2015 Elections: :et’s Do It The Rotary Way By Oyewole Michael Rolex

Our dear Nation at this point has plumed into a very precarious stage. A volatile state many has posited trepidation, violence, killings and all sought of extirpation. Some advanced Nation has often sternly opined that our dear Nation won’t survive beyond 2015 as a united entity. With recent happenings, only a fellow that has not kept tab will assume improbability, but this plausibility is too glaring. The political space is charged as a result of politicians and their respective political parties making recourse to shortcuts, desperate moves, provocative statements, vociferous degradation of personality, implacable propagandistic accusations and counter accusations. The electorates are not left out of also making strong vituperations in their contributions either via social media or via other media. In fact they play a major role in the promulgation of same.

For the purpose of knowledge, Rotary is an international reputable selfless service to humanity organization composed of people from all walks of life. An organization that has a permanent sit in the United Nations. Interestingly, the four way test formulated by late Rotarian Albert J. Tailor has become the ‘Holy Bible or Holy Quran’, a watchword like guiding principle for members of this distinguished organization. Generally in life if one could either adopt Or always answer correctly the questions posited in the four way test, such a fellow would inevitably live a fulfilled life. I feel obliged to put forward the four way test to aid positivity and paradigm change both in the public office seekers and the electorate.

The four way test of Rotary/Rotaract of the things we think, say or do…. 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. will it build Goodwill and better friendship? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Is it the truth? You have seemingly over the years consistently promised to build schools, roads, hospitals, and create jobs. You promised free health care, emancipation of the economy, security of lives and properties, you promised provision of basic amenities, You promised better representation and grass root legislations. None of it was done! Now you are here again with the same promises.. As an electorate, you sell your votes for stipends, rice, recharge cards, palm oil, brooms, umbrella, etc. And then you cast vote for such persons (highest paying contestants) claiming they are the best. IS IT THE TRITH?.

Is it fair to all concerned? Public office seekers, You have perfected plans to rig elections, cause havoc, destruction and disunity if the election does not go your way.. Populace, you are being paid, trained and mobilized to Carry out these nefarious acts, is it fair to those who will lose loved ones? Is it fair to those who will be. made homeless? Is it fair to those who will be maimed? Is it fair to those who will legitimately be voted for? IS IT FAIIR TO ALL CONCERNED?

Will it build goodwill and better friendship? You sponsor destructive propaganda, you make inflammatory statements that threatens our unity, you make derogatory speeches about your opponents, you consciously and skillfully incite people against one another Just to win at the polls, you instigate//orchestrate paid violence and destruction of lives and properties, you demean your opponents on purpose and those not in support of your political party and candidate, and you encourage politics of hate, calumny and religious extremism.. indulging in all these because you want to win elections. WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL AND BETER FRIENDSHIP?

Will. it be beneficial to all concerned? Electoral umpire (INEC) you aid rigging, selling of ballot papers and PVC’S to public office seekers, promulgation of acts that favours one political party or public office seeker than the other, conscious manipulation election result sheets, distorting voter register and falsification of result sheet .As a Security operative, you purposely disenfranchise voters, making unlawful arrest of electorates and public office seekers, being an ally and machinery to rig elections, readily available instruments of intimation of those you are bribed to castigate and turning blind eye to electoral violations and violence. WILL IT BE BENEFICIAL TO ALL CONCERNED.

Conclusively, posterity is the final judge of the acts of humans. Irrespective of our religious, cultural and political affiliations cum dispensation, no human life is worth sacrificing to protect these beliefs. As an electorate, we must go to the polls with our conscience answerable to the Rotary/Rotaract four way test. As a public office seeker, do not ostentatiously promise that which you either do not intend to do or cannot do. please do make electoral promises under the strict supervision and scrutiny of the Rotary/Rotaract four way test.

Be good.

 

Oyewole Michael Rolex

writes from Ado-Ekiti

+2348037896168

@Rolex7Michael

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

Season of Inter-Party Endorsements By Joe Onwukeme

As the race to the rescheduled general elections get intense, many political parties have stepped up in their politicking, while front line political parties are putting finishing touches on their winning strategies, political parties who are in the race with an ulterior motives are already making their intentions known.

According to INEC, out of the 26 registered political parties in Nigeria, only 11 submitted names of candidates to run for the presidency and so far some political parties without presidential candidates have directly or indirectly endorsed presidential candidates of rival political parties as their candidate, in some states, political parties without governorship candidates have endorsed the ruling party’s governorship candidates in the states as their governorship candidates in the forth coming rescheduled general elections.

With less than a week to the rescheduled polls there have been rumours of presidential aspirants stepping down for the ruling party’s presidential candidate.

According to most of the political parties, the choice of the ruling party’s presidential candidate was guided by “national interest and consistency”.

These precipitous endorsements was not without a price. What most political parties consider before any endorsement, is a political party that has the machinery and wherewithal to lobby for endorsements and “share the money” at will and since the beginning of our modern democracy, the ruling party has never failed in any of the above criteria.

This development is in contrast to what was obtained in the first second and third republics when political parties had a clear cut ideology which they pursued fervently.

The beginning of a new democratic era in 1999 ushered in many political parties without clear cut ideologies and manifestos, most of the political parties of the 4th republic were created to undermine other political parties’ chances of winning election in favour of another party and so far they have lived up to expectation.

Beyond “national interest and consistency” on what basis was these endorsements by other political parties anchored? Why will progressive minded opposition parties who are reputed in left wing politics endorse candidate of a rival conservative party with a contrary ideology and manifesto as their presidential flag bearer against a major formidable progressive opposition party whose presidential flag bearer is also going neck-in-neck with the ruling party?

Why the sudden interest and increase in inter-party endorsements by political parties? And how come it is the ruling party PDP that is getting most of these endorsements? Are these political parties indirectly telling us “national interest and consistency” has become a case of “highest bidder takes it all”?

In a related development, the ruling party’s presidential candidate and his campaign handlers in the past 3 weeks have besieged the South West to solicit for their votes and have expended millions of naira to whatever group that poses a threat to the president’s re-election, with the largesse so far, South West are still negotiating and making concessions without any endorsement yet.

At the other hand, Ohanaeze Ndigbo an apex Igbo social-cultural group that represents the interest of Ndigbo in Nigeria has endorsed president Jonathan for another term without him negotiating with Ndigbo.

If not for few personal gains, why did they not wait for Mr. president to come to the South East and negotiate with Ndigbo before considering any endorsement? That would have given Ndigbo an opportunity to partake in the largesse other parts of the country have benefited so far from the incumbent government.

The end might have justified the means for some of these political parties in this forth coming general elections but the disadvantage far outweighs the advantage, apart from the money that may exchange hands before or after such endorsements, adopted political parties have many a time in the past won other elective posts in strong holds of some of the political parties that endorsed them. These development has ended many political parties in factions and their members defected to other political parties.

Inter-party endorsements does not really represent the interest of the people, it represents the interest of few career politicians whose political parties have little or no value in our polity, they are after what they will gain before or after the general elections, hence the need for the endorsement of the highest bidder.

Inter-party endorsements should be guided by parties’ ideologies and manifestos, left and right wings political parties have always been rivals in World politics because of their contrary ideologies, ours shouldn’t be an exception.

As we approach the reschedulled polls, inter-party endorsements have limited our choice between centre-right and left wing political parties. This development will only worsen the disparity that has been in existence between frontline political parties and other political parties. Thereby weakening political institutions and eroding representative democracy.

 

Joe Onwukeme: Writes from Enugu

Unjoeratedjoe@gmail.com

I tweet @unjoeratedjoe

The Dying Doctor – By Deji Atoyebi

…with an expression of assurance renting his face, he said to himself ……… “my patients have no choice but to stick to my services”.

Ofcourse he was the doctor of all doctors! A man whose valor was not worth a penny and his knowledge of surgical operations were from borrowed brains. He was the head doctor who let his nurses take the driver’s seat and become dictators over him. One could easily say there was a switch in medical power.

His hospital was alot to write home about. It comprised a bevy of patients who thought they had had enough of other unruly doctors. “He is the most competent, having a PhD to wrap it up” , so they thought. They never thought of checking his past records so as to see his performance in lower clinics. Love was indeed blind, and sympathy is spontaneously stimulated especially when the recipient had no shoes.

He started on a bright note, taking over from the main doctor when the latter went to the great beyond. Things started falling apart when he couldn’t protect the lives of his own patients. An army of masked men would come to kill them in broad day light. It was indeed an irony; a refuge for salvation turning to a den of destruction and death. However, only the patients in a particular section of the hospital were always attacked. The other patients in the safe section took the issue with detachment. They did not give a hoot as long as their bed space was intact.

The activities of the nurses in the hospital were so grave that it made the doctor seem like a saint. They would break into the hospital treasury and get out with stacks of money, only for the doctor to sack the accountant when he went about telling the patients of some missing money.

” the patients were sick and hungry, what is their business with some stolen money? It is the hospital’s not theirs” -so he thought.

Despite the killings in his hospital and more than a handful of newborn babies abducted under his watch, the ‘safe’ section of his hospital still had some trust in him. They were so blinded by love, that they did not question the fact that his wife was sick but he had no panacea for her malady. Yet he was a doctor! Eventually, some part of the safe section of his hospital lost trust in him completely. The worst happened when the doctor became weak and stiff. He was literally dying. It was time for a new doctor to be employed in the hospital by the way. But unfortunately,the scenario was a tough nut to crack. Some patients wanted him to stay. They would enthuse ,”he is the only man that can save us!”. The other section would say, “we need a new doctor…..we are dying in the present one’s hands”.

It is just a week left. The doctor seems to be in the in the middle of life and death. His nurses are unrepentant and his wife’s dementia is full fledged, in fact, she was just some months away from running around naked. The essence of a hospital was virtually watered down. What was the use of a dying doctor? What trust should people have on a doctor who cannot treat himself and household? Perhaps, it would be safer to say his patients should cure him by relieving him of his duties. How could a blind man be chosen to show the way? The hospital was running mad! Should the patients remove him and give him a second chance or should they say bye bye to him?

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

The 2015 Elections and The Sins of 1999 – Feyi Fawehinmi @DoubleEph

My friend used to tell me about a guy who went on to become a Governor of one of the South West states in the 1999 election. Before he got the Alliance for Democracy (AD) ticket to run as governor, he used to regularly visit their house. My friend says there was never a time he had a meal without decorating his agbada with some of the stew. And then when it was time for him to leave, they would have to help his exit by pushing his car to start.

Such was the speed with which General Abdulsalami Abubakar found and relinquished power that many people perhaps did not believe that democracy was going to return. As Bertrand Russell famously put it – the intelligent are full of doubt while the stupid are cocksure. Nigeria was there for the taking and some of our brightest minds decided to adopt a siddon look approach. In effect, our ‘second eleven’ went out to represent us.

We are still feeling the effects of 1999 in our democracy today. The immediate aftermath made it painfully obvious – a speaker of the House turned out to have fake certificates. A senate president was alleged to have a criminal record, which he blamed on his mysterious twin brother. One southwest governor never spent a weekend in his state (he was always to be found in a Lagos nightclub instead). Another northwest governor spent at least half of his first term out of the country chasing ‘foreign investors’ for investments, which never materialised. Some northern governors declared sharia to be the solution of all the problems in their state and went after implementing it with a conviction and fervency rarely seen in Nigerian politicians. I remember a former governor who is now in jail in London advertising at the time that he would deliver ‘100 computers to 100 schools in 100 days’ all the while failing to tell the people he had a criminal record for petty theft.

People only needed to be in the right place at the right time to get elected. In the southwest, you only needed to wear a certain type of glasses and a certain type of hat and flash the victory sign in your campaign poster and you were home and dry.

This is the untold story of our 16-year-old democracy. The best of us ceded the stage for chancers, fraudsters and happy go lucky people. The effect has been so great that no matter what we do in 2015, it will simply be the start of the repair process. No miracles will be possible. We were under 5,000MW of electricity in 1999 and the story remains the same till today, at the cost of so many lives and untold suffering.

But history is not destiny.

If we made mistakes back then, it only becomes unforgiveable if we make the same mistake this time around again. The sin of 1999 was not so much that we elected people who turned out to be bad leaders – Shakespeare said there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. Voters will always get it wrong now and again. The real sin was not caring enough. A citizenry that was a bit more engaged with the process could have restrained even bad leaders.

If you have a Permanent Voters Card, it would be almost criminal not to use it thoughtfully on March 28th and April 11th. I won’t be voting but if I were, I’d be voting for the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. I think that they are fine men whatever the shortcomings of the APC as a party. But more importantly, it will signal that we as a people want to move in a different direction if we vote them.

But you do not have to agree with me. I only ask that you use your PVC and use it wisely. I’ve been moved by the amount of effort people have made to get their PVCs – a friend of mine visited his polling unit more than 10 times before he got his own. I’m cautiously optimistic about this. By being so engaged with the process, the space for elected officials to misbehave is reduced.

Please go out on Election Day armed with your PVC. Democracy is now here to stay. It is time to stay engaged and begin the long and hard work of making it work much better than it has done so far for us as a nation.

Let’s start fixing the mistakes of the past as shareholders of the going concern that is Nigeria.

Vote wisely and please stay safe.

Feyi Fawehinmi is @DoubleEph on Twitter

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

The Tinubu They Won’t Tell You About By Oluseun Akinrinoye

About a week ago, I decided to tweet about Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) using the hashtag #Jagaban. What prompted the tweet series was the personality attack being aired against his person by AIT, which many of us think is totally out of place, callous and uncalled for by whoever the sponsor is.

To set the records straight, I am a Lagosian and a practicing Chartered Accountant with a professional services firm because I know some people may think I am a political jobber. I am not a regular writer due to the busy nature of my work, however, I have had several requests to put my tweets together in an article so that several other people can know who BAT is and not what PDP/AIT want you to see.

To me Tinubu is one of the greatest politicians of our time and someone we can partly attribute the robust opposition we have in Nigeria today to. Before I go ahead, I like to say a few words about the background of BAT. BAT was born on 29 March 1952.He went to the United States in 1975, where he studied first at Richard J. Daley College in ChicagoIllinois and then at Chicago State University. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Tinubu worked in the United States with Arthur Andersen (formerly one of the big five accounting firms in the world), Deloitte, and GTE Services Corporation before returning to Nigeria in 1983 to join Mobil Oil Nigeria where he rose to become an executive of the company.

Going by the above background, it is clear that Tinubu was probably born with a silver spoon, had one of the best education in the United States, trained with two of the big five accounting firms in the world, and retired in one of the biggest oil companies in the world. I am surprised that someone with such background will be portrayed as making his money from politics. It is obvious he has been wealthy long before joining politics, and he is just a smart entrepreneur that took advantage of several opportunities in his environment.

Tinubu was elected into the Nigerian Senate at the age of 40, a rare feat in Nigeria. He participated fully in the June 12, 1993 activism by being a major financier of the pro-democracy group National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), if he was poor in 1993, he wouldn’t play such a role in NADECO. He was forced to go into exile and returned to Nigeria in 1998 after the death of Abacha. He learnt from the likes of Abraham Adesanya under Alliance for Democracy (AD) and contested for the AD primaries against Funsho Williams and Wahab Dosunmu and subsequently won the election in 1999 to become the Governor of Lagos State.

Tinubu stood firm against the greatest intimidation of his administration by from Obasanjo when he withheld Lagos allocation for several months, Ambode was Accountant General and he helped the State by increasing IGR which sustained the State and the 57 local govts. No wonder he is trusted to lead the State after Fashola.

BAT has been accused of embezzling public funds to enrich his empire but I disagree with that position. Tinubu is just a smart entrepreneur that turned the little money he made in private service to a big empire before and after his terms as Governor. You may belief Tinubu owns the whole of Lagos but I think we still owe him a credit by establishing several organizations in Lagos generating employment to citizens and contributing to the development of the economy. The truth is all those working in companies associated with Tinubu would continue to pray for him because he has given them hope where the government has failed.

Tinubu is not one of those politicians that would stock millions of dollars of cash in the wardrobe but rather he prefers to incorporate companies that can effect positively all the benefactors of the companies including the Federal Government via Withholding Tax, Value Added Tax, Companies Income tax and Tertiary Education Tax. He has been tried by the code of conduct Bureau severally under the leadership of PDP government and he has come out clean in those times.

We can attribute the robust opposition we have in Nigeria partly to his doggedness and never give up spirit. He is someone that should start a school of politics, so that we can learn from, he is an astute politician and he never loses any battle he commits himself to.

I am bold to say I am officially a Tinubuist and on that note I say a toast to a great man, a true democrat, an entrepreneur par excellence & a great politician; Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Cheers!!!

Oluseun tweets from @oluseun_akin

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

Goodbye to President Jonathan, Go and Vote him Out! By Ogundana Michael Rotimi

You tricked us once, shame on you. If we let you trick us again, shame on us. President Jonathan is on a slippery slope and he`s sliding down. He must have started burning sensitive documents even though no column of smoke is yet visible from the villa.

Saturday, 28th March, 2015 election is a genuine opportunity to change the depressing direction in which Nigeria is headed. A direction that is not in any way good for the country, because as long as President Jonathan continues to remain in office, we cannot talk about development, we cannot talk about peace and stability and we cannot talk of sustainability and excellence. In his past 4 years in office, President Goodluck Jonathan has so far demonstrated absolute impotence and Nigeria has declined in nearly every conceivable respect.

Under Jonathan, the economy continued to stumble and the currency lost shape completely until it finally became valueless. The security situation went worse than it was only a few years back. The Boko Haram crisis was disgracefully managed, and many Nigerians lost their lives to insurgents. However, the Nigerian Military has finally claimed to have made appreciable gains in combating the insurgents, but it came a little too late after so many Nigerians have lost their lives, millions have been displaced and so many valuable properties worth billions of naira have been destroyed. His government did not do enough to reduce the high cost of living. He did not do anything tangible to increase the standard of living of the people. Majority of the citizens still live below two dollars ($2) in a day

Also, the numbers of scams perpetrated under his watch are second to none since independence. Starting from the NNPC Scam, Kerosene Subsidy Scam, Police Pension Fund Scam, Twenty Billion Dollars Scam, Nine Million Dollars Arms deal Scam, Nigerian Immigration Service Job Scam, Stella Oduah’s Aviation Scam, etc.

Additionally, during the leadership of President Jonathan the country was further polarized and divided along ethnic and religious lines.

Furthermore, he lent a hand to half-baked education reforms and permitted unbearable rate of corruption that became more deeply rooted during his tenure. He encourages indiscipline and incompetent people are given more positions of authority while the responsible and competent men were ignored. Under his watch “Promises” became an empty word and the future of the country was forsaken because of his heavy greed and that of a few men around him.

The truth is if we elect him again, we deserve him. The nation needs a confident leadership, not one that is nourished by voters` fears.

Say no to President Jonathan because his personality does not suit us and does not work for this nation. Everybody is sick and tired of him. He lies in every which way, both in Otueke Language and in English Language.

How long must a President prove that he is worthless so that he is not elected again? He has demonstrated that he is not worthy of leadership positions.

The fact that General Buhari does not possess a PhD like Jonathan does not detract him from his wisdom or understanding. If Jonathan should be elected again, our situation will not improve over the next four years. There is nothing historical that we can say he has done. The very few achievements that are credited to him are mere show of complacency. Nigeria and Nigerians deserve better. Giving him another chance would be the mostly deadly mistake of our time. It would be mortgaging our future and that of the unborn generation.

His paths are paved with mistakes. We should hope that responsible voters will do their national duty, which is the right thing to be done and that is to vote him out of office.

Election Day provides an opportunity to settle accounts with President Jonathan. The time has come to offer new hope to Nigeria. The time has come to make provision for the future and build a better nation. The time has come to right our wrongs and make the right decisions. The time has come to vote out cluelessness, incompetence, mediocrity and complacency. It is a time of change!

Goodbye to President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan, you tried your best but your best isn`t good enough for us. Your time is up, you may return home peacefully. Go and vote him out!

God Bless Nigeria

Ogundana Michael Rotimi

I tweet @MickeySunny

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

Gov. Akpabio’s Reign Of Terror And The Politics Of Blood In Akwa Ibom State, By Inibehe Effiong

” Just as God threw Lucifer unto the Earth, those who have betrayed the governor of Akwa Ibom State will not enter the Government House…,those who want to take power through the backdoor will die and the PDP will continue.”
( Gov. Godswill Obot Akpabio, Wednesday 16th July, 2014. See Punch Newspaper of 17th July, 2014).

The inauguration of Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio as the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria on May 29, 2007 birthed and herald an upsurge in political killings, violence and cultism unprecedented in the history of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. From 1st October, 1960 when Nigeria became independent to date, no civilian government in the history of this country, both at the federal and state level, has demonstrated, aided or abetted the level of contempt for human life and dignity like the Governor Godswill Akpabio’s regime.

Without mincing words, the present regime in Akwa Ibom State is a scar on the conscience of humanity. The framers of our Constitution were not in error by giving the sanctity of human life a constitutional protection and upholding the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government. This can be inferred from the clear provisions of Sections 33 and 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 ( as amended ) which provides for the right to life and the security and welfare of the people, respectively.

Under Akpabio’s watch, Akwa Ibom State has witnessed so much politically motivated killings, attacks and violence. The situation is so precarious that the streets of Akwa Ibom State is literary littered with the blood of innocent citizens, political opponents and critics of the regime.

The gruesome assasination of a House of Assembly candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress ( APC ) and former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Okon Uwah by assassins and thugs of the ruling party on Wednesday 18th March, 2015 reportedly led by the Vice Chairman of Ukanafun Local Government Area of the State, Mr. Effiom Abai who has been arrested by the police has once again brought to the fore the barbarism and the politics of blood that has turned the once peaceful state into an animal farm.

Quoting an annual report by the Nigeria Police Force, a Sunday PUNCH report of November 21, 2010 (page 3) said there were 74,064 murders and similar cases in Nigeria within two years. A state-by-state analysis of this report ranks Akwa Ibom State with a population of 3.9m (2006 estimate) as being the highest with preponderance of such crimes.

The police report said in 2009 alone, Akwa Ibom recorded 177 murders (most of which are said to be politically motivated), 62 attempted murders, one manslaughter, eight suicides, 21 attempted suicides, 320 assaults, 18 child stealing, 93 rape cases and indecent assaults, 29 kidnappings, among others. The 2011 figures marked a remarkable increase when compared to 2007. Few examples will suffice.

Engr. Albert Jimmy Ukpanah, an outspoken chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party was a vociferous opponent of the 2015 senatorial ambition of Gov. Akpabio. Like several other persons in his area that subscribe to the PDP zoning policy, he believed that it was the turn of his area (Abak Federal Constituency) to produce the next senator to represent the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State in the Senate come 2015. He saw Akpabio’s Senate bid as a grave injustice to his people.

On March 12, 2014 Engr. Ukpanah was hacked to death by assassins at his residence. His only son, Odudu Ukpanah, a masters degree holder in Oil and Gas Management from Coventry University, United Kingdom has been incarcerated since 27th May, 2014 on the orders of governor Akpabio on the baseless allegation that he murdered the very father who sponsored his Masters Degree in the UK. Despite the cries of the three sisters of Odudu that their brother is innocent and should be freed, Akpabio has remained unruffled. The mother of the slain politician is critically down with cancer, pakinson and stroke.

Dr. Ime Sampson Umanah, a prominent elder statesman and philanthropist who played an important role in the creation of Akwa Ibom State was arrested and detained for being critical of the nefarious activities of governor Akpabio. He has been standing trial since October 2010 without any plausible evidence of crime against him.

Sen. Helen Esuene, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs was attacked on 5th October, 2014 in Essien Udim LGA while on a campaign tour by armed thugs for daring to campaign in the governor’s town. She later decamped to the Labour Party where she was offered the gubernatorial ticket to contest for the 2015 governorship election in the State.

Mr. Sunny Udom, the Director General of the campaign organization of the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, escaped assassination in July 2014 when armed bandits invaded his office in Uyo. Fortunately for him, the criminals didn’t meet him but his office was shattered with gunshots.

In December 2013, Mr Umana Umana himself received a written threat at his Uyo residence ordering him to withdraw from the 2015 governorship race or face death. He immediately reported the threat to the police, but was shocked to learn that the governor had also ordered the withdrawal of his police protection.

Engr. Emmanuel Okon Ekpenyong and his brother Mr. Mathias Okon Ekpenyong were murdered on June 30, 2011 reportedly for refusing to part with their sand quarry site which they inherited from their father as demanded by those who feel they own Akwa Ibom. One Dagogo Minago, alias Puff Daddy admitted to the killing of the Ekpenyong brothers. Instead of prosecuting the confessed killer and going after those who sponsored him, the State Attorney General hurriedly entered a nolle prosequi (a discontinuance) in the case.

Shockingly, the government framed up and detained one Dr. Chris Ekong, a former Commissioner in the State and three others and charged them to court for the murder of the Ekpenyong brothers. Not done, the government arrested, detained and charged Mr. Fabian Ekpenyong (the only surviving Ekpenyong brothers) for the murder of his own brothers for refusing to give false evidence against Mr. Chris Ekong and three other innocent persons. Eventually, the court discharged and acquitted all of them of all the charges.

Engr. Ini Udonwa who had indicated interest to vie for the gubernatorial election on the platform of PDP in 2011 was attacked by kidnappers, he narrowly escaped death but his mother, Mrs Philomina Udonwa was kidnapped, raped, killed and her corpse dumped by the roadside because his overseas based son dared to vie for the governorship of his state despite repeated warnings to withdraw from the race.

Chief Paul Inyang, a former Zonal Officer of the Peoples Democratic Party who was favoured to emerge as the State party chairman was gruesomely assassinated on Sunday June 20, 2010.

Dr. Akpan Akpanudo, a young medical doctor was assassinated on January 1, 2011 because he left his profession to seek election into the State House of Assembly.

Retired General Edet Akpan, former Director General of National Youth Service Corp and a PDP stalwart, was kidnapped in the Church ostensibly for his refusal to support Akpabio’s re election.  Three female members of the Church were killed in the process. It took the intervention of the Nigerian military for him to be rescued.

Edidem Robert Obot, the Oku Ibom 111 (leader of the Ibibios) and Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium Local Government Area who had became a thorn in the flesh of the powers that be in the state was murdered on 30th January, 2011. This is the first Paramount Ruler to assassinated in the history of Nigeria.

Chief Effiong Ononokpono, an outspoken and fearless octogenarian and political activist had raised some fundamental questions pertaining to the affairs and resources of the State for Governor Akpabio to answer in the Nation Newspaper. Instead of answering the questions, Governor Akpabio ordered his arrest. He was charged to court on trump – up charges and remanded in prison custody from March 25, 2010 to May 14, 2010. His health condition deteriorated and on December 7, 2010, he died.

Barr. Imo Udonwa, a prominent member of PDP in the State and former member of the State House of Assembly and an associate of former Governor Victor Attah, was murdered because of his rumoured aspiration to vie for the chairmanship of the PDP in the State.

On July 16, 2011, one Abasiema Sunday Peters, was shot on both legs by the security detail of the Governor Akpabio’s wife because he did not drive off the road fast enough as the governor’s wife convoy drove by. The young man was not given any medical treatment. Rather, he was arrested together with the other occupants of the vehicle who were all students of the state owned Polytechnic and detained by the ever unprofessional Nigeria Police Force. The parents of the young lads had to spend much resources to secure the release of their children.

The list is endless.

Following the pre – election violence that engulfed the State in 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan who has completely closed his eyes to Governor Akpabio’s reign of impunity set – up a Panel of Enquiry to investigate the violence that trailed the 2011 elections in the State headed by Sheik Ahmed Lemu. On the sources of weapons used in the political violence which occurred in Akwa Ibom State the panel found that sophisticated weapons employed in state included “pistols, pump action guns, RPGs, grenades, SMGs, AK 47s”. This point is important because of the frequent and free use of weapons by hooligans who now feel immuned from criminal prosecution.

Late last year, the Department of State Service (DSS), Akwa Ibom State Command, embarked on a covert operation which led to the recovery of arms in the state? (See. Punch Newspaper of October 5, 2014). The proliferation of arms in the state is one of the legacies of Governor Akpabio. Before Akpabio’s emergence, cases of killings and political violence was rare in the state. Today, everyone lives in fear, things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold. Security has completely eluded the oil rich state; it is either you are a sycophant of the government or an enemy.

With less than seventy (70) days to the ends of Akpabio’s soulless, despotic and murderous regime, the state is again in flames. Some deceitful minds may seek to exonerate the governor from the killings and violence in the State. But the question is: would these nefarious crimes have taken place under the leadership of a governor who has aversion for criminality? Responsibility is the hallmark of leadership, someone has to account for the blood of innocent Nigerians that has been wasted in Akwa Ibom State since May 29, 2007 to date.

Painfully, no one has been prosecuted for these atrocities against humanity. People who ordinarily shouldn’t be heard in public are the ones calling the shots in Akwa Ibom State. Touts, illiterates, cultists and thugs are being venerated by the political class. The good people have been completely relegated under Akpabio. Governance has been reduced to a full blown criminal enterprise.

When I consider the many threats to my life for refusing to dine with the scavengers of democracy in my dear State, it becomes morally compelling to speak out so that history may vindicate us. Akwa Ibom people have had enough of this impunity and terror. Akpabio should know that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is still in existence. Therefore, if he escapes justice in ‘Jonathan’s Nigeria’, the international community will bring him to justice.

Enough is enough!

Inibehe Effiong is the Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders ( COHRD ).

Email : inibehe.effiong@gmail.com

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

What to expect after March 28… By Simon Kolawole

Here we go again: another presidential election is upon us. The season of fear. The season of war and rumours of war. We’ve been lectured that this is not just another election; this is THE election. According to some foreign “Nigeria experts”, it is the election that will lead to the end of our beloved country as we currently know it. Nigeria is about to disintegrate, they say. Even if these exaggerations have been taken too far, I have to admit that this is probably the most tension-soaked presidential election in Nigeria’s history. The hot air being generated by the combatants is rapidly depleting the ozone layer and causing significant climate change in the political sphere.

My gut feeling, though, is that the election will come and go and Nigeria will not go to war. There will certainly be protests and demonstrations, no matter who wins. That is why we are Nigerians: we hardly accept that we have been fairly beaten. There will always be conspiracy theories and allegations of real and imagined manipulation. That is one sure thing we should expect after March 28. The signals are there already: some people have “discovered” plans to rig in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressives Congress (APC). So expect a lot of accusations and counter-accusations — and more hot air.

Let’s start with the PDP. If the APC should win this election, there can only be one scapegoat: Professor Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). From celebrating Jega as the poster boy of President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to credible elections as recently as August 2014, the PDP now treats the INEC chairman with absolute suspicion. The PDP that showed off Jega as a fair-minded referee, despite overseeing the ruling party’s defeats in Edo, Anambra, Ondo and Osun governorship polls, is suddenly casting him as a northerner working vigorously to install Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a fellow northerner, as president. Nigeria!

The biggest complaint from the PDP guys will be that Jega took advantage of the free hand given to him by Jonathan to manipulate the electoral process in favour of the APC. Trouble started with the creation of additional polling units which allegedly favoured opposition’s strongholds. Then came the issue of collection of the permanent voter cards (PVCs) which the ruling party believes heavily favoured APC-controlled areas. They questioned the high figures in war zones and the low figures in many states in the south-east and south-south. There is also the raging battle over the use of smart card readers for voter accreditation. You see, the PDP has readymade excuses if it fails to win.

As for the APC guys, what can I say? An election is only free and fair when they win. When they don’t win, it is because of PDP’s rigging machinery. That one is settled. Their complaints will start from APC’s “advantage” in opinion polls and on the social media. The recent Israeli election is not a good reminder, though. Much like the APC, the opposition Zionist Union was favoured by opinion polls, social media and the US government. But the results showed otherwise. Likud party still retained its majority. The Zionist Union accepted defeat. Of course, Nigeria is not like Israel in terms of transparency of elections, but I’m just saying…

APC is likely to complain about everything — deployment of soldiers, “jamming” of smart card readers and “stomach infrastructure” — but they are unlikely to complain about Jega. Incredibly, Jega is now the darling of APC. On November 27, 2013 while delivering the annual lecture of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN), in Abeokuta, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC spokesman, specifically said Jega was not competent to conduct the 2015 polls. He spoke after his party lost in Anambra. But in 2015, he says Jega must not be removed. He even discovered plans by the PDP to deposit huge sums in Jega’s account to set up him. Nigeria!

In fact, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC, now part of APC) alleged in 2011 that Jega installed a software on INEC computers that was deducting a certain percentage of Buhari’s votes. This was one of the grounds it pleaded in its litigation. Isn’t it very interesting that Jega’s biggest admirers are now to be found in APC? What changed? Also, isn’t it amusing that the PDP no longer celebrates Jega? What changed? I am praying fervently that one day, I will begin to trust Nigerian politicians. It is so difficult for me. I have seen through them —whether they are in APGA, APC, PDP or whichever party. I am never deceived by their public posturing. It is all politics!

Meanwhile, I will make one more prediction and then I will be done: do not expect any presidential candidate to congratulate the other for winning the March 28 election. It has happened only once in our history. In 1993, when the results of the June 12 election came in and Bashorun MKO Abiola, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) had clearly won, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, who flew the flag of the National Republican Convention (NRC), promptly congratulated him. It was very unNigerian. And because it was unNigerian, Tofa had to withdraw his congratulations as NRC started making the claim that it actually won the election. Now that is very Nigerian.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi was also unNigerian last year. After Mr. Ayo Fayose was declared winner of the Ekiti governorship election, Fayemi congratulated him! I was close to tears. In Nigeria? What is happening to us? But the day after, we broke the story at TheCable that APC was heading for the tribunal. A top APC member, who is now a governorship candidate, called me and said: “Simon, you guys got your story wrong.” But APC soon headed for the tribunal. Fayemi was castigated for being “hasty” in making a concession. Sadly, recent allegations on the role soldiers played in the election, published by Sahara Reporters, have now put a big question mark on that poll’s credibility.

Nonetheless, it is very rare for a Nigerian to accept defeat. But in my dreams, I see Jonathan — if he loses — picking up the phone and congratulating Buhari. “Congratulations, General, for a well-deserved victory,” he says. “I am ready to work with you to ensure a smooth transition. I pray that your tenure will bring prosperity to Nigerians.” Dr. Reuben Abati, presidential spokesman, promptly issues a statement congratulating the APC for its victory. “Nigerians have spoken and the president respects their wishes,” he writes. “This election will remain a landmark not just in our history but in the annals of African politics for its credibility and novelty.”

And in my dreams, I see Buhari — if he loses — congratulating Jonathan. “I fully accept the outcome and congratulate you. I sincerely hope that you will use your second term to heal national wounds and tackle corruption and insecurity squarely. Accept the assurance of my best wishes,” Buhari tells Jonathan on phone. Mohammed, the APC spokesman, immediately issues a statement congratulating the PDP, maintaining that only a battle has been lost but the war is still on. “We fought a good fight, but while we have lost the battle, be sure that in 2019 you will have no hiding place. Nigerians want real change not promises of change,” Mohammed says.

Fellow Nigerians, pardon my stupidity. It is just that I’m obsessed with unNigerian dreams. I will wake up to reality to one day, I promise.

ROLL CALL
In the 1959 general election which ushered Nigeria into Independence, there were 9 million registered voters. The country had a population of 36 million then. Some 7.6 million turned out to vote at 25,000 polling units across the federation. Contrast with 2015: Nigeria now has a projected population of 170 million and 68 million registered voters. Voting will take place on Saturday at approximately 120,000 polling units all over Nigeria. Remarkably, there were 73.5 million registered voters four years ago, so this year’s figure is 5 million lower — apparently because of the biometric verification that effectively eliminated double registration. Technology.

LARGEST TURN-OUT
The 79.9% turn-out in the 1959 elections remains the highest, percentage wise. We don’t know why. Perhaps, it was because Nigerians were excited by Independence. There was massive awareness. There was real competition for votes among the parties. The second largest turn-out was in 2003 when 69% of the 60.8 million registered voters turned out in an election that gave President Obasanjo his second term after “defeating” Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. However, that election was generously rigged, with the figures merely written in most Southern states. There was a new style of rigging via “Form EC 8A” (the result sheets). Innovative.

LOWEST TURN-OUT
Guess the election that witnessed the lowest turn-out? 1964? 1979? 1993? Yes, in that order. From the height of 79.9% in 1959, the 1964 poll hit rock bottom with 33%. The election was boycotted by a coalition of opposition parties demanding postponement. The boycott was total in the east and partial in the west, where violence eventually broke out. In 1979, only 34% of the 48.6 million registered voters turned up despite the landmark return to democracy after 13 years of military rule. The third lowest, ironically, was in the famous June 12, 1993 poll when only 36% voted. Dwindling.

THE PARLIAMENT
You are hereby forgiven for thinking only the presidential election will hold on March 28. Actually, we would also be electing 109 senators and 360 members of House of Representatives. In 1959, there were 312 parliamentary seats. The Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) won 134, mostly in the north; the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) 81, mostly in the east; and Action Group (AG) 73, mostly in the west. Interestingly, NCNC scored the highest number of popular votes (2.59m), followed by AG (1.99m) and NPC (1.92m) — but the distribution of constituencies gave the north more seats in the parliament. Territorial.

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

The gods against Jonathan By FL, Ndako

When the devil wishes to destroy any man, it starts by making him blind. This is the story of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and his Friends and Associates. Fellow Nigerians, you wouldn’t believe what happened recently in Villa, during a book launch of GEJ!

What a pity…!

A book launch took place, and all GEJ’s cronies never showed up.

Except for few of his Aides, SSAs, who had no choice but to be present, with a few crowd.

Upon enquiry by GEJ, he was told that most of his cronies had left the country.

This, it was believed in an anticipation of a General Muhammadu Buhari GMB victory come 28th March, 2015 Presidential Election.

Funny of it all, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke, GEJ’s close associate and Minister of Petroleum, had took to her heel too. Owing to the fact that she is going to be the main victim to suffer more, as compared to all the country looters. Since her own situation was more of a “Lead-Suspect” who orchestrated all the Stealing of public fund, without any recourse to its repercussion.

However, reliably, she had left Nigeria with all her family members to the USA & Switzerland. Even though some few days ago in EDO State, wife to the APC presidential candidate GMB, Mrs. Aishat Buhari, had advised that in the even of a GMB victory at the election, no one would be sent to prison as envisaged by Patience Faka GEJ.

GEJ became feverish…!

And I soon ask, I hope GEJ ‘ll realize that all his cronies who had aided in messing his government, and have taken to their heel, hence chose not to attend his book Launch.

Even people like Alh. Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, AA Rano Oil & the likes were never present at the book Launch.

I cry and pity GEJ, for when the gods want to destroy a man, they make him dumb, deaf & blind to all the dictum of the world that could destroy him. Thereby leaving the man to wallow in his own self-inflicted justice.

I hope this serves as an eye-opener to all those who think that they can push the masses to be perpetually subjugated, without any respite, succour or salvage coming forth in nearest future.

God bless Nigeria, and give this country a Leader who will lead us to a juicy land of no return….!!!

 

@smifoyike

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

Online Media Boycotting Political Campaign Of APC/PDP Is Story For The Gods By Fejiro Oliver

Fejiro Oliver

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.

Henry Anatole Grunwald

 

I read with amusement the report abi fabrications of how some people met in Lagos to decide for Online Journalists and Publishers to boycott political adverts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC) simply because they have not been given adverts in their medium.

I ought to have ignored the news especially when it broke the elements of reporting. The 5 Ws and H were all missing and one begin to wonder when such became the norm in the industry if not to blackmail and arm twist the media arms of the two major political parties, by even alleging that one of them budgeted N150 million for advert.

While I cannot speak for other medium, I make bold to say that whoever concocted that is on his own and does not speak for any online journalist of which I am an active member. With all modesty, I am in touch with top journalists (not publishers) of the online media and we never reached such an agreement to boycott their adverts.

By the way, why must advert be a prerequisite for setting up a media house if not to inform the populace? Again, why must adverts be sought from political parties when we have numerous corporate bodies in Nigeria, as well as State government adverts? Is it a must that contesting parties should give adverts to a media house? The answer is a resounding NO. Call me a moralist but “Journalism without a moral position is impossible. Every journalist is a moralist. It’s absolutely unavoidable” (Marguerite Duras).

Media houses that knows their onions and worth reading like Premium Times, Elombah.com, 247ureports, Abusidiqu, News Rescue, The Capital and a whole lot of others have political parties adverts. As a policy, the trio of Sahara Reporters, Secrets Reporters and Daily Voice NG do not take adverts from contesting politicians and State Governments, until it is probably reviewed that there is sanity in the polity. If this were not so, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa advert would have been running on Secrets Reporters and Daily Voice NG. This is not to say that those who have it are wrong, as they are not and never will be. Even the numerous corporate adverts on the duo of Daily Voice NG and Secrets Reporters are not shown as part of agreement reached with them.

For those ghost publishers and journalists, who claimed to have met in Lagos, I want to put it to them that the APC presidential campaign team has given the sum of N3 million to a publisher (name withheld on professional basis) which was paid directly into his account for onward distribution to some online medium, and I challenge anyone to come out to dispute this. Yet, APC adverts are not on the listed online media sites.

Nigerians should begin to hold the online media which has become the present and future journalism to the tenets of the profession. We cannot be holding government and corporate bodies accountable when we have among them publishers and journalists who dine with the oppressors, collect money from them and come out to tell us that they are not being patronized.

Whoever feels angered that they are not given adverts in times such as this should turn to a marketer for the fast fading print medium and get his/her own cut of the supposed national cake than use our collective name to deceive the politicians. Glenn Greenwood word on journalism that “A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts”

For those journalists who hold the ace in the online media, we will not boycott any political advert of any party, whether we get it or not. It is their prerogative to give adverts to whom and our privilege as information dispensers should not be translated into being alpha and omega to bring down whom we chose. Those of us who have been blessed to be at the forefront of fighting for a better society will continue to treat everyone equal while exposing the ills of every sector, including our own colleagues. We refused to be joined to a pseudo body that do not mean well for the country but their pockets.

This is another gaffe from these unknown publishers in Nigeria and their statement should be taken as another story for the gods. To PDP and APC, we will cover your reports and hold you by your manifestos when elected and not to be blinded by a million dollar advert you place on our medium. This is what we owe Nigerians.

Fejiro Oliver, Managing Editor of Daily Voice NG, Editorial Board Chairman of Secrets Reporters News, Media Consultant and Co-Convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD)can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86

 

Time To Say Our Lord’s Prayer By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, please I have no intention of scaring anyone today but to paint a realistic scenario of what may likely happen soon. Experience has taught me not to dismiss anything as mere rumour these days. I vividly recollect the damage even unfounded rumour can cause in a country so prone to malicious gossips as Nigeria.

Permit me to take you down memory lane especially those who were yet to be born, or old enough to experience first-hand certain events, in1989 that culminated in what was dubbed the SAP Riots. It so happened that an evil genius somewhere had released a bazooka of a rumour about General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and his family. The tale-bearer had mentioned that there was a story in Ebony, an American magazine, which purportedly listed the stupendous wealth of the Babangidas, including coded accounts in Switzerland, a sprawling boutique in Paris, choice properties in a few world capitals and so on.

The rumour ignited like bush-fire in harmattan just as some livid and obviously rabid Nigerians went wild and took to the streets. I don’t remember the exact date of this conflagration but it was on a particular Wednesday in May 1989. I was a reporter working for the Weekend Concord at the time and was out of Lagos when the demonstrators unleashed mayhem in different parts of Nigeria, most especially in Lagos and Benin City. I had returned on a Friday to my desk while the first edition of our wave-making and audacious newspaper had already gone out. And the cover read: Black Wednesday in Lagos.

I immediately approached my Editor, Mr Mike Awoyinfa, a man with an uncanny nose for news and scoops, and challenged him about the lack of adequate bite in the reportage of that important story. My Editor threw the challenge back at me and instructed me to write another version for the second edition. The story I was about to pen was so dangerously precarious under a military regime but I challenged fate and broke down the eventful riots into pieces and took the readers back into its original source. Every newspaper had celebrated the story but they were just too timid to situate the reasons for the total breakdown of law and order apparently for fear of a backlash from the petulant military rulers.
What I found preposterous was the fact that no one had made sufficient effort to look for the original publication that supposedly printed the satanic story. Even the famous social crusader, Dr Tai Solarin, who led a chunky part of the rebellion, said he had not seen an original copy of the magazine. Everything was thus based on rumours upon rumours and hearsay upon hearsay. Fortunately for me, as I sat down to write one of my most difficult stories ever, our Managing Director, Dr Doyinsola Hamidat Abiola, received some current editions of Ebony magazine from our Chairman, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, who had just flown in from one of his marathon trips abroad. Dr Abiola, as if in spirit, had urgently dispatched the copies of Ebony to my Editor who in turn sent them to me, and that confirmed our worst fears that there was no such story and it was all a mere fabrication to smear the government.

I must have written one of my best stories ever that night. I traced the origin of the rumours and painted a vivid picture of the allegations. I mentioned authoritatively that we had combed several issues of Ebony and there was no such story ever published. For extra effect, we made a bromide of the latest Ebony cover and plastered it on the cover of Weekend Concord. As I sweated over the story, I uncharacteristically sent for a bottle of beer to calm down my nerves. The Publisher of Classique magazine, May Ellen Ezekiel, had walked in to submit her MEE column which I had the privilege of editing, and asked why I was looking so tense. I told her about my delicate story and she was wowed by my bravery. That very night, she started working on how to poach me to her magazine. What was more, our Lagos edition of Weekend Concord sold 80,000 copies that Saturday.

My mind raced back to this experience about four weeks ago as I ran into a Nigerian lady in Madrid who told me she had left Nigeria in order to escape election violence but was returning because it was postponed. As I write this, I know of many families running away from Nigeria between now and next week. If you doubt the veracity of my gist, please call or try to book flights on any of the major airlines and tell me your experience later. Election has become a war and a matter of life and death in our country. I was hoping things would be different after watching the peace accord document that was voluntarily signed by our political gladiators in Abuja, before man and God.  I was particularly encouraged by the loud banter exchanged between President Jonathan and Major General Muhammadu Buhari. It is tragic that the accord broke down almost as soon as it was signed.

I won’t make you more miserable by regurgitating some of the nonsense campaigning we’ve been subjected to by adults and supposed nationalists who should know much better and act decorously. But the situation has so degenerated that no one can predict what would happen next. Now the scaremongering has reached a crescendo. The biggest rumour in town is that the ruling party has decided that it will never hand over power to the opposition no matter the outcome of the election. And these rumours are emanating from some of those very close to the corridors of power. The First Lady, in particular, has not hidden her disdain for her husband’s main challenger. I’ve taken time to watch most of her campaigns after my well-circulated open letter to her hoping to see a mellowing down in tone and tempo but she seems to have charged back with a vengeance thus spiralling out of control. The hate speeches have shone clearly that our nation is on tenterhooks and we need loads of prayers to have this cup pass over us.

The doomsday predilection should therefore be taken seriously since nothing can be ruled out in our dear beloved country. The power-mongers are never tired of trying new stunts. Who would have believed in 1993 that Chief Abiola would win the election and a few people would sit in a room and cancel what had the potential of unifying Nigerians forever! But it happened before our very eyes. Unfortunately, Nigeria has known no peace since then. We have become more divided and stupidly disunited since then.

The actors and characters currently in power seem to want to try their own June 12 fiasco. They have been going round taking lessons and tutorials in how to hold a whole country to ransom and by the jugular just because they must hang on to power. They do not mind wielding guns and cudgels in broad daylight on the streets of a megacity, with security agents in tow. They have reduced the issues of performance and under-performance to ethnicity and religion. I thought it should be obvious that elections are not won by force but through deliverables and persuasion. Rather than encourage Professor Attahiru Jega to do a better job this time, I’ve watched all manner of hirelings on television cooking some hocus-pocus in order to discredit the man and hopefully boot him out. Someone high up even assured me Jega will be removed by today because he would never be permitted to conduct the forthcoming election and it just didn’t make sense to me.
If I was going to dismiss the Interim Government rumour out of hand I was immediately jolted back to reality after the latest warning by no less personages than Professor Wole Soyinka and Lt. General Alani Ipoola Akinrinade both of whom have access to very solid and credible intelligence. General Olusegun Obasanjo had also spoken copiously against it and must have had good cause for doing so. In case some of the present warriors have lost their memory of the June 12 crisis, let me remind them about what happened to each of the dramatis personae one by one.

General Babangida was the President who supervised that election which Professor Humphrey Nwosu conducted efficiently.  After the annulment, Babangida, who went by the moniker Maradona, was forced to step aside and he never succeeded in coming back as he seemed to have planned and designed. He lost to boot what would have being his most glorious moment. Chief Ernest Degunle Shonekan was forced on the nation as Head of Interim Government but he hardly settled in before some soldiers put guns to his head and forced him to relinquish power in a jiffy.

Chief Moshood Abiola was deceived into believing that General Sani Abacha would hand over to him after a coup that would flush out the Babangida renegades but it turned out to be a grand scam. Abacha took power and decided to sit pretty and the owner of the mandate was left out in the chilly cold.

Abacha wasted no time in arresting Chief Abiola and kept him for most part incommunicado and in solitary confinement. Abacha must also researched those likely to have voluble ambition to checkmate him and he discovered two influential Generals, Olusegun Obasanjo and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and promptly hurled both into detention after arranging some felonious charges against them. The latter died in prison. Both Abacha and Abiola would later die in mysterious circumstances, just one month apart in 1998. Nigeria itself went into a coma. Over two decades after, we are still grappling with lack of basic necessities of life and we’ve never had things so bad minus the civil war era which some of our brethren in the East also appear to have forgotten by playing race card above potentials.
The danger of plotting against your people is you never know the punishment that awaits you and yours. I’m sure many of those who brought crisis upon us these past decades must be gnashing their teeth by now. Had they concocted a better Nigeria, things would probably have turned out differently today even for them. Our country would have been rescued from the vermin now plaguing our land. Only God gives power and HE is the one who can take it back.

I will give my last example. In 2010, everything was done by the so-called cabal to stop the then Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, from assuming power. The custodian of the power himself was too sick and totally oblivious to the power-game around him. Yet a few people commandeered Nigeria in his name. At the height of the higgledy-piggledy it was even suggested that power was going to be transferred to his wife. We were all afraid that Nigeria may collapse in the process but nothing of the sort happened because God the ALMIGHTY, as always, sorted Nigeria out. Without anyone firing a bullet those playing God ate the humble pie and left power without as much as a whimper.
This is why I’m flabbergasted that President Jonathan is allowing some rascals to mislead and drive him down that same evil alley. A man who was rescued and raised up by God should never play God. There is nothing more to gain by our President. He is the luckiest man I know, dead or alive. What more can he ever ask for? My advice as usual is simple and straight-forward.

Mr President has one week to make history and the only way to achieve that is not to end his career in unproductive acrimony. All those prodding him on, including his wife, have nothing to lose but he has everything to forfeit. I’m sure most of those who worked for the world’s most notorious dictators are still around to enjoy their loot while the despots have all been consigned to the dustbin of history. That is the tragedy that befalls those who listen to similarly wrong people that litter our political landscape and I see so many more of them along the corridors of Abuja.

There is a thin line between success and failure. What Nigeria needs is a visibly free and credible election. We need it now more than ever. If the President wins, so be it. And if the opposition candidate creates an upset, I expect the President to ring him up and concede defeat like other digital leaders such as him. The world shall rise up and give him a standing ovation. But if he plays for broke by deciding to fight dirty as pre-ordained by the hawks that appear to have enchanted and engulfed him, the rest of us shall take solace in the Lord’s Prayer:

“Our Father, who art in heaven

Hallowed be thy Name

Thy will be done on earth,

As it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

The power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.

Amen.”

 

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

“E Go Better,” Kill Nigeria By Perry Brimah

When we examine the predicament of Nigeria; when we review our history in light of our record of decades of malgovernance, outrageous corruption (economic terrorism), insubordination by authorities and failed administrations; one reality presents itself: we are unique.

Whereas the French would have long revolted and changed their governments; whereas the African-Americans would long have been on the streets as they are in Ferguson today; as they were in LA years ago. Compared, the Arabs would have “sprung,” and the masses of America would have “occupied;” Nigerians are hopeful.

It is our happiness that is at fault. Our hope is our blight. We have been diagnosed for this attitude. We were called the happiest people on earth. We thought this was something to be happy about, little did we realize then that this was a slight.

Recent polls by Gallup have better qualified this so-called “happiness.” Africans and Nigerians most especially are not quite the happiest people on Earth, but what the studies have found is that we are the most “optimistic” people on earth; the most “Positive.”

Quoting Gallup; “Nigeria proved to be the most positive country about 2015 with 85% of respondents thinking it will be better whereas Lebanon was most pessimistic with just 26% saying that they believe it will be better and 52% believing it will be worse.”

This unusual result (85%) compared to a global average of 53% optimism in a better future.

We are the “Positive thought” nation; in lay and local lingo, we are the “e go better” people. Faced with adversity, we smile and say, “e go better.” Governed by rottenly corrupt and clueless leaders, we shrug and advise calm, proclaiming, “e go better.” When ruled by leaders who spend the entire 5 years plotting against a so-called opposition, maleficiently looting the treasury and campaigning for their re-election, we say, “e go better.” When ruled by rulers who purposely mismanage all state assets then auction them to their cronies, we say, “e go better.”

Throw a nuclear bomb at us, we will say, “e go better.”

They allow terrorists kill 100,000 of us and displace 3 million more, we will say, “e go better.” When they supervise pogroms in the north or south, we say, “e go better.” Kill us yourself; send the army to wipe out our entire villages to “teach us a lesson,” we will say, “e go better.”

No matter what you throw at the Nigerian, he will not only not fight, but he will actually smile and encourage platitude and hope – optimism that “e go better.” China Okasi noted this in an OpEd piece she wrote in the MSNBC last May when we lost our 234 Chibok daughters – sure enough it didn’t “better,” the worst happened; the girls are gone! A year after the deadly Immigration scam, it did not better. Abba Moro was never sentenced, Jonathan never resigned. We were never employed. Nothing changed. Nothing got better.

This false optimism is what has been noted about us. This is our blessing and our curse so long as we do not, as China stated, “actively demand and ensure better,” seek the change to make it better, and not “passively wish” for it to “better.” This is why we did not expel the government when Odi happened. This is why we tolerated the government when Baga I happened and again when Baga II happened and when Chibok happened. This is why we tolerated IBB and Abacha. And this, “e go better” is what will – if it has not already – kill us.

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

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

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