Jibrin: Undisputed Kingmaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, By Idris Omolabake

The story of the emergence of former Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his successor, Femi Gbajabiamila, will be incomplete without adequate mention of the exploits of Abdulmumuni Jibrin, an influential member of the House of Representatives from Kano State.

Jibrin has succeeded in ‘installing’ two different speakers of the House of Representatives in two different circumstances, first through a rebellion against the establishment; and the other in enforcing the position of same establishment.

In 2015, the youthful Jibrin who only joined the House in 2011, played prominent role in the leadership tussle between then ‘Equity Group’ headed by Yakubu Dogara and the ‘Loyalist Group’ headed by Femi Gbajabiamila. That struggle eventually produced Dogara as Speaker, thereby causing a major rift within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Fast forward to 2019, Jibrin who served as the Campaign Director General for the election of Gbajabiamila like he did for Dogara in 2015, has also delivered the incumbent Speaker. This is a feat exclusive to him as no one person has delivered two speakers consecutively in the history of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.

Who is Abdulmumuni Jibrin?

Abdulmumin Jibrin is a Nigerian politician and a 3rd term member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives from Kofa, Bebeji LG, Kano state. He is 42 years of age. He was at various times chairman House Committee on Finance, Appropriation and Land Transport with oversight on Nigeria’s revenue, expenditure, railways and rail projects respectively. 

He is a globally trained business executive, academician turned politician. He holds a BSc, MSc and PhD in Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations from University of Abuja and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was at various times trained at the London Business School, Harvard Business School and SBS- Swiss Business School- Zurich Switzerland where he obtained SEP, PLD and MBA respectively. He is an Alumnus of the Harvard, London and Swiss business schools. 

Prior to joining politics, Abdulmumin played an active role in the private sector as Chairman/ CEO Green Forest Group LTD running a Nigerian conglomerate in diverse fields.  He served as Chairman (Nigeria) of Turkish construction giant Tasyapi and Chairman Abuja branch of Nigeria-British chamber of commerce. He also lectured at the university with publications to his credit. 

A consummate mobiliser, Abdulmumin was the Director, Media and Strategic Communication of the Women and Youth Presidential Campaign Team and most recently, Director General of Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker campaign council. He is a public finance and foreign policy expert and has shown significant interest and contributed to improving Nigeria’s revenue and expenditure process. He has won numerous awards and he is a fellow of many professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Finance and Control. 

He is a Paul Harris fellow of Rotary international.  He holds the traditional tittle of Jarman Bebeji conferred on him with the approval of the Kano Emirate Council. It is a tittle reserved for the courageous and generous.

Political Career:

Prior to his emergence on the federal parliamentary scene, Jibrin had been involved in national politics especially during the presidential campaigns in 2003 and 2007. In 2011, Jibrin won election to represent Kiru/Bebeji Federal constituency under the Platform of the PDP, and later decamped to the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014. It is worth noting that he led the first set of 37 lawmakers who defected in a massive swoop that shook the political landscape. Not surprisingly, he won re-election into the House under the new platform in 2015.

2015 speakership election…

In 2015, the APC just like in 2019, zoned the position of Senate President to the north-east geo-political zone and specifically chose Ahmed Lawan while the post of Speaker, the south-west zone was favoured with Gbajabiamila anointed. However, the rebellion against the party’s position led by immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Equity Group in the House of Representatives where Jibrin played prominent roles, eventually led to a defeat of the choices of the party. Suffice to say that it was same Jibrin who nominated Dogara for the post on that historic day thereby culminating months of chaperoning an arduous campaign that eventually paid off.  

In the political preambles to the election, Jibrin reportedly led a walk out of the mock primary organized by the party at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. This much was amplified in an apology letter he wrote to former APC national chairman, John Oyegun in 2018, when he needed forgiveness and a relaunch into reckoning after a political drought that almost ended his public life. He wrote then: “I recollect with deep regret and pains and can still hear the echo of your voice in the make-or-mar meeting at the ICC shouting “sit down Jibrin, sit down Jibrin, Jibrin sit down” ” you dare not walk out of this hall Jibrin”! Sen Lawali Shuaibu watched helplessly with the box of ballot meant for the mock elections as I forced myself up, stood my grounds, made my points, held the hands of Yakubu Dagara, and pulled him out of the hall.”

Jibrin and his group were able to garner votes across the two political parties to pave the way for Dogara to emerge speaker. After the election, he was offered the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee of the House, a position that became the springboard to the travails that bedeviled him for much of that 8th assembly.

Budget controversy and suspension from the House…

Jibrin’s journey into the wilderness kicked off with his resignation as the Chairman House Committee on Appropriation as announced by the Speaker on Wednesday, 20th July, 2016. He described the speaker’s speech announcing his exit as the chairman of the committee as “a misrepresentation of the facts, false, mischievous, unfair and a calculated attempt” to bring his name to “disrepute.” That disputation led to weeks if not months of rancorous exchanges between him and the leadership of the House.

Between late July and early August, 2016, Jibrin visited several law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies of government including, the Department of State Services (DSS), the economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Nigeria Police with a wounding petition that contained purported gross misconduct on the part of the accused lawmakers. But it was unclear if any of the agencies acted on the documents submitted with so much fanfare.

Before he was eventually banished by the House, Jibrin was left in the cold as 10 principal officers of the House rallied in support of Dogara and denounced Mr. Jibrin. Incidentally, Femi Gbajabiamila, then Majority Leader who was at the time thought to be a political enemy of the Speaker as a result of the previous, bitter speakership battle that lead to the emergence of Dogara, also joined the body of principal officers in denouncing Jibrin. It is however, worth noting that the Lagos lawmaker now speaker, had spoken against the suspension of his Kano counterpart, describing the decision as illegal and unconstitutional.

Furthermore, Jibrin’s party, the ruling APC warned him to ceasefire but Jibrin was defiant and continued his onslaught against the House leadership. He even refused to appear before a disciplinary committee set up in September, 2016 to investigate his claims of budget fraud against the leadership claiming the investigation was a witch-hunt. On September 28, 2016 the grand finale of the Jibrin saga played out as the House Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions swiftly concluded its investigations and submitted its report a week after the commencement of the probe.

The Committee’s recommendation that Jibrin be suspended for 180 legislative days was adopted by the entire membership of the House in plenary. He was also barred from positions of responsibility in the House till the end of the 8th assembly. Like the fighter that he is, Jibrin filed an action in court to challenge his suspension.

Whistle-blower banished to the cold…

Despite his suspension and subsequent ‘relocation’ to London, Jibrin refused to pipe down on his attacks on the leadership of the House and maintained forthrightness on the matter. 

Even when Jibrin completed his suspension, he still could not resume his duties as a federal lawmaker as the House insisted on an apology which he bluntly refused to offer.

However, on Tuesday, 13th March, 2018 Jibrin finally decided to end his long drawn battle with the House leadership. The following day he was ushered into the green chamber in a manner that demonstrated conciliation and mutual forgiveness. On his return, Jibrin said: “Lessons were learnt by both parties; the leadership and the victim. Lessons on the part of leadership and lessons on the part of members.” Incidentally, the court at about this time, ruled that his suspension was unconstitutional. He was subsequently appointed as Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport and his entitlements hitherto withheld, paid in full. 

2019 elections and the Parliamentary Support Group…

Upon resumption at the House in 2018, Jibrin convened the Parliamentary Support Group PSG, with the mandate of full loyalty to President Buhari. Notably, the group was already in existence in the Senate. It was seen as a demonstration of courage by his colleagues. Thus, Jibrin even led over 100 members of the House to pay solidarity to the President in 2018 at a time when the National Assembly Joint executive session issued a 13-point demand to the President. Jibrin had earlier described it as a “PDP executive session” prompting a reproach from the House. Former member, Sunday Karimi moved a motion calling for sanction against Jibrin who just returned from suspension.

Interestingly, the new group also had a subtle leadership tussle with Gbajabiamila who in his position as the Leader of the House, was automatically leader of the APC caucus. The PSG reportedly made attempts to undermine Gbajabiamila, even though jibrin, in a tweet attempted to diffuse the tension by saying: “Against the back drop of the media reports, I wish to state that there is no crack in the APC caucus. We have internal issues, and there is nothing unusual about it. However, the issues will be resolved internally. We have one caucus, and Femi is the leader.”

2019 election and Jibrin’s declaration not to re-contest

Jibrin won his re-election in a resounding fashion. He took to Twitter to declare that he will not be re-contesting the post of House of Representatives member again, saying “victory against all odds…the hardest in all elections I ran. Exhausted and utterly worn out! It’s additionally an emotional exit as this shall be my final contest for the House of Representatives.” For Jibrin, the 2019 election was not without some controversy as he was arrested in connection with an alleged attack on Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso’s convoy.

The 2019 speakership election

Jibrin supported the aspiration of the current Speaker and was promptly offered the position of the Director General of the Campaign, in recognition of his knack for political dexterity, hard work and antecedence of success. Off to work he went, canvassing, persuading, and deploying carefully crafted political strategies that eventually paid off on June 11, 2019.

Jibrin perhaps gave the longest nomination speech ever when nominating a Speaker, engaging in a charm offensive to woo members across party lines on the day of election. Although many pundits predicted the 2019 tussle for speaker would replicate the 2015 scenario, but it turned out the rebellion had lost a fighter in Jibrin.

The same manner he was at the forefront of the action in 2015, he was at the forefront of action in 2019. Bringing energy, doggedness and organization to the Campaign, something probably missing in 2019.

Maybe learning from the 2015 election of speaker, Jibrin in an interview with Channels Television, disclosed that he had no agreed compensation deal with Gbajabiamila. He even ruled himself out of the post of Leader of the House, the next most powerful position after Speaker and Deputy Speaker. In a further show of humility and modesty, he related his feeling in a tweet thus: “Twice lucky…it’s fair to say hard work, courage and commitment BUT honestly I have been so many times lucky…really nothing special about me. Just your regular guy! Best wishes to Yakubu Dogara and congrats to Femi Gbajabiamila. God has been so gracious…humbled!”

Political future…..

After the emergence of Gbajabiamila as Speaker, all eyes have been on Jibrin. What does he want? What will he be offered? Insiders in the Gbajabiamila camp revealed that everyone is confused about what to do with Jibrin. He has held the two most important committees of Finance and Appropriations consecutively with a wide scope of oversight covering almost every sector. The two committees are even referred to as the 11th and 12th Principal Officers in the House. There is also strong whispering within the House that the Kano Born politician may consider an immediate return to his private business or the university to pursue his professorial ambition. The next few days or weeks will tell.

In the long term however, there are other options for Jibrin: maybe he would seek to be governor of Kano or choose to go to the senate. Whatever choice or moves he makes, one thing is certain: opponents will only underestimate him at their own peril.

Omolabake, a public analyst, writes from Abuja

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

PDP Stalwart And INEC Accredited Observer Reveals His Party’s Secret Dealings With Electoral Officials Including Amina Zakari

A stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who also doubles as an accredited observer with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Amadi Chima has revealed some top secrets dealings of his party, the PDP with some officials of the electoral commission.

An obviously angry Amadi who couldn’t hide his disappointment with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took to his twitter account Tuesday to reveal what he described as party’s connivance with some officials of the electoral umpire with the intent of rigging the 2019 presidential election.

A knowledgeable source close to Amadi reveals that he had expected that the PDP will hire him as a consultant to do the dirty job of liasing with any willing INEC officials who will help the party to do the dirty job that would help the opposition party in her quest to wrestle power from the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Amadi’s confidence of securing the job was predicated on the strength of his observer status with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and his closeness with the commission’s boss, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu during his sojourn as the Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).

The PDP however disappointed Amadi by appointing a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Maurice Iwu as the consultant who will handle the party’s relationship with the electoral commission.

In a series of tweet on his twitter account, Amadi expressed disappointment with the action of his party by revealing the PDP systemic control of some officials of INEC which also includes the controversial Amina Zakari.

Amina Zakari, who was served as the acting chairman of the commission following the exit of the former chairman, Attahiru Jega has been in the news of late. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had alleged that she is a niece to President Muhammadu and her recent appointment as the chairman and oversee the management of the electoral centre for the 2019 elections were seen by the party as a ploy by the president to rig the election.

The presidency has roundly refuted this allegation saying that Mrs Zakari is a it a niece to President Buhari neither does the president plan to rig the election.

Amadi however seems to share a different view. Though he maintained that Mrs Zakari is an indirect niece to President Buhari, her position at the electoral commission has never been to the benefit of the president. Instead, she has played the script of the PDP since her appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, he said.

According to Amadi, who said he was speaking based on his membership of the PDP since 1998 and his over 25 years participation in elections as an observer and expert commentator on democracy, further said that “Amina’s action in the INEC has not served any purpose for the president but has benefited my party, the PDP, to the detriment of the integrity of the elections until the current helmsman in INEC came on board to restore sanity to the commission.

He cited several instances to buttress his point one of which includes the campaign against the use of PVC by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections.

“When in 2014 it became clear to the PDP that the technological innovations that Jega was introducing were going to be a bulwark against the tradition of votes allocation, a massive campaign was kickstarted to do away with the PVC and Smart Card Reader technology. This campaign played out in the media. Unbeknownst to many, the battle was not restricted to shaping opinions against the use of the PVC and SCR, it extended into the Commission. The arrowhead of those who called for the abandonment of the innovation was Amina Zakari.”

Continuing, he said, “Amina Zakari, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, and another National Commissioner, Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, a card-carrying member of the PDP, led the groundswell of opposition against the deployment of technology in the 2015 elections which created a sharp divide in the Commission.”

“In fact, Jega had to beat a retreat in implementing full use of technology in the transmission of results because of the opposition mounted by these Commissioners who were apparently carrying out the instructions of external forces.”

“I was therefore amused that the same party raised hell when PMB wrongly rejected the Electoral Act Amendment on account of the electronic transmission of results clauses in the Bill.”

“One of the issues the PDP raised against president Buhari’s ill-advised and very vexatious withholding of assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is related to the use of incident forms during elections.”

“However, not many Nigerians may know that these forms were first muted by Amina Zakari to the Commission under Jega as a way of cushioning the effect of the SCR. We now know that the PDP were the biggest beneficiaries of the extensive use of incident forms introduced by Zakari.”

To further buttress his claim that the PDP benefited more from the use of incidence form in the 2015 elections, Amadi brought in figures where he compared the percentage of use of incidence form in  areas where President Muhammadu scored more votes than his closest challenger, former President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice versa.

“In Kano and Katsina, out of the 3,943,080 that were accredited to vote in both States in 2015, 851,062 used incident forms, representing about 22% of the total votes cast. Comparatively, in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, out of the 2,717,479 persons that were accredited to vote, a whopping 2,525,460 used incident forms, representing an outrageous 93%. Amina’s ‘ingenious’ contribution to democracy in Nigeria came through for the PDP.”

Amadi also used the Bayelsa governorship election held in 2016 as another instance where Amina Zakari while serving as acting chairman of the commission played the script of the PDP by allowing over one hundred thousand ghost voters to vote in the election.

“As Acting Chairman of the INEC, following Jega’s departure, Amina almost bungled the Bayelsa elections. Under her watch, over one hundred thousand ghost voters, many with almanack pictures as identification were introduced into the Bayelsa Voters Register.”

“It was not until the appointment of Prof.Yakubu as the INEC chairman that this anomaly was corrected through the deployment of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System(AFIS).Many of these ghost registrants were in areas that were considered the PDP’s stronghold in Bayelsa.”

He also wrote on the role Amina Zakari played in the 2015 governorship election held in Kogi state where late Prince Abubakar AUDU was coasting home to victory until his death before the final declaration of the election results.

According to him, “while many were too eager to lampoon the INEC for the Kogi debacle in 2015, only a handful may be aware that the needless quagmire would have been avoided if Amina did not try to save the PDP from crushing defeat in the hands of the APC under late Abubakar Audu.”

“The Kogi election was to be won at first ballot when Amina surprisingly decided to proceed to Kogi rather than remain in the INEC Headquarters as Head of the Elections Operations Committee. Amina drafted to the field another PDP appointee and someone she relentlessly lobbied to continue as national commissioner, Prince Soyebi. Amina would move to Dekina local government area which is the home of the PDP candidate, Idris Wada. It was the crises in Dekina that led to the declaration of the election as inconclusive.”

After also revealing the role Amina Zakari played in the Osun election which brought in Alhaji Isiaka Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the new governor, having defeated his strongest challenger, Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in an election that went into supplementary polls, Amadi said “not too many followers of events at the INEC were surprised when the INEC chairman announced changes in the Headship of committees within the Commission, a move that effectively brought Amina’s reign and influence over elections to an abrupt end.”

He had earlier explained how the then INEC chairman, Jega, whom he said is very much aware of “Amina’s unwholesome affinity with politicians and waited” had waited patiently until the last minute where just a few days to the 2015 elections, was removed as the Head of the Elections and Party Monitoring Committee of the INEC and moved to the Planning Committee which had basically finished all its elections planning.

He said “Perhaps this deployment was instrumental to the success of the 2015 elections.

Amadi wondered why the PDP is now washing its hands off Amina since “she is their creation and has paid back adequately.”

He said, “Instructively, Amina Zakari was the Head of the Collation Centre sub-Committee in 2015, the same sub-Committee that the PDP is now rejecting, there is no record of the party objecting to that appointment since she was related to a man that would be on the ballot with the party’s candidate.”

Amadi describes the PDP’s Press Release on the announcement of Amina’s Headship of the Collation Centre sub-Committee citing conflict of interest as its reason for rejecting her appointment as hogwash.

He said “A party that had no qualms in nominating card-carry members of her party into the Commission cannot now lecture the nation on ethics and propriety. I was disgustingly amused when I sighted Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, a former INEC National Commissioner, and Mr Nasir Ayilara, former INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Kwara State, at the last PDP National Delegate Convention in Port Harcourt, proudly hanging their delegate cards on their necks.

“It is not also hidden that the former Governor of Abia State, Ochendo Theodore Orji was once an INEC Administrative Secretary. The current governor of Bauchi State was an INEC Commissioner appointed by the PDP. In all these, where was the party’s sense of propriety?”

“If the PDP takes a critical introspective look at its position on Amina, they would realise that they are inadvertently conceding that President Mohammadu Buhari and by extension the APC are better character judges than the PDP ever was.”

“Out of the 12 serving National Commissioners of INEC, only Amina and Prince Adedeji Soyebi were original appointees of the PDP. In castigating Amina, the PDP has tacitly admitted that the 10 National Commissioners appointed by Buhari have better character traits than appointees it sponsored initially to the Commission.”

“The PDP cannot distance itself from Amina, they created her and turned her into what she has become today. She is their baggage, and they must embrace her. Perhaps, the improvements in elections management have ensured that the Party is no longer getting value for money from Amina leading the bigwigs to conclude that she has become a rogue agent.  That the party would think that out of the 12 National Commissioners, 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners, 38 Returning Officers, and the hundreds of people that would be in the ICC, one woman has the powers to determine the outcome of elections tells Nigerians all they need to know about the quality of opposition in Nigeria.”

Amadi’s apparent anger for the selection of former INEC boss, Maurice Iwu against persons like him later came to bear on his tweet as he said the “PDP is still holed up in the past and is refusing to ask some of us within its fold that engage with the process to enlighten its apparatchiks on current trends in elections management. Why would they not have this medieval mentality when rumours have it that they have engaged the discredited Maurice Iwu as one of their elections consultants.”

He wondered why the PDP is chasing shadows and engaging in irrelevant distractions rather than run an aggressive issues-based campaign to present a credible alternatives to voters.

He said “the end game will perhaps be to have an excuse for a defeat if its lacklustre campaigns come back to haunt it.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

PDP Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar Engaged In Suspected Tax Underpayment, Evasion

Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, may be involved in tax fraud.

This is coming after he declared a questionable yearly income of N20 million in the credentials filed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Atiku had indicated in his tax returns attached to his presidential nomination form that he earned N60.2 million as income in three years, and paid N10.8 million tax between 2015 and 2017.

This is however coming as a surprise to many as available records online showed that Atiku’s wealth is estimated about $1.4 billion.

In 2014, Atiku was quoted to have said: “As an individual, I believe my record in employing young Nigerians is unrivalled by any single private investor in Nigeria.”

Atiku’s chains of business include ABTI Schools; a major part of this is the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, Adamawa State; Prodeco, a property development company and Prodeco International, operating in Oil and Gas Free Zones. The company engages in building, marine, and infrastructural construction in the oil and gas industry.

Atiku also has a farm operating on 2,500 hectares of land near Yola, in Adamawa State, and a humongous Share in Intels Nigeria Limited which provides integrated logistics services for the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Available checks revealed that jet owners spend about N30 billion on maintenance annually, and prominent Nigerians who are private jet owners include Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Recently, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), had accused Atiku’s Intel of not paying taxes. The Presidential candidate had in 2015 described Intel as his most successful business.

Similarly, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), suspended its pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement with Intel over failure to comply with the federal government’s directive on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), and unfair trade practices and high tariffs in charges which is far above what have been approved by the Transport Ministry for the NPA.

The suspension was however lifted after all recommendations had reportedly been met by both parties.

In 2015, Atiku Abubakar commissioned an expansion work at the multi-billion Adama Beverages in Yola, Adamawa State. The company produces all brands of bottle water and fruit juice of assorted brands.Chairman, Board of Director of the Company Akin Kekere-Ekun explained that the expansion work gulped N3billion, the machinery cost N1.9 billion while N750million was spent on civil works.

Available records showed that in the year 2016, Adama Beverages achieved a turnover of N4.5 billion against N3.8 billion recorded in the previous year 2015. This represents 16% growth in turnover.

In December 2017, Atiku commissioned Chicken Cottage Nigeria in Abuja, an outlet, owned by him.

He promised to open more of the outlets in strategically important locations in Nigeria.

“Our target is to have at least One Chicken Cottage Restaurant in every state in Nigeria.

His promise came to being in May 2018, when he commissioned another outlet in Yola, Adamawa State.

In June 2018, Atiku donated N10 million to victims of windstorm in Bauchi State. Also in October 2018, Atiku donated another N10 million to families of victims of Abia pipeline explosion.

On Thursday, Atiku donated another N10 million to Nigeria’s amputee team Special Eagles.

These commendable charitable efforts by Atiku are however in disagreement with his claims on earnings, experts say. His declared share of the profit can hardly make him afford the $1 million he paid as dowry to the family of Miss Whitney Woods, who got engaged to his step son, Mr. Anthony Douglas, during their wedding ceremony in Dubai.

A financial expert in Abuja, described Atiku’s latest tax returns as a systemic undervaluation of his chain of wealth.

According to him, while it was not immediately clear if Atiku’s income has exceeded N20 million for the year 2018, it is important the government investigate his earnings and watch keenly what would be declared as income in the following year.

Observers and civil society organizations (CSOs) have also raised their voice and urged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Adamawa State Inland Revenue Service, to invoke the Freedom of Information Act to unravel the true earnings of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

With this medium unable to unearth Atiku’s personal profit from his business, his seemingly clear tax underpayment puts to question his integrity test, especially as he is clamoring to be elected as the country’s President in the 2019 general elections.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Jonathan’s Former Minister, Chidoka Confirms PDP Did Not Complete Any Major Project In 16 Years

Former Minister of Aviation Osita Chidoka has confirmed that Nigeria’s main opposition party did not complete any major project in its 16 years in power.

Osita revealed the failings of the PDP when he tried to answer questions from Tolu Ogunlesi, head of digital communications for @NGRPresident and @asorock on Twitter.

In trying to exonerate the Goodluck Jonathan administration which he served first as Corp Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Commission and as Minister, Mr Chidoka ended up implicating the administration.

Mr Chidoka had asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Shehu Garba to “name any Rail, Roads, Airports, Hospital that this government initiated.”

But it was Ogunlesi who responded to his tweet. “I assumed we already dealt with this. Nigerians know that is not who starteth what that counteth, it is who finisheth. Anyone can start. Over the last few months I’ve tweeted about dozens of projects Buhari Admin has completed, that were started LONG before 2015. See next tweet.”

Mr Ogunlesi then posed a question of his own. ” I invite anyone who would like to support my big brother @osita_chidoka as he takes this very short and simple exam. It’s an open book exam so you are allowed to open textbooks and discuss. Your time starts now. $400bn, 16 years. Name just 5 COMPLETED projects in rail, power, roads”.

In a bid to answer his question, Mr Chidoka showed that most of the project initiated by the PDP administration were never completed and those by the Jonathan administration were no where near 30 per cent completion.

“This is the list of ROAD PROJECTS started by GEJ and their status at handover date. @toluogunlesi I hope this helps. Will update you across other sectors because I was involved. When you complete projects give credit to initiators as we will also give you credit for completion.”

After scrutinising the document, Mr Ogunlesi replied. ” I’m honestly puzzled that with the hundreds of 2%-completion 14%-completion projects left behind by PDP (and acknowledged by @osita_chidoka), anyone would have the guts to attack PMB on the basis of ‘what have you started?’ It’s hard to make sense of.”

He asked the former minister if he had seen a report of how over N700 billion was disbursed for projects in Niger Delta alone.

Mr Chidoka then tried to justify why the projects were never completed. “It takes about 1 to 2 years to bring an infrastructure project to FEC. Initial Project design 6-12 months Procurement of consultant 6 months Full design and costing 6-9 months Procurement of contractor 3-6 months Any awarded project is 30% done. 1st term is for project initiation.”

For this, Mr Ogunlesi replied, “1st Term is for Project Initiation.” But until I challenged you were harassing PMB that what has he started and completed. Buhari has decided that he will use his first term to complete projects instead of unnecessarily expanding the list of uncompleted stuff.

“I hope people extend these same yardsticks to PMB. Agreed, Infrastructure work in Nigeria can be a nightmare. Below doesn’t even include the scenario in which communities tell you the land for a road or power plant is ancestral land and they cannot move a shrine. It’s crazy.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Lagos Governorship: We’re Ready For Primaries – Sanwo-Olu.

The Director General, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), Mr. Tayo Ayinde, on Sunday restated readiness of the organisation for the direct primaries rescheduled for Monday, 1st of October, 2018 by the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos.

In a statement issued by Director Media, Mr. olusesan Diani, Ayinde said that the group’s governorship aspirant, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu, is set for the election, urging all card carrying members of the APC to file out on Monday to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner.

According to him, the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu Campaign Organisation notes with concerns of attempt by some unscrupulous elements to disrupt the election process.

“What we witnessed during the APC’s stakeholders meeting at the party’s secretariat, where hundred of thugs were hired to cause mayhem, is a pointer to sinister motives of some people to make it difficult for the election to hold”, he said.

The DG however, called on all security agents to be alive to their duties by providing adequate security to citizens who will be casting votes, just as he advised them to stay away from partisan.

Ayinde further stated that our aspirant, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has enjoyed tremendous support, goodwill and endorsements from various sections of the party, including from Governor Advisory Committee (GAC), 36 members of Lagos State House Assembly, senators from three senatorial districts of the state and members of House of Representatives as well as Market and religious leaders.

We believe that our aspirant must go to the primary to test his popularity before members of the party.

It should be recalled that one of the contenders in the governorship race, former commissioner of Works, Dr. Femi Hamzat, just boosted our chances of winning by stepping down for our aspirant in an unprecedented manner. We are democratic and we believe strongly in the tenets of democracy.

Without any doubt, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu, a thorough bred professional administrator and politician remains a candidate to beat in this coming election.

Olusesan Daini
Director, media and publicity, BOSCO.
30th September, 2018.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Full Text Of Kemi Adeosun’s Resignation Letter

Kemi Adeosun today resigned her appointment as the Minister of finance.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana accepted the resignation of the former minister which was hinged on the outcome of investigation into the NYSC certificate scandal traced to the minister.

The full text of the resignation letter she sent to the President reads:

His Excellency
Muhammadu Buhari
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
State House
Aso Villa
Abuja

Dear Excellency,

Let me commence by thanking you profusely for the honour and privilege of serving under your inspirational leadership. It has been a truly rewarding experience to learn from you and to observe at close quarters your integrity and sense of duty.

I have, today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) that I had presented was not genuine. This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign.

Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, indeed my parental family home remains in London. My visits to Nigeria up until the age of thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport. I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of thirty-four (34) and when I relocated there was debate as to whether NYSC Law applied to me. Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve. Until recent events, that remained my understanding.

On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status. I then received the certificate in question. Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine. Indeed, I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Directorate of State Services (DSS) Clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening. Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to a culture of probity and accountability I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14th September, 2018.

Your Excellency, It has been an exceptional privilege to have served our nation under your leadership and to have played a role in steering our economy at a very challenging time. I am proud that Nigeria has brought discipline into its finances, has identified and is pursuing a path to long term sustainable growth that will unlock the potential in this great economy. Under your leadership, Nigeria was able to exit recession and has now started to lay the foundations for lasting growth and wealth creation. Repositioning this huge economy is not a short term task and there are no short cuts, indeed there are tough decisions still to be made but I have no doubt that your focus on infrastructural investment, revenue mobilisation and value for money in public expenditure will deliver growth, wealth and opportunity for all Nigerians.

I thank His Excellency, the Vice President and my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council for the huge pleasure and honour of working with them. I also thank most specially, the team in the ‘Finance Family’ of advisers and heads of agencies under the Ministry of Finance. Your Excellency, this group of committed Nigerians represent a range of backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. They have worked well above and beyond the call of duty to support me in the tasks assigned. The diversity in my team and their ability to work cohesively to deliver reforms, convinces me that Nigeria has the human capital required to succeed.

Your Excellency, let me conclude by commending your patience and support, during the long search for the truth in this matter. I thank you again for giving me the honour of serving under your leadership, it is a rare privilege, which I do not take for granted. As a Nigerian and committed progressive, I appreciate you for your dogged commitment to improving this nation.

Please be assured, as always, of my highest regards and best wishes.

Kemi Adeosun (Mrs)

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

EFCC Quizzes Zenith Bank MD Over N117bn Suspicious Transaction In River State Govt Accounts

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has quizzed the managing director of Zenith Bank, Peter Olisamedua Amangbo, in connection with alleged N117b suspicious transactions by the Rivers State in the last three years.

Mr Amangbo has confessed that the bank raked in N5.2billion as charges on the transactions

The sums were cashed over the counter by state officials for “unknown purposes” suspected to be money laundering.

Peter Olisamedua Amangbo, Zenith Bank MD*Peter Olisamedua Amangbo, Zenith Bank MD
The anti-graft agency is hunting for four officials of the state who were central to the massive withdrawals.

Among the officials are the director of Finance and Accounts of the Government House in Port Harcourt, Fubara Similari and his cashier.

Sources in EFCC said the MD was quizzed on Thursday and granted bail at night before he was re-invited on Friday all through Sunday after being detained.

It could not be immediately ascertained if Amangbo has been released by the anti-corruption agency.

A top EFCC official said: “We have a case of unreported suspicious transactions which led to the invitation of the MD of Zenith Bank. We acted after receiving financial intelligence alert.

“About N117billion was withdrawn in cash in the past three years by the Rivers State Government in violation of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

“The MD cooperated with us confessed that the bank saw the transactions as purely business issue and it realized about N5.2billion as transaction charges.

“Definitely, the bank has a case to answer because of lack of Suspicious Transaction Report(STR) and violation of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.”

Concerning Rivers State Government, the EFCC detectives uncovered how the withdrawals were made.

“The bulk of the money was collected by one official over the counter with as many as 45 to 50 cheques issued in one day.

“The records retrieved showed that on June 8, 2015, about N450million was cashed over the counter through 45 cheques with each cheque worth N10million.

“The same thing was done on June 9, 2015 when N500million was cashed in bit of N10million. There is no record of what the cash was used for.

“There is a case of money laundering which we cannot gloss over. And it is good that the MD of Zenith Bank has admitted that the bank did not report the suspicion transactions.

“Our detectives are making progress and the nation will soon be briefed on the findings of the EFCC.”

Spokesman for Zenith Bank, Akin Olaniyan, could not be reached on his mobile line for comment as at the time of filing in this report.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Taraba: APC Senators Danladi, Joel, Others Set To Join PDP, Holds Secret Meeting With Governor Ishaku

There are strong indications that the PDP in Taraba state is set to make a major  harvest of decampees from the opposition APC in the state.
If what transpired in the Taraba state Governor’s lodge also called TY Danjuma house at night on Tuesday 7th August is anything to go by, then the APC in the state will witness the resignation of some of its members from the party very soon.
Reliable eye witnesses revealed that a meeting took place on Tuesday night at TY Danjuma house in Abuja between the Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku and former acting Governor Sani Abubakar Danladi with a view to wooing the latter back to his former party, the PDP. Our sources also confirmed that in addition to Sani Danladi, also in attendance at the meeting were Senator Joel Ikenya (a former PDP minister under President Jonathan), comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama the current President of the Trade Union Congress TUC and many others. On the side of the PDP, were serving PDP Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Hon Danji Ibbi Member Representing Ibi/Wukari Federal constituency and Hon Mark Hussaini former Speaker and serving Member in state house of Assembly.
Top on the agenda of the highly secretive meeting our sources say, was the possibility of either the APC stalwarts dumping their party and coming back to the PDP, their former party, or staying behind in the APC and act as “enemy within”. While Sani Danladi was said to be more inclined towards reverting back to his former party because of his current position as Special Assistant (Special Duties) to Senate President Bukola Saraki who recently decamped to the PDP, other APC members at the meeting believed destroying the  Taraba APC from within would be “more effective.”
The meeting, which lasted until the early hours of the morning, finally agreed that the APC “bigwigs” would in the interim and in order not to loose any favours from the APC led Federal Government, remain in the party but would help Mr Darius Ishaku to retain his seat as Governor in the 2019 general elections.
The Governor was equally assured that he should not rule out the possibility of ” openly dumping the APC if the National Political environment becomes conducive”.
The meeting which was convened by  Hon Mark Hussaini agreed that both parties should disreetly engage in extensive consultations before their next meeting.
Sources informed our reporters that the APC members at the meeting, who are also known as members of the “integrity or unity group”, have been linked to one crisis or the other in the state chapter of the party.
It is believed that Mr Darius Ishaku became governor due to the dogged efforts of both former acting Governor Sani Abubakar Danladi and Senator Joel Ikenya. The Governor therefore believed that it would amount to “political suicide” not to engage their services in 2019.
It is believed that although they are now members of the APC, virtually all of them were in the PDP and only joined the APC after the party formed government at the at the Federal level.  ” It will therefore be no surprise if they entered into any unholy alliances with the PDP in order to betray the APC.
[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Aviation Minister Responds To Criticisms Of Nigeria Air, Says Govt Not Spending $300m

The current campaign of falsehood, unfortunately reminds me of what happened when we decided for safety reasons to close Abuja Airport and make repairs that had been abandoned for years. The same group of Nigerians went to social media again spreading falsehood. We stayed on course and delivered the runway which has served now faultlessly. As we delivered on the Abuja Runway repairs so shall we on the national carrier and we will not bow to falsehood.

While we provide the clarifications below for record purposes, only delivering a world class national carrier is good enough for Nigerians, this will stop the export of jobs and exploitation of Nigerian air travelers. We are not deterred but we are focused on our target and mission.

Part of the falsehood being spread is the lack of a domain name, as part of the airline PPP project development phase – Nigeria Air Limited – has been incorporated with the corporate affairs commission for now as a wholly government owned company with the corporate affairs commission using nominal directors who are directors of the ministry of aviation. On conclusion of the PPP procurement process, when full equity structure pre financial close is finalized the incorporation will be updated and certificate of incorporation made public. The present certificate of incorporation is attached. Nigeria Air Limited is indeed a legal entity.

Further to the incorporation of the company with nominal directors the domain name www.flynigeriaair.ng has been reserved and will be made active very soon as part of the project evolution and marketing process. Some people whose only desire is to steal Nigeria’s common wealth by hawking domain names will not a get a kobo from the people of Nigeria. They can eat their domain names.

In terms of ownership Nigeria’s national carrier by international convention must be beneficially majority Nigerian owned to enjoy the benefits and privileges accruing to national carriers. So in all cases majority ownership in equity terms will be Nigerian, while management of the national carrier will be concessioned via a renewable long term operate and maintain concession agreement to the minority private sector strategic equity partner to be selected via an open competitive international two stage PPP procurement exercise.

For general information and awareness, the national carrier is being procured as a PPP. Nigeria’s PPP process has three phases – one is an internal government bankability process – the business case phase and the other two external. The PPP process cycle is:

PPP Development Phase – Outline Business Phase

PPP Procurement – Request for Qualification and Request for Proposal to pre qualify and select PPP partner

PPP Implementation

For the national carrier only the Development phase has been completed and all the information about this phase has been transparently disclosed on the PPP Disclosure Portal of the regulator the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (no private party has been selected, final financial requirement not completed only business case funding estimate is available, final equity structure not in place yet).

Other information in the social media claiming ownership or others post PPP procurement decisions are false and unfortunate. Once the Request for Qualification and Information Memorandum document is completed for the procurement phase, these documents will be released to the public for an open competitive international bidding process to select a minority strategic equity partner who will invest and operate the national carrier. The public will know more.

As part of efforts to make airlines viable in Nigeria, the ministry is making moves to have the National Assembly pass a fly Nigeria act. This act will require that anybody travelling on a ticket bought with public funds must travel on a Nigerian carrier unless the route is not served by a Nigerian carrier. However, with your private funds you can do as you like. Many countries including America has such as Act.

Answers to specific falsehood raised in the social media are provided below.

Who are the owners of the 95% equity?
***Ans*** At start up government will own majority equity in Nigeria Air Limited Joint Venture Company. A Joint Venture Company that would be very similar to Nigeria LNG Limited. Nigeria LNG Limited is a huge JV success that is private sector managed so will Nigeria Air Limited. After one year of operations, government will through an IPO divest her equity for purchase by Nigerians subject to approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Government will then retain only 5% equity. The rest of 95% equity of Nigeria Air Limited will then be owned by the strategic equity investor and the general public. Majority ownership must however remain with Nigerians so that the national carrier can benefit from BASA and other bilateral agreements which require local beneficial ownership as a condition precedent. Management of the national carrier will be concessioned to the strategic equity investor with no step in rights and management control by government. Signed up acceptance and approval of the management concession agreement will be a condition precedent for the IPO.

Why is the ownership shrouded in secrecy?
***Ans***: No secrecy. The entire process is guided by the infrastructure concession regulatory commission guidelines/regulations.
Because it’s a PPP, it has 3 stages – the project development stage, procurement stage and implementation stage. The project development stage was just concluded with the approval of the Outline Business Case, which the Infrastructure and Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) issued a certificate of compliance. Once the process gets to the PPP procurement stage, there will be an RFQ, Information Memorandum and RFP bidding process which will be made public, competitive and transparent. It is only after the PPP procurement process that the strategic equity investor will be known. At that stage the JV partners will be government and the strategic equity partner. Government’s equity share held in trust for Nigerians will be devolved to Nigerians via an IPO. The government will retain only 5% equity, the list of shareholders then will be available to SEC and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. At that point Nigeria Air Ltd becomes a public company subject to SEC, NSE and relevant CAMA rules for public companies. All PPP procurement and ownership moves will be made public. Signed up acceptance and approval of the management concession agreement will be a condition precedent for the IPO.

Why is 5% equity holder funding the business?
***Ans*** The Government is not funding the entire project. It’s just providing startup capital in the form of an Upfront Grant/Viability Gap Funding. Once the strategic equity investor is in place, they will be expected to build on the initial investment made.
The OBC made it clear that the strategic equity investors will not start the national carrier; government has to start it in order to attract credible investors.

Where are these fundings $8m, $300m coming from? Budget? Borrowing?
***Ans*** $8m represents startup capital for offices etc required for takeoff. But $300m is the entire airline cash flow funding requirements (aircrafts, operations and working capital) for three years (2018, 2019 and 2020). This funding can be in the form of equity or debt. The financial model estimates cash flow requirements as follows 2018 ($55m – $8 million is included here), 2019 ($100m) and 2020 ($145m). In order to ensure take-off of the airline in 2018, government will provide US $55 Million upfront grant/viability gap funding to finance startup capital and pay commitment fees for aircrafts to be leased for initial operations and deposit for new aircrafts whose delivery will begin in 2021.

The remaining financial injection by government will be determined by the quantum of equity that the strategic equity partner will bring as a result of the PPP competitive bidding process. This explanation clearly debunks the claim in the social media that government is paying $300 million for a 5% equity share.

Furthermore, with ongoing discussions the cash flow requirement may be lower than $300 million; furthermore, the cash flow estimates contains a 20% buffer that is put in on the assumption that the airline may suffer an operating loss in year One due to competition and need to build a brand. As mentioned earlier, government’s contribution to equity will be in the form of an upfront grant/VGF. Government’s upfront grant/VGF contribution to equity will be funded through either a supplementary budgetary allocation or development financial institutions like AFREXIM bank, AFBD, ISDB etc, who have indicated keen interest in funding the national carrier project because of its bankability and profitability profile.

Are the aircrafts under lease agreement? If yes, for how many years?
***Ans*** As you may be aware it’s almost impossible for you to pay for and get a new aircraft immediately because it is not an off the shelf item like indomie noodles.

However, as part of discussions with major Aircraft Manufacturers, the Government will pay deposits for brand new aircrafts and the manufacturers will support Nigeria Air in getting very good dry lease aircrafts coming directly from C checks and certified by the original manufacturers. These aircraft lease period will be for an initial period of 5 years with an early termination option after 4 years. By the time the new aircrafts are ready, they will be replacing the leased aircrafts. Till all the aircraft are owned by the airline. This is how Emirates Airlines started with two leased aircrafts from Pakistan Airlines until it was able to buy her own aircrafts. According to the manufacturers, the new aircrafts will start coming through from 2021.

If it’s private investment, why would a 5% equity holder determine the name, logo and other trademarks of the airline?***Ans***The logo etc are requirements for an ATL and AOC required for NCAA to license an airline. In any case the name and logo can be amended it the strategic equity partners feel it’s not right for the business. We must recall that the airline name and logo was the result of an open national competition. However, this airline is going to represent our Nation, the Name, logo and color should be in line with what was done with the public.

Is Air Nigeria same as Nigerian Airways? (Staff of the airline are waiting for their entitlements)

***Ans*** Well you can ask the owners of Air Nigeria, because what we have is Nigeria Air which is a totally different entity from Air Nigeria and Nigerian Airways.
You can seek further clarification and confirmation from the CAC.

Since it’s private sector driven, why not adopt any of the existing airlines in Nigeria as the National carrier?
***Ans***The existing airlines have their own business plan and liabilities which does not conform with the OBC developed by the TA. Furthermore, to attract a good strategic investor, it’s best to start on a clean slate. Adopting the existing airlines will immediately transfer their liabilities to Nigeria Air and it may never take off.

Are there sinister motives? (Sure! Time shall tell.)
***Ans*** You are absolutely right, time will tell!!

Facts that you may need to compare notes:
The facts below are duly noted. However, you may wish to note businesses are operated to suit a particular environment. Nigeria is completely different from all the countries mentioned below.
The airline business is not a one-size-fits-all business.

What we did was to identify our needs. Now we are trying to use our strength to get the opportunities that are out there in order to minimize our weaknesses and overcome our threats.

Some tweeted this which is very true “An age where people can hashtag, tag and tweet useful suggestions on improving aviation industry especially on the back of #NigeriaAir launch..they spend it being bitter and doomsday prophets @hadisirika and others am sure are receptive to positive ideas. @mustyjun2000”

The Honourable Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has mentioned time without number that he welcomes constructive criticism, it helps him in doing his job better.

This National carrier is for us as a nation, and it should be our pride and joy. Let’s try and contribute positively to the success of Nigeria Air.

(Compilations from a post by Minister Hadi Sirika on social media in response to criticisms).

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Presidency Mocks Fayose Over Fayemi’s Election, Calls Him “A High-Powered Nothing”

The people of the politically significant State of Ekiti have spoken against their Governor, outgoing governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who told them that the governorship election they just had was a referendum on President Muhammadu Buhari. He said candidates Kayode Fayemi and Olusola Eleka were pawns and that he and President Buhari were the actual contestants.

In what observers said was the most intense, and a most angry campaign, the people gave their verdict: Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the one-time governor, declared persona-non-grata is now persona-grata again. President Buhari has won this referendum. The people of the State have sent a clear message. The politics of brinksmanship, assaults, insults, abuses and Robin Hoodism disguised as stomach infrastructure has been rejected in favour of politics of inclusion, development, responsibility and good governance.

President Buhari’s war against corruption and insecurity; the message of agric revolution and infrastructure development and fidelity in resource allocation and management have struck a chord with Ekiti voters, who had been lied to and deceived by Governor Fayose. While the opposition continued to rant at him, President Buhari’s uprightness, coupled with incorruptibility and personal integrity, unmatched by any politician in the country has again stood the test of time.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) win in Ekiti means that the Party has control over 25 out of the 36 states of the Federation. The party thus becomes the only one in power in the six states of the South-West geopolitical zone.

Besides reinforcing the APC’s position as the only standing pole in the political landscape, it is a credit to the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, against whom all manner of ethnic and religious opposition is being mounted by former President Obasanjo and some of the Asiwaju’s sworn enemies in the sub-region.

With this, the political landscape of the South-West has been transformed. APC’s regional strength has been strengthened and the Asiwaju will be respected even better. Without losing patience and decorum, the Asiwaju has proved that rivals must reconcile and come to terms or lose everything.

This win is equally a huge boost to the APC and its new leadership under Chairman Adams Oshiomole, who got their first baptism of fire in Ekiti. It is, importantly, a big boost to the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari.

For the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which came second in the election in a state that they held sway, it is a loss politically and psychologically. The result of the election has proved that PDP is irreparably broken and dismantled. They have nothing to offer to the country and its people. The message from Ekiti is that no state in Nigeria will vote PDP. Never again.

As for Mr. Fayose and his morbid brand of politics, it is now his time to reconcile himself to the imminent political extinction he faces, his political career sealed for good. Newspapers have mistaken him for a gadfly who creates discomfort for the government at the centre to make it better, but Fayose is a street-type thug. He never fits the role of a gadfly because he thrives on bitter enmity. Opposition does not mean a negative view of everything. Neither does it translate into a licence to abuse your superiors.

The winner of the election, Governor Fayemi’s trajectory from a persona-non-grata to a persona-grata again has given a wave of cheer to APC members all over the country. It has given a fresh hope that fake news, lies and propaganda run only short distances, because they have short legs.

An old proverb says you can’t beat something with nothing. After all the noise, theatricals and drama, Fayose’s fall came with a thud, not a bang: a high-powered nothing.

GARBA SHEHU
SSAP
MEDIA AND PUBLICITY
JULY 15, 2018

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

22 Political Parties Disown Coalition With PDP, Forms Alliance To Back Buhari’s Re-election

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Nigerians Condemn Saraki’s Ally And Reps Member Razak Atunwa For Addressing President Buhari As ‘Tyrant’

A member of the House of Representatives representing Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency in Kwara State, Razak Atunwa, on Friday, received wide condemnation from Nigerians for addressing President Muhammadu Buhari a “tyrant.”

The former Kwara House of Assembly Speaker and loyalist to Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had while replying to a tweet argued that any Nigerian is entitled to become President.

His tweet further read: “And by the way, the Supreme Court just declared that the actions of your tyrant in harassing Saraki with CCT is unlawful!”

Meanwhile, the tweet generated negative reactions from many Nigerians who laid siege on Mr. Atunwa to express their anger for dishonorably using uncouth words on President Buhari.

Below are replies to his tweet:

Bashir Ahamad, Personal Assistant To President Buhari on New Media tweeted: “Wow. This is unacceptable Honorable, who did you just referred as tyrant? Hope not President Buhari. We have been unlooking such things for so long, we know everything and we can also attack but we prefer the peace, but you, calling Mr. President tyrant is totally UNACCEPTABLE.”

IsaOjibara tweeted: “Do you just refers to Mr President as tyrant? Wow. If he is, he would have lock your boss up even without trial. If you know you’re no longer comfortable in APC why not decamp to other party?”

Shittu10 tweeted: “How did we get to this point? A rep member? This man is still carrying APC in his name tag! When will you be man enough to get out of the party? Just include R-APC in your name then you are free to express yourself anyhow! Oshiomole has a lot of house cleaning to do for peace!”

Olatunji Lawal2 tweeted: “Honourable, so in your wildest imagination, giving your benefactor an opportunity to defend himself makes him a tyrant? It’s really sad what opportunitistic quest for worldly needs can turn some people into.”

DeeOneAyekooto tweeted: “FG took a matter to court and he called that tyrannical? Perhaps PMB should have killed him the way 33 people were killed in Offa.”

Shogsyboy tweeted: “The tout calls himself a lawyer. So unfortunate to have such in the house.”

@Drkool0707 tweeted: “This idiot can never win any election in South west. I wonder what kwarans did to God to bless them with these fools as leaders.”

MrDavidJoelAli tweeted: “To see that this kind of tweet is coming from a supposed honourable member of the house of assembly(APC) depicts Gross Insubordination and thus requires proper sanctioning.”

Recall that the Supreme Court, on Friday, cleared Mr. Saraki of false asset declaration charges.

The federal government had filed 18 counts of false and anticipatory asset declaration charges against Mr Saraki in 2015.

However, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision said the Court of Appeal panel engaged in “forensic somersault” when it held that Mr Saraki should answer three of the charges.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]