Sunday 24 June 2018


Photo Above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa after the cutting of her 60th birthday cake & Below L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ 60 with Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Abuja

On the 17th of May, 2018, I turned 60! I can't believe I'm 60 already. I did not intend to celebrate, but my youngest child (son), Ayokunnu Kusa, an Agro-preneur (an entrepreneur in the field of agriculture) had other plans. Ayo is a graduate of Agriculture (Animal Breeding & Genetics). Unknown to me, Ayo had invited my friends and colleagues to an interactive session at my residence in Abuja for 12 noon to discuss a topic he knows I'm very passionate about: 'The female academic/social entrepreneur in a depressed economy'.

My son, Ayo, is the only one left at home since his elder brothers Tope Kusa (a Medical Doctor) and Seun Kayode Kusa (a Law graduate/Chartered Mediator & Conciliator/Writer/Public speaker) were out of town. Lest I forget, I congratulate you, Dr. Tope Kusa, my eldest child (son), for your new co-authored publication in the (American) Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) titled 'Divergent responses to kisspeptin in children with delayed puberty' - Thanks also for your touching message and gift on my 60th birthday. I love you always, dear son!  My friends exhaustively discussed the topic and came up with the following recommendations:

The female academic/entrepreneur in a depressed economy needs to:

*Work harder than her male counterparts to succeed in this clime.
*Be innovative.
*Be technology/social media/internet savvy and use same to promote her business.
*Constantly update her knowledge in her core area of specialisation.
*Document her effort in the form of books, CDs, etc for future generations...

Ayo informed my guests that I, his mother, was on top of my game, already doing all the positive things expected of an academic/social entrepreneur in this clime. Later in the evening, there was a soiree which lasted till the wee hours of the morning. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm proud of you, dear son for organising the beautiful party for me. Ayo, you are doing very well as an Agro-preneur, using technology to optimise your presence in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria. You are a young and dynamic entrepreneur. Nigeria needs more young men and women like you to seize the moment and take their destiny in their hands. Thanks once again for organising the mini colloquium and party in my honour.

Many thanks to my friends who are too numerous to exhaust here. But I must mention a few of them:

*Mrs. Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi - MD Doxa Digital/Voice-preneur & foremost MC in Abuja
*Barrister Sharon Ikeazor - Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD)
*Prof. Dakas Dakas - Professor of Law/SAN
*Ms. Idayat Hassan - Director, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)
*Ms. Biodun Baiyewu-Tewu - Country Director, Global Rights
*Ms. Lucia Balonwu - Country Director, Volunteer Services Organisation (VSO)
*Dr. Amina Salihu - Progamme Manager, McArthur Foundation
*Prof. Anthonia Simbine - Commissioner, INEC
*Dr. Chief Mike Ozekhome - Foremost Legal Practitioner/SAN
*Chief (Mrs) Remi Adiukwu - Frontline Politician
*Amb. Samuel Dabeng - Retired Ambassador, FMFA
*Mrs. Eugenia Abu - NTA/Social entrepreneur
*Ms. Ene Ede - Gender Advisor, Search For Common Ground (SFCG)
*Barrister Ebere Ifendu - President, Women In Politics Forum (WIPF)/Publicity Secretary, Labour Party (LP)

I simply cannot exhaust the list. I thank you all for making my 60th birthday memorable with your presence, gifts and prayers...

                         Photo below: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa cutting her birthday cake @ 60!

Saturday 16 June 2018


Dr. Carl LeVan, Associate Professor in the School of International Service, American University, Washington DC shared the findings in his new book: 'Nigeria's Party competition during a time of transition and terror' in Abuja under the auspices of Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD). He highlighted the following:

*Empirical information on why the PDP lost the Presidency in 2015 for the very first time since 1999. The PDP also lost many seats in the House of Representatives, Senate and many of the governorship seats.
*The role of the elite in the 1999 transition.
*He challenges conventional thinking about Boko Haram's (BH's) impact on politics. Research on terrorism and voters.
*1998/1999 transition deals and their decline.
*Summary of findings on Political Parties.
*Hypotheses testing on: National insecurity/Electronic voting.
*Analysis and implications of why voters choose who they vote for.
*What the Political Parties talked about in the 2015 campaigns.
*How the economy affects voters' choices at the polls.

Some of the research questions were:

*Why did the PDP lose and why did APC win in 2015?
*What was the elite agreement?
*What did the Political Parties say?
*What did voters vote for? His sample was approximately 4,000.
*Dr. LeVan travelled from Abuja to Yola, from Port-Harcourt to other eastern parts.


*APC and PDP talked about different things in their campaigns. Across states, economic conditions were more important than any other parameters.
*People voted on the economy, but ethnicity was also important.
*Religion had a stronger influence than expected.

Context & civilian concessions:

*In 1998, dictator, General Sanni Abacha died.
*There was a pact with the PDP for a Yoruba Presidential candidate. This was a way of paying for 1993 and 1979.
*Symbolism of June 12, 1993.
*Rotaton of power between the north and the south.
*PDP's dual policy on civil-military relations.
*Oputa Commission - A Commission that generated neither truth nor much reconciliation.

Under Obasanjo, there was significant increase in the Military budget in spite of the fact that there were fewer soldiers. Military promotions were announced May, 2003. These occurred three weeks before Obasanjo took office. Towards the 2015 elections, there was a slow erosion of the 1999 pact. By 2011, there were fewer candidates with Military background. The 'power shift' principle was violated in 2010/11 when a southerner unexpectedly became President.


*The population in Nigeria is younger on the average, but the average age of the gladiators has increased. This is a major source of tension between the young and the old.
*Traumatic events/issues such as terrorism hurt incumbent Political Parties (Hunter, 2016).
*Terrorism contributes to ideological polarisation (Nanes, 2016).
*Political Parties appeal mainly to core supporters (Kibris, 2011).
*Terrorism has generalised effect on preferences - even if regionally concentrated, it's a national issue.
*Voters closer to violence are more likely to vote for hard line right Political Parties (Getmansky Zeit Zoff, 2014).
 *Citizens are more interested in politics because of terrorism.
*The difference between PDP and APC campaigns in 2015: PDP - Economy and corruption?; APC: Economy, anti-corruption, security and electoral integrity. The fact that their campaigns were fairly different was indeed novel!
*We need to interrogate the issue of age and performance in office.
*Voters prioritised public safety/security because of the high level of violence.
*A number of factors could affect hypothesised outcomes at the State level: State debt, internally-generated revenue (IGR), level of violence, literacy level and average income. Surprisingly, the insignificant variables are: turnout during elections, ethnic group, and gender.
*Terrorism stimulates polarisation.
**States that are in debt vote more for the incumbent Party.
*Levels of violence are not good predictors of election results.
 *PDP maintained their base by stoking fear about what could happen if there was regime change.

On the whole, Dr. Carl LeVan's analysis debunked many hitherto held perceptions about elections, the electorate, politicians, political parties, competition and transition in Nigeria. It was a time for invited younger scholars to interact with the paper presenter after the lecture. Older academics like me facilitated the exchange of ideas... 


Between the 4th and 6th of June, 2018, The New Partnership for Africa - NEPAD Nigeria held two crucial meetings 'back-to-back' in Abuja. On the 4th of June, there was a high level continental consultative meeting on anti-corruption. Between the 5th and 6th, there was another intensive workshop on non-violence in elections.

       Photo above L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Princess Gloria Akobundu (CEO NEPAD)

The following were present:

*Princess Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator/CEO NEPAD/APRM Nigeria
*Ibrahim Magu, Chairman, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC
*Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, represented by Gabriel Ajoda, Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs, OSGF
*Prof. Eddy Maloka, CEO, APRM Continental Secretatriat, South Africa, represented by Mary Agbebaku-Izobo
*Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, PACAC
*Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chair/Founder, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development, SCDDD
*Ibrahim Idris Kpotum, Inspector-General of Police, represented by Commissioner of Police, FCT, Agyole Abey
*Prof. Al-Amin Abu Manga, Member, Panel of Eminent Persons, AU APRM Process
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Independent Consulant/Conflict Transformation Expert, Abuja
*Dr. Saad Umar Idris, Ag. DG, The Electoral Institute,TEI, represented by Tunde Ojedokun
*Barr. Ebere Ifendu, President, Women In Politics Forum, WIPF
*Jude Iheoma, representative, EU
*National Chairman, PDD, represented by Deputy National Chairman, Yemi Akiwumi
*Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, represented by former DG, National Sports Commission, Al Hassan Yakut
*Desmond Osemherijie, representative UN Women
*Lynda Obenwa, National Woman Leader, APC

Some of the recommendations were:

*A prominent member of the opposition Party should be made the anti-corruption czar in African countries.
*Politics should be made less attractive so that it does not remain a 'do or die affair'.
*Non-corrupt officials should be publicly rewarded.
*There should be national orientation on anti-corruption and non-violence in elections.
*The family and the school have key roles to play in the anti-corruption and non-violence in elections crusade.
*Courses in anti-corruption and non-violence in elections should be embedded in the curriculum at the primary and secondary school levels.
*Employers should pay employees a living wage.
*The youth, women, people living with disability (PLWDs) and other vulnerable groups should be included in the anti-corruption and non-violence in election crusade.
*More poverty alleviation windows should be created.
*The judiciary should be independent.
*Special courts should be set up to fight corruption.
*Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)/Traditional methods of conflict resolution should be exhausted before resorting to litigation.
*Technology should be used for monitoring and apprehending perpetrators of corruption and non-violence in elections.
*The process of recruitment into the political class should be interrogated.
*There should be content-driven and inclusive voter education.

A bigger conference on the same themes, which would attract Heads of State and Governments in Africa and beyond is slated for August 2018. NEPAD Nigeria's CEO, Princess Gloria Akobundu has said that National and Continental action Plans (NAP and CAP) would be the follow-up for the meetings.

Related Links

*Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020: Achievements, opportunities & challenges 
*Silencing the guns can reduce forced displacement