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What I Know About Boko Haram, Ali Modu Sheriff Opens Up…Says Chad is a Solution

Former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has opened up on what he knows about the Boko Haram insurgents currently ravaging states in the northeast and some other parts of the country, while disclosing that only the neighbouring Republic of Chad could help solve the menace.

Sheriff, while speaking in a BBC Hausa Service magazine programme (Gane Mini Hanya) yesterday, denied reports saying that Boko Haram started during his tenure as governor of Borno State between 2003 and 2011. He revealed that the radical religious sect actually started in Yobe State in 1992, and that he has been trying to find a lasting solution to it, including talking to the Chadian government.

But it would be recalled that when the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners visited the Chadian embassy in Abuja recently to find out the connection between Chad and the Boko Haram insurgents, the ambassador had said that his government had no connection to the sect.

The ambassador also alleged that if there was any person that should be held responsible for this problem, it should be the Nigerian government which had repeatedly claimed to know where the Chibok girls are being kept.

When the ambassador was queried on the alleged report of the botched ceasefire deal, which was celebrated across the country and handled by the Chadian President, Idriss Déby, and the report that Mr Mahamat Bichara Gnoti, a close associate of the Chadian president, was reported to have been apprehended on the Chadian-Sudan border with 19 SAM2 missiles he allegedly purchased from the Sudanese army for Boko Haram terrorists, the ambassador noted that he only read about the news on the pages of newspapers just like other persons.

But the former governor, who is also at the centre of a controversy surrounding the sponsorship of the Boko Haram insurgency, following claims by an Australian negotiator, Steven Davis, that he and a former chief of army staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika, were allegedly backing the insurgents, said Chad could help in solving the issue.

Although, the former governor along with Iherijika were exonerated of any complicity during the week by the Department of State Security (DSS), but reacting to his exoneration by the DSS, which paraded people it called fake Boko Haram ceasefire negotiators that confessed to implicating him and Ihejirika after inducement, Sheriff said it is the truth that has come to prevail over falsehood and that he has been vindicated by the latest revelations from the arrested impostors, who allegedly connived with the negotiator, Davis.

He alleged that the Borno State government was responsible for the orchestrated plot to frame him up with the Boko Haram sponsorship allegation in order to defame his character.

Keeping mute on how Chad could possibly help in solving the problem, Sheriff added that since he is one of the few politicians that has benefitted greatly from the kindness of Borno State, as such he is doing whatever it is to help solve the insurgency.

“Nothing preoccupies my mind in Nigeria presently like the return of peace in Borno. When Borno State was peaceful, there was no place I cherished to stay in the world like Maiduguri. I, my friends, my confidants, my parents and all the schools I attended are in Maiduguri.

“Therefore, I am more concerned than anybody in this country, because what Borno State did for me has not been done to any other indigene. You know, in Borno State, a governor has never been re-elected apart from me; in Borno State, no senator has ever been elected thrice apart from me. So, Borno people have done everything for me, and there is no one in this world that I know other than Chad, which I think could help Borno,” he said.

On his belief that he was being framed, Sheriff said: “They defamed my character, and when they started it, I once told journalists that it was plotted in Maiduguri. We know the plotters, their motives, and that by the grace of God, the truth will prevail; and now, the arrested impostors have said it all to the world.”

The former governor alleged that the current Borno State government’s connection with plot to defame him became glaring when the government quickly came out to disown one of the impostors, Junaid Idrissa Khadi, who was until four months ago a special adviser to Governor Kashim Shettima, but rather said Khadi remained his (Sherrif) known associate because he had earlier served his government before Shettima engaged him allegedly under pressure from him.

“This is nonsense. If I had forced him (Khadi) on them, then why will he connive with a Whiteman to implicate me, that I am a Boko Haram member? If at all I helped him to be engaged, then he won’t implicate me…and I have instructed my lawyers to file charges,” he said.

It could also be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had on two occasions visited the Chadian President Idriss Derby, in September and November this year, towards finding a lasting solution to the insurgency problem.

Jonathan however came under attacks from individuals and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) after it was discovered that Sheriff was part of the high-level meeting between him and his Chadian counterpart in September. Their anger was predicated on the fact that the former governor was at that time accused by Davis of allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram.

Sheriff, who lauded the federal government’s counter-insurgency effort in the interview, however, denied the insinuations that the Boko Haram started during his tenure as governor.

“This is not true. The Boko Haram issue did not start during my tenure. If you don’t know, let me educate you today. Boko Haram started in 1992 at Kalama in Yobe State, and at that time, I was not a governor. So, if anybody tells you it started during my tenure, he may be part of my traducers. But the truth is that it didn’t start during my tenure,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Borno State government, through Governor Shettima’s spokesman, Isa Gusau, has denied any government-sponsored plot to tarnish the image of the former governor, saying the government in Maiduguri was only concerned with the weighty allegations against Sheriff as an indigene of the state.

He also added that the incumbent state governor has nothing to gain from Sheriff’s predicament.

Gusau, in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service yesterday, said: “Governor Kashim Shettima has nothing to gain from the allegation against Ali Sheriff. In fact, to him, it is even shameful that a Borno State indigene, whom the governor has interacted or is connected with, is linked to what is happening. So, Governor Shettima’s connection with this saga is unnecessary.”

 
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2015: PDP Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu May Be Working Against Jonathan’s Interest, Party Insiders Reveal

As the race to the 2015 elections heats up, some North Eastern members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have accused the National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu of working against the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The source requesting anonymity said, “Last Sallah, President Jonathan had made relief materials to the tune of N200 million available for the entire North East region. Mu’azu took the materials to the North East but he did not brand the materials such as the bags of rice with the President’s image. Instead he used his own name and image which takes away from the charity of what President Jonathan had intended. Which was to show the people of Gombe. Bauchi, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe that he cares about their welfare.”

The source added, “There is a security report with the President on the matter. Mu’azu is not the one campaigning so there was no need to brand it with his own image, besides the gesture was from the Presidency.”

He also alleged that the materials were only infact distributed properly in Gombe and Bauchi where the conflict is virtually non-existent, but the three troubled North Eastern states were not looked after in similar manner.
 
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By Failing to Reduce Pump Fuel Price, FGN Violates Deregulation Law – Peregrino Brimah

“Deregulation of the downstream oil sector will improve the efficient use of scarce economic resources by subjecting decisions in the sector to the operations of the forces of demand and supply. This will attract new sellers, buyers and investors into the market, thereby increasing competition, promoting overall higher productivity and, consequently, lowering prices over time. The ultimate effect of this chain of activities is increased gains for the people of Nigeria who would be getting the most out of their natural resources. For example, following government’s deregulation in the telecommunication, there has been a reduction in call tariffs. Similar successes have also been recorded in the banking sector with the emergence of stronger banks with unprecedented spread to several other African countries. These are classic examples of the kind of positive effects deregulation could have on the oil sector.” – Federal Ministry of Finance; FAQ on Deregulation of the Downsteam Petroleum Sector and Removal of Fuel Subsidy, <  http://www.fmf.gov.ng/component/content/article/3-trendingnews/63-faqfuelsubsidy.html>

The principle and implication of the above quote from the Ministry of Finance website is clear—by deregulating the downstream oil sector, Nigerians are subjected to the risks of higher global oil prices but at the same time meant to benefit from falls in oil prices and other possible pump price alleviations due to competitive market forces.

The world oil price has fallen to below $50/barrel. This has translated into drops in pump fuel prices across the world; but in violation of the downstream deregulation policy, the Nigerian Minister of Finance has just submitted that the Government will not be reducing the pump price till… quoting the Minister of Economy and Finance on December 17, “Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said in Abuja that the decision to review fuel price either upwards or downwards would only be taken after the current crisis in global oil prices has been settled.” <  http://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/173454-nigeria-will-not-reduce-fuel-price-till-oil-crisis-finance-minister.html>

By deregulating this sector of the economy, NNPC and a host of cabal private marketers are involved in the import, supply and sale of petroleum products. Oil prices have dropped by 50%; this means, the private Government coterie of oil importers who will likewise not be reducing the price the commodity is sold at the pump will again be amassing humongous profits off of the Nigerian masses.

The people recently held oil subsidy protests which became deadly, in 2012 to be precise due to the Government’s desire to completely remove fuel subsidies and thus increase pump prices to the max. Since then much of the subsidy had been removed and Nigerians have been paying N97 at the pump. For once should Nigerian not benefit the fortune of lower global prices of oil? Should the masses always suffer regardless of cost or competing market factors?

What is the meaning and explanation of Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s statement, that the price will not be adjusted till global prices “finally stabilize?” Is this not an open ended, “deregulated” statement? When will we know that the prices have finally settled? Will a trumpet be blown? If the promise of lowering prices over time as contained in the Ministry website statement does not occur when supply costs drop, then what other market factors can ever provide this benefit to the people of Nigeria as stated?—A change in government only? Why can Nigerians not begin to benefit the “increased gains” from the fall as they suffer from the higher cost of petroleum products as the deregulation of price controls promises?

How long will the Nigerian masses continue to suffer regardless of rebasing of the economy, high or low oil prices and all other economic indices? Will good and bad economic forces always result in hardship for the masses and more private jets for the cabal? If this violation is not oppression and robbery of the masses then what is it?

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

 
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Buhari: Fundamentalist or Demagogue? The Sophistry of Akin Osuntokun By Okoi Obono-Obla

Akin Osuntokun is undoubtedly one of the intellectual ideologue disguised as a Public Commentator or Analyst of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He employs sophistry laced with high dosage of propaganda in the back page of the This Newspaper where he writes regularly to sell President Jonathan and the PDP despite the fact that they are an unmitigated failure and blot on the chequered history of Nigeria.

This country has never had it so bad. Despite the fact that it is notorious that President Jonathan is weak, indecisive and the type of leader that is obviously ill suited for times like this in this country, the likes of Akin Osuntokun have decided to bury their heads in the ground like the ostrich and made futile attempts to use propaganda to sell President Jonathan to the electorate just for what they can get from him in the event he wins the next election or what lucre they can get from those who pay them to publish hype on pages of newspapers of how President Jonathan and PDP are the best thing to happen to us.

I know that Akin Osuntokun used to be very close to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. During the Obasanjo’s Presidency, he was appointed the Chairman of the News Agency of Nigeria. He was one of those young people from the South West Region that former President Olusegun Obasanjo brought into national consciousness and lime light by giving them visible public appointments.

One would have thought as a disciple of former President Obasanjo he would be principled and keep his distance from the PDP and President Jonathan as his mentor (former President Obasanjo) has done after dismissing President Jonathan as not fit to govern Nigeria. But Akin Osuntokun is rather glued to PDP and President Jonathan doing dirty jobs.

One of such dirty jobs is the article in the back page This Day Newspaper of 19th November, 2014 titled “Buhari: Fundamentalist or Demagogue”?

In the article Akin Osuntokun pointedly accused the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Buhari and the former Governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sani Yerima Bangura of the “introduction and incorporation of the Sharia Penal Code into the jurisprudence of the Moslem dominated states of Northern Nigeria” to further their political interest .

Undeniably the allegation by Akin Osuntokun is false but he has exposed his deep seated ignorance of the history of Sharia in Northern Nigeria. It is not correct to suggest that it was Ahmed Sani Yerima that introduced and incorporated Sharia Penal Code into Northern Nigeria.

I do not know what Akin Osuntokun mean by “Sharia Penal Code”? It is pertinent to say that Sharia has always been part of the heritage of Northern Nigeria even before British Colonialism was introduced. Some parts of the North (such the former Kanem Bornu) have been exposed to Sharia for thousands of years before British Colonialism and the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria.

Accordingly Sharia or Islamic Law is part and parcel of the Nigeria Legal System. Indeed the Nigeria Legal System is made up of three distinct components namely the Received English Law; Customary Law and Islamic (Sharia) Law. Prior to independence, one of the reforms that were introduced was the passage of the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria into Law. Before this was done, a highly powered Commission made up of distinguished jurist was constituted by the British Government to design and come out with a model of Penal Code that is suitable for Northern Nigeria.

The Commission adopted the Sudan and Pakistan Penal Codes which are admixture of the Maliki School of Islamic Jurisprudence and British (English) Law which was passed into law as the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria.

The Maliki is one of the Schools of Fiqh or Religious Law within Sunni Islam. It was founded by Malik Bin Anas and it is considered to be rulings from Ulamma. It is predominant in North Africa, West Afica and the Middle East. In the past it was applied in some parts of Europe such as Spain and Sicily (Italy) that was under Islamic Rule.

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) has provisions for the application of Islamic (Sharia) Law. There are Sharia Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal in most of the Northern States including the Federal Capital Territory. The Constitution also made provisions for the appointment of Judges that are learned in Islamic (Sharia) Law in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

So it follows that the spectre of fear or hyperbole which Akin Osuntokun is trying to create by exploiting the ignorance of some people on what Sharia law is all about in order to blackmail General Muhammadu Buhari and paint a picture of him as a man who is obsessed with forcefully introducing and imposing Sharia on non-Muslims if he is elected President, is both mischievous, fraudulent and a hogwash.

The truth of the matter is nobody can Islamise or Christianise Nigeria. We all know that the procedure for the amendment of the Constitution requires the support of 2/3 (two third’s) majorities of the National Assembly and 24 out of the 36 States of the Federation which undoubtedly makes it quite cumbersome and difficult to get. So it is not possible for anybody including the President to introduced Sharia Law and ram it on us all.

The truth of the matter is also that Sharia is for Muslims only. Just like Customary Law is only for those who want it to regulate their social relationships. People should stop creating and generating fear among Nigerians for cheap political gains.

After accusing General Buhari of being responsible for the introduction of Sharia in Northern Nigeria because he is a “fundamentalist”, Akin Osuntokun made a volte face, contradicted himself when he concluded that even though Gen. Buhari is not a “Fundamentalist” he is a “Demagogue”.

How on earth can Akin Osuntokun accuse or label a soft spoken, gentleman and taciturn politician like Gen. Buhari, a “demagogue”? The Encarta English Dictionary defines a “demagogue” as “emotive dictator: a political leader who gains power by appealing to people’s emotions, instincts, and prejudices in a way that is considered manipulative and dangerous”.

It is axiomatic that demagogues are gifted with the power of the grab. In other words nearly all demagogues such as Adolf Hitler, Mussolini etc are powerful orators that are capable of using the power of the speech to move mountains. We know that Gen. Buhari cannot by any stretch of imagination he describe as an Orator; so how can any objective person describe or label him as a “demagogue”.

It goes without saying that anybody who knows and is familiar with the person of General Buhari cannot agree with the labelling given to him by Akin Osuntokun to run him down and create the impression that Gen. Buhari is a manipulative and dangerous politician who should not be trusted by Nigerians.

On the contrary Nigerians know who the demagogue politicians are. They are the friends of Akin Osuntokun such as Femi Fani-Kayode, the PDP propagandists such as Olisa Metuh that are wont to paint the APC as an Islamic Party that is out to Islamise Nigeria just to manipulate Nigerians continue to allow the PDP and President Jonathan to remain in power despite their abysmal, appalling and awful performance.

The likes of Akin Osuntokun would do well by telling us what the achievements of PDP and President Jonathan are since 2010 to justify our votes. Nigerians are not so stupid to listen to base propaganda and hate speeches disguised as analysis. Nigerians will not vote for a continuation of the present rot in status quo.
OKOI OBONO-OBLA

 
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Fayose Distributes 100,000 Bags of Rice, 80,000 Chickens, Millions of Cash to Ekiti People

The governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has distributed about 80 thousand birds, 100 thousand bags of rice and cash gifts to the people of state under his administration’s “stomach infrastructure” program.

A statement by the media aide to the governor, Idowu Adelusi, said the items were distributed between Thursday and Friday.

Mr. Fayose had appointed a special aide on stomach infrastructure when he assumed office in October.

The statement said the people of the state who continued to besiege the Governor’s office in their large numbers as well as those who had theirs delivered to them at their domain, were amazed at the governor’s gesture, which they noted had not happened for a long time in the state.

It also said the elderly who could not hide their joy at the rare opportunity of having to celebrate the season with the package poured torrents of prayers on Mr. Fayose, describing him as a supporter of a common man.

The statement said as early as 10 in the morning, the governor and some members of staff started distributing the package to the people who kept appearing in their multitudes.

Some of the beneficiaries, Ife Akinyeye and Mary Afolabi, noted that the gesture had again reaffirmed the governor as a grassroots man.

The statement said they appreciated the governor for considering the common man who may find it difficult to prepare sumptuous meal to their families during the period of festivity.

Mr. Fayose later moved to the market places with same package for those who could not make it to the Governor’s office with a promise that all the 16 Local Governments Areas would be designated centres for the distribution.

He said he was interested in the welfare of the people who against all odds returned him to office after eight years in a landslide victory.

He said he would continue to pursue his welfare program because he as he could not stand the suffering of the people of the state.

The governor said the current financial situation would not deter him from reaching out to the people because had made a covenant with God to ensure that the people were liberated from the shackles of poverty.

Explaining why he gave money to the people, Mr. Fayose said, “They need to buy pepper, salt, maggi, palm oil etc to cook the chicken.”ond 2015.

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The President is a Constitutional Dictator with Awesome Powers

The cerebral Catholic Bishop of Sokoto and Public Intellectual, Rev. Father Matthew Hassan Kukuah while addressing the opening of the Nigerian Barr Association Annual General Conference in Abuja on the 27th August, 2012, had opined that President Jonathan is the most powerful President in the world who is vested with limitless and plenitude of powers to do the impossible including the award of oil blocks to individuals that instantaneously turned a poor man into a billionaire.

On the other hand, President Jonathan while delivering the key address in the Conference had said he is the most criticised President in the world and his critics are not fair to him because he is not expected to use his last than two years in office to transform the country and solve the myriad of momentous problems grappling and confronting the country.

The question is: Is it true that the President of Nigeria is the most powerful President in the World? I shall answer the question in the affirmative. I agree with the views canvassed by Rev. Father Kukuah that President Jonathan is the most powerful President in the World. I shall even go a step further by suggesting that President Jonathan is a Constitutional Dictator by virtue of the awesome, expansive and extensive executive powers vested on him by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The term “constitutional dictatorship” is defined by Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin in an article in the Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 94, Page 1789 titled “Constitutional Dictatorship: Its Dangers and its Designs” thus:

“A constitutional dictatorship is a system (or subsystem) of constitutional government that bestows on a certain individual or institution the right to make binding rules, directives, and decisions and apply them to concrete circumstances unhindered by timely legal cheeks to their legal authority”.

Accordingly, Section 5 subsection 1 (a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides thus:

“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive powers of the Federation-
(a) shall be vested in the President and may, subject as aforesaid and to the provisions of any law made by the National Assembly, be exercised by him either directly or through the Vice-President and Ministers of the Government of the Federation or officers in the public service of the Federation”.

Undoubtedly the framers of the Constitution contemplate a powerful, magisterial and imperial President vested with a plenitude of executive powers to be able to hold and manage a country of the mosaic complexity of Nigeria with various centripetal and centrifugal forces competing and contending with each other to rend it. The framers of the Constitution decided to adopt a Presidential System of Government with a ‘strong president’ at the helm of affairs endowed with awesome powers to hold the country together; to rein schism tendencies inherent in a heterogeneous society together and neutralize it.
This is one of the reasons why the proponents of ‘Presidentialism’ at the 1978 Constituent Assembly that was constituted by the then Federal Military Government of Murtala/Obasanjo in 1975 to deliberate on a New Constitution in order to usher in the handover of power from the military to the civilian on the 1st October, 1979, had their way. It was the thinking among Delegates to the 1978 Constituent Assembly that the Parliamentary System of Government that was the constitutional order in the country between 1960 – 1966 contributed to the political instability that dogged the First Republic and led to its demise on the 15th January, 1966.

It was this Constituent Assembly headed by the then foremost Lawyer in the Country, Chief Fredrick Rotimi Williams (of blessed memory) that recommended the adoption of a Constitution modelled after the American Presidential System that the 1988 Constituent Assembly and the Justice Niki Tobi’s Panel on Constitutional Review that produced the 1989 Constitution and the 1999 Constitution respectively subsequently adopted.

Although the Constitution makes provision for the Separation of Powers between the 3 (Three) Organs of Government, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary there are instances where the ‘separation of powers’ is more in theory than practice. The power of law making is vested in the National Assembly. Undoubtedly Section 4 (1) of the Constitution vests on the National Assembly the power to make laws for the Peace, Order and Good Government of the Country. However, by Section 315 of the Constitution the President is vested with the power of law making. It is necessary to reproduce Section 315 subsection 1 of the Constitution thus:

“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, an existing law shall have effect with such modifications as may be necessary to bring it into conformity with the provisions of this Constitution and shall be deemed to be –
(a) an Act of the National Assembly to the extent that it is a law with respect to any matter on which the National Assembly is empowered by this Constitution to make laws; and
(b) a Law made by a House of Assembly to the extent that it is a law with respect to any matter on which a House of Assembly is empowered by this Constitution to make laws.
(2) The appropriate authority may at any time by order make such modifications in the text of any existing law as the appropriate authority considers necessary or expedient to bring that law into conformity with the provisions of this Constitution.
(3) Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as affecting the power of a court of law or any tribunal established by law to declare invalid any provision of an existing law on the ground of inconsistency with the provision of any other law, that is to say-
(a) any other existing law;
(b) a law of a House of Assembly;
(c) an Act of the National Assembly; or
(d) any provision of this Constitution.
(4) In this section, the following expressions have the meanings assigned to them, respectively-
(a) “appropriate authority” means-
(i) the President, in relation to the provisions of any law of the Federation;
(ii) the Governor of a State, in relation to the provisions of any existing law deemed to be a law made by the House of Assembly of that State; or
(iii) any person appointed by any law to revise or rewrite the laws of the Federation or of a State;
(b) “existing law” means any law and includes any rule of law or any enactment or instrument whatsoever which is in force immediately before the date when this section comes into force or which, having been passed or made before that date, comes into force after that date; and
(c) “modification” includes addition, alteration, omission or repeal.
(5) Nothing in this Constitution shall invalidate the following enactments, that is to say –
(a) the National Youth Service Corps Act 1993;
(b) the Public Complaints Commission Act;
(c) the National Security Agencies Act;
(d) the Land Use Act, and the provisions of those enactments shall continue to apply and have full effect in accordance with their tenor and to the like extent as any other provisions forming part of this Constitution and shall not be altered or repealed except in accordance with the provisions of section 9 (2) of this Constitution.
(6) Without prejudice to subsection (5) of this section, the enactments mentioned in the said subsection shall hereafter continue to have effect as Federal enactments and as if they related to matters included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution”.

From the above, it goes without saying that the President is vested with the power to make law, just like the National Assembly. Accordingly the President can initiate in his own accord the amendment of any Statute or regulation or legislation in order to bring it in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution. It goes without saying that the President is vested with both executive and legislative powers by the Constitution. One of the hallmarks of dictatorship is when powers are concentrated in the hands of one single individual. In this wise, executive and legislative powers are concentrated in the President. By Section 131 (1) of the Constitution, the President is Head of State and the Chief Executive of the Federation.

Apart from the Executive and Legislative powers of the President, he also has the responsibility for the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to the confirmation of such appointment by the Senate. See Section 231 subsections (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The President is also vested with the power of the appointment of the President of the Court of Appeal and the Justices of the Court of Appeal upon recommendation of the National Judicial Council. See Section 238 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The President is also vested with the power of the appointments of the Chief Judges of the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, respectively upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to the confirmation of the Senate. The President is conferred with the power to appoint all Judges of the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. See Section 250 subsections (1) & (2) of the Constitution. See also Section 256 subsection (1) & (2) of the Constitution.

The President is also responsible for the appointment of the President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to the confirmation of the Senate. All the Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory are appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. See Section 266 (1) & (2) of the Constitution.

The President is finally vested with the power to appoint the Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory subject to the confirmation of the Senate. All Khadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal are appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. See Section 261 subsections (1) & (2) of the Constitution.

The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. According to the Wikipedia the term ‘commander-in-chief’ is the person exercising supreme command authority of a nation’s military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military competencies that reside in a nation-state’s executive, Head of State and/or Head of Government. Often, a given country’s commander-in-chief need not be or have been a commissioned officer or even a veteran, and it is by this legal statute that civilian control of the military is realized in states where it is constitutionally required.

By virtue of Section 218 subsections 1, 2 & 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the powers of the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation shall include power to determine the operational use of the Armed Forces of the Federation.

Secondly, the powers conferred on the President by subsection (1) of this section shall include power to appoint the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of Air Staff and heads of any other branches of the Armed Forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly.

Thirdly, the President may, by directions in writing and subject to such conditions as he may think fit, delegate to any member of the Armed Forces of the Federation his powers relating to the operational use of the armed forces of the Federation.

The President is also vested with the power by Section 215 (1) (a) of the Constitution for the appointment of the Inspector General of Police. The President, on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council, can appoint the Inspector-General of Police from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force. Also by virtue of Section 215 (3) of the Constitution the President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as he (the President) may authorise in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.

Fourthly, subject to the provisions of this section, the Governor of a State or such Commissioner of the Government of the State as he may authorise in that behalf, may give to the Commissioner of Police of that State such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the State as he may consider necessary, and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with:
Provided that before carrying out any such directions under the foregoing provisions of this subsection, the Commissioner of Police may request that the matter be referred to the President or such Minister of the Government of the Federation as may be authorised in that behalf by the President for his directions.

Fifthly, the President is also entrusted with the responsibility for the appointment of the Director-Generals of the State Security Service and the National Intelligence Agency. See Section 3 (1) of the National Security Agencies Act, 2004. The National Intelligence Agency by virtue of Section 2 (a) (b) & (c) of the National Security Agencies Act is charged with responsibility for – (a) the general maintenance of the security of Nigeria outside Nigeria, concerning matters that are not related to military issues; and (b) such other responsibilities affecting national intelligence outside Nigeria as the National Defence Council or the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary.

The State Security Service, SSS, by Section 3 (a) (b) & (c) of the National Security Agencies Act, 2004, is entrusted with the power of the prevention and detection within Nigeria of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria; the protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters concerning the internal security of Nigeria; and such other responsibilities affecting internal security within Nigeria as the National Assembly or the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary.

The President is also entrusted with the responsibility for the appointment of the Executive Chairman and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission subject to the confirmation of the Senate. The EFCC is vested with the power for the investigation of economic and financial crimes bordering on money laundering. See Section 2 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment etc) Act, 2004.

The President is responsible for the appointment of the Chairman and members of the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, subject to the confirmation of the Senate. See Section 3 (6) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The hand of the President is fully strengthened by the EFCC and ICPC Acts to fight corruption and graft to a standstill.

The President is also responsible for the appointment of the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. See Section 8 subsection 1 of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Act, Cap. N148, Law of the Federation of Nigerian, 2004.

The President appoints members of the Council of Ministers of the Federation. The President may, in his discretion, assign to the Vice-President or any Minister of the Government of the Federation, responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation, including the administration of any department of government.
The President is empowered to hold regular meetings with the Vice-President and all the Ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purposes of –
(a) determining the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government of the Federation;
(b) co-ordinating the activities of the President, the Vice-President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and
(c) advising the President generally in the discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by this Constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body. See Section 148 of the Constitution.

The President appoints Chairmen and members of the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Federal Civil Service Commission, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the National Judicial Council, the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the Federal Character Commission, the Nigeria Police Council, the National Population Commission, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and National Defence Council; National Economic Council; National Judicial Council; National Population Commission; National Security Council; Nigeria Police Council; Police Service Commission; and Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission & the Police Service Commission subject to the confirmation of the Senate. See Section 154 (1) of the Constitution.

It is instructive to note that by Section 154 (2) of the Constitution the President in exercising his powers to appoint a person as Chairman or member of the Council of State or the National Defence Council or the National Security Council, the President shall not be required to obtain the confirmation of the Senate.

Undoubtedly from the above the President is the pilot, director, driver and implementer of the executive policies of the Country. All the appointees of the President are individually and collectively responsible and accountable to the President. The President has the absolute power to dismiss or suspend or remove all those appointed by him save in the cases of the head of the various Federal Courts established by the Constitution. See Section 1 (b) of the Interpretation Act, 2004.
The President is also the enforcer of all legislations passed by the National Assembly as the Chief Executive of the Federation. The President is vested with the power to assent to any law passed by the National Assembly. See Section 58 (3) of the Constitution. The President can veto any legislation passed by the National Assembly by withdrawing his assent. See Section 58 (4) of the Constitution.

The President is also vested with extensive and awesome powers to deal with cases of dire threat to National Security such as the current brutal and devastating bombing campaigns being carried out in the North by the Boko Haram insurgency. The framers of the Constitution contemplate the President to be a ‘Constitutional Dictator’ in which he is allowed to exercise dictatorial powers during national emergency.

The dictatorship is not absolute and is within the limits of the powers vested on him by the Constitution. Even in the Roman Empire there were provisions in for a dictator who could govern for a period of time but whose actions remained subject to scrutiny at the end of the period of the dictator’s term. The United States Constitution has a similar clause which gives the power to the President to adjourn Congress to such time as he shall think prudent. Abraham Lincoln during the period of civil war exercised extraordinary powers to preserve the Union. It follows that President Jonathan cannot claim that he has no power vested on him by the Constitution to deal ruthlessly and decisively against all those who are undermining National Security and the Country’s territorial integrity.

The President is vested with extraordinary powers by Section 305 of the Constitution to declare a ‘state of emergency’ in order to preserve the peace, stability and territorial integrity including directly ordering the arrest of dissenters and the suspension of the fundamental rights provisions of the Constitution relating to the exercise of the rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement. Section 305 subsections 1, 2 & 3 of the Constitution which provides as follows:

“305. Procedure for declaration of state of emergency
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by instrument published in the official Gazette of the Government of the Federation issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the Federation or any part thereof.
(2) The President shall immediately after the publication, transmit copies of the official Gazette of the Government of the Federation containing the proclamation, including the details of the emergency, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, each of whom shall forthwith convene or arrange for a meeting of the House of which he is President or Speaker, as the case may be, to consider the situation and decide whether or not to pass a resolution approving the proclamation.
(3) The President shall have power to issue a proclamation of a state of emergency only when –
(a) the Federation is at war;
(b) the Federation is in imminent danger of invasion or involvement in a state of war;
(c) there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the Federation or any part thereof to such extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security;
(d) there is a clear and present danger of an actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the Federation or any part thereof requiring extraordinary measures to avert such danger;
(e) there is an occurrence or imminent danger, or the occurrence of any disaster or natural calamity, affecting the community or a section of the community in the Federation;
(f) there is any other public danger which clearly constitutes a threat to the existence of the Federation; or
(g) the President receives a request to do so in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4) of this section”.

So how can a President vested with such awesome powers by the basic law of the Country such as President Jonathan has been vested with have any excuse for non-performance? The President does not need to spend donkey years in the presidency for him to perform. The President does not need to stay in office before he can clean up the Country of corruption and graft. The President does not need to spend in office four years before he can sack all the corrupt Ministers or other government officials who have overstayed their usefulness.

The President cannot complain of not having enough powers to deal with the boko haram insurgency. The President cannot complain of not having power to declare a period of national economic emergency in order to deal with the economic or even power supply Sector which has remained dismal. The President cannot complain of not having power to declare a period of emergency in order to deal with the crisis caused by crumbling social infrastructure such as roads etc. The President has enough powers to exercise to deal with the chronic unemployment situation grappling the Country.

President Franklin Dwight Roosevelt, who was President of the United States of America during the period of the Great Depression and the Second World War, also exercised extraordinary powers to drastically and squarely address both emergencies. President Roosevelt‘s actions included the interim suspension of the right of contract in violation of the provisions of the United States Constitution as well as closing of banks and a moratorium on forecloses. President Roosevelt also ordered the mass detention of Japanese Nationals and Japanese-Americans in concentration camps to deal with the threat posed by Japan to the United States of America. We also saw the extraordinary powers exercised by President George W. Bush after the attacks of September 11, 2001, to deal with the threat posed by international terrorism.

President Jonathan can assume similar extraordinary powers to deal with the nagging and troublesome boko haram insurgency and other threats to the territorial integrity of the Country in order to preserve National Unity. President Jonathan cannot continue to manifest helplessness and hopelessness or feign that he has no such powers.

President Jonathan can package a sort of “New Deal” to comprehensively deal with all economic, social, political crises grappling and confronting the Country. President Roosevelt created through legislation 10 (Ten) Programmes to deal with the exigencies thrown up by the Great Depression in the United States of America. These included: Civilian Conservation Corps; Civil Works Administration; Federal Housing Administration; Federal Security Agency; Home Owners Loan Corporation; National Recovery Act; Public Works Administration; Social Security Act; Tennessee Valley Authority and Works Progress Administration.

President Roosevelt initiated the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 to add more Justices to the United States of America Supreme Court in order to obtain favourable rulings regarding the various legislations that he had initiated concerning the New Deal that had previously been ruled unconstitutional. This led to Roosevelt fundamentally altering the way the Supreme Court functioned and allowed him to have a majority in the bench that were friendly and disposed to the ‘New Deal Agenda’.

It follows that with all the powers of the President conferred by the Constitution President Jonathan cannot be heard to grumble about being in office for too short a time or that he did not create the enormous problems and challenges confronting the Country. The President cannot be blaming his detractors or enemies as having been responsible for the insecurity in the Country.

The other day the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe on Channel Television blamed everybody for the President woes. He dishonestly blamed General Muhammadu Buhari and the opposition for the insurgency and not doing anything to end it! In a blasphemous tone, Dr. Okupe likens President Jonathan to Jesus Christ for carrying the burden of Nigeria just as Jesus Christ carried the burden of Christians! Before then President Jonathan gleefully blamed the escalation in the bloody campaign of Boko Haram on internal and external sabotage.

The President is the Commander-in-chief. A decisive, tough, firm, single-minded, purposeful and charismatic President can galvanise, electrify and energize the entire Country using the powers vested on him by the Constitution to carry out Revolutionary Reforms to revamp the Country and usher in peace and stability that will manifest in economic prosperity. We do not want to hear the President complain or lament or whimper again. Let him brace up to the task confronting him as President. Let him face the challenges squarely. Let him deal with his detractors or political enemies who are undermining him within the confines of the law. The President must desist from whimpering and constitutionally tackle the problems with the decisiveness which required of him.

OKOI OBONO-OBLA
Obono-Obla is a Barrister-at-law, Essayist and a Human Rights Activist. He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.

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Gov. Rotimi Amaechi named DG of APC Presidential Campaign Organization – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has named Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organization, which will drive the party’s efforts to win the 2015 presidential election.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the announcement followed the hugely successful convention at which its presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, was democratically elected, and the follow-up successful choice of his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

It said Gov. Amaechi’s outstanding reputation as a man of courage, principle, strength of character, decency and love of country, as well as his administrative prowess and organizational skills combined to fetch him perhaps the most important task in the quest for positive change in Nigeria.

APC thanked Nigerians for their support and prayers toward the success of the convention, the emergence of Gen. Buhari as the APC presidential candidate and the choice of Prof. Osinbajo as his running mate.

The party said it believed it had lived to its promise to Nigerians to ensure that the choice of its presidential running mate would be made within the context of the best democratic ideals, considering the enormously-positive reactions from the general public to the choice of Prof. Osinbajo.

”With a presidential candidate that has rekindled the hopes of the citizenry and revived their belief in democratic ideals, we believe we must also choose a running mate that will complement the sterling qualities of the presidential candidate. We must confess that the choice was a tough one, considering the array of eminently-qualified and outstanding candidates that we had to choose from.

”Yes, we were spoilt for choice but, in the end, we picked as running mate a man whose pedigree, nationally, sub-regionally, regionally and globally, attests to the fact that our party, the APC, is a repository of high quality leadership materials, and that our country, Nigeria, has no shortage of the very best human resources,” it said.
APC said whether in the academic, legal or ecclesial world, Prof. Osinbajo stands much taller than his physical frame, and serves as a good accompaniment to our presidential candidate, himself a man of such rare sterling qualities that have stood the test of time, qualities that are now so sorely lacking in our country’s leadership.

”Our presidential running mate is an award-winning professor of law, a legal luminary, a gentleman, a much-sought-after public speaker,a tested administrator, an author and a man of great ecclesiastical standing.

”Educated in Nigeria and the UK, Prof. Osinbajo is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who has served in many organizations and professional bodies in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the United Nations. He has authored or edited over a dozen publications, has taught and practised law at the high levels, and has served on the Editorial Boards of learned publications and non-legal publications, in addition to publishing many articles in learned journals.

”Now that we have presented Nigerians with the best possible choices for the exalted positions of President and Vice President, we expect that citizens, who have been yearning for quality leadership, will use their voting power to put Nigeria firmly on the path of greatness. A country seeking to be among the greats in the comity of nations cannot afford to have a mediocre leadership,” the party said 
 
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Who Vindicated Abia Senators? By Madubuko Hart

Victory comes with it envy from enemies of the conqueror. Some persons and groups have towed this inglorious line since the polite Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD) was triumphantly elected the 2015 governorship flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State.

While the governor of the state, Chief T.A.Orji has remained firm in making the state a peaceful and yielding place, the haters of anything good have been drumming their war drums of how to cause disaffection and disservice in the state for the reason that their preferred candidates were not elected the party’s candidate during the party’s primaries of Monday 8 December 2014 which took place at the Township  Stadium, Umuahia.

They forgot that in a contest, one person must win. And here is Ikpeazu who was widely accepted by the PDP’s delegates during the time of the primaries in the state. No person or group would say that Governor Orji has not been performing creditably well. Anything short of this is mere propaganda as is today wont in many quarters just for the simple reason that the masses in Abia are drumming for tremendous support for Ikpeazu in the 2015 general elections.

Being transparent, Governor Orji who hates bad governance, impunity and corruption made sure that his government and him stayed aloof for the PDP’s delegates to choose who they wanted to be their candidate, hence anybody or group calling on the National Working Committee of the PDP, the National Executive Committee and most importantly, Mr. President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to ensure that Abia State is plunged into anarchy, is being Shylockic.

It baffles any sense with sound reason to believe the crassness from some quarters saying that the Abia State Government has not been erecting edifice and paying workers their salaries. The detractors in their figment of imagination have also taken Mr. Chinedu Orji to libelous height. When, who and where did they see the young man got hold of over 45 billion naira? The young Orji never boasted to any groups or associates that he was going to install Ikpeazu as the next governor of Abia State.

Previously, one Ebere Wabara published an article in The Sun edition of December 11 2014, titled, “Abia Senators vindicated”. After going through the inane essay what came to mind was who vindicated the Abia senators. It is observable that Wabara went to the market with his essay to draw people’s sympathy, but it is flagrant that by now he would be feeling disappointed, because the people know better and no longer take him and his insults against the government of Chief T.A. Orji, seriously.

In his maligned thinking, Wabara indicted the government of Governor T.A. Orji without any trial at a competent court of jurisdiction. Then, you wonder how democratic such a man that indirectly was writing that he was an advocate of justice is. What he failed to tell Nigerians is that the three senators he mentioned in his treatise in the persons of Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), Uche Chukwumerije (Abia North) and Nke­chi Nwaogu (Abia Central), started their campaign of calumny against Governor Orji on October 28, 2014, after the governor had made it known that he was standing on equity and justice.

Hence, they started to shout that the governor was manipulating both the National Assembly and governorship congresses and prima­ries for who knows whatever Wabara was writing about. Did it occur to Wabara that before the emergence of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as the PDP’s governorship flagbearer in the state on December 8 2014, neither the governor nor his government said that they had an anointed candidate? They allowed the people to make their choice, and here is Dr. Ikpeazu.

So, where did the governor ‘manipulate’? Was it that Wabara was manipulating the truth for unpardonable falsehood he has been mounding and hyping around and against Chief T.A. Orji and his government? The election which the likes of Wabara have said was flawed was the best that even the officials who were at the election ground commended as the best they have ever seen in the history of the country.

Does Wabara want to say that the Returning Officer and Chairman of the electoral panel, Dr. (Mrs.) Angela Mba, who announced Ikpeazu winner with 487 votes to his credit, and said the exercise was the most diplomatic she had ever seen in recent times, did not know what she was doing? Let Wabara understand that this is not the way to draw attention!

Governor Orji has exalted the state from rubbles to the credible state it has become today. Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is never the governor’s stooge as the governor did not anoint him nor did his government. The governor is a law abiding citizen and has never been selfish with power. Those who are doing everything to cause disaffection between   President Goodluck Jonathan and him will not succeed. They should desist. Mr. President knows better that the governor is one hundred in support of his second term ambition. Nothing more.

Hart writes from Lagos
 
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Buhari’s Emergence Rattles PDP, Party Moves to Re-strategies

Anxiety yesterday pervaded the atmosphere at the Wadatta House national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the emergence of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Signs of unease started creeping in when it became obvious that Buhari was coasting home to victory. The counting of the ballot was streamed live on the television.

PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who had earlier schedule a press conference following his party’s expectation that Buhari would not clinch the ticket at the Teslim Balogun, Sulere, Lagos venue of the APC National Convention, tactically shelved the idea.

After waiting endlessly for Metuh till 6pm, one of the reporters deployed to cover the conference was forced to call Metuh on the phone.

But Metuh, who had ‘sneaked out’ of party secretariat, told his caller that he was summoned to report at the Presidential Villa. The PDP spokesman said the briefing could no longer hold.

Directives were given by the policemen deployed in the secretariat to vacate the premises. No reasons were offered for the directive, which was promptly carried out.
The usual practice was for the PDP, through its spokesman, to always await the outcome of major event stated by the opposition APC before reacting. But yesterday was different.

Metuh eventually issued a statement at 8pm welcoming the Buhari challenge and declaring President Goodluck Jonathan as “the best”.

Mutuh said in the statement:”The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has welcomed the emergence of former Military Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential flag bearer of Bola Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections.

The statement reads: “This will be the fourth time Gen Buhari will be contesting in the presidential elections. On each of the three previous occasions, he failed to articulate a vision of the future that was acceptable to Nigerians.

“On each occasion, his brand of politics was rejected across Nigeria. Apart from changing to a dinner suit, Gen. Buhari, has not changed the tired ideas and provocative utterances that Nigerians rejected in previous elections.

“We hope that this time round, Gen. Buhari will conduct a campaign that is issue based and devoid of ethno-religious sentiments.

“We are convinced that the PDP remains the only truly national political party in Nigeria, a platform on which all Nigerians can pursue their legitimate aspirations.

“We also believe that despite the distractions, President Goodluck Jonathan has a genuine record of accomplishments on which to run and deserves a second term. President Jonathan’s re-election will guarantee unity and stability for Nigerians. His second term will also deliver prosperity to Nigerians.

“Finally, in the words of our own President, the choice before Nigerians in the coming election is simple: A choice between going forward or going backwards; between the new ways and the old ways; between freedom and repression; between a record of visible achievements and beneficial reforms – and desperate power-seekers with empty promises”.

It was learnt yesterday that series of meetings were hurriedly summoned by prominent PDP leaders and stakeholders on the implications of the Buhari candidacy and the need to review strategies for the battle ahead.

A highly-placed source within the party, who confided in our correspondent, confirmed the ruling party was a bit ruffled by what he described as “the turn of events” at the APC presidential primaries.

The source, who craved anonymity, told our correspondent on the telephone that the PDP leadership is no longer at ease with the unfolding scenario.

He said: “I must be honest with you that we did not envisage that the result of the APC primaries would go this way. The various meetings going on among our leaders and other stakeholders are geared towards reviewing our strategies.

“Although the event caught our leaders flat-footed, the party is by no means in disarray because we left ample room for us to accommodate alternative plans. We are not afraid to face Buhari or any other candidate the APC may decide to field against our candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan”.

Another source told our correspondent that the PDP was not comfortable with the cult-like followership that Buhari attracts, particularly among the masses in the Northwest and the Northeast geopolitical zones.

According to the source, the margin with which Buhari defeated the four other contestants with votes from APC delegates across the six geo-political zones, has become a source of great worry for the ruling party.

The conclusion of the primaries of the two major political parties has set the state for firce electioneering campaigns for the 2015 presidential election.

The Man Buhari

Born on December 17, 1942, in Daura, Katsina State, General Muhammdu Buhari, a retired General, was Head of State from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985.

Buhari, who joined the army in 1962, came to widespread public attention in 1976, when he became the Minister (or Federal Commissioner) for Petroleum and Natural Resources under the then Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.

He had earlier served as a Governor of the then newly created North-Eastern State in the regime of the late Gen. Murtala Mohammed.

Buhari, who is the presidential standard bearer of the All Progressive Party (PDP), later became Chairman, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Buhari, who was Head of the Third Armored Division of Jos, became the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in 1983, following a military coup that overthrew the civilian administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

The late Maj-Gen Tunde Idiagbon was the Chief of General Staff in the administration.

Buhari initiated a public campaign against indiscipline with the “War Against Indiscipline (WAI)” during his regime.

He served as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), a body created by the administration of the late Gen. Sani Abacha and funded from revenue generated from the increase in the prices of petroleum products to pursue developmental projects.

Buhari, who contested the presidential election in 2003 on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) but lost to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

On December 18, 2006, the former head of state was nominated as the consensus candidate of the ANPP to run against his kinsmen at the April 2007 poll, Alhaji Umaru Yar A’dua.

He, however, dumped the ANNP in March 2010 for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party he helped formed and nurtured.

Buhari had explained his exit from the ANPP to the CPC “as a solution to the debilitating, ethical and ideological conflicts in my former party the ANPP”.

He ran, as the CPC presidential candidate, against President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Ibrahim Shekarau of the ANPP in the April 16, 2011 general elections.

Though his three previous attempts (in the 2003, 2007 and 2011) to return to the Government House were unsuccessful, Buhari got on the track yesterday by clinching the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (CPC), when for the office of the president of Nigeria general elections.

Sourced
 
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GMB!!! The Return Of Our Action Hero, A Youth’s Perspective By Mohammed Brimah

At the just concluded APC Presidential Primaries which GMB (General Muhammadu Buhari) won, there was a moment that captivated me, a moment I witnessed and was part of; a moment that ordinarily would seem out of place and almost a show of ‘shame’ on the youths of our generation, but instead was the opposite… this moment was one I was proud of and proud to have been a part of. What was this moment?

When the five APC Presidential aspirants were called upon to each give their 10 minutes speeches before commencement of the election, the Imo state aspirant who spoke last, Gov Rochas Okorocha took bit of a jovial swipe at all the other aspirants by stating their ages and buttressing that he was the youngest of them all at age of 52. Of course he mentioned GMB’s age and the fact that he was the oldest of the lot (at 71 years). I, being a youth of under 35 years of age was seated among a group of mostly similar age bracket, approximately about 30 of us in number. Suddenly one of us started a chant in Yoruba: “Arugbo la fe, Arugbo la fe, Arugbo la fe” (this in English means, “its the old person we want”). To every one’s amazement this chant was carried on by more of us till it grew louder and went on for somewhat over a minute. While this was hilarious, at the same time the expression of dissent was silently passed in our views of Gov Okorocha’s swipe.

Why was this? Why would the so called youths queried this in my mind. I knew it was what we genuinely wanted, but I wanted to make sense of it. Then it struck me!

The one thing that is unarguably common in all kids is the love of an ‘Action Hero’. Kids from ages as early as 4 or 5 years up onto 12 years or even older all love to love an action hero, from Superman to Batman; from stars in X-men to Spider-man, there is that one hero or heroes that every kid falls in love with and is obsessed with. The days of leadership of General Muhamadu Buhari was from 1983 to 1985. Most of the youth of today were then the kids that fell into the age group of action hero ‘seekers/lovers’ in Gen Buhari’s time. Hence in our days from what I personally remember Gen Buhari was an ‘Action Man’. We would come home from school to over hear our parents talking about the changes in the country, the War Against Indiscipline, the decency and sanitization of the system; the daring attempt to smuggle a whole person from the Great United Kingdom, in a suitcase for corruption.

Even in school it was the same, we all knew things were changing or changed. There was order, even we as kids were warned not to urinate or defecate in public or throw rubbish on the streets and the likes. We knew and had an idea of what the Name General Muhamadu Buhari stood for. This was just for a short period of less than 2 years, but of course his tales lived on well after his regime, even the kids that were born after his tenure grew up to hear the tales of this same man, and this period of discipline and sanity in our Nation. Its permanently etched in our History. We wished we were older then to really understand and appreciate what it felt like to be a Nigerian adult then, as we have no clue of that now.

This I believe is obviously the same reason why Hollywood has realized now what a hit it is to bring back action heroes of before to the big screens once again. Hollywood keeps remaking loads of action hero movies in recent times, and most if not all of them turn out to be big hits. In our case it goes beyond just the nostalgic feeling or connection with the great action heroes of before, the ones we once followed and fell in love with only on the screens, this rather is a case of a  ‘True life drama’, therefore the reason why we youths crave to see our ‘Action Man in REALITY’ again. More so in the most difficult of times like this, where corruption and impunity has swarmed our land, where for the past 16 years we have steadily descended into the pits of lawlessness and impoverishment, over 10 million children are not in school, unemployed youths roam the streets in the thousands. Yet we know things were never always like this, there was once a hero who changed things, we remember the times, the tales, the flashbacks. We want it again. Its this desire that burns inside the hearts of the youth of this country, we want to see that man again, the man that fixed things when they were just as bad. We know we haven’t had any one close to him or his records so far, we know he has done it before. Just like Hollywood does it, let us all also bring back our Action Hero in 2015 before its too late, before ‘The Boss(bad guy or villain)’ and his goons as in the movies wipes us off in totality…in reality!

Lets make the return of General Muhamadu Buhari, our Action Hero a reality!!!!

God Bless Nigeria.

Mohammed Brimah
APYF Lagos state coordinator.

you can engage me on twitter @mobrimah

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APC Presidential primaries: 12 Govs Endorse Buhari, Atiku Reaches Out to Delegates Directly

The battle for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is going to be one of the closest fought since the 1993 face-off between Babagana Kingibe and MKO Abiola in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), T

TheCable Verdict 2015 Panel has predicted. At a meeting that went into the wee hours of Wednesday, 12 APC governors reached a final agreement to pitch their tent with Muhammadu Buhari, former military head of state, but Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, is reaching out directly to the delegates.

At the meeting, held at Bola Tinubu’s instance at an office on Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, the governors who agreed to support Buhari are: Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers). The two other governors, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo), are also gunning for the presidential ticket.

TheCable understands that Kwankwaso has been persuaded to step down for Buhari, which he agreed, but will still put up an appearance without putting up a fight at the convention. Atiku, on this part, is basing his calculations on the fact that APC governors control only 14 states and their influence in the remaining 22 states is not strong.

TheCable understands that Atiku has zeroed in on delegates from 16 states which they consider winnable: Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Jigawa, Taraba, Yobe, Delta, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Ekiti and Ondo ? as well as the FCT.

In Atiku’s camp, the calculation is to deal directly with the delegates, even from states controlled by pro-Buhari governors. With Atiku’s heavy war chest, the APC hierarchy had become jittery about the high possibility of his victory.

As a counterforce, Amaechi ? who is the biggest financial backer of Buhari and is heavily favoured to pick the vice-presidential slot ? flew in a heavy “war chest” to the pro-Buhari camp in Lagos on Wednesday morning, sources told TheCable.

The strategy in the pro-Buhari camp is to match Atiku naira-for-naira and dollar-for-dollar. “Atiku cannot just come in and pick the ticket after all the hard work we did breaking up the PDP and setting up the APC,” a southern governor told TheCable on phone.

The Cable
 
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Tension in Kwara Over Attempt to Manipulate PDP Senatorial Primary’s Result

There was tension in Ilorin the Kwara State yesterday as youth took to the streets over rumour of an attempt to manipulate the result of the Kwara Central Senate Primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which produced the former Special Adviser on Security to former Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara, Alhaji yinka Aluko on Sunday.

The group under the aegis of Articulate Kwara Youth League, AKYL, alleged that a business mogul, Mrs. Muina Shagaya was making assiduous efforts to manipulate the result in favour of the runner-up in the contest, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq who scored 81 of the total votes cast.

The election result which was conducted under peaceful atmosphere was read by the Chairman of the electoral Committee, Alhaji Mustapha AbdulWahab at the venue of the election in llorin, Yinka Aluko polled 83 votes, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq scored 81 votes
Hajia Bilikis Gambari scored five votes while Alhaji Lasisi Jimoh polled three votes with three invalid votes.

With his victory, Yinka Aluko who is also the longest serving Security Adviser in the history of Nigeria will contest the Kwara Central Senatorial election during the 2015 general election against his former boss who is the incumbent, Dr Bukola Saraki.

Speaking with journalists, the aggrieved youths warned the lobby groups to desist from destabilizing and heating the polity by allowing the decision of the delegates to count.

They however pledged their unflinching supports to President Goodluck Jonathan and the national leadership of the PDP ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

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