You Tambuwaled Me, I Sarakied You By Zacheaus Adebayo

“Senator Bukola and Hon. Dogara are not the candidates of the APC and a majority of its National Assembly members-elect for the positions of Senate President and House Speaker…. The party is supreme and its interest is superior to that of its individual members.

Consequently, the APC leadership is meeting in a bid to re-establish discipline in the party and to mete out the necessary sanctions to all those involved in what is nothing but a monumental act of indiscipline and betrayal to subject the party to ridicule and create obstacles for the new administration… There can be no higher level of treachery, disloyalty and insincerity within any party”.
-Alh Lai Mohammed, National Publicity Secetary, APC

Unless you saw the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gallantly defend the party’s position on national televisions, you would hardly believe that he indeed issued the statement, which excerpts I quoted above. It is a typical case of talking from both sides of the mouth.

It is easily recalled that the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN’s spokesman applauded when Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal beat Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola blue and black against the zoning formula and directive of the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP through ACN’s conspiracy with some ‘rebellious’ PDP lawmakers. It was all about Ahmed Bola Tinubu ensuring that the PDP did not have any rallying point in the South West and also to trigger internal discord. And indeed, the PDP and Jonathan’s administration never recovered from that blow.

Fast-forward to October 2015 when Tambuwal defected from the PDP to the APC. Again, hear Lai Mohammed: “I must say that this historic development means that our democracy is growing by the day and it is dynamic. On a more serious note, we welcome the defection of Tambuwal to APC. With this defection, APC has now taken the leadership of one arm of the national legislature. We think that having the head of the legislature from the opposition party makes for a balanced setting in government and it’s good for democracy”.

Citing the example of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and Nigerian Peoples Party  (NPP) accord in which the ruling party, the NPN, shared the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly, NASS, he enthused: “When the accord concordia broke down, the then Speaker, Chief Edwin Umezoke, did not relinquish his position. Those who are saying that this has not happened before and that Tambuwal should step aside as speaker, do not have the  backing of history and the constitution”.

Today, the former Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is also crying foul. Hear him on Tambuwal’s defection: “We welcome and applaud the speaker’s decision… We are proud to acknowledge that the speaker remains not only a member of the House of Representatives but also its speaker. This position is consistent with the law and practice in a presidential system of government and Nigeria is no different. For the avoidance of doubt, the constitution requires only that the speaker or deputy speaker of the House of Representatives shall be elected by members of that House from among themselves. As a caucus, we pledge our continued support to the current leadership of the House of Representatives”.

Also, speaking at the APC Special Convention on October 29, 2015, the now incumbent President praised Hon. Tambuwal to the high heavens for defecting to APC and smartly retaining his office by shutting down House. Buhari’s exact words: “We will like to thank Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal for what he did yesterday. We were overwhelmed. Taking such a remarkable risk and sending everybody on holidays till December is an achievement”.

In view of all these, one wonders what moral grounds the APC cries blue murder over the successful democratic revolution that took place at the NASS on June 9 against impunity. It is an incident that has further bared the ugly underbelly and hypocrisy among the APC leaders.

Meanwhile, Section 50 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides: “There shall be:-  (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves”. So, what are the sins of the Senators and Honourable Members except that they simply obeyed the constitution, and spurned the selfish impositions by the APC godfathers.

Nothing could be more irresponsible and politically naive than the protest by the APC that the whole nation and the Senators-elect should have waited for them to conclude their breakfast meeting before going into the business of electing the presiding officers of the Senate. The NASS elections were held on March 28. If they could not put their house in order in 72 days, why should a nation be held to ransom because of the manipulations of some power-greedy politicians? More so, when President Buhari had since sent the Proclamation of the 8th Assembly to the Clerk to the National Assembly, directing him to perform the ceremony at 10am. The APC breakfast meeting and the inauguration of the NASS, which was more important?

Rather than complain that the Senate was inaugurated without a full compliments of APC Senators-elect, APC leadership should rather be grateful to PDP Senators for being honourable gentlemen and women. With an overwhelming number of PDP Senators in the chamber at the time the exercise began at past 10am, nothing stopped them from electing one of their own to take over the Senate. But they still delivered an APC Senate President. Could the APC have been this magnanimous?

Again, even if all the APC Senators were present, what difference could they have made when their house was already sharply divided between Senator Ahmed Lawn and Senator Bukola Saraki, while the PDP bloc votes were pledged to the later?  To drive the point home, APC even stood far better chances of having their way in the House of Reps, but what difference did their full compliments make when PDP’s block votes ensured that Gbajabiamila was floored?

Furthermore, APC’s tantrums over the election of Senator Ike Ekweremadi as the Deputy Senate President make them all the more bad losers. When Tambuwal retained headship of the House of Reps after defecting to a minority party, the APC, didn’t Lai Mohammed say that “it means that our democracy is growing by the day and it is dynamic”? Didn’t he say that “having the head of the legislature from the opposition party makes for a balanced setting in government”? Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution does not expressly say that the presiding officers must come from the ruling party. So, Tambuwal’s defection to APC with PDP’s mandate can’t be right, while Ekweremadu’s democratic election as Deputy Senate President is wrong.

Again, if the APC has chosen to term it as an “unholy alliance”, the combination of the APC and PDP forces that produced the Saraki/Ekweremadu Senate presidency, it needs to be reminded that it first committed even a worse ‘unholy alliance’ in Benue State House of Assembly four days earlier when it connived with some PDP lawmakers to elect APC’s Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange Speaker of a House where the PDP is in majority, while the PDP made do with only the Deputy Speaker Hon. James Okefe Ejembi. Ikyange beat PDP’s Hon Ucha to the Speakership. In Plateau State, Hon. Peter Azi of the APC was also elected Speaker of the 24-Member State Assembly whereas the PDP is in majority with 13 seats.

The APC’s problem is that some power mongers do not seem to understand that the National Assembly belongs to all Nigerians, not the APC. It is not a must that whomever the majority party anoints for Senate President, Speaker, etc must go unopposed because whoever is elected as Senate President, for instance, will be Senate President of all Nigerians, not Senate President of the APC.

Rather behave like a bull in a China shop or become too petty like Senator Oluremi Tinubu who snubbed Senator Saraki’s handshake,  the APC should blame itself for not heeding sound pieces of advise on the composition of the National Assembly leadership, preferring to chop alone amid impositions. For instance, I warned in a widely published article “The Impropriety of an all-North Senate Presidency” that the “APC must be reminded that it is gambling away its goodwill so fast and its lack of sense of justice and equity could be the straw that might break its back”.

I continued: “Concerning the Senate in particular, I am deeply surprised that the APC leaders are playing the ostrich, burying their heads in the sand of greed and powergrab instead of taking a realistic evaluation of the situation…. With 59 Senators (that is, minus late Senator Zanna) against PDP’s 49, the APC cannot just do what it likes with the Senate because it does not enjoy the kind of majority PDP used to enjoy”.

You cannot just fly a Lawan-Akume ticket and expect everybody, including the 32 Senators from the South East and South South to clap for you simply because you are the majority party.

APC should stop playing the bad losers. What goes round comes around. If ACN (now APC) elements Tambuwaled the PDP in 2011, the PDP also has the right to Saraki, and even Dogara and Ekweremadu the APC. Enough of this hypocrisy!

 

*Adebayo writes from Ibadan

Aregbesola: A Failure In Disguise By Adeniyi Rufai

In my own critical thinking, seriously, Uncle Rauf Aregbesola needs to consult expatriate on financial and public administrative policy. He needs who can help him to re-strategize his govt policy and especially to renegotiating loan and re-payment agreement in a way that won’t affect day-to-day running of the state administration. At present, he’s failing and needs to seek help only if he will listen. Because they said he’s too stubborn.

The major problem before him is that he has bite more than what he can chew. Ogbeni Aregbe and all his cohorts are not speaking the truth or may be they have all swore or made oath for them to have kept silent on critical issues that is known fully killing the die-hard workers and punishing them for unknown reason. Otherwise, they are all wicked from local govt administrators called executive secretary for them not have called his attention to what is going on in town.  Our puppet state law makers are not excluded. Our state lawmakers at Abeere are not well representing their people, the political appointees from local to state are all hypocrites and the state APC also are sycophants of the century. It is only the wicked and blind fan will condone or support the so called Messiah of the State of Osun on how he’s clueless manage the state affair.

How did it get to the present level it is now still remain miserable and difficult to understand for me. I believe every sane person should reason the same except the beneficiaries of those in power who have no idea of what people are going through can deny the fact.

It will soon get to a stage where we may have to publicly demand Osun State income and expenditure with regards to IGR and all ongoing and abandoned projects from Mr. Governor and his cabal. Or the suffering masses turn to what I wouldn’t want to say for now until then…

Wait, isn’t the workers first in every organization or may be I am wrong? Can somebody please tell me. O’Real, O’this, O’that; when O’Sense isn’t in place then it is O’Nonsense plus O’Useless which is O’Clueless!

When you don’t manage your human resources well, who will manage material resources effectively with no divided mindset? May be Mr. Governor have forgotten that an hungry man is an angry man…can somebody please help me tell this man called Aregbe that town isn’t smilling for his workers?

I think the may have to start  #Aregbesolamustgo  #Aregbesolawhereisyourpromise #Aregbesolaisafailure #nomoreexcuses because is presently a failure and he’s failing us. He has ran out of ideas. If you have nothing else to offer for good, please resign honorably.

Aregbesola must stop fooling us with his untenable excuses, we no longer believe or listening to a failure in disguise

Adeniyi Rufai
New York, USA
Cel: +18474544135
Home: adeniyi.rufai@gmail.com

Why Nigeria’s Army Chiefs, NSA Need To Go, Now By Peregrino Brimah

Saraki And The Battle For 2019 By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, please permit me to say right away that the ways of politicians are never that of ordinary mortals. Otherwise, we would not have found ourselves in the present peculiar mess which culminated in the virtual fiasco at the National Assembly, last Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The emergence of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki as Senate President has ignited an unprecedented conundrum in the Upper Legislative chamber for several reasons known and unknown to the general public. What is clear is that it was a high-wired game of political chess which caught even the most politically-savvy members of our society napping. It is a tale full of sound and fury but signifying nothing but plenty of intrigues and abracadabra.But it wasn’t as if the outcome of that combustive election had not been predicted and foretold. The platform had been provided by the inability of the amalgamation of different political parties that made up the All Progressives Congress (APC) to enter into a prenuptial agreement, prior to sealing the union, as to how to share power then and in the future. It was similarly tantamount to a polygamist failing to prepare a comprehensive Will ahead of his death and then suddenly dropping dead intestate. The hullabaloo would naturally reverberate across the seas and to far-flung places.

The APC had managed its multi-faceted marriage well pre-2015 elections to the admiration and adulation of most Nigerians who had expected the unification to be scattered to the winds after the primaries that produced General Muhammadu Buhari as the APC flag-bearer. But, mercifully, the cracks were ably glued and even solidly cemented as the Presidential aspirants came together in an atmosphere of uncommon maturity and vowed to work jointly with their Party’s candidate. Such camaraderie was seen as indication of a new political order and remarkable sagacity in our clime. It was one of the reasons many Nigerian first time voters got connected to the change mantra of the APC and gave their unqualified support to an opposition party that was fighting for a life of its own.

Against all odds, including intimidation, manipulations and near-bastardisation of the electoral process, Nigerians went out with renewed determination to exercise their voting rights and stood stoutly to monitor and protect their votes with anything and everything. The burden of expectation would soon manifest its ugly head after the monumental victory. I had written articles about this and in particular the inherent danger of ascribing talismanic powers to President Buhari and his team. Unknown to us, this was going to be the least of the problems of APC. The lurking danger would turn out to come surreptitiously from a different and unexpected direction, in this case, power-sharing formula.

The CPC had succeeded in producing the President while the ACN got the Vice Presidential slot. The third and very influential bride was the New PDP. A not too distant party in the wedding party was the ANPP. APGA also played the role of bridesmaid. One would have assumed the New PDP would get a sizable chunk of the vast estate from the deal but this was not the case. Outsiders like us had warned about the danger of not taking good care of all interested parties in this holy matrimony. In fact, I had sermonised in my article titled Let’s Honour Our Heroes (Thisday, May 2, 2015) about the need to accommodate and compensate the New PDP in the arrangement without any prevarication whatsoever:

“The first point to note is that APC must resolve all its power-sharing squabbles amicably and equitably. The greed factor must be jettisoned for fair-play. Every partner in the greatest political merger ever in Nigeria must be treated with respect and decorum. No attempt should be made to treat anyone as an inferior member of the union. Once that is taken into consideration and settled pronto, the party would enjoy the bliss it deserves after a most excruciating campaign. What kills most amalgamations is egocentricity. I already foresee a war of attrition if APC does not immediately halt the present macabre dance by some of its members. The Party and the Government that it will establish at executive and legislative level must not see itself as a coalition of Parties with separate ideologies and detrimental interests. Having fused into one it must behave as such and cater to the core doctrines embedded in its manifesto.

“Let me be more specific. The APC has been locked in a logjam over the zoning of the highest positions in the land. The way I see it is that CPC has already produced the number one slot. ACN has provided the number two. ANPP has secured the boss of all bosses the National Chairman of APC. The New PDP which came into the union with five formidable Governors and a multitude of National Assembly members is yet to get any position. This appears to me as grossly unfair and disproportionate. It is one of the reasons many onlookers and non-party members like me supported the candidacy of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki as Senate President. We must learn to honour our heroes. Dr Saraki with Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Rabiu Kwankwaso risked everything to make this Change Movement possible. They and their other colleagues took the bulls by the horns and took the battle to the doorsteps of PDP. It is unfathomable how anyone would say they don’t deserve any chunky positions in the grand alliance…”

Unfortunately, it seemed no one hearkened to my admonitions. Obviously, Saraki was vehemently opposed by some top guns and practically turned into a pariah within his own party. Yet he was the first to throw his hat into the ring for the position of Senate President. It seemed that other contestants were only put forward mainly to thwart Saraki and not because of the added value that they would bring to nation building. Without any fear of contradictions, Dr Saraki is one of the most cosmopolitan politicians in Nigeria today. He is in the league of the El-Rufais, Donald Dukes, Babatunde Fasholas, Rotimi Amaechis, Adams Oshiomholes, Kayode Fayemis, Pat Utomis, Godswill Akpabios, Rabiu Kwankwasos, Tanko Al Makuras, Ibikunle Amosuns, Abiola Ajimobis, Waziri Tambuwals and many others who have shown enough promise of a greater Nigeria. I will be proud to showcase a Saraki in the gathering of world leaders and wondered how anyone would seek to suppress the obvious potentials of such an urbane and confident politician.

I followed the shenanigans that ensued with rapt attention and keen interest. Every obstacle was placed in Saraki’s path to make sure he did not emerge as the winning candidate for the post of Senate President. Feeling rejected and dejected, but nevertheless determined to succeed, he must have turned to his former friends at PDP for support. At any rate, it should have been obvious to any discerning mind that it would be difficult to win the election without the co-operation of PDP Senators. The numerical strength of the PDP, with more than 40% of the Senators, made this a matter of stark fact. Since it did not appear some powerful members of his party favoured him, Saraki was buoyed by the support that he would get from the PDP. This was the beginning of the chaos that would explode and engulf the House of APC.

What happened when the APC leadership decided to shoot itself in the foot by summoning a Party conference with the President at the same time the Senate was being inaugurated is now the subject of intense speculation as to who, how, and why? What is clear is that this opening gambit played spectacularly into the hands of the Saraki faction. Call it what you want, a coup, double cross, ambush, outflanking, outsmarting, or any other nomenclature; this was surely a great military strategy at work. It is interesting that some of those in the forefront of the denouement are all military, from Senator David Mark to President Buhari. The deft move cut the opponents dead in their tracks. Whislt they were scurrying back to the Senate, having been left in the lurch by a President who had earlier stated in no uncertain terms that he was not going to interfere in the matter, Senator Saraki was being returned unopposed as Senate President by 57 Senators elect out of 108.

The PDP which had co-operated in securing the Senate Presidency for one of their former colleagues suddenly saw a wind of opportunity as there were still not enough APC members to elect a Deputy Senate President from the ranks of APC. Seizing the moment they immediately put up Senator Ike Ekweremadu as thier candidate for Deputy Senate President. He duly won. I believe there was nothing Saraki could have done about this even if many feel he should have waited for his late-coming colleagues. APC simply did not have the numbers at the time and there is nothing in the Constitution stopping the PDP from doing this.

Indeed, given the disunity in the APC it is a wonder that PDP did not decide to go for the Senate Presidency itself. With its block of 49 solid votes it would only take Senators Lawan or Saraki to split the APC vote for a PDP candidate to win by default. There would have been nothing wrong with this, as the Constitution does not stipulate that it is the sole prerogative of the ruling party to present the Senate President or indeed the Deputy Senate President.

There is no doubt that the Constitution expects some sort of democratic input into the selection of the Senate President and his Deputy. It envisages that all shades represented in the Senate must participate in this process. If it wanted only the majority party to present a candidate or candidates it would have said so. In any event this country had just come from witnessing the glorious feeling of what true democracy can bring about. Why should APC which is the prime beneficiary of that spirit of democracy seek to egregiously deprive one of its own from engaging or enjoying this kind of spirit?

It is also instructive that ACN, one of the integral parties of the APC spearheaded the PDP revolt which led to His Excellency Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State becoming Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2011 over Honourable Mulikat Adeola who was the anointed candidate of the PDP. PDP cried foul at the time but APC blew the trumpet of democracy and the constitutional right of members to elect their leader. The PDP realising the truism in this position sheathed their swords and embraced Tambuwal thereafter. The Party closed ranks and worked together. It is not clear what the difference is now and why APC should be complaining when what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. What goes round comes round. For PDP it was certainly payback time. And they did so real good. At least, APC should have pretended that it was not pained at all. After-all, our dear Brother, Tambuwal remained The Speaker to the very end despite picking the gubernatorial mandate of APC and PDP bore its anguish with equanimity.

Now APC must, like PDP in 2011, must close ranks and move forward. It is gratifying that the number one father of the nation and the quintessential leader of APC, President Buhari, immediately congratulated the new leaders of the National Assembly and pledged to work with them. Other national leaders including the Chairman of the APC, Dr John Oyegun, and the projected Chairman of the Party’s Board of Trustees, former Vice-President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, also did the same. This is what Nigerians need in this climate of change and I know that my dear brother and Publicity Secretary of the Party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed would now have the chance to join his fellow Kwarans in jubilating a rare feat by Oloye Saraki.

I must again single out for praise Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the stoic way he has handled the smashing of his carefully laid plans. Like the statesman that he is, Asiwaju has refrained from pouring oil onto the raging fire even though he is obviously piqued and miffed. That is as it should be. At the end of the day it is Nigeria’s interest that is paramount and not personal interests. Tinubu has the culture of bowing to superior logic and I’m he has risen above unproductive altercations. I’m looking forward to seeing that special photograph of reuniting with his dear Aburo in the next few days. Nobody wants a divided ruling party because that cannot augur well for the much sought progress that the country and its long-suffering citizens are clamouring for.

These are momentous times for Nigeria. Everyone agrees that Dr Bukola Saraki has the qualities for making a good Senate President who will work in grand collaboration with the Executive led by President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the rot in our polity. Like the President, Saraki wanted this position and worked for it. He is not a reluctant candidate who simply contested or was drafted for the sake of it. The problem he faces currently is the strong suspicion that he may enter the Presidential race in 2019. We shall elaborate more on this speculation, sooner than later.

But whether true or false, this is no justification for throwing away this charming baby with the bathwater. God bless President Buhari for dousing this volatile tension.

The NASS Leadership Election And The Way Forward For APC By Aliyu Audu

The election and inauguration of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara as the senate president and speaker of the 8th assembly of the federal republic of Nigeria has been greeted with mixed reactions from different sectors of the country.

Just like president Muhammadu Buhari and many other party faithful I would have wished that the party was united in the formation of the 8th national assembly leadership. However, there is no one to blame but the party leadership for their failure to decisively provide leadership – specifically instructions and guidelines – on the subject matter immediately after the general election.

The present composition of the NASS leadership represents suitable rewards for the four geopolitical zones that worked arduously for the success of the party. Much better than the proposed formation by some party leaders which would have left the north central without any position and South west with two slots in the top four positions in the country.

Senator Saraki capitalized on his overall acceptance amongst his peers within and outside the party to ensure his emergence being aware of certain interest within the party that were working against his success despite being the most qualified among those being taunted for
the position.

The insinuations of Senator Saraki working for the opposition as peddled in some quarters is baseless and in bad faith.

Senator Saraki willingly dumped the PDP for the APC in the interest of the nation and his contribution to the success of the party in the last general election can only be from a leader who believes in the party. The exceptional benefaction of Senator Saraki resulted to the sterling performance of the party in the north central zone; a zone that has always been controlled by the PDP.

The suggestion that Senator Saraki has always been for the PDP is not only laughable but baseless. Have we forgotten that his late father Oloye Olusola saraki was one of the founding members of the All Nigeria people’s party(ANPP); one of the legacy parties of the APC? Senator Saraki has demonstrated that he is a man of integrity on several occasions including his decision to drop his presidential ambition and working tirelessly for the success of PRESIDENT BUHARI. It is a general knowledge that he fell out with his late father because of his refusal to support his sister to succeed him as the governor of Kwara thereby lending support to someone from a different senatorial zone.

His refusal to endorse Goodluck Jonathan in 2003 as a pdp governor after taking part and agreeing to the outcome of the Northern Political Leaders Forum exercise that produced Alhaji Abubakar Atiku as the sole northern presidential candidate in PDP also comes to mind.

The veracity of the supposed invitation from President Buhari to the APC’s senators is yet to be established as there is still no evidence that president Buhari was at the international conference center for any meeting. Especially when you consider the fact that the president had made clear and public his decision not to interfere with the activities of the national assembly.
There are indications that the “meeting” was intended to corner senator Saraki and his group, senators of like minds as it was clear that he wasn’t ready to drop his ambition just to satisfy a few individuals in the party.

It can be seen at best as an act of political naivety on the part of the senators elect of the APC Unity Forum or at worse negligence of responsibility by proceeding to the International conference center to meet with the president. They should have headed to the national assembly to carry out their first national assignment of being inaugurated and electing their principal officers especially when the president has long made his position known on the subject matter.

The comments credited to the PDP spokesperson on this issue if true, shows that they are yet to come to terms with their rejection by the people of Nigeria after 16 years of failure. The APC has far more to offer Senator Ike Ekweremadu than the PDP would ever dream of. His election as the deputy senate president is first of many moves of the APC to consolidate her position as a truly national party and its commitment to putting the national interest above that of the party at all times.

This is at worst a teething problem for the governing party compared to the Tambuwwal saga that was a terminal ailment for the PDP. We are confident that the leadership of the APC will rise past this challenge and settle down to the business of saving the country by working together and other Nigerians to solve the myriads of problems resulting from the 16 years of misrule of the PDP.

The party leaders are well aware of the many promises made during campaign and internal disagreements over the composition of the National assembly won’t be an acceptable excuse for not living up to the expectation of Nigerians.

Aliyu Audu is a member the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF)

tweets @aliyu_audu

Bukola Saraki Versus the All Politicians Congress By Gimba Kakanda

In the period running up to, and immediately after, the March 28 presidential election, a number of us were already disillusioned, especially with the festival of defections hosted by the All Progressives Congress party. We concluded that the acronym wasn’t what it was registered as, that APC simply meant “All Politicians Congress”, citing its apparent lack of ideology and even criteria for membership that made it a rebranded version of the PDPthe party it defeated with the support of the people. 

Chaos was all the doomsday theorists predicted of this legion of politicians whose only common interest was their hatred of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the elimination of whom has now laid bare the unstable pillars around which the APC was formed: the CPC bloc, the ACN bloc, the New PDP bloc, the ANPP bloc and of course the fair-weather PDP bloc.

Aside from the post-election defectors, APC’s victory in the last elections was an outcome to which all blocs contributed, and thus the question of compensation of all blocs quickly become a matter for curiousity. This only escalated with the Senate Presidency bid and then victory of Dr. Bukola Saraki of the New PDP bloc, which was challenged, and still furiously being done, by the ACN bloc of the political party. I don’t know when the National Assembly leadership tussle became a clash of BukolaSaraki’s ambition and Bola Tinubu’s shadow, perhaps because I’ve never ever exactly seen the latter as the one-man kamikaze portrayed by his supporters and the media. I see him, simply and squarely, as an influential party stalwart with certain powers and clearly marked limitations. 

I see a number of us, in the spark of our hatred of Saraki who is, of course, not my model politician, citing biological and political records from various archives to present the man as morally unfit to lead, some even describing him as surreptitious defector. I wouldn’t have bothered if similar criteria are applied to his assumed challenger. What partisanship does to us is it disables our sense of reason. Trust me, you can’t praise Tinubu as a hero and dismiss Saraki as antecedently corrupt and thus morally low.

We may choose to be selectively objective in our public analyses, promoting narratives that favour our principals, but none of us is electorally useful at the two chambers.

The partisans may choose to charge Saraki of non-compliance with the party’s non-existent ideology, but with his victory alongside a PDP deputy, it’s easy to infer that the leadership of our bicameral legislature is already promising. We must be wary of one-party dominance in any way. Not when memory of similar arrangement headed by the PDP still lingers.

We must not ask for a Senate President that is loyal to, or intimidated by, the President of the Federation. Nigerians must ask for one capable of highlighting the relative independence of the Legislative while also respecting the interrelationship needed to smoothly run the affairs of Nigeria.

But the winner in this first litmus test is Mr. President. Through his spokesman on Twitter, referring to the legislative elections as “somewhat constitutional”, a phrase I consider product of Femi Adesina’s naïveté, President Buhari seems to have highlighted his neutrality, refusing to subscribe to the approach of his party. On his official account on Twitter, however, he wrote, “Although I would have preferred the new leaders to have emerged through the process established by the party, I am willing to work with whoever the lawmakers elected.” 

I’m prouder of the man for honouring his May 29 promise not to interfere with the activities of the Legislative and the Judiciary.

What I fear now is APC’s impulsive reaction, venting and threatening to deal with Saraki/Dogara camp instead of a diplomatic, less dramatic in-house intervention. What APC must know now is that any attempt to reverse thelegislature leadership elections will see the beginning of a crisis that may demolish all the structures upon which it stands. 

Similarly, it needs an immediate reality check, that the goodwill it enjoys isn’t what it assumes, that Nigerians indeed regard it as peculiarly messianic, and as genuine advocate of change. APC is APC because of the people’s confidence in Buhari, who has already refused to lend them his powerful brand. May God save us from us.

Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

What Kwara Stands To Gain With A Bukola Saraki Senate Presidency (Series 1) By Sulyman Buhari

UNPRECEDENTED POLITICAL VISIBILITY

Ever since Senator Bukola Saraki (CON) has come into national prominence first as the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, then as a arrowhead of a group of conscientious chieftains of the PDP who defected to the APC and later as a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwara State has stuck positively in the national consciousness as a state of the progressives and positive thinkers. With the commendable steps of the likes of Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, former Sports Minister and Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje in the build up to solid consolidation of what is today the APC, the state had never had it so good. Now with the election of Sen. Saraki, the state is yet again in the news for a good reason.

By all accounts, Dr. Saraki is the single biggest news maker in Nigeria today! The reasons are not farfetched. This is the first time an indigene of this state will rise to the exalted position of a Senate President of Nigeria. The closest we have had was the position of Senate Leader held by the patriarch of the Saraki Dynasty, late Dr. Olusola Saraki, the Waziri of Ilorin. Already, Kwarans all over the world are holding their heads high for having an illustrious son step up the ladder of Senate Presidency. But to me, this is just a tip of the iceberg because by the time Dr. Saraki commences proper legislative duties, the pride in us as a people will know no bounds.

HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT

Legendary for developing both human and infrastructural development through appointment and job creation, the divine elevation of Dr. Bukola Saraki to the position of Senate President promises to be yet another avenue through which the former Governor would further what he knows how to do best. And with a position as vantage as the President of the Senate, ABS is better positioned to position several hundred sons and daughters of the state with requisite expertise into juicy federal positions and appointments. Can you imagine the number of employable youths of Kwara that stands a better chance now at federal ministries, parastatal, agencies, security agencies etc? The opportunities are endless!

BETTER FEDERAL PRESENCE IN KWARA

This is one area that Sen. Saraki and the APC-led government of Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed have complained bitterly against the recent past. The Goodluck Jonathan presidency for reasons of politics and sentiments neglected Kwara to the background and bypassed with state in terms of sitting of viable federal government. That bitter history is now history in Kwara with Dr. Saraki as the Senate President. If his antecedents are anything to go by, Kwara stands a huge chance in attracting positive ‘Federal President’ (which is another way of saying rapid infrastructural advancement).

Recall that Dr. Saraki it was that attracted the multi-billion Naira project of Asa River dredging, having deployed his positive influence on and relationship with late President Umar Yardua. Now that he is the number 3 citizen of Nigeria, his love for Kwara is expected to be taken a notch higher. If Sen. David Mark, using his vantage position, could attract several hundred of kilometres of federal roads, a federal hospital and university, and a multi-billion Naira dam project in Otukpo, a more patriotic Dr. Saraki will do far better for Kwara!

To be continued……

Alhaji Sulyman Buhari

June 12 Challenges Us To Guard Our Democracy – Bola Tinubu

As we remember the June 12 struggle we are challenged to guard our hard won democratic freedom and prevent any hijack or abuse of the very principles of constitutional democracy.

This anniversary offers us another reminder that this country is one set for greatness. Chief Moshood Abiola the symbol of June 12 struggle is one of the greatest Nigerian to ever live. Through his life, we glean selfless service and commitment to people. Through his political struggle, we glean courage and incorrigible commitment to principles of the just, free and humane society.

Today our democracy thrives on the selfless sacrifices he made. His politics was without bitterness and rancor.  His patriotism was devoid of tribal marks and nepotism. It will be said, here lies a man who did his duty on earth; it is what we should all strive for. We owe it to Abiola and all the fallen patriots of the June 12 struggle to make sure our democracy never falters and this current government succeeds. We must also make sure that the People remain the focus of our policy and politics.

This is the Commitment the new APC government has made to the people of this great country and by God’s grace we intend to keep it under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Signed:

Bola Tinubu.

The Constitutionality Of The Election Of The President Of The Senate By Sunusi Musa

There has been a lot of argument as to whether what transpired at the floor of the Senate on the 10th of June 2015 as regards to the election of Sen Bukola Saraki as the President of the Senate is in tandem with the provision of the Nigeria’s constitution or not.

From what I gathered from the argument on social media pages and personal discussion with some people, most of those claiming that the emergence of Sarki was unconstitutional seems to confuse  morality with legality.

While it may be immoral (particularly for APC then Senators elect) to have allowed the inauguration to go on without their colleagues present, there is nothing illegal about it. In other words, APC senators owe their colleagues and the party a moral not a legal duty to have made a spirited effort in making sure that the inauguration of the senate was delayed so that their 51 colleagues who were absent will be present.

But for us to have the issue in clear perspective, the starting point should be the legal procedure for summoning the first sitting of the Senate. Put differently, what are the what, when and how of the first sitting of the Senate from the legal point of view? I think this can be answered by looking at the constitutional provision as well as the standing orders of the senate that deals with the issue under discussion.

The procedure for summoning the first sitting of the National Assembly and Senate in particular, is provided for by the 1999 constitution under sections 52, 53, 54, 56, 60, and 64. From what I have read so far against the election of Sen Saraki, the grouse of the antagonist is whether there was compliance with the provisions of sections 54 and 64 of the constitution? The two sections deals with the issue of quorum and proclamation respectively.

Many people who form legal opinion on the basis of what they think, not what they read, opined that there was no quorum for the inauguration to take place. According to them, there was no 2/3 majority of senators elect as at the time the CNA inaugurated the senate. When asked, as to the basis of their argument, they will say the constitution, but when press further to pinpoint the provision of the constitution backing their argument, they realize the fallacy of their argument.

One may ask, what is the quorum required for the inauguration of the Senate? The answer is provided by section 54 of the constitution which provides “the quorum of the Senate… Shall be one-third of all members…” This provision is further re-echoed by Order 10 Rule (1) of the Senate Standing Orders. That being the case, we had 109 Senators elect therefore 1/3 of them is enough to form a quorum for the inauguration of the senate. It is impossible to get 1/3 of the Senate, but it can safely be argued that where there are 37 senators present which slightly above 1/3, the quorum of the senate is properly constituted. This means that with 57 Senators present, the senate were in excess of 20 senators above the minimum constitutional requirement for it to be inaugurated.

This also means that even if the entire APC Senators were absent, the inauguration could have still proceeded with 49 PDP Senators and leaders could have emerged and there is nothing unconstitutional about it.

The second grouse is whether the senate was properly summoned for the first sitting? To answer this question, we need to know who is to summon the first sitting of the National Assembly and under which circumstances.

The constitution as well as the senate standing orders did not contain explicit provision on who is to summon the first sitting of the senate. However, one can infer that the responsibility to summon the first sitting of the Senate fall within the shoulders of the Clerk to the National Assembly when sections 60 and 64 (3) of the constitution is read together with Order 2 of the Senate Standing Orders.

By the provision of section 60 of the 1999 constitution, the senate has the power to make regulation with regard to procedure of carrying out its business including the procedure for summoning and recess. It is pursuant to that Section that Senate made Order 2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate. That Order makes provision as to the first sitting of the Senate.

Like I said, the Order is not explicit as who is to summon the first sitting but by necessary implication and the principle of law established in the U.S.A. Case of McCulloch V. Maryland, one can safely say that it is the clerk to the National Assembly who  has the power to summon the first sitting of the Senate.

But the power of the clerk of summoning of the first sitting is subject to the provision of section 64(3) of the 1999 constitution which vests the president with power to sign proclamation of the National Assembly immediately after taking oath of office as President.

It is not in dispute that the President in the exercise of his power, had earlier signed the proclamation of the National Assembly as a result of which the CNA summon the first sitting of the Senate on 9th June by 10:00 am. That being the case, it is expected that all Senators will be seated  before 10:00 am in compliance with Order 2 Rule(1) of the Senate Standing Orders.

It was some minutes after ten that CNA entered the Senate chambers in order to perform the rituals that will lead to the inauguration of the Senate. As at the time the CNA arrived, 51 Senators were not on seat as stipulated by the standing orders of the senate.

The CNA having realize that there was quorum, he decided to go ahead with the procedure as provide by the standing orders and in compliance with the Presidential proclamation which  appointed 10:00 am as the time for the inauguration.

After the roll call, the next business of the day is the election of the President of the Senate and his deputy which is provided by Order 3 of the standing orders. Orders 3 Rule (1) of the orders provides that each senator “MAY (emphasis mine) before taking oaths of office… Take part in the election of the President and Deputy President of the Senate.”

The operative word in the provision quoted above is the word ‘may’ which connote discretion on the part of    each senator either to participate in electing  the presiding officers or not. In other words, it is not mandatory on each senator to participate in the election of presiding officers.

That being the case, it is safe to conclude that while it is mandatory to inaugurate the Senate on the appointed date and time as indicated by the proclamation, it is not mandatory that the inauguration must be in the presence of all senators elect. Provided, at the appointed date and time, there is sufficient number to comply with the provision of section 54 of the constitution, the CNA must carry out the inauguration as directed by the President. And to my understanding that was what happened that day.

That being the case, I am of the view that the election was done in accordance with the provision of the constitution of the Nigeria and extant law applicable therein.

One can only add that it is very unfortunate that we are starting on very wrong note for failure of our party to manage our electoral success well. However one can take solace in the conduct of the President who have against all odds, keep to his earlier commitment as contain in his inauguration speech with regard to respect for and commitment to the principles of separation of power.

Sunusi Musa Esq.

11/06/2015

 

Benue APC: When The Wrong One(s) Suspends The Right Person(s): Phony or Funny? By Bemdoo Hulugh

“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything with nothin”
-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Three days ago, I was notified by friends and supporters alike that an announcement was aired on Radio Benue and Harvest FM Makurdi purportedly suspending me and 11 others including, notably, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime, Sen. JKN Waku and Justice Utsaha, et al, by the Benue State APC. The release was signed by ‘Conman’ Abba Yaro.

In a manner reminiscent of pre- medieval mentality, a press release of such magnitude was made without relaying the message, first to the targets, and without the benefit of fair hearing. This is an absolute negation of the preamble to Article 21 of the APC Constitution 2014 (as amended)(hereinafter simply refered to as ‘APC Constitution’) which they may have relied upon.

Okay, what was the alleged reason for the suspension?: ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES. What gave rise to this so-called anti party activities?- We have different matters in court bothering on the undemocratic practices of the Benue APC. Let’s assume these people put a blind eye to the first word on our party’s motto: JUSTICE. They may have obviously ignored the advice given to them by the two most civilised and decently educated members of the State APC Exco: Barr. Omale Omale (Legal Adviser) and Hon. Onov Tyulugh (Secretary ).

How does litigation against the party amount to anti – party activity. In an attempt to be deceitful and dubious, ‘Conman’ Abba Yaro and his Co – conspirators may have resorted to a haphazard interpretation of the spirit and letters of Article of Article 21(A)(x) of the APC Constitution which defines offences against the party,to include:
“Filing an action in a Court of Law against the Party or any of its Officers on any matters relating to the discharge of the duties of the Party WITHOUT FIRST EXHAUSTING ALL AVENUES FOR REDRESS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS CONSTITUTION” (emphasis mine).

For so long, I have chosen the path of mute passivity over my pre – election action in court. This is because, as a Lawyer, I wouldn’t want it to be subjudiced by exposing so much of the issues in contention. However, this illegal suspension of a consummate patriot and party loyalist has coerced me to slide part of my head out of the shell and ask the question, who really should suspend who?

This is the prelude to the actions leading to the alleged suspension:

February 2014, the newly formed APC commenced her membership drive throughout the country. Some of us were involved in expending so much time, energy and resources to mobilise our people and galvanise their resolve towards registering as members of this new party which the PDP never gave an inch of a chance. This is a part for a new and glorious Nigeria. Along the way I expressed my interest to vie for the House of Representatives seat of Makurdi / Guma Federal Constituency in the 2015 elections to give my people efficient and effective representation. I consulted with the youth, aged, men, women, the leaders and the led, the haves and the haves-not and I was given a resounding nod of approval. I traversed the nook and cranny of the 21 Council Wards in my constituency to seek support.

God’s blessing was released upon me and the people’s support was overwhelming. These two higher powers solidify my resolve to go ahead to achieve victory however long and hard the road may be and even in the face of terror. Interestingly, the same forces behind the phantom suspension never supported my cause ab intio and stood vehemently against me even when the wordings of their Oath of Office contained words such as, ‘I do solemnly swear that …. I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions … will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill -will..’

As a fact, the Chairman – Abba Yaro and the Organising Secretary – Titus Zam and their grand hatchet man in the form of one Mark Hanmation were the de facto DG and Chief Strategists of my ONLY opponent and respectable brother, Engr. Terhide Conrad Utaan. The Presiding Officers of the Primaries were specifically drafted with the sole intention of manipulating the process to favour my opponent. Eagle – eyed security men as constituted by the DSS, Police SARS, INEC Monitoring Team and Civil Defence together with loyal party faithfuls prevented any form of manipulations and at the end of voting and counting on Sunday, December 7, 2014, I was declared winner of the primaries with 295 votes while my opponent scored 279. However, 24 hours after the election and declaration of results, the Electoral Committee while acting functios officio in the APC state secretariat, presented a Certificate of Returns to my opponent.

The APC Constitution provides for a right of appeal. I appealed against the illegal decision of the electoral committee, in accordance with Article 21 (C) of the APC Constitution and my appeal was rightly upheld by the APC National Assembly Primaries Appeal Panel. Article 21 (C)(iii) states that:
“Where a decision or action taken by an Organ of the Party is appealed against, the decision or action shall remain in force and binding until the appeal had been determined. THE DECISION OR ACTION SHALL CEASE TO BE BINDING IF THE APPELLATE BODY UPHOLDS THE APPEAL” (emphasis mine).

In a gross violation of the sacredness of the APC Constitution whose supremacy is spelt out in Article 2, the musketeers in our party forged APC Nomination forms and Result sheets, Clearance certificates and State Secretariat ‘s receipts indicating that one BULAUN PETERS T emerged winner of the primaries while Dickson Tarkighir who was still recuperating from his unsavoury defeat in the same election in PDP was said to be the runner up in the APC ‘s primaries. These forged documents were deposed by Conman Abba Yaro in an affidavit and sent to both INEC and the Court. The phone number: 08036153269, on the INEC FORM CF001 of BULAUN PETERS T belongs to Titus Zam (State Organising Secretary of the APC ). It has become evident that while we use our progressive virtues to promote CHANGE, these conmen use change as a veil to promote their careers.

I initiated an action in court after exhausting the internal appellate mechanisms of the Party and also in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended ) which the provisions of our Party’s Constitution are subject to. Now, I still ask: who ought to be suspended and/or expelled from the Party? Is it he who has followed the complete provisions of the law or those who have committed all imaginable and unimaginable crimes in the name of the party?

What, now, constitutes ANTI – PARTY activities?
Article 7 of the APC Constitution states that the aims and objectives of the Party shall include (viii) ‘To promote and uphold the practice of internal democracy at all levels of the Party’s organisation ” – who’s guilty of this?
On DISCIPLINE OF PARTY MEMBERS, The APC Constitution states in Article 21 (A)(xi), to wit:
“In cases of alteration of Delegate lists, FALSIFICATION OF NOMINATION RESULTS, AND OR TAMPERING WITH THE PROCESSES OF INTERNAL DEMOCRACY OF THE PARTY, THE OFFENDER SHALL BE LIABLE TO EXPULSION FROM THE PARTY AND BE PROSECUTED! (emphasis mine). Does this provision not qualify these vile men to be immediately expelled from the Party?
And prosecution they must get! We hope that at the end of our case in court we shall petition relevant security agencies to commence the prosecution of these fraudsters for forgery and perjury and other extant crimes.

Our foes may want people to believe that I am in court beause of desperation. Far from it. I am in court because, for posterity sake, I want the right thing to be done to prevent future occurrences. I would have lost my locus to describe myself as a change agent if I had rest this matter and opt for an appointment, which has severally been dangled. In the words of J.F.Kennedy,”The future shall not forgive you, not for what you have done, but for what you refused to do”. I don’t want to be found wanting here. Very importantly, our elders, supporters and God almighty are against any withdrawal of this case.

Finally, friends and well-wishers have constantly advised me to be careful with ‘these people’, some of whom have deep seated vicious propensities, some of whom are renowned fraudsters and suspected armed robbers, assassins, corpse thieves, unrepentant forgers et al. I have never been/will never be afraid of cold blooded humans and their principalities.Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of evil in my bid to entrench Truth, Right and Justice, the good LORD will always be with me. I only write to denounce the great evils which menace our Party in Benue. These evils of hatred, ignorance and injustice are the motivating force behind the proponents of this fake suspension and their supporters. As I conclude, the long and proud history of my people unravels itself before my inward eye, I see the oppressors of our people over the ages as they pass one after another in evil procession into oblivion, while the Motto of our party, APC, become very resonant: JUSTICE, PEACE AND UNITY.

“Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war; and we know that God is not neutral between them” – George W. Bush

I take my bow!

Franc Fagah Utoo, Esq.

Abuja – Nigeria.

 

The Many Intrigues of Nigeria Politics By Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

It is no longer new the saying that politics is a game for the brave. What makes it very different from every other game we know today is that in politics, the rules governing it can be broken; and the rule breaker might go even unpunished. In a normal contemporary game say football for instance, there are dos and don’ts which make the game very interesting. For instance, you cannot use your hands to play the game of football. Once you do that deliberately and you are caught by the umpire, the consequences might be devastating on your team. But in the game of politics, this may not hold. As much as there are rules we know that guides how politics should be played, we have watched over and over again the players breaking these rules and little or nothing is being done to the rule breaker. Except if you are ready to role in the mud, and also go dirty; you may not be totally fit to play this political game. This scenario is not only typical to the Nigerian political setting; it is common in almost every part of a democratic state around the World. Politicians go dirty to play the game, the rules are broken; and at the same time they go scot free.

The Nigerian political climate in the last few weeks has been nothing short of interesting. I have sat down and watched with so much admirations the drama, intrigues, and actions that have unfolded in less than twenty days of this new administration. The power tussles for who will become and who eventually emerged as the new President of the 8th National assembly was nothing short of interesting. The deceptive connivance with which the new Senate President came on board even against the wish of his party has generated so much argument within the Nigerian political setting. But it will be important to get some very interesting facts about the Senate President elect- Bukola Saraki first before nailing him to the cross for the way in which he emerged as the leader of the 8th Nass. This is a man who has been a Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria since 2007 and has friends on the floor of the house both from the PDP and the APC respectively. A former member of the defunct ruling party at the Centre, PDP and the son of the late Kwara state political godfather; Abubakar Olusola Saraki. He was the governor of Kwara state between May 29, 2003 and May 29, 2011 and was also elected Senator for Kwara Central in April of 2011.

This is a man whose political pedigree within the Nigerian political setting cannot be put aside. But my point in this short article of mine is how Bukola Saraki emerged as the Senate President is not so shocking to me for someone who has so much vast experience and have been properly mentored and brought up in the school of politics in Nigeria by his late father, Olusola Saraki. For me, i will blame the APC for allowing things to go in such a messy way. Bukola Saraki is no doubt the kind of Senate President Needs for the now. This is a man whose ambition to be the number three citizen of the country is even known to his friends in the now opposition party, PDP. Releasing the ticket to him within the APC should not have warranted any debate at all within the party. Winning the senate presidency is about the politics within the house and not the consensus frivolities the APC is doing about with the position of the speaker and Senate Presidency. Senator Theodore Orji (PDP-Abia) has succinctly put Bukola Saraki emergence as “a politics of negotiation and not war”. While the APC were busy with their internal democracy thing which his good for politics anyway, the Senate President was busy negotiating his way through with his friends on the floor. But in my humble opinion as a political observer, am I okay with Bukola Saraki as our new Senate President? My answer is a capital YES.

What took place on that day of the house election is one of those few intrigues you see here and there in politics. The truth is, there are no permanent friends in politics, what you find is only common interest. As long as we are both on the same page, we can be political pals. Let’s forget all these theories whether the new Senate President romanced his PDP friends in the house or not. The issue for now is that, they are all on the same page, at least for the moment. We can only watch as other intrigues unfold in the 8th National Assembly. Politics is a game, and you must be a good player to win one.

Thank you for your time.

Another Immigration Employment Scam: Members Of Presidential Committee Shares Money And Slots

By MM, Fairdausi

The “Blood of the Death will live to Hunt its Splitters”! The Nigeria Immigration Service is now in a fresh crises of employment scam, after the Committee set-up by former President Goodluck Jonathan mandated it to “Assist” the Immigration Board, ended up Sharing Money and Slots, instead of complying with its terms of reference. The Committee was headed by the Head of Service to “Assist” the Immigration, but not to recruit. It is sad that despite the Comptroller General of Immigration; Mr. David Shikfu Paradang being a Member, it ended up carrying out the recruitment itself without the Civil Defense, Fire Service, Immigration and Prisons Board which has the legal right to handle recruitment.

Authoritatively, sources in the office of the Chairperson of the Committee set up to assist the Board to recruit, fraudulently arrived at doing the recruitment themselves due to greed to share the Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira N350,000,000 approved to “Develop Website”, and got slots for the Committee Members alongside former top government officials of the former President Jonathan administration. Also, the committee was unable to submit its report to the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and to obtain Presidential Approval and Ratification before the government rounded up its regime.

However, information available stated that poor Nigerians who applied online, wrote the examination and attended the screening were only allocated One Thousand 1,000 slots only, while the committee Shared the remaining One Thousand 1,000 slots among its members and former President Jonathan’s Presidency. Despite the representation of the Comptroller General of Immigration in the Committee, the Ministry of Interior and the Board, with legal right to recruit, were sidelined. It was reported that the supposed “Successful” candidates were sent to Immigration Training Schools with Text Messages, since there was No Authority to issue them Letters of Employment from the Board. What is most disturbing and worrisome is the lack of budgetary provision to pay the Two Thousand 2,000 recruited officers.

Here, we are with another Abba Morro in the Presidency. If Abba Morro, former Minister of Interior collected Two Thousand Naira N2,000 each from poor applicants, and made a profit of Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira N450,000,000, then the Presidential Committee made its own deal of Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira N350,000,000 from Tax Payers’ money, and cheated Nigerians with the 1,000 slots. We therefore call and appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to take appropriate action and punish all those connected or indicted in the Immigration Recruitment Scam.

Basically, Abba Morro and David S. Paradang are the major causes of the last and current Immigration Recruitment Scam. The failed recruitment of the 15th March, 2014 leading to the death of 15 young Nigerians, need to be revisited and key actors; Morro and Paradang be made to account for their culpability.

Meanwhile, the injuries and deaths of applicants were largely caused, due to overcrowding. Although, the Nigeria Immigration Service was mandated to carry out the recruitment, and failed to do it in a way that overcrowding would have been avoided. Abba Morro and David S. Paradang should be charged for the injury and death of innocent Nigerians. They were the ones who decided on the use of Stadiums rather than Schools, in order to mitigate casualties and handle different grades with ease.

It is sad to report that on that fateful day, both Moro and Paradang were busy attending the birthday Party of the then Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State. The failure was largely due to Over Subscription, Poor Policy Implementation and Lack of Supervision. The duo can be charged for abandoning strategic places like Abuja, where the exercise could have been cancelled and death avoided.

It is time to bring Abba Morro and CGI. David Shikfu Paradang to face the wrath of the law. As the current recruitment carried out should be cancelled, because of the fraud in sharing of slots and money. Let President Muhammdau Buhari set up a committee to investigate this malignant cancer that has consumed almost a billion Naira of the Nigeria State, which lead to the death of 15 innocent Nigerians with immediate effect. It is necessary to suspend or sack the Head of Service and Comptroller General of Immigration, to ensure a Just Investigation and to put an End to Impunity in Nigeria. We can as a matter of Posterity and urgency recover the people’s money, return looted public fund to the treasury and punish those responsible for killing the soul of our innocent youths, who were looking for job. We look forward to a system where every Nigerian can compete and get Immigration job based on merit rather than Whom you know.

God bless Nigeria…

@mmfirdausi

mmfirdausi@gmail.com

Send this to a friend