Why Atiku Will Not Be President, By Umar Hassan

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is a founding father of the PDP, the ACN and the APC.The promiscuity is legendary.If he wasn’t rich enough to dole his way to the heart of things every time he has had to move in with one of his ‘off springs’,he would quite easily have been the most hated politician in Nigerian politics.
It was barely 72 hrs into his PDP return before word spread that he had taken over the campaign expenses of Prince Uche Secondus,a party chairmanship candidate and just over a week later,reports emerged that he had donated $10M to the coffers of the party.
But money has never gotten him anywhere.The only time he managed to cop himself a presidential race ticket was when he formed his own party and he was excluded by INEC from that race in 2007.That was the closest he has ever gotten to his dream and again,he will lick his wounds when all is said and done.These are the reasons why.
1.BUHARI’S SHORTCOMINGS DEFINE HIS VISION
Thanks to the social media,politicians no longer have to issue press releases or arrange interviews before they can get across to us.We are just a click of a button away.Atiku is one of the busiest politicians on twitter,airing his views on one thing or the other.What annoys however,is how he keys into Buhari’s misgivings to ‘sell his market’ rather than draw us clear road maps to economic sustainability,diversification or a vibrant health sector.The desperation is sickening.
If Buhari’s 97%-5% dividend-sharing proclamation is highlighted,Atiku will jump up to paint himself a man of all peoples.When what is popularly referred to as Buhari’s ‘northern agenda’ leads to calls for restructuring,Atiku will strongly align himself with those voices.If the aso rock rat invasion is raised again,i bet Atiku will tweet to let us know he and his family are clean people.
The thing is this man was once vice-president of Nigeria.If he spent half as much time enlightening us on his efforts at making Nigeria better instead of degrading a man he helped bring into power,maybe he would score real points and not ones that pass him off as an opportunist.
2.A MEMBER OF THE OLD ESTABLISHMENT
Like he rightly pointed out in his letter to comedian, i go dye, his generation of leaders have failed us.Atiku was there at the commencement of PDP’s 16 year impunity.Nobody remembers him for criticizing Obasanjo for the Odi and Zaki Biam massacres neither do we remember him for resigning over the trillions taken out of our coffers all in the name of improving power supply.
The only real reason some chill was placed on the ‘recycling same old leaders’ vibe is because most mindsets as regards 2019 tell an ‘anybody over Buhari’ story and Atiku is reaping off that like no man’s business.But wait till he gets some serious competition.
We’ll remember how PMB; the very best of the old school turned out the worst president we have ever had.
3.THE PDP RETURN FACTOR
Like a number of people have already pointed out,the APC was a haphazard arrangement set in place with the sole aim of kicking out the PDP and as soon as that goal was reached,that arrangement came back to hunt them.There were Saraki/Buhari and Atiku-Tinubu/Oyegun factions in just over a year as ruling party with no convention to fill up vacant positions in the party exco till date.
Atiku would have stood a much better chance if he was moving to the APC than the other way round.
The PDP has proved managing power and the different personalities whom it revolves round is not an easy task.Despite having its own fair share of problems,the PDP is more formidable an entity than the APC.
When the welcome parties end,Atiku will find it hard selling his candidature ahead of loyal members of his new family; the proud lot used to handing over their chaff to the APC.
Mark these words: Atiku’s return will prompt a lot of PDP members in due time, to wax righteous about party loyalty and having more pride than the APC.Even those eating everything he offers now.I don’t think dishonour in the PDP would take anyone by suprise.
4.LOSING THE NORTH
This is probably the main reason why Atiku will not be president in 2019.Buhari may have drawn bad blood from other regions for unduly favouring the north but capitalizing on that to curry their support only leaves him exposed where it matters most; the north.The one region whose voting power gurgles up that of other regions combined.
The northern electorate are a very sentimental bunch.Despite performing dismally, PMB still enjoys a lot of love there because the average man on the street has been programmed to see him as not only pro-masses but one with his best interests at heart.
It would have been okay if Atiku had vouched for reconstruction and gone ahead to sell it peacefully but tweets about how dilapidated houses in the north were compared to the east that had survived a civil war doesn’t suggest he fully understands the long run consequences of appearing an enemy.
The entire Atiku machinery at the moment seems geared towards other regions; the very enlightened ones who already understand the need to change the present status quo.The real task lies in selling his candidature to his people and that i doubt he can do.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.

PDP National Convention: A Charge For The Second Horse, By Mikhail Adeniran

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment” -Robert Hutchins.

Over two years into the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the ruling party has enjoyed unfettered display of opposition by the PDP which went on a trance after their loss in the 2015 general elections. With many loopholes that has marred the present administration directionless fight against corruption, the PDP should have scored lot of political point that the 2019 election should be a home run by now.

The failure of the PDP to play the necessary evil in opposition is very dangerous to the democracy of Nigeria. The manner at which the APC has handled many grievous issues with neglect gives various concern on whether we have not been shortchanged. They have been acting like they don’t owe us anything. The PDP ruled this country with impunity and corruption for 16 years, and yet, they don’t feel they owe us at least a good opposition, in as much as the quality of that engagement is most time lacking in intellectual depth and is more propaganda than fact based.

When the APC was campaigning for votes towards the 2015 general elections, they promised jobs, security, electricity, transparency and so on. In as much as there have been challenges in delivering most of the promises, we the people need to know that the government is doing all in her power to fulfilling its obligation.

From FIRS and CBN back channel jobs, to the president’s health, to mishandling of corruption cases by the EFCC, to the former SGF, to Mainagate, one can ask where is the promised CHANGE? But when you point these questions to them, they are quick to label you a “wailer”.

The PDP National convention which held in Abuja last weekend (9th and 10th of December) saw the emergence of Dr. Uche Secondus as the new National Chairman of the party. I must congratulate the PDP for organizing a peaceful convention, that is prove that it is capable of organizing and reviving itself back from the sojourn of oblivion.

The first major task for Dr. Uche Secondus led team is to reach out to aggrieved members and pacify them to work with the leadership to achieve its aim. There is no way there won’t be scuffles during the build up to the national convention, the new chairman must quickly reach out to the south west member of the party and ensure peace with them, they must understand that they have to be united going forward.

They should realize that the last thing they need right now is the emergence of factions within the party as this will lead to their journey to permanent oblivion.

Dr. Uche Secondus should also turn on the heat on the APC, I remember how Lai Muhammed, now minister of culture and tourism used to “fire” the then PDP, even on the day of his ministerial screening in the senate, he was still throwing shots at the PDP, he wasn’t asked any question, he just bowed and left.

The PDP need to know they did damage to Nigeria for more than 16 years, and in fact, they have made the country a mess for anybody to manage, we haven’t recovered from the damage and we probably won’t, but the path to recovery includes helping us put the government on its toes, by playing good opposition. They have only been on the bench for four years, they should know that if a player wants to get back to the field, he would have to prove to the coach that he deserves a spot in the team or perhaps he is better than a player in that position.

Nigerians are the coach and we don’t like the way APC is playing, but when we look at the bench and see someone like Atiku, we know we don’t have a choice but rather keep APC on the field.

Same people that are in APC today were in the PDP before and we know they are bunch of corrupt individuals hiding in APC to prevent them from being investigated by the EFCC. A call for fresh breath is summoned by Nigerians, we can’t have the same set of people recycled over again to rule over us.

Mr. Uche Secondus should know he is being charged to be the second horse to save the democracy of Nigeria. Who could have thought or believed that PDP could be the savior by being the necessary evil Nigeria democracy desperately needs?

 

Mikhail Adeniran is a researcher and an Engineer, he writes via adeniranmikhail@yahoo.com
twitter, @MikhailAdeniran

Brutality Caused And Fought By People, By Tijani Sheriffdeen

Not until when we treat the root cause of issues and not alluring and attractive petals of problems, we might likely not feel relief from the many problems that pose threats to our nation. One thing I’ve come to understand about Nigerians is that they know what is right, but they always find the right things too hard to bear or to tedious to achieve; the story of a developing nation.

There has been a good number of comments flying in from everywhere on the issue of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Brutality, I suppose it’s still finding air to breathe because another issue isn’t up yet. The picture of Mr. President wearing a sneaker different from the one some concerned Nigerians know him with, isn’t heavy enough to shift the attention of Nigerians away from the ongoing movement against SARS Brutality. It’s just like that for us, we want to get everything all done at once, the reason we are today competing with the world’s most developed nations.

Ask me what works in Nigeria, and see me think so deep, until I can confidently tell you nothing exactly works in this nation. Once, I was at magazine launch in the prestigious University of Ilorin, and the speaker at the programme, who happens to be the ambassador of Australia to Nigeria, asserted that Nigerians are very hard-working. No doubt, you either take it or leave it, Nigerians are industrious.

In a country where practically nothing works, you still find people grinding hard, trying hard to put something on their table, yeah, something, if not just anything, you still now have a division that is setup to protect the interest of the citizenry, now making the already hard life for Nigerians more difficult. Even a merciless person who say why!

It was quite surprising seeing celebrities join the hash tag EndSarsBrutality on twitter, it made me ask myself if they had also experienced the harassment average Nigerians enjoy from time to time, or maybe they are just trying to give the move a popular voice, whatever this case is or looks like, they are also saying no to disrespect of human rights, ugly exploitations and inhumane attitudes.

Why should a body setup to protect the interest of people now make life unbearable for them? As incidents with a number of people suggests! However, have we sat down to ask ourselves this question, is it actually about SARS as a division of Nigerian Police Force? Or should we just throw all the blames on Nigerian Police Force itself? Even when we are sure it would never take the blames like Akon did tell us in one of his sold out songs.

If I may ask, what forms SARS? Not to go on with more questions, SARS and Nigerian Police Force is formed by people, looks like something we all know, but haven’t critically considered. How about the division gets reshuffled or restructured, and the brutality we all have been complaining about doesn’t change, what do we do?  If there would probably be a reshuffle, isn’t it within the force in question that the new hands would be selected? Invariably, the force and its divisions aren’t the problem, but those who form the force, the people!

We were in class some weeks back, and one of our lectures was of the stance that this nation would get it right when her people are ready to change. The people have constantly being the ones resisting change, were we to have Buharis leading all sectors in Nigeria, it’s quite possible noting changes, because the development, growth, progress and advancement of this nation solely lies in the hands of the people, we know this has Nigerians, but it’s always too real to be true.

It’s quite true that there has been a number of brutality cases connected to SARS, but would this proven assertion help us shy away from the fact that this same division has once been fairly upright, discharging its responsibilities to the fullest, and standing gallantly to ensure the aims and objectives of setting it up are achieved.

Even at a time like this, don’t we still have members of this division who are guided by the ethics of their profession? If things would work out in this nation, it’s left to the people to decide. The people and people alone are the forces of progress against brutality of all sorts.

Tijani Sheriffdeen is an undergraduate student. Tweets at docshe_42.

 

Periscoping President Buhari’s Electoral Triumph In Bauchi State; The Man Behind The Victory, By Abdulkadir Abdulkadir

One of the powerful Change Agents in Nigeria you might never have heard of, he is someone who prefers working behind the curtains whilst his impact travel miles, Bauchi was a strategic bloc for All Progressive Congress’ (APC) Buhari and Dr. Danjuma Adamu Dabo, State Coordinator of the Buhari Campaign Organization has done the task for his party and principal meritoriously.

So who is Dr. Dabo? and how was he able to swim through the murky waters to deny a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) state that home a powerful FCT Minister, PDP National Chairman and as we the State Governor who double as Zonal Head of PDP even 10% votes during the presidential polls?

Born to a noble Fulani family, his humble upbringing prepared him for the challenges of life and flared-up his interest in philanthropy with high interest in education and health care. In his words “ambition is only a inherent habit of human beings but what makes us superior humans is our ability to put down personal ambition for the good of others” thus his choice not to contest during the 2015 election.

A suave politician and seasoned financial yet maritime technocrat who has carved a niche for himself to be known for excellent organisational skills.

With a voracious thirst for knowledge, as attested by his bunch of professional certifications in human resources management and financial field. He holds a Higher National Diploma in accounting from the famous Kaduna Polytechnic, a Master in Business Administration from the premier university in Northern Nigeria plus additional Master of Sciences in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from University of Abuja before he pocket a PhD in Economics from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Dabo led a successful career in the corporate world, by holding key position in the banking industry and other reputable financial organisations. He also established a smooth and credible career in the Nigerian Maritime Industry, occupying the Executive Director, Administration and Finance (ED A&F) seat at Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

While at NIMASA he was credited for institutionalising staff professionalism, discipline and welfare. His celebrated legacies in NIMASA include among others regularisation of staff promotion, (it is on record, when he took over as ED A&F, some staff were stagnated for over 8 years he ensured their due promotion in accordance with public service statutes) and ensuring prompt payment of salaries and entitlements while he lead the administration and finance unit.

Dr. Dabo was also instrumental to ensuring the collection of presumed ‘bad’ debts owed NIMASA long before they came into office that runs into millions of dollars. His desire was for NIMASA to take its rightful place as a giant revenue generator for the nation.

The Buhari Campaign strategist who generally prefers working in the background used his political strategies and resourcefulness in giving Buhari a legitimate and generous people’s mandate in Bauchi state with over 90% of the total vote cast to his favour despite the presence of the three PDP Musketeers in the state.

In the wake of the electioneering campaigns, Dr. Dabo turned to the youths and technology, he believes that to keep head up the waters in a presidential race from the opposition depth, the campaign had to be run like a multi-lateral consortium, where youthful energies, brains and technology are highly utilised.

Dr. Dabo also considered several other favourable political permutations to lead Buhari to victory among which was developing a Situation Room to monitor the elections even before the National APC Presidential Campaign Council come up with official plan.

He led a One Million Man Walk For CHANGE in the metropolis which was widely reported in social media, online media and other national dailies. As a man that master the art of synergy, he was able to bring all youth organizations supporting General Buhari, the APC and/or the CHANGE Movement under one strong broom ready to sweep for victory.

Another strategic youth engagement was the streets and market stall to stall youth visit, where voters were sensitized and the gospel of change was sold to prospective voters. That mark the beginning of the end of the state ruling party’s sound sleep while reminding APC supporters that change was within reach and attainable.

For us that worked closely with him during the electioneering campaign, our take home experience was enormous in leadership, running a system that works, keeping to time (not consistent with the youth) and never to compromise quality while always reminding us that merit and hard work has their price.

Dr. Dabo has earned himself high praises for Buhari’s emphatic victory in Bauchi State which together with other states ended the 16year old dry-spell of the opposition at the central government.

Dr. Dabo will continue to enjoy praises not only for his political strategies in pegging Buhari’s victory but also for his integrity. During his days at NIMASA there were several Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) X-rays and ‘torch-lighting’ on the top management but Dr. Dabo was never found to have fed any goat an ill-gotten yam.

For someone who cleared one of the biggest litmus test of his political might, a praise is but appropriate and one may not rule out a challenging national assignment by the present administration.

Abdulkadir S. Abdulkadir is on twitter @abdul003

Aisha Yesufu At 44: Gbosas For An Amazon, By Morocco Ibrahim

There are some people you meet, or you have dealings with and your life is never the same again. Such people affect you in deeper ways that you know and understand, and can describe.

Aisha Yesufu is someone I cherish so much, I can’t find the right words to describe her. Aisha is bold and courageous, she has the heart of a lion, she’s completely fearless, and holds extremely strong convictions, such that she is willing to stand alone on anything she believes in. On the other hand she’s abnormally kindhearted, hates injustice, and is a fiercely loyal and dependable person. This is someone you can leave your life in her hands and go to sleep or travel, and not have to think about it. Aisha Yesufu is reliable! Whenever there’s something of urgency Aisha is already at the door waiting.

I believe I’m one of those privileged to have direct access to Aisha any time, any day, and trust me, any time I bring a topic about someone who needs help, or something, sometimes people are in trouble and have no one to speak up for them or help them out, sometimes people need a little support here and there, all she does is to ask, ‘Morocco what is the way out, what do we do?’ without even investigating or making further findings. She’s never interested in the details what she wants is solutions. She’s not interested in long grammar, once I say something she’s fine with it. I can’t count how many people this amazing woman has helped directly through my interventions, and a lot are still appreciating till today. None of these people she knew before they encountered her. Some she helps without even meeting.

Aisha is a woman of her words. If she says something, take it as it is and go to sleep. You will never hear stories or explanations later. Whatever it takes to fulfil her word to you, she will pay the price, no matter what it will cost her just in order not to fail one.

She doesn’t say one thing and mean another. She doesn’t get involved in something and wait for others to make it work. Everybody knows of her involvement in #BringBackOurGirls and her passion for the Chibok girls, but only few know that for one particular Chibok girl who escaped in the early days whom the Borno State Government refused to take care of, Aisha took her up as her own daughter. She lived with Aisha, Aisha put her in a decent school, supervised her school work, and did everything she did for her biological children, plus more because that Chibok girl needed special attention, she facilitated her foreign travel and so on. Everybody who knew her saw the transformation within a short period of time.

Many of the things I’m saying here are personal, and being a private person she wouldn’t like what I’m making public here. I’m sorry, I just have to do this because Aisha means a lot to me. These are things we say of people after they die. My conscience will not allow me if I wait another day.

Aisha hates injustice. She detests cheating. She is against every form of oppression. She is against the bad governance and bad leaders who give way to all of this and isn’t afraid of taking on any one she sees as the offender, be you who ever you are, or think you are. Incidentally however, for someone like me you will never ever see Aisha Yesufu criticising me no matter what I do. The worst she will do is call me aside and discuss the matter in a joking way, because she already knows that I know what I did was wrong so she wouldn’t want me to feel bad.

Aside from her open display of passion and fierceness, she is very tender, soft and compassionate. After tearing down Twitter or after a bursting all the veins on her face expressing her strong feelings, you won’t believe that she’ll be the same person you’d see laughing, joking and playing. And that’s one other thing, she never holds grudges with anyone. Fight now, the next minute you’re friends again, and she honestly wouldn’t recall that she just fought or what the fight was all about.

If you don’t know her,you will always misjudge her. From her appearance always in her strict Sharia-compliant hijab you may think her to be a religious fanatic. Very far from it. Her religious belief isn’t in form and appearance, it’s from the heart that translates into kind actions.

She has raised her children to feel free to not only discuss anything with her, but to disagree with her if they want. They are free to argue their points, in depends on whose points are superior. Sometimes she lets them win an argument and have their way. When things go the way she foresaw she smilingly points them to what she was saying that they didn’t understand. She believes children should be raised to be independent minded, to be rational and able to ask questions. She believes this is the way to have a society of active citizens who are critical thinkers, and who are able to hold government accountable.

Aisha Yesufu is a super woman. I will forever cherish and stand by her.

Today, is her birthday, join me in giving this phenomenal women 44 cheerful Gbosas!

#NotTooYoungToRun: Surviving The Final Lap, By Hamzat Lawal

Now that the Not Too Young to Run Bill has been passed by the National Assembly, and is now awaiting approval of two-thirds majority of the 36 Houses of Assembly of the Federation for inclusion in the Nigerian constitution, we the youth are hopeful that a new dawn is about to break over our country’s political horizon. However, in as much as our hopes have been raised to the pitch of expectant enthusiasm, we cannot afford to rest on our oars. We are in for the long haul!

Considering that the bill is in the chambers of the State Assemblies, one could assume that it has found a place among its own: The grassroots. The truth is that the essence of the Not Too Young to Run is to mainstream the youth in governance, and there is no better background for situating the gauge for effective democratic governance but in the wards and local governments, the actual constituencies of the Houses of Assemblies.

Therefore, we must let every Nigerian, young and old, to know that the victory of the Bill is a victory for democracy, because the best dividends thereof are the ones that touch the people at the bottom of the pyramid. As the bill faces the final hurdle, there are relevant issues that need to be brought to light.

The first is the present challenge of rural to urban migration. It is young people that are more affected because they are perennially in need of better comfort, prospects and opportunities. Their fresh energy and exuberant drive push them to the cities in their millions, and when in the cities, they are further pushed to try their luck outside the country. But the sad reality is that at the end of the day, the frustration they encounter both in the cities and in foreign lands make them get even angrier at the government.

Nigeria is at a crossroads. These young people are sent back to Nigeria from countries that can barely afford to feed its own teeming youth population. Presently, we are feeling a national outrage at the inhuman experience of many Nigerians in Libya.

They suffer slavery, prostitution and forced labor in foreign land. But most remarkably, the pain they feel is in the fact that they have finally become disappointed when they discovered that the reality is that even Nigeria could be better than the country they had ran to for greener pasture. They realize that their own country has potentials for greatness. Ironically, these Nigerians believe, but do not trust. Why? Because our political class is not made up of young faces like theirs.

All over the world, young people want to see leaders with kindred spirits, with whom they could dream and build. They want to be part of a new system where people like themselves are given opportunities to impact the lives of fellow young people. They are tired of promises of a better tomorrow that never gets better. They are tired of begging. They are tired of handouts.

The second reality is that Nigeria is a regional giant, and therefore the #NotTooYoungToRun could easily catalyze a new African political paradigm. A peaceful one at that, without the violence that usually accompanies youthful movements like the Arab Spring.

For instance, the United Nations had taken clue from this action and set up agencies to pioneer the campaign to make it a global goal. The Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth initiated the Not Too Young To Run global campaign in partnership with UNDP, OHCHR, the IPU,?Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement?(YIAGA) and the European Youth Forum in order to convene existing efforts into a global movement and provide young people with a central platform through which to advocate.??The global campaign was launched at the first United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law at United Nations Geneva, November, 22, 2016.

According to the UN, there are more young people in the world now, than ever before, and approximately 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24. In Nigeria, over 60% of the population is under the age of 25. The median age of the country is 18, placing it in the top 20 youngest countries in the world. This is why Nigeria’s leadership must reflect its populace.

The third issue is the psychological impact the Bill will have. At the onset of the #NotTooYoungToRun movement, there were some groups that insisted that age limit should be totally removed, so that even young Nigerians who are 18 years of age should be eligible to run for political offices. To this school of thought, the victory recorded so far in the removal of five years from age limit of President, Member House of Representatives, and Governor, is nothing to celebrate. However, I am of the view that we cannot afford to miss the psychological triumph gained by the assent of the National Assembly to our demands.

For sure, it opens up a whole new vista in the political affairs of our country. It is a way of telling every young Nigerian to maximize his energy for the good of all. Five years is time enough to rev up one’s youthful potentials and make resounding impact.

For the avoidance of doubt, the bill sought to alter the section, 65, 106, 131, and 177 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to reduce the age qualification for the office of the President, Governor, Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly. The Bill also advocated for an independent candidate in our electoral system.

Finally, with the successful passage of the Bill at the National Assembly there is a convergence of powers. It will be recalled that while the Bill was still at the National Assembly undergoing deliberations, more than 25 State Houses of Assembly had publicly declared support for and endorsed the Bill, following a series of fruitful engagements with young people at the state level. This is why I expect that we shall surpass the required two thirds (24 Houses of Assembly) approval. We look forward to up to 30 approvals.

One can safely conclude then that the Legislature has taken up the gauntlet, and is poised to guard our democratic heritage by engendering equal representation and true patriotism. Having recognized a future of demographic threat of a rising youth population without commensurate channels of positive engagement, our lawmakers are investing wisely. As can be easily understood, the greatest investment in youth is political investment, because it holds the key to opening the doors to other developmental concerns like infrastructure, equality, education, health and environment, and general self-advancement.

It is now left to us as youth to prepare to play our own part with requisite wisdom, tact and patriotism. We must muster a new intellectual energy with which to positively engage the democratic arena in future elections after the Bill must have become law. We must equip ourselves with the right tools for sustainable democratic process. We must increase our capacity. We must learn new things, from our elders and from history.

It is my hope that come 2019, we would see young people in power, helping to chart the course of governance to an all-inclusive future. By then we must have found the “cohesion-incentive” to make us continue believing in our young democracy where we shall see eye-to-eye with our leaders, and hold hands with our fathers, mothers and mentors in a journey to birth a people-oriented new Nigeria.

Hamzat Lawal is an activist and currently the Co-Founder/Chief Executive of Connected Development [CODE]. He is working to build a grassroots movement of citizen-led actions through Follow The Money for better service delivery in rural communities while holding government representatives accountable. He tweets via @HamzyCODE

 

 

 

 

The “Unity List” Versus The Question Of A ‘New’ PDP, By Aliyu Abdullahi

Today, Nigerians including myself witnessed first hand a different kind of democracy which pitched its tent or in this case its umbrella outside the global known democracy at the 2017 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention, earlier in the day, I received a list called the “Unity List”, this is like the morning of the Saturday Election (the D-day of the PDP National Convention) when the voting was just commencing, although by 6 pm, the list has been on the social media everywhere, even Seun Okinbaloye that was covering the elections as Channels TV Political Correspondent took on the issue with the Convention Chairman, Governor Okowa of Delta State during the Channel’s News at 10 PM on the authenticity of the list, as usual of the PDP Leadership to lie its way out, the Governor said the list is not real, he said they (PDP) saw the list in the hands of Kano delegates who couldn’t read or write but they had since tore them, and told those Kano illiterate delegates to get an agent to help them vote, what a noble gesture, in addition to that, the convention chairman reiterated that the incident was rather an insignificant one and perhaps the handwork of the Ruling Party (APC) , I will come back to this shortly …

The convention has all the appearance of a democratic settings, albeit a few hiccups here and there at least to observers and outsiders, I was almost confident that I will loose a bet with a friend, that perhaps PDP will prove me wrong and conduct a free and fair election against their normal modus operandi of selection and imposition of candidates or money for votes. I kept observing the process until nature came calling, and I had to stepped out to get something to eat, I went straight to a popular bukka in Wuye District of the FCT called “Iya Oyo” to get a ‘to go pack of Amala with Abula and some orisirisi’. While there, i noticed an unusual long que of People all adorned with the PDP attire, I wanted to keep at my own but the journalist in me could not, so I stepped further to engage the obvious delegates from the South West, I wanted to know who will win the Chairman of the Party, majority of them said they don’t know but a bold one amongst them came forward and said to me, “my guy, this election was already done, the Chairman was going to be Prince Uche Secondus, I retorted that, but as Yoruba delegates, you must have voted for a South westerner, he said no, their instructions was to vote for Mr. Secondus and they just did that, I expressed my disappointment at them for not voting their choice if they had to listen to an instruction from someone, he responded that this is a delegate elections and it is all about who paid the highest, I responded back with, you could also do what the majority of APC delegates did in December 2014, collect the money and still vote your choice, he said no, they just had to vote for the agreed candidate, and I asked what about the Yoruba honor which the sole backer of Mr. Secondus seemed to have rubbished some days back, the delegate said forget that my friend, this is politics and there is no honor in it. I left them disagreeing that even in PDP, I was sure there were a few good Men. I came back home and continued monitoring the election process.

All throughout, I kept thinking that PDP may likely sway a lot of people (potential voters in 2019) if they conducted a transparent, free and fair election and what that portents to the ruling party who arguably conducted the most free and fair election in the history of Party Elections in December 2014, and the opportunity to connect with Nigerians on a whole new level, an honest way to make a statement of change from their old ways, manipulations and corruption. Well as these thoughts were going on in my mind, one of the candidates for the office of the National Chairman, Professor Tunde Adeniran pulled out of the elections and issued out press statement that he is pulling out due to the leaked “Unity List” that was been in circulation and as the newest form of election rigging, the professor did not hide his disappointment with the entire process

By 03.34 AM of Sunday the 10th of December, 2017, the Chairman Electoral Committee, Former Governor Gabriel Suswami marched to the podium to read out the results of the election, this was after counting and sorting out of all votes has been concluded. I patiently waited to hear the names of the newly elected officers while comparing them with the leaked “unity list” . I was sure that even if some of the names on the unity list made it through, some will definitely miss out, I mean there was no way the list will match it 100% at least, not when the social media has leaked it out, for sure the PDP were not that unintelligent to follow the list in total, my friend Seun Lawal was sure they will tweak the list even for the sake of throwing off people, I must confess that I was somewhat conflicted between hoping they may do the right thing (democratic election) in order to give the ruling party a vibrant and strong opposition and the thought that can PDP ever change from what we use to know them from 1999, can or could they change?

Finally, the long awaited hour came, after dispensing with protocols, former Governor Suswami read out the names of the newly 21 elected officers, from the New Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus to the deputy Youth Leader, Umar Babangida Maina, they matched the leaked “Unity List” 100%, a list I got about 11 AM on the election day. I was disturbed that things did not change, PDP is still PDP or as Atiku Abubakar will normally call them “Feedifee” in his accent.

I was also curious as to what will be the implications of this result for the big players eyeing the Party’s ticket in 2019, the likes of Atiku Abubakar who recently left the ruling party APC for the single reason of realising his ambition. He left APC when he realised how the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari was waxing stronger both physically in health and governance wise, he must have reasoned that now the Nigeria’s Economy was out of recession, an economic policy called the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP) for 3 years is underway and already yielding result while the President who battled for his life by fighting an undisclosed sickness was not only back but fully rejuvenated and full of vibrant energy, one never seen before while he was on the seat since winning the 2015 General Elections, that there was no way he (Atiku Abubakar) could ever secure that ticket under the APC Platform, so as usual and as Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of Kaduna State puts it, a serial contestant and defector will do the only thing he knows how to do best, defect to home (PDP) where Money dictates the order of the game especially now that the Party has not smell Public Funds in the last two and half years out of their motto (Power), the Waziri of Adamawa must have reasoned that the Party needed money, this was a relationship that can be mutually beneficial, since he needed a ticket and the PDP needed Money which the Waziri has in abundance by his own admission.

Now, there are these rumours that an Uche Secondus or Governor Nyesom Wike controlled PDP may not be predisposed to a moneybag Waziri due to an existing private agreement with a certain player from the North-West region of Nigeria, will Atiku Abubakar have defected for no gain or could he persuade the newly Executives of the PDP to jettison their earlier agreement with the North West candidate? This is left to be seen, but some things, one can easily predict about the PDP, nothing has changed, the party may shake off its skin like a cobra snake but that does not weaken the potency of its poison. The PDP has remain the same, fixing an election before the voting as seen from the “Unity List”, then one may rightly ask, what could the PDP offer Nigerians if not the same past sixteen years of unprecedented corruption and manipulation of the system.

Aliyu Abdullahi is a lawyer and writes from Abuja, can be reached on twitter: @AliyuAbdullahA

British English And Nigerian English: Setting A Clear Boundary, By Ganiu Bamgbose

I deem it necessary to do this short essay because many people question my propagation of the British English. Some will even ask me if I do not reckon with the Nigerian English. And I say to them: I do!

The only variety of English available to a Nigerian is Nigerian English. It is our language of communal existence as a people who were unwillingly assembled under a sociopolitical umbrella called Nigeria. Nigerian English has helped capture our worldviews as a people.

How would we have explained phenomena such as “go-slow”, “bean cake” (akara), “well done” and many more, if not for the creative affordances of the Nigerian English. Would I also have called my mum’s elder sister my aunt as the standard British English dictates? Thanks to Nigerian English that allows the compound noun “big mummy”. But!

A condition for deviation is a good knowledge of the norm. English is the most geographically dispersed language in the world and in this age of world compression, when you can be in Ibadan and engage in a deep talk with someone in countries far away, it is essential for anyone who desires international connections to have a mastery of the standard usage of the English language which guarantees global intelligibility.

If I post a lesson which, for instance, says “your mum’s elder sister is your aunt and not big mummy”, it is just an attempt to teach what I call English for Global Interaction. If your compatriots can culturally infer that your aunt  is your big mummy, you think people in other worldviews will get that? I doubt.

Now, I must confess and admit that certain standard expressions are culturally unpalatable in countries such as Nigeria where English serves as a second and official language. Some of them are:

1. When you don’t know the sex of a new baby, the standard way to refer to the baby is to use the pronoun ‘it’. Well, even I, a linguist, may not pardon any Nigerian who asks me “How is it?” enquiring about my baby. I would wonder if you’re culturally dumb.

2. When we mean to express sympathy for a bad experience, the standard expression is to say “hard luck” and not “sorry” but please I prefer “sorry” as a Nigerian because “hard luck” sounds like you wish me more harms.
However, as much as there are these culturally obnoxious standard expressions, Nigerian English should also not be an embodiment of errors. Nigerians should know that:

1. Custom is gain and so only a seller (and not a buyer) can have a customer. So don’t tell your son to buy you rice from your customer.

2. A dupe is the person that has been deceived and not the deceiver.

3. Abroad is anywhere outside your country and not just the UK and the US.

4. Local  means to descend from an indigenous population and not to lack in sophistication. So don’t say Saheed Osupa is a local musician; he becomes an international artiste once he gets to Togo and even the big name, R Kelly, is a local artiste there in America.

These misconceptions and more are not Nigerian English but clear errors. And so like I said, anyone who will deviate from the norm must first master it. British English is the mother variety and anyone who will argue for the existence, appropriateness and usage of the Nigerian English must encourage the initial mastery of the British English especially at the levels of grammar and vocabulary.

Keep speaking well!

(c)2017 Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (GAB)
University of Ibadan
8/12/2017

Local Govt Workers: Open Letter to Gov. Masari, By Mukhtar Jarmajo

Your Excellency may wish to accept my greetings and goodwill message as your reign lasts. I understand the first lap of your tenure is nearing an end, may you deliver democratic dividends to Katsinawa so much so that you are eventually returned elected at the polls in 2019.
It may interest you however, that winning an election is as easy as it is difficult. This is especially so in a Nigeria where the electoral umpire, INEC, is no longer the same. A pointer to this is Anambra gubernatorial election held few weeks ago. We proudly watched as a level playing atmosphere was created by INEC and security agencies. The elections were free and fair as even the federal might was conspicuously absent.
This tells of what may be of future elections. Much the same, this is one of the reasons why failing or winning an election is now very easy in Nigeria. But I trust Your Excellency never plans to fail. And if that is the case, you must be ready to not only steer the affairs of Katsina state with the requisite commitment but also with the needed sincerity and purposefulness.
It may sound familiar to Your Excellency that without an effective civil service you cannot attain any development. And a civil service can be made effective only by ensuring discipline in the service through adhering to it’s Rules and Ethics. Matters of engagement, promotion, punishment and disengagement are clearly dealt with in the Public Service Rules.
But it’s disheartening to learn that under your watch certain two thousand local government workers were summarily dismissed since April last year. Due process wasn’t followed in their dismissal. Despite the civil service rules explicitly says that for the purposes of fair hearing, no civil servant shall be punished or dismissed without answering a query, you approved the dismissal of thousands of local government workers.
It disheartens to learn that you later recalled some and let go of others. But what is more? No rule was followed in the recall process. To put it mildly, you have politicise the Katsina state civil service thereby rendering it ineffective and inefficient. I am most disturbed you feel happy while those who may have been sacked without committing any offence live in untold hardship.
But democracy is about freedom. It is about everyone being treated fairly before our laws so they find peace and love as they live their everyday life.
Jarmajo wrote from Abuja

Chronicles Of The UN Resolutions On Jerusalem And Why President Trump Needs Some Historical Lessons, By Yusuf Aweda

Reactions have hovered the world over the recent decision of president Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This looks pretty more like an unscrupulous decision, made during a vital chess game that could expose the king to a disastrous ending.

In simple paradigm, President Trump’s decision is  like  Russia declaring Washington as the capital of Iran. Jerusalem is Internationally recognized as a Palestinian territory that was occupied militarily, forcefully and illegally by Israel in 1967.

It is a world on its own that conceives the wider world, it has a  history that is connected to a people. Jerusalem has got documented chronicles of happenings that connect the modern  politics and history being experienced on the world stage today. It is a spiritual ambiance of the three most popular religions in the world.

Just recently, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for example was so meticulous on November 18, 2017, when it expressed regret at Israel’s refusal to “implement the UNESCO request to appoint a permanent representative to be stationed in East Jerusalem”, and stressed the “urgent need to implement the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to the Old city of  Jerusalem and its Walls”. The word, ‘urgent’ in this statement is indeed urgent, this is necessary to avert any mayhem that could emanate from its delay.

Sadly, Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians who have been part of the pristine history that directly connects them to Jerusalem are being jeopardized  in crystal Injustice that has not only affected their civic rights and existentialism, but has also attempted to destroy their, cultural distinctiveness, religious proficiency, educational heritage and historical values.

UNITED NATIONS CONDEMNATION OF THE ISRAELI DISTORTION OF THE WORLD PEACE.

Till the recent time, Israel has been condemned by United Nations Human Rights Council in at least 45 resolutions, this is the highest time a nation has been condemned on the ground of unending catenated cases of terrorism, illegal occupation of the Palestinian land, and the deliberate violation of the fundamental human rights of children, women and unarmed men of Palestine.

The sanctity of Jerusalem has suffered from these violations and inhumane disposition of the apartheid regime of the Zionist state of Israel with the relentless American support.

THE UN  RESOLUTIONS ON JERUSALEM

For the sake of history and  the quest for justice, (which I strongly advise President Trump to embark on) it is important to revisit the UN resolutions on Jerusalem to guide our judgment on whether Trump’s action should be taken seriously or  as another ostentatious and expensive comedy from the White House.

Resolution 242 by the UN Security Council: November 22, 1967, the unanimously adopted resolution called on Israel to withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict.

Resolution 250: April 27, 1968, asked Israel not to hold a military parade in Jerusalem.

Resolution 251: May 2, 1968, condemned Israel holding the military parade in Jerusalem.

Resolution 252: May 21, 1968, asked Israel to cancel all activities in Jerusalem, and condemned the occupation of any land through armed aggression. It also demanded Israel “desist from taking any further action which tends to change the status” of the city.

Resolution 267: July 3, 1969, confirmed resolution 252, reaffirming that “acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible”.

Resolution 271: September 15, 1969, condemned the extensive damage caused by arson to the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque, a building under the military occupation of Israel. It called on Israel to observe the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and “refrain from causing any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Supreme Muslim Council of Jerusalem”, including “its plans for the maintenance and repair of the Islamic Holy Places” within the city.

Resolution 298: September 25, 1971, confirmed in “the clearest possible terms” that all actions taken by Israel to change the status of Jerusalem, such as land confiscation, were illegal.

Resolution 465: March 1, 1980, demanded Israel to stop the planning and construction of settlements in territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. It also called on Israel to “dismantle the existing settlements”.

Resolution 476: June 30, 1980, reaffirmed the “overriding necessity for ending the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967” and reiterated that all measures which had altered the status of Jerusalem were “null and void” and had to be rescinded.

Resolution 478: August 20, 1980, condemned in “the strongest terms” the enactment of Israeli law proclaiming a change in status of Jerusalem. The resolution called on all states “that have established diplomatic missions” in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the city.

Resolution 672: October 12, 1990, expressed alarm at the violence which claimed more than twenty Palestinian lives at the al-Aqsa Mosque on October 8, 1990. The resolution condemned the acts of violence committed by Israeli security forces and referred to Israel as an “occupying power”.

Resolution 1073: September 28, 1996, expressed concern about developments in Jerusalem relating to Israel’s opening of an entrance to a tunnel near the al-Aqsa Mosque, which resulted in a number of civilian deaths, and called for “the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians to be ensured”.

Resolution 1322: October 7, 2000, denounced the visit made by Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, to the al-Aqsa Mosque and the “subsequent violence there and at other holy places” which resulted in more than 80 Palestinian deaths.

Resolution 1397: March 12, 2002, called on Palestinian and Israeli leaders to resume the peace process through negotiations regarding a political settlement.

Resolution 2334: December 23, 2016, condemned Israel’s construction of settlements in all territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem. The UNSC emphasised it would not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 conflict lines, and stressed that the “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution”.

UN General Assembly

Resolution 2253: July 4, 1967, expressed concern at Israel’s attempts to change the status of Jerusalem and called for “all measures already taken” to be rescinded and no further such action.

Resolution 36/15: October 28, 1981,determined that Israel’s transformation of Jerusalem, including historical, cultural and religious sites, constituted a “flagrant violation of the principles of international law”. Such acts, the resolution stated, “constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East”.

Resolution 55/130: February 28, 2001, demanded that Israel cooperate with a special committee set up to “investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of Palestinian people and other Arabs” in the occupied territories. The resolution expressed “grave concern” about the situation in Jerusalem “as a result of Israeli practices and measures … [especially] the excessive use of force … which has resulted in more than 160 Palestinian deaths”.

Resolution 10/14: December 12, 2003, requested the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s construction of a wall in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”.

Resolution 60/104: January 18, 2006, requested the Special Committee, “pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation”, continue to investigate Israeli actions in “the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories” since 1967.

Resolution 70/89: December 15, 2015, condemned the continuation of Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a violation of international law. The resolution also denounced Israel’s “unlawful construction” of a wall inside occupied territories, including “in and around East Jerusalem”.

Resolution 71/96: December 23, 2016, reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention, relative to the protection of civilians during conflict, was applicable to the “Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967”.

UNESCO’s resolution 150 in November 27, 1996, stated that the “Old City of Jerusalem” was inscribed on the endangered world heritage list, and labelled Israel’s opening of an entrance to a tunnel near the al-Aqsa Mosque “an act which has offended religious sensibilities in the world”.

The UNESCO’s decisions on Jerusalem also made a place of pride in the following resolutions.

Resolution 159: June 15, 2000, expressed concern at “the measures which continue to impede the free access of Palestinians to Jerusalem”.

184: April 2, 2010, expressed “deep concern” regarding Israeli archeological works, including excavations, at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. The resolution stated the works “contradict UNESCO decisions and conventions”.

192: January 13, 2014, criticised Israel’s “continuous, [and] intrusive” archeological demolitions, excavations and works in East Jerusalem.

196: May 22, 2015, stated “deep regret” at Israel’s “refusal to implement previous UNESCO decisions concerning Jerusalem” and called for the deployment of a permanent expert to East Jerusalem “to report on a regular basis about all the aspects covering all UNESCO fields of competence in East Jerusalem”.

THE DANGER OF TRUMP’S UNSCRUPULOUS DECISION

The dangers of president Trump’s decision in moving the capital of Israel to Jerusalem is a deliberate attempt to thwart the patience of the Palestinian people and to provoke their calmness.

The question on everyone’s lips is how such injustice would lead to peace?

This is a plan to trigger the erratic unrest in the region,  and  in the minds of  people with true conscience.

President Trump is abruptly dragging the world into an unseen scenario. A scenario with huge consequences that has never been prepared for in the history of the world.

While the world morns the death of global distortion of history and political robbery that is being championed by the White House, I am in an a state of vacuum trying to comprehend Trump’s assertion that his decision would lead to peace.

How would injustice lead to peace? How would the Americans feel if they were Palestinians? What part of the land would be defined as the capital of the  future Palestine state the the US claim it is looking towards achieving with this move? Does the world truly think and believe Palestinians would watch all these gleefully with no consequences or reactions? Does the world think Trump can triumph with this ‘grenade’ it has dropped on the world stage?

Yusuf Jimoh Aweda.
Director,
Center For Human Rectitude

Building Foundation For Hajj 2018, By Mousa Ubandawaki

The 2017 Hajj have gone with the controversy, drama and of course its successful end- what more can one ask for?
In fact, that is the one thing about Hajj every successive year. There will always be bit of blot, a feature that will make it distinct or unique. Though there have been write ups about the 2017 in retrospect.
As its often said, yesterday is but gone, confined to the dust bin of history, while Today is the time and turn to prepare for the question. (Tomorrow) – the 2018 Hajj. After the stock taking and celebration of the 2017 Hajj, attention and focus immediately shifted to the 2018 Hajj.
Since the introduction of the its reforms programme last year and which is still continuing. And like most reforms, they aren’t always pretty and good music to the ear of many who are beneficiaries of the status quo. Sometimes, they are messy and frequently interrupted and filled with knock-ons and frantic improvisation to discredit them,
Even long before the return of the last Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, the Commission has begun to lay a foundation and building on the momentum to record another impressive return, so that the 2018 Hajj may be the best.
Awaken to the fact that if organizations must keep on achieving successful results, it should not lift up its feet from the pedal, else, your competitor may seize the initiative. To this end, the management of the Commission instituted a committee that included executives of States pilgrims’ welfare Boards/Agencies to seal accommodation contract with House owners/Hoteliers in Medina and Makkah, this was with a view to retain the houses and wards off the interest of countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan, many of whom have shown interest in occupying the Markaziya area of Medina because of its proximity to the Grand Mosque.
Similarly, the Mashair committee who like a phoenix that rises from its ashes, have had its mandate renewed but with a proviso to ensure that the blight in the services provided by the Muassassah (The Establishment responsible for the provision of the space, facility/equipment in Mina and Arafat) were cleared once and for all especially the issue of space in Mina for Nigerian Contingent is addressed in this coming year. For those who have been on pilgrimage before, this has been a recurring headache not only for Nigeria, but almost all the participating countries. Though the answer is obvious – the available space in Mina is elastic, while pilgrims’ population continues to grow – Thus, the muassassah had to find a mid- course to address the concerns of most of the countries.
Perhaps, the most important step taken in the march towards the 2018 Hajj by the Commission is the directive to SPWB/A to start collecting Hajj deposits from intending pilgrims with as low as #300,000. This step though far-off from the idea of the Hajj Saving scheme which the establishment Act of 2006 envisaged. This temporary step was adopted as a stop-gap measure to reduce the desperation on the part of intending pilgrims to meet up the payment balance. In fact, this measure was intended as a re-design of the era of payment in one-fell swoop.
As followers of the NAHCON activities were very much aware the issue of the Hajj savings scheme has been on the front-burner for more than a decade. Efforts have been made in the past to give vent to its implementation which has seen NAHCON’s delegation taking study tour of Malaysia with appreciable results and the only clog been how the outfit will operate without falling foul of the CBN regulation. At a National workshop in July, stridents calls were made to the commission to find a way out of the quagmire. It is therefore a form of breakthrough to allow State Pilgrims Welfare Board’s/Agencies (SPWB/A) collect deposits from intending pilgrims and kept in a special account so that pilgrims will no longer be frantically looking for money towards the closing deadline.
One of the things that many Nigerian public organizations have often come under severe criticism was starting some of their programs a little “too late” culminating in unmitigated failure. But for the commission, this has become something of the past.
As we may be well aware, Airlift is the heart-beat of any Hajj operations world-wide. In the light of the above, the commission apart from holding exclusive meetings with Airlines immediately after the 2017 Hajj exercise. As part of given vent to the resolution/recommendations at the meeting, the commission has rolled out adverts for application for 2018 Hajj Airlift exercise for both cargo and pilgrims carriers.
The adverts coming six months ahead of the normal time is expectedly going to give the prospective airliners the ample time to negotiate for a good aircraft as well as giving them a competitive price that would have a net-effect in lowering the price of Hajj fare which Nigerian pilgrims can benefit from.
The up swing in the preparation for the 2018 Hajj is however not limited to the State led boards alone, the Travel and Tour operators witnessed a re-balancing of its acts/operation too.
The Commission recently approved a calendar of events for both the state boards/ Tour operators, so that there won’t be rowdy session in the programming of Hajj activities in accordance with the Saudi rules which stipulates that every action concerning the 2018 must be concluded by may, – a clear three months before the commencement of Hajj – when the Hajj portals will be closed.
However, as much impressive as these visionary and strategic plans are, they could only be achieved only through one thing which is well- known. All hands must be on the deck to make it succeed.
Mousa Ubandawaki is a staff of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abuja.

Hon Nwobu’s Victory: People Finally Ready To Make Their Voices Heard? By Tai Obasi

A few days ago, at the PDP state party secretariat in Udoka Estate, Awka, PDP held state congress to elect officers to take charge of party affairs after a long term of bickering and uncertainties, leading to the party participating in the past gubernatorial election with a caretaker committee.But Chris Uba was alleged to have sworn that the congress would not hold, after making failed moves to hijack the congress and supplant his cronies all across the available positions in the Exco. These moves, sources affirmed, included nocturnal visits to the oil-rich southern states to prostrate for one very powerful governor and other party stakeholders that he be given the state structure of the party.

Sounds ridiculous but true that one who boasted in a celebrated visual interview that went viral that he caused his party’s failure in a very important election held just two weeks earlier would be bold again to demand control of the state structure of same party? Did he think he was talking to fools? What guarantee would he give that he wouldn’t sell out his party in the next election as evidently, that’s his only political antecedent?

Even his brother, Senator Andy Uba, temporarily in APC, worked against letting Eselu have his way, same source informed.

So when it became clear he had no delegates to manipulate the process with, he went to what he was noted for – cause chaos! As many as over 50 macho men, known in local parlance as ndi akpuobi, invaded the venue of the exercise and did everything to thwart the exercise taking place.

But for once, I saw people willing to defend our democracy. The delegates, numbering nearly 2000 (five delegates per ward nominated from each of the 326 wards in the state), refused to be cowed nor intimidated. Some took some beatings from the guerilla-like thugs but stood their ground. Expectedly, a law enforcement agency, the Police Force arrived the scene with an anti-riot team. It took some time, some hours but eventually normalcy was restored and the delegates, everyone of them, got back to the queue, got duly accredited and performed the duty he/she came for.

They elected Hon. Ndubisi Nwobu (Obuka Awka) as the chairman of Anambra State chapter of the PDP, as well as Barr. Okoli-Akrika (Nzeanaeche) as the Secretary. Other elected executives are Barr. Clems Ezika as the State Legal Adviser, Chief Tony Offia as the State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Emma Ifeachor as the State Organising Secretary. Mrs. Edith Nwokedi and Prince Idu Okosi were also elected as the State Woman Leader and State Youth Leader respectively. The state chapter of the party couldn’t be in safer and saner hands.

Finally the people had their way. The focused delegates refused Chris Eselu Uba, refused his money, resisted his thugs and had their wish.

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