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May 2015 Edition

HUGE EXPECTATIONS IN NIGERIA

Muhammadu Buhari will have to hit the ground running on 29 May when he is due to be inaugurated as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in view of the huge expectations from his compatriots, some of whom even expect him to perform a miracle, analysts have said.

They say that for a nation that has endured 16 years of poor governance under the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and amidst dwindling earnings from crude oil, the nation's main foreign exchange earner, the challenges facing the incoming government are enormous.

High on the list of the challenges are insecurity, especially the fight against Boko Haram, unemployment, said to be as high as 50% among the youth, and the runaway corruption that has diverted a huge chunk of the commonwealth into private pockets.

There is no doubt that the 72-year-old retired Army General, who has made history as the first opposition candidate to unseat an incumbent President via the ballot box in Nigeria, is aware of the enormous challenges and the high, almost unrealistic expectations from the citizens.

The issues highlighted above are also the major issues canvassed by Buhari's party, the All Progressives Party (APC), during the electioneering campaign.

However, analysts said that before he begins to tackle those challenges, he must first reconcile his unprecedentedly-divided people. They say Nigeria is more divided now - along regional, religious and ethnic lines - than at any time since Africa's most populous nation fought a 30-month civil war that ended in 1970.

The division reflected in the voting pattern during the election, when the Muslim north voted largely for Buhari, himself a northern Muslim, while votes for Jonathan, a southern Christian, came mostly from the Christian south.

Fortunately, Jonathan has made the task of reconciliation easier by accepting defeat and congratulating the President-elect.

The President-elect himself is aware of how fractious his nation has become, as shown by some of the issues he addressed in his acceptance speech on 1 April.

''Let us put the past, especially the recent past, behind us. We must forget our old battles and past grievances - and learn to forge ahead. I assure you that our government is one that will listen to and embrace all. I pledge myself and our in-coming administration to just and principled governance. There shall be no bias against or favouritism for any Nigerian based on ethnicity, religion, region, gender or social status,'' he said.

Beyond the issue of reconciliation are the challenges of creating jobs, tackling insecurity, especially in the North-east where Boko Haram has held away in the past six years, killing thousands and forcing millions out of their homes, and battling corruption. There is also the problem of dilapidated infrastructure, especially in the power sector, and the need to diversify the oil-based economy, amidst falling crude oil prices.



Prof. Adeolu Durotoye, who teaches Comparative Policy at the Osun State University in the country's South West said Buhari must hit the ground running on the issue of job creation.

“He needs to keep to his promise of providing 20,000 jobs in each (of the 36) states. Youth unemployment must be reduced from the present 50%,'' he said. ''The President-elect must also block all loopholes in which money is being siphoned into private pockets. He should work towards reducing the cost of governance.''

Another expert, Rasheed Adebiyi, of the Department of Economics, Fountain University, Osogbo in South-west Nigeria, said the new government must diversify the economy and address the poor power supply situation in the country, where most households and businesses enjoy less than six hours of electricity per day..

Mr. Adebiyi also challenged Buhari to revive local refineries in order to end oil importation, thus conserving foreign exchange. Nigeria depends on imported petroleum products to meet domestic needs because its four refineries are functioning far below installed capacity.

''The expectations of the people are very high. The people are tired of hearing that we have increased our power generation capacity from one megawatt to another, without corresponding electricity supply to show for it. They expect nothing short of 24/7 power supply.

“My charge to the incoming government is to come up with a comprehensive plan to restructure the country in all its facets. It must address the power problem so that the artisans, market people and small business holders can flourish,'' he said.

For his part, Prof. Charles Dokubo, a Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), the country's foreign policy think tank, said the incoming President has his work cut out for him.

''There is a lot on the ground for the President-elect to use, in terms of stabilisation of the North-East. We have this regional collaboration that have been set up. No country on its own can contain insurgency like we have in Boko Haram. So, with the collaborative efforts on the ground that is where he is going to key in to deal with the insurgency,” said Prof. Dokubo, referring to the joint offensive against Boko Haram by troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

''In economic terms, we must look at the price of oil, how far has it gone, if we are living in a mono-cultural society what do we do? Now, Nigeria is the highest economy in Africa, but how do we do it so that this idea of rebasing (of the economy) could trickle down to the Nigerian population...I believe Buhari has everything waiting before him, he knows exactly where to go and I believe the team that he will keep will determine the direction Nigerians want to go,” he added.

Hopefully, the President-elect has had ample time to put together a team that will facilitate the formation of his cabinet and the formulation of his Administration's policy, thus making it easier for him to hit the ground running after inauguration

2015 GHANA MUSIC AWARDS

Some of Ghana’s biggest music artistes received various awards at this year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs) at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).

Reggae and dancehall artiste Stonebwoy, born Livingstone Etse Satekla, was crowned Artiste of the Year. The artiste beat off stiff competition from Sarkodie, Daddy Lumba, Guru, Edem, MzVee, and Samini to win the award; a sweet climax of his career since his departure from the Highgrade family.

Stonebwoy, Sarkodie and Edem won three (3) awards each. Here are the list of all winners:

Artiste Of The Year: StoneBwoy
Song Of The Year: Adonai (Remix) - Sarkodie Feat. Castro
Highlife Artiste Of The Year: Daddy Lumba
Reggae/Dancehall Artiste Of The Year: Stonebwoy
Hip-life/Hip-hop Artiste Of The Year: Sarkodie
Best New Artiste Of The Year: Mzvee
Gospel Artiste Of The Year: No Tribe
Best Collaboration Of The Year: Adonai - Sarkodie Feat. Castro
Hip-life Song Of The Year: Sehor - Castro feat. D-Black
Album Of The Year: Books & Rhtymes - Edem
Highlife Song Of The Year: Ne3 Woho B3to Wo - Daddy Lumba
Afro-Pop Song Of The Year: Koene - Edem Feat. Lil Shaker & Ice Queen
Gospel Song Of The Year: Alpha & Omega - Selina Boateng Feat. Uncle Ato
Reggae Dancehall Song Of The Year: Baafira - Stonebwoy
Best Male Vocal Performance: Joe Mettle - Turning Around
Best Female Vocal Performance: Wiyaala Tinambaynyi
Hip-Hop Song Of The Year: Wave - Joey B Feat. Pappy Kojo
Best Rapper Of The Year: E.L - American Passport
Best Music Video Of The Year: The One (Remix) - Edem feat. Sway / Gyo Gyimah
Best Group Of The Year: VVIP
African Artiste Of The Year: Patoranking (Nigeria)

LUPITA NYONG'O & DAVID OYELOWO IN 'QUEEN OF KATWE'

Academy-award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo are teaming up for the silver screen. The two are to star in Disney’s Queen Of Katwe.

 

The film, a true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from the ghettos of Uganda who becomes a chess prodigy with the assistance of her coach. Queen Of Katwe is based on Tim Crothers‘ 2011 ESPN magazine article and book, The Queen Of Katwe: A Story Of Life, Chess, And One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream Of Becoming A Grandmaster.

 

 

Oyelowo will play Robert Katende, Phiona’s coach, and Lupita will play Harriet Mutesi, Phiona’s mother. This will be the second film for both Lupita and Oyelowo. The Oscar-winning actress and the Selma star Oyelowo have also signed on to the adaptation of the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel, Americanah. The film will centre on two Nigerian high school sweethearts (Lupita and Oyelowo) who head to the Unites States for a new life. The two face a tough test of their relationship when they are separated from each other.  Lupita  and Brad Pitt will serve as joint producers on Americanah.

Shooting for Queen Of Katwe beings started this Spring in Uganda and South Africa.

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Other articles in this edition

 

Read the full text of articles below:

 Africa News

  • Burkinabé urged to register to vote

    President Khama challenges

  • Batswanas to embrace cultural heritage

  • Kenyatta appoints army chief in cabinet reshuffle

  • Ex-Nigerian head of state advocates Government of West African States

  • Growing number of Burundians fleeing pre-election violence

    109-year-old voter makes headlines in Sudan polls

  • Rwandan President Paul Kagame visits Ethiopia

 Dutch News

  • Faster identification of child maltreatment and abuse

  • The Netherlands is popular with internet criminals

  • Fewer problematic youth groups

  • Refugee ‘Squatters’ leave Amsterdam car park

  • Foreign investments hit record high

  • Court overturns Dutch data retention law

  • Prostitutes protest in Amsterdam

    Belgium News

    • Belgians’ unhealthiest eating habits

    • Fewer people owning their own homes

    • Belgium fails to meet UN international development target

    • Zero tolerance for speeding

    • Asylum seeker sets himself on fire

    • Belgian army to tackle cyber crime

    • Antwerp prostitutes in digital databank

     Sports News 

    • Somalia target 2019 Nations Cup

    • 2015 All-Africa Games: All 8 teams emerge

    • Fixtures for 2017 AFCON qualifiers

    • 2015 Afrobasket draws

      Caf removes age limits on officials

    • Ex-national soccer star killed in car accident

    • ..And More

    Other News

    • Woman wed 10 times in immigration scam

    • Headstone killed man decorating family grave

    • Politician deliberately contracted HIV

    • ... And More 





















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