Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Sunday, August 13, 2017 - Page 64

Sunday pocketlawyer@dtalkshop.com mibelema@bellsouth.net Page 58 August 13, 2017 THE MOST WIDELY READ NEWSPAPER I Page 16 Page 55 #ReturnOrResign is democracy, not corruption t is grievously disappointing to learn that one arm of the presidency is suggesting that Nigerian protesters demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari return to work or quit are trying to derail the war against corruption. Senior presidential special assistant Garba Shehu led the charge last Thursday, describing the #ResumeOrResign protesters as an “illegal assembly” aimed at anti-corruption effort. “It might be taken for granted that the beneficiaries of the old order are fighting back,” he said in the statement. “We [have] been warned that corruption will fight back…They want to distract us. But what the Presidency wants to assure patriotic citizens is that the government will not bend.” I am happy that the government has such strong fighting words. Because words, such words, are largely all that we have heard; the government has demonstrated little by way of will and action. It is heartening that the presidency chose to use as an example a former minister. And yet not once, in the two years in which this “corruption- fighting” government has been in control, has she been invited for questioning, let alone to a court of law. In fact, it took over two years and the filing of an important case by the US government in that country for the Nigerian government to come out into the open—in the past couple of weeks— through the EFCC. Through the Treasury Single Account, the administration has made its most important contribution to the process, but a scenario in which similarly complicit former officials of all kinds continue to be free to enjoy the loot of their labour is not corruption. Yes, there are a few people who are in court, and we have seen a few convictions, but in a country as rotten as Nigeria, a few convictions and hundreds of stalled, mismanaged or overlooked cases do not amount to a war on corruption. Yes, the government says it is fighting I consciously dedicated the last couple of weeks to my young readers in this column; answering their questions on how to successfully get off the blocks in the corporate world. Today, I want to return to provoking our business leaders concerning the business performance delivery as several businesses are still hurting, due to the challenging business environment. Much as we are seeing early signs of stability in the economy, I still get asked the question, “how can I improve my company’s performance.” Obviously, we are still under the weather. One thing I hope I have made clear in this column over time is that experiencing varying economic cycles is inevitable, and in fact, it is believed that there is one tough cycle in every seven to 10 years. So, the prevailing economic clime in Nigeria is not entirely surprising, neither is it an isolated case – even if it’s a little harsher than it has been in recent past. We are all delighted by The PUNCH Advert Hotlines Every day Lagos Office: 08142810917 08056357727 0806711 Ikoyi Office: 38 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. 09053631546, 07013430987 Opebi Office: 55B, Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Phone: 09053631548, 09085020328 Lekki Office: Sabrina Building, Plot 5A Block A10 Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1. Phone: 08066416659, 09053631731 Abuja Office: 07098100132, 09085020332, 09053631540, 07013430810 the possibility that Nigeria will return to growth by the end of the year, albeit just about. However, in the meantime, there are still hurdles to cross. It is thus imperative that as leaders, during this “transition”, we are clear on what conversations to have with our teams to successfully orchestrate extraordinary performance. The elements to focus on – tangible and intangible – during performance- tasking periods would vary depending on the corruption, but if you set the day aside to paint your house and it is approaching the dinner hour and you are still painting the gate, what kind of painter are you? We are travelling in circles. In 2006, as his second term ground towards an end, President Olusegun Obasanjo was still painting his gate, launching his Nigeria Image Project to burnish Nigeria’s image abroad. Nigerians loudly protested the colossal collapse of a government which had promised so much. Trying to launch the scheme abroad, Minister of Information, Frank Nweke, was routinely met with protests and anger, leading him to dismiss Nigerians in the Diaspora as “inconsequential.” Forced to defend his words, he first lied, and then tried to weasel his way out, saying he had only spoken “in a specific context in response to a question which intent was to undermine the ongoing efforts by the present administration to constructively remake the Nigerian society.” That distraction was followed in 2009 by the then Information Minister, Dora Akunyili. As Nigerians similarly challenged the Umaru Yar’Adua government to provide good, effective and transparent governance, it announced ‘Rebrand Nigeria,’ another image-laundering initiative. Naturally, Nigerians, particularly those abroad, objected to re-branding over re-working. Feverish with power, Akunyili turned sharply on them: “Nigerians in the Diaspora are the worst when it comes to bad-mouthing Nigeria,” she sneered. “When you hear Nigerians overseas talk about Nigeria, you will weep for this country.” But all that Nigerians were asking for was that the government focus on its programmes and promises, including its seven-point agenda, Vision 20 #'VRbrB6&Fr6''WFखvFV6F( 2FW'&VvV7V6f2vRVFW&r66VRv0V6VBFVvRFB&RWV6fPƗF667VFG2v6wFD0BV&Ɩ2&VF2f&FW&P66FW2C&f"vBv2VffV7BRWw7W"'F6R琦66R"FFBW7F&Ɨ666W7Ff6Fb7FVƖs7VvvW7FrBv2ǒ6''WFF@v2F&RfV&VB'WBB2W7Fǒ&V6W6RbF@v&GfWrFB'V&fVBFP66WF6RF&RVV7FVBFR&&VЦ2FR&6FB2rfvVB( &GFW6&rF&W6RvWFW"R&Rw&W7FW"&G&W76W""W66R6VBvF&VvFB&6W72( "6VR6B7BvVVFB2֗7FR2Bv22vVvfW&VB֗7FW2FRf"FRW76vR@26BB֗66WfW2FW'&WFFbFRFVVfW2f"FR&W6FV7F7VvvW7BFBF6Rv6'V&6VB&WF&RbR6B&WGW&F0"&R&6''WF2FR66Rb7&F72bFR&6@.( GVvfW&VG2v&RrFR'V&&GvvFV"F&vWB2V&6VB@6''WBvfW&6RWfVb'V&( 2vfW&V@B'vW&7FF&G2&R6BF&R6''WBB2BFRfW'V7B&V6RV&6VBऒfR6B6WfW&'F6W2FR7BV BbFBFRW&f&6Rv6'V&0ffW&VBff6R26''WRbFR7FW&@6W&W27FFW6R6BRvVB&RगBv2"6VR6Vbf"7F6Rv&W'FVB'V&7VrFvW&2&fV&W"#R26rFB6RWF7&G0BfVF&ǒ7F'FVBF&WGW&6RbFRB( vRvBFfRWfW'Fr&6( 2FBFWF'f&6RbV'2( "6VRVFVBЦ26r( vVvRvWBFR&VWfEF7VVG2vRvf&ǒ6&vRFVF6W'BBFVvPvFVvW&2FV"FVFFW>( e6FRF`&V6r2w&GVǒ&6r( Х6֖&ǒFV6V&W"#RBFRWF疖6wvRfVFFV7GW&R'V'V&F&VFVVB( VRv&VgW6RFV'&6P&&G( ХFRvW"2vfW&VB2&VVvW"vWfW"FRgW'FW"vFBFb&V6p2&fVBF&RFW&V'FVƖ&W&FVǒ"'FVfV@66ƖFFrFRWF7&7f"7F6Rǐ&V6VFǒFRTd42WBB6ƗFBFRvfW&VBfvrw&VVVBvFFR66V@&GV6֒V6R6֗GFVRv2v&rFR&62bFV'Bbv6v2FB( 琦B"7W76W276WBG&6VBFFRvFV6Ff֖ǒ֖vB&RWGVǒF67W76VB@VWFǒ&WGW&VB( vF&6V7WFffVBFB2B&&GBFb&V6rvBV6RF&FW7FW'267B2B&&G6FǒFR&W6FVBv2FRfW'f'7BFfFRFP&RV6VB&#bv7BfVFW&ff62G&fVƖrFf&VvG2f"VF6G&VFVB&6"F֖FF6V@7FvW&2g&7VrWB&WBBvB2FRv'6RFR&W6FV7( 2W0&V6VVB&WB5&W7VT%&W6v2F@B7V'fW'G2FRFV7&F2&6R'7VvvW7Fp'V&2BFRVVRbFRvW&VRF&W6VB2FRfW&&BvFW2BVV@F66VBf"2vW&V&WG2"2W&f&6PfFW2FRƗF66G&7BBW2ЦBFR&w&W76fW26w&W72FRfBFRfW'gWGW&RVV7F2FW&RWVr`FB2FrFFvF6''WFB2FPvfW&VBv67FG267W6VBॖW2'V&FBFRVv( FBv6( GFp'FFr7Fr&W6FV7'WBB2@ffW"VFW"FW2BW7FgFR7VvvW7FvW&26VB&V"FRFVfFRBWV6fP'W&FVbRV66VF&RfW&&Bǖrf&Vv7F&VBVFrf"7WW&"W&f&6PW7B6GVFFR&v6FFRf'7@( W7BF( 2F6W&FR7&V6֖2B"GW7G'77VW2g&W"6( 2( 27V6f06VvW2( 2&RFWV"W&FFP&V62FRFW'fVF2^( FWFF6RFRVf&VBFffW"g&F6P&WV&VBFfvBf"W"6&RbFV7&V6pGW7G'R666FW#6&GbWV7FF3FR&62bVvgVB&V7FfP76W76VBbVV^( 2W&f&6P7F'G2vF6&GbBƖvVBFPv2B&VFVBWW&f&6RF6F'0( 2WfW'VVRW7BfRFV'2Pf&"FRFW"W&f&6RWfVF0&6VB( vN( B( Ɔr( FW&RW7B&R&wVG&VBFR( vB( F( BFV6W0W'6F6V6'F2b&GV7B"&氦VVRF6W&6R&FW6BvFW@7V6grvVBWfVFR( Ɔ~( 6V@6W6R7V&V7FfG2N( 2W"&R2FPVFW"FRFB6V"Fࢃ"rF&6RFV6vF&VƖVcvRB2fRF( ƆVBW( FRF7W&R6VRrN( 2'W6W72VW7VR6V@VWFBFR6FWBb7&rVRf W&f&6RBFVFfFrFVFFPWFVBW"7Ffb7F'Bw&Fr"Ɩ6F2&RG&7&VBvFW"6V6F@FvVWFw22&&FRWBVPrFRG'VR7FFRbFR6B6W6PvW'6FV'f'GVRbFRƖvV@R7&VFR&VBFVƗfW&rFR6( 0&Fࢃ2F( B&RF&W67&FfSF@R&RFR&72FW6( BVRfRFR7vW'2Bf7BB2FRb7&60RVVBF6&RVW7F2&FW"F&R6VVF&ffW"6WF2vVVVǒR&RBV6W76&ǒFR6'FW7BFR6BWfVbR&RR6( B&P66'BFB^( &R7WW&"FFR6V7FfP'&vW""FVVBrֆrbW"FV6VW7F2fRV&BFBƖfRFW&R&PF&VR( ƶvVFvR6FVv&W>( ӢFRvЦvvBRrFBRrFRvVvvBRrFBPF( BrBFRVvVvࢇvBRF( BrFBRF( BrFRv'7BFB6VBVFVFW"2FW&FRFRVvVv76RvF֖G6WBbvֶvFW&^( 2 6RVFW"6rVW7F2f"6&G"FWFV@VFW'7FFrf7BFB2V֖ƗG W6VV6RࢃBf7W2W"v7G&FVwN( 2'6WFVǒ7BF66FW"76&P6WFFfR&V7F2FW"7G&FVw'W@vVB6V6VBFVF&Vǒ6vRW 7G&FVw'WB&FW"GvVW"F7F72F&VfV7BVW&vr'GVFW2"&VWvV@6WFFfRF&VG2F26F2&V֗6VBFRf7BW"7G&FVwv2FWfVVBgFW"fpGVR66FW&Ff"W"6&R6WFV6W2FR6WFFfR76RBFR( 6RbFR&^( Ц'GVGFW&2b^( fRFRw&VB 7&gFrFBRW7B&RvVFFVBFBࢃRrvBFvfRWF( BG'FfWfW'FrFW&R&RFW2vRW7BR&@66W2ƖfRFW2b&V6W7666RW &&FW26WFRvvF6VBfFVb&VƖfR6GVFFRvBƖfRfVRVBFVfRW"7V'26V&6bfBW &WGW&6R&FW&BbƖ2FRF6PW7B7&72F&VW"ƗGFRW226R7F&V@BFRƖ26RBFR'GVGFW66R'WBFRFVvBb6rW"7V'2&VFǒV@W"FFR66R26RFRGFVBF7&72FRƖ2VBW"FRV7Vr7G'VvvP&W6VBFRGFVFbFR7V'2v7&V@WBBGfW'FVFǒG&WrFRGFVFbFPƖ2FFV"vW7FV6RFRf6GFWvW&R6VFVWB2BV6FffW&V@'W6W72FRFW6&RFvvR&2( 0R6WFW2VBWG&rbRfPFR7V6&BFV662266RFv6W'FV&GV7FfRV&fF&RFf6&vB6R6W'F&V2WF2V6RF60r2FRWF6RW2R7G&vW"ࢃbFrFW&ӢvrBFPbW&f&6R7&626&RFVFr7@FW2FRFVfVB2Ff&RfvBWfW'FVF6WF&VBW&f&6RG&VG2&R&WfW'6VBॖRvBFvR66frf"7F6Rǒ'WrƖ֗FVBFW&2FFVƗfW"W7BЦFR67B&VVfG3FB6VBWB&GV7@FVw&GB&6bBvVvVBF涖pB7FrrFW&2F֗GFVFǒFff7VBvfVFR&W77W&Rg&6&VFW'2BFR&&B'WBb^( fR'VB6RvGv"WVGFP6fW"FRR'WFRF&6RpB6'BFW&2Fw&VBW&f&6RVffV7BआfRf'VW2vVVFSv&RvƖrF7vW"VFW'6BvVVBVW7F26VBFFRVF26V&FVBBV&Ɨ6VB'T4rƖ֗FVBR&FW&7G&VWBWFW6Vv26&7VFS3c3s3"GfW'B7VFT43SCRâ7VV6V6r6ӲGfW'DV6r6ФVFF#F6wV6WR6'&W7FV6RF"##BVv254#CCp