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Ambode Vs Tinubu – Our Faults!

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Ambode Vs Tinubu - Our Faults!

It is a matter of public record that we Lagosians did not choose Babatunde Raji Fashola to run as governor of Lagos State. Granted that he exceeded our limited expectations. Then again, we did not choose Akinwunmi Ambode. Former Governor Bola Tinubu did. Once elected, Ambode became our Governor not Tinubu’s governor. It is most strange that grown men within and outside the media would choose to belittle Governor Ambode because of the perceived (or even proven) animus between him and his estranged sponsor. The insult and the joke is on us all. Those who choose to lionize Tinubu because of his detestable excesses cannot claim to be democrats. I bundle them up with the likes of Dr Ibrahim Gambari who shamelessly expresses his preference for strong men as opposed to Strong Institutions.

Why would adult men, old and articulate enough to be former heads of state, choose to lend their intellect to build up a personality and style only comparable to Idi Amin, Jean Bedel Bokassa and our own Sani Abacha? It is obvious that those who should have aided Lagosians and Nigerians in cutting Tinubu to size have rather taken the easy path of joining the winning formula. That is even if it entails a pact with the devil. Tinubu cannot by any stretch be bigger and more powerful than the rest of us, not with all the money in the coffers of Alpha Consultants. With these goings-on, my sympathy goes out to Gov Ambode, who is being messed up on our behalf. Even if his nomination among the APC party faithful was rigged, WE THE PEOPLE of Lagos State voted for him. We could have voted for the PDP candidate, unless Tinubu and Co are trying to prove that we did not and that they rigged him in. I do not believe that. Gov Ambode deserves to be respected and allowed ample opportunity to try his hand on a second term as Lagos Governor. If he loses a fair primary process, it would be a different matter. However there is this current song and dance that once Tinubu is upset with him, then his political trajectory must be treated as dead. This is obscene.

I am ashamed of this trend whereby intellectuals cave in to the machinations of the Tinubu political organization. Our newspapers and columnists are complicit. If we do not take back possession of our polity, perhaps twenty years from now we may still be scratching our heads wondering what happened. Whereas this federation remains as dysfunctional as ever, we cannot achieve any growth in progressive governance if Lagos is reduced to a mafia estate. God forbid that while we are at it, Tinubu were to die today, the same people who had never learnt true democratic principles, who went along with the current situation, would suddenly recover their mojo and behave like people let out of a dungeon. The system would probably implode with devastating consequences. Lagos is too “big” and important to be governed with FEAR of one man as the overriding organizing principle. If we continue along this path, why would we expect anything good out of Borno, Yobe, Zamfara or Osun for that matter? . There is a huge debt that Lagos and Lagosians owe the rest of Nigeria especially since we have not yet parted ways.

The select few who populate the editorial boards of our news media should rise to the occasion and do the needful. This sucking up to Tinubu just has to stop.

There is an unstated warning in all this. The PDP and other local opposition parties must be watching with keen interest.

Credit: Oduche Azih, Lagos

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Gossip

2023: Stop Impersonating Us, CAN Warns Politicians

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has dissociated itself from the unveiling of the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima, saying those who were presented as church leaders are ‘unknown clerics’.

CAN’s General Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja.

He expressed shock and disappointed about the desperation of some politicians who once “claimed Christians do not matter in governance and politics who went to hire some unknown bishops, pastors and priests to impersonate the leadership of CAN in their political meeting”.

“This is totally unacceptable, reprehensible, unprecedented and ungodly. If they are saying Christians have no electoral values why impersonating them in their meetings?”

“We are throwing their principals and sponsors into the court of conscience. These actions of theirs have shown who they are to the public and what they are capable of doing to us all.

“We are asking political parties not to ignore religious sensibilities and sensibilities of the people especially in today’s Nigeria when Christians are becoming endangered species daily. Our quest is within the constitutional requirements and ignoring it is akin to trampling on the Constitution especially the Federal Character Act,” Daramola said.

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Opinion

NCC To Auction 5G Spectrum 13th December, Sets Conditions

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said all is set for the official auctioning of the 3.5 Gigahertz (3.5 GHz) spectrum for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria on December 13, 2021.

A statement signed by the commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said it is adopting Ascending Clock Auction format, which is software-based, while a mock auction has been slated for December 10, 2021, as a precursor to the actual auction on December 13, 2021.

According to the statement, the Information Memorandum (IM) recently presented to the Commission at a stakeholder engagement forum provides information, conditions, obligations, financial implication, timelines and other necessary details on the planned 3.5Ghz spectrum auction.

‘‘The IM also explains the rollout obligations of the would-be eventual winners of the spectrum licence auction, whose reserved price has been pegged at $197.4 million (N75 billion),” the statement said.

‘‘The IM also states that only licensees, who make down payment of 10 per cent of the reserved bid price and with 100 per cent regulatory compliance would be allowed to participate in the auction while licensees with outstanding debts that have secured NCC’s approval for a payment plan will be allowed to participate in the auction.’’

The auction comes with a 10-year spectrum licence and a minimum requirement of an operational Universal Access Service Licence (UASL), but new entrants or licensees without a UASL will be required to obtain a UASL operational license to be qualified for the 5G licence.

The eventual licensees will have a rollout obligation plan spanning a period of 10 years, beginning from the date of award of the licence. Between the first and second year of the licence, the operators are expected to rollout service in, at least, one state in each geo-political zone.

From the third to fifth year, they are obligated to cover all the zones. Between six to 10 years, they should cover all the states in the country, according to guidelines set out in the IM.

Speaking on the planned roll out, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said the Ministry has been working closely with the Commission to ensure that necessary spectrum resources needed for the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria to accelerate the nation’s digital economy space is made available.

The Minister said the 3.5GHz is the most popular spectrum band used globally by regulators and operators for the deployment of 5G technology, and it seems the only band available in Nigeria for immediate use by operators.

On his part, he Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, listed the various steps diligently taken by the Commission that culminated in present status of the 5G deployment plan.

He also highlighted the potential benefits from investment in 5G deployment to potential operators and investors in the country.

According to him, “Nigeria has an estimated population of 214 million, with an average growth rate of 2.6% annually. Approximately 76.46 per cent of the population is under the age of 35. In line with these demographic changes, internet penetration grew from 3 per cent in 2004 to 73.82 per cent as at September, 2021, and broadband penetration increased from less than 10 per cent in 2015 to 40.01 per cent in September, 2021.”

With the increase in mobile usage brought about by Fourth Generation (4G) technology and network performance, he said that 5G technology will leverage on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), among others, called on the government to continue to make the operating environment more conducive for the existing and prospective licensees in the telecom ecosystem, in order to enable Nigeria to fully harness and harvest the derivable benefits of mobile technology in the country.

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Opinion

Sowore Condemns Attack On Home Of Joe Igbokwe

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Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore has condemned the attack on the residence of Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in Nnewi, Anambra State.

“I totally and unequivocally condemn the attack on Joe Igbokwe family house on Nnewi by arsonists. Nothing should be done to silence Mr. Igbokwe in a democratic society,” Sowore posted on Facebook.

Recall that the country home of the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on Sunday set on fire.

Igbokwe in a Facebook post accused members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) for the incident.

“IPOB invaded my house in Nnewi about now. I am sure they raised (sic) down my house giving the jerrycans of petrol being offloaded from their sienna via CCTV. To God be the glory I am still alive,” Igbokwe posted on Sunday afternoon.

The APC chieftain also shared a video from the aftermath of the attack, with an accompanying caption that reads: “Here it is. My Home in Nnewi has been sacrificed. No life was lost. To God be the glory.”

Hours after he posted the video, he deleted it from his Facebook page as well as the initial post.

Over the past weeks, unidentified gunmen have targeted known prominent names in the South-East.

Most of the attacks have been blamed on the members of IPOB, whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is in detention over charges of treason.

The IPOB leadership has, however, distanced its members from the attacks.

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