Mark Zuckerberg Excited Over Game Built By 11 Year Old Nigeria Boy

The lad pictured above is Olatayo Sobomehin, an 11 years old who built Spike Rush, an infinite, side-scrolling game.

Named after needle spikerush (a plant), the game is set in a magical forest where spikes are everywhere.

Players have super powers to help them learn to survive in the forest. At random times, the gravity reverses and players must live upside down.

The players must ensure the spikes don’t defeat them. To do this, they must swipe up to jump over the spikes, swipe left and right to move back and forth, and double tap to activate special powers.

Mark Zuckerberg, who only just got back from visiting Lagos, Nairobi and Abuja, caught up with Tayo recently and was impressed with his game.

Mark expressed his excitement about Spike Rush on his Facebook page (as he always does).

“I got my first computer when I was Tayo’s age, and just like him I started out coding games. I’ve always thought building simple games was the gateway to building more complex apps. My first games were simpler than Tayo’s, but no matter your level, there’s nothing like playing something you built yourself,” Mark said.

He added, “I’m looking forward to seeing what Tayo builds next!”

The app is doing fairly well on the Apple App Store. Now that Mark has endorsed it (sort of), I expect “fairly well” to become “paranormally well” in no time.

Tayo, who might be associated with East Palo Alto-based StreetCode, is just a reminder that coding and programming should be introduced to young lads. This, amongst other things, will prepare them for a future that’ll most definitely be about technology!

Lagos-based CcHUB is already preparing kids for the future through its Summer Coding Camp (Mark Zuckerberg met some of the kids) and Maker Club. Same thing can be said of Jos-based nHub, which runs the SevoCoder program.

Credit: Techloy

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Nigerian Economy: When Will Buhari End the Blame Game? By Bade Adebolu

Since the swearing in of President Buhari on May 29, 2015, there has not been shortage in the blaming of the previous administration by the president and his officials. We have heard in not less than many cases where the President always shifting the blame and his administration’s incompetency of on the previous administration. Some members of his kitchen cabinet, themselves failures in their several job tasks have used his victory during the 2015 election as a vendetta against persons like Okonjo-Iweala, the immediate past minister of finance. How long will we continue like this?

Before we proceed, let us be quick to admit that this present writer was a volunteer for the Buhari’s campaign in 2015 and has no regret whatsoever on his decision.

Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), campaigned largely on the platform of “Change”. Many Nigerians had thought that the “Change Mantra’ simply meant improvements in standards of living translating in upgraded socio-economic infrastructure, but soon found out that it is not necessarily so.

Instead of the Buhari administration to continue to lament like Jeremiah, he simply should have set up a Change Management System (CMS) to reduce the shock that the sudden “Change” may have on public service and the political system. These would also have in a long way covered up the seeming unpreparedness of the General!

Buhari’s unpreparedness manifests the most in the constitution of his Cabinet. An eagle view of those appointed shows the long wait for these people were just unnecessary. Some ministers are yet to justify the confidence imposed on them. Or put differently, some of them have not had their results speak for them. Kemi Adeosun in Finance; Fashola in Power and Works; Kayode Fayemi in Solid Minerals; or Lai Muhammed as Information Minister reveal a lot to rational minds of the potency of President Buhari’s first eleven. The results speak for themselves!

Bad enough for the economy that, for political reasons, you bypass the glittering credentials of giants like Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank MD. One will expect Buhari to have looked for better qualified Nigerians with proven track records but no, he had to settle for the lesser qualifies Kemi Adeosun. This kind of decisions explains why we are called a Third World country. There was a reason President Bill Clinton reappointed Allan Greenspan again in 1996 as Federal Reserve Board chair who himself was a Republican to serve in a Democrat. Can you now see that we still have a long way to go?

What Buhari great should know leaders don’t criticize their predecessors; they call for patience and understanding to salvage the situation. The task of transforming the nooks and crannies of 774 Local Governments won’t be achieved by press releases of “Jonathan did this; Jonathan did that”, it can only be achieved with concrete plans that will meet reality. A government elected for four years by 15 millions Nigerians can’t blame an individual for the duration, rather than trade blames, committees should be set up to assess the progress made by the previous administrations in order to build a better nation. Governance is beyond propaganda, good policies tackle corruption, and to fight corruption shouldn’t be the singular goal of a government.

 

Bade Adebolu is an accountant based in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state. He can be reached onbadeadebolu@gmail.com

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EXPOSED: PDP’s ‘Secret Game’ Of Sheriff-Fayose 2019 Joint Ticket… How APC Is Responding

New Telegraph – The major organs of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have recently been enmeshed in a battle of wits over the control of the party’s hierarchy, after the appointment of a former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, as the party’s national chairman.

Though the players might have temporarily sheath their swords, what many did not see was the undercurrent that led to the power-play, which first appeared as a rumour, later seen as a rude joke. But now, it is gradually leaving the realm of speculation and has become an issue that is being discussed in high level political gatherings.

Even the craftiest of politicians wouldn’t have believed that the idea would fly; the new chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and the Governor of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose are planning a joint ticket towards the 2019 presidential election, the Saturday Telegraph has learnt.

The duo are not just teaming up to fight for the PDP ticket, they are battle-ready to slog it out with the ruling All Progressives Ali Modu SheriffCongress (APC) during the general election in 2019, a move that is quietly destabilising both the erstwhile ruling party and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Insiders within the PDP confided in Saturday Telegraph that the move from Sheriff and Fayose accounts for the latest crisis in the PDP, saying that was why Fayose galvanised the PDP governors to support the emergence of Sheriff as the chairman of the party.

Even Sheriff himself did not leave anybody in doubt that this is about 2019, when, after mounting the saddle, at his maiden press conference, he told the world that he did not know when his tenure would end, and that the PDP is battle-ready for 2019, promising to return PDP to power in the next three years.

Though Sheriff was brought on board to complete the tenure of the former chairman, Adamu Muazu, who resigned after the 2015 Fayoseelection, he shocked even his closest supporters when he told the gathering that his exit would be determined by the party leaders.

One of the party’s top players in the South West, who claimed to be at a meeting where the issue was discussed, said Sheriff believed that a combination of his own popularity in the North and Fayose’s rising profile in the South West might give the duo an edge if they team up.

According to the PDP insider, the APC might be at a crossroads because the body language of President Muhammadu Buhari is not suggestive of a definite action, noting that Sheriff’s idea is to capitalise on the inaction of Buhari to his own advantage.

Though, he believed that the new PDP helmsman might have been tainted with speculations about his alleged link with Boko Haram, he was of the opinion that the Northerners are not seeing him in that light, while noting that all that would have been quelled before 2019. “We are not sure whether Buhari will run for second term or not, but feelers from the APC suggest that they are in a dilemma, because the president is not talking to them about his future.

So, they are not sure. “If PDP wants to win in 2019, we have to start the game plan now. Sheriff has his people in the APC, he knows what is going on and he is a smart politician. Even though, people in the South don’t like him because of the Boko Haram stain, the Northerners don’t think of him like that. “In politics, you need people that are strong willed. Sheriff and Fayose are both controversial politicians, but they believe that the masses are with them.

They are sure of the South-South and South- East votes, they only need to work on the North and South West, and that is why they came up with the choice of Fayose “If Sheriff can stick with the present arrangement adopted by the APC, he has a good chance, because he is very popular in the North. They will surely go with him, but Fayose would have to continue his inroad into other South West states to firm up his popularity.

However, sources close to both players are not totally denying the move, while some say it is their constitutional right to run, if they so desire, others believe that it is an idea being sponsored by some bigwigs in the APC, so as to discredit the PDP.

A PDP member, who was among those opposed to the emergence of Sheriff as the PDP chairman, said the idea is just unthinkable, he said it is something that can never happen in the PDP. “How do you think that can fly? It is absolute falsehood, how on earth will anybody even think of that?

As ordinary party chairman, Sheriff was rejected by virtually all organs of the PDP, especially the decision-making groups. “He was only given a soft landing to remain in office till May.

The man is badly tainted. How could such a person lead the country? It is absolute nonsense; it is just an imagination that can never see the light of day. What do you take PDP for? Misfits and charlatans can’t rule over us, it is totally impossible. “That is a wicked rumour. The day that happens will be the day the PDP folds up, that I can bet with my life.

How can you pair two tainted individuals? We all know how Fayose is seen in the South West, if not for immunity, he wouldn’t even be a governor by now”, he said. Regardless of the stance of some opposition within the party, those who believe that the idea was a possibility in 2019, said fingers remain crossed.

In response, Lere Olayinka, who is the Special Adviser on Media to Fayose, said, though he was not aware of the arrangement, “Fayose is qualified not just as VP, but the president of Nigeria.”

But the APC is leaving nothing to chance, as it hurriedly conveyed a meeting of its leaders during the week to fashion a way to respond to the latest move by the PDP. In the absence of Buhari, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday met with party leaders, including, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; APC national leader, Bola Tinubu and a host of others.

Saturday Telegraph learnt that the meeting was not only convened to address urgent happenings within the party, it also dwelled on the emergence of Sheriff as the n e w P D P chairman.

It was gathered that the APC stalwarts are concerned that the new helmsman of the PDP is extremely popular and has a large followership in the North coupled with a financial might that can bring about a change in the political fortune of the PDP. At the meeting, the APC leaders were said to have been given an immediate task to close ranks, put aside all bickering within their caucuses and look for a way to shore up the popularity of the party, especially in the southern part of the country.

Saturday Telegraph’s sources also informed that the party leaders, Abubakar and Tinubu, were specifically mandated to ensure that the duo of Sheriff and Fayose were wooed to jump ship and return home, because they were hitherto with the ‘progressives’, or cripple their wings and curtail their rising profiles if the other option is not achievable. In the same vein, the APC had earlier in a statement said it was wishful thinking for the PDP to think of ‘conquering’ the presidency again.

The party said it was baffling how the PDP expects Nigerians to abandon APC’s smooth sailing ship for a sinking and rudderless one. The National Secretary of APC, Mai Mala Buni, said Nigerians were a w a r e that the current economic hardship and institutional rot was caused by the PDP’s 16-year misrule and pillage, while noting that Buhari has been working assiduously to correct the PDP’s years of damage and bring about people-centric governance.

According to him; “The 2015 elections has been won and lost. The priority of the present APC administration is to deliver on election promises made by the party to Nigerians who have long desired change of political leadership at the federal level and in many states.

“The APC is reluctant to join issues with Ali Modu Sheriff’s idle 2019 postulations and would rather pursue issues that will bring about all-inclusive development in the country.

“Happily, Nigerians can look back with relief and attest that since the APC-led administration took over governance, Nigeria is back on the right track – economically and security-wise and has taken its right of place among the comity of progressive nations.

“The widely-acclaimed job creation, social welfare and inclusion programmes proposed by the Buhari administration has been well received. The full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the present administration has greatly plugged revenue leakages.

The presidential directive to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to adjust its pricing template to reflect competitive and market driven components has resulted in a more efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also brought about constant availability of fuel nationwide.

“Nigeria is winning the war against insurgency. In spite of desperate attempts to discredit ongoing anticorruption efforts, the war against graft is being won.

“In reiterating the recent submission of the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for the first time in many years, Nigeria now has a solidly positive international image and the president is trying to cash in on this image to help rescue our nation from the throes, the economic morass which the PDP 16-year misrule has plunged it.

“These are clear indicators showing that the APC and the Buhari administration is on the right track to delivering on its Change Agenda,” he said.

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Time To End The Blame Game By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, let us start today’s epistle with a real life story. Some years ago, a woman named Dr Kema Chikwe was appointed Minister of Aviation. Her mandate was to bring sanity to our insane airports across the country. It was as if we were a jinxed nation and nothing good could ever come out of our rudderless system. Dr Chikwe set out on her mission like Henry the Navigator. She mapped out her strategy meticulously and elaborately. Our airports were as hot as hell. All efforts to tranquilise the place and make it habitable for passengers proved abortive but Dr Chikwe was determined to succeed where others had failed miserably and woefully.

At the beginning of her voyage, Dr Chikwe was supposedly rattled by a negative story that was aired on a British television describing the Lagos airport as one of the worst in the world. The problem wasn’t just about its aesthetic ugliness, the airport was totally invaded and ravaged by port rats who specialised in pilfering peoples bags thus depriving them of their valuables. The Nigeria High Commission in Great Britain felt sufficiently scandalised and terribly angered by the negative but factual story. A message was promptly despatched to Dr Chikwe in Abuja requesting her to respond and deny what was considered a vicious attack on Nigeria.

As cool as cucumber, Dr Chikwe thanked the then High Commissioner and said there was no reason to respond to the annoying story. “Did the television channel tell any lie about our airport? The answer is no. Our best response is to upgrade the airport and even our worst enemies would have nothing negative to talk about…”

The Buhari administration has some great lesson to learn from the above episode. The lizard cannot enter a wall that has no cracks. Your enemies must talk and run you down but your best response is to stay focused and successful. In pursuing the anti-corruption war in particular, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to step on some fat and powerful toes. Such people would never wish the government well no matter its efforts. I would have been more surprised if everyone loves a tough and no-nonsense man like Buhari.

It seems to me that some operatives of the Buhari government are already getting paranoid and almost as neurotic as the Jonathan regime. Their reaction to every criticism suggests an unnecessary agitation. They are blaming real and imaginary enemies for the gale of attacks on the economic policies of the current government. I find this very reprehensible. If truth must be told our economic team is floundering at the moment. They appear rudderless and totally confused. Did they expect anyone to praise them when the Naira is spinning and nosediving at a dizzying pace like a rollercoaster gone beserk?

Nigerians sent President Goodluck Jonathan packing because they believed he was incompetent and the APC and its candidate assured they had the solutions to the problems and the magic wand to the economic and spiritual hopelessness of the time. No one should blame them if they are grumbling that this was not the change they voted for. The least we can do is to continue to pacify them while we continue to work harder at turning things around for good and for the better. No one is going to listen to the endless sermon that PDP or Jonathan caused these gigantic problems for us. That is stale news. Jonathan is gone with the winds and it is for the new government to demonstrate its expertise and that should not be too difficult. The confidence Nigerians have reposed in this government is so humongous that the expectations should be naturally high.

The biggest albatross of the Buhari government right now is the comatose economy. Buhari must borrow a leaf from medical science. A patient in coma is usually referred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Sometimes, near fatal ailments often require induced coma if the imminent fatality is not to become reality. Nigeria must pick an option before it is too late. This fact is corroborated by the alarm raised by Professor Wole Soyinka who said Nigeria’s needs an urgent economic conference to arrest the present explosive drift. For me, another conference is not the solution. Nigerians are tired of the endless confabs with attendant communique that end up in the dustbin of history unimplemented. What is urgently required is a practical team that will proffer practical solutions that are practical to be executed

When I raised hell about the scandalous budget last week, I was impressed when President Buhari responded by admitting that something terrible had happened and acted swiftly to fire a scapegoat. We need more than a scapegoat being fired though. We must also fix the mess which includes firing others who are found complicit in the scandal. It is the same way I can’t feel any sense of urgency or desperation on the part of our economic experts in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. It seems obvious that there is a kind of lackadaisical attitude on their parts while the Naira is busy dancing kpalongo on the parallel market. May be the time has come for the President to wield the big stick in the finance circuit. What is going on is too disgraceful and unthinkable. If something is not done urgently, the consequences may be too grave for our country.

Instead of wasting so much time on trading blames, we can build on where Jonathan left off. Buhari needs to energise his team. They are looking weak and timid. I think most, if not all of them, are too scared to take risks and use their initiative. This is sad. No matter what you may say about Jonathan, his ministers were bubbly and vibrant. They enjoyed some modicum of freedom that fired their imagination and temperament. The President needs to encourage his men and women to loosen up or nothing tangible would be achieved soon. Everyone seems to be watching and studying the body language of the President and there are always conflicting signals. This lacklustre existence is always palpable whenever I see the pictures coming out of the Federal Executive Council meetings. The cabinet looks forlorn and haplessly dull. I’m not able to see a team at home with itself. Only the President can release his team from this self-manacled cage.

I wrote last week that the nation is tension-soaked. I wish to reiterate that an atmosphere of fear is not conducive for good business. There is too much hullabaloo at the moment about fighting corruption that may be counter-productive in the long run. The government should fight the war more in the law courts and less in the public theatre creating mere sensation without much legal substance. Issuing threats on daily basis on the next agency to be probed is promoting hysteria in the land. As I already noted, the priority should be how to repatriate most of the looted funds. Nigeria needs every penny it can retrieve right now. This can be done with less noise and better efficiency and alacrity.

The focus should now also be on rebuilding our roads. I travelled from Ibadan to Lagos yesterday after flying from Abuja and could not help but imagine that we belong in the prehistoric age. Even at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, power outages were abysmally constant. We are waiting for the trains to run beautifully and efficiently. We want quality education for the Nigerian kids. We want Nigerians to live much older through efficient Medicare. We want jobs and employment opportunities for our youths. We are tired of lamenting like Jeremiah. I have no doubt that it can be done but this government needs to free itself and begin to fly. Mistakes would be made and corrected along the way. Such is life. The fear of failure is far worse than failure itself.

It is time to fly more at home because time is man’s worst enemy.

SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO BEN MURRAY-BRUCE AT 60

Say what you will, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce is one of the greatest things to happen to entertainment in Nigeria, and Africa in general. My earliest recollection of Silverbird, the family business he leads, was as a student of the then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. Ben and his group used to invite top American artists to perform in Nigeria and took them to campuses especially Great Ife, noted for learning and culture.

I will let out a secret today. As an indigent student, I learnt how to do small business to augment whatever my poor mum could afford. I was studying Yoruba and learnt a lot about the traditional technology of Africa often referred to as ‘juju’. I exploited this knowledge effectively and used it to mesmerise children of the rich who actually believed I was a Babalawo.

Ben and his guys invaded Ife with those foreign bands, the Shalamar, the Sky Band, Whispers and others. My late friend Femi Segun was the one who used to contract me. I had a little shrine in my room to complete the shakara. Walahi, I made my little income and was very popular on campus as a “rain catcher”. The last show I got was to stop the rain from falling when Whispers came as the shows usually took place in the open air University Amphitheatre at Oduduwa Hall. Unfortunately, it rained cats and dogs that night and I had to run away from the vengeful anger of the mammoth crowd. My mystic was shattered. That was the end of my shakara, and of course my business!

Several times, Ben and his brothers invited me to be a judge of the ‘Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria’ contest. I was one of those who chose Ms Agbani Darego, the first and only African ever to win the Miss World Contest. Ben has since grown the family business to a stupendous empire foraying into cinemas, radio and television.

The great Ben encouraged me to go into television years ago culminating in our lifestyle Ovation TV, now showing in Nigeria, Ghana, United Kingdom, USA and Canada. I’m eternally grateful for that inspiration.

My admiration for Ben quadrupled when Ben decided to go into politics and he has made an astounding success of it. His sermon about what is wrong with Nigeria and the solutions that he has proffered to some of our intractable problems have gone viral on the Internet. I’m certain he has a greater role to play in the affairs of our nation.

Help me raise a toast and drink to the health, wellbeing and success of this fine, upstanding gentleman, media entrepreneur and distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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The Game Of Thrones In Kogi State, By Tokunbo Olorundami

Just like the fictional HBO TV fantasy drama series, which is an adaptation of the Game of Thrones Novel by George R.R. Martin, so is the Kogi State governorship election of 2015. Several parties lay claim to the Seat of Government, while so-called kingmakers in the background pull strings and bully their way to ensure their choices prevail. The original game of thrones, even though a fictional fantasy drama, is a reflection of what obtained in medieval Europe when the most powerful kings went about conquering lands and imposing rates and taxes to enrich themselves. In the Game of Thrones drama, there are seven Kingdoms contending for the Iron throne, which is made of swords depicting the defeated enemies. Some of the most popular factions in the TV series are the Targaryen king, The House of Lannister, the Baratheon, and of course the Powerful mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen.  The drama showcases the intrigues of power and the quest for alliances in a bid to outsmart other nations to gain the throne.

The game of thrones in Kogi State in Nigeria fits so well into the type of intrigues for power that is portrayed in the Game of Thrones drama. Before the elections, there were two very strong contending forces for the Lugard house; it was clearly a battle between Wada and Audu. But just as the elections were completed, Audu passed on; with his death, other contenders became more obvious.  So what started with just two major contenders now has 7 key contenders that are playing for the throne of Kogi State, some of these contenders being mere political contractors working for one of the other contenders. The use of threats, bullying/thuggery, misuse of the Judiciary, use of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC constitute some of the weapons in use in this battle. This article identifies the 7 contenders and then highlights the case(s) against them and how they may eventually play themselves in or out of the game of thrones in Kogi State, Nigeria.

The contenders include (1) The Abuja Mafia led by the APC Party Chairman (Oyegun); (2) The House of PDP with Captain Wada in the cockpit; (3) The House of Yahaya Bello; (4) The House of Audu/Falake; (5) The House of Dino and Clarence; (6) The Okun People of Kogi West Senatorial District; and (7) The Judiciary–the presumed hope for true Justice in the matter.

 

  1. The Abuja Mafia led by the APC Party Chairman (Oyegun): It is my opinion that this “powerful” group is using the full privileges and powers of the Presidency to bully their way to their desired interest. The ruling Party rose up to announce in the wake of the unfortunate death of Audu (who was coasting to victory before INEC struck), that they were going to conduct new primaries, but somehow they decided to go ahead and fix someone else over and above Audu’s Deputy,Falake. Recall that James Falake had been major participant in the race with Audu, but for INEC’s declaration, they were duly elected along with his principal in what was considered inconclusive elections, Falake was considered to be only good enough for the position of the deputy and not as Governor. What may appear to be working in this group’s favour are their Federal Might and the fact that they appear to be acting on behalf of the President who is respected by many. Unfortunately, President Mohammad Buhari has adopted a somewhat “not my business” kind of attitude on this matter. Actually, not just on this matter but on many other matters under the public glare. What are the odds against the Abuja mafia? The Law Court and the Will of the Nigerian people who believe that Injustice to any one Nigerian (Faleke) is Injustice to all Nigerians everywhere.

 

  1. The House of PDP with Captain Wada in the cockpit – the current occupier of the throne, a house haunted by a record of under-performance and poor governance. It is also haunted by the strong influence of the ruling party. If PDP was the party at the center, this group may have had a few tricks left in its bag. Without the usual cover from Abuja, they are out in the cold with limited options. This group is probably praying that Faleke will be left out of the incoming government so they can easily get the court to remove whomever the ruling party has imposed on the state. Right now, they have a good chance of getting their wish as Faleke is currently not happy with the party and the party wants him to accept that the party is god and cannot be questioned. Wada’s claim to the throne is based on the fact that Audu died with his votes and so he is the winner. But wait; is Audu the only person in the race? People must understand that the deputy is very much a full-fleshed human and is deserving of some respect for his contribution to the votes/victory or defeat. Wada better pray that Faleke continues to refuse the position of the deputy and Yahaya refuses to release the throne to Faleke; if this prayer is answered, then and only then will Wada find the chance to come close to finding the throne again.

 

  1. The House of Yahaya Bello: The house of Yahaya is solidly built on the support from Abuja. Bello’s interests are the same as Oyegun’s. Bello participated in the primaries and came second; it’s on this premise that the Abuja mafias have brought him in at the 11th hour to take over the already won votes. Bello has age on his side and he will be the youngest governor in the country should he hold sway after the storm, it will be interesting to see a younger mind in action, for a change. So what are the odds against Bello? He is seen as a supplementary governor who came in through the back door using Abuja connection. After he lost the primaries, instead of closing ranks with the party to help them win the elections he went off to work for another party (allegedly), only to return to claim the victory after the death of Audu. Faleke has decided he will never work with Bello and so he is left with his 6000 supplementary votes against the odds of a PDP take-over. The only legal leg that gives Bello’s election some legitimacy is with Faleke; how to get it remains the biggest challenge of his political career. Yahaya Bello has joined the Game of Thrones in Kogi state; he is currently finding a way to cut the baseline in Falake’s camp and looking also to the extended house of Audu/Igala nation to see if he will find willing allies to regularize his stay in office.

 

  1. The House of Audu/Falake: The unfortunate death of Audu has reduced this house to the House of Falake, although there is a sizable amount of support from the family of late Audu for Faleke to reclaim the Audu/Faleke mandate. For this house, almost 60% of their strength was lost with the death of Audu, but they still have some good fight left to reclaim the throne. Faleke was the running mate of Abubakar Audu, after the latter’s death he became orphaned politically, with his party disowning him and leaving him with no option but to seek the face of the Judiciary for justice. Faleke was at the forefront of the campaign efforts, combing the nook and crannies of the state for support and votes. Now we know why Audu was missing in action on many occasions (he was not in the best of health to go on some of the campaign travels). Having completed the job and delivered the votes, with Audu’s departure the right thing to do would have been to let his deputy continue with the mandate, otherwise what is the whole essence of having a deputy? The odds against Falake are many but easily surmountable if there is any justice in Nigeria. He is considered a stranger in his home state because he is currently representing a part of Lagos state as a member of the House of Representatives. Also, Faleke is considered by some of the elite in Okunland as a visitor to the political terrain of Kogi state, so much so that their silence is deafening on this matter, an attitude that is nothing short of disgraceful, considering the history of marginalization that has been meted to Okun people in the running of Kogi state, and the need to form a common front to further the fortunes of Okun people. Faleke is also seen as a prodigy of Tinubu, and most people do not like Tinubu for his political sagacity; this dislike has been extended to Faleke. It is rather shocking though as Tinubu has paid the price and shown himself to be a force to reckon with from Sokoto to Calabar. Hate him or like him, the man Tinubu, was responsible for giving APC the form and fame she currently enjoys. Removing PDP was a wish many Nigerians expressed, and Tinubu contributed to making it happen when he allowed the marriage of political parties. So Faleke is disadvantaged on these sides but all of these disadvantages put together do not reduce the audacity of his claim to the throne. If there were any justice in the legal system of Nigeria, Falake would be the Governor of Kogi state.
  2. The House of Dino Melaye and Clarence: Dino Melaye is a serving senator representing Kogi West, while Clarence is a former speaker of the State Assembly. There are others in this group but these men are the principal partners. Clearly this house only stands for what they can gain from the entire political quagmire that has developed in Kogi state. One will expect these men to stand behind the Okun nation and Faleke considering how deprived the Okun nation has remained since the creation of Kogi state. Senator Melaye has basically turned his back on his constituency on this matter, his reason being party supremacy; he claims to want to do what the party leadership has agreed on. This Senator, Melaye is not one to be considered the doyen of party loyalty, he will only dance to the tune if there is something for him in the music, like his friend FFK, always pretending to serve the people to get their goals. In this instance, Melaye may be working against his constituency because he wants to remain in the good books of the powers that be or has his eyes on the throne. Dino is known to take a different tangent from his party, so this claim of loyalty is lame and fake. He went against the wishes of his party when he was in the House of Representatives and was kicked out eventually; he also went against the wishes of his party to support Saraki in the race for the Senate Presidency, a move that got him a “juicy” committee chairmanship. In this instance, one cannot say for sure what he stands to gain but he surely stands to lose many votes from his constituency in the next elections. He has remained very silent about the injustice done to Faleke and as such, one can conclude he is with the House of Yahaya.

Clarence and co are currently out of job and will follow anybody that knows “the road to Abuja”, they are simply doing the biding of the party for their own selfish interests. If only all Okun sons and daughters, especially the so called leaders can refuse the bowl of “asaro-porridge” and refuse to be cowed, and present a common front on this matter. In any case, Justice may prevail over selfish interest in the ongoing battle for Lugard house. Melaye will face the people in 2019, and then he will be made to explain what role he played in the current political predicament in which the fate of Okun nation hangs in the balance.

 

  1. Okun People of Kogi West Senatorial District: This group consists of the people of Okun nation, from the mountains of Ekinrin-Adde, to the Valleys of Kabba and all over Kogi West. The generality of the people are of the opinion that Faleke, their son, who worked very hard, combing the length and breath of the state for votes should be the one to hold the fort at the exit of Audu. The people are united on this, except for a few dissenters who happen to be in touch with the headship of the party. Basically, Yahaya Bello is doing a good job to make sure he divides the camp of Faleke to win new followers to his side. He is, however, fighting in the wrong direction; his principal battle is to secure Faleke’s trust, anything short of that is a waste of time and money. The people of Kogi West are united on Faleke, irrespective of party supremacy or Abuja connection. Perhaps, the burning question to the Okun people is this, where are the leaders of the people and why can’t we unite to ensure we produce the Governor for the first time? What does the current silence say of us, if this was another ethnic nation, we probably will see a more unified voice? The powers/forces in Abuja have technically sidelined Faleke to impose Bello on the state. Only justice and nothing more, can fight for this group.
  2. The Judiciary – the presumed hope for true justice in the matter: This is where the bulk stops. In a civilized country with democratic ideals and principles, only the part of dialogue and seeking redress in the court of law is acceptable. It is hoped that the Judiciary which is the conscience of the nation, will do the right thing and pronounce Faleke as the Governor, seeing that he is only a victim because he is from a “minority group” in Kogi state.

 

In the final analysis, there is only one Kogi state. While all the politicking may seem right, selfish interest should never prevail over the truth. Yahaya Bello should seek the honorable path of unity, work to resolve this deadlock and allow the state to move forward. Faleke should seek the path of peace and unity as well. The task of unifying Kogi State and ensuring a sustainable economy where everybody in the state can prosper and enjoy remains, during and after the ongoing game of thrones.

 

Tokunbo Alaga Olorundami- toksdam@gmail.com

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Kwankwaso: The Master Beaten At His Game By Shaka Momodu

I  have watched the former governor of Kano State and newly minted Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso for sometime now. The signals coming from him are justifiably worrisome. I don’t know much about his stewardship during his reign as the governor of Kano State, but I heard he did some good for the people of the state, and that he is immensely popular. I cannot vouch for both.

But what I do know of him from his public presentations and utterances in the last two years have helped me to build a character portrait of him and come to an informed opinion of him: Kwankwaso is a man who lures his friend or colleague to the guillotine with a false smile, viciously stabs him to death and then turns around to brag about it in public as if the evil of treachery and betrayal are virtues for celebration. I have come to see Kwankwaso as a man you turn your back on at your own peril. And as the saying goes in the land of my fathers: “Backstabbers are only powerful when you turn your back”.  He is good at the “game” when your back is turned on him, otherwise, he is impotent. Clearly outsmarted by the new Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Kwankwaso has suddenly remembered that the party’s position should have been followed, describing the emergence of Saraki — his co-traveller in the New PDP charade — as “dangerous for Buhari’s administration”.  He regretted that the Senate President had used his ambition to destroy party discipline and should be punished – expressing fears about betraying the confidence which Nigerians reposed in them by voting for change. It was honestly shocking reading these statements attributed to him, and whatever modicum of doubt I had about the dishonesty of our politicians instantly vapourised.

Kwankwaso is now talking about discipline? In case many Nigerians have forgotten, he was one of the people who alongside Saraki, used their ambitions to bring down their former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The betrayer, who gloats about his treacherous exploits, now wants Nigerians to take him serious. This must be “a joke taken too far” – as a man who rose to political relevance on the platform of his former party — the PDP — as Minister of Defence, and a two-term governor, but ended up robbing the PDP of the mandate and giving it to a party that was not even in existence when the mandate was given by the people, is the least qualified to moralise about discipline and betrayal.

Particularly striking now is that his position during the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) crisis is different from his new position on toeing the party line. His position then was that nobody must choose a Chairman of the NGF for them. His shots were directed at Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency which was not disposed to Rotimi Amaechi remaining as the NGF chair.

Recall that at the height of the NGF election debacle, which former governor of Rivers State, Amaechi, clearly won, it was Kwankwaso who came out to regale the public with tales of his exploits as a betrayer, declaring triumphantly that he set up the then Governor of Plateau State Jonah Jang to fail. He admitted that he personally nominated Jang to contest for the chairmanship of the NGF and urged the then Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam to support him only to satisfy the yearnings of some governors for a compromise candidate to run against Amaechi. “Let me say that we are northerners and I think we should be consulted on what we need for the North. Some people have decided that we should produce the chairman of the NGF – that is not our choice. We know what we want in the politics of this country, and even if that is what we want, we are not expecting anybody to choose for us – we should choose for ourselves. I think that point should be very clear. It was a game and we were trying to prove to them that nobody can shave our heads in our absence – we have proved to them that they are still at the elementary level of politics,” he said at that time.  I don’t know why he felt the need to remind Nigerians about being a northerner. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t necessary.

Well, he was marooned at the International Conference Centre (ICC) waiting for the purported meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari when he heard that the election of the Senate President had commenced. According to him, he immediately jumped into his car and raced to the National Assembly only to find Saraki taking the oath of office as the Senate President. He could only look on with seething rage inside him. For once, the self-acclaimed master of the game of numbers was beaten flat at his own game. His head was not even shaved with a razor blade in his absence, but with broken bottle that left deep cuts and gashes on his head.

I was taken aback by his public boast of treachery and backstabbing – as backstabbers have never been known to come out and claim credit for their dishonourable conducts. They always hide behind the cloak of anonymity and when suspicion falls on them, they often deny any role because of the ignominy associated with it. But this was different – that Kwankwaso came out to gleefully claim credit and gloat about an act that is considered one of the greatest forms of vice in all of humanity’s history speaks to his character and moral standing. It really rankled me, and I took note of the man not necessarily because of who he supported, but the chest-thumping after the clear act of betrayal. I agonised for days that a public officer in the calibre of a sitting governor could publicly claim to have set up his fellow governor – who was not even interested in the race in the first place – but was lured into it by Kwankwaso himself only to turn round and betray him. I felt that day, that our country had reached a new low in moral decadence. The then Governor of Bauchi State Isa Yuguda was so shocked by Kwankwaso’s public boasting that he reportedly questioned the calibre of leadership being provided by his likes. He was quoted to having said: “Kwankwaso has spoken his mind, and has confirmed that his idea behind nominating Jang was to disgrace him. If I, as a leader, as a governor, will look at my colleague and take a decision ostensibly to disgrace him, then it is a tragedy. Where is our morality? Where are Islam and Christianity in this country for goodness’ sake?”

I didn’t miss the clear clannish arrogance explicitly exhibited and the implied superiority complex in Kwankwaso’s statement – what he said and the manner he delivered the message were quite instructive.

My fears were amplified further when I read an interview he granted some newspapers in April in Abuja. Asked if he thought the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, was a hero for conceding defeat, Kwankwaso responded: “I believe the president is naive because he had all the opportunities to change direction. I don’t blame him; he didn’t play this sort of game for sometime at the national level. So, he didn’t know who was who in this country. He was just looking at faces and those who were well-dressed, carrying many cell phones and they meet at the airport. They smile and he says well, these are good people. He sits down to listen to gossip and sometimes, he doesn’t even know their names. He made a big mistake by picking the wrong people.

“Let me tell you, our leaders who have been in this game before us especially those who were in the First Republic told us so much about our friends in this country and he happens to come from the South-south, where they are very close to our leaders. We did everything possible to work with him but of course, he vandalised the opportunities. He didn’t handle it very well, up to the extent that most of us saw that we didn’t have any future as PDP members and as individuals, thereby galvanising us into action by coming together to defeat him.

“Look at what his wife was saying that northerners are this and that; how could you say that to northerners? You can’t insult us and think that you will get away with it. This is democracy – a game of numbers, and that is why we went back and put Almajiris together to get about two million votes.”

He was referring to the Kano State presidential election result which produced over two million total votes cast out of which 1.9 million votes went to Buhari. The boast of mobilising Almajiris to defeat the president is quite instructive, and should be seen for its underlying meaning.

This same Kwankwaso, it should be recalled, was the one who moved against the appointment of Chief Festus Odimegwu, an accomplished technocrat, as the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), because according to him, the former managing director of Nigerian Breweries is an “alcoholic”. He was quoted thus:  “We (the North) are not happy about that appointment, and think (that) it was a mistake. Odimegwu shouldn’t be there in the first place. Why? It’s because, you see unfortunately we were together, somebody read his curriculum vitae.

“He had only worked in alcoholic industry – all his life. And my guess is that he’s taking a lot of his products and that is why we feel (that) his appointment is a mistake because he cannot be the Chairman of NPC and at the same time attacking what his predecessors had done.’’

But Odimegwu’s only sin was his brutal frankness – that he dared to criticise the credibility of all previous censuses carried out in the country, vowing to conduct the most accurate and credible census in 2016 “that will accept itself”. Of course everyone is conscious of the significance of population data as an indispensable tool for national planning and resource allocation. Politicians across-the-board, whether in the North or in the South, but more so in the North, have for ages been known to falsify and manipulate census data to gain resource advantage.

And of course, Kwankwaso saw the danger in Odimegwu’s position – a man with such determination to right all previous wrongs and such outspokenness of truth to power couldn’t be trusted. This is because he is able to claim the numbers’ game because of the “true lies” contained in our censuses which give the North numerical advantage. According to Odimegwu in an interview with THISDAY months after he resigned as the NPC chairman: “Governor Kwankwaso is the biggest beneficiary of the fraud that is the demographic data in Nigeria.” Kano State had the highest population figures in the 2006 census. So, his vehement opposition to Odimegwu was borne out of the fact that he, Kwankwaso feared that those census numbers would unravel for what they truly are – official “true lies.”

It is noteworthy that before Kwankwaso’s campaign to get Odimegwu fired, he had written a letter dated June 28, 2013, soliciting the technical assistance of the Odimegwu-led commission for the Kano State house-numbering, street-naming and provision of an identity card project. When he wrote that letter, he didn’t realise that Odimegwu had been “taking too much beer and was an alcoholic”, but suddenly, he realised this after Odimegwu’s statement about falsification of results of previous censuses.

Interestingly, Odimegwu and Kwankwaso have found a common purpose  as members of the same All Progressives Congress ( APC). The former was even a member of Buhari’s Transition Committee. Talk of how politics brings strange bedfellows together in this clime. Kwankwaso, the senator representing Kano Central, is already advertising Buhari’s achievements barely three weeks after inauguration when no single decision has been taken by the president – no policy direction has been unveiled, no ministers have been nominated, no secretary to the government of the federation, no chief of staff, no special advisers save for the two media spokespersons which in itself is odd. The only thing we have seen so far is a ruling party headed for the rocks. According to him, “From the day President Buhari’s victory was announced, things have started changing in the country – the power situation is improving, shares in the capital market are going up, while the exchange rate is stabilising.” Are you kidding me? Are we seeing another campaign based on “true lies”? One is tempted to think that somebody somewhere and not Odimegwu is actually taking “too much alcohol” and has lost his sense of reality.

My final take on Kwankwaso is that he is one of those opportunistic politicians who thrive on our fault lines – ethnic and religious – to advance and sustain their political careers. He sadly sees himself more as a northerner out to defend the interests of the North, than a Nigerian out to advance the interests of Nigeria. His likes are masters of deceit and illusion who thrive on the ignorance of the poor whose name they severally use in vain in pursuit of their personal goals.  He is certainly one of those who have held this country down through their politics of dirty intrigues, ethnicity, double-speak and betrayal. The nation needs a break from them. We need a leader who will inspire and unite all Nigerians in hope and faith. Not these ethnic irredentists and heretics of faith masquerading as patriots.

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Muazu The Game Changer: How He Arm-twisted PDP From Challenging Buhari’s Victory In Court

It was a meeting hurriedly convened but virtually all the critical stakeholders expected were in attendance at the new banquet hall of the presidential villa at about 6pm on Tuesday, 30th March 2015. That was four days after the presidential election. The results of the election were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but with strong indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), was set to win.

Aside President Goodluck Jonathan who chaired the meeting, other people in attendance were: Vice President Namadi Sambo; Senate President David Mark; his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees chairman, Chief Tony Anenih; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim; Governor of Cross River State, Mr Liyel Imoke; and former Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi. At the meeting also were all the members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) led by its chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu.

The atmosphere at the meeting was sombre and without much preamble, President Jonathan announced: “Gentlemen, about an hour ago, I called General Buhari to concede and to congratulate him. But I did that not because the PDP lost the election but rather to calm the nation, as many people advised me to do so. Even when I conceded to allow the nation move forward, the information at my disposal is that the election has been massively rigged and INEC is complicit. While I have done my bit as a statesman, I believe the party should put out a strong statement to reject the result and that the PDP will challenge it in court. I think the National Publicity Secretary of the party should do that.”

After his speech, the president yielded the floor to Chief Anenih who argued that the APC had already created a precedent in Ekiti State where the defeated Governor Kayode Fayemi conceded and congratulated the victorious PDP candidate (current Governor Ayo Fayose) but allowed his party to challenge the election in court. Chief Anenih, however, added that the party’s statement should be signed not by the publicity secretary but rather by the national chairman while urging that “any discussion of other elections be suspended until we recover the stolen presidency”. He thereafter suggested that a committee headed by Olisa Metuh be constituted to draft the statement which the chairman (Muazu) would then sign and release.

With Anenih’s suggestion adopted, the PDP National Secretary, Prof. Adewale Oladipo; the National Legal Adviser, Mr Victor Kwon as well as Anyim and Peter Obi were asked to join the Metuh committee to draft the statement. It was at that point that the meeting dissolved but by the next day, with the statement drafted, Muazu declined to release it to the media. And he got the support of the other NWC members who felt the president, who sidelined them in the course of the election (which ensured that they were only hearing about the campaign billions without partaking in the largesse) now wanted to use them.

When words got to the villa that Muazu, who did not raise any objection when the decision was taken the day earlier, had declined to issue the statement, the duo of Imoke and the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Godswill Akpabio were sent to put pressure on him. But Muazu reportedly told them that if the president, the party’s candidate at the election had already conceded, why would he say something to the contrary? The PDP chairman was also said to have reminded both Imoke and Akpabio about all the warnings he had given on how religion and ethnicity were being used by the president’s wife and some of his supporters like Fayose to “demarket” him in the North in the course of the campaign.

At the end, all the efforts by Imoke and Akpabio to get Muazu to issue the statement failed and it was on that note that the idea of PDP challenging the presidential result ended. But with that also, the trouble within the party had just begun. Yet what it shows clearly is that if PDP was unable to manage victory, the party has even greater challenge in coping with defeat.
While I intend to share the details of the intrigues within the PDP before, during and after the presidential election in my coming book, “Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was Defeated in Nigeria”, it is very clear now that the party went into the election as a divided house. But it is the president who is now paying the price having been misled by some powerful ministers around him into believing that money was everything, forgetting that you need a strong political structure and everybody working on the same page to win such a crucial election, even in Nigeria.

What I now find particularly interesting is that the president may be meeting his match in Muazu, once being eulogised as “the game changer”, who is not willing to go down (like Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, Dr. Okwesilizie Nwodo, Dr. Haliru Bello and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur) without a fight. It tells a compelling story of its own that Muazu is the 6th PDP Chairman under Jonathan, all within a period of five years. One of them, Abubakar Baraje, even led the break-away faction that later metamorphosed into the All Progressives Congress (APC) that has now defeated the PDP.

With many things now coming out about how the PDP ran a dysfunctional presidential campaign, it is surprising that the party was expecting to win. For instance, the presidential campaign committee was headed by former PDP National Chairman, Dr Ahmadu Ali but I have it on good authority that most of the approvals for campaign spending were coming from Chief Anenih with funds disbursal being the prerogative of Senator Nenadi Usman, a former Finance Minister under President Obasanjo. For media, all the funds were routed through Chief Femi Fani-Kayode with Olisa Metuh completely sidelined but that was not the problem. The main issue was that many people within the party hierarchy, especially those from the North, felt uncomfortable that statements from Fani-Kayode were never complete without references to the Bible as if Jonathan was contesting for the presidency of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)!

With the elections over, and at a time you expect the PDP to regroup, the leaders are now squealing on one another. You hear stories of over a thousand vehicles that can now not be accounted for, tales of how billions of Naira and hundreds of millions of Dollars were being distributed and who got what as well as stories of internal sabotage, betrayals and double-dealings within the party.

In what appeared an attempt to douse the raging fire, the PDP, at the instance of the president, on Tuesday, constituted a review committee to identify, among other things, “the remote and immediate causes of the relatively poor performance of the PDP in the 2015 general election.” With three weeks to submit its report, committee chairman, Senator Ekweremadu said at the occasion: “Much as we are pained by the sad turn of events, we must come to terms with the fact that anger, recriminations, self-pity and blame trading will not take us even an inch away from the harsh outcomes of the 2015 general election.”

How the PDP resolves its internal contradictions is of no concern to me but like many Nigerians, I am interested in seeing the PDP overcome its current difficulties. By coming against the excesses of some people in power and criticising government policies when we saw the need to do so, some of us have been labelled APC members. I am almost certain that very soon, we will also ‘become’ PDP members when we begin to highlight the failings of the new apostles of ‘change’. That then explains why we need the PDP as a strong bulwark against the soon-to-be ruling party where you also have some very powerful individuals who are adept at deploying (and possibly retaining) power, not necessarily in promotion of the public good.

What the foregoing means in effect is that the president must help the PDP to put its house in order but in doing that, he should also be mindful of people who may want to use him in promotion of their own agenda. President Jonathan must be discerning enough to see things clearly: The current jostling within the PDP is not about the election that he just lost no matter how the protagonists and antagonists couch the issues for him; it is about the future, their own future. Of course there is nothing wrong with that but the lesson such cold calculations teaches is that the president should be circumspect about the choices he makes or the ones being made on his behalf, especially at a time like this.

All over the world, presidents and prime ministers lose elections but their parties survive to carry on the work of democratic engagement in the political space. In the instant case, President Jonathan has lost an election and his party runs the risk of completely disintegrating in the aftermath. While the PDP may have its down sides, its survival beyond the Jonathan presidency has become a matter of national political security.

The PDP was founded and sustained on the assumption that it would remain in office and preside over the sharing of national resources indefinitely. Now that it has lost its power of patronage at the centre, the party could starve to death as President Jonathan himself predicted recently when he warned those trooping to the APC that they may return with ’empty stomach’. That presidential prophesy, an issue for another day, also says a lot about what public service has been reduced to in Nigeria: it is almost always about some people looking for something to eat!
To come back to the PDP crisis, the sad truth is this: in the bid to get President Jonathan re-elected, some of the people around him overreached themselves, by-passed the PDP leadership in critical decisions, mistook his personal political enemies for party adversaries, abused those with whom they ought to have dialogued and conducted a most primitive and very divisive presidential campaign. Clearly, these same people who practically ran the ruling party aground, and contributed in no small measure to the defeat of the president, cannot be relied upon to salvage the PDP.

Therefore, all factors considered, the task of stabilising our political space by helping the PDP come back on its feet belongs not only to genuine party members but indeed also to the more perceptive national elite, including those of us in the media. To the extent that it is in our enlightened self-interest to have a formidable opposition party so that our democracy can thrive, we must welcome the Ekweremadu committee, hoping its report will help steer the PDP away from the precipice of internal implosion.

Excerpts from Segun Adeniyi’s column on ThisDay

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Face Your Internal Wrangling And Stop Blame Game, PDP Tells APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as diversionary and unnecessary, the Thursday’s false and tendentious claims by the APC that the Presidency and the PDP are not cooperating in the transition process. The party charged the APC to put its house in order, come straight and tell the nation the confusion in its camp instead of trying to shift blames.

PDP National Publicity, Olisa Metuh in a statement today said the meetings of the transition and inauguration committees of both parties have been going on fruitfully and wondered where the false alarm is coming from if not a measure of confusion in the APC.

“Whilst we understand Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s excitement in the euphoria of his party’s unexpected victory, we view the APC’s provocative statement, especially the unguarded invectives on the Presidency and PDP as an unfortunate display of arrogance and falsehood ostensibly aimed at heating up the system and creating room to cover for its inadequacies thereby inventing excuses for any failure in office.

“We can confirm that the APC Transition Committee led by Mallam Ahmed Joda has met at least twice with the Presidency team led by Vice President Namadi Sambo while the Timipre Sylva-led APC Inauguration Committee has been meeting almost on daily basis with the PDP team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. It is therefore most uncharitable for the APC to attempt to mislead the people by claiming that the PDP-led Presidency was not cooperating in the process.

“Although the ruling party suffered some electoral set back, Nigerians are witness to the fact that the PDP has remained humble in defeat while focusing on rebuilding and reinventing itself. Such should not in anyway warrant the unnecessary attacks, vituperations and insults from the APC.

“As we look up from the lowest level we have ever fallen, we are fully determined to start the process of ascending back to an acceptable level in earnest. The APC must therefore learn to be decent and cease to be arrogant as that would amount to taking the goodwill of the people for granted.

“What should be of more concern to an in-coming government like APC is the negative signals and the rising worries by Nigerians over its flip-flops and apparent nervousness of its President-elect who has started reneging on his campaign promises.

“Nigerians were bewildered when they heard General Buhari renege on his messianic posture and told them in clear terms not to expect him to rapidly fix the problems of nation as he had promised during the campaign.

“The same President-elect who boldly stated in his campaign manifesto that ‘I, Muhammadu Buhari have resolved that the task ahead of me is that of securing our nation and prospering our people, not looking backward to the failed policies and promises’ had on May 5, 2015 in a meeting with a meeting with APC governor-elects reneged and announced that he has ‘started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day’.

“Furthermore while the APC in a statement on April 3, 2015 denied that the President-elect pledged to end insurgency in two months of being sworn in, the video clip of his interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN on April 2, 2015 is clear on the promise made by Buhari.

“General Buhari in answering a question on how to deal with the divisions in the country said ‘the actual division which is worth bordering about, I think in terms of social instability, that is insecurity in the north east and in the delta area, which I think they have been with the country long enough that we know how they started and what stage they are now, therefore we are confident that we will rapidly give attention to security in the country and I believe we will effectively deal with them in two months when we get into office.

“When asked how he would achieve this, General Buhari said ‘I think firstly we have to register the cooperation of the neigbouring countries, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, although some efforts where made by this administration but it was not good enough and it was too late’. The full interview can be watched on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhWVqte25bM.

“Only recently, the President–elect barred a television house, the AIT, from covering his activities over unexplained security and family issues. Following public outcry the APC reversed the directive only for the President-elect to release a statement denying the ban and blaming overzealous aides.

“Instead of engaging in shadow-chasing and dwelling on insults and unnecessary display of arrogance, the APC leaders should be worried that Nigerians are increasingly becoming apprehensive that their party has already started going back on the promises it made to them.

“Nigerians are not in a hurry to forget that the APC promised to rapidly fix the economy, generate, transmit and distribute electricity on a 24/7 basis, pay N5,000 monthly to 25 million poor Nigerians; provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months, create additional 4 million new homes, provide free education and meals for school children and bring naira to the same value with the dollar”, the statement said.

The PDP cautioned the APC that Nigerians would not accept any excuse for failure especially given that the outgoing administration has laid very strong foundation for rapid economic growth in addition to the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the north east.

The party however assured Nigerians that having done much to nurture the nation’s democracy to a globally acknowledged level, it would even do more by offering the most constructive and credible opposition as it repositions to regain power in 2019.

Meanwhile the All Progressives Congress (APC) had on Thursday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call his aides to order to stop them from overheating the polity with their incautious statements, especially relating to the transition of power.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said while the PDP may be deeply traumatized by its loss in the last general elections – and the party itself has said it is indeed suffering from ‘post-election (defeat) trauma’ – that should not be a reason for it to disrupt the nation’s peace by displaying crab mentality.

It described as provocative and ill-intentioned the statement credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali, that the APC should talk less and plan more for the nation, and that the party (APC) is seeking to stampede the President out of office.

”Prof. Alkali doesn’t know what he is saying. How does he expect us to plan when the PDP-led FG has bluntly refused to cooperate with us in ensuring a successful transition? As we write, the Transition Committee of the FG has yet to hold a single meeting with our own Transition Committee, neither have they given us a line of handover note.

”As a matter of fact, the Jonathan Administration has said the handover notes will not be ready until the third week of May, meaning just a week before the handover. What time then do we have to scrutinize the handover notes? How can we plan when we don’t even know which projects they have, which ones they have completed and which ones are outstanding? How can we plan when we don’t even know how many barrels of oil are sold per day?” APC queried

The party said the fact that Prof. Alkali does not know the difference between Inauguration Committee and Transition Committee is a reflection of mediocrity that permeates the Jonathan Administration and led to its downfall.

”While their Inauguration Committee has been meeting with ours, their Transitional Committee has yet to even meet with ours. How then can Prof. Alkali justify his statement that the Jonathan Administration has been in a ‘transition mode’?

”Is it part of their transition mode that President Jonathan has been engaged in a rash of feverish last-minute appointments that, though may not have breached any known law, are patently in bad faith, morally repugnant and indecorous. They say they are in office until May 29th, but pray, are appointments the only function of a government? Are there no problems crying for attention, such as the intractable fuel scarcity, the worsening power situation, the grounded economy and the missing Chibok girls?

”Is it part of their transition mode that Jonathan’s Minister of Power has virtually been reading the riot act to the incoming government, condescendingly warning it not to even consider reversing the power sector privatization because its gains are ”very obvious?”. Do they understand the implication of their gratuitous and unsolicited advice? If their power sector reforms have been so successful, would Nigeria’s power situation have hit perhaps its lowest point in a long long time as we have it now?” it queried.

APC said in as much as the Jonathan Administration is bent on provoking the incoming Administration, creating confusion and even sabotaging the transition, the party (APC) has decided not to fall for their antics in the interest of peace. The party reiterated its earlier advice to the PDP to shake off the trauma of defeat and gear up for the challenging task of being in opposition.

”They must however realize that being in opposition is not a walk in the park but like running a marathon in the desert where there are no oases or shades. The sooner they realize that the better for them,” it said.

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Muazu Decries Culture Of Blame Game In PDP, Says Era Of Use And Dump Must Stop

The Embattled Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, has urged members of the party to see the defeat at the 2015 presidential election as an opportunity to reinvent itself and retake power in 2019, rather than trading blames.

Mu’azu stated this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, where he added that the culture of use and dump must stop in the party.

The PDP chairman has come under intense pressure to resign following the disastrous outing of the party in the last general elections.

Governors of the party at their meeting, which was also attended by Mu’azu and two other members of the National Working Committee in Abuja on Wednesday, demanded the resignation of the NWC members.

The governors were said to have argued that it was better for the NWC members to leave and allow fresh hands run the affairs of the party.

Mu’azu, however, said instead of wasting time, energy and resort to blame game over the party’s failed bid to win the presidential election, the party must move ahead.

He said, “The result of the 2015 presidential election is the elixir the PDP needs to reinvent itself and retake power in 2019 instead of wasting time, energy and resorting to mudslinging and blame game over the party’s failed bid to win a fourth consecutive presidential election victory.

“Stories spreading like wild fire in the social media about schisms in our party can only energise the incoming administration of the All Progressives Congress and their wish list that include the burial of the PDP.

“But we can shock them with our usual resilience and ability to turn the tables particularly as they are already developing a tottering ineptitude in their transition progression to power.

“Our game plan is to provide a virile opposition to the new government, which we have already graciously given a lifeline by conceding defeat and avoiding a calamitous battle in the courts.

“The international community have noted this great act of statesmanship on our part and we shall continue in this mode to show our commitment towards entrenching democracy in our country.”

The former Governor of Bauchi State added that time had come for members of the party to reinvent themselves, show great maturity and map out a strategy that will return the party to power in 2019.

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My Letter to the Cabal: Game Up By Peregrino Brimah

Dear Cabal,

It is time for you to give up. It is time for you to abandon ship. Dear unscrupulous cabal, enough has surely been enough. We have had it with you… your time and grip of treasury is done; your choking of this nation is over. This letter is addressed to you. You know you are a cabal if you have cut up a slice of the paupers’ loaf that you fondly and atrociously call the ‘national cake.’ Yes that is you. You lazy godawful, who earned what you did not work for and made us suffer. You thief.

According to the latest report by the EFCC you cabal have from 1960 to 2005 looted $20 trillion dollars. 20 Trillion Dollars! That is over 100 yearly budgets put together! And in the last ten years with Nigeria earning more than ever before, you have looted no less than another 7 trillion dollars. That is final. This election you see here is a coated revolution. We are compiling a list of your names and all your benefactor family and friends. None of you will ever again near the corridors of power. It is our time. It is time for the Nigerian masses. APC cabal sef who helped this revolution will not near power. We promise you this. We thank you but it is time you retire. It is time all you cabal retire. Nigeria is about to experience a new day where our oil yield, 100%$ of it is for the masses; where our land is owned by the people and not cabal; where we farm natural seeds and not cabal GMO’s, where the masses decided and achieve in totality; where hooligans are no longer paid and political or military brute, brainless thugs no longer hold sway.

Some of us sat back and watched you puerile thieves steal for decades, but when your thieving lost total control and we could no longer simply live in our poverty in peace; with your Boko in the north, MEND in the south and Ombatse in the Middle we decided that it was enough. You have looted and now you are bombers and assassins of the masses, the only causality of terror sponsored by your nefarious reckless idiocy. Dear cabal. You are now late. Disappear for the masses are coming. We will not stop.

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

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