Wednesday, 21 September 2022

2022 Theme: End Racism. Build Peace.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.But achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms.  It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race.


As Secretary-General António Guterres has said “Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and… the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.”

As conflicts continue to erupt across the globe, causing people to flee, we have seen race-based discrimination at borders. As COVID-19 keeps attacking our communities, we have seen how certain racial groups have been hit much harder than others. As economies suffer, we have seen hate speech and violence directed at racial minorities.


We all have a role to play in fostering peace. And tackling racism is a crucial way to contribute.We can work to dismantle the structures that entrench racism in our midst. We can support movements for equality and human rights everywhere. We can speak out against hate speech – both offline and online. We can promote anti-racism through education and reparatory justice.


Peace means freedom, peace means a feeling of comfort, and peace means freedom from war and terror. These three words are enough to explain real peace. Peace is necessary for the existence of this world. The absence of peace in any region of the world is responsible for the deaths of many people, which results in the ruination of that region. If any area is suffering from war or terror, then life there is badly affected in many ways. All the activities like education, business, sports, etc are suspended in a war-affected area. Peace is necessary for life, for living, and for happiness.


The 2022 theme for the International Day of Peace is “End racism. Build peace.” CCDI invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations as we work towards a world free of racism and racial discrimination. A world where compassion and empathy overcome suspicion and hatred. A world that we can truly be proud of.


Olufemi Aduwo 

Permanent Representative.

CCDI to United Nations

LIKE AWOLOWO LIKE OBASANJO!


 ln July 1981,Papa Awolowo"having studied the economy of the nation and observed its poor management by Sheu Shagari's NPN government.

Awowolo wrote a letter to then President warning him about the imminent danger:"There is a frightful danger ahead,visible for those who care and are patriotic enough to look beyond their narrow self-interest.Our ship of state is fast approaching a huge rock and unless you,as the Chief helmsman, quickly rise to the occasion and courageously steer the ship away from its present course, it shall hit the rock and the inescapable consequence will be unspeakable disaster such as it rare in the annals of man.


Rather than thank the sage for his advice and make necessary adjustments, Shagari, probably resenting the fact that the content of the letter was made public, scornfully replied:You are not serious when you refer to our economy as depressed. Ours is acknowledged world wide as one of the fastest growing economies in the world,thanks to our economy policy.He also dispatched his Finance Minister, Party Chairman and other top government functionaries to London to address a "World Press Conference"

where they debunked the claims of Awolowo and called him unprintable names.It was soon obvious who was not serious because some months later,Shagari was compelled to adopt austerity measures to stem the slide of the economy.


But already, the damage has been done.Some commentators have argued that Awolowo ought to have seen him in private and offered his counsel.Maybe, Maybe not.But Proverbs 27:5-6 says,Better is open rebuke than hidden love.Wounds from a trusted friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.The government was at the end terminated by the beret Generals in December 31,1983,another set of robbers,the consequence of the coup is still lingering on till today.Ask General Buhari. 


ln 2020 President Obasanjo only echoed what was  the common talk in the beer parlours and pepper soup joints across the country.Let me repeat what the former President Obasanjo and elder statesman said "Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state, economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country. He said these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country.Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.The signs are more obvious in now than when the observation was made. 


Let me quote Professor Williams Adebayo to butress Obasanjo valid point,infact the respected wordsmith wrote this quotation during Abacha regime and quote,"This is the moment that has stolen upon us.As the country lurches and staggers from one crisis to another,as one measure is hurriedly abandoned for even more inept solutions,as the rule of law is recklessly abandoned at all levels of government for rule of man, it is clear that we are faced with what is known as an “organic crisis”Nations are also like human beings and when an affliction becomes terminal, when suffering is unbearably acute, when human misery is so stark and remorseless, it is time to consider the virtues of euthunasia" end of quote.


Looking through the glass,the herdsmen crisis,the Boko Haram insurgency, clamouring for Biafra and Oodua Republics,the high level of corruption and looting across government’s MDAs,it is glaring that we have in our hands a classic recipe for organic crisis.Calling Obasanjo names by President aides was  not new,it was exactly how Shagari aides did to Awolowo.


Regardless what enemies may say , restructuring  of the country is not negotiable.Our history is not our enemy but the way we deal or not with our history could be our enemy. A country that has not really faced its past cannot decide on her future.


Olufemi Aduwo 

olufemi. aduwo@ccdiltd. org

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Nigeria : ON THE HIGHWAY TO RWANDA

The expressway to Rwanda,   that is the path Nigeria is fast speeding to. Yet, this path is not a new path to us.  It's a similar terrain that we have taken before. I966, long before even the Rwandan path was paved. We wasted over 3million people as hundreds of innocent souls were slaughtered before even the war started.


Long before the Rwandan path was paved, religious differences and ethnic intolerance as being repeated today, led to a civil war that took our best, took our leaders, took innocent souls and took us backward. The backwardness is still hunting and hurting us till day. And, it's the wounds of the war that was not treated in a round table talk, talk, that is leading to another war. Yet, the leader of the nation insists that he's comfortable exactly the way things are.So, it's either history is unfair to us or our leaders are blind to it. Indeed, the death meant to kill a dog does not allow her to smell farces. And, like the saying goes, those who do not understand history are bound to repeat it.


Even if we hadn't experienced a civil war before, what happened in Free Town, Monrovia, Abidjan in recent history ought to have taught us a lesson. The way Tripoli was turned from a fast developing city into a slave town where war lords reign should serve as a lesson.But no, we learnt nothing. Just 52 years after, when those that played major role to the last civil war are still alive, here the snowball of war goes rolling down from the snow mountain of stupid arrogance, gathering with it all the ethnic intolerance and religious divide that paved the path of Rwandan.


Where are you Gen. Gowon? Your silence is strongly becoming cowardice. Where art thou Alhaji  Abudsalem Abubakar? Your silence is strongly becoming a tactical approval to the atrocities going on in the nation. Where are you Chief Emeka Anyaoku for there is an error in your silence. Speak out Gen. IBB or else history will record it that you said nothing when your voice was needed most. Ochiagha Ndi Igbo Comr.Ebitu Ukiwe your children are being slaughtered in their farms and you said nothing. You all said nothing as the youngman who watched his pregnant mother gang raped and her stomach ripped open bites his tongue and moan in revenge. It seems only General Olusegun Obasanjo is talking against the evil . 


You bigmen in power and in office, you felt secured and less concerned because you thought the evil is far of. When this Rwanda that is fast speeding to Nigeria will arrive, the distinguished Senator will be extinguished. The honourable house members will be dishonored. Some of you in executive offices will be executed. All by war lords who will takeover and parade the streets of Osun, Sokoto,Owerri, Abuja, Calabar, Enugu etc. The war lords that took over the streets of Rwanda did the same. So. Let each and everyone one of you wake up while it's day, let us collectively pursue the black sheep. Or else, when Rwanda will arrive, lizards will replace cows as major source of protein in our cooking. Ask Samuel Doe, when Rwanda arrived at Morovia, he hit the streets from the presidential palace in search of food after slaughtering his lions for meal. That was how he was captured and slaughtered. Rwanda does not respect big men and big office holders. As there are no big men Libya today, but war lords that are selling the children of even the rich into slavery.


When Rwanda arrives there will be no strong man, no community leader, big men or small men. In Rwanda, there was not even religious leaders. Everyone will be to himself and God to all us. For the bigmen aides will desert them and run to take their families into the bush for safety. Then, the high fences of the local almighties will be climbed, their strong pad locks broken, their properties stolen, their wivies and daughters violated before them. For they're always the first target of the Rwanda mobs. Ask the former almighty of Congo, Zaire politics, ask Gaddafi, when Rwanda visited their palaces were the first target of attack of the Rwandan mob. So, no one should feel less concerned about this Rwanda breeze that is blowing towards Nigeria. Do whatever you can today to stop it by speaking out. Or else, we all will live to regret our inactions. 


If the truth must be said, the path way to Rwanda is being paved due to our  Executive arms of government lackadaisical attitude in respect to the insecurity ravaging the country.Under this very regim that came for change, Nigeria our beloved country  has unfortunately, become a  lawless country. A country with no rules and regulation, a country where laws are not adhered to. A country where there is no consequence for killing of innocent citizens. Yet, we have a government in place that refuses to take responsibility and  security agents that seems not to know what their work is. Yet, every year we budget and spend billions on security agencies and the citizens are taxed for this. That's how the path to Rwandan is being paved.


On the expressway to Rwandan,  citizens got  killed, innocent girls are violated, mothers raped, farmers throat slit, people going about their businesses are killed at gun point and nothing was done about it. From Enugu, Kaduna South, Bornu, Bauchi, Zamfara, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau down to Benue, the Rwandan experience is going on.You might feel secured today because you move around with escorts, but when Rwanda will arrive it will only be war lords that will be escorted. There will be no senator, Federal or State House member, because each zone will be manned by war lords that legislate the rule of law. 


When Rwanda will arrive there will be no governor, no minister, no government officials because there was none in Rwanda, each area will have a war lord that will be lord of the law.In Rwanda, there will be no middle class, industrialist, banks etc, so there will be no ATM. The war lords controlling the areas you fall into might decide to print a new currency with his head as the logo. So, stop counting on what you have acquired now, for all be lost. On the path to Rwanda men of God that speak out and speak the truth to the government of the day were arrested and detained. Just as it is happening now.


On the path to Rwanda the government of the day favoured one ethnic group against the other, and those that felt neglected took to self-defense. That was what paved the way to Rwanda. The Rwandan highway is being paved in Kaduna South, Jos, Taraba, Zamfara, Nasarawa and Benue. Communities that felt neglected by the federal government are going into self-defense.


In Rwanda,  babies were born with no future. As soon as they grow up they pick up an AK 47 and start killing fellow human beings. That Rwandan path is being paved in the Boko Haram controlled areas in Northern Nigeria.In Rwanda,  bodies  of dead people littered everywhere and the government of the day felt less concerned, just as dead bodies means nothing anymore in Nigeria. Nigeria is just as if we are in Liberia or Afghanistan. Nigeria has  become  a barbaric nation with no respect for human life. 


Like Rwanda, Nigeria has become a place where we wake up every day and hear that people are being slaughtered and we feel like it's normal. In fact, like Rwanda, Nigeria has become a place where we hear 6 killed, 24 injured and we are like it's small.Like Rwanda, schools has closed in so many villages due to the attack of war lords struggling for territories and the government of the day are helpless about it.Nigeria is seriously drifting towards Rwanda, but some people instead of speaking out and saying the truth are clapping and urging the president to go on as if nothing is happening.


But, when Rwanda will come there will be no oil money to share, no nation to govern and all the major oil fields will be controlled by Niger Delta war lords. So keep on clapping and praising the government while pregnant women are being slaughtered. Keep on talking about 2019 while innocent children are being murdered. Keep on pretending that all is well with Nigeria when a foreign army of occupation has taken over most villages in Nigeria and our military are doing nothing about it. Keep on feeling less concerned when our national territory has been invaded by foreign mercenaries and we keep on pretending like all is at peace.


The truth is, we  cannot continue like this and expect Nigeria not to hit the Rwandan path. Nigerians are being slaughtered like a cattle, and their cries are hitting the ground. Hearts are hurting, souls are ravaging for revenge and they're gathering storms of war. Nigeria will not survive a second civil war and the next war will be so shapeless because people are being hit from all angle. In Rwanda, everywhere and everyone was affected. When Rwanda visited Sudan, the former senate president lined up to beg for food from the relief agencies. 


The earlier our leaders drop their ethnic and religious differences and come together to demand an end to the herdsmen moving from one village to another to slaughtered our people, the earlier this snowball gathering storms of war will be controlled. Please speak out now for no matter how small your voice may sound, our collective voices will sound like a big mega phone to help stop the looming danger. 


Olufemi Aduwo

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Environmental Activism Have Lost One Big Voice ln Charles

Outspoken about the "existential" threat posed by climate change when he was Prince of Wales, King Charles III on Friday seemed to signal an effective end to his decades-long public advocacy for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, which are warming global temperatures.


In his first speech as king, Charles pledged to uphold the constitutional principles that kept the sovereign, including his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, from weighing in on what could be seen as political matters.. My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities

,he said ."It will no longer be possible to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I cared so deeply, but I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.


For more than 40 years, Charles had championed environmental causes, including the need to transition the global economy off of fossil fuels so as to avert a climate catastrophe. In November, at the start of COP 26, the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Charles said climate change was an "existential threat to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing" and called on world governments to begin "radically transforming our current fossil fuel based economy to one that is genuinely renewable and sustainable


On Thursday, newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss announced measures to try to blunt the impact of skyrocketing energy prices over the coming months, including lifting a ban on hydraulic fracking and green-lighting new oil and gas drilling in the North Sea. She has also appointed Jacob Rees-Mogg, who environmental actvists call a climate science denier, to oversee the country's energy sector.


In 2020, Charles addressed the World Economic Forum, calling for "a shift in our economic model that places nature and the world's transition to net zero at the heart of how we operate."

Charles had delivered countless speeches on addressing climate change, written books on the topic and had made the issue central to his role as Prince of Wales.


That decision also earned him ample criticism from those who saw his activism as overstepping the bounds of the monarchy. In his Friday speech, the new king did not mention the words "climate change," and that, in and of itself, spoke volumes


Olufemi Aduwo

Permanent Representative,

Centre For Convention On Democratic lntegrity (CCDI) to United Nations

Monday, 8 August 2022

TÍNUBU : YORUBA VOTES AND WHAT NOT.

It was in the NYM that the Yorùbá fascination with justice first encountered an open conflict of meaning: which, of two approaches, is just? In 1941, a seat became vacant in the Legislative Council and the movement needed to choose one of its members as candidate for the seat. The new president of the movement, Dr. Ernest Ikoli, an Ijaw, had expressed interest in the seat. So did Samuel Akinsanya, from Ijebu Remo and Dr. Akinola Maja, a Lagosian Yorùbá. Based on the movement’s preexisting policy that gave preference to its president’s expressed interest in a vacant position, Chief Awolowo declared support for Ernest Ikoli. Without denying the preexisting policy, Awolowo’s position was defeated at the general meeting of the body. 


Nomination was open to any interested member; a vote was taken and both Ernest Ikoli and Akinola Maja lost to Samuel Akinsanya. But that was not the end of the matter. Based on the precedent in such matters, the result was referred to the executive committee for a final decision. The executive committee reversed the decision of the general meeting by giving the nomination to Ikoli based on existing policy, which Awolowo had espoused. The decision divided the body but Ikoli won the general election and became a member of the Legislative Council.


This story is interesting for two reasons. First, Chief Awolowo, a Remo Yorùbá supported the candidacy of Ernest Ikoli, an Ijaw, against the candidacy of a fellow Remo Yorùbá because he (Awolowo) believed that, in view of the movement’s policy of giving preference to its president in case of a vacancy, it was unfair to deprive Ikoli of the nomination. Unfortunately, not everyone saw the matter that way. For those who did not, the existing policy was unfair because it discriminated against members who might have made sacrifices to the movement but did not occupy the office of president. Though Ikoli won, it was a pyrrhic victory. The victory, which hastened the resignation of Azikwe and Akinsanya and their supporters from the movement, effectively ended the dominance of NYM. 


Secondly, the incident appeared to directly contradict the common perception concerning the ethnic coloration of anti-colonial nationalist struggles. The key actors in this drama debunked that perception with their denial of support for candidates from their ethnic groups. While this may not be obvious in the case of Azikwe’s objection to Ikoli’s candidacy (Azikwe is Igbo while Ikoli is Ijaw), it is clear in the case of Awolowo’s rejection of Akinsanya’s candidacy.


The  buffaloes move as a herd with unalloyed loyalty to the leader. Like the soldier ants, they move in a convoy. But unlike soldier ants, they only take instructions from their leader and if by chance the leader dies, they just stand around waiting for the instruction that will never come. That is how buffaloes are getting extinct. Papa Awolowo on campaign rostrum at Jos in the 60s said: “We are an ideological indomitable straight tree (referring to Action Group members who drew their numerical strength from Yoruba)”.That curves only as a natural response to a straight condition. 


The Yoruba are intrinsically proud people who cherish their freedom. Long before the British King Charles literally lost his head in a revolt against intolerable oppression; the Yoruba had established a tradition for taming intolerable despots. Despotic kings were either forced to commit suicide or banished, the same is applicable to the modern day political opportunists. 


Today All People's Congress (APC) is on death throes caused by a cross breed of the virus of political myopia, putrid hegemony and rascality symptoms that I would describe Ahmed Inertia Decrepit Syndrome (AIDS). The APC Presidential candidate Tinubu  do not believe in the salient democratic principles which Awolowo was known for, transparency, rule of law and respect for a fair and free electoral process at party level. Tínubu lacks the capacity to convert purpose and vision into action. Neither can he  generate and sustain  trust; the trust that keeps any political organisation cohesive and committed as was witnessed during the tenure of Papa Awolowo. 


To Bola Tinubu supporters The Yoruba are not buffaloes neither could any mortal nor any group of persons direct them sheepishly in political permutation and manipulation of the Nigerian STATE.2023 Presidential poll is about electing a responsive President of  NIGERIA and NOT a YORUBA PRESIDENT. The principle of Yoruba education is to make an individual an Omoluabi. Good character in the Yoruba sense includes honesty, trust and transparency in all public and private dealings. Without taking anything away from Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the truth is that if you give him gold, he will turn it to ashes. 


Olufemi Aduwo

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Could Ukraine Be Putin’s Afghanistan?


Even before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine earlier on 24 February,several commentators, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, argued convincingly that a Russian occupation of more of Ukraine, perhaps including Kyiv, would lead to an insurgency like that which the Soviet Union faced in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Defeat in Afghanistan was a major factor in the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and ultimately the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

It is important to understand how the Soviets were defeated by the mujahideen in the 1980s to understand if Ukraine could be a repeat. The Afghan resistance did virtually all the fighting against the Russian 40th Army that occupied Afghanistan starting on Christmas Eve 1979. The resistance was massive and spontaneous. But the Afghans were not alone.President Jimmy Carter rapidly mobilised a strategic alliance to fight the Russians. Within two weeks he had persuaded Pakistani leader Zia ul-Huq to support the mujahideen with refuge, bases, and training in Pakistan. 



The United States and Saudi Arabia would jointly fund the insurgency. The Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), would be the patrons of the mujahideen; the CIA and the Saudi intelligence service would be the financiers and quarter masters of the war. No CIA officer ever was deployed in Cold War Afghanistan. The British counterparts, MI6, did send officers into Afghanistan to deliver select weapons and training. The ISI did all the rest; it was Zia’s war. The ISI trained and occasionally led the mujahideen in battle, even striking into Soviet Central Asia. Being the frontline state behind the mujahideen brought considerable risk and danger for Pakistan. 

The Russians supported Pakistani dissidents who organised terror attacks inside the country including hijacking Pakistani civilian aircraft and attempts to assassinate Zia (who died in a suspicious plane crash in 1988). Pakistani fighters engaged Soviet aircraft in dogfights. The Pakistani tribal border areas became dangerous and unruly. A Kalashnikov culture emerged that still haunts Pakistan today. For Washington and Riyadh, the operation was fairly inexpensive. The Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has recently written that the Saudis spent $2.7 billion supporting the Afghans; the CIA spent about the same. Saudi private sources led by then-governor of Riyadh province, now King Salman, raised another $4 billion for the rebels. Saudi citizens including Osama bin Laden joined the mujahideen but very few actually engaged in combat. 

The Afghan people paid a horrible cost for the war. At least a million Afghans died, five million became refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and millions more were displaced in their own country. But they won.The Soviets never sent enough soldiers to defeat the insurgents and could not recruit enough Afghans to fight with them. The Pakistanis were not intimidated by the Russians. The Afghan people fought for their independence. The Afghan analogy offers important questions for the new war in Ukraine. Which state or states will be the frontline sponsor? Are they ready to take the heat from Russia? 

How much support will the United States and NATO provide? Will the insurgency spark a broader conflict, and can it be contained? Are Ukrainians prepared to pay the price? Poland and Romania are the states closest to the Ukraine. Both are NATO members with U.S. troops deployed in their territory. The U.S. has an explicit commitment to come to their defense in Article Five of the NATO Treaty; we had no such commitment to Pakistan. (Ironically, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wasv in Moscow during the week of invasionfor a long-planned visit.)



l believe the United States and NATO should help the Ukrainian resistance but we should understand the potential consequences, risks, and costs up front. Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine could well prove to be another geopolitical catastrophe for Russia but only if we help the Ukrainian resistance.

Olufemi Aduwo.

Permanent Representative,Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity( CCDI) ,to the United Nations .CCDI Is international non governmental organisation with ECOSOC- United Nations Consultative Status.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

UKRAINE:TIME FOR SOLIDARITY


The  Center for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI)  condemns  the  Russian  military  invasion of Ukraine.  It  is  an  illegal  act  of  aggression.  It  is  causing  the  death  of  innocent  civilians  and placing  the security  of  the entire  world  at  risk. The  threat  or  use  of  force  to  resolve  disputes  is  prohibited  under  Article  2  of  the  UN Charter.  Russia  was not  under  any  threat  that  offered  no  recourse  other  than  force.  In of  aggression.

Infact,  President  Putin,  in  ordering  military  attacks  against  Ukraine,  has  committed  a Crime Against  Peace  in  violation  of  the  UN  Charter  by  planning,  preparing,  initiating, and  waging a war Russia’s  acts  of  war  will  burden  Ukraine  with  an  enormous  cost  in  human  suffering, stimulate  a  massive  crackdown  on  the  civil  liberties  of law  and  peace, Russians  who  respect  international expand the  conflict,  and  even  place  the  entire  wo rld  at  risk  of  elevation  to a  nuclear  exchange.  President  Putin  has  threatened  to  use  nuclear  weapons  against adversaries  in  this  conflict.  Such  a  threat  places  the  entirety  of  civilization  in  jeopardy  and is  unacceptable. 

A  war  of  aggression  is  not  only illegal  and  immoral,  it  is  also  impractical.  Every  nation today  needs  to  cooperate  in  addressing  many  pressing  issues  such  as  climate  change, eliminating  poverty, protecting  the  health  of eliminating  the  pandemic all  species and  the  oceans,  curtailing  and ,  and  fulfilling  the Sustainable Development  Goals. We  regret  that  better  use  was  not  made  of  diplomacy,  mediation,  and  common  security mechanisms  earlier  in  the  conflict  to  address  and  resolve  historical  grievances.  We  now call  the  international  communi ty  to  use  all  non outlined  in  Ar ticles  33–- military  means  possible,  including  those 41 of the UN Charter  for  the  peaceful settlement  of those  disputes. These  provisions  of  the  UN  Charter  provide  a  route  to  mitigate,  contain,  and  reverse  the dangerous  presen t  situation  and  provide  diplomatic tools  to  obtain  peace. 

We respect the courage and rights of the people of Ukraine to exercise self-defense, express our solidarity with them, and encourage support for them from all peace-loving nations. Further, we decry the curtailing of civil liberties of Russians who do not agree with the policies of their leaders and honor their courage.    We encourage the utilisation of further diplomatic mechanisms available in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in which both the US and Russia are participants. We further urge the UN Security Council and the General Assembly to remain seized of the issue of ending the violence and conflict in Ukraine, and to obtain an immediate ceasefire..

Furthermore, the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission should be considered with the consent of all parties involved. We call on world leaders to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as requested by the international public opinion, and we urge all parties and individuals in a position of influence to renew efforts for a diplomatic solution, starting with immediate negotiations under UN aegis. 

Olufemi Aduwo

President 

..CCDI is a Maryland 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation,registered both in Nigeria and United States. Granted special consultative status by UNITED Nations/ ECOSOC

Friday, 18 February 2022

Putin


President Putin sent shock waves round the world when he amassed more than 100,000 troops armed to the teeth to surround Ukraine. Beyond his penchant to bully Ukraine and threaten its sovereignty, many of the experts in foreign affairs are yet to unravel the motive behind the build-up of arms and personnel. Was it for fear of Ukraine joining NATO? An online publication reports a former CIA chief, Don Hoffman, as saying: ‘’First of all, NATO membership is a fig leaf. It’s a red herring. Everyone knows Ukraine isn’t joining NATO anytime soon. It takes unanimous consent; France and Germany won’t give that. Putin uses that as a convenient way to frame the narrative for his disinformation propaganda. NATO is a defensive alliance but it represents anything that scares him.’’ Another expert, Chris Miller who is a former US Acting Secretary of Defence does not see the threat as deep-seated in the psyche of Russians. He believes it has some domestic undertones and calculation. He says: “…that is, that the Russians might seek to invade and occupy the portion of Ukraine that would connect Russia via land to Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014 and which contains a critical Russian naval base and port on the Black Sea. I think he’s just going to keep pushing until someone stands up against him, just like the playground.”

Some others think Putin is trying to reaffirm regional dominance and reassert regional influence in the place such that Russia can exercise veto over Ukraine’s foreign policy. It was also to raise tensions so as to squeeze concessions from the United States. The latter on the other hand sees the Russian action as reawakening old rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, and so Russia went full blast militarizing Ukraine with 11 amphibious ships and submarines and 130,000 troops. From the point of view of some other scholars a gas pipeline from Germany to Russia which is called Nord Stream 2 is the issue; it is the cause of the tension. The United States sees the collaboration as a threat capable of weakening its dominant influence in Western Europe in particular. Germans are eagerly expecting the gas supply to quickly come on stream, convinced that it would be cost effective for them. The energy would be cleaner and cheaper. Reports say once the German regulatory authority issues final certification, the supply would start.

It is seen in parts of Western Europe that the United States is opposed to the budding friendship between Germany and Russia. The chummy relationship in the reading of experts would redefine economic, military and social architecture in Western Europe. When there is economic boom in Europe it would affect the value of the Dollar thus considerably whittling down the United States influence in the region. United States panics as its influence on pristine allies is slipping off its fingers. It is, therefore, goading Russia to invade Ukraine and sour the relationship and the gas supply would be put on hold. It is believed it is an orchestration of an alarm to the American public that war was imminent in that region.

An enlightening commentary, authored by Mike Whitney, says: “The Ukraine crisis has nothing to do with Ukraine. It is about Germany and, in particular, a pipeline that connects Germany to Russia…” He adds: “In a world where Germany and Russia are friends and trading partners, there is no need for expensive US-made weapons and missile systems, and no need for NATO. There is also no need to transact energy deals in US Dollars or to stockpile US Treasuries to balance accounts. Transactions between business partners can be conducted in their own currency which is bound to precipitate a sharp decline in the value of the dollar and dramatic shift in economic power.”

The hype and worry, of Russia invading Ukraine in American Establishment does not appear would wane soon as the issue is not seen by the United States as a drive in search of economic opportunities and advantages for one of its allies, Germany. Not even by acclaimed diplomat extra-ordinary, Henry Kissinger who sees the issue other than from the American lenses. Russia, too, lent itself to a war cry with the massive militarization of Ukraine. Kissinger says: “Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends and not how it begins. Far too often, the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other—it should function as a bridge between them.”

What is clear looking at the issue critically is economic interest whether on the part of America or Germany. The United States finds it unsettling that one of its major allies is forging an economic union with Russia which has unwittingly chosen the time to flex its muscles and bare its teeth over Ukraine disguised as military drills. The heavy weaponry displayed was intimidating. Indeed, even the relief that Russia had ordered its troops back to the barracks was giving way to despair as an American official reported that about 7,000 more troops had been added to the 130,000 pack that are stationed at the Ukraine border. The claim by Putin is false, he said. For the United States, in addition to the economic factor, the possibility of it losing influence and its invincibility over Europe is destabilisng to put it mildly. The security council permanent members are undermining United Nations, its appropriate that United Nations should have a standing force. As its now, the sovereignty of Ukraine as a state is undermined and purveyor of the impunity ,Russian government is winning. Like l said, no single bullet would be fired by Russia,Ukraine does not want war either. We must redefined the power of the five security council permanent members.

Olufemi Aduwo

Permanent Representative ,

Centre for Convention on Democratic lntegrity [ CCDI},

A non-governmental organisation in Consultative Status with ECOSOC/United Nations.

www.ccdiltd.org

+238087047173

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

THE UNITED NATION’s VITAL ROLE IN AFGNANISTAN

On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers. With more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million citizens, afflicted by drought, disease, and decades of war, depending upon critical life-saving aid to survive the harsh winter months, the decision to carve out an exception in UN sanctions against the ruling regime is timely.

At the same time, addressing the underlying political, cultural, and socioeconomic challenges that continue to fuel widespread deprivation, violence, and corruption in Afghanistan requires a strategy and targeted investments in development and peace building too. Fortunately, these are also areas where the UN maintains a decades-long track record in Afghanistan (including from 1996-2001, the last period of Taliban rule) and elsewhere.
Moreover, the Security Council’s recent request to Secretary-General António Guterres to provide strategic and operational recommendations on the future of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), by January 31, 2022, offers an opportunity to adapt the world body to the country’s fast-changing political, security, social, and economic context.

To channel fresh ideas and critical observations in advance of the Secretary-General’s presented proposals to the Security Council on Wednesday, January 26 and subsequent UNAMA mandate review in March, the Centre for Convention On Democratic lntegrity [CCDI} arrived at several, time-sensitive recommendations elaborated upon in our brief submitted to Secretary General of United Nations on Monday 14th Febuary ,titled  a new policy brief, A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Action on Afghanistan: What the United Nations and International Community Can and Should Do:

First, the United Nations should aid in negotiating some conditionalities put forward by Western powers. Whilst a step-by-step roadmap for cooperation is needed, vital life-saving humanitarian aid should never be made conditional on the Taliban taking certain actions.
Given the acute differences between the Taliban and the international community, diverse mechanisms are needed for addressing distinct humanitarian and non-humanitarian issues alike. Both sides have made opposing demands that essentially negate one another, while the needs of millions of innocent, vulnerable Afghans continue to grow.

In direct immediate support of malnutrition, urgent health services, and other kinds of emergency, life-saving support detailed in a new Humanitarian Response Plan, donor countries should take careful heed of the UN’s largest ever humanitarian appeal for a  single country  announced on 11 January 2022, requesting more than USD $5 billion this year for Afghanistan.

This follows from the USD 1.2 billion pledged by nearly 100 countries at a United Nations Secretary-General convened ministerial, on 13 September 2021 in Geneva, as well as subsequent additional pledges of humanitarian aid through international organisations, such as the World Food Program and UNDP, by South Korea,France and Norway. Second, there is a need to remain focused on the intersections of humanitarian, developmental, and peace challenges, rather than roll-out humanitarian-only models of response in Afghanistan. To advance more integrated approaches that break down the traditional siloes of the international aid system in responding to the Afghan crisis, the humanitarian-development-peace nexus offers a powerful framework.

The United Nations and other actors have implemented Triple Nexus programming in Afghanistan in recent years, including refugee return and reintegration, asset creation, and social safety net programming. The world body can play a vital role as a convening power and knowledge broker, facilitating local-international and whole-of-society dialogue on how to adapt nexus programming concepts and approaches in the uncharted territories of Afghanistan’s fast evolving and highly challenging operating environment.

As bilateral aid likely recedes among most major donors, the UN could also serve as a chief oversight body and conduit of international assistance through multiple emergency trust funds. In doing so, it will provide de facto international development coordination assistance, with an eye to maintaining for all Afghan citizens the delivery of basic public services in such critical areas as healthcare, education, and power generation.

The world body is also well-placed to support the new lslamic Development Bank humanitarian trust fund and food security program for Afghanistan, announced on December 19, 2021 at a gathering of thirty Organisation of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers in Islamabad.

Third, durable peace in Afghanistan can only be reached through high-level political will that is best expressed through an empowered mandate and sufficient resources for UNAMA (ideally led by a Muslim diplomat with the gravitas and skills demonstrated by the UN trouble-shooter Lakhdar Brahimi).

For the UN to be truly catalytic, it is vital that it is entrusted with a comprehensive mandate to perform its full suite of well-known and field-tested functions, including in the areas of reconciliation, development coordination, and humanitarian action. To  get beyond the blame game and build trust between the Taliban and other Afghan parties, the world body must be allowed to provide its good offices and other peaceful settlement of dispute tools to resuscitate an intra-Afghan dialogue toward reconciliation and political reform.

At the same time, the Afghan Future Thought Forum chaired by Fatima Gailani continues to be the only independent platform that brings together influential and diverse Afghan stakeholders (men and women), including Taliban and former government officials, to produce practical solutions for long-term peace and recovery in Afghanistan. These can be done and it must be done.

Olufemi Aduwo 
Permanent Representative of
CCDI to ECOSOC/United Nations

NB: Centre For Convention On Democratic is nongovernmental organisation operates and registered in Nigeria and Maryland-United States with consultative status of United Nations.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

FAREWELL TO A CHALLENGING YEAR, GREETINGS TO A NEW YEAR OF ACTION


By any standard, 2021 was a challenging year. We miss in-person gatherings, travels, and the sense of normality. We know that we are in a “new abnormal,” a period of disruption of old practices and old thinking. In the past year, the pandemic persisted, politics and geopolitics remained fractious, and the countless world meetings on climate, food, and biodiversity left us aware of how much the world is still held back by old ways. Yet we also detected many glimmers of hope for a better way forward. 
 
Governments around the world committed to decarbonization, even when they did not quite have plans or even a deep understanding of what they meant by their promises. The improvisations we have used to dodge COVID-19 have created new ways of work and living that look promising for the post-pandemic times ahead. There is a lot of improvisation and experimentation underway.   
 
We close 2021 with the determination to enjoy a festive holiday season and to re-energize for a big year ahead. The coming year offers many important opportunities for SDG breakthroughs, and CCDI plans on doing its part to help bring those breakthroughs to fruition. The 2022 G20 will be hosted by Indonesia and we can be confident that CCDI will be at the top of the G20 agenda. CCDI will be well-represented among the think-tank and UN processes contributing to the G20. 
  
Dear friends and colleagues, please accept my gratitude for all that you do. The challenges of sustainable development are neither small, nor easy. The victories are hard won. Yet step by step the world is learning new ways of doing things, ways that are fair, sustainable and inclusive. To our colleagues and entire members of staff  of United Nations, we look forward working side by side with all of you in 2022 to continue working together on our ever-more important efforts!
 
A Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year to All,
 
Olufemi Aduwo
  
President,
CENTRE FOR CONVENTION ON DEMOCRATIC INTEGRITY
CCDI (Nigeria & United States) 
Permanent Representative of CCDI to UNITED NATIONS(CCDI )IS A NON PROFIT ORGANISATION REGISTERED IN NIGERIA AND IN THE  STATE OF MARYLAND,UNITED STATES AS  A 501[C][3],WITH  UNITED NATIONS CONSULTATIVE  STATUS .

Friday, 15 October 2021

HAPPY GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.According to WHO and UNICEF,Globally, more than 785 million people did not have access to at least basic water services and more than 884 million people did not have safe water to drink.It is the result of myriad environmental, political, economic and social forces. Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh.As we are in era of a new normal,beyond COVID-19 ,Our future is at hand .This year's theme: Our future is at hand let's move forward together.Remember that pouring water in hands without soap is WETTING HANDS AND NOT WASHING.

NB: The picture above shows a community in Benue state where the entire population of more 1,304 people depend on this source of water for drinking etc My organisation,Center for Convention on Democratic Integrity and Rights Monitoring Group( CCDI & RMG) .www.ccdiltd.org and www.rightsgroup.org has the mandate of World Bank to conduct MDGs & SDGs in selected states in Nigeria which started since 2014,we discovered this community during field exercise and government inconjunction with world Bank is currently building $ 2million water project for the community.

Olufemi Aduwo President, CCDI & RMGAnd Permanent Representative of CCDI to United Nations

Thursday, 23 September 2021

CSO: CORRUPTION ALLEGATION AGAINST GOVERNOR BUNI, POLITICALLY MOTIVATED.

Governor Mai Mala-Buni, Acting National Chairman of APC



President of Rights Monitoring Group (a coalition of 45 NGOs) and Permanent Representative of a non-profit organisation, Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity, (CCDI) to the United Nations, Mr. Olufemi Aduwo, has applauded Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State for his political leadership in handling the affairs of APC as Acting National Chairman. Aduwo made this observation in his interview monitored on Radio France lnternationale last night.

I am not an ardent supporter of APC nor a card holder of PDP.  Governor Buni was underrated when he took over the mantle of the ruling party leadership, under his leadership APC has remained stable and attracted some notable politicians from the main opposition party, we cannot rule out that some who recently defected to APC may be looking for an escape route because of corruption cases they have, this may not be true across.

A political party is like a church where lepers, thieves, people of low and high virtues are all welcome. Nigerians want those who looted the national treasury to be brought to book, regardless of the political party they belong to. For example, Nigerians are waiting to see how the Femi Fani-Kayode fraud case ends before 2023.On the fraud allegation against the governor, from our preliminary findings, it is fabricated falsehood and is being instigated by some APC chieftains for their own selfish reasons. We will come out with a detailed report on the allegations soon. No doubt he must have taken some bold decisions which some chieftains were not comfortable with since he came to the office as the Acting National Chairman.

Since the return to democracy in 1999, the civil society has provided a veritable platform for the Nigerians to query government policies, actions, inactions, and detection of corruption in the public sector. For instance, our organisation and the media exposed the certificate forgery and perjury of the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Salisu Buhari in 1999. Also, there was the scandalous questionable past of the former Senate President Evans Enwerem. We also exposed the N268m contract that necessitated the removal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh and many other members of the National Assembly.

Our petition against Bola Tinubu to the Code of Conduct Bureau did not start in 2011, we started the investigation in 2007 when he was still the governor of Lagos State. We sent our petition to President Jonathan in 2011 with pressure from foreign governments. The president summoned courage and directed the Code Of Conduct Bureau to arrange him before Code of Conduct Tribunal, unfortunately the Office of Attorney-General of federation frustrated the case and he was discharged and acquitted on a frivolous excuse that the Code of Conduct Bureau did not interrogate him before he was arraigned. Probably he could have been discharged but not acquitted and that was the position of Larmode who was the then EFCC chairman.

We agree with you that the civil society organisations in Nigeria have been ineffective in uncovering corruption in the country, this is due to lack of capacity as well as being partisan.During the tenure of Larmode as EFCC chairman, we partner with the body  and our report made it possible for EFCC to recover the sum of N6 billion. Please note, we didn't demand for any percentage.To reduce corruption, it requires the collective effort of the people and government.

Come the 2023 Presidential election, we are of the view that any tribe regardless of population can be elected president. Trust and political will are the major hallmark qualities Nigerians should look out for. We also also support the call that the presidential candidates should be within 60 and 65 years of age.

 

Thursday, 16 September 2021

AAUA Don Appointed As Senior Adviser To CCDl.


Prof. 'Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, the Head of the Department of Political Science, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko has been appointed as a Senior Adviser to the Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI). The organisation that is registered both in  Nigeria and the United States as a nonprofit.CCDI is a 501(c)(3) organisation,a tax exempt approval of federal Inland Revenue Service of United States,with Consultative status of United Nations since 2017.

The organisation was established on the ground that people’s involvement in all levels of government decision making is essential. The organisation is committed to combating corruption; promotion of enduring democracy; sustainable electoral process; monitoring of governments compliance with international treaties, which are made to promote peace and progress within and among Nation

The President of the Organisation, Olufemi S.A Aduwo (mnipr) who made the announcement on https://ccdiltd.org/leadership/ among other things informed our medium that as Adviser to CCDl , Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi will be entitled to be a  designate Representative to United Nations either in New York, Geneva or Vienna,a privilege extended to the organisation by UN on the premises of the Consultative Status.

2021: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY MESSAGE FROM CCDI.

International Day of Democracy offers an opportunity for people everywhere to reflect on not only the state of democracy worldwide, but also the values that make democracy essential for the preservation of human rights and human dignity around the world.  Respect for the integrity of every individual, without exception.
Compromise,cooperation, mutual respect, rule of law, free speech, access to information, open debate and facts.  


At a time when those values are coming under siege around the globe, it behooves us on this day to take a moment to reflect on how precious they are, how essential to the dignity of our lives and what is at stake that they be preserved, protected and ultimately prevail in political life worldwide: better health, education, peace and development outcomes, as well as the mutual security and stability that results. The fact is despite the self-serving assertions by autocrats and illiberals that the future is theirs, every day billions of people around the world continue to demand their rights and dignity, that their voices be heard and that those who purport to govern them be held accountable and truly represent them.  


The global demand for democracy in fact has never been higher. Those frustrated by democracy’s failures do not seek to discard it, but to make it stronger, better, more responsive, more effective to meet the challenges of our time.  
Ultimately for democracy to prevail will require patience, resilience, vigilance, hard work, good faith and often intense struggle. Democracy is never easy, nor is it inevitable. But it remains essential.


CCDI is proud to stand in solidarity with citizens around the world seeking a democratic future, to build strong democratic societies that include and deliver for all. We reflect with humility on the courage revealing itself in Burma, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Belarus, Russia, China, Uganda, Cameroon and so many other places, under some of the most difficult conditions of oppression and closing political space, as citizens struggle to gain democratic rights and liberties owed to them. We at CCDI recommit ourselves through our work to their cause, to demonstrate that these brave peoples are not alone, but represent the hope and promise of a better, more democratic world to come. I hope you all will reflect and join us in this effort.


Thank you. Happy International Day of Democracy.

Olufemi Aduwo

President,Centre For Convention On Democratic Integrity Ltd/ Gte( CCDI -Nigeria),lncoporated in Nigeria as Nonprofit & Center For Convention On Democratic lnc.( CCDI-lnc) Maryland,United States.CCDI-Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Friday, 10 September 2021

Should Christians Be Opposed To Vaccinations?

Many believers have taken the position that they will not get the COVID-19 vaccine because they believe God will deliver them from this pandemic. I deeply admire that kind of faith. Jeremiah perhaps said it best in Jeremiah 17:7: Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. God wants our faith and trust to be in Him no doubt. With that recognition, please allow me to share my thoughts and faith on this topic.

God Almighty has always used men and women, regardless of their imperfection to accomplish His will. Remember the story of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishaal and Azariah in the book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar called these men Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. While there are good faith lessons from the lives of these men, notice that God blessed these individuals with knowledge, wisdom and understanding as we see in Daniel 1:17As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Ultimately, this led to King Nebuchadnezzar glorifying God in Daniel 4:37Now Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

 

Similarly, in Exodus 35:30-35 we see that God filled workers with skill, intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship to accomplish his will in building His tabernacle. Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft and he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purpleand scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver, by any sort of workman or skilled designer.

We know that God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure in 1 Kings 4:29-34: And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom. We could see many more examples in the Bible. God uses people to accomplish His will and sometimes He gives them the knowledge, wisdom and skill they need.

Additionally, let us recognise that one of the most remarkable systems in the human body is our immune system, placed there by God himself to help defend us from disease. While mankind has tried for thousands of years to understand how to fight disease, those insights seem to come a little at a time and with each new understanding, we gain a deeper appreciation and awe of the incredible complexity and sophistication of our immune system. Only our God could design us in such a marvellous way! David expressed it well in Psalm 139:14: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

In March 2020, researchers were telling us that a vaccine was probably three years away. Yet the COVID-19 vaccine was developed in months, based on research that had been going on for years. The developers of the vaccines had hoped for effectiveness in the range of 70 percent, yet the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were both well over 90 percent effective. Given that, is it so difficult to believe that God has provided insight to researchers to give them understanding and wisdom regarding our immune system, so that they could develop a means to end this pandemic? Should we not be filled with praise that his method of bringing the pandemic to an end brings glory to Him for the wonder of the immune system he created in us? Think about Naaman, the commander of the army of Syria. His story is told in 2 Kings 5:1-14. He had leprosy and he went to Elisha for healing. Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman to tell him to dip seven times in the Jordan River to be healed. Naaman was angry that Elisha sent only a messenger. He was angry that he was told to dip in the Jordan River when there were much nicer rivers back in Syria. Why should he submit to dipping in that filthy river and pollute himself?

Perhaps you do not like the people or the organisations that are asking you to get the vaccine. You may be waiting for something special, as did Naaman. Or maybe you don’t like the vaccine, because, like Naaman, you find the solution objectionable. Healing was waiting for Naaman, but he had to do something to receive the healing. The Bible is filled with examples of people of faith being required to do something. Hebrews 11, that well-known chapter on faith, chronicles those who acted. Abel offered, Enoch pleased God, Noah constructed, Abraham went, and on and on.

So here is my perspective: My faith tells me that God has heard our prayers. My faith tells me that God has shared insights with men and women who have created a solution for the pandemic. It was developed in record time and is far more effective than expected. I see God’s hand in all of this. I cannot pray to God, “Please end this pandemic,” and then limit how he should answer that prayer. I cannot ask God for his intervention and then say, “Just so long as I don’t have to get a vaccine.” There is a part for me to complete. My faith leads me to action. My faith in God leads me to get the vaccine. “Our faith and obedience to Jesus in discipleship involves dying to ourselves and taking up the cross to follow him. We are Commanded to love God and love our neighbours as ourselves. 

Loving other people can involve many things, but at minimum it involves seeking their good. The general principle of the common good comes down to benevolence, love, care for others and laying down personal priorities for the service of others. Christians thinking about vaccinations must weigh this key biblical principle in their decision-making process. My hope and prayer are that God watches over you and that your faith moves you to action. As Paul told our fellow Christians in Philippians 2:3-4, that you “in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. “Through faith in God, and in love and humility toward those around us, let’s work together to end this pandemic 

The question is why is vaccination Important? SARS-CoV-2 is spread from person to person primarily by respiratory droplets exhaled by an infected person. These droplets vary in size from large droplets that fall out of the air within six feet of the infected person to aerosols that can remain in the air over time and greater distances. These aerosols are associated with singing, shouting, and breathing heavily during exercise and can increase viral transmission in poorly ventilated, enclosed spaces. A vaccine reduces the likelihood of a person getting disease. For example, if a vaccine has 95% efficacy results, then people who are vaccinated are 20 times less likely to get COVID-19 compared to people who are not vaccinated.

Furthermore, healthy people who are vaccinated reduce the likelihood of people unable to be vaccinated, getting COVID-19 through herd immunity, or community immunity. Herd immunity occurs when enough people are immune to a disease through vaccination that the disease does not spread effectively in the population. Researchers estimate that herd immunity to COVID-19 will require 75–80% of the population to be vaccinated. Thus, people who choose to take the COVID-19 vaccine not only protect themselves, but they also help the community stay healthy. Such a choice is a practical way to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Misinformation and conspiracy theories fill social media, making people cautious. Yet all vaccines in the world are required to go through a rigorous process of testing and approval. 

Consider some recent statistics from the UK. In a study tracking more than 200,000 people, nearly every single participant had developed antibodies against the virus within two weeks of their second dose and despite initial worries that the current vaccines may be less effective against the Delta variant, analysis suggest that both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs reduce hospitalisation rates by 92-96%. As many health practitioners have repeated, the risks of severe side effects from a vaccine are tiny in comparison to the risk of the disease itself. Yeta sizeable number of people are still reluctant to get the shots. According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund, that ranges from around 10-20% of people in the UK to around 50% in Japan and 60% in France. As of August, only 1,416,623 Nigerians among 200 million, representing 0.9 per cent of the country’s population, have been fully vaccinated against the deadly virus. Experts and WHO says a nation must vaccinate 70 per cent of its population to achieve herd immunity.

It is a fact that some people will not be able to take the vaccine at all due to other serious health conditions. When you get the vaccine, you help build up the “community immunity” that protects others. If large numbers of people are vaccinated, COVID won’t be able to spread to the most vulnerable among us. Many Christians are concerned about the possible use of fetal cells in vaccines. The good news is that no vaccines contain human cells! Moreover, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not use human cells, even in the production process. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does use a human cell line in production; this is an immortal cell line that came from a foetus aborted in 1985 (the abortion was not performed for this purpose). Yet, the cells used today are descended many generations from the original foetus and were never part of an actual human body. While the association with abortion gives many Christians pause, there is substantial agreement among Christian theologians and liberalists that the connection to foetal cell lines should not make these vaccines off-limits for Christians.

The disease is riskier than the vaccine

No vaccine is 100% risk-free, just as no medical procedure is risk free. Christians need to weigh the risks on both sides. COVID-19 is a serious disease, much worse than the flu. By now, many of us know or have heard of people who have had it. Some people have mild cases, but others have serious symptoms, hospitalisation, and long-term complications. The risks of the vaccine are less than the risks of the disease. Let’s keep praying for those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Let’s keep caring for our neighbours through this crisis.

Many Christians are known as most wise in discerning science, most courageous in fighting for justice, and most compassionate in caring for the sick. We should be the ones most willing to make sacrifices for the sake of others, following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Vaccination is a concrete way you can care for your family, your church, and your community.

Olufemi Aduwo

Thursday, 7 January 2021

History Would Be Harsh On Trump

What is happening in the United States is so shameful. It is embarrassing, a country regarded as the beacon of decency, propriety and honour, descending to the gutters and ruffians taking over.

I am happy that in the end better counsel prevailed and the victory of Joe Biden was confirmed this morning, in the wee hours of the day. The demonic entity called Trump must be tried and sent to jail at the end of his tenure. It is enheartening Mike Pence stood firm and refused Trump's intimidation and blackmail. He stood by his oath and he made it plain despite the incitement of the mob against him by Trump that he would not decertify Joe Biden. He wanted to preserve his name from going onto infamy.

It is mild to say Trump's conduct is in presidential, it is simply criminal and he should be so treated. Here is a man who was defeated in popular votes; he was defeated at the Electoral College. He was defeated in the courts up to Suprme Court. His claims were unfounded according to the Supreme Court. All that remained was affirmation by the Congress. But Trump was bent on scuttling that. His mob went into Capitol Hill armed with guns and bomb. Trump wanted chaos; he did not call for appropriate security unit such as national guard, to confront the violent protesters and clear them out of the place. It was the Washington State police who eventually did.

It is also a matter of big relief that members of Trump's Cabinet, out of embarrassment are considering getting him to resign before the 20 Jan handover date. The Reps are mulling impeaching him. The scale fell from Trump's eyes and he belatedly asked his mob to protest only peacefully. It was late. The deed was already done. He must face the consequences if his disgraceful action! Fortunately we are talking about America, a country of laws and not a country of men; a country of institutions, not a land of strong men.God Bless America!

Olufemi Aduwo, President Center For Convention On Democratic Integrity lnc,Maryland, United States (CCDI )

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Sacking Service Chiefs May Not Be Our Solution To Ending Insurgency… Aduwo

Olufemi Aduwo Is the permanent representative of the Centre For Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI) to the United Nations, and president, Rights Monitoring Group. In this interview, he speaks on insurgency, #ENDSARS protest and the army engagement, among other sundry issues...

The country's biggest challenge has been insecurity, fueled by insurgency. What is insurgency and how did we get here?

The distinction between terrorism and insurgency is blurred. As a consequence, significant misunderstanding exists in the relationship between the concepts of terrorism and insurgency, terms often used interchangeably by policymakers, non-governmental organisations and the media. The terms are not interchangeable. Not all insurgencies employ terror, and not all terrorists are insurgents. Insurgencies have an alternative vision of how to organise society, and they use various instruments, ranging from public service to terror, to realise that vision. Terrorism may be embedded in and subordinate to insurgency. But terrorism may also exist outside of insurgency, animated by sheer revulsion toward the status quo, without offering or striving for an alternative.

The insurgent activity is designed to weaken government control and legitimacy using guerrilla warfare, terrorism, political mobilisation, propaganda, front and covert party organisations and international activity. Significantly, a common characteristic of insurgent groups is the intent to control a particular area and or population. This objective differentiates insurgents from terrorists, whose objectives do not necessarily include the creation of an alternative governing authority capable of controlling a given area or country. Thus, an insurgency is a contest with the government for support of the people and control over resources and territory.

insurgents exploit and manipulate societal trends and populations through non-violent as well as violent means. They often use propaganda to recruit and promote their cause among potentials. They seek to infiltrate, manipulate, and disrupt discredit government and societal institutions in their effort to gain control. Most insurgent strategies involve attempts to provoke over-reaction by security forces, exacerbate ethnic or sectarian divides, and engender violence.

How did we get here?

It’s an unfortunate but preventable incidence. As we were being told, the late Mohammed Yusuf founded the group around 2001 and 2002.When Boko Haram first started, their actions were non-violent. Their main goal was to purify Islam in northern Nigeria. Things changed after the killing of Yusuf in July 2009.The killing of Yusuf did not escalate the group action; we all know with such religious ideological leaning, definitely the government must intervene. Any discerning person should know that the level of poverty and illiteracy across the north is a time bomb. The leadership of the entire north, both past and present should take the blame.

While many have applauded the army, others feel they have not performed so well in ending it. How will you rate the efforts of the Nigerian Army so far?

Let me answer with a simple illustration. The United States needed only three and a half years to defeat the Axis in World War II. During that war, Germany alone fielded more than 20 million soldiers. So, when U.S. Admiral John Kirby, the spokesperson for the most powerful military force the world has ever known, was asked how long it might take to defeat the modest threat posed by ISIS, he said that it could take five years, six years or even more. It’s well known that fighting insurgencies is challenging. The war against the Taliban started in 1994.

The achievements made so far to weaken these terrorist groups was by United States support. If such assistance were available to Nigeria military, Boko Haram would be a thing of the past within a year.

Regardless, the cowardly attack of Boko Haram in the past four years the military has achieved a lot. When you compare the territory controlled by Boko Haram before 2016 and what they control now, the military has done a tremendous job by taking over more territory from them.

Removal of Service Chiefs would not provide the arms and fighter jets needed. l think the reason why the Chief of Army Staff is selected for attack is probably because he is a professional who doesn't believe he must lobby any political leaders or politicians to retain his position. And, l notice, in Nigeria truth is bitter; insurgency cum terrorism war is a long war. l think the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency have a role to play; people must be informed and understand the difference between fighting insurgency and civil war.

There is a general saying that terrorism war is difficult to end. Why is this so?

Insurgencies can be categorised in a number of ways; two of the most common ways are to distinguish insurgencies by their goals or by the primary method they employ. These categories are archetypes, however, and many insurgencies exhibit characteristics combining multiple types, or their goals may evolve during the course of the conflict. In some conflicts, multiple insurgent groups may operate simultaneously, either competing with one another or setting aside the fact that they may have differing views on post-conflict governance to form temporary alliances against the government.

Nevertheless, at the broadest level, the goals of an insurgency most often fall into one of five categories. Revolutionary insurgencies seek to replace the existing political order with an entirely different system, often entailing transformation of the economic and social structures. Reformist insurgencies do not aim to change the existing political order but, instead, seek to compel the government to alter its policies or undertake political, economic, or social reforms. Separatist insurgencies seek independence for a specific region. Resistance insurgencies seek to compel an occupying power to withdraw from a given territory. Commercialist insurgencies are motivated by the acquisition of wealth or material resources; political power is simply a tool for seizing and controlling access to the wealth.

Another way of categorizing insurgency is to focus on their organizational structure and whether the insurgents stress the political or military aspects of their struggle.

Insurgents, of course, may adjust their organization during the course of a conflict. With this background, to defeat Boko Haram, will depend on our military capability, identify the foreign financiers and how well prepared the civil populace are willing to assist the military.

There are clamours for the removal of service chiefs as a way of changing strategy. What is your take on this?

I said it earlier, the service chiefs’ removal would not add arms and weapons needed to defeat Boko. l read it many times, where people talk of fresh ideas.    It seems many people who are asking for service chiefs’ removal do not have full knowledge on how military policies developed, which is bottom-up method. No service chiefs sit alone and develop policies and strategies on military operations.

Lekki Toll Gate shooting became an international discussion that attracted condemnation. What category of people would you blame for the escalation of the protest and its attendant fallout?

I will restrain myself a little on Lekki Toll Gate alleged shooting, but let me make a disclosure. During the ENDSARS protest, l visited both Alausa and Lekki Toll Gate protest centres. Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI) organisation has the consultative status of ECOSOC/United Nations, which make me the permanent representative of the organisation to United Nations. We are permitted to deploy five persons yearly to attend meetings at United Nations, New York, Vienna and Geneva, and we are allowed where necessary to embark on political assignment on behalf of United Nations. l am an affiliate member of Amnesty International, regardless l don't know the Nigeria Office.

The army engagement on the last day of ENDSARS was due to curfew imposed by Gov. Sanwo-Olu, and he made the curfew announcement around 10 a.m. when people had left home for work, and he wanted the curfew to start by 4 p.m., which is not possible, considering the traffic in Lagos state. The governor said he shifted the curfew imposition from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and he relay it around 6 p.m., when the curfew had commenced. That was a suicidal blunder on the part of Lagos Government. The Lagos State governor is culpable and those who removed the lights at toll gates should be treated as murderers. Like l said, we are working with the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Both the civil society organisations and government officials are being economical with the truth on Lekkigate shooting. For example, if ten military men were at Lekki Toll Gate, each would be there with two magazines and each magazine contains between 20 and 30 bullets; l hope that would give you a clear picture of the narrative going around.

Nigerian economy is seriously on the downward curve. What is the way forward?

I started attending the World Bank & IMF boards of governors’ meetings since 2012 as a returnee. At the Civil Society Forum and meetings with World Bank executive directors l have consistently argued that the bank must engage the people before loans are given. No country that borrows for consumption the way we are doing could survive the economic disgrace as being witnessed now. l raised the alarm and published in many newspapers. Thank God governor El Rufai has joined the crusade. As President Obasanjo, a friend and a father said, l called for a stronger synergy between the federal government and the citizens in addressing the issues affecting the country. With the current insecurity, economic instability, the citizens must be resolute and proactive in addressing the logjam. These challenges are not really new except that they have taken a different dimension.

Are you still advocating for restructuring?

Of course. But l don't want either Biafra or Oodua Republics. l am a federalist. We must go back to the 1960 constitution and where it’s necessary, to amend the constitution. The arrangement whereby states get allocation for what they don't work for negates the ideals of federalism our forefathers agreed upon. Only a few oil producing states and Lagos State are fiscally sustainable; many of the states are parasites and Almajiris.

2023 is here, and both the North and the South are clamouring for the slot. Do you think power should shift to the South?

Ideally, l care not where who rule comes from, but for the sake of equity and self-belonging, l will advise the other tribe, apart from the North and South West produce the next president, possibly South east; l hope they would be serious. During President Obasanjo’s eight years in power, lbo was allotted senate presidency. Within eight years, they produced four senate presidents from four states out of five. You can draw a conclusion from that trend.