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The crucifixion of Fashola

By Abimbola Adelakun

Less than three months after he left office, ex-governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, is being put out for public crucifixion. In the past few weeks, a series of allegations against him has erupted like skin rash in a hot weather. The charges are not only embarrassing, they also debunk the narrative of the “best governor” Fashola built and sustained for years.

He was accused of spending N78m on a personal website; the current Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration cancelled the 50-year lease Fashola granted Afriland Properties for the redevelopment of the Falomo Shopping Centre, Ikoyi, saying they discovered that the decision was “grossly detrimental to the interest of the people of the state.” Now, it seems that one Fashola misdemeanour or the other will surface on the internet. If he is not accused of overspending to fix boreholes, he would be found to have spent so much money on “toilet facilities.”

Fashola responded only once and that was to state that he had moved on and the ‘pigs’ that want to wallow in the mud could go on and do just that. Well, the prerogative to ‘move on’ does not belong to him. He is obliged to respond any time he is called to account for his deeds in office.

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Rethinking the street children phenomenon

By Rasak Musbau

Throughout the world, there are children who live on the streets and are generally referred to as street children. Children are supposed to enjoy love, care and overall protection from parents, but this is not the case with the street children. They are denied their basic rights and are exposed to physical, sexual and all sorts of abuses and also live in inhumane and deleterious conditions.

The United Nations Children Education Fund distinguishes between two different groups of street children based on their family situations but both have a common characteristic in that they spend their lives on the streets. The first category is of children ‘on’ the streets. These are children who work and maintain regular relationships with their families. The second category is of children who are ‘of’ the streets and consider the street their home. The streets are where they eat, sleep, play and make friends. Children in both categories have much in common; they have unstable emotional relationships with the adult world, a negative self image, social stigma, violence, exploitation and uncertain future.

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Breastfeeding and infant mortality

By Tayo Ogunbiyi

Infant mortality occurs when a child dies before reaching the age of one year. Many factors such as the mother’s level of education, environmental issues, access to healthcare and the quality of social infrastructure could cause infant’s death. According to UNICEF, about half of the world’s under-five deaths presently occur in five countries including Nigeria, India, Congo, Pakistan and China.

In Nigeria, under-five mortality rate has increased in recent years as the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS4) report indicates that under-five mortality in the country has increased from 138 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 158 per 1,000 live births in 2011. The implication of this is that 158 out of every 1,000 Nigerian children will die before they celebrate their fifth birthday.

Experts have, however, indicated that the way out of this precarious situation, astonishingly, partly lies in the mother’s breasts. It has been ascertained that breast milk contains the exact balance of nutrients to aid infant develop into a strong and healthy toddler.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has recommended colostrums, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced after the birth of a baby as the ideal meal for infants. According to WHO, colostrums, has been found to be extremely nourishing and therapeutic as it consists of nutrients that insulate infants from infection.

Therefore, WHO has recommended that nursing mother should begin breastfeeding immediately after birth and subsequently should observe regular sucking by baby to boost milk production. Being naturally provided by providence, breast milk is gamely accessible and affordable. Since the mother doesn’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, breastfeeding saves time and money.

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When does a war on terrorism end?

By Olu Obafemi

On the security front, President Buhari has embarked on a commendably persuasive total ‘warfare’ on Boko Haram-nationally and internationally. His trips and sessions with neighbouring countries sharing a common security fate with Nigeria, namely Chad, Niger and Cameroon, are producing positive results.

The international community has not only been sensitised and mobilised for credible support on political and material/ technical spheres, fresh promises have been obtained from many nations outside Africa including Britain and America, to support us in this deadly fight against terror and their carriers. Most importantly, the visit of President Buhari to the United States has promised to yield positive and hopefully, tangible results on security and other fronts (including the fight against corruption and the economy generally).

The pull-out tirade of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, against nations who directly and/or indirectly impeded the progress of our military in the fight against Boko Haram and the hostility of some countries including America who stoutly refused to sell arms and ammunition to Nigeria, turning the world acclaimed Nigerian military to a feeble and ineffectual force in the face of ‘well-armed’ Boko Haram, it will be heartwarming and soul-lifting for to now sell military equipment to Nigeria.

The new chest-pumping of the new military commanders to end Boko Haram insurgency in a few months, following the campaign promise of the president and his party to terminate Boko Haram in three months, is unnecessary and inexpedient. This is because, no war, even regular/conventional wars, ever really end; not to talk of irregular and unpredictable insurgency ‘wars’ like Boko Haram.

Terrorism is an ideological matter, at times based on clear-cult system of values like in the case of Boko Haram, founded or ill-founded, ill-digested, confused and illogical. Now, we must learn from history when we make precise, temporal declarations about ending a war—regular or irregular. One can recall the echoes of some of Nigeria’s military top-brass at the beginning of the fratricide of 1967-70, that the war would end in a matter of days. The physical war went on for nearly three years.

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Beyond Labour’s cry for wage hike

By Tayo Ogunbiyi

The subject of wage increase has been a contentious one in our nation. In 2011 for instance, agitation by various labour interests over the minimum wage palaver nearly threw the country into a state of confusion. While labour stuck to its gun, some governors outrightly claimed that they did not have the resources to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage being demanded by labour.

Till date, it is yet to be ascertained if all states of the federation have fully complied with the spirit of the agreement reached with labour in 2011. As for the private sector, most employers are yet to embrace the 2011 Minimum Wage Act.

Read more: Beyond Labour’s cry for wage hike

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