Last Week in Retrospect Edition 1

Hello, folks! We believe last week — Sunday 5 July, 2020 to Saturday 11 July 2020 — was a mélange of the shocking, the relieving, the unscrupulous and the hilarious. In looking back on the past week, we made a list of the top four headlines from last week, with analyses as accompaniment. Do enjoy!

DSS Arrests EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

This headline, adopted by Sahara Reporters for their July 6, 2020 news story, is undoubtedly top of the list of headlines for the just spent week. The headline left the average Nigerian in shock (in presidential parlance). It came as a shock that the Acting Chairman of the Commission charged with arresting economic and financial criminals, is allegedly a co-criminal with the folks he and his team have been hunting down. Details of the investigations — which go as far back as 2010 — reveal Magu’s flouting of orders binding public officials,amidst other financial crimes.

Since this first news story, there have been subsequent ones, such as the suspension of Magu by the Presidency, Shehu Sani’s claim that the Saraki-)ed Senate has been justified for not approving Magu’s appointment, Magu’s lament that he is being paraded as a mere criminal and the break-in at the NFIU Office, and how fresh proofs have emerged to show that Magu is in the know of the break-in.

The Nigerian is sure thinking of a lot of things. Why didn’t the DSS, having incriminating evidence since 2010, arrest Magu earlier? Why would the Buhari-led government, which so prides itself in integrity, be bent on having Magu as the Chairman of EFCC, when it seemed Magu had skeletons in his cupboard? Hasn’t the Saraki-led Senate truly been justified?

Is Magu acceding to the claim that he is a criminal, in claiming that he is being treated as a mere criminal? Say, would he prefer being treated as an important criminal? If innocent, shouldn’t he have lamented being treated as a criminal, and not being treated as a mere criminal?

Controversy trails issuance of impeachment notice to Ondo Deputy Governor

This headline, adopted by Premium Times for one of its stories published on
July 9, 2020, aptly describes what has been happening in Ondo State, ahead of the state’s gubernatorial election.

Trouble stepped in between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, when the latter showed interest in becoming Ondo State’s next governor. Since the show of interest, the Deputy Governor has defected from the state’s ruling All Progressives Party to the People’s Democratic Party. Also, Deputy Governor Ajayi reinstated the aides earlier sacked by Governor Akeredolu.

The other arms of government have not been left out of the saga, as the Ondo State House of Assembly claims to have served the Deputy Governor an impeachment notice,a notice the said Deputy Governor insists he has yet to receive. Stemming from the will to impeach the Deputy Governor is the suspension of the Deputy Speaker of the House and some other lawmakers that are not in favour of the impeachment. It is said that they were suspended for “gross misconduct”.

The Ondo State Chief Judge has also said the impeachment move of the House is currently invalid, as it does not fully go inline with the dictates of the Constitution.

It’s no gainsaying that troubles always stem from trying to outshine the master. What will be the climax of these interwoven battles in Ondo State? Let’s see what the coming weeks have in store for us.

Nigerian students won’t write 2020 WAEC – FG

When The Nation published this story on July 8, 2020, it immediately made waves! Nigerians, who had earlier got wind of the federal government’s plans to reopen schools, were thrown into a state of confusion as to what to believe, especially seeing that WAEC announced August 4 as the official commencement date for the 2020 exams. The Federal Minister for Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, announced that Nigeria would not be participating in WAEC 2020, as the nation is not yet ready to open her schools. He said that this decision stems out of his wish not to offer any Nigerian to coronavirus, on the altar of education.

From the Minister’s speech, it can be deduced that WAEC’s announcement of a date was a shocker; perhaps WAEC didn’t consult the ministries involved in the education sector.

“…me as Minister of Education, if I’m given the chance, I don’t mind Nigeria losing a whole school year than exposing our children to danger. WAEC is a parastatal of the Ministry of Education, they cannot determine for the government what it does.”

The statement above, made by the Federal Minster, subtly tells of power tussle and a not-so-smooth relationship between WAEC and the Ministry of Education (which might only be a recent occurrence).

Seeing that Nigeria isn’t the only country to participate in WAEC, wouldn’t there be adverse effects due to our refusal to participate this year? With this, we should expect an astronomical increase in the number of students who would sit for WAEC and UTME, come 2021, more difficult screening processes by higher institutions, and a larger number of those who would not gain admission.

Seeing that schools in Oyo State have been opened for days now, and there has been no astronomical increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the state, shouldn’t the Federal Ministry of Education consider reopening schools and having strict measures in place? Markets have been reopened, interstate travels are back, domestic flights are also back, and the ban on religious gatherings have been lifted. Schoolchildren are living their lives as other people; they go to churches and mosques and markets. They travel from one state to another. Some have flown with their family members. In the end, they are not as protected from the virus as the Federal Ministry of Education claims, just by being restricted from going to school.

Nigeria resumes domestic flights amid pandemic

Following the announcement made by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the last presidential address, domestic flights have resumed in Lagos and Abuja since July 8, 2020, with more airports expected to be opened in the coming weeks. Nigeria had earlier placed a ban on international and domestic flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The reopening of airports sure ranks among the top headlines for last week, as this reopening, coupled with the lift of the ban on religious gatherings and interstate travels, shows that the nation is almost fully returned to normalcy. This however, doesn’t mean that a cure has been found for the virus. It rather means that the Nigerian nation is adapting herself to leaving with the virus (pending the discovery of a cure) while recording minimal cases and outbreaks.

Measures have surely been put in place at the airports to ensure maximum safety of travellers. However, there’s no end in sight for the ban on international travels. Let’s hope the coming weeks will bring good tidings.

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