In this era when integrity and character is most sought after because of the huge benefits it has earned President Muhammadu Buhari in his re-election, mischief makers have rolled up their sleeve to drag into the mud the hard earned credibility of Prof Seidu Onalo Mohammed, Director-General (DG), National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
No plot can be more mischievous than the desperation to tarnish one’s image by concocting lies to mislead the public. Mischief makers working for God-knows paymaster(s), mounted an online platform ‘InsideStory’ to cast aspersions on Prof Mohammed, an indefatigable trailblazer par excellence.
In the dubious write up, obviously tailored to pull down Prof Mohammed because of the streams of accolades he has received in recent times due to humanitarian posture cum gesture, it was alleged that he supported an aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the just concluded state House of Assembly election in Omala Constituency of Kogi state, against the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Seeing that their anti-party allegation against the erudite professor of Remote Sensing has hit the brick wall, they hired some social media merchants of falsehood to help them propagate another lies and mischief. They crafted another allegation that Prof Mohammed is in the habit of selling appointment in his agency. This is obviously meant to tarnish a reputation he has earned through diligence, character and hard work.
These allegations are at best, laughable because what will a man of Prof Mohammed’s pedigree do with peanuts from sales of appointment? Another question to ask is, how poor is Prof Mohammed, a known philanthropist, to condescend into selling jobs to the same people he has committed himself to helping overtimes?
Reacting to the failed propaganda, a close ally of Prof Mohammed, Comrade Moses Abdullahi, refuted the allegation, describing it as the ‘last kick of a dying horse’.
According to Comrade Abdullahi, the good people are not gullible and, will therefore, not subscribe to the weakly orchestrated handiwork of unscrupulous elements.
“The recent attempt by mischief makers to tarnish the good image of Prof Mohammed is dead on arrival because it is baseless. I strongly advise those behind the malicious publication to stop hiding behind the veil because no amount of propaganda can erase the positive antecedent of Prof Mohammed.
“It baffles me to read such publication crafted from the pit of hell. No doubt, they are scared of Prof Mohammed’s growing popularity but this is a fake allegation taken too far. We are not surprised because people will definitely stop to throw stones at a tree bearing ripe fruits but nothing shall discourage us,” he maintained.
The malicious publication may not be unconnected with the pivotal roles played by Prof Mohammed during President Buhari re-election campaigns. Recall that Prof Mohammed hosted party faithful and stakeholders in his country home, Abejukolo-Ife, Omala local area of Kogi state to celebrate the victory of Mr President.
There is every need to remind these merchants of ‘pull him down syndrome’ that in the 21st century, three qualities combine to drive a successful political leadership engagement: Competence, character and diligence. While competence comes through training and experience, character is developed through time and what we choose to learn and do from them. Diligence, on the other hand, is developed through conscientiousness and assiduousness.
Prof epitomises these qualities, and that is why he has remained an all-weather achiever. This also explains why there has been a steady rise in the clamour for Prof Mohammed to offer himself in greater service to his fatherland.
Critics should also be reminded that Prof Mohammed is well a rounded scholar, technocrat and selfless philanthropist, who has excelled in every field of human endeavour without question marks on his integrity.
Authors of mischief need to be reminded also that the recent awards and accolades bestowed on Prof Mohammed from the three senatorial zones of Kogi were premised on his people-centred leadership style: friendliness, capacity building and outstanding performances. The awards were given by the Igala Youth Arise Association from the eastern part of the state, Ozovehe Women Descendant Association from central zone and Okun Progressive Organisation from the western senatorial zone of the state.
In the age that leadership deficit has become a raging debate in our clime, Dr Tom Ohikere, a political stakeholder wrote about Prof Mohammed: “The recent commissioning of the ultra-modern laboratory complex and engineering building of the Centre for Atmospheric Research, an activity centre of the National Space Research and Development Agency shows NASRDA’s readiness to advance the country through research, innovations and development.
“We do not need to delay in praising those who care for the welfare of our land while they are alive because sometimes posthumous praise seems ineffective. We need to see and cultivate a habit of applauding the efforts of those who use their might and influence to uplift the cause of our land when it is most needed. Professor Mohammed has made us proud and we remain ever grateful to God for having him as a Kogite and also a Nigerian.
“As a fellow Kogite, I remain greatly joyous for having a Kogi born scientist who could through his love and passion remember the state and his people by siting this great research centre in the land which will attract global attention to the state and by implication announcing our land to the international community.
“To have specifically located this within our state university speaks volumes about his desire to produce more Kogites in the field of Space Science and Technology through partnership between the agency and the school management.
“It is also interesting to note that the annual budgetary allocation to the centre will boost the state economy and will also improve on the economic activities of Igala land which plays host to the staff of the centre besides other non-pecuniary benefits that accrue to the land among which is employment opportunity for the locals as stated in the Civil Service Rules and Regulations.
“Those who do not see the future of this great initiative may not comprehend the in-depth of the impact of having such a world class research centre in the land but the generations to come will have Prof Mohammed’s praise on their lips.”
On this summation by Dr Ohikere, misfits and mischief makers should leave Prof Mohammed alone, or better still, join him in the good work he is doing.
Dr Achimugu is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst.
Next Level rekindles hope on power
By Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim
I remember vividly in 2015 in the three months of President Muhammadu Buhari in office how our power supply became stable.
It was like magic. It was as if the president had wielded a magic wand and the electricity supply galvanized itself. This is because it is strange in Nigeria to have a complete day of uninterrupted power supply.
Then many rumours spawned with different versions on how the president did the miracle in just three months without earmarking any spending to resuscitate the power sector even though, $16 billion had been spent on the power sector but there was no achievable result.
One of the versions of the story that I heard from politicians is that the president warned the power distributing companies to either make the power stable or have their contracts revoked. While, the other story has it that, the president’s comment during his swearing-in on Friday, May 29, 2015, that “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” was what did the rectification.
In the three months, Nigerians were very surprised on the whole change of our power regularity and the sudden change in the job of providing stable power in the whole of Nigeria.
I also remember during that period, Nigerians were overwhelmed that a new Nigeria had been made and all our problems had gone for good.
People at that time sold their generating sets at very cheaper prices because the buyers were even doubtful of their market. They thought that generators will be history in Nigeria and there will be no buyer when the power supply is stabilised.
A friend of mine advised me to dispose my own generator but I told him, I may need it for other purposes not that I was not optimistic of the changed Nigeria with a leader we heard much about who can solve Nigeria’s problems.
The power supply slowly deteriorated and returned to its shabby supply. It is apparent that Nigerians now hardly enjoy three hours electricity in a day. In some cases days are spent without a blink of it.
Businesses are crumbling day by day and companies are closing down as they cannot afford to function on power generating sets. Small business workers are becoming poorer as they spend days without jobs and the effect is scorching negative aspect on the economy.
The President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA), Herbert Ajayi, lamented that 800 companies were shut down in three years due to the harsh operating business environment that includes the epileptic power supply.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) are always in tango of accusing one another. The marketers complain that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is not providing them with the needed power generation while NERC is alleging that the marketers are to have the lion share of the blame for Nigerian black out by cutting the power supply for their profit.
Nigeria is currently an international distributor of electricity that sells power to the Republics of Togo, Niger and Benin while its country is in haggling darkness.
Nigeria’s businesses have shrunk due to the epileptic power supply, while it lights-up other countries and burns its progress. However, there are some ongoing hydro power plants in Nigeria with the hope that they will rescue Nigerians from the darkest adventure.
There are ongoing hydro power projects in Nigeria in speedy procession. The Mambilla power project in Taraba state will generate 3,050 megawatts and the Zungeru hydro-power plant in Niger state will yield 700 megawatts to boost the existing megawatts in the country.
Now, another mandate of four years has been given to President Muhammadu Buhari and everything had changed about our electricity supply.
With the effort of the present government on power projects, Nigerians are hoping for the end of power nightmare in a very short time possible. There is also the hope that the president will again surprise Nigerians with stable power supply as he did before. This is more so considering the fact that Nigerians now know that his body language can make Nigeria work effectively and efficiently than anything else.
The president after his second term victory has restated that the ‘Next Level’ will be very tough in the course of developing Nigeria and Nigerians hope that it will begin with the power sector for the benefit of Nigeria’s economy.
Ibrahim is the Secretary General, Youths Salvation, Kaduna. He writes via [email protected]