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Chile’s President-Elect Gabriel Boris: What the Nigerian Youths Must Learn

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“ The process for a serious power bargain must begin, so that if it is not realized in 2023, then, it can be realized in 2027 or 2031.” ―Ebuka Onyekwelu

The just-concluded presidential election in Chile is a test and a pass, on some long-established principles in the acquisition of state power and government reforms or I should say a true win for the people, particularly in a democracy. It remains like a power most available to the vigilant. In other words, you cannot acquire power by playing on the sidelines, or by merely being interested in it. Instead, any serious power-seeker for whatever public good must be mainstreamed and must openly campaign on a mainstreamed platform that has been rescued from ruthless powerbrokers or one that has been created by political revivalists in a formidable alliance. One as surely cannot isolate politics from political reforms. The mistake most Nigerians who seek social change make is their assumption that politics is the exclusive preserve of politicians who go at any length to secure political power and use the same for their purposes. The reality very strongly suggests that social change, no matter how simple, reforms no matter how desperately they are needed and irrespective of how the government has failed, protests and other forms of citizens’ actions in form of social movements are far inadequate to realizing the true essence of the people’s aspirations.

Social change no matter how insignificant, reforms and all other legitimate demands of the citizens from their government can only be realized by political means. Social change is political by nature. Demands by citizens on their government for one reform or another, are equally political. What these mean therefore is that trying to get a government to comply with these demands contrasts with what can be obtained within any defined political environment. Not minding the risk of how this may sound, the point is that any group with less relevance to the aspirations of power, or perhaps, schemes for power, can always be ignored with little or no consequences. Hence, no government anywhere in the world would panda towards the demands of its people simply because they are in the majority, or because they have a voice, or maybe because their demands are good. But then, a minority that is politically savvy naturally has a higher stake in any polity.

This, therefore, suggests that a lasting change, daring social reforms among others, can only be realized from within and by political means following established political processes. Usually, many people erroneously assume that government bows to pressure or coercion, well, the reality is that no amount of pressure can bend any government that is worth its name, this is largely true, although the government can always make minor concessions when need be. I am not saying that this is either good or bad. But as always, such concessions are far below expectations. For context on truly if government bends to pressure, look at Libya, then look at Syria, and look at Nigeria where certain forces are experimenting how the will of government can be tested and changed. Again, look at Ethiopia with a Nobel Peace Prize-winning President. It just does not work that a people coerce their government to do as they wish and a people seeking a more responsive and responsible government must get conversant with what does not work.

“We are a generation whose involvement in politics began with social movements”, said the thirty-five years old Chile President-Elect, Gabriel Boris. Why this is even more profound is that only about ten years ago in 2011, Boris was a student leader and among Chilean students who were demanding reforms and insisting on free and quality education for all citizens of Chile. Then in 2021, he has been elected President of Chile. We can see clearly that Boris knew that there is little or nothing he or other Chileans can do with their consistent protests and social movement. In fact, since 2019, Chileans have been protesting and demanding different reforms from their government. Although the government conceded to a constitutional amendment, yet, the demands of the people are far from being met.

Although the government conceded to a constitutional amendment, yet, the demands of the people are far from being met.

What Boris and indeed Chileans understood was that social movements simply cannot deliver their country back to them. In perspective, if you are not in charge of your politics, you are simply not in a position to initiate or implement bold reforms. In other words, you cannot change your country from the outside. This is a big lesson from Chileans and Boris, to Nigerians and citizens of other countries whose youth populations desire social change and other reforms from their government.

Although I must concede that the view from the inside is many times radically distinct from the view from the outside, which is to say that it is almost certain that not all proposed reforms of the new government in Chile upon assumption of office can be realized. This is because; some untested ideas may simply not work at the point of implementation as a result of an innate gap between principle and practice. But then, some may not work for political reasons; opposition politics in the legislature, and among other political difficulties.

But what is sure is that Boris and Chileans will have many more than they can ever possibly bargain with any government they are not in charge of. This is also the reality for Nigerian youths who are making various demands for social reforms; that social movements cannot deliver your country back to you.

Ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, Nigerians and Nigerian youths, in particular, must become politically organized to be relevant in the politics of the country as a means to their end desire for social reforms. If the existing mainstreamed formidable political structures cannot be hijacked, then, a new structure should be formed to drive the purpose of dismantling the current powerbrokers and enthroning a new political order that is more favorable to the people’s demands. Whatever the situation may be at the moment, let this process of a serious bargain for power begin so that in any event, even if it is not realized in 2023, then, it can be realized in 2027 or 2031.

♦ Ebuka Onyekwelu, strategic governance exponent,  is a columnist with the WAP

Nigeria

Gani Adams Berates Police, DSS Operatives For Rejecting Joint Patrol Initiative To Secure Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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He noted that collaborative efforts with South-West security stakeholders would have reduced incessant attacks unleashed on innocent travellers by assailants on the road.

Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has slammed the police and Department of State Services for thwarting an initiative aimed at securing the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

He noted that collaborative efforts with South-West security stakeholders would have reduced incessant attacks unleashed on innocent travellers by assailants on the road.

In a statement on Thursday, Adams said, “The reason for the request is to use our strength and network to secure the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which has remained porous.

“The idea came up after a series of meetings with leaders and members of the South-West Security Stakeholders Group.

“The letter dated September 22, 2021, was addressed to security advisers, Commissioners of Police, Directors of State Security Services, and other agencies in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo.”

Adams said being the Aare, many people had requested his mediation, reminding the government that its security operatives alone cannot secure lives and property.

He added, “It’s time to tell the world of our efforts in securing the region. The road has become volatile for travellers, there is a need for urgent intervention.

“The SSSG, with about 10 security groups, have the strength to support the police in making sure that the spate of insecurity is curbed.”

The organisation comprises Oodua People’s Congress, Agbekoya, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Agbekoya Peace Movement.

Others are Vigilante Yahun, Professional Hunters of Nigeria, Agbekoya Farmers Society, Hunters Association of Nigeria, Isokan Oodua and COMSAIC.

Culled from the Sahara Reporters

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Boko Haram Mounts Checkpoints On Borno Highways, Now Collects ‘Taxes’ From Travellers

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Defaulters were forced by the insurgents to pay while the mobile phones of those who didn’t have money were seized.

Travellers in some communities in Borno State are now being forced by militants of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction of the Boko Haram, to pay what they call, taxes.

Military sources told the media that the terrorists mounted roadblocks in the Gubio Local Government Area on Wednesday, issuing tax receipts to travellers.

The media had in several reports in 2021 reported how the insurgents had been taxing residents of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe State.

Sources said failure of the residents to comply with the directive attracts the death penalty.

The media also reported how ISWAP established two Wilaya’s (Caliphates) at Lake Chad and Sambisa forest to sustain its war against countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to sources, the terrorist group lifted the ban imposed on fishing and farming activities in the Lake Chad area, three years after chasing people out of for allegedly spying for Nigerian troops.

It, nevertheless, imposed new taxes and levies in the areas controlled by ISWAP-Boko Haram, to regulate trades and agricultural activities.

Several fishermen, farmers and merchants had returned to the Lake-Chad area to engage in socio-economic activities, under the arrangement of the new ISWAP-Boko Haram leadership.

Since the death of JAS leader, Abubakar Shekau, ISWAP has been consolidating its grip in locations around Lake Chad.

Just recently, it appointed Wali Sani Shuwaram, a 45-year-old as the new Leader (Wali) of ISWAP in Lake Chad.

The sect’s membership has swollen with the defection of hundreds of Boko Haram fighters under Shekau.

The Nigerian Army has repeatedly claimed that insurgency had been largely defeated and the military frequently underplays any losses.

The terror group has caused over 100,000 deaths and displaced millions of individuals mainly in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.

Culled from the Sahara Reporters

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Nigeria

Pictures Of Northern Governors Posing With Associate Of Bandits’ Leader, Turji Raise Suspicion

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Kamarawa was arrested in September 2021 but the video of his questioning by the police only appeared online a few weeks ago.

Some photographs taken in the recent past showing two governors and an associate of notorious bandits’ kingpin, Bello Turji, standing together have raised dusts.

In the picture with the suspect, Musa Kamarawa, who has confessed to working with Turji, are the governors of Zamfara and Sokoto, Bello Matawalle and Aminu Tambuwal, and the deputy governor of Sokoto, Mannir Dan Iyya.

Zamfara and Sokoto are two of the North-west states under attacks by bandits in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced.

The media last week Friday reported that Kamarawa, nephew to former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, was arrested by the police and detained in Abuja over links to bandits and their leaders.

Kamarawa was arrested in September 2021 but the video of his questioning by the police only appeared online a few weeks ago.

Under interrogation, Kamarawa said he had known Turji for long.

“Turji is my bosom friend, we are always in touch and we seek each other’s advice on our operations most of the time,” the suspect said.

He said the notorious bandits’ kingpin had over 100 armed guards around him and named those supplying Turji with shoes, military camouflage uniforms, drugs and other materials.

Kamarawa, who is from Isa local government area of Sokoto State, has extensive knowledge of communities and forests in Sokoto East and Zamfara North, especially villages bordering Shinkafi (in Zamfara) and Isa (in Sokoto).

Kamarawa was among those first contacted by Mr Matawalle after he was declared governor in 2019, to facilitate a peace accord with bandits, Premium Times reports.

A source at the Zamfara Government House, who is also a Special Adviser to the governor, said Kamarawa was referred to by the governor when the peace accord was being initiated.

“Though Bello Turji didn’t accept the peace accord, there were a lot of bandits who turned in their guns and ammunition through Musa (Kamarawa).

“We didn’t know he had interest in them and was working for them because he was always advising us to expand our peace talks. You can attest to the fact that several weapons and bandits were here (Gusau) and we witnessed peace for some time,” said the official who requested not to be named because he did not have permission to speak to journalists.

Culled from the Sahara Reporters

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