Obasanjo: His Architectural Design and Failed Pocketing Of a Nation By Fodio Ahmed (Mai Gemu)

I will try and keep it together, above all simple. Baba, I am not here to mount gramma or analyze your dramatic attitudes,  but certainly as a former president who served both in the Military and Civilian eras, you need no introduction. Baba, you became a military president after the successful assassination of General Murtala Muhammed, I also do not have that unpleasant time to tell you, when was that. You tried to assassinate Late General Sani Abacha but you ran out of luck, the reason you where sentenced to life in prison.

Baba Iyabo, your release after the death of Abacha and the eventual search for greener pasture in politics began that same period, but of cause, it was clear how you made it out of prison. The discovery of your god in prison and seeing 1999 before 1999 was seen clearly by yourself, as being on a mission to restore Nigeria and her ribbons of troubles, starting with the defeat of separatism. Exactly, the vision you saw Baba came to stay, when you became the pioneer People’s Democratic Party’s presidential flag bearer and eventually the winner, I seriously do not want to discuss how you won that election, but then on 27th of May, 1999, you where sworn-in as a president elect of federal republic of Nigeria.

Baba, 4 years later from 1999, you needed an intact return in 2003, but your then Vice President was already seeing his transition glory from number 2 to 1. Atiku’s quest for transition secured an agreement, a gentlemen agreement with you, to be supported in 2007. Baba Kai!!!!!!! You are not a gentleman at all and I doubt, if you will see the glory of almighty, because you refused to respect that gentlemen agreement, rather you came up with the worst leadership desire called the 3rd term Agenda, that naked desire was the foundation of the architectural design of Nigeria’s present day misery.

Baba, can God Almighty forgive you ? He would, if Nigerians forgive you, so instead of all this stunts, it is better you seek for forgiveness from us. Baba, I seriously do not have that strength to outline your sins, against us, but aside your failed attempt to bury Nigerian constitution with whole lots of facial make up to suit your 3rd term agenda, to your many attempts to completely hijack the control of the party, or to the series of dislodgment plot within the party, which today is the reason all incumbents want be in charge of their party. Baba you successfully manipulated the PDP’s constitution which saw you becoming the Chairman Board of Trustees after dislodging Chief Tony Aneni. That post is the most powerful organ of the party.

Baba, you ko !!!! You even have the gods to accuse President  Goodluck Jonathan of squandering Nigeria’s oil money, who was your Petroleum Minister during your 8 years serving as a President ? Nobody, you were the sole administrator of that Ministry, give us a detail report of the financial happenings then.

Baba, from what it is today, even the emergence of Goodluck was as your result of greedy political permutations beyond 2007, you knew the health condition of Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, I am sure. His elder brother was once your Chief of Staff but you against all odds hand picked and did the peering, that peering now is where we are today. That peering is President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who took over after the death of Yar’adua. Baba then believed his plans had fallen into place, like since he didn’t secure a 3rd term bid, his puppet is there. Can we now see, where the politics of ‘hand picking a successor’ got its revelation ?. In fact, even the 2007 election that brought Baba’s peering was described as the most fraudulent election ever, well maybe the 2015 might take over that record, since it is believed that students learn better than their teachers.

Follow countrymen, all sins that Baba is pin pointing in this administration, got its root from Baba as a result of his failure to to secure a 3rd term agenda. Even the fuel subsidy crisis was exactly an opposite of the notorious “Ali Must Go” crisis. Baba didn’t use the military to intimidate but he also resigned lots of not loyal uniform men, his tool then was Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC, a cosmetic anti corruption agency used for bringing sanity unto those who have gone against the political morality of Baba Iyabo. The same thing Jonathan does with our security agencies, but Baba played a matured one though. Baba, you brought Goodluck to become your errand president while from Otta farm, you wanted to control the Nation’s treasury and pocket Goodluck’s administration, but sorry you had the devil’s luck, coupled with the fact that what you did in PDP has started witch hunting you, physically and spiritually. It got to the peak, that was why you publicly tore your membership card.

Dear Baba Iyabo, we know you are just displaying your illusive patriotism and fraudulent heroic gestures because what Nigeria is suffering today is the manifestation of your sperm from the womb of her political system and let almighty GOD reward your accordingly. Amen. You have totally failed.

Now, to APC who are busy celebrating Baba’s fraudulent heroic act, to the extent of saying he is emancipating, we the people from the shackles of PDP, I now wonder, if the CHANGE that we the masses crave for, is exactly the CHANGE as seen in the opposition because it’s obvious that the APC are just after unseating then crushing the PDP, I mean revenge time. Who knows, but this is my prayer, Dear Lord, General Buhari no doubt is a man of integrity but not perfect as coined by mischievous political supporters and it is your will that he is so loved by the masses, but seems lots of wolfs are wearing the Buhari’s face and exploiting his integrity. I pray that God exposes them before they win elections and disgrace the general who clearly is on a rescue mission. Amen.

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

The Changing Face of Politics in Abia State–By Ifeanyi Amanze

Time there was when all you needed to do to win an election in Abia State was to be colorless, a stooge and a card carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Time there was when all you needed to do to win an election in Abia State was to be in the good books of the Orjis–from Orji Uzor Kalu to Theodore Orji.

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

Why Nigeria May Have its First Elected Female Governor By Abdulrahman Usman Leme

As Nigerians wait to go to the polls for the 2015 elections across the country, which was earlier scheduled to hold on the 14th and 28th of February 2015, now re-scheduled to hold on the 28th of March and 11th of April 2015 respectively; political analysts, journalists, international communities and many Nigerians have continued to air their views on the dramas and the likely events that may unfold in the coming weeks. There is no doubt that after the presidential election, the gubernatorial election is the second biggest election in Nigeria. Governors are seen to be very powerful, second only to the President of the country. Despite the fact that in the recent years women have participated actively in our political processes and have held several political and public offices, there hasn’t been a female governor, vice president or president in Nigeria.

After the political parties conducted their primaries, there were a lot of surprises as expected; one of such was the emergence of Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan as the only female Gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and subsequently in Nigeria – she will be contesting in Taraba State. Two things are significant here if she eventually wins, she will be the first female elected as governor in Nigeria, and secondly, Taraba being a North-Eastern state – a region where Boko haram insurgents are currently waging a supposed ‘holy war’, a democratically elected female Governor from that region will no doubt send a clear message of defiance to the insurgents that Nigerians, particularly in the north are not giving up on the democratic system and will not submit to their demands.

Who is Senator Aisha?

It will interest you to know that Senator Aisha is known to be a record breaker; She was the first female Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Taraba State. She was later appointed as Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in December 2003. She retired from Civil Service and went into business before she later joined politics. She contested and won the PDP primaries against all odds in 2011 defeating the then incumbent Senator, Anthony Manzo and finally defeated the former Governor Jolly Nyame of the then ACN in the general elections.

This is a brief highlight of Senator Aisha’s public and political life.

Who does the odds favour?

Anybody who follows Taraba politics knows that PDP has always been the party to beat in Taraba but recent events have significantly change that narrative, especially with the crisis rocking the PDP, this has presented a rare opportunity to opposition parties in the state to try and snatch power from the ruling party in the state. So far, there are three major candidates running for the seat Darius Ishaku (PDP), Aisha Jummai Alhassann (APC), and David Sabo Kente (SDP). Many analysts believe unlike in other states where the battle is between the PDP and the APC, in Taraba, the SDP also stand a chance and Senator Aisha is believed to be the dark horse in the race. The SDP candidate is more popular than the PDP candidate – the Southern Taraba People Congress initially endorsed him before T. Y. Danjuma reportedly influenced the choice of Darius in Abuja and ended up putting the party in an unresolved crisis till date. It is on the back drop of this avoidable crisis in PDP that the former acting governor of the State, Garba Umar, who was favoured to win the primaries if conducted left the party alongside many key members of the party including SDP’s candidate David Sabo Kente. Both men left the party after disagreeing with the way Darius was selected in Wadata plaza Abuja as the party’s candidate after failing to conduct the primaries in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital as scheduled by the party.

 

Aisha’s chances?

As I earlier mentioned the crisis rocking the PDP is a huge boost for the opposition especially, the APC in their bid to wrestle power from the ruling party to capitalised on it and mobilised support from all angle for Aisha, especially the aggrieved PDP members who are believed to be working for the APC already to ensure that Aisha emerges victorious. One of the major thing that is working against the former minister of state for Niger Delta, who is the PDP candidate is the fact that he is seen as a political novice who is there to serve the interest of the cabal that held Suntai captive for more than two years and denied the former acting governor his mandate of becoming the substantive Governor until he was sacked by the Supreme Court. In fact, many analysts believed that the SDP candidate stands a better chance than the PDP candidate, because he has been in the race a long time and has established some structures on ground. However, both the PDP and SDP candidates are seen as people who are pushing for a Southern Taraba agenda as against the interest of the state as a whole. Their choice of deputies was also criticised by many commentators who believed that they shouldn’t have ignored the northern zone which has the highest number of voters and has been the major decider of whoever becomes Governor of the state or not. Coming from Southern Taraba, a zone with the least number of voters, both candidates picked their deputies from the Central Zone. These miscalculations by the two Southern Taraba candidates will give Aisha an edge over them. Again it is important to note that as serving Senator, she performed well in her constituency (Taraba North) in the last three years.

Religion as a factor?

As much as one may want to ignore the use of religion in the so called Nigeria’s secular state, it has been used to either to marginalise some quarters or as a tool to actualise the interest of an individual or group at the expense of the overall interest of the people at various levels. In Taraba state the issue of politics and religion cannot be ignored so the question here is, Does Senator Aisha stand a chance of becoming not just the first female Governor in Nigeria but the first of her faith to lead the state? The answer to this question in my opinion is a yes, why because if the 2015 elections do take place as scheduled Tarabians and of course Nigerians at large are beginning to see beyond politicians religious and ethnic identities in electing their leaders.

In my opinion the people of Taraba state are not afraid of a Muslim Governor if they can elect two out three of their senators and four out six of their members of the House of Representatives from the same religion.

How Taraba Governors emerged in the past?

Since 1999 none of the winners of the PDP primaries became the governor of the state. In 1999 Jolly Nyame replaced the winner of the PDP primaries, Usman Bibinu who died in a car crash few days to election. Nyame was in the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) then and was brought in by Atiku Abubakar to pick the PDP ticket and he eventually won – he returned again in 2003 for a second term. After serving his second term, Nyame attempted to imposed his crony, a secondary school dropout, Danladi Baido. Danladi had several corruption cases against him with Ribadu’s EFCC then, even though he won the PDP primaries, he was later disqualified and Nyame hand-picked his then SSG, the now incapacitated Governor of Taraba State, Dan Baba Dan Fulani Suntai. Nyame was accused of introducing religion in Taraba politics by ignoring the runners up of the PDP primaries three of them who happened to be Muslims by bringing Suntai (a Christian) who never showed any interest of vying for the seat. Suntai served his first term and returned in 2011 before becoming incapacitated due to a plane crash he was involved in. Since then, Taraba State has been without a substantive Governor, leaving the state in the hands of two Acting Governors for over 27 months now. This is a brief highlight of how Taraba politics have been played in the last 16 years. And this tells us that although Aisha stands a chance of beating her opponents in a free and fair election, it is not going to be an easy ride. Her biggest challenge is fighting the cabal who fought the former Acting Governor to a stand still with the backing of the presidency and T. Y. Danjuma ,who is willing to give whatever it takes financially to ensure his unpopular political god-son of the PDP emerges as the winner. Another challenge for Aisha is her gender, many people are still not comfortable with the idea of having a female Governor in the state. Nonetheless, with the crisis rocking the PDP and the Buhari momentum sweeping across the North, and with support of some powerful individuals like Atiku abubakar who has strong political base in the state, a victory for Senator Jummai Alhassan is not far-fetched and may be, just may be, Nigeria may have its first female Governor

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

Nwaoboshi Inordinate Senatorial Ambition And The Effect On Senator Ifeanyi Okowa Guber Victory

Fejiro Oliver

“Politicians were mostly people who’d had too little morals and ethics to stay lawyers.”
George R.R. Martin,

As I listened to the political debate and working out the calculation on who will emerge as the eventual winner of the Delta North Senatorial aspirant between the two main contenders, Rt. Hon. Victor Onyekachi Ochei and Mr Peter Nwaoboshi, the lawyer who could not make it and became a politician; it became as clear as water that the election is between Ochie and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), not their candidate Nwaoboshi, one of the worst product to ever market in political history.

Oracle as Nwaoboshi is widely called pass across as one man who has seen it all in politics, but for fear of the unknown, just like Tony Anenih has refused to contest for any electoral positions. Such men know themselves that they are only good to be appointees and not elected officers. Such men know too well that they are greedy, selfish and arrogant and therefore do not deserve the peoples vote, hence they can commit all the evils of politics. Sadly enough, the only constant thing is change which has caught up with the oracle himself, who rather than stay comfortable with being an appointed government official decided to throw his gloves into the boxing ring.

In his own words, 2015 makes it thirty five inglorious years of being a politician, with nothing concrete to show to his people. He is hated by over 90% of Anioma who will rather have him beheaded by the ISIS than have him near any elective positions where he will decide their fate. He is so greedy that all that matters to him is his own relevance and what benefits his pocket. His inordinate quest for wealth stands taller that the Mount Everest, which is threatening to consume him as the Wild West wind. How he made his money which has been used mainly for his family and not the people he stole from remains a discourse for another day.

As the State PDP Chairman, his people have placed a silent curse on him for convincing many Anioma indigenes into picking Chairmanship and Councillorship forms during the last Local Government elections, with promise to deliver them, but like the evil Maradonna he is, he dribbled them, pocketed their money and finally installed his preferred stooges into such various positions. In Oshimili North where he hails from, he is the lord of the manor and king of the boys, deciding who gets what, but not without stringent conditions. His current stooge, Louis Ndukwe who is the Council Chairman is already weeping secretly on what has befallen him, since he was installed by Oracle. Out of the N67 million Federal allocations for November 2014, a whooping sum of N10 million was paid to Nwaoboshi, in an undisclosed agreement, revealed a source. And this amount is paid EVERY time allocation comes to the treasury.

The argument that the loss of Nwaoboshi as it’s becoming glaring will have a negative effect on Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s victory is a tale best told to children under the moonlight in the village, and certainly not intelligent kids who knows that Okowa’s victory transcends earthly conquest but divine, but told to dull brains who can believe anything. Nwaoboshi as its certain is currently grappling to win even the support of his family members, who are convinced that he is not the best material to send to the Red Chambers. A vote for him is a vote for greed; a vote for him is a vote for legislative incompetence; a vote for him is a vote to continue the illegal looting which has been done over the years, and certainly, Delta North who have already experience tremendous development with laudable bills in just four years of Okowa becoming a Senator cannot afford to go back to her inglorious days.

The argument that it will be shameful for Okowa to lose his Senatorial District is another lie conjured by the few followers of Nwaoboshi who already sees their master losing and has to coin up psychological analysis to persuade die hard supporters of Okowa into supporting them. As an unbiased Journalist, I remain unapologetically a PERSONALITY supporter and not a PARTY supporter. Okowa has gone beyond the realms of the natural to supernatural that a loss of Nwaoboshi will not remove a SINGLE vote from the over 80 percent votes already garnered by the political maestro.

In case they wish to be reminded of history, the current Senators representing Imo and Nasarawa State governors’ Senatorial districts are opposition members, despite the popularity of the duo. No one can be more arguably popular than Rochas Okorocha in this political dispensation, yet his people voted against his choice of a Senator, nor can anyone love Buhari more, yet they voted for Al Makura as a governor, but rejected their Senator, even losing in their own Local Government. A replica of this happening in Delta North, where Okowa will win flawlessly and Nwaoboshi losing shamefully should therefore not come as a surprise. He who laid his bed well sleeps comfortably, and while Okowa has prepared his for this moment, the latter has laced his with nails and should lie on it that way.

Delta North cannot be coerced into the lazy men argument of PDP all the way and therefore allow a man like Nwaoboshi who has impoverished his people to enjoy such benefits. I do not want to remind him of his infamous role played during the rave making Sir Tony Obuh political storm, where he almost scuttled the very ambition of the humble man, whose back he is riding on today to fame. His daily boast that he will win convincible because Okowa cannot afford to lose his Senatorial district should be told to area boys under the bridge in Oshodi, as this election is every man to your own tent oh Israel.

The underground mansion he is alleged to be building must not be completed with the constituency allowance meant for the people, neither should he be allowed the privilege of using his newly established cable company into being a conduit pipe of getting inflated contracts from the Senate.

PDP may be the leading party in Delta State, but opposition parties like Accord and the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) have won elections in Delta North, just as Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) have also mesmerized the landscape. The signal from the field is clear that he cannot win the election without the effect of Okowa who remains the only reason his name is still being heard today in some quarters. Remove the Okowa factor and we have a man whose political breath is gone. Ochei may not be the best bet now, but out of the two devils, Ochei remains the Angelic devil.

Fejiro Oliver, Editorial Board Chairman of Secrets Reporters, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist is also the Co-Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defender (CHORD) and can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

Gov. Yero and the Burden of Goodluck By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir

Pre 2011 general elections in Kaduna State, late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, the then Executive Governor was in Ikara town for Campaign rally. His motorcade had a tough time accessing the town. The vehicles at the rear of the motorcade were not only stoned, some had their glasses smashed; some of us escaped injuries by whiskers.

During the campaign rally, having met with stakeholders in the council chamber, standing on the podium, Yakowa shouted ‘Kaduna State’ and the crowd answered ‘sai Yakowa Nakowa’. Then the bottom gave way; Yakowa shouted ‘Nijeria fa’ and we were awaken to the thunderous answer of ‘sai Buhari’.

The crowd became ecstatic and it took the experience and maturity of Yakowa to calm nerves and win the people’s sentiment to his side. This he did by enumerating the problems of the people; from roads, which he named one after the other, from one settlement to another, schools, water supply, schools, hospitals among others. The people were wowed with the man’s knowledge of their environment.

The same scenerio repeated itself in Birnin Gwari though without stoning. Same in Rigasa, Hayin Dan Mani among several others.

In Zaria, Yakowa met with some Muslim clerics. They mince no words in telling him that if he would remain the old Yakowa they knew, they would give him all the necessary support to ensure his victory at the polls. But they categorically told him they were not in support of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Interestingly, despite the threat of violence in some areas, Yakowa instructed the security agents never to discharge even a bullet. According him, we would rather leave a campaign rally all bloodied and alive but no one live should be lost from any side.

Then, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero was the Deputy Governor. Incidentally, the elections came and Yakowa won the gubernatorial while President Jonathan lost Kaduna State to General Buhari. But not without Yakowa suffering that burden of Jonathan in some places.

It is 2015 and the same scenerio is fast playing itself out again. Governor Yero is being forced to bear the burden of Goodluck and this is a burdensome bag and baggages that he can ill afford to bear.

From Birnin Gwari to Saminaka, from Yakawada to Sanga, from Rigasa to Malali, Yero would have received better reception and acceptance if he would do away with joining his campaign with that of Goodluck. There are many who would ordinary make Yero a choice but would not want to have anything to do with Goodluck.

Typical is some religious clerics who before now would say to the congregation; ‘in Kaduna vote a candidate of your choice, vote for the one would ensure our hard earn security, peace and unity is sustained. But at the top, it is the peoples’ General’.

But that narration is fast changing. A very fierce cleric was so disappointed by his alleged stand of Yero to “do PDP sak” that he now says they too will “do APC sak”. According to him, they have tried to distance themselves from the Goodluck team while subliminally supporting Yero. But the Governor’s insistence on “doing PPD sak” at all level has made them changed their minds.

It would be recalled that in 2011, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso saw this hand writing on the wall in Kano and decided to flow with the tide. Kwankwaso it was who during campaign rallies openly tell the people “sama alkalemi, Kasa Lema”, meaning the pen above an the umbrella below. Signifying that the people should vote the CPC at the presidential level and PDP at the gubernatorial level.

That tactics did more than work for Kwankwaso which then set him on collision course with the PDP at the national level. The fault line created by that tactics between the man and the PDP from then on got wider and wider, and the rest, as they say is now history.

One would have expected Yero to have adopted similar tactics or at most keep mum on Goodluck wherever he goes for campaign. But Yero is in a dilemma. His loyalty to the Vice President; Architect Muhammed Namadi Sambo would not allow him to do such. But the question on many lips is ‘is Namadi worthy of this sacrifice?’

Many are quick to point out that Namadi was Governor for 3 years and now Vice President for 6years. Making it a total of 9 years in the political scene. This is about the longest serving elected executive position held by any man in Nigeria’s political history. Why would Yero sacrifice himself for such a man who has eaten his cake and still wants to have it back.

Of cause, Yero also have burdens. Many expected him to have hit the ground running after assuming the governorship of the state by picking up where late Yakowa stopped. I remember telling an aide of his a month after becoming Governor to “tell Oga” to move to the field, inspect all awarded and on-going projects in the state. Keep the contractors on their toes and anyone who did not measure upto expectation, revoke the contract and re-award it. But the aide casually told me to “allow Oga settle down”.

This is coupled with aides who were out for self serving and not committed to the administration’s success then. Most of the Commissioners were busy scheming for an easy and soft landing, after office life that state affairs took the passenger’s seat. Again, Yero tarried too long with same clumsy cabinet members that the damage inflicted was too deep. Yero remains, in Nigeria’s political history, the only Governor to have retained inherited Commissioners and other aides for that long.

Again, the early weaning of some aides seen to be too close and loyal to late Yakowa today still have certain effects on the administration. But even if that was not a tactical move, some appointees of the governor are not helping the issue. Most are more concern about accumulation of wealth than state affairs and success of the governor. Today, there are less than half a dozen out of the more than two dozen of Yero’s Commissioners who can actually sincerely mobilise their constituents without spending a dime. Ahmed Shehu Giant stands out here due to his touch with the grass root.

Here some blame it on what they called “imposition of the aides” on Yero by his friends, political in-debtors and other stake holders in the state. Because Yero doesn’t want to hurt these people, he is barely tolerating them; but greatly hurting his political stocks.

But that is also history repeating itself. Pre-2011, Yakowa suffered the same fate with even some of his Commissioners supporting the opposition guber candidate financially. Some contractors even absconded from construction sites fearing that Yakowa would lose at the polls. The case of the 2011 fertilizer contractors is pertinent here. Among the contractors were prominent sons of the state.

Yero is at a cross road and one would think that the polls postponement would have bolstered his aides to showcase some of his salient achievements. But mum is the word like a pebble thrown into a sea. They are leaving the man to his fate and Yero’s insistence to bear Goodluck’s burden during campaign rallies is not helping the issue.

But like 2011, the 2015 polls may turn out same. Incidentally, the presidential and gubernatorial elections are not the same day. So the Buhari/APC whirlwind that some are riding to deride Yero just like the burden of Goodluck/PDP that Yero is shouldering now may whither. Or their sharp and piercing edges may be blunted within the days between the presidential polls and the gubernatorial polls. And it may be the deciding factor for who will eventually chest the belt.

This is coupled with the fact that some electorates are already saying after the presidential election, they would rest their PVCs at home and watch from the sidelines. So, voter apathy is going to be a serious factor.

24 hours is a long time in politics just as an electorate can change his/her mind between the house and the polling boot. But for now, Yero bears the Goodluck burden and it is too hefty a political burden.

azeeznews@yahoo.com
@azeeznews

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

Obasanjo’s Last ‘Dance’ of Shame by Raymond Nkannebe

“Between age and Maturity is but a great chasm”-Author

Ever since he wrote the controversial letter late 2013, to president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan that literally sent tongues of fire dropping on the polity as they did on the Apostles on Pentecost day, General Olusegun Obasanjo, former military head of state and former president of the Federal republic of Nigeria between 1976-1979, and 1999-2007 respectively, has been on the media both local and international for the ‘wrong’ reasons. When he is not lambasting one political foe, he is seen in the gathering of political opponents romancing with them to send a bad message to his political party, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). When he is not critiquing the president, he is with tongue in cheek campaigning for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) for reasons best known to him but which cannot be separated from how he has been literally shut out from the day to day business of the PDP and the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan both at the national level and at his home state of Ogun where his former ally, Buruji Kashamu has all of a sudden become his nemesis. So it is understandable, why the man has been raising dust like a fish out of water. He never imagined it will turn out this way. He thought it would have been business as usual. He was disillusioned.

At the time he wrote the acerbic piece or what some referred to as a diatribe, many of us thought the man had played out his entire card. But the old warhorse was not done. He had more weapons in his arsenal. Little did we know that the man was soon to release his autobiography which he is today literally hawking in the streets of London, Kenya and other alien countries like wheel barrow pushing men at Upper-Iweka in Onitsha, Anambra state.

He titled the book, “My Watch” and in it, virtually indicted almost everybody as being the reason why Nigeria hasn’t gone beyond where it is today and how he has been the only one eyed man in this village of the blind. In his warped imagination, he was the best thing to have happened to Nigeria hence why he has the right to call anybody he deems fit out and crucify them on his literary cross.

This was a man who ran Nigeria roughshod and almost made Nigeria his personal property if not by ownership, at least by possession in the eight years when he was unchained from Kiri Kiri to come and oversee the affairs of the country in a shoddy deal to pacify western Nigeria after the Abiola debacle. He soon got consumed by power, and ruled Nigeria as he deemed fit.

Under his watch, our democracy was a very laughable one where the institutions that give any democracy its distinguishing feature merely existed but stopped from putting their machineries in motion due to executive interference ordained from the cozy Aso Rock residence of the former dictator. Perhaps there is no better illustration of this than the imposing of military administrators in the states of Ekiti and Plateau against the spirit and letter of the 1999 constitution. Here was a man who ran down the villages of Odi and Zaki Biam in Bayelsa and Kaduna states respectively contrary to international conventions of which Nigeria is a signatory to. A man under whose watch, the power sector which he superintended over, brought more darkness to the nation despite over 16 billion dollars claimed to have been invested to revive the sector.

A man who sat on our national properties and sold them the same way a naught secondary school student sells his mathematics textbook with little or no regard for International Best Practices and the Oil and Gas sector practically became a metaphor for irregularity with no proper remittance of oil proceeds and the payment of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) a sort of bazaar that saw Oil marketers exponentially rich at the expense of the economy. It was a regime marked by political killings and the use of governmental institutions to witch hunt political enemies in the name of fighting corruption.

Expectedly, the lie ridden autobiography received criticism as much as it deserves from virtually all sections of the social strata namely: the political class, the academia, civil society organizations and members of the general public under whose watch some of the events he wrote about, unfolded. That the book became banned in Nigeria, did not come with any surprise. It was a sheer misrepresentation of history at least from what one has read in the reviews.

In the alternative, the man, true to type, has since found love with the international community and has at different functions been marketing the book while saying all sorts of unprintable things adverse to the international image of president Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Republic of Nigeria like one suffering from diarrhea of the mouth.

It was in one of such gatherings that he recently came under his pathological condition. At an interactive session with the Financial Times of London, the octogenarian while endorsing the Buhari candidacy and condemning the postponement of the Feb. 14th presidential and National Assembly elections, said all sorts of things in his vintage manner against the presidency of president Goodluck Jonahan, a man who we are told, in his characteristic manner as the Lord of the Manor, handpicked to be the running mate of late president Umar Musa Yar’Adua as a result of the distinguishing qualities of the man. Now, while nobody is celebrating the postponement of the elections irrespective of how INEC and the military would like us to, what is worrying and benumbing is why a very revered African figure and one of Nigeria’s veteran politicians and a founding member of the PDP would be so lousy as not to be able to rule over his tongue on issues which are very sensitive and critical to the sustenance of our budding democracy.

If Chief Olusegun Obasanjo were really a patriot as he wants us to believe, there are obviously better and more matured ways through which he would have registered his displeasure with the current avoidable turn our democracy we fought so much to enthrone is taking. But he was not acting like one who loves this nation so much. He was really reacting like one celebrating the fact that things seems not to be in order. He was simply playing the Devils Advocate. If not, when did Kenya and London become the streams where we go to wash our dirty linens? Is it not an embarrassment to the over 180 million Nigerians that he vacated the accommodating lands of the Niger to spew verbiages that reveal the underbelly of our collective patrimony? If such events unfolded while he was junketing from one international airport to the other, couldn’t he have called the presidency to know what unfolds in the land he claims so much to love, rather than rushing to the western press to say things which are no more than figments of his imagination? What was going through his mind that emboldened him to throw caution to the winds and commit such a political (mis)adventure?

Over the weekend, the man was at his newly found sport again. He was reported to have said that president Goodluck Jonathan intends to keep postponing the elections and if possible elongate his tenure alluding what is playing out in Nigeria to what took centre stage in Cote d’ ivoire not long ago when the ruling party under former president Laurent Gbagbo kept postponing the elections until it was most favorable for him to win. Obasanjo said,

What again it looks to me is that the president is trying to play Gbagbo.Gbagbo was the president of Cote d’ Ivoire and Gbagbo made sure he postponed the election in his country until he was sure he would win and then allowed the election to take place. He got an inconclusive election in the first ballot and I believe this is the sort of pit Nigeria will fall into if I am right in what I observed as the grand plan. And then in the run-off, Gbagbo lost with 8 per cent behind Ouattara and refused to hand over…” he went on to say, “I believe that we may be seeing the repeat of Gbagbo or what I call Gbagbo saga, here in Nigeria, I hope not.”

Accordingly, the presidential spokesman on Media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abatti has since debunked such claims which exists only in the imagination of the disgruntled old warhorse referring to it as baseless and uncharitable as well as the Director General of the PDP campaign organization, Femi Fani Kayode who has since dismissed the frivolous comments in similar but not entirely the same terms as Abatti.

As I write this piece, word has just reached me that the same shameless general who has failed in the simplest leadership role- to keep his family in order, much less a wide conglomerate as the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order, at a press conference publicly rubbed himself in the mud by assigning one of his political assistants to tear his membership card of the PDP to the cheer of supporters and press men. A party that restored his relevance in the political scene giving him the privilege to put Nigeria back on track after the costly years of the military junta but which he failed at, woefully.

The public razzmatazz of tearing the membership card of his political party betrays the paucity of Obasanjo’s sense of reasoning and unearths his shallow mind set. It is to me the last nail on his political coffin and the height of his political ineptitude. By such show of shame never witnessed in the annals of political history (I beg to be contradicted), Obasanjo has “nakeded himself” in public to borrow the phrase of one illiterate Nigerian politician.

If Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was so irritated with being a member of the PDP for any reason, is it so difficult for him to have written to the National Chairman of the party telling the party the reasons for his actions? Isn’t that how people who are schooled behave? What is it that motivated him into this global dementia that casts Nigeria and Nigerians in bad light?

An igbo proverb has it that, “Ifele adighi eme onye ala, owu onye ma ya ka ifele n’eme” which loosely translates as: A mad man has no need of shame, it is his relations who has to contend with the shame. This is what is playing out here and now. Obasanjo has painted Nigerians in bad color and like the mad man in the above adage; he knows not the consequence of what he has done. It is we who are his relations who have to contend with the shame.

The act of tearing his membership card before the eyes of the world is the least he could have done. It speaks volumes how frustrated the man is and how shallow his thoughts have become. Could it be that the adage once a man, twice a child is playing out in the life of the man? For his present act, exposes the childishness in him. He needs our help but who cares?

Whatever it is that may have suddenly come over the pompous veteran politician, it is not as though we care too much for his misfortune but we can make do with an advice as it costs nothing. The earlier he had gone to seek therapy, the better for him. Wherever he chooses to seek that, is altogether immaterial. He may go and prostrate before an Ifa priest, he may go see a psychologist in a medical facility or he could as well go pay the SCOAN pastor a visit. Who knows, his salvation may just be waiting for him. He can be consoled in the fact that any means he elects will be justified in the end.

Beyond that, any serious minded individual, abreast of Nigeria’s recent history, would never take the grandiloquent general serious no matter how he vibrates. With no intent to hold brief for the PDP and the presidency, it is most uncharitable for OBJ to associate GEJ in the league of sit-tight African leaders, a league where he OBJ was once a runners-up as we saw with the unconstitutional 3rd term gambit. Thanks to the indefatigable senate at the time, members of the civil society and members of the press who boisterously scuttled what could have been a rape on our democracy. It is mindboggling then, that a person who by hook and crook, wanted a tenure elongation now accuses a person who has never borne the intention or mooted it even passively of wanting to do so.

Mr. president made it clear in his last media chat that if he loses at the forthcoming election, he would humbly go back to his personal residence as Aso Rock is not his father’s estate while regretting the circumstances that led to the adjournment of the polls and he has since then assured Nigerians and members of the international community that there is no need for panic because elections must hold and the May 29th date, very sacrosanct. Why has Obasanjo been crying wolf when it is only a puppy that snoops around the backyard?

Those who want a repeat of the Ivorien experience here while feigning love for mother land so that they will have what they will run to street with, should be sure that they are bound to fail. The evil they wish Nigeria will befall them. The pit they dig in their hearts, they will be the first to take a plunge into. Mr. President is a democrat who understands that power is transient and not those who are wont to think life begins and ends with political power.

As a young Nigerian with keen interests with events at the socio-political scene, Obasanjo I can convincingly say without any fear of contradiction is the last person one can take an advice from. He lacks the moral locus standi to bring an action or to point accusing fingers at anybody in Nigeria much less President GEJ who is condemned with the Sisyphean task of cleaning the rot and mess accumulated under the Obasanjo and successive administration’s watch. His greatest undoing, is to having cast president GEJ in bad light to attract odium and opprobrium to the man with his undisputable national and international clout.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is undoubtedly troubled by his past. Seeing that the man he appointed to be the lieutenant of Umar Musa Yar’Adua, has suddenly risen to the crème of political power and at the same time, outperformed him in so short a time in every index with which governance is measured, one is not at a quagmire as to why he has been reacting this way lately.

Obasanjo, a man who has failed to get things right with his family, a man whose son and daughter at different times publicly disgraced for his unruly behaviours and one who has gone into political eclipse under the GEJ administration is obviously not a happy man. In his wildest imagination, he never envisioned that things could get so rough for him. At the National level, the power-bloc in the PDP will not let him dictate how the party is to be run, Mama Patience would not have him take her husband for a ride, at his home ground, Buruji Kashamu has become a bitter pill to swallow. He was boxed in a corner that the only thing he took away from his membership of the party, became only the knowledge of same.

His latest voyage out of the PDP ship, is the final evidence that he has lost on all fronts and whether he goes to the summit of Mount Olympus to tear his membership card of the PDP, we must educate him that it is God that gives power and takes same, and not man. Accordingly, if the heavens have ordained it that there will be a power shift by the end of May, 2015, one thousand OBJs in the PDP cannot controvert or negate the will of God. And in the same vein, if God says otherwise, OBJ’s exit from the PDP cannot impeach God’s authority.

Beyond that, what matters most is not the political ambitions of GMB or GEJ but the continuous existence of Nigeria as one indissoluble and sovereign entity under God, for we won’t be discussing of an election without there being a state. This is the gospel one would have expected OBJ to consistently preach in his international engagements as the father of the Nation and an African ambassador but instead, the man seems to find pleasure in sowing seeds of discord (whether he cultivates that in his farm or not, one does not know) and fanning the embers of disunity through frivolous insinuations and illogical conclusions that only end up heating up a polity already bursting at the seams.

We end by reminding him that his latest action is of no consequence whatsoever. He should go back to his Ota farm and tend after his broods as his exit from the PDP and possibly active politics, could as well be a blessing in disguise for the nation generally. At this stage of his life where he should be at peace with himself and everybody, it worries me that he has chosen to dedicate the last years of his life into robbing himself of his inner peace as it were and building walls of political enmity at every turn.

He should go burry his face in the mud with the knowledge of an old man who refused to make the best out of his grey hair but rather chose to dance naked in the market square on an ‘Nkwo’ market day.

Naknnebe Raymond is a Final Year Law student and a public affairs analyst who is passionate about the Nigerian state and is committed to its all round development. He is on twitter as @RayNkah/Raymondnkannebe@gmail.com

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

How the zones will vote in March and why By Azuka Onwuka

The charged atmosphere in Nigeria before the rescheduling of the 2015 presidential election was not for the love of the country as many people would make us believe. It was a desperate desire to get power by the opposition All Progressives Congress and to retain power by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

The far North (North-East, North-West and some states in the North-Central zones) wants to get back the power that it lost in 2010, following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua. Since Independence, the North had been used to being in power. It had not been accustomed to being in the opposition or out of power – for too long.

The constitutional provision that the vice-president should become the president in the event of the death of the president was something the North could not do anything about, but the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2011 election was seen as a grave injustice and a betrayal of trust by most Northerners. It elicited much bitterness and anger. It was not surprising that Jonathan got pelted with stones and his campaign posters destroyed in some parts of the North during the 2011 campaign (as well as in 2015).

In this 2015 election, it has become worse, for a win by Jonathan will mean extra four years to the five years he has already secured legally. That will mean keeping the North out of power for a total of 17 years out of 20 years (1999-2019). That is too long a period! Nobody can tell an average Northerner that this is not an act of cheating.

Therefore, party or candidate means little to the North in this 2015 election. If Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) were to be the candidate of the PDP and Jonathan were to be the candidate of the APC, it would have not changed the voting pattern there. In fact, if Governor Rochas Okorocha or Governor Babatunde Fashola had been chosen by the APC as its presidential candidate – whatever leadership skills they could flaunt – the North would have broken ranks with the APC in protest. The bottom line is that the North wants power to return to it. And nobody can blame it for that. So, Buhari is the natural choice.

In the South-West, the story is different but the end result is the same with the far North. Since 1999, the mainstream South-West had been in the opposition. In fact, since 1960, the South-West had been in the opposition. The only time one of its own, Chief MKO Abiola, won a presidential election in 1993, he was unjustly denied the opportunity to rule, bundled into prison where he died mysteriously after his wife had also been killed. Even though Abiola did not have the passionate support of the mainstream South-West during the 1993 presidential campaign because he had previously not been in the same political camp with the leader of the Yoruba, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, when his mandate was truncated, the mainstream South-West people rallied round him.

The eight years of President Olusegun Obasanjo is not seen by most South-westerners as the turn of the South-West because he was the choice of the Northern retired army generals in 1999. This 2015 election offers the South-West the best opportunity to be in government on its terms: as the ruling party. And the APC offers that chance. So, there is a meeting point between the interest of the far North and the mainstream South-West, with a Northerner as the presidential candidate and a South-Westerner as his running mate.

On the other side stands the South-South, whose son, Jonathan, is the incumbent President. Providence gave the South-South the Presidency in 2010 when it least expected that it could rule the nation. Given that it is the land of petroleum that is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, it felt that having got the Presidency by luck, it should be allowed to take its turn, since it had never ruled the nation, and the North had ruled for 38 years out of the 50 years of Nigeria by 2010.

When the South-South got that chance, it went a step forward to ask that it be allowed to complete its own two terms like the South-West did in 2007. It does not even know whether it will have the opportunity to rule again in the next 50 years, given its size and the passionate interest others zones have in the Presidency. In its eyes, any attempt to deny it that opportunity is a case of injustice that had persisted since Independence.

The South-East feels a kind of “solidarity” for its South-South neighbours. It feels that it has been marginalised like the South-South on political matters, with its shot at the Presidency being a short-lived six-month military regime, whose head of state was assassinated in office in a coup that led to a pogrom and culminated in a civil war with death of some two million Igbo.

The South-East also feels a kind of sympathy for the South-South underdog as it squares up against a big North backed by an equally big South-West. In addition, the South-East shares the Christian religion with the South-South. It feels that it has had a better deal under the Presidency of a South-Southerner and feels safer, having been victims of ethno-religious riots for decades.

The North-Central is not homogenous in terms of ethnicity and religion. Some share the same minorities’ sympathies and Christian sympathies with the South-South and therefore tend towards Jonathan, while those who feel more affinity with the North and Islam tend towards Buhari.

But happily, there are those who will swim against the zonal tide or refuse to be swayed by extraneous influences of ethnicity, religion or party. These are the people who will be swayed by the foundation Jonathan is believed to have has laid in the different sectors and therefore want to give him another opportunity to do more, especially in growing the economy to the point of being named the third fastest growing in the world in 2015 behind China and Qatar. On the other side are those who will vote for Buhari because they are dissatisfied with Jonathan’s performance, or those who simply want a change of leadership after 16 years of the PDP.

Then, there are those who will either abstain from voting or cast protest votes for any of the other not-too-popular presidential candidates. These are people who believe that neither Jonathan nor Buhari measures up to their expectations of what a President should be.

As much as we pretend to the contrary, ethnicity and religion are strong factors that determine who rules Nigeria. Since Independence, this has led to less-endowed politicians being preferred to rule the nation as against their more endowed counterparts. The underlying forces that are pushing for Buhari and Jonathan are still not far from the forces of religion and ethnic origin. The only difference now is that there is an addition of the “it’s-our-turn” claim, which has led to threats from the North and South-South as well as pre-election violence.

There are no signs yet that the impact of these twin factors is about to wane in the nearest future. But as long as it continues, the quality of our presidential candidates will remain middling; desperation will continue to mount over which ethnic group will produce the president; violence will continue; the progress of the nation will continue to be affected. And that is why it is critical that the country is restructured to stop the resource-sharing mentality, reduce the cries of marginalisation and lessen the desperation to win the Presidency.

  • Twitter @BrandAzuka

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

It Is A Crime To Offer To Buy Or Buy Or Sell PVC – Okoi Obono-Obla

There are allegations flying all over the place that some unscrupulous and desperate politicians are buying Permanent Voters Card (PVC) from voters all over the country.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) last week raised an alarm when it pointedly and frontally accusing the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of being behind the buying of PVCS all over the country.  Curiously until this moment the PDP has not reacted to this grave allegation.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) surprisingly till this moment not said anything in reaction to the grave allegation made by the APC against the PDP.

Our politicians are exploiting the abysmal ignorance and the grinding poverty of our people brought about by the obnoxious and oppressive policies visited on them for the past 16 years by the PDP controlled Federal Government of Nigeria.

It is rather unfortunate we are saddled with politicians that are obsessed with grabbing power not necessarily to use it to develop society for solely to pursue their selfish interest.

It is disheartening that our politicians are obsessed with rigging elections rather than selling their manifesto to the electorate for the electorate to adjudge as the parameter o deciding on which party to vote for.

Our politicians are adept at breaking the law. Our politicians are adept at the art cutting of corners. Our politicians have strong aversion in adhering to the rule of law. Our politicians believe so much on impunity to the extent that they will always device a counter measure to any regulation introduced by the INEC to conduct a free, fair, credible and transparent election.

It is well settled that an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment or payment of fine for any person found in possession of PVC which does not belong to him. Conversely it is a criminal office to offer to buy or buy or sell PVC.

Section 23 subsection 1 (a) (b) (c) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides as follows thus:

“(1) Any person who –

(a) is in unlawful possession of any voter’s card whether issued in the name of any voter or not:

(b) sells or attempts to sell or offers to sell any voter’s card whether issued in the name of any voter or not; or

(c) buys or offer to buy any voters’ card whether on his own behalf or on behalf of any other person, commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding N500,000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.

It is worthy to note that the Permanent voters’ card issued to a voter by the INEC does by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) belong to that voter.

The propriety right of a Permanent Voters Card is vested on INEC. In other words, Permanent voters’ card does not necessarily belong to the person whose name is written on it.

The trade mark, proprietary right and intellectual property belongs exclusively and solely on INEC.

Section 22 of the Electoral Act provide thus;
“The proprietary rights in any voters’ card issued to any voter shall vest in the Commission”.

A Permanent Voters Card is the intellectual property of INEC.

It is a universal principle of law that when if you  sells whatever does not belong to you  with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of his or her property you are guilty of the crime of  theft.

I therefore call on INEC to be alive to its statutory responsibility and launch an investigation concerning the allegation of selling and buying of PVCS with a view of bringing the culprits into book.

So those who are buying or selling PVC should be aware before the long arm of the law catch up with them. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

 

OKOI OBONO-OBLA

 

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

22 Million Shoes For The Shoeless President By Erasmus Ikhide

One would have thought President Goodluck “Ebele” Jonathan was a student of “Machiavellianism”, if he were a political scientist. A pip at the book; The Prince, written by Niccolo Machiavelli mirrors Mr President’s deceit, deviousness, ambition, and of course, brazen unscrupulousness inherent with the characters in the book. Now the brutal reality has downed on him: the unpatriotic and uninvested nature of his politics and its fickleness is sinking his political ship.

In the beginning -2011 – President Goodluck Jonathan beguiles Nigerian electorate with the shoeless narratives and wheedled the people’s mandates unto the bargain. The greasy, shifty-eyed President got way with 22 million plus votes, even though the figures was sexed up. Nevertheless, Nigerians empathised with him. Reason: he was shoeless.

There is no question he had good intention, but this well-meaning and democratically minded patriot unwittingly allowed sycophants to dig political grave for his government. What majority of Nigerians want is a government that would take a firm stand on any issue and lead them out of their hopeless plight. To this end, Mr President has been found wanting.

The President’s shoeless wile is well known. It was his call to electoral arms in 2011. Nearly four years ago, it resonated with a vast majority of ordinary folks. The unwary identified with the tale of a barefooted country boy done good encapsulated in the shoeless yarn. All simple folks saw themselves in the ‘I am Goodluck Jonathan’ tale. Today the narrative is inverted. In a normal society the president surely would have stood out as a grotesque cramp of misfit. Sadly, that is not the case with us in Nigeria.

Ali M Ali gives an adequate explanation and reason why we are at the edge of the brink: “We are in an era of “less”.  Everything is “less”. Modern day fashionistas insist that “less” is more. I am bewildered.
How could ‘less’ be ‘more?’ But in this country’s incredible political clime, this could’t be truer. The ‘less’ is, indeed, truly, more.

Consider the on-going charming thriller for instance. It involves two narratives of the ‘less’ genre. The shoe (less) and the shame (less).

It is engaging. It is gripping. It is the kind of thriller that would keep you on the edge of your seat – all the time. Were it being shown in the theater, this thriller would morbidly fascinate the audience and kept it spellbound”.

President Jonathan is back at his swy, dizzy tricks. This time, with not very impressive and persuasive gimmicks. He roars with a long tirade: “Buhari can’t remember his phone number, throwing people into
jail is different from frighting corruption, stealing is not corruption, buying new cars, houses and aircrafts by politicians and bureaucrats is not corruption, political opponents are behind by failures, I will implement National Conference Report if re-elected, I will fight corruption, I will fight Boko Haram, I will stabilize power, I will, I will… I will! Mr President, no doubt, is a gifted manipulator, with a passion for intrigues.

Frankly, he has been less prodigious. His style of governance has brought Nigeria in the same stead with nations that scarcely protect their citizens. Over 2,000 people were butchered in Baga, Borno State
at the weekend in the deadliest massacre to date carried out by the Boko Haram militias at a time 3.7 million people gathered to mourn 17 terrorist victims in Paris, the capital city of France.

With sadistic fancy, inherent with most blind sided absolute rulers, President Jonathan can only thrive in evil times like this, blaming others for his failures. With his acclaimed forensic talents and his
subtle sense of political strategy, the blandly President could not forestall the slaughtering of Nigerian citizens he swore to protect by the poorly armed ragtag nihilist Boko Haram insurgents.

In the social media, frustrated citizens are of the informed view that any shoeless fella should be given one and asked to “beat it”.

The president merely did penance in Lagos by blaming himself and his imaginary enemies for failing the country in the last six years at the saddle. The revealed self-embitterment and the bashing in Gen. Buhari’s head barely begs the solution to the problems.

The people have already come to the conclusion that President Jonathan “is lacking in broad vision, knowledge, confidence, understanding, concentration, capacity, sense of security, courage, moral and ethical principles, character and passion to move the nation forward on a fast trajectory.” His administration has demonstrated that it is incapable of stepping up to the Boko Haram’s plague. Neither can he tame overt corruption by sending corrupt government officials to the gallows, and ensure power stability after trillions of Naira has been spent.

How come that under President Jonathan government there has been so much poverty, so much human suffering, in the midst of so much plenty? How come there are no solutions in this dark days of his government, when the factories are silent, when the registered unemployed youths soars to about twenty million on the average? The hard reality of poverty and plush life style of those in his government opened the eyes of millions of the masses to the unprecedented swindles, lies and betrayals of the people by the PDP-led government.

The shopkeepers, artisans wanted electricity, youths who have come of voting age since the last general elections wanted some prospect of a future that would at least give them a living. To the millions of
discontented Nigerians, Buhari’s whirlwind campaign of restoration offer the desired hope.

They are of the conviction that he would make Nigeria great again. He will refuse to kow-tow to the western imperialists who are clamouring for continues devaluation of the Naira which they could to achieve under his military regime. They are convinced that Gen. Buhari would stabilised the economy, stamp out corruption heist and bring he money barons to heel and see to it that every Nigerian had a job and food on his/her table.

This time, Nigerians have a choice to make between Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan. The President is not be compared with Buhari who towers above him both in height and intellectually. Mr Buhari is full of faith and certain of the future and the will to free the masses with his unlimited love for all who believe in a “New Nigeria”. This is the first time his determination becomes more vivid to tear off the mask from the faces distorted by greed, faces of corruption and mediocrity since his democratic engagement.

Truly, the future of Nigeria does not lie with the political parties of destruction, but rather with the parties which carry in themselves the strength of the people, who are prepared and who wish to themselves to the aspiration of the people. Gen. Buhari has assured that he will sure-up the cracked foundation of the Army’s strength and prevent  its legacy from ruin.

He promised to train and equipped the Army that will put an end to the Boko haram scourge which has been allowed to fester for too long under the PDP government. He achieved that with the taming of the Maitatsine group that was as deadly as the Boko haram insurgents in 1983 when he was military Head of State. This is one reason Nigerians are certain that Gen Buhari would shake off the shackles of humiliation visited on the Nigeria Armed Forces by Boko Haram militias and bring about a big Army for the militarists.

The hard-pressed people are angling for change, as well as demanding a way out of their sorry predicament, which the opposition ably articulated and signposted in their manifesto of change. The APC presidential candidate is a veritable dynamo, a man of starling character, unselfish, modest, honest, and incorruptible individual who would restore stable government and rescue the country from the growing slump and political chaos.

As 2015 runs its uneasy course in this election year, Nigerians are poised to give Mr Jonathan millions of shoes to “beat”. He needs them, even if it is to outdo the former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos’
legendary shoe collection of  more than 3,000 pairs. Mr Jonathan surely would need them in the swapping turf in the land of his forebears after February 14th. There is no need to steer savage
battles in the gutters.

Erasmus Ikhide writes in from Lagos, Nigeria.

ikhideeraus@yahoo.com

Follow me on twitter @erasmusikhide

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

Why You Have to Vote for Jonathan By Zayyad Abdullahi

 

Why You Have To Vote For Jonathan By Zayyad Abdullahi

During times of crisis, the people need an injection of joy and high spirits. In this regard, unlike any president, Goodluck Jonathan’s track record speaks for itself. He is credited for the unprecedented acts of throwing lavish parties and staging rallies to follow up very tragic events. If an Image of President Goodluck doing the shoki on stage doesn’t cheer people up then I don’t know what might.

The opposition is clearly out to discredit the Jesus Christ of Otuoke. They want you to think you Nigerians are living in abject poverty but what do they have to say about all the private jets. In fact, is calling someone poor not insulting? Jonathan would never condescend to you Nigerians like that. The opposition won’t talk about the schools Jonathan built for our children. Granted they may not be able to afford them and most importantly, they may not be safe in them but history will remember Jonathan did his job; he built schools. The opposition won’t talk about the hospitals. Granted they may contain equipment from a bygone age and are bereft of qualified professionals but a hospital is still a hospital and let it be known; Jonathan built hospitals. The opposition want you to believe Jonathan is divisive. Granted he once said he regrets not having a Yoruba person as Speaker of the House of Representatives which also means he regrets having a Hausa man as Speaker, but did he not call Boko Haram (who are largely made up of Hausa Fulanis) his brothers? Will a president who doesn’t like Hausas call Boko Haram his siblings? Let’s face it, Jonathan for the most part is unfairly criticised.

The opposition want you to believe Jonathan is not smart because he has made so many blunders. Is it his fault he doesn’t know Gusau is the capital of Zamfara and not in Yobe state? Do you expect every Nigerian to know all thirty-six states and their capitals? You Nigerians are unbecoming. Who cares if he said “America will know” if $20b is missing from Nigerian reserves? Did he lie? Was the money stolen not in dollars? Is the Dollar not the American currency? I’m starting to believe Nigerians just enjoy ridiculing Jonathan for no apparent reason. So what if he now claims MEND tried to kill him after so vehemently defending the group just over four years ago. Pesin no fit even carry una play again? Moreover, doesn’t it say so much about his character that after countless bloopers he still has the courage to come out again in front of all of you? I don’t know about you but if I was to publicly humiliate myself like President Jonathan has done so many times; I would’ve quietly gone away and lived the rest of my life in an empty cottage in the woods.

Terrorism and insecurity have put our great country in shackles and the opposition want you to believe this is all Jonathan’s fault. While Jonathan has remained committed to supporting the victims by condemning these callous acts and setting up committees, the opposition have been busy blaming Jonathan for the troubles of their great grandparents. Thank goodness Mr President has alibis when most of these tragedies take place or as God is my witness the opposition would have tried to pin the deaths on him. Granted he is the C-in-C and his primary job is protection of lives and properties of Nigerians but is it Jonathan they see carrying guns to kill people? Nigerians just love to take panadol for another man’s headache. Speaking of being meddlesome, a group of Nigerians have gained worldwide acclaim for relentlessly demanding that the president “bring(s) back our girls.” I find this absolutely ridiculous and disrespectful to the office of the president. Is it Jonathan that kidnapped the girls? Are the girls in Aso Rock? Yes, the law states the primary job of the president is to protect the lives of citizens but how do you expect one man to account for the lives of over 160 million people? You Nigerians are just silly. Moreover, when has this administration ever been known to abide by laws anyway? This is a government that tried to lock the Speaker of the House out of the National Assembly. A government that is famous for the use of security agencies against perceived opponents. A government where the First Lady with no constitutional powers whatsoever can order the arrest of citizens, yet you expect such a government to uphold the rule of law. The joke is on you, Nigerians.

The opposition will moan about how Nigeria is the only country on earth where two thousand citizens can die in one attack and the government doesn’t even acknowledge it. Is it the president’s fault these killings happened at the heat of election season? How do they expect him to set up a committee (to look into the killings) when all the personnel that would’ve normally been assigned to this committee have been given the more important job of making sure he gets re-elected? Mr President is a man that knows his priorities and by God he sticks to them regardless of any hullabaloo and ridicule from external factors.

The wicked opposition have also succeeded in completely turning the youth against Jonathan. They have succeeded in making them see what a Nigeria of their dreams could look like. To make matters worse, these youth actually believe in a prosperous Nigeria. These days, the youth even have the audacity to demand accountability; children of nowadays have no respect. That is how a group of jobless youth started promoting what they refer to as a “2 Million Youth March for Change.” The total population of Abuja is 3 million so I’m curious as to where they expect to find 2 million youth to march.

The opposition also never give Mr President credit where he deserves. Take his selflessness for example; it would not have been out of place for a man of Jonathan’s stature, given his sacrifices (he had no shoes!) for our people, to have claimed ownership of 70 – 80 percent of the Nigerian economy. That’s what it really means to be the father of the nation, you see. The nation is his estate. In fact, he is the state. However, Jonathan, being the generous leader that he is only takes a few billion dollars every couple of months. Isn’t he merciful!

Some might argue Jonathan has failed completely at his assignment, but are some of his opponents not running after failing to win multiple elections in the past. Did we not learn from childhood never to let our failures put us down. “If at first you don’t succeed, try another orange”. Let’s see how many Nigerians thinking they are smart enough to run a government will get that.

As a leader, dancer, professor, mentor, player, Jonathan wears many hats (see what I did there?) And that is why you have to vote for him. Or don’t, he plans to rig anyway.

@zvyyvd

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

Open Letter To General Muhammadu Buhari By Chika Onuora

Since I heard that the All Progressives Congress (APC) voted you in as its presidential candidate, I have been worried about so many issues, some of which I will mention, but others I will raise at other fora.

To start with, as a woman, I am pained that you will not have an office of the First Lady. Many have said that the constitution does not have a provision for that office, which I believe is true, but I still insist that you bring your wife to Abuja, and into the Aso Rock Villa, to help better our lives. She can only do that with the full paraphernalia of an office, so I advise that you reconsider your position.

Again, Sir, it is not about that office, but about the dividends. Most of us do not like Patience, but we like what she has gotten for us. I am not so stupid and irreligious to believe we will equal the men, but at least we can consolidate on the 35% we now have. With you, the future is grim and foreboding.

Dear General, Sir, I may be sounding disrespectful at this stage in my letter, but it is for a good reason because as a woman who has nurtured children with a supporting husband, I cannot understand why a man who served in the Nigerian Army and rose to your rank can be described as an officer and a gentleman. An officer maybe, but a gentleman definitely not. And I thought one of the reasons given for wives decorating their husbands on promotion was to show they were a rank higher. It appears to me that for some of you, while you are officers, your wives are fresh recruits.

Pardon my anger, but I must keep speaking until I ventilate why I can never, ever, vote for you, even if my husband thinks you are what Nigeria needs. He is still suffering certain deprivations for suggesting that in a discussion with his friends to my hearing.

I read the other day that you claimed to have forgiven those who sent you out of Dodan Barracks, but I think all that is politics. If you could not forgive a divorced and dead wife, only fools, including your newfound friends, especially those of the South-West who propped you up, will believe you. That is if they are that foolish! I can wager that Ibrahim Babangida did not believe a word of that your comment. Knowing him as I do, he will work his best underground against you. So will his boys.

Sir, where exactly is your second wife, Aisha? There are too many stories in the open concerning her; and her continual absence either proves the stories have a semblance of truth, or you are just the good, old Buhari that cannot change.

I do not wish to comment on President Goodluck Jonathan or his wife, Patience, but I fear gravely that with you in the Aso Villa, our gender will lose all the gains that Jonathan’s presidency gave us.

Dear General, I read something written by a woman on the back page of the Punch newspapers of Thursday, January 8, 2015 concerning your “missing wife”, but this was the most instructive for me. The writer wrote: “There are several reasons one can adduce for Buhari and his wife’s photo hide-and-seek. One, the culture of lovey-dovey is simply not him. Like the Igbo proverb that says a man cannot learn to be left-handed in old age, I wager that this is a left-handedness that Buhari has not learnt and is probably a far harder lesson than removing his cap during a church service.

“Two, he probably thinks being seen with a woman will detract from his famed militarist discipline and Spartan image. He has done a lot of bending just to project himself as a non-Islamic fundamentalist (and) pan Nigerian statesman but the woman aspect just does not resonate well with him – yet. Third, the religion and culture Buhari has known all his life do gift a second-class citizen status to women.”

Sir, Is this writer right in her summation? If that is the case, we may have to wait until you are 76 years old and recognize how important we are as women to vote you in.

See you in 2019! 

Chika Onuora wrote in from Asokoro, Abuja via chikamadubuikeonuora@gmail.com.

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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

Femi Fani Kayode’s Fury Of Nothingness About Buhari By Okoi Obono-Obla

When I read the Headlines in This Day Newspaper edition of Sunday the 11th January 2015 with the screaming and bold caption “PDP: Buhari is Not Qualified to Contest February 14 Election” I was naturally curious to know what warranted such a sensational and alarmist headline.

I found that the story was attributed to the Spokesman of President Good luck Jonathan Campaign Office, Femi Fani Kayode; instinctively concluded that the story was more of shadow than substance, knowing the character of the author.

Truly after leafing through the story I found to my chagrin and consternation that it was full of fury and blustery but no substance whatsoever. The story was well calculated hype to deceive the undiscerning.

The headline was characteristic of the slap dash, inconsistent and impetuous character of Femi Fani Kayode that he has starkly manifested to Nigerians ever since he defected from APC to PDP after a mid night visit to President Jonathan whom he had severely lampooned and called unprintable names previously.

I was hugely disappointed when I read through the story where Femi Fani Kayode alarmingly but maliciously and falsely accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of covering up the failure of the Presidential Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari to make available his certificates to entitle him to contest the Presidential Election.

Femi Fani Kayode interpretation of Section 131 (1) (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that provides that a presidential candidate must be educated to School Certificate Level to be eligible to contest Presidential Election was ludicrous, outlandish, bizarre, obtuse and totally out of sync with the intendment of the makers of the Constitution.

Section 131 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides thus:

“A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if –

(a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth;

(b) he has attained the age of Forty years;

(c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and

(d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent”

When the words used in the Constitution are clear and unambiguous they must be given their ordinary and natural meaning; no more no less.

It is equally ridiculous and puerile for Femi Kayode to suggest that General Muhammadu Buhari has no certificate and therefore INEC ought to disqualify him.

I know Femi Kayode is a lawyer and I expect that he would do a good job of interpreting the Constitution correctly and not allow his phobia for General Buhari to take the better of him to the extent that he would show such pathetic understanding and appreciation of the canons of constitutional interpretation and the tenor of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

Otherwise how on earth would Femi Kayode suggest that Gen. Buhari is not qualified to contest on the ground that he failed to present his School Certificate to INEC and therefore INEC ought to have disqualified him? In the first place INEC has no modicum of power to disqualify any candidate even if such candidate did not meet the constitutional requirement prescribed by the Constitution.

General Buhari had in his sworn Affidavit in support of his Nomination Form which he submitted to INEC stated that his Certificates are with the Nigerian Army Secretary.

The Army through its Director of Public Relations, Brigadier General Olaleye Lajide confirmed indeed that Gen. Buhari’s Certificates are with the Military Secretary. Femi Kayode would still want us believe that he has no certificate and therefore no eligible to contest?

General Lajide had dismissed with a wave of the hand reports in the Nigerian media that the Army could not find Gen. Buhari’s Academic Records as false. He further said that the reports in the Newspapers that the Army could not locate Gen. Buhari’s record were untrue.

One would have thought that the explanation and confirmation by Gen. Lajide would put to rest the controversy. But alas the likes of Femi Kayode are not interested in running a decent issue-based campaign; they want to continue to mar Gen. Buhari, malign, and defame him in order to divert attention from serious social and economic issues that the two Presidential Candidates should address and articulate their plans on how to tackle the Country if elected into office.

Ironically the Vice Presidential Running Mate to President Jonathan, Vice President Mohammed Sambo also had sworn to an Affidavit in support of his Nomination Form submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission to the effect that all his academic certificates were burnt in a fire incident that gutted his residence in his home town. Has anybody raised any question as to the non eligibility of Architect Sambo because he swore to such an Affidavit?

Does Femi Fani Kayode know that the non qualification of Architect Sambo on the ground that because he swore to an affidavit that his Certificates were burnt he is not qualified to contest the forthcoming Presidential Election invariably would disqualify President Jonathan from contesting because they both are running on a Joint Ticket?

Femi Kayode has hypocritically not made an issue of the fact that Architect Sambo did not present his academic records to Independent National Electoral Commission!

There is nowhere in the Constitution or Electoral Act that requires that a candidate must present his academic records to the Electoral Commission.

The Constitution only expects that a candidate show that he is educated to School Certificate Level or its equivalent. So if a candidate is able to establish that all he possesses is a First School Leaving Certificate, it suffices.

The Courts have interpreted the phrase “educated to School Certificate or its equivalent” used in Section 131 (d) of the Constitution in a legion of cases.

In the case of UKPO VS. ADEDE (2003) 3 NWLR (PT. 755) 671, 1st the Respondent’s election as a Senator elected to represent the Cross River Northern Senatorial District in the National Assembly was challenged by the Appellant on the ground that the 1st Respondent presented a forged School Certificate to INEC and was therefore not qualified to contest the election.

The Principal of the Secondary School which the 1st Respondent attended was called as a witness by the 1st Respondent and he tendered a Statements of Result dated 1972 to establish that the 1st Respondent was educated up to School Certificate Level or its equivalent. The Court of Appeal held that the 1st Respondent was qualified to contest the election because there was evidence that he was educated to School Certificate Level or its equivalent and had therefore satisfied Section   65 (2) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution.

A person shall be qualified for election under subsection 1, of Section 131 of the Constitution if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate Level or its equivalent.

Undoubtedly, Gen. Buhari is educated up to School Certificate Level or its equivalent. He attended Provincial Secondary School, Katsina. He attended the Nigerian Military Training Centre (now Nigerian Defence Kaduna). He thereafter attended the Mons Officer Cadet Training School, Aldershot, United Kingdom. He attended the Defence Staff College, India, and the United States War College.

The United State War College has since confirmed in a reaction to email sent to Carrol Kerr, the Scholar Public Affairs Officer by one Iwalaiye Sunday that Gen. Buhari attended the institution in 1980 and graduated and earned a United States War College Diploma. Kerr also confirmed that United States War College awarded Master Degree to its class of 2000.

This qualification alone has fulfilled the requirement of Section 131 (1) (d) of the Constitution.

Gen. Buhari has more than satisfied the provisions of Section 131 (1) (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that provide that a Presidential Candidate must at least be educated up to School Certificate level or its equivalent.

Section 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, defines the phrase “School Certificate or its equivalent “ used in Section 131 (1) d) of the Constitution thus:

“School Certificate or its equivalent” means:

(a) A Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, or Grade II
Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or

(b) Education up to Secondary School Certificate level; or

(c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and –

(i) Service in the Public or Private Sector in the Federation
in any capacity acceptable to the Independent National
Electoral Commission for a minimum of ten years, and

(ii) attendance at courses and training in such institutions
as may be acceptable to the Independent National Electoral
Commission for periods totalling up to a minimum of one
year, and

(iii) the ability to read, write, understand and
communicate in the English language to the satisfaction of
the Independent National Electoral Commission, and

(d) any other qualification acceptable by the Independent National
Electoral Commission.”

One would have expected that Femi Fani Kayode would avail himself the provision of the Freedom of Information Act that vests on him or anybody the right to access information from any public institution and apply to the Nigerian Army to make available to him Gen. Buhari’s Academic Record in its possession if he is not satisfied with the explanation of General Lajide rather than making outlandish postures on the pages of the newspaper that are all sound and fury but empty in substance and depth.

Also Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) vests on Femi Fani Kayode the right to file an action in the Federal High Court or High Court seeking an Order disqualifying Gen. Buhari from contesting the election if he strongly believes that Gen. Buhari deposed to false information in his Nomination Form by claiming that his Academic Records are with the Army.

The grand standing, posturing and playing to the gallery by Femi Fani Kayode in the media amounts to nothing but a red herring to divert the attention of Nigerians from confronting his principal – President Jonathan on the promises he made to them in 2011 that he has glaringly failed to fulfill. By Femi Fani Kayode dwelling on irrelevancies and frivolities and peddling of falsehood such as the non-possession by Gen. Buhari of academic certificates, Kayode hopes to prevent the electorates from passing a vote of no confidence on President Jonathan on the 14th February 2015 election and becloud the sense of reasoning of the electorates with the hope of preventing the electorates from sending the President packing out of Aso Villa, which has become inevitable and long overdue.

 

OKOI OBONO-OBLA

 

What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

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