should say that this IDEAS segment has been funded through the MacArthur Foundation’s anti-corruption programme, and I was invited by CITAD (the Centre for Information Technology and Development which is based in Kano) to come up with a project that would emphasize the issues of anti-corruption. And I have to say that my philosophy is (and I discovered recently that it’s actually an ancient Chinese philosophy) that you become what … you act as if you are what you want to be. And so my feeling was that by constantly harping on corruption and corruption … it was as though we Nigerians had decided to say that: No, no, nobody else should be considered in the corruption stakes it’s only Nigerians. And it was as if we were talking ourselves into it.
Well, as you know Aghogho, at IDEAS radio … I mean you know IDEAS stands for Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability, and we are often having to speak about the Accountability component in these matters. And Accountability is really about the obligation of government to provide security for Nigerians … at the most basic level that means securing their lives and property, but it also covers issues relating to health, education, employment and shelter, by which I mean that government has an obligation, and is Accountable for providing those things or the means to obtain them if they are absent.
“many people didn’t know we were doing any thing with Constituency Projects until we published our report. They didn’t know we were watching the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and their practices until we published our report. So when we have something to say [that’s the ICPC], because the public has a right to know, then we will say it. But the media also needs to help, by understanding that you cannot just talk to the media every second about what you are doing. It also undermines the integrity of the process and ultimately could defeat it because the people you are trying to investigate will then go and prepare for you.”
So, I think that’s … the two different styles that we’re seeing of the different agencies of the government, both of them have their …
AgO: Okay, you were knocking at an online door last week and apparently it did not open. So, for all the good stories we’ve heard about the election for the NBA’s President, it appears that the sore ones apparently, we’re just beginning to hear about just now.
AO: Well, I don’t know about sore, I mean it’s true Aghogho, that even though I’m a fully paid up member of the NBA and my branch, and even though I verified my registration through the NBA portal, and even though during the course of the day I made three telephone calls to the NBA help line and sent two emails, I was still unable to vote. I mean I must say that the NBA help lines were very efficient in that they answered the calls without any delay, but essentially, all they could do was say: Send an email, and unfortunately when I did so, that was where the process ended.
IDEAS Radio 24 July 2020 Legislators and IDEAS https://soundcloud.com/deji-burner/legislators-and-ideas-episode-84-2472020 Aghogho Oboh: Alright, here we go. Fine, fine afternoon in the city of Lagos, hot and humid if you ask me, and I’m looking at my weather...
“A member of the Senate or … the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if … being a [party] whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.”
IDEAS Radio 10 July 2020 Impact of COVID-19 and IDEAS issues https://soundcloud.com/deji-burner/impact-of-covid-19-and-ideas-issues-episode-82-10720 Aghogho Oboh: Hey, shaku maku everybody! A fine, fine afternoon in the city of Lagos! One of the afternoons...
I’m actually reminded Aghogho of that ironic quotation, you know, the one that says: “I’m their leader, so I must follow where they go.” Because if we’re honest, there doesn’t really seem to be any … anything behind the government’s decision to further ease the anti-Corona virus restrictions other than the reality, which is that people are voting with their feet! In short, it looks to an impartial observer as though the government is giving in to as much of what it thinks the people want, as it can, rather than because it’s convinced about the trajectory of the COVID-19 disease in Nigeria.
Now, when you look at the NCDC figures released yesterday they showed that they’ve tested 122,155 … or they’ve carried out that number of tests, but actually, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in his press briefing yesterday that you referred to, he said that for every COVID-19 case, there are a handful of missing cases, because the health authorities aren’t able to test everybody. Now, to be frank Aghogho, I’d say that Mr. Aliyu is being a little bit conservative when he talks about only a “handful” … especially when he goes on to talk about “thousands of people”. So yes, it absolutely is the right time to ask whether we can rely on the Integrity of the official figures. And in fact, I’m sorry to say that the answer to that question, even from his own mouth, seems to be ‘No’.
Here in Lagos State, the relevant law is not called a Violence against the Person (Prohibition) Law, rather Lagos State enacted the Prohibition Against Domestic Violence Law of Lagos, State Law about thirteen years ago, in 2007, and then, to give effect to the law, the State Government established a Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team which it says is
… a collection of professional service providers and officials that respond as a group and in a timely fashion to the various needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors by providing legal, medical, emergency assistance, Counselling and psychological and psycho social support. The state also keeps a list of Police Stations which have a Family Support and Domestic Unit, and centres where victims of SGBV can receive free medical treatment.”
the truth is that between the President-elect Olusegun Obasanjo and the outgoing military dictator General Abdulsalami Abubakar, they went out of their way to make sure that there was no handover on June 12th, which they could have done, I mean, it was just going to be about a couple of weeks’ difference, and they could have made June 12th the handover day and then we wouldn’t have to have this sort of discrepancy between the two things. I think that … generally, we are … as I say, our democracy is very much a work in progress.
Well, Aghogho, the first thing is to remind ourselves as you said, that some of the context … the … the components of IDEAS are Integrity and Accountability, and certainly, obviously if there are atrocities perpetrated by our own government’s security agencies, definitely they have to … there has to be Accountability for that; it’s not a matter of the Police or the Army being accused of atrocities such as killings or torture and so on, and then nobody is held to account.
Well I think in this case there are actually at least three of them: the Integrity of the decisions that are being made, the Ethics that are being brought to bear, and the Accountability. Now Ethics of course, it’s always about finding the balance, because we all know that … minds are increasingly focused on the economic impact of COVID-19, and that’s why you see this growing push for places of work to reopen. And in fact, if you will recall that yesterday the National Economic Council, which is chaired by the Vice President, set up a committee … chaired I think by the Delta State Governor and the Governors also of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory’s Minister,
As I always say, IDEAS is about Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability. And what we’ve seen from our State Governments and the Governors who head the executive there, has been the range. I mean there’s the range from those who started off and said: “We have to take it seriously”. Obviously you have Lagos State – where we are – the response of the State Government, the Governor, the Commissioner for Health, they have all been commended,
I think that we have to look at the context in which this is occurring Aghogho, and the fact is that … we’ve seen that apart from the actual physical and clinical impact of the COVID-19 virus, the economic impact has been even worse. In fact in Nigeria’s case – I was going to call it a ‘double whammy’, but actually, if we look at the fact that first of all, the first whammy is the simple shut down of the economy. Economic activities ground to a halt during Lockdown, and even though the whole country was not locked down, by the time you take Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory
Now next week, the 4th of May to be precise, Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory would begin a modification of the Federal Government-imposed Lockdown. Now one sector whose voice has been somewhat muted in Nigeria’s battle against the Corona Virus Disease has been that of organised labour. As the country joins the rest of the world in marking International Workers’ Day today, let us consider whether there are any IDEAS – talking about issues bordering on Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability – of particular concern to workers and organisations set up to fight for their interests in the COVID-19 crisis.
eah, I think it’s a real question Chukwudi, simply because of the fact that as we are asking people to stay home, we are also depriving them of their income. And we know that even in the developed countries where people have safety nets and … social security, the situation has been very difficult for a lot of people. But I think that it requires first of all … when you are asking people to make sacrifices, you need to show that you are ready to abide by the rules and to do the things that you are … the minimum things that you are asking people to do.
Ok, so what I will do is try to reach out to Ayo Obe again, so that we can set the ball rolling. Remember I said that today we’re looking at the Federal Government, the NCDC and the Corona virus testing strategy. Now Nigerians in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory are currently in the third week of a Federal Government ordered lockdown, and various states across the Federation are also grappling with a range of different varieties of lockdown
Well it’s obvious, any time that public money is being spent, then there must be Accountability. When money is raised from the public, there must be Accountability. … And I think that it’s important that we understand that it’s not because these are COVID palliatives or COVID reliefs that the demand for Accountability arises.
Yeah, as you know, IDEAS radio’s brief is to look at issues of Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability. And … so really it’s … our focus is the prevention of corruption and the promotion of transparency.