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.’’
-George Santayana 

Photo: Top, Alhaji Abbas Idriss , DG,FEMA Bottom: Vice President  Osinbanjo, middle, FCT Minister  Muhammed Bello , left & Abbas Idriss

By Ahmed Dodo

In an interview he granted SEE Magazine few years ago, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, the Director General of the FCT Emergency Agency (FEMA), made a statement that has remain indebted in my conscious.  Responding to a question on an initiative he was credited to have mused as a professional disaster manager on the need to have a Local Emergency Management Committee with a strong grassroots footing, he said:
‘’ The general belief and emphasis is that emergency management cannot be done by this single agency and it must involve everybody and for you to really meet the requirement and get proper results , you need to go deep down the grassroots. That is the reason why the idea of having Local Emergency Management Committee came to the fore. We believe they are the first respondents. We decided to implement and create Local Emergency Management Committee, so that they can be near the people and also respond before our arrival.’’ He went further to explained, ‘’ You can agree with me that before you fly or go by road to fight an emergency, definitely there would have been some number of casualties before your arrival. But once you have some people trained and stationed there to manage such incidence, you would have fewer casualties.’’
These were the words of this insightful disaster manager whose foray into disaster management in Nigeria has been acknowledged not only in the country, but globally, for his efficiency and effective management of emergency situations as the Director General of the FCT Emergency Mnagement Agency (FEMA). His approach to disaster management is acknowledge as one of the best initiatives in disaster management in the country, given the fact that he has always been proactive in his style and always on ground to fight an tame many of the emergency situations that had threatened the Federal Capital Territory since his appointment.
Abbas Idriss and his team have been noted to always be the first on ground in most of these life threatening scenes. He and his team held the record of being the first government agency to arrive the scene of the deadly EMAB shopping plaza bomb blast that occurred in Abuja few years ago. He was equally on ground with his team at the scene of the Four-Storey building that collapsed in Jabi recently.  His Search and Rescue Team was also on ground to search for the drowned body of a boy drowned in Orozo River, when 12 children went to swim in the river and two of them were drowned. The FEMA team was also conspicuous at the famous Mpape and Maitama earth tremor that occurred not quite long in the territory.
Writing about some of the Director General’s achievements and proactive involvement in disaster management in the country would take much space in this article, but all the same, I think it is logical to enumerate some of his vision and accomplishment as the pioneer Director General of FEMA and equally commend him for a job well done.
One quality that has glued to Abbas Idriss like a second skin is his penchant for always being proactive in his reasoning and actions; part of the reason why FEMA under his care proactively moved to save markets and other structures in the FCT from fire disasters by creating a special Fire Marshal, the first of its kind in the country.
A man who is known to speak his mind frankly, he had during one of his interviews with newsmen emphasized the need for a full implementation and enforcement of laws regulating markets in the territory. He pointed out that markets were susceptible to fire outbreaks because laws were not respected. A clear statement that is visible in most of the markets in the country.
Another attribute of the Director General of FEMA is his public enlightenment drive on emergency management. His zeal to ensure that people are enlighten and informed quickly in emergency situation, by setting up call centres, and giving out safety tips on radio, the social media and other arms of information dissemination is commendable. His public enlightenment drive has been acknowledged as a source of relief to residents of the FCT, who are gradually imbibing Safety Culture by limiting their domestic and environment risks factors.
A case in point was the recent news of earth tremor in Mpape, and Maitama Districts of the FCT. The news came as a shock to many residences of the capital city and across the country, creating a tensed fear among the people. But Abbas Idriss, as the Director General of FEMA, had quickly and professional rise up to the task by quickly dousing off the fear of Nigerians and indeed the world by stating why the tremor occurred. According to him, ‘’ the tremor was caused by sudden breaks along a fault line, resulting in sudden release of energy that makes the ground shake.’’  He pointed out that rock blasting and mining activities in an area could result in the underground rocks to experience stress. He then calmed many nerves by urging the public to remain calm and not to panic by the development. He further assured Nigerians that the likelihood of any earthquake in the country was low as Nigeria is not in an earthquake zone. His agency also patriotically issued safety tips for the public to follow in the event of continued occurrence of tremor.
Abbas Idriss and his agency has also been active and contributed to ease the plights of the various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country. The displacement of these Nigerians caused by communal clash and the restive situation in the North-East led most of them to take refuge in Kwali, and Abaji Area councils in the FCT. And as usual with his character, the DG and his vigorous team  were on ground to ensure that the refuges were properly fed and secured in suitable accommodation, with  assurance that the IDPs would be repatriated, hopefully to their communities of origin, in line with international law which stipulates that reparation should be ‘’to place of choice, voluntary and dignified.’’
So it was no surprise that this quintessential disaster guru was recently awarded Fellow of The Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RISCON), this in recognition of his contribution to risk management and  as a pioneer who has shown and led the way in disaster management  and equally brought some innovation to disaster supervision in the country.
It is the believe of this writer that Nigeria need more of Abbas Idriss professionalism and innovation in disaster management not only in the FCT, but equally at the national level, where his proficiency would benefit all Nigerians across the country. Tackling disaster as he rightly pointed out need to be proactive, and who better to tame this monster than a man whose ideas and innovations have helped curtained and averted many disasters in the nation’s rich capital.

Ahmed Dodo, is the Editor-In-Chief, SEE Magazine

Monday, 30 November 2015

Humans + Materialism

‘’He gives twice who gives promptly.’’  -Publilius Syrus (1st century BC)
By Ahmed Dodo
The current refugees’ flights from Syria and other part of the earth have once again exposed our claim to be the most intelligent creature in the world as mere fallacy of the human imagination. The daily migration of human species is a sign that all is not too well in our celebrated planet; because unlike few fortunate once amongst us with roofs, clothes and steamy food to grub on our tables, other humans like us are daily trekking through thick and thin to survive under the sun; thus exposing a compelling sketch of the reality of the battered world we live in and the glaring truth on the ground.

The veracity is the fact that upon all our intelligence, celebration of power, position and intellectualism we are still yet to get the gears of life on the right course. We have failed to glance back to the past and comprehend the reality before us that we are slowly sneaking onto another form of modern slavery, fascism and other glaring realism of class, colour and economic segregation. We are yet to really gawk at our existence in this temporary space that everything under the sun is all illusion that must one day melt into ruins.

 Our celebrated great nations and fortified countries are mere fallacy which would in the future be a topic of discussion among the next generations in class rooms as part of history. Just like the tyrannical stories of King Pharaoh and his failed realm, the now once upon a time great Roman Empire, the futile human degradation of Africans called slavery, and the illusive Aryan dream of Hitler.

Presently we are all witnesses to another historical tragedy playing before our eyes, as we selfishly gaze at other human beings like us, kids and innocent children struggled across the Atlantic to have a better life in this temporary world some of us are greedily holding unto. We are playing ‘a –look- and -sleep attitude to this present  modern day tyranny, allowing power hungry  dictator like Assad send millions of men ,women and children scampering like beast across the globe; while we  merely keep on discussing and talking politics as innocent children and their parents gets daily drown on high seas.

Thank God, there are still thoughtful human species among us today that are boldly standing up to this human degradation call refugee. Great motherly women like Germany chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose sole compassion as a true human being makes her voice and her personality in my view and I believe in other prudent minds the undisputable number one woman in our ephemeral world.

Gratefully we are also witnesses to the tremendous role she has been playing against this human disgrace. Her voice so far is the loudest and the most comforting since the beginning of this idiocy. Her mind has remain the most generous and her hands the most warmly and safe. This woman’s frame and image is no doubt currently the most outstanding among us today, and I believe the fate of life would be kind to her and place her among saints.

She has dared to give from her shelter, while others have closed their barns and hide their keys. She is standing boldly and daily addressing this blight, while men and women in position like her or greater are daily chickening out to hide under the comforts of their vanity and materialism.

It is my believe therefore that when the time come for those who stood up against this current human depredation Angela Merkel shall stand tall like an Iroko tree among men and women. Syrians and the other hundreds of refugees from other oppressed nations who were fortunate to be alive today through her kind motherly gesture would stand up bold tomorrow to remember her mink of kindness and their children and grand children would be proud to sing her folklore, and her consciously believe  and famous statement that ‘’ We can do it.’’ ; Would always resonate in generations to come.

The fact that we have long abandoned the famous Geneva agreement of freedom and equality to all races and the reality that we are now more self-centered and enmeshed in cheap materialism worship and preservation as witnessed across Hungary, Snovia, Croatia, Bulgaria and other not so friendly nations who brazenly closed their gates to these traumatized humans no doubt has cast a shame on us as the most intelligent species on earth.

It is a shame that we are holding on voraciously to the free geographical land created by God and daily dehumanizing one another over border crossings and mercilessly maiming innocent lives over shelter and other materialistic comforts that would at long run metamorphose into ruins and eyesores.

Again the verity that the so-called super powers like America, Russia, France and Germany who have long folded their hands but are now waking up after the barbaric Paris showcased their nonchalant attitudes to the hundreds of lives being daily wasted in Africa, specifically in Nigeria through deadly attacks by Boko Haram.

 They had all hitherto been playing politics with the lives of millions of endangered humans across traumatized countries while their nations continue to burn in flame through the selfish ambitions of few greedy men and women. This made nonsense their artificial grip in world’s affairs and exposed their weakness as modern colonists with sole interest in wealth pilfering and plundering.

The celebrated richness of Europe and its vast web of different nations and various lands have remained obscure in this current human migration as the daily internal squabble among them on ideology and the best sensible way to arrest this pathetic situation has still remained a mirage to them.  Thanks to Angela Merkel, whose sole voice has remained firm and audible amidst other squeaking voices of European leaders;  the situation could have been worse and greater catastrophe would have befall these helpless fleeing human beings among us.

While the Arab world itself has failed its Arab neighbors, their back-stab they should comprehend would someday hit them on the face. The fact that they folded their hands while Assad and his cohorts lighted the dangerous flame in Syrian and watch the IS take over their land should not be view as a distance fire that could not reach their lands, because common sense has thought us that a raging fire knows no bound. They should be ready to face their own blaze alone when the flames spray dangerously over their fortified nations.

There is no doubt that we can still prove ourselves to be that species of creation with the most intelligent caring minds and helpful hands if we can stop playing politics with the lives of other human beings like us and give assistance promptly to these deserving men and women, children and the elderly whose only desire is to live peacefully and resourcefully in their lands until that final day that they will definitely and naturally bade farewell to this materialistic world, just like all of us someday.


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Humans + Technology

By Ahmed Dodo

As a kid growing up in Africa in the 70s, I was lucky to be among the fortunate kids in my community to have the privilege to come across the TV. Then, television was one of the most expensive awed striking man-made devices on earth. And to many of us in the then developing and still developing Africa continent, the TV was not only a privilege to own or have the opportunity to view, it was also a magical box with some hidden mysteries in the eyes of many of us.
The television to me was something out of the ordinary, just like the telephone and I could remember those tiny TV toys and imagined being able to speak back to the static images that stared back lifeless at me. And true to some of my imaginations the world today could speak back to each other via SKYPE and other 21st century technological inventions across the globe.
The power of tweeting ourselves across anywhere our spirits decides to prod us to and see first-hand in visual some of the wonderful things going on across the world  through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and other various sites would mesmerize our ancestors. The fact that we can now sit down in the comfort of our zones, view and read some of the good, bad and ugly sides of life, I believe still remains one of the greatest triumphs of human existence on earth.
 Again, the reality that we can find ourselves participating in these human activities from our distances or in some cases coming to meet in physical flesh after all the oral and visual contacts seems like something out of those old science-fiction books or movies long visualized by intelligent writers and scientists across our planet.
However, just like everything man made, the social media has also exposed our weakness and put into doubt our claim of being the most superior creature on earth.  Our intelligence could not stop the daily criminal activities going in the cyber world. We now have e-thieves daily milking people off millions of dollars through the internet, hackers hacking their ways into protected accounts and broken relationships and marriages, including terrorism and loss of innocent lives now rampant via the social media.
Our lives are no longer private or secure as it used to be. There is the damning BIG EYES that seems to see everything we now do under the sun, while our activities and sentences are no longer restrictive to ourselves as we are now under the influence of information syndrome and a global movement of technology.
But as the pendulum of our time daily swings ,enticing us to each other technologically, so also is our fate playing openly before us as we daily fulfils our destiny on earth with unexpected serendipity of events through new inventions that will continue to shrink us closer via the intelligent cobwebs of the internet. May be someday, someone, somewhere would be gifted with the intelligence to invent a technology app that will make it possible for us to have a friendly handshake across the Atlantic without stepping out of our bedrooms.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Patience for President Muhammadu Buhari

“ The Devil takes a hand in what is done in a hurry’’ – Turkish Proverb
I had the privilege some few years back-around 2009 to be precise, to sit down for an exclusive interview with President Muhammadu Buhari in his office in Kaduna. As a Journalist and writer, I still believe it has been one of the most interesting interviews in my career.
What comes out of a Man’s mind defines who he is and sitting close to four hours exclusively with the man who is now our current president afforded me an ample opportunity to make a personal judgement of the kind of person he is. Some significant facts I noted about him was his organised setting, his tall slim frame, his charisma and most importantly his simplicity and frankness.
His forthrightness throughout our close to four hours encounter is still embedded in my memory. I could still recall his unexpected answer when I asked when has been his happiest moment in life. A question that had took him some few seconds to answer after some reflection. ‘’ I think my most happiest moment in life so far was the day the Nigerian civil war ended.’’ His answer till date carved a personal respect for him and made me a fan of the most resilient Nigerian I have ever come across.
Though, all these are not the main reasons why I decided to pen this article. I just wanted the reader to have a feel of the on –the- spot experience I had with the current Nigerian president so that he or she might be able to make a personal choice about my request on behalf of Mr President, although unauthorised by neither the subject nor his media team.
I am soliciting for the generosity of patience from Nigerians irrespective of political, tribal or religious affiliation for our current president. I am doing this based on the fact that I consciously believe that one of the greatest things that have happened to this great country after our independence from the colonial forces is the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the President of this famous Africa country.
As a Nigerian, I have also been aware of the tremendous influence the devil is trying to play in our current political change through some fifth elements among us. If not, what sensibility does it portray as these various selfish individuals and groups kept insisting that the president must hasten up to name his cabinet and also take us to the long awaited Promised Land. An intangible Promised Land the failed Peoples Democratic Government (PDP) could not ferried us to in sixteen years despite all the resources and goodwill at its disposal.
It is quite shameful that the same PDP through its elements are now the ones trying to grab the devil’s hands to propel our embryonic change into a dismay haste we don’t really need at the moment. I am amused at the unpatriotic call by a failed political party that betrayed our collective trust for sixteen years to imagine that Nigerians would fall suckers to their lopsided views.
It is actually unrealistic for those with open mind to see that the Buhari presidency cannot clean the stench left over by the PDP within the shortest possible time, unless if we are willing to keep covering our noses with their poisonous pong while we pretend that all is well.
And like the President rightly told them a few days back that the Nigerian corrupted and almost sunk stable was being clean of the filth left behind by the past PDP government; A herculean task that requires patience and not selfish haste. We should comprehend that Buhari like all of us is human and not a super angel that could strike a finger and make things happen in a swift.
I am appealing for more of our trademark tolerant nature to cross our fingers faithfully and kindly donate some patience to President Buhari so that our nation would rise up and stand boldly as the giant it was meant to be. I passionately believe that it will be to our good as a nation if we can be generous with some patriotic patience to the current capable captain navigating our almost sunk ship away from the deep hole hitherto headed blindly by our past confused captain and his greedy crew. We should be grateful to God for saving us from the hands of these few selfish men and women and dish out some sweet patience to the current government, headed by Ship-Captain Buhari.
I am confident to say that the Buhari I interacted with some few years ago given his forthrightness will cleanse our rich nation of the maladministration and corruption that has eaten deep into its fabric. If only we can be generous with some patience and understanding. I am confident that our railway would work again, and that our homes, offices and industries would come back to life with uninterrupted power supply. I am enthusiastic with a strong hope that our public schools would bounce back strongly and that we will enjoy the wind-fall of being an oil producing nation and the other goodies that has long eluded us.
This will only be possible if we can be considerate in our judgement and bestow some unquantifiable patience on Buhari and his administration. It is important to note like the Turkish proverb above rightly cautioned not to allow the devil and its supporters to take hand in doing the right thing for our country as cautiously being done by President Buhari in his few weeks in office.
It is only the devil that will have the audacity to say the president has not performed since assuming office. I guess the devil and his supporters must have been drunk with sleep when the president hit the ground few hours after his swearing in, and intelligently raced towards Niger, Chad, Benin republic and the G-7 summit in Germany all in his sincere efforts to rally round supports to defeat the forces of the devil masquerading as Boko Haram around our beloved country.
We must stand far ahead of the scheme of the devil and his self-centred devotees to plant their deceptive fangs into our collective reasoning and make us support their wasteful act of haste. For as rightly pointed out by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosopher, inventor, author, diplomat and scientist: ‘’ Take time for all things great. Haste makes great waste.’’ We should be wise enough to understand that these selfish few among us are greedily trying to push us to their unfruitful ways of waste, long enmeshed in their haste to get things done.
Please a little patience for Mr President as we democratically saunter towards a new beginning that is gleaming with hope from afar, away from the wasteful haste lavishly embarked by the past government for sixteen years.
God bless Nigeria.
Ahmed Dodo