For Five Days, Jonathan Didn’t Know Morocco Has Withdrawn Its Ambassador from Nigeria – Soyinka

n an interview with the Uk Guardian, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka painted the sorry picture of a helpless President Jonathan who is ostensibly surrounded by aides holding him captive.

Soyinka said until he told Jonathan about what was turning out to be an embarrassing diplomatic spat between Morocco and Nigeria, the President didn’t know that the Moroccans had recalled their ambassador from Nigeria over a telephone conversation that never was. The Moroccan royal palace said the king had declined a request for a phone conversation, while Nigeria insisted that the two leaders had spoken at length. Nigeria later backed down and admitted the conversation did not happen, wrote the Guardian.

“Here is a situation where a president did not even know that a foreign country, a friendly country, had withdrawn its ambassador from Nigeria. I was the one who told him. He jumped up as if his seat was on fire. I couldn’t believe it … He was not aware that for about five days the media had been absolutely hysterical with this embarrassing situation between the two. It was that very night that he made a public statement about it for the first time”, Soyinka recalls.

“So when I say that there is a force around, I know what I’m talking about. There is a very sinister force in control and it is that sinister cabal which is responsible for caging him in and showing him what they think he should know about and keeping away from him things which are not in their interest, and this for me is the most dangerous situation that any nation can be in.”

The man of letters also said the ongoing general elections have become a shamble and the build up, an embarrassing spectacle.

“Most expensive, most prodigal, wasteful, senseless, I mean really insensitive in terms of what people live on in this country,” Soyinka continued. “This was the real naira-dollar extravaganza, spent on just subverting, shall we say, the natural choices of people. Just money instead of argument, instead of position statements.

“And of course the sponsoring of violence in various places, in addition to this festive atmosphere in which every corner, every pillar, every electric pole is adorned with one candidate or the other, many of them in poses which remind one of Nollywood.

“I get a feeling sometimes that some of these candidates were just locked in their wardrobes and they were told: ‘Just take selfies in there and don’t come out until you’ve finished the entire wardrobe.’ All kinds of postures. Just ridiculous. It has been an embarrassing exercise in terms of electioneering,” Soyinka said.

You can read the full interview here. 

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PDP Chairman Adamu Mu’azu Deletes Tweet Claiming That PDP Is Leading In 23 States

The chairman of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu deleted a tweet where he claimed that the party is leading the presidential election in 23 states.

Mu’azu in a number tweets via his twitter handle @Muazuaa, had two hours ago said “As we speak now, we are winning in 23 states and we have 64 percents while APC is winning in 14 states and has 36 percent- PDPPCO”. But soon after the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Attahiru Jega countered the claim by the Director of Publicity of the PDP campaign, Femi Fani-Kayode that no election result has been released, Mu’azu quickly deleted the tweet from his timeline.

Jega, while speaking at a press conference at the International Conference Centre in Abuja responded to the question by a journalist asking if it is true that the PDP is leading in 23 states as claimed by Fani-Kayode.

READ: Fani-Kayode Lied, PDP Not Leading In 23 States, Says Jega

Fortunately, we made a screen shot of the tweet before Mu’azu decided to deleted it from his twitter account.

See screen shot below:

xxx

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INEC Office Set Ablaze in Rivers

Report reaching us indicates that the office of the Independent National Electoral Commissions (INEC) in Emohua local government area has been set ablaze by unknown political thugs.

It was gathered that the building located at Emohua, the council headquaters which houses the electoral body was Sunday morning engulf in fire.

The development may not be unconnected with the alleged irregularities opined by the All Progressives Congress, APC during Saturday’s election in the state.

As at press time, none of the election results has been announced.

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NSA Dasuki Summons Head of Security Agencies Over Presidential Election

Report reaching us indicates that the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has summoned all head of security agencies to a crucial meeting.

The head of the security agencies summoned to the meeting includes that of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Prisons Service, Nigeria Customs service amongts others.

The meeting is a follow up to the earlier one held between President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, the NSA, Sambo Dasuki and the service chiefs.

Abusidiqu has reported that the earlier meeting was meant to review the results of the ongoing presidential and National Assembly election with a view to inflating the results of the president.

READ: Jonathan, Sambo, David Mark Meet With Service Chiefs and NSA, New Plans To Rig Exposed!

It is not immediately clear what the meeting between the NSA and the head of security agencies is meants to achieve.

Details later…

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Jonathan, Sambo, David Mark Meet With Service Chiefs and NSA, New Plans To Rig Exposed!

Reports reaching us indicate that President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo and Senate President David Mark met with the Service Chiefs and the National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki.

They reviewed the election and decided not to accept the results after reviewing same. They considered a first option of inflating President Jonathan’s scores in the South-South and South-East. They have ordered soldiers to seal off the International Conference Centre, Abuja which is the collation centre for the presidential elections.

Results from the South-South and the South-East remain unavailable as at press time while numbers have been pouring from other parts of the country.

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Why Card Readers Malfunctioned- INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Sunday said one of the reasons the card readers deployed for Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary elections failed was because its officials failed to remove the protective film on the lens of the equipment.

Some of the devices failed to read the biometric data of voters who turned up to perform their civic duties at various polling stations across the country.

President Goodluck Jonathan was one of those unable to get accreditation with the electronic device when he turned up at his Unit 13 polling station in his hometown in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, to vote. For more than half an hour the electoral officials at the unit battled unsuccessfully to get the president accredited.

Despite about four of the devices deployed to ensure that the president and his wife were accredited, he still ended up being accredited manually to vote during the exercise after being issued the INEC incidence form.

But, speaking on Sunday in Abuja in a television programme to review the conduct of the exercise, Kayode Idowu, the spokesperson to the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, admitted that reports that the devices may have failed to function as a result of the non-removal of the protective film on the face of the lens of the card reader may have been true.

“We (INEC) received reports that some of the card readers may have failed to function, because officials that handled the devices may have failed to remove the protective film covering on the face of lens,” he said.

He said the film may have blocked the lens of the card reader, making it difficult for it to read the biometric data in the permanent voters cards presented by voters for scanning”, Mr. Idowu added.

The spokesperson, who admitted this was not the only flaw identified in the new electoral process deployed during the election, said the Commission had taken note of the challenges and would effect corrections in subsequent elections to ensure that the exercise was more credible and acceptable.

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Bomb Scare in Daura, Buhari’s Home Town

There have been a bomb scare in Daura, hometown of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, report reaching Abusidiqu indicates.

Panic began when at about 11:30am on Sunday, a middle age woman wearing the Islamic hijab dropped a black polythene bag suspected of containing explosive devices around kofar Musa roundabout in Daura.

Her action sent passersby running into safety as soon as she was sighted, thereby causing serious panic amongst residents of the area.

It was however discovered that the polythene bag she dropped at the roundabout does not contain any bomb devices as suspected.

Soldiers where quickly drafted to the area who upon approaching the woman discovered she was suffering from a heart problem and then decided to rest at the roundabout.

What drew the suspicion of passerby was that the held the bag while seated, but left it at the roundabout after she decided to proceed on her walk.

A military source who spoke to Abusidiqu confirmed the development, but added that the situation has been brought under control and everyone going about their normal duties.

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I Warned Jonathan against Boko Haram Ceasefire, Chad’s President Opens Up

President Idris Deby of Chad has spoken publicly about the 2014 botched ceasefire between the Nigerian government and the jihadist group, Boko Haram, which he was said to have facilitated.

Mr. Deby said he warned President Goodluck Jonathan against holding talks with the militant group, saying the whole episode was orchestrated by Boko Haram to buy time and regroup.

He said President Jonathan dismissed the advice and held talks with the group, a decision Mr. Deby said was for political reasons. He accused Mr. Jonathan of downplaying the Boko Haram threat.

“I told President Goodluck not to open negotiations with terrorists … but it was a political choice,” Mr. Deby told French magazine, Le Point, in an interview republished by AFP news agency.

“It has become something too serious for Nigerians to ignore. The blood of the dead that we have been counting every day for the past few years demands attention.”

The October ceasefire humiliated the Nigerian government after it claimed to have reached a deal with the insurgents, who are responsible for more than 15,000 deaths.

At the time, the Nigerian military said the talks were credible and directed its field commanders to immediately suspend hostilities against Boko Haram.

The talks were reportedly facilitated by Mr. Deby, accused earlier of providing safe haven for Boko Haram militants.

Shortly after the announcement, Boko Haram continued its attacks, sacking villages and killing innocent people.

The Nigerian government initially claimed splinter groups of the sect were responsible for the continued fighting, but later blamed the failure on sabotage.

Mr. Deby said President Jonathan and his military had underestimated Boko Haram for too long.

“The whole world is asking why the Nigerian army, which is a big army… is not in a position to stand up to untrained kids armed with Kalashnikovs,” he said.

Speaking about the ongoing war that involves Chad, Niger and Cameroun, Mr. Deby said the Nigerian military has not cooperated with his country in fighting the jihadists.

He said the two sides have not had any direct contact since Chad became involved in the conflict.

“Two months after the start of this war, we have not had any direct contact with the Nigerian army units on the ground,” he said.

“We would have hoped to have at least one Nigerian unit with us. It was even a direct request to the Nigerian government, but for reasons that escape us, up to now we have been unable to work together.”

He said his country has had to capture territories twice in Nigeria, as the Nigerian military would not take over towns, allowing Boko Haram to return.

“The Chadian army is fighting alone in its part of the Nigerian interior and that is a problem. We have had to retake certain towns twice,” Mr. Deby said. “We are forced to abandon them and Boko Haram returns, and we have to go back. That has a human and material cost.”

Mr. Deby said Boko Haram has long been trained by ISIS in Libya, and that the group’s recent public declaration of allegiance was a mere formality that did not surprise him.

“(IS) has always trained young people from Boko Haram in the use of explosives, the use of heavy weapons and armoured vehicles. They are trained by (IS) in Libya… and are then sent to Nigeria,” he told Le Point.

“I’m not surprised that (Boko Haram leader) Abubakar Shekau, who has difficulties at the moment… is trying to make people believe that he only just made contact with them.”

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Goodbye to the longest six weeks – By @Obajeun

No man rules forever on the throne of time. We have come a long way through tumultuous routes of fears, suppression, anticipation and ad-hoc precipitation of disenchantment. We went through biting cold and stepped along red carpet of intimidation. We have finally arrived at the bulwark of decision, where history has once again, vested in us the power to enable Nigeria to navigate through the icebergs in the sea of our regression, towards sustainable advancement in all facets of our national pride.

In the past six weeks, which was the longest six weeks in the remaking of our national behavior, we have been placed on psychological arrest under the tight grip of abled and empowered militia groups across the country. We have been confronted with fears of court injunctions readily made available through judicial auctions. We have been shut out of reasons to believe that we still exist as a nation. We have been soaked with embarrassing naira rains and dollar erosions. We have been subjected to national disgrace over inter-governmental phone conversation and two weeks after, everyone has suddenly gone mute about it. We witnessed robust fight against the use of face-saving card readers by INEC. We saw how a directionless leader has gone from being clueless to become a smart man in desperate need of safety net. We saw how this same man told the families of people that have suffered hugely from insurgency that he never knew the militia groups were that sophisticated. These six weeks are over and here we are at the threshold of history.

It is a moral sin to keep the baton in the hands of this same team of hawks to steer the affairs of this troubled nation. It is an economic sin to donate a vote to this same man who has no idea of what leadership entails and often set the tone for corruption. It is a political sin to empower this same man who has no political will and understanding of trends. It is genocidal on Nigeria to accord this same man with a vote of honour. It is a criminal offence to vote Jonathan after being caught pant down with treasury depletion.

The statist, centralizing resolution of the current Nigerian crisis could have come about in only two forms; either through a world-historic coup which would completely eliminate the current ruling class, or through some epochal social and political upheaval with an avenging political saviour at the vanguard. The military option has been rendered historical passé by emerging local and global trends. The second option looks like what is possible based on the current configuration of the nation. With its contradictions, Buhari fits well in this class.

In place Jonathan, we have an option in the Daura General. Either we like it or not, APC, the feared amalgamation of political jobbers had thrown up a grandpa of necessity at the most virulent time, a grandpa who had craved to be born in 3 different eras but failed. This is the contradiction of philosophies that had stayed with us from time immemorial. Having worked barefooted with history, we have come to the juncture of decision where we have to make recourse to wisdom. At 72, wisdom now oozes out of Buhari, spreading like wild illumination to lighten up the dark mood of the country. We are in for a big deal.

The General this time is emboldened in wisdom. This is all we need to keep ourselves from crashing through the world like a falling stone. Wisdom is the vessel unto which he poured himself. It gave him shape, structure. It harnessed him. It contained him. His love. His madness. His hope. This is Buhari, whom the world has suddenly come to see as a grandpa of necessity.

In all, we say goodbye to the longest six weeks.

#VoteNotFight

Jonah Ayodele Obajeun blogs @Obajeun.com. Reach him on twitter via @Obajeun.

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Army Lied, Gwoza Has Not Been Liberated from Boko Haram

Contrary to the claims by the Defence HQ, that Gwoza, the headquarters of Boko Haram’s caliphate, is not yet under Nigerian Army control.

The Defence Headquarters had earlier tweeted that the town had been liberated this morning from the insurgents.

Speaking off the record, an officer said that indeed troops were on the ground in Gwoza, but that as of the time of this conversation, that fighting was still ongoing.

“The announcement was made because my bosses are trying to please Mr. President who announced that the town would be liberated by today,” said our source.

MOPOL headquarters, 11 kilometres from Gwoza town was retaken 3 days ago by the NA. Gwoza town is still being contested as we speak.

gwoza 2

gwoza 3

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80% Of My Advisers Are Useless – Jonathan Laments In Bayelsa

President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that more than 80 per cent of his advisers have nothing to say.

The president who spoke in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, at a special funeral service for eight female politicians and their driver who died in a road accident on February 14, said this has been happening to him since his days as deputy governor of the state.

He stated this in reaction to Governor Seriake Dickson’s disclosure that he was advised against organising a state burial for the deceased.

Jonathan said, “I was surprised when the governor (of Bayelsa) said some people asked why state burial. I told the governor that more than 80 per cent of people who come to advise you have nothing to say, but just listen to them.

“From my experience as a deputy governor till today, more than 80 per cent (of advisers) have nothing to say, but you listen to everybody and do what is right for our people”.

Describing the day of the accident as a black day which coloured the landscape of Bayelsa with the worst colour, the president said, “We are here today because of the sad event of February 14. Of course, we lost eight of our best.

“To me, it is not just that people have died, not just that Bayelsans have died. But these are people I know too well. These nine caskets contain the remains of people who were dear to me, people that touched me in one way or the other.

“Whenever I remember February 14, which was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day, but a black day that coloured the landscape of Bayelsa State with the worst colour we could ever imagine. My ADC gave me the information and my PA showed me the flaming bus on a handset. I asked myself ‘how could these people be in this flame?’ And I asked God why?”

Jonathan continued: “When I saw that flame and imagined that these women were being burnt and roasted, I just couldn’t imagine. Till today, it gives me migraine. I lack words to console the direct family members.

“The world is a stage where we have all come to play our part and go. I believe they have played their own part. I plead we reason they died in this circumstance probably so that we learn to be a little more careful”.

The president asked people to be conscious of what would be said about them when they die.

He said, “In every nation, when so many people die at a time, it is taken as a national calamity, not to talk about a state. Members of the bereaved families, let me express my condolences to you. Your daughters and brothers have though passed on, but we remember them.

“And the most important thing is that at the day of your death, people will say positive things about you. Not the office you occupy. There are people that have occupied almost the biggest offices in the land, but people dance when they hear that they are gone”.

In her tribute, First Lady, Patience Jonathan who described the late female politicians as her faithful followers, lamented that she had lost her strong pillars of support.

Calling for calm in the state, she said, “Bayelsa State is a small state. I want everybody to live in peace. We should love one another. Let us put politics aside and live in peace and unity”.

In his own tribute, Dickson said February 14, 2015 would for ever remain dark in the minds of the people of Bayelsa State.

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