Plateau: Which Senatorial District Should Produce The Next Minister? By Gyang Bere

The 2019 General Elections has come and gone, leaving behind tales of woes from the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State. However, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is battle ready to assemble competent personnel to fill in political appointments that President Muhammadu Buhari is going to offer the state.

The quest for political appointments, particularly the Ministerial position which is done based on Federal character has generated heated debate among citizens of the State.

The question on the lips of many Plateau indigenes is: Which Senatorial District should produce the next Minister?

Many believed that in the spirit of fair play, Plateau North Senatorial District should be considered for the Ministerial appointment since the Governor, Simon Bako Lalong hails from Plateau South while the Deputy Governor comes from Plateau Central.

Currently, Hon. Solomon Dalung is occupying the plumb seat. He was single-handedly appointed in 2015 by President Buhari without seeking inputs of political stakeholders from the state. Dalung is jostling to retain his seat in the next cabinet.

Political pundits from the state believe that competent hands like Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Lumumba Dah-Adeh and Ambassador Chris Giwa, who have fair knowledge in the world of sports should be considered for Sports Minister if the position will be retained for Plateau State.

The cream of personalities all hail from Plateau where the masses are drumming support for the Ministerial appointment for political balancing and fair play.

Hon. Solomon Dalung is the current Minister of Sports and Youth Development. He was a chieftain of the APC and a die-hard supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari before his appointment in 2015.

Dalung hails from Langtang South Local Government Area in Plateau South where Buhari and APC got 11, 000 votes while Atiku and PDP polled 18,000 votes.

Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande is a current and two term serving member of the House of Representatives for Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State.

He was elected under the Platform of Democratic People’s Party (DPP) in 2011 and defected to APC to support President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 where he secured his second tenure.

Yahaya-Kwande contested the House of Reps party primaries under APC and lost narrowly to Alh. Haruna Maitala.

It was believed that Kwande lost the party primaries due to political narrative that his father, who was former Ambassador of Nigeria to Switzerland and member of APC Board of Trustees was working for Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of PDP.

But the lawmaker refused to align with his father in the PDP, instead remained focus and steady in pursuing victory for President Buhari, Governor Lalong and other APC candidates during the polls by providing campaign vehicles and mobilising grassroots support for the party.

 In his Jos North constituency, Buhari polled 93, 800 votes to beat Atiku and PDP who scored 53,277 votes. Honourable Kwande is the youngest football administrator among all the Ministerial contenders in Plateau.

Hon. Lumumba Dah-Adeh is a former member of the House of Representatives and ex-adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He is the Acting Chairman of Former APC members of the House of Representatives.

Dah-Adeh who hails from Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State in the Northern zone has been a loyal and committed member of the APC.

Ambassador Chris Giwa is a peace Ambassador and ex-embattled President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). He contested the position in 2014 and lost in a controversial circumstance to the current President, Amaju Pinnick.

He battled through legal means to retrieve his mandate but couldn’t succeed. He was restored to the Glass House at some point through the court but lost the position through appeal.

Chris Giwa delivered 25,574 votes to Buhari in his Jos South Local Government Area while Atiku polled 106,574 votes in the LGA.

Other prominent APC stakeholders in the zone who are interested in the Ministerial appointments includes, Ex-Nigeria Ambassador to Ukraine, Ibrahim Kasai, Director General of Lalong/Tyoden Campaign organisation, Arch. Pam Dung Gyang, former Minister of Information, Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande and former Secretary to Government of Plateau State, Hon. Rufus Bature among others.

As the battle and lobbying continue, only time will tell who among them will be favoured by the Buhari’s administration.

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Spotlight On Arc. Waziri Bulama, By Farida Ali Adamu

The turmoils of elections are over, the drumming of victory still resonate the airs of Nigeria. The winds of the Next level have swept the country and the entire nation await the inauguration and formation of new cabinet members. A new administrative government is about to take off…

APC must be applauded for their ability to remain unshakeable despite the obstacles they encountered from various oppositions. Yet, in all of these, APC and it’s working committee have proven their determination with a drive to succeed against all odds.

Thus, it is time to consciously appraise the Presidential Campaign council – led by a benign, noble man. One who has been a pillar of APC for over a decade. A political Mogul who has served the party without reservations since inception:
Arc. Waziri Bulama.

So far, Bulama served applaudably with his role in the Presidential Campaign Council. His comprehensible input enabled the whole APC populace project a narrow, yet sharp beam of light on a hero_ a priceless intellectual gem.

Since the outgoing National Secretary’s resignation (Mai Mala Buni), the party has been in desperate need of a National Secretary. The right person who can complement our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshomole, in ensuring the party maintains it’s solid stance within the 36 states of Nigeria.
The party’s stakeholders have come together to nominate and support Arc. Waziri Bulama irregardless of other candidates huge interest in the role.

In all of these, Arc. Waziri Bulama remains the dependable choice for the position. His unbeatable profile is worth the highest recognition.
An unnamed source attested that Waziri has the blueprint for APC secretariat. According to him, there are structures put in place to address some pressing issues such as gender parity and youth involvement in the coming years. However, this does not come as a surprise considering Bulama’s well experienced background in business and politics. Members of the Presidential Campaign Council celebrates his potentials.

Eventhough APC as a party has emerged to be the strongest and biggest party in the country, it is worthy of note that Bulama contributed immensely to this progress. Therefore, the party should take advantage of this great man and benefit by utilizing his potentials once again.
This is a resolution from the party’s stakeholders and Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole.

APC party members are searching to make a decision that will directly impact the party.
We the BSG (Bulama support group) are optimistic that the decision makers will make the right choice for the party in good time ..

We look forward to a resounding victory…
This is my hope for BSG

Ms. Farida Ali Adamu

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Atiku’s Server Gambit, By Faith Edet Bassey

I really wonder for how long we have to deal with dishonest leaders. Leaders who lie without remorse, who cheat the people, deceive the people and relentlessly play on their intelligence.

When Alhaji Abubakar Atiku started yelling that he had been cheated on the Monday following the Presidential elections, I thought, well, perhaps he must have a point. Then he said the results he was getting from the field showed he was ahead while the results being announced on TV and radio by the returning officers showed that he was losing by an ever increasing gap as the results came in.

Then he said he was going to prove that the elections were rigged by showing that the INEC server( not Website, which is accessible to all) contained results showing he won the elections by 1.6million votes. As to how these results got to the INEC server, he offered that the Smart Card Readers transferred the results from the polling units electronically to the server.

Atiku is clearly playing games with our intelligence. His ploy is simple. Tell a lie, make it as confusing as possible, a lie around technology always works best .
But this is so irritating because it is so obviously a lie.

In the petition before the tribunal, he says that the results on the INEC server showed that in Lagos State he had 1.1 million votes! and Buhari had 1.3 million votes. I voted in Lagos, the entire Nigerian Press and all the social media operate in Lagos. Minute by minute they posted the results on line. The total votes by all the media for both Buhari, Atiku and all other candidates was 1.05 million votes. It seems only Atiku had a record of this fantastic result!

I am a lawyer, I am not a SAN like his lawyers but the Electoral Act makes no provision whatsoever for transmission of election results electronically. The relevant provision clearly prescribes a process of filling and verifying forms at every stage from local government collation to State collation and then the National collation centre at Abuja. Section 73. Of the Electoral Act says , “Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commission shall issue and publish, in the Gazette, guidelines for the elections which shall make provisions, among other things, for the step by step recording of the poll in the electoral forms as may be prescribed beginning from the polling unit to the last collation centre for the ward or constituency where the result of the election shall be declared’.

And section 74. says, ‘Every Result Form completed at the Ward, Local Government, State and National levels in accordance with the provision of this Act or any guidelines issued by the Commission shall be stamped, signed and countersigned by the relevant officers and polling agents at those levels and copies given to the police officers and the polling agents, where available.’

So the law expects that the results would be collated manually, entered and signed on forms provided by law. In any event, the Card reader is only configured to verify the authenticity of PVCs not to collate and transmit results. Those who designed the process may have known that electronic transmission would result in these types of scams, a candidate who claims he accessed the INEC server! If he could access it he could tamper with the figures. Thank God that we have hard copies of all the results and the law only allows proof by hard copies.

The same Atiku argues in his petition that Card readers were not used in many States. Yet his ‘server results’ show results from every State except Rivers State. In every State there is a total number of accredited voters and scores for both Buhari and himself. How were the results electronically transmitted in States where Card Readers were allegedly not used?

It is incredible that a man who wants to lead this nation sees nothing wrong in barefaced deceit and astonishing lies.

This is just so insulting!Why do we have these sorts of characters inflicted on us?

Faith Edet Bassey, a legal practitioner


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KOGI 2019: Babatunde Irukera Fits The Bill, By Bala Haruna

Kogi, the confluence State is presently groaning under the abysmal leadership of incumbent Governor, Yahaya Bello. While workers are being owed several months of salaries, decrepit infrastructure dot the landscape of the State with no visible projects in almost 4 years. It is generally discussed in hushed tones across the State that Kogi has never had it so bad. The yearning for change has literarily become a movement, and not a few people are looking in the direction of this very refined gentleman – Babatunde Irukera, to salvage the State.

Babatunde Irukera is the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Protection Council (CPC). He is responsible for the daily management of the Council and leadership in fulfilling its mandate to protect consumers and secure remedies when consumer rights are violated. His record of advocacy and cases in favour of consumers is outstanding and provides the clarity that both the Council and industry need in ensuring due regard for customer service and protection of consumer rights.

Irukera has to his credit key sector related consumer protection advancements including advising the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority with respect to its role in sector consumer protection. He led the initiative in developing current aviation consumer protection regulations as well as the Passenger Bill of Rights. He also led the team that revised existing aviation economic regulations and superintended a comprehensive regulatory and parliamentary investigation into anti-competitive behaviour by foreign airlines. He has also provided capacity-building and advisory services to federal agencies and other clients with respect to competition/antitrust issues. He co-authors the Nigerian chapters in a range of competition/antitrust related widely regarded international publications.

Born on the 4th of September 1968 in Kaduna state, Irukera hails from Egbe, Yagba West. He studied law from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and upon graduation in 1989, he proceeded to the Nigeria Law School in Lagos in 1990.  In 1995 he proceeded to the United State of America, where he carved a niche for himself as a successful Immigration expert in 1996 after passing the Washington State Bar examination at first sitting, a year after arriving America. In 1997, he started a partnership ( Thomas & Irukera) which ultimately become Partners, Attorneys & Counsellors, both in Chicago.

The legal luminary returned to Nigeria in 2006 to continue his professional career and became a founding and Managing Partner of Simmons Cooper Partners, now a leading law firm in Nigeria. So far, he has had a very successful career, winning many leading and landmark cases. Many of which are in the U.S, where he handled a case for black workers who were subjected to racial discrimination and a hostile work environment in a Fortune 500 company. The case went on appeal, he succeeded on appeal and the case ultimately settled in favour of his clients. It’s a major case and a reference point in employment discrimination cases in the U.S.

In Nigeria, Babatunde  Irukera represented the Federal and Kano state government in a major case against Pfizer for using Nigeria children in Kano as Guinea Pigs to test run a polio drug which caused deaths and other unbearable consequences on the affected children in 1992. The pharmaceutical giant, because the overwhelming evidence established against it by Irukera and his team, pleaded and secured the largest settlement in the history of Nigeria by compensating the victims and constructing a world class infectious disease hospital in Kano.

In another landmark case, Irukera represented a class of investors against one of Nigeria largest bank and secured judgment that subscribers should be fairly treated. Very important case as it was the only class action in the judicial process and it provided remedy for every single subscriber. The list of his success story as a lawyer is endless, his tenacity of purpose in that regard and in his present assignment as DG CPC is the reason the Kogi people are looking in his direction for exemplary leadership. 

One of his celebrated case was which the Nigerian government launched a $43-billion lawsuit against three multinational cigarette manufacturers it accuses of trying to hook young Africans on tobacco, to replenish a market that is dwindling in the West and and attempts to influence lawmakers to keep tobacco sales unregulated, the companies are the British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris and International Tobacco. Babatunde Irukera  was the  Federal Government lawyer in the case. The companies questioned the massive sums demanded by the government and say the case “has no merit”.

However, Irukera proved them wrong and went ahead to establish a case against them with a dossier of evidence that runs to 3,000 pages consisting of internal company e-mails discussing how to target children and influence lawmakers in Nigeria. “If this case gets to the evidence stage, the companies are dead on arrival,” says Babatunde Irukera, the case eventually settled out of court in favour of the government.

He successfully handled the complex multi jurisdictional cases of firms in the United States and England in establishing a broad based practice in Nigeria, focusing primarily on public interest litigation to protect society from injurious conduct and unscrupulous behaviour.

He routinely conducted oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals and the Nigerian appellate courts with reported “locus classicus”, passages more authoritative and known, that are currently of worthy presidential value

It is believed therefore that with his wealth of experience as a litigator and seasoned administrator, Babatunde Irukera is the breath of fresh air that Kogi desperately needs to neutralise the suffocating stench oozing out of the State as a result of Yahaya Bello’s maladministration. A proverbial round peg in a round hole, widely believed to be imbued with impeccable character and leadership acumen, It is widely acclaimed that he holds the ace for an All Progressives Congress (APC) victory in the November Gubernatorial polls. For Kogi to prosper again, give us Irukera! 

Bala Haruna, is an APC chieftain and concerned Kogi State Indigene

Views expressed are solely those of the author and does to necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com or its associates

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Atiku And Tale Of The INEC Server, By Dr. Baba Musa Ahmed

I have always wondered how Abubakar Atiku came to believe that he won an election that was monitored from polling booth to polling booth in Nigeria, by foreign observers, newspaper reporters, online news media, bloggers and all manner of busybodies in Nigeria, and he lost by 3.9 million votes! 

I think I now have a few ideas as to  why he thinks he could fool us with that funny story or why maybe he himself may believe the story. Some people took money from him and told him that they could hack the INEC server and put in figures for him. Simple.

Atiku’s main argument in his election petition is that INEC’s server  showed that he won the election by 1.6million votes. He also gave the details of the purported results from the server.

He claims that card readers were used to send the results electronically to the INEC server! Everyone saw just how ridiculous the figures were. Fortunately for truth, the lawyers are not good at maths.

So his lawyers didn’t see from the figures that the total votes of President Buhari and Atiku added up exactly to the total number of accredited voters! Meaning that there were zero votes for all other candidates, zero cancelled or invalid votes in all of the polling booths all over Nigeria! This should ordinarily be enough to throw out the petition without more and show Atiku that he has been caught out in his scam or he has been scammed.

But the PDP and Atiku are accustomed to 419 and propaganda. They now say that they will call Microsoft and Oracle ( how about Google and Huawei?) to show that the INEC server actually made him the winner of the election!  How can this make any sense?

Firstly,  we were all at our polling units on Election Day. Card readers were used to verify our voters cards. Then we voted. Votes were counted manually (by hand in our presence ) and entered into a  form by the INEC officials. The forms were then signed by party agents. This is the authentic result.

Most observers and online reports posted these results. I have not heard that anyone who was at his polling booth on Election Day saw any INEC official inputting  results on the    card readers  andposting them  electronically to a server!

What Atiku and his PDP fellow travelers want to sell to us is  that after the votes were counted and declared, they were then entered into the card readers and posted electronically on to the INEC server!

READ: Why I’m contesting for a second term – Yahaya Bello

Question is: who did the postings? Did the party agents see what was being posted by the INEC officials? If in fact the INEC officials secretly posted the results, how do we know if they were the same results properly counted at the polling booths? Or was the posting done after collation at the local government and State collation centres? If so, who saw this happen? Did the party agents see what was being posted? Every thing done by INEC at the State and National Collation centres were transparent, in full view of cameras and live television. So when and why were these postings done secretly?

The truth of the matter is clear for all to see. There were no electronic posting of results from polling booths or collation centres.

What happened could be either of the following: Atiku was tricked to believe that there was an INEC server that could be accessed or hacked to post results favorable to him. He must have paid a lot for it. The fake results were posted.

As of Monday when Atiku was seeing the authentic results as they were brought forward by Returning Officers, Professors from different Universities  announcing, Atiku started to  complain that the results he had were different from those being announced!

Or perhaps, Atiku is trying to save face after a bruising defeat. He wants to cast as much doubt as possible by inventing a tale, a ridiculous tale that there is an INEC server that only he has access to and not surprisingly it contains information that he won the elections!

The only question to ask him is how did you access the server? If you have exclusive access to it, then the integrity of the server is in doubt.   It means you could  change figures as you wish!  All told this is just too silly . Dear Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, it is time to go home.  Cameroun?

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Re: Osinbajo’s Crocodile Tears In Kigali, By Muhammad Gulani

Nigeria is an African power. It’s economy, its politics, its people and the character of these rare diverse heterogeneous society has easily made it the Giant of Africa. So there is no wonder that as a country, we were invited to the 25th National Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide that held in Kigali, Rwanda. Representing Nigeria and its President was Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo – A pastor and an academician with depth of experience in law and governance.

So when the writer of “Osinbajos Crocodile Tears in Kigali” asked “What is the Situation in Osinbajos Nigeria? And answered with the word “pathetic” my first thought was that the writer either did not appreciate who the Vice President was, or did not appreciate Nigeria from a holistic point of view, or both – which is most likely.

It is surprising for one to think of the Nigerian state and the statements of the Vice President as a pun or as Casmir Igbokwe dubbed it in his article as“Crocodile Tears”, we all know that the Vice President has continuously shown that he is a man of Integrity, a man of God and would never disrespect the Nigerian people by playing politics with their lives.

As a country, I do believe that we are not yet where we should be – we are not yet at El-Dorado – but it is undeniable that progress is being made across board. Albeit slow and steady, nonetheless it is progress and that is what is key.

While speaking on the issues surrounding the NDIGBO people, the writer was quick to mislead his readers by pushing the narrative that the present government appointments were mostly Northern deliberately forgetting to take a broader look at appointments shared in the country. The Chief of Naval Staff, the Director General of NIMASA, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Head of Service among numerous others are all from the Southern parts of the country. Perhaps the writer willfully forgets that the Southern parts of the country is not limited to the South East alone, but also covers the South South and the South West – each clamoring for more representation as much as the other.

The southern parts of Nigeria is also as diverse in tribe and culture as the North.

The single narrative of the “Sidelined Igbos” deployed by the writer cannot stand the test of reality when one fact-checks the many benefits they enjoy in personnel and policies in this government.

Across the country are various construction projects, in every state of the Federation a federal project is ongoing. The President Buhari administration is working overdrive in terms of infrastructure deployment. Of key interest to any observer of the infrastructure being deployed across the country is the famous Second Niger Bridge. It finds itself in the heart of the South East and South South and has been an item clamored for by these people for decades.

The Buhari Administration has committed over N31Billion to the main works of the 2nd Niger Bridge. Work is over 51 percent completed. With little resources, President Buhari’s administration is doing quite a bogus lot for the people of the region.

The writer attempts to suggest tolerance of hate speech by the Buhari administration. Such a pedestal claim does not stand a place in reality. The President has been very categorical on this, and willingly signed the Peace Accord to enthrone sanity in the communications and campaigns during the electioneering periods.

It is so easy to dwell in the negatives of society forgetting the many good the world has to offer. That Nigeria has moved four places up in the Human Development Index and has also moved up in the Ease Of Doing Business Ranking are testaments to a country in upward motion. Nigeria today has attained self sufficient in rice production and has began even exportation. Foreing Direct Investments into the country has reached record levels; insecurity is being tackled ruthlessly and sincerely.

The various Social Investment Programs of this Administration prove that indeed better days for Nigerians are here. The programmes have reached a record 12 Million direct beneficiaries.

Terrorism is being fought day in day out in the areas of the North East and the Buhari administration can beat its chest to say it has recorded tangible achievements here. The banditry in Zamfara is being taken seriously. The full force of Nigeria’s military and other security arms have weighed in and are bombarding these criminals daily. The“Operation Sharan Daji”has been launched specifically to deal with the Zamfara bandits. Progress is being made.

The Vice President has also shown utmost sincerity and has never tried to downplay the killings in these areas. He has visited Benue, Plateau and Kaduna over killings that occurred in the areas – especially communal and inter-tribal clashes. He has advocated for forgiveness and offered pragmatic solutions towards peace building in these societies. He has seen to the facilitation of Peace and Reconciliation Committee in states like Kaduna, and Benue among many others.

It is not in the nature of the Vice President both as an academician and as a man of God to play politics with the life of the people. Security is everyones responsibility and the Vice President has emphasized that time and again.

He rightfully pointed out during his remarks to journalists in Kigali “We must not allow a repeat of what happened in Rwanda.” Statements like that of Casmir Igbokwe tell only a lopsided truth that fuel division, fuel hate and promote tension. These were the harbingers of the nasty events of the Rwandan genocide. Mr. Igbokwe has not learnt his lesson. It appears in fact, that Professor Osinbajo’s sermon was indeed for him.

The problem with the single story is that it shows a thing as a single thing, forgetting that there are two sides to a coin. Nigeria just like any other country is as diverse in its triumphs and problems and it is highly unfair to Igbokwe’s reader and Nigerians to view our complexities from only the negatives.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a father and God fearing man, he has shown this time after time, will never play politics with his people.

Muhammad Gulani, is a political commentator and writes from Zaria, Kaduna

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NEPZA: Daily Trust deliberately misleading Nigerians, By Sunday James Akinloye

Anything you in the media these days call for a double check and Daily Trust, along with some supposed respected national newspapers seem to be leading the way with ‘Fake News’

Take for example, the Daily Trust’s reportage on the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), and its presentation in a report titled, “Enelamah, this is very fishy”. Painting a picture of what happened, Daily Trust laced its account with falsehood and lies, writing it to soothe their paymasters.

That’s not where it stopped; the report tried to distort history and facts but that is what I will set straight here for those following the drama that has snowballed from NEPZA and NSEZCO’s debacle on SEZ.

The facts are simple and easy to understand except for those who are trying to cash out from the prosperity of Nigeria. Let’s start from the beginning. President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration sought to increase the export of locally made goods across the world so it conceived Project MINE.

Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports) was initiated to develop SEZs across Nigeria’s geo-political zones to world class standards in collaboration with private partners. The idea is to position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and as a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally.

President Buhari then set up a Project Steering Committee under the leadership of the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, comprising the leadership of the Ministry and members drawn from the Economic Management Team and the leadership of several Government Agencies: Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Office of Trade Negotiations, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Bank of Industry and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank; as well as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Africa Export-Import Bank.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment (MITI) then set up a special vehicle to achieve this goal, that vehicle was NSEZCO and it was at this point that all hell broke loose, mostly because an agency in the MITI, which is NEPZA (Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority) was not particularly happy about this positive development.

The agency leadership felt that its own direct operations should be the vehicle that drives SEZ, even when their functions have been clearly spelt out in the constitution. NEPZA was set up as a regulatory agency but it wanted to do more than the constitution’s provision.

After NSEZCO birthed, NEPZA approached the Attorney General of the Federation to demand whether NSEZCO was legal and it could act as a special vehicle. This is how the office of the AGF responded;
Two critical factors that implicated the need for NSEZCO are operational efficiency and access to international capital market with limited or no direct burden on the Federal Government in like manner as NLNG.

The use of NSEZCO to implement Project MINE is to facilitate the creation of commercially-oriented, efficient and effective institutions, in line with international standards.

In section 1(2), the NEPZ Act explicitly recognizes that an EPZ may be operated by any of three types of entities:
(i) public entity;
(ii) private entity; or
(iii) a combination of public and private entity.

The response of the AGF also covered the question and claim by NEPZA that NSEZCO was a private institution. The truth is that NSEZCO is a public-private partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria holding 25% and private entities like AfDB, Afreximbank, BoI, etc holding 75% shares.

The structure of NSEZCO is no different from that of NLNG, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Limited and Development Bank of Nigeria Limited, so this is not new to Nigeria at all, and has always worked perfectly fine within all legal frameworks.

Not satisfied with the submission of the office of the AGF, NEPZA cons the Senate Committee on Trade to blow the matter out of proportion. The Committee chaired by Senator Sabo Mohammed, claimed that NSEZCO was a private company even after PPP explanations where clearly made.

The committee chairman produced a CAC document showing that Dr Bakari Wadinga, Mr Olufemi Edun and Ms Oluwadara Owoyemi were directors of NSEZCO. However, what he mischievously failed to outline is that Dr. Wadinga was appointed interim director for the Federal Government, pending commencement of full operations, while the others where interim directors for the private partners. All this was done in agreement with all partners involved, as listed in the ownership structure.
The highly erroneous position of the Senate Committee shows why many Nigerians have little or no faith in the activities of the Nigerian Senate.

The Senate and Daily Trust also inserted a mischievous conclusion. “This is fishy, very fishy. Besides, the creation of NSEZCO negates the Buhari administration’s objectives of pruning the number of existing MDAs,” Daily Trust claimed.

“The Senate and Presidency must get to the root of this matter. Unless the public gets a cogent explanation, the inescapable conclusion is that someone tried to play hanky panky with public funds.”

This claim however negates the position of President Buhari. At the signing ceremony for the investment partnership between NSEZCO and its strategic investment partners on February 8, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari said:

“When we decided to continue with the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan of the previous Administration and launched our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to fast track implementation, we had a vision of Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in Sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter to our immediate West African sub-region, the rest of Africa and indeed the World. Special Economic Zones have an important role to play in achieving this vision. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) offer investor friendly incentives, world-class infrastructure and ease of doing business in order to attract local and foreign investment and have been used as a catalyst for rapid and inclusive development, job creation, industrialization and diversified export earnings in several countries.”

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The Shortcomings In 2019 General Elections, By Gidado Yushau Shuaib

The 2019 general election is the most expensive poll ever organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It incurred an additional N69 billion than the penultimate exercise in 2015. However, when teeming Nigerian electorate were preparing to cast their ballot on February 16, something ‘mysterious’ happened.

In the dead of the night, the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, summoned a press conference to postpone the election to the following week. He cited delay in delivering election materials and deployment of staff to the nooks and cranny of the country as reasons for the postponement. Other reasons included poor weather condition, unresolved candidate registration issues and rumoured plans for sabotage by desperate elements.

Many electorates who had travelled for the election were disappointed over the postponement barely six hours to the commencement of the exercise.

So, what happened when INEC finally conducted the Presidential/NASS and Governorship/State Assemblies’ polls? Incidences of vote-buying by the two leading political parties were widely recorded.

Vote-buying by politicians and their agents, which has taken a centre-stage in political sphere, is the act of exchanging votes for money and other material items between politicians and the electorate.

In fact the federal government was accused of vote-buying with its TraderMoni economic intervention. The Nigeria’s Head of Transparency International, Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani, in a media chat posited that such initiative was not a part and parcel of the manifesto of the ruling APC and it is not in the Nigerian constitution. He bluntly stated that, “the allegation by many Nigerians that this is clearly a case of vote buying using public funds goes contrary to our constitution and to having a free and fair election.”

If at all what Mr Rafsanjani said is anything to go by, one must begin to wonder what hope a Nigerian has when such a policy of the government is meant to woo support during elections, rather than compete fairly for votes. This shows a blatant disregard for democratic norms as well as the fact the current administration is losing popularity by the day.

Responding to the accusations, Laolu Akande, the spokesperson of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, flatly denied such allegation, saying that TraderMoni was not an act of vote buying, but rather a means to empower petty traders. “It will be an absurdity to call TraderMoni vote-buying. You can see it for yourself that this is a program that has affected millions of lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, militarization of the electoral process, mostly in the opposition’s stronghold also received bashing. This is despite valid, subsisting court judgments that prohibited the use of the military for election purposes.

Series of video clips have trended online which captured soldiers overrunning the home of a state official as well as INEC officials lamenting the besieging of collation centres by the army. This act stands condemnable even as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, had set up a panel to investigate the role of the military in the just-concluded elections, although nobody seems to be impressed by the development. Thanks to social media for breaking barriers and making citizens aware of happenings around the nation.

A seemingly worrisome electoral malpractices, is the deployment of thugs to polling units in various but most endemic in Kano. A situation where a keenly-contested election between two leading parties turned out to be a landslide during the supplementary elections raises a lot of unanswered questions. It is unfortunate seeing how thugs took over streets, and strangely with security cover provided by the Nigerian Police.

After wild allegation of fraud from the stakeholders involved in the elections most especially the opposition, the African Union (AU) said the elections were “largely peaceful and conducive for the conducting of credible elections.”

Moving forward, there is a need for INEC to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their performance in the 2019 polls. They should, thereafter, put all necessary machineries in place to correct the identified lapses. INEC should also endeavour to eradicate the growing culture of inconclusive elections.

There is also a need for a political-will towards ensuring peaceful, transparent election while also urging the authorities concerned to improve voter education for the benefit of the electorate on their expectations.

While we pray that future elections would have less military interference, the youths should also resist the temptation of serving as political thugs desperate and power-hungry politicians during elections. They should rather identify ways to grab leadership and put the nation back on the track of socio-economic development and growth.

Above all, the progress we envision for our electoral system will remain elusive if necessary and progressive amendments are not carried out on the Electoral Act. Now is the time to act. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

Gidado Yushau Shuaib, editor of Youths Digest, writes from Abuja. Twitter: @GidadoYS; Email: giddyshuaib@gmail.com

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Olohungbebe: Shooting Down a Bright Star, By Muhammed Abdullahi

Writing this short piece is not convenient for me, considering that I have had a long day of travel. However, a message I encountered in a Whatsapp group I belonged to made it impossible for me to take the much deserved rest.

The message reads: “There is a story making the rounds about one Lawal Olohungbebe, a community development guy. Words on the street about him are conflicting – both positive and negative. I don’t know why people are angry with his good work, but he needs to be careful. The present administration believes he is mocking their 16 years in government and that he’s a supporter of the governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq. Some even believe he is pushing some guys to visit rural communities to expose the present government”.

To say I was shocked reading the message above would be an understatement. It is even a painful irony when one consider that the same Lawal that is being accused of working for Abdulrahman Abdulrazak is the same person some politicians have gone to the governor-elect to malign and soil his character; calling him unprintable names. How then do one walk in life without his head shaking? Abdulrahman Abdulrazak is avoiding this young man like a plague while the present government is also seeing him as an agent of the opposition. What a world!

What exactly is the offence of Lawal Olohungbe? He is a young man who devotes his time to the service of others. Even his daily official work revolves around community growth and development. The little recognition he has garnered is largely on account of his work as a community development practitioner. I wonder how following one’s passion should result in baseless suspicion and character assassination.

If only those who are going about with the story of Lawal working for a particular politician are not too lazy to undertake a simple research; they would have discovered that politicians across political parties have at one time or the other engaged his services on one project or the other. This same apolitical Lawal has worked for Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the same way he has been engaged by Mallam Lukman Mustapha. So I wonder where the theory of working for Abdulrahman Abdulrazak is coming from.

In the process of working for people of diverse background and different political affiliations, coupled with the assistance of his boss, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah; Lawal has delivered impressive projects, including 40 boreholes, with just one in his local government of origin (Ilorin West). Presently, the young man also provides free health services to approximately 6,821 people, while also taking the responsibility for the welfare of 51 orphans and vulnerable children, including 5 with special needs. He has achieved this much only through the support of those who believe in his ideas of not waiting on government for everything, and of course the abiding commitment of his staff and volunteers.

I first met Lawal Olohungbebe through a mutual friend who works with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The first time I set my eyes on him, I saw in him a young man well versed in the teachings of Islam. Lawal hardly talks without using a verse of the Quran or Hadith to illustrate his thought. Of course, this wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to those who knew who his father was.

A son of an Alfa, Lawal still keeps the legacy of his father. He delivers sermons and preaches the message of Allah and His messenger. He is both a responsible husband to his wife and a useful father to his young children. How then do people find it easy to take up the assignment of destroying a man who committed no offence other than seeking the betterment of his community and State? How is it that nothing makes sense to us except politics? Why are we so shallow in reasoning that we believe nobody would do anything unless there is political motivation somewhere?

For God sake, this young man is not even interested in politics. He has told me repeatedly that he can’t stand people insulting his father, hence the reason why he must stay away from politics. Whatever he is doing is motivated by his huge passion to complement the efforts of government in his chosen field of community development. Why then should we crucify him for this?

Sometime before the elections, we both came up with an idea of organizing an event we tagged CANDIDATES’ FORUM. But because my own brother was also aspiring to be governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time, we reasoned that it was best that I worked in the background. This was largely a decision propelled by the fear of someone tagging my involvement as a stylish youth mobilization strategy in support of the aspiration of my brother. Only God knows the number of young people that have jettisoned one brilliant idea or the other owing to the fear of being branded or tagged with some useless association such as the one being done to Lawal presently. Yet, we say we are concern about youth innovation and creativity!

And what’s even the reason for the latest hate stories being thrown around about this innocent guy? He was going about his work as a community development practitioner when he encountered a man who has dedicated his entire life to teach in a rural village, leaving his own family behind in Ilorin. For the first couple of years that the man spent in the village, he slept in a classroom.

When Lawal met the man, he was impressed that someone would be so committed to helping other people’s children acquire education that he would relocate to a rural village; especially in this time when teachers in the rural areas practically live in the city. So he decided to do something to encourage the man. He mobilized resources and gifts from donors and public spirited individuals, but he delayed the presentation till after the election. He feared that making the donation before the elections may be interpreted to mean he was working to denigrate the government. Alas, what he feared is now happening.

I feel pained that this is happening to Lawal, a guy that is gradually becoming a role model to a lot of young people out there who are desirous of following in his footsteps. If for any reason we read political meanings into his efforts, we may end up unwittingly dissuading others who may want to support government efforts in advancing the growth of our state and her people.

Finally, I beseech the government and all those concern to render jobless those around them whose only means of securing a daily meal is creating fictitious stories and PHD (Pull Him Down) gossips that benefit no one but the bearers. Our state needs the talent and energy of its young people; we cannot therefore afford to shoot down the few bright stars among the youths. Lawal, to the best of my knowledge, is a young man who is well concerned about his place in history, and most particularly the preservation of the good name of his father. He is not a politician and he does not plan to be. And instead of fabricating useless conspiracy stories, I believe life would be a lot easier for those who are becoming increasingly paranoid by the rising profile of this young man, if only they would also look around them and make as little impact as they can.

As for Lawal Olohungbebe, he would keep up his community development efforts and let God vindicate him.

Abdullahi writes from Abuja

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My Problems With Atiku And The PDP Over The February 23, 2019 Presidential Election (Part 2), By Ussiju Medaner

My problem with Atiku and the PDP does not find slake in the sense that in their complaint against the election of President Buhari in the just-concluded presidential elections, they are still claiming that ‘The 2nd Respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.’ My problem with this is, how do you submit a false affidavit to contest in an election into an office for which you have earlier submitted same and contested in an election before now, won and even occupy the office for which the election should lead to? This is how baseless their complaint is. How do you disqualify someone from contesting in an election into an office he is already occupying without litigation?

TIMELINE OF INCONCLUSIVE ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA

In 2011 and 2015, the governorship elections in Imo State were declared inconclusive and were concluded with supplementary polls. In the April 26, 2011 governorship election in the state, INEC declared the poll inconclusive because election did not hold in Ohaji/Egbema, Mbatioli, Ngor-Okpala and Oguta local councils as well as in Orji Ward in Owerri North Local Council. Before that election was declared inconclusive, results for 24 of the state’s 27 local government areas had been announced, with Chief Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) leading in 12 local councils with a slim total margin over the then governor, Ikedi Ohakim of the PDP, who also led in 12 local councils but trailed Okorocha in the total votes garnered. After the supplementary polls, Okorocha scored 336,859 votes to beat Ohakim, who scored 290,490 votes.

There was a repeat performance in 2015. In the first election, Okorocha polled 385,671 votes compared to the 306,142 votes scored by Chief Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP. Okorocha led with 79,529 votes while the cancelled votes were 144,715 hence the need for a supplementary election, which Okorocha won.

The Anambra 2013 governorship election was concluded with a re-run after the first election failed to produce a clear winner. In the first results, the APGA candidate, Mr Willie Obiano scored 174,710 votes while Mr Tony Nwoye of the PDP polled 94,356 votes and the APC candidate, Chris Ngige had 92,356 votes. The margin of lead was below the 113,113 votes cancelled, hence a re-run.

In Taraba 2015 governorship election, Darius Ishaku of the PDP had 326, 198 votes in the first election while Hajiya Aisha Alhassan of the APC scored 262, 381 votes. Elections were cancelled in Donga Local Government Area of the state and in six polling units in Takum, and five in other local government areas, from which total votes were more than Ishaku’s marginal lead. Ishaku of the PDP won the elections.

Following the cancellation of 177,000 votes in several polling units in some parts of Osisioma, Ugwunagbo, Aba North, Aba South, Isialangwa South, Isialangwa North, Umuahia North, Umuahia south, Ohafia, Arochukwu and Umunneochi local councils, a re-run governorship poll was ordered in the affected areas. Before the election was declared inconclusive, the PDP candidate, Okezie Ikpeazu had polled 248,549 votes while the APGA candidate, Alex Otti, scored 165,406 making a difference of 83,053. Ikpeazu was the winner after the re-run.

In Kogi State 2015 election, after election results from the 21 local councils were collated, the APC candidate, Abubakar Audu, 240,867 votes, led the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the PDP, 199,514 votes. The commission ordered a re-run in some polling units because the 49,953 votes cancelled, were higher than the margin between Audu and Wada. Audu won the re-run elections posthumously.

In 2015 Governor Seriake Dickson of the PDP had to wait for a repeat election in Southern Ijaw Local Council to win re-election in 2015. With results from seven of the eight local councils of Bayelsa, he had 105,748 votes, while Chief Timipre Sylva of the APC got 72,594 votes. The margin of lead was 33,154 votes. However, Southern Ijaw Local Council had 120,827 registered voters, a reason the INEC declared the election inconclusive.

With these precedents in the history of inconclusive elections in Nigeria, it is bewildering to listen to the PDP ranting about inconclusive being a coinage of the APC and INEC. Thus, according to the PDP, this is to rob them of their mandate. How so, and what is the meaning of the nature of elections outlined above majority of which transpired under the PDP administrations.

The worst mistake Atiku and the PDP entirely are making now is putting forth a parallel presidential election result which is sloppy and they did not take time to efficiently doctor it. With all the alleged resources and intelligence at the disposal of Atiku, he should have done more with the result flying around now as the authentic 2019 presidential election result from his camp.

A first time analysis of the result immediately exposes the shallowness of the brains behind the preparation of the results. How did they plan to make Nigeria work if they cannot effectively streamline figures they concocted? How could a group displaying this magnitude of inefficiency, illiteracy,the criminal mindedness and comfort-in-disarray have anything good to offer the nation?

BRIEF ANALYSIS OF INEC AND PDP SERVER RESULTS FROM FOUR STA TES AND THE FCT

Considering four states (Kwara, Gombe, Abia and Lagos) and the FCT with INEC result and the parallel result alleged by the PDP, it is obvious that the PDP only came up with the result as hastily as they could. Comparing both results presented by INEC and the PDP, there is the revelation of the desperation of the PDP to attain power at any cost.

In the FCT, INEC results shows that the total number of registered voters is 1,335,015 while the number of voters accredited on the day of the election is 467,784. From this figure the APC had 152,224 votes while the PDP had 259,423 votes. The number of rejected votes in the FCT stands at 27,457 while the remaining political parties in the contest scored the remaining votes. Contrary to this, the parallel result from the PDP alleges that the number of registered voters within the FCT is 1,344,856 while the number accredited on the day of election is 786,151. The PDP purports that the APC scored 366,427 votes while the PDP scored 419,724 votes. This implies that there were no rejected votes and no other party got any vote.

In Kwara State, the INEC result presents that the total number of registered voters is 1,401,895 while the number of these accredited on the day of the election is 489,482. Of these, the APC scored 308,984 while the PDP scored 138,184 votes. The number of rejected votes is 26,578 while the remaining votes were scored by the other contesting political parties. The purported result of the PDP claims that the individuals who were registered by INEC during registration period is 1,406,457 and of these, the number accredited on the day of election is 732,816. The APC scored 379,643 while the PDP scored 353,173 votes respectively. The PDP ‘server ’ result shows that there are no rejected votes and no other party got any vote.

The INEC result declared for Gombe State reveals that the number of registered voters is 1,385,191 while the number of accredited voters is 604,240. The APC scored 402,961 while the PDP scored 138,482 votes. The number of rejected votes is 26,446 while the remaining votes were scored by the other political parties. But the PDP in the wisdom of their electoral manoeuvrings alleges that there were 1,394,393 registered voters out of which there were 799,302 accredited voters. Their result sheet claims that the APC scored 115,225 votes while they, the PDP magically scored 648,077 votes.

In Abia State INEC result shows that there are 1,793,861 registered voters of which 361,561 were accredited on the election day. Of the figure, APC scored 85,058 votes while PDP scored 219,698 votes. The number of rejected votes was 21,180 while the other contesting parties scored the remaining votes. The fake result from the Atiku/PDP camp alleges that there are 1,932,892 registered voters of which 853,050 were accredited. They claim that APC scored 198,391 votes while PDP scored 664,659 votes. The votes were completely shared between APC and PDP without rejected votes or any other party having any votes.

The last state we shall be considering within this piece is Lagos State where INEC result reveals that there were 6,570,291 registered voters and 1,196,490 voters were accredited on the day of the election. The result after collation shows that APC scored 580,825 votes while PDP scored 448,015 votes. There were 67,023 rejected votes while the other parties scored the remaining votes. The imaginary result from the PDP alleges that there are 6,570,291 registered voters in Lagos State out of which 2,526,203 voters were accredited. It also alleges that APC scored 1,422,906 while the PDP scored 1,103,297 votes. There were no rejected votes in Lagos State and no other party scored any votes in Lagos.

From the states under consideration above, some facts are glaring:

  1. Atiku’s server result shows that every other party that participated in the election numbering 71, with the exception of APC and PDP, got no single vote across the nation as all the accredited votes were shared between APC and PDP.
  2. Atiku’s result shows that there are no rejected votes in the entire 36 states and the FCT. This is an impossible situation. This is a level we hope to reach with improved voters’ education in the nearest future; but thanks to Atiku who bolted us into the future where we have no rejected votes.
  3. In all the states the number of accredited voters was inflated without exception. Whatever they are claiming INEC did was done in all the states.
  4. What is the logical explanation for APC reducing its total votes in Lagos state by 842,081 as claimed in the result presented by Atiku when the APC would still have won with a larger margin than the INEC result. What is the logic behind that?

The listed states from the election result as released by Atiku clearly show the intent of the source is to produce figures in favour of their principal without putting other realities under consideration.

Atiku should wake up from his trance off of political hallucination to the reality that he actually lost the election!

To be continued……

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

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My Problems With Atiku And The PDP Over The February 23, 2019 Presidential Election (Part 1), By Ussiju Medaner

I have no problem with decision of Atiku and his party to contest result of the presidential election in court; it is a fundamental right which they cannot be denied. Each of the times President Buhari ‘ lost’ elections in the past, he went to court in an attempt to legally reclaim his mandates.

I also do not have any problem with the decision of Atiku to abort his earlier plan of heating up the country by instigating the masses to be on the street and opt for the acceptable electoral litigation process. We all must first give him thumbs-up, and a big thank you to all who prevailed on him to take the path of peace and law.

My problem with Atiku, his party and all their think-tank is that they refused to learn from their mistakes. An African adage says ‘you don’t fall into the same pit twice’ but Atiku and his party have fallen severally into the same error and from all indications, would still be heading a lot more times into it.

The little popularity and acceptance of Atiku before the elections took a downward trend the moment Atiku ratified the use of cooked propagandas and fabricated lies as the major tools of his presidential campaign. After the major blow of the burden of corruption on his personality within the country and abroad, coupled with the destructive revelation of the person of Atiku by former president Obasanjo, it is rationally expected that his campaign directorates will be more preoccupied with image reconstruction strategies rather than the unholy, unfounded and less dignified attacks on the President Buhari .

PDP employing the tactics of the likes of Fani Kayode, Fayose, Omokiri, Adeyanju among others who believe in campaign of calumny, false propagandas, disrespect to elders and sentiments to sway voters’ loyalty towards their principal was perhaps the greatest undoing of PDP in the build-up to 2019 presidential election. That failed in 2015 and also failed woefully in 2019. When Nigerians woke up to the fabricated news of Buhari’s family ownership of 9-mobile and Keystone Bank, many of us wondered what benefit PDP expect to accumulate from spreading such a lie that was bound to be short-lived.

But as soon as the effect of the first lie waned, the Amina Zakari saga commenced. A woman who rose through the ranks on merit mostly during the PDP era suddenly was tagged by Atiku and PDP as Buhari cousin and an APC mole within INEC. While most Nigerians knew PDP was only building sentiments to discredit the candidature of President Buhari, some victims bought the lie among the target group.

Before the presidential elections, Atiku was bold to the effrontery of calling a press conference and lie to all Nigerians home and abroad about some youths and election manipulating devices belonging to APC which they (the PDP) had intercepted. Atiku had claimed that APC sent them to China to perfect the use of the devices that will be used to control the card reader machines.

All these allegations and many more, each without any credible evidence all fizzled out within days but not without all well-meaning Nigerians who prioritized trust and integrity as the main attributes of a leader. This led to the conclusion that Atiku was not an option for the Nigerian presidency.

We had also expected the PDP and Atiku to, after the indisputable loss, become more preoccupied with re-strategizing; looking inward to identify their shortcomings not only in 2019 but also in 2015 and work to possibly reposition the party for future elections. Unfortunately, they allowed themselves to engage more in acts capable of further diminishing their image and of course that of their party.

PDP has done many wrongs after the elections but let’s pick on only two of their misdoings. Having being in power for 16 years, PDP knows very well and are very conversant with the history of inconclusive elections as captured by the electoral act as well as other relevant statute. They have details of many times they had benefited from declaration of elections inconclusive but now they wish there is nothing like that and INEC would act unilaterally to declare them winners of elections they have not won legally.

So when Atiku and PDP came out crucifying INEC as acting the script of the APC led presidency, one tends to wonder how they expect Nigerians to respond. No matter how rich or eloquent you may be, people will naturally ignore you the moment you are tagged a liar and deceiver. For the benefit of those who seem not to be abreast of the antecedents of inconclusive elections in Nigeria, this piece will suffice.

I have a problem with the Atiku’s complaint about the presidential election and the that of the PDP itself, despite having all their counsel was still sloppy enough to mistake the addresses of the second and third respondents at the bottom of the petition. This is indicative of the point that they either are after his money or did not take their time to scrutinize the document because they already know it would lead to no good.

Another problem I harbour with Atiku and his cohorts in the PDP is that they had earlier claimed that the INEC had denied them access to election materials which they intend to obtain evidence from only to come up some days later with parallel result purportedly from INEC server. This parallel results reveals that Atiku of the PDP had won the February 23, 2019 presidential elections with a margin of about 1.6 million votes.

To be continued….

May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Professor Osinbajo And The Moses Comparison, By Sunday James Akinloye

Like many Nigerians, I have read the constant comparisons between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Moses in the Bible. Most of these writers have little knowledge about the character of Moses, but for some reasons they believe that they have earned the right to misconstrue people.

In all fairness, I don’t know where the comparison between Moses and Prof. Osinbajo started but one thing is clear, the writers didn’t attend Sunday School as kids and have also spent very little time reading the Bible.

Like Moses, Prof. Osinbajo alongside President Muhammadu Buhari liberated Nigeria from the hands of corrupt rulers that had ruled for 16 years. Nigeria was on the brink and God needed to send someone to salvage the situation. He looked at the land and picked two men of integrity.

Unlike Moses, Prof. Osinbajo is not the outright leader here, he is the deputy to the leader, a role similar to that of Aaron but that has never been the basis for these writers who are bent on twisting the narrative of the Bible.

The question none of them will never answer is why did the children of Israel spend 40 years in the wilderness when they should have spent just 40 days? It was due to their disobedience and unbelief. Are you seeing a pattern here?

God has sent two men of integrity to free Nigeria from the shackles but there are some that will complain until they force God to do the unthinkable. Despite all what Moses did, there were some children of Israel who were wise in their own eyes and who questioned Moses and God.

Upon their arrival at Kadesh Barnea, twelve spies were sent to survey the Promise Land and its people (Numbers 13:18-25) but the spies returned after forty days of exploration. Ten of the spies had a bad report: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. All the people we saw were of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes” (Numbers 13:31-33).

Only Joshua and Caleb dissented (Numbers 14:6-7). Believing the report of the ten doubters, the people lost heart and rebelled. They “raised their voices and wept aloud,” grumbling against Moses and Aaron, saying, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword” (Numbers 14:1-2, emphasis added).

Again, do you see a pattern? These writers have often pontificated on how the PDP years were ‘better’, they even had a hashtag #BringBackOurCorruption to go with it. On how money was flowing everywhere, on how PPP is better than government’s direct involvement in infrastructure, among others. Just like the children of Israel, nothing is ever enough.

Here’s what happened next, Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them” (Numbers 14:11).

Moses once again interceded for his people and turned away the wrath of God (Numbers 14:13-20). Although God did forgive them, He decided that “not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it” (Numbers 14:23). Rather, they would suffer by wandering in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each of the forty days they explored the land (Numbers 14:34).

Here is another pattern. Some people do not even know that they have incurred the wrath of God in Nigeria and would not reach the Promise Land as it is; they are still nagging God and the men he sent to take us to our Promise Land. Like the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait” but not these ones.

Back to the Bible, God would give them what they asked for: “I will do the very things I heard you say: In this desert your bodies will fall, every one of you twenty years old or more” (Numbers 14:28-29).

The ten men who had given the bad report were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord (Numbers 14:37). Only Joshua and Caleb survived, the two faithful spies who believed God’s promise to give the land over to them.

There is a learning here, not only is the comparison of Prof. Osinbajo and Moses not accurate, those who nagged, moaned and groaned against God and his servant didn’t get to the Promise Land. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to criticize the leaders and even pastors, just know that there is a price if you do it with a wrong motive.

Like the saying goes, “A word is enough for the wise”.

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