The 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II recently told a moving story of how a mother watched her sick child die while waiting to ask the Emir for financial assistance, because she could not afford to buy prescribed drugs of N3000.00, which, in context, was less than $10. Since “he who feels it knows it”, the ‘Aristocratic banker’ was overwhelmed, and the croaky, breaking voice of the eminently affable Emir, betrayed his emotions!
Well, Emir Sanusi’s address to the United Nation’s meeting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been appropriately documented for posterity. However, Nigerians ought to salute his courage for identifying with the downtrodden and appreciating the dilemma and the economic-unfreedom of the poor in the society! Furthermore, that the Emir could muster enough courage to apologize to Nigerians for any ‘unintended consequences’ of the classical, free market policies he pushed during his tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reveals the enormous social capital ascribed to his social status, the purity of nobility, and his sincere love for humanity.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the educated, onetime CBN Governor, ruled Nigeria’s economic firmament, believing in the classical, neo-liberal macro-economic philosophy, only to discover later – after the deed has been done – that those theories were designed to keep us perpetually in the valley of socio-economic backwardness. However, Sanusi has blazed the trail by being blunt in expressing his regrets, and firmly calling for a paradigmatic shift in our applied economic theories, and an overhaul of our Public Administration. This is indeed the dawn of a new era in public leadership. It has not always been like this. At least, that is what a synoptic view of past leadership in the country reveals.
Yakubu Gowon ruled Nigeria, not as a College Graduate; but later went abroad to bag a Doctorate degree in Political Science. He came back to the country, well read, but did not see the need to reminisce about his past blunders. Murtala Muhammed’s regime was short-lived. But Olusegun Obasanjo’s first and second stints at the highest office in the land portrayed him as an ‘all-wise’ leader. As such, he has neither admitted, nor apologised for his misrule or the mistakes of his regimes. Though Shehu Shagari was a “reluctant president”, the economic ruination of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) government under his watch was never accounted for by the Grade II Teacher-President. Muhammadu Buhari’s regime attempted critical reforms in a highly corrupt, polarised, and sceptical society but the excesses of the regime were never atoned for. Ibrahim Babangida’s 9-year rule was characterised by widespread conscientization towards deceit and corruption in governance. Unfortunately, Babangida never apologised for squandering our collective patrimony. Sani Abacha never had a clue about civilian public administration but he clung to power, until … power left him. He did not live to regret or apologise for his misdeeds. From Abdulsalami Abubakar, to UmaruYar’Adua; to Goodluck Jonathan; to Buhari’s second coming, the stories have disturbingly remained the same.
That said, it must not be lost on Nigerians that Sanusi’s argument is how we must seek the prosperity of the average Nigerian for peace that is contingent on the prosperity of the citizenry to reign in the land. It is instructive to note that Sanusi is now an Emir, a royal father. So, he has his domain to worry about! As an Emir, he also has multiple roles to play! He is a respected Islamic scholar and a religious priest whose pronouncements are weighty in religion. In the political spheres, he is the father for everybody in Kano and its environs, no matter one’s political affiliations. He is a banker, nobleman and public analyst. He is a father and a husband. He is an uncle to some people; and a cousin to others. So, the man has a lot on his plate; and uneasy lies the head that wears the crown!
Like Karl Marx, Sanusi has spoken about how deep our challenges are. He has also prophesied what is likely to happen to us if certain things are not done. He has challenged the elites of this country who are currently standing aloof or pretending not to see the obvious fact that the country has for some time been haemorrhaging. He has also drawn their attention to the fact that their being rich is also defined by the existence of the country; and that, if the country is no longer there, the definition of who they are will have to be reconfigured.
Basically, the truth about democracy is that, no matter the politics of the government in power, the people must come first. Again, this is where the current actors on the political scene must learn to be faithful to their calling. It is a shame that, every year, the first thing they fight for is their personal budget or those things that will accrue to them. If they are not careful, it will get to a stage where there will be no budget to fight for. This is not a prediction of doom. The truth is: if those who are privileged now don’t begin to attend to the needs of the society, it will get to a stage whereby the dignity and the honour, which their positions attract, will disappear. For example, a senator is supposed to be somebody who is revered in the society. But, by the time poverty makes the people to look at him with suspicion – as somebody who has flashy cars, owns monstrous buildings and runs a life that is flashy, then, the society is in for a big trouble. So, it’s time the political class keyed into Sanusi’s optimism by locating the algorithms that Nigeria needs with a view to understanding the mechanics of governance in a way that will take Sanusi’s worries seriously before things get worse.
Finally, Sanusi has a word for the recalcitrant leaders: “They call you ‘Rankadede’ now. In a couple of years, they will throw stones at you.” The question is: are we going to wait till people start stoning people, which, of course, can be likened to a point of no return? Well, Sierra Leone (1991) and Ivory Coast (2000) have eloquently spoken to the options before us!
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!
*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ([email protected])
Our humanity is under attack BY Gbolahan Olayemi
On Monday, 25th May, based on unconfirmed fears that a black man, George Floyd, was issuing a potentially counterfeit bill at Minnesota shop, its owners, called on cops to help apprehend him.
Moments later, as cameras will reveal, George can be seen pleading with the officers, attempting to negotiate the obvious mistaken situation.
Soon afterwards, he is rendered almost motionless as one of the officers kneels on his neck.
He can be heard and seen struggling for breath, as onlookers plead with the officer to release him.
“I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” Floyd repeats as the officer ignores his cries, and goes on kneeling on a harmless, unharmed, obedient man’s neck, for at least 7 minutes – in a flagrant, obvious, cruel show of racism. An undisguised evil act. When the officer eventually releases the knee-hold, Floyd is unresponsive and limp.
He is taken to a hospital where he is pronounced dead.
Evil used to sneak around, too scared to walk in the light. It used to creep up on unsuspecting women having a fresh, nice time in a garden. It used to hide in the shadows, silently whispering its destructive ideas into the unsuspecting ears of the listener.
Not anymore. Nowadays, it walks with shoulders held high, clothes ironed crisply, confidence bolstered by how many times in the past it’s had its way; how many times it’s gotten away with the mindlessness of its perpetrators and all who do its bidding.
Our humanity is under attack. From self-assumed “superiors” who brandish nothing more than a skin treated to a fairer shade because of genetic, migration and anthropological effects spread out over a period of time. We treat each other worse than animals.
The uproar that Floyd’s death has generated in the US is incensed by the fact that this isn’t a first, and will certainly not be the last. Just across the continental divide, news of whole towns and villages being sacked, people being massacred in Nigeria has filled the airways, dominated the news all week.
“I can’t breathe. I’m about to die.”
How ironical the similarity this plea bears with our everyday lives.
Signs remote working is not for you BY Mike Volkin
The wrath of coronavirus has been upon us for quite some time now, and the world has had some time to adjust. The most significant part of the change was remote work. People all over the world, from students to full-time workers, have all switched. At least those who had the infrastructure and privilege to go online has gone online by now.
There are many benefits to working remotely. Already a lot of surveys and studies have revealed that with people switching to remote work, productivity has increased. Not just that, people who used to commute to work are now free from that hassle as well. That means more time for family and friends.
But, there are downsides to it as well. The primary being the fact we cannot go outside of our houses. It makes it difficult for us to keep our sanity intact. Our mental health is directly linked to our physical well being. We highly underestimate the amount of physical activity we used to do by simply going out. With that gone, our mental health is deteriorating as fast as our physical health.
With the right amount of physical activity and mental health exercises, we will be able to keep our sanity intact. And only then will we be able to adjust our lives to quarantine. Even after everything, some people just cannot get used to remote work. This article is for those people so that they can tell whether remote work will work for them.
Here are four signs that if favourable, will indicate that remote working is not for you:
You Still Miss Face to Face Interaction
Some people just like face to face interaction. Those people cannot find peace in working from home as they feel isolated in the house. The fact that coronavirus has spread throughout the globe and is keeping us at home does not help.
Even if you are an introvert, you could fall into this category, and even more so if you think about it. Introverts have it hard as it is, with struggling to make friends and interact with people outside their home. The workplace gives them a chance to at least have some sort of human connection.
You Lack Personal Discipline
When you go to a particular place to work, your mind triggers something off. It makes you believe that now you have to work no matter what because now you are under the direct jurisdiction of your boss. This works like a trigger for our brain to switch productive mode on.
But, when you are sleeping where you are working, the distinction is hard to create. Those who have a robust personal discipline can handle this very easily as they are more in control of their minds and bodies.
So, if you are one who cannot go around the idea of personal discipline, then, unfortunately, remote work is not for you. Although, it is true that with dedication, you can train your brain and body to act in a certain way.
Your Field of Work Demands Heads-Together
There are two kinds of work, one is heads-down, and another is heads-together. The primary distinction between the two is that one requires you and only you to focus on your work without any kind of distraction. On the other hand, heads-together work involves a lot of group interactions and collaborative effort.
It is not a secret that collaborative work is harder on your computer. With the popularity of new apps like Zoom, significant improvement has been added to group interactions so you can work seamlessly with your colleagues.
But, in most cases, this kind of work level becomes harder to pull off consistently. So, in the long run, you will become exhausted. Moreover, if your work includes brainstorming sessions, you are in bad luck because there is no way to replace face-to-face brainstorming session.
You Don’t Want to Be a Part of Semi-Remote in the Future
According to experts, this lockdown will last a long time. So, more and more offices and employers will start to work remotely. So, there is a big chance that remote work will begin to become the norm.
As coronavirus has hit almost all the businesses in the world, employers will start minimizing their costs. And the first to go on their list will be the offices. And some employers will just get a smaller office.
In that world, those who would like to work from home will be able to work from home while others can work from the office. But, this culture will only encourage the same remote work, and even in the office, you will feel isolated.
To Wrap It Up
It is hard to say what the future holds, but the remote work revolution is almost inevitable. Although you should work at a real place rather than remotely, it would be good to get used to remote work with dedication as it can pay off in the long run.
There are many professionals out there who can help you with freelancing tips that will definitely make you ready for remote work.
Importance of social media during social distancing BY Eliza Brooks
The beginning of 2020 rocked the entire world like a train getting sidetracked, taking its passengers into the unknown. The biggest among the adversities, threatening the lives of many, is the COVID-19.
As the cases rise up to millions and deaths soar to hundreds of thousands, we still don’t know when this global pandemic will end. Jobs were lost, businesses crumbled, the economy is failing, and hearts continue to break as they lose loved ones in this fight against this deadly virus.
As people take shelter and safety inside their homes, many turn to social media amidst social distancing. But does social media play an important role during COVID-19? Read its importance here.
An Opportunity for Community Engagement
Whether you’re running a social media marketing agency or a personal social media account, social media is crucial for community engagement during social distancing.
As people refrain from engaging personally with friends and family, social media is a way to connect regardless of remoteness. For brands, this can be a way to engage with their audiences by publishing useful information that can help them get through these trying times.
For personal accounts, using social media is excellent to spread local news in your town or area as not every area is thoroughly covered by big media networks. Overall, social media during social distancing is an opportunity to increase engagement.
A Chance for Businesses to Strategize
While social media’s role before the pandemic was mostly to entertain users, businesses can leverage social media to inform. This gives companies a chance to re-strategize and see how they can position their brands amidst this global pandemic.
Another way businesses, regardless of industry, can utilize social media to position their products is to rethink their production. If you’re an apparel company, this can be a way to manufacture useful items like face masks and advertise it on social media.
Givenchy and Dior, two of the biggest luxury perfume makers worldwide, are giving free hand sanitizers to the French health authorities. The companies said they will be using their production facilities, supposedly for creating perfumes, for producing hand sanitizers or hydroalcoholic gel.
This tactic does not only contribute to brand recognition but also it will gain affinity from your audiences. And after this pandemic is over, you will reap the fruits of your labour.
A Channel for Reaching Out
Whether you have a business or personal social media account, you must put social media to good use. For one, helping one another during this time seems to be the most comforting thing we can do for now.
That said, publish or repost content that can help enlighten and warn others against the havoc of COVID-19. While social media can be as destructive as it is useful, ensure that you only repost reliable content so as not to spread fake news.
Another way to help others is by creating local social media groups or forums. This can be a perfect way to exchange information between users who are in a particular area. Plus, it’s also an excellent way to help the elderly. For instance, if elderly people are living on their own, going outside would put their lives at risk.
For example, Facebook users’ demographic is varied. Although 25 to 34-year-olds comprise the biggest percentage of social media users, there is a small 3 per cent of seniors aged 64 and above who have Facebook. You can reach out to these people and offer to do the grocery shopping for them. In fact, brands can create a movement to help the elderly during this time through social media channels.
Eliza Brooks is a passionate blogger and informative content writer who loves to write about social media marketing, seo tips, and web designs. She is currently working with Adfluencer, Germany’s leading agency for influencer marketing.
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