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Welcome, Weekend Trust, to the stable

Was it not said that the only permanent thing in nature is change? With the universe in a permanent state of motion, stagnation in any…

Was it not said that the only permanent thing in nature is change? With the universe in a permanent state of motion, stagnation in any form remains unnatural, and even among humanity it assumes a more didactic essence as being anathemic to innovations and progress. Hence, when this author was informed that your favourite ‘Penpoint’ Column which had graced the pages of Daily Trust on Sunday since 2013, was designated to transit to the new born Weekend Trust, it was all joy for him. It was joy to share in the collective wisdom, kindred spirit and innovativeness of the management of the Media Trust stable, as a new banger of a title, was berthing.

Featuring as a columnist in a new title in a world class media stable like Media Trust, comes with a whole baggage of cranial challenges, adrenalin pumping drama and sheer fun, as is typical of top flight journalism practice. Beyond any other consideration, it entails looking at your own society as well as environment from a position of high moral ground, which often leads to dabbling into ‘troubled waters’. No regrets, however, as it is all part of the day’s job, in serving the public.

The foregoing notwithstanding, the present transition by this author from Daily Trust on Sunday to Weekend Trust coincides with a period which spans the tenures of three of Nigeria’s presidents namely Goodluck Jonathan (2011-’15), Muhamadu Buhari (2015-‘23) and now Bola Tinubu (2023 – ?). Of interest is that the transition comes with a complement of spin-offs which include a reflection on and recall of some of the topical social themes as well as situations, which had trended across Nigeria and the world, all through the run of ‘Penpoint’ column in the former title. That is from when this author came on board the Media Trust stable in 2013 till the present.

Needless to state that this period saw the country passing through several challenges. And for good measure ‘Penpoint’ column was on guard to  interrogate as needful, several of such developments and situations as were associated with each of these presidents, whereby taking a few of them eclectically could offer more illumination.

For instance, a theme that had engaged the country since then and which ‘Penpoint’ interrogated severally remains the complement of twists and turns associated with the succession of political leadership in the country, whereby changes of office holders had been taking place without commensurate, progressive mark-up in the welfare of the citizenry.

‘Penpoint’ was launched in 2013, at the middle of the six-year tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan which with the benefit of hindsight, can easily qualify as one of the golden eras of the Nigerian nation, given the odiousness which some of the policy directions and  features of succeeding administrations foisted on Nigerians. For as the cliché goes that one may not value the worth of an asset until it is lost, so Nigerians from various walks of life looked up in futility to the succeeding Muhammadu Buhari government to prove its mettle as an improvement on Jonathan’s. In the same vein is there the public concern that the present administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu should not dip the country lower than the Buhari administration did.

Another theme that had spanned the period is that of electoral reforms, given the widely accepted notion that the bane of the country’s weak political leadership culture draws directly from the compromised conditions of entry into the ruling class. ‘Penpoint’ had been a ringside observer of the drama scenes associated with the fortunes of the country’s electoral reform processes, leading to the eventual emergence of the current Electoral Act 2023. The fact that it is still billed for further reforms tells a lot on the rough road Nigeria is trudging towards a workable democratic society.

This is not to talk about the long running face-off between organised labour and various governments at respective tiers, over availing the Nigerian worker a living wage. That the matter has remained unresolved up till now, that a stalemate is running into a possible meltdown of the economy – given the hardening of positions between the two parties, is a testimonial to how far the country is from egalitarian tendencies. The rich must be getting richer, while the poor should be getting poorer seems to be the unwritten credo of governance.

Apparently related to the minimum wage debacle is the unsettled state of affairs in the country’s energy sector – with particular reference to the pump price of petroleum products. To many Nigerians, government’s handling of this issue even before the advent of the current administration, had been below expectations as the more they looked the less they saw. This was the state of affairs until President Tinubu came on board and right from his first day in office, he deepened the crisis by cancelling fuel subsidy, and launched an unprecedented upward spiral of prices across the country.

Hopefully, with the foregoing as a backdrop, Weekend Trust is coming to continue in that fine tradition of standing with the Nigerian people, in its enterprise.

‘May our days be rough’, the late great sage and teacher, Dr Tai Solarin, would have wished any debutant pursuant of great adventure, like the Weekend Trust.

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