APC Planning to Influence 2019 Elections with Military Operations – PDP

2019 Elections, APC, PDP, PMB, Politics


“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.

Tinubu and buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari, has been accused of planning to use a military operation code named ‘Operation Python Dance 3’ to influence the results of the February 14, 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria by the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Operation Python Dance designed as a military ‘show of strength‘ exercise by the Nigerian Army directed at silencing the growing influence of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and other criminal associations in the South East region of the country in the first and second versions of the operation took place in the region between 2017 and 2018.

Nigerian Army parades Armoured Tanks in the streets of Port Harcourt Rivers State

Announcing the launch of a third version on Friday, the military said the exercise would now be conducted nationwide and would commence from January 1, 2019 and last till February 28.

The presidential election is billed to take place on February 16.

The army said the military operation was needed to tackle already “observed upsurge” insecurity challenges anticipated before, during and after the 2019 general election.

But kicking against the timing of the exercise, the PDP alleged that Mr Buhari was plotting to use the planned nationwide military exercise to legitimise his administration’s alleged ploy of using the military to intimidate voters and rig next year’s presidential election.

“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.

“Further investigation revealed that agents of the Buhari Presidency are working in cohort with some compromised top officials of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission to use soldiers to provide cover for diversion of electoral materials, as well as aid APC agents in their plan to unleash violence and disrupt the electoral process in areas where the PDP is winning.

“In spanning the military operation to February 28, 2019, the Buhari Presidency betrayed its anticipation of public rejection or violence, which can only come when a result that does not reflect the actual wish of the people is announced,” he said.

Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said Nigerians are eager for a new president, having lost confidence in Buhari, due to his alleged failures in governance.

“The PDP PCO, therefore, rejects this deliberate attempt by the Buhari Presidency to set our military on a collision course with Nigerians, bearing in mind the collateral damage that usually occurs whenever the civilian population clashes with military.

“Our nation is a democratic state and we are not in a state of emergency that requires the militarization of our electoral process.

“Our military, which is cherished by Nigerians, should, therefore, foreclose any attempt by the Buhari Presidency to use it to set our country on fire.”

Advertisements

PDP Raises The Alarm Over Dino Melaye’s Safety

2019 Elections

Samuel Ogidan, Abuja Nigeria
Abuja – As police continue to lay siege to the Abuja residence of Senator Dino Melaye, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over the senator’s safety.

The party said with the continued lockdown on the residence of Melaye by the police, the Muhammadu Buhari presidency was turning Nigeria into a police state where those opposed to President Buhari’s re-election were treated like enemies of the state.

The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, in a statement by its Director of Media & Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, said: “The continued siege, which has been widely condemned as unwarranted and provocative, shows that the police under President Buhari has become an instrument of oppression to subjugate dissenting voices ahead of the 2019 general election.”

“The PDP has become extremely worried about the safety of Senator Melaye and his family members under police lockdown and charges Nigerians to hold President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible should any harm befall him or any member of his family.

“This is particularly against the background of Senator Melaye’s outcry that the police planned to arrest and inject him with poisonous substance.

“The PDP hopes that opposition figures such as Senator Melaye will not suddenly become victims of ‘accidental discharge’, unexplained assassinations or mysterious motor accidents as we move on to the general elections.”

Meanwhile, the police have again intensified manhunt for Melaye two days after storming his house.

The police on Sunday intensified their search for the lawmaker with a reinforcement of security within and around his residence along 11 Sangha Street in Maitama, Abuja.

The police had arrived early Sunday with more officers and at least nine patrol vehicles to seal off all the entry and exit routes to Melaye’s house.

The police officers also occupied the entrance to an uncompleted building directly behind Melaye’s house, near the Chadian embassy on Mississippi Street.

Source: Independent Nigeria

Nigeria: Elections and Human Rights

2019 Elections, Politics, Power

Oge Onubogu 
USIP, Senior Program Officer,                    Africa Programs

Statement before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

I would like to thank the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Congressman Hultgren and Congressman McGovern, for convening this briefing today on Nigeria. I appreciate the opportunity to present my views. I am a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), although the views expressed here are my own. USIP was established by Congress over 30 years ago as an independent, national institute to prevent and resolve violent conflicts abroad, in accordance with U.S. national interests and values.

It is a privilege to appear before you today, along with colleagues to discuss the risks, challenges, and opportunities around the upcoming elections in one of Africa’s most important countries.  

Nigeria’s keenly anticipated presidential and national assembly elections are scheduled for February 16, 2019, while the elections for state governors and state assemblies are scheduled for March 2, 2019. These elections come 20 years after the restoration of democratic, multiparty constitutional rule in Nigeria. The 2019 elections follow the country’s first-ever peaceful transition of power to an opposition candidate in 2015. Thus, the upcoming elections will test the resilience of Nigeria’s democratic institutions to successfully conduct two consecutive credible elections. While democratization is not a linear process, many Nigerians expect further progress in 2019, including a credible electoral process.

While Nigeria has made major strides in its democratic development, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Nigeria’s democracy remains fragile and its elections remain vulnerable.

Nigeria’s political parties are now in full campaign mode ahead of next year’s elections. Unfortunately, signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. However, it is not too late for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of election-related violence in 2019. The United States has actively encouraged Nigeria’s democratic progress in the past and should step up its attention on Nigeria’s 2019 elections.

To do this effectively, it is crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state-level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaigns for the presidency. International and domestic observers reported incidents of voter intimidation by security forces and party agents during the re-run of the off-cycle gubernatorial election in Osun state in September. This illustrates the intensity of state elections and the associated risks. Elections next year in states that are considered higher profile than Osun are likely to be even more volatile.

The 2019 state-level elections will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria and Africa, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The gubernatorial elections will take place in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, just two weeks after the presidential elections. Seven other state elections are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons. In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks, and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.  Incumbents in the remaining 10 of the 29 states, cannot run again because of term limits or because they lost out in their state party primaries, making elections in these states’ competitive open races.

State-level elections are important for democratic progress in Nigeria. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, allocate federally disbursed revenue, shape policy on development and security, and also oversee the state election commissions which manage local government elections across Nigeria’s 774 local government areas. A 2018 USIP study on the Nigeria elections noted the growing prominence of local government elections among Nigerians, who are increasingly viewing local elections as a testing ground for budding politicians – in order words, democracy at the grassroots.   

The USIP study which was conducted in 8 states (Kano, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Rivers, Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra) and in the federal capital territory, Abuja, found that many political and conflict conditions have changed since 2015. So, it is important that the nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—be considered in weighing whether election-related violence at the national or state-level is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

Among these changes are the shifting perceptions of narratives of security and insecurity in Nigeria.  The prominence of the pastoralist-farmer conflicts has shaped perceptions that large parts of the country are insecure. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria. In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have “technically defeated” Boko Haram, but the terrorist group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces, such as the civilian joint task force (CJTF), which were organized in response to the terrorist threat, now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno State – the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. So, the state-level contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another significant change since 2015 are the proliferating divisions within the two largest political parties, the APC and the PDP. Particularly within the ruling APC, it continues to exhibit an inability to consolidate its internal party structure and effectively resolve internal rivalries. The recent October party primaries in the APC-led Zamfara state were marred by violence and the party leadership has been unable to address the internal grievances. Preparations for the Zamfara state elections in 2019 also continue to be controversial. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, stating that the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remain intense. This competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers State. This state is considered a “political prize” for any party that can capture control of the jurisdiction. State-level elections in Rivers are often characterized by high levels of violence. According to the Fund for Peace, Rivers state experienced the most election violence incidents and fatalities of any Nigerian state during the 2015 elections. Political hostilities in Rivers have heightened since APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the 2015 elections. The personal rivalry between the former Governor and current transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi (APC), and the current state Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP), continues to exacerbate divisions along party lines.

Despite the short amount of time before the elections and the potential for election violence in 2019, there are still opportunities for action.

First, clear plans for the prevention of election violence need to be in place now. These plans should be effectively communicated to citizens by the INEC and security agencies and should be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

For many Nigerians, the memories of election-related violence are still current because the Nigerian government has been unable to establish mechanisms to address electoral offenses. The recommendations from the 22-member presidential committee on the 2011 post-election violence – Nigeria’s bloodiest elections since the transition in 1999 in which human rights organizations estimated over 800 people were killed – have not been implemented.  

The National Human Rights Commission, which is a statutory body mandated to document human rights violations and initiate processes for prosecution, is a weak institution and has been relatively ineffective since 2015. A bill to a create a specialized electoral offenses commission with the authority to investigate, enforce, and prosecute electoral offenses is still pending in the National Assembly. It is unlikely that this bill will pass before the 2019 elections.

With less than three months to the elections, the U.S. and international community should prioritize engagements with their Nigeria counterparts on ways to effectively address and prosecute electoral offenses in the 2019 elections. In addition, Nigeria should hold itself to a higher standard when it comes to prosecuting electoral offenses. Proposing that a credibly elected government that emerges after the 2019 elections prioritize the passage and implementation of the bill to establish a specialized electoral offenses commission could be a good way to start.     

In the short term, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders from diverse backgrounds, could be a source of support to the Nigerian authorities. Other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence should be engaged as well.

The National Peace Committee, which played an important role in securing the peaceful transition of presidential power in 2015, should be reenergized. Given the current realities and possibilities of higher levels of violence during the gubernatorial elections, peace committees should also be created at the state-level.   

Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency, the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission, and the Adamawa State Peace Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing. USIP is working closely with them and with local community leaders and civil society representatives to address state-level violence before, during, and after the 2019 elections.  

Secondly, the U.S. and other international supporters of the electoral process in Nigeria should intensify their efforts to reinforce the work of key institutions that administer and support the electoral processes, most notably the INEC and the Nigerian Police.

INEC’s election management process has improved over the years, but challenges remain. The Commission has carried out many commendable reforms under its new Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. However, their good technical work may be of limited value if it is not widely known, understood, and trusted by the electorate or if voters feel that they will experience intimidation on election day.

Nigeria’s security agencies, particularly the police that is the lead agency on election security, should commit to better coordination with INEC and neutrality in the electoral process to positively influence voter confidence.

The U.S. government should support INEC and the Nigerian Police to ensure that the existing Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), which bring together INEC, the police, and other security agencies in a forum for election security planning at both the federal and state levels, serves as an effective coordinating mechanism. This coordination is especially important at the state-level to ensure a peaceful electoral process.

The INEC should also implement a more assertive and far-reaching public relations strategy to communicate with the voters, media, and political parties before, during, and after elections. The INEC should also have a transparent approach on the release of election results. A reinvigorated INEC strategy could go beyond generic voter information and civic education and be designed and differentiated for the realities of different regions, states, and elections in Nigeria.

Finally, Nigeria will be looked to in the region to fulfill its proper role as one of the best examples of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement, Nigeria’s political leaders can and should do better.

The United States and international community, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders can convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They can also convey to Nigerian leaders an expectation that political parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates if they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

The conduct of the 2015 elections raised citizen expectations for government performance. A credible electoral process in 2019 will strengthen Nigeria’s democratic development and enhance public confidence in its democratic institutions. A flawed election could result in a regression in democratic values in Nigeria and weaken the democratic progress that prevails in much of West Africa.

Despite its many challenges, Nigeria shows a commitment to democratic values. It is in the interest of the U.S and the international community to continue supporting Nigeria’s democratic development. Focusing efforts to reduce election-related violence in 2019, especially in the state gubernatorial elections, could be an important place to start.

The view expressed in this statement are those of the author and not the U.S. Institute of Peace

The Current Situation in Nigeria

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, Politics, Power, SEcurity

A USIP Fact Sheet

President Buhari’s 2015 election saw the country’s first peaceful transfer of power to an opposition candidate. Elections raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing problems—including weak governance, corruption, the Boko Haram insurgency, and persistent intercommunal conflicts—could soon be under control. Despite President Buhari’s vision for reform, the country’s security challenges are surging as the factors that fuel violent conflicts remain largely unaddressed. 

USIP’S Work

USIP brings together state governors and civic leaders to design, foster, and implement inclusive policies that mitigate violence and strengthen community-oriented security. The Institute engages a variety of influential figures, empowers citizens, and uses its expertise and convening power to inform Nigeria policy in the U.S., the region, and around the world. Recent work includes:

Promoting Inclusive, Peaceful Societies.

Many of the factors driving conflict and the Boko Haram insurgency exist across Nigeria’s northern region. These include governance challenges, marginalization, and youth unemployment. Nigeria’s federal system gives governors great responsibilities to address these issues.

The Institute leverages the governors’ influence by working with them to focus policies on citizens’ needs and establish strategies that prevent and resolve violent conflict. In the process, USIP and the state governors build more inclusive processes and send the message that addressing violent extremism must be achieved cooperatively.

Through the Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, the Institute adds public figures to the dialogue. The Working Group fosters relationships between citizens and governors—ensuring that a diversity of citizens’ voices impacts important decisions. The Working Group also demonstrates thought leadership through publications, research, editorials, and op-eds on state government roles in addressing conflict.

Strengthening Local Security.

USIP’s peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria improve state-level institutions’ ability to manage local conflict by piloting dialogue-based approaches and providing recommendations and lessons learned to policymakers.

  • Network of Nigerian facilitators. USIP recruited and continues to provide technical and financial support to a cadre of facilitators to convene dialogues related to election security, transitioning to community-oriented policing, and manage communal disputes that pose a risk of violence.
  • Justice and Security Dialogue project. Modeled an approach for community policing through ongoing dialogues between police and the community, particularly youth.
  • State peacebuilding institutions. Bolstering the ability of state peacebuilding institutions in Plateau and Kaduna states to respond to local conflicts before they become violent.
  • Conducting research that translates into action. USIP’s Nigeria research improves understanding of violence’s risks and develops effective approaches to managing violent conflict.
  • Elections violence risk assessment. Together with several partners, USIP is conducting an elections violence risk assessment ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 elections to provide actionable and timely analysis that will help key figures work to prevent violence before, during, and after the elections.
  • Transitioning from military operations to civilian policing. The Institute conducted research on the transition to community-oriented policing following military-led security in northeast Nigeria. The research incorporated the perspectives and priorities of vigilante groups into recommendations for a more responsive security sector.
  • Researching resistance to violence. With USIP’s support, the Centre for Information Technology and Development examined the factors that make certain communities more resistant to the threat of violence in north-east Nigeria. The research showed that community resilience thrives when there is a robust community platform for active citizen participation and democratic decision-making. The absence of such a platform in many communities led to their quick and brutal destruction by Boko Haram.

Download full Report at: USIP

The Risk of Election Violence in Nigeria is Not Where You Think

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Oil, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Containing violence at the state level will be key to a peaceful election

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 / BY: Oge Onubogu ; Idayat Hassan

Nigeria’s political parties are in full campaign mode ahead of national and state-level elections early next year, and unfortunately signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. It’s not too late, however, for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of coercion and possibly even bloodshed. To do so effectively, it’s crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaign for president.

People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)
People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)

In Nigeria, All Politics is Local

September’s off-cycle election for governor in the southwestern state of Osun illustrates the intensity of state elections and the accompanying risks. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the initial results inconclusive because of technical problems and other disruptions, and the vote had to be redone. In the second round, U.S., European Union and U.K. observers reported that they found “incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, and heard reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.” Social media posts showed photos of allegedly injured civilians. Higher profile state races in 2019 are likely to be even more volatile.

State-level elections are important for democratic development in Nigeria, which serves as a bellwether for stability in Africa as the continent’s most populous country and biggest oil-producing nation. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, who allocate federally disbursed revenue and shape policy on development and security, oversee the state election commissions that manage local government elections—the essence of grassroots democracy.

The 2019 state-level voting will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The electoral calendar will be crowded in the first quarter of 2019. Just two weeks after the general elections, balloting will take place on March 2 to select governors and state assemblies in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states (seven others are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons). In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.

In Lagos state, the APC incumbent lost in the October primary, and in the remaining nine of the 29 state contests (Borno, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Yobe and Zamfara), the incumbents cannot run again because of term limits, making for competitive open races.

A Complex Risk Environment

In the 2015 state elections, voting generally proceeded smoothly across the country, according to the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partner organization in Nigeria. Even so, “significant incidences of shootings, protests, arson and fatalities were recorded in most geopolitical zones,” the CDD reported.

Three years later, conditions have changed. The nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—must be considered in weighing whether state-level election violence is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

The number of violent conflicts across the country and their toll have increased. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria.

In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have decimated Boko Haram, but the group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces organized in response to the terrorist threat now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno state. So, the contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another change since 2015 is proliferating fissures within the APC and the PDP. In Kano, northern Nigeria’s most populous state and long considered a harbinger of a party’s political prospects across that region, divisions are deep within the APC between supporters of incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and backers of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, formerly the state’s governor, and now member of the opposition PDP. Already, the party primaries in October in Zamfara were marred by violence. Preparations for that state’s elections in March continue to be controversial, as INEC has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, saying the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remains intense. That competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers state—hostility heightened by the APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the lead-up to the 2015 vote. The Fund for Peace, another USIP partner in Nigeria, reports that “the personal rivalry between former Governor Rotimi Amaechi (APC) and current Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP)” exacerbates divisions along party lines. Rivers state is considered a political crown jewel for any party able to capture control of the jurisdiction.

How Election Violence can be Mitigated

So, what can be done? Nigeria must be held to a higher standard than in the past in order to fulfill its proper role as the best example of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement in recent years, the country’s political leaders need to do better.

First, planning for prevention of election violence needs to occur earlier and be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

Secondly, the United States and international community, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders must clearly convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties will act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They must demand that parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates should they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

Finally, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders, could be a source of support, and there may be other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence. Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency and the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing, but they can work closely with local community leaders and civil society representatives.

While Nigeria has made major strides since democracy was restored almost 20 years ago, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Reducing election-related violence, especially in the all-important state gubernatorial elections, is a crucial place to start.

Oge Onubogu is a senior program officer for Africa programs at USIP. Idayat Hassan is the director of the Centre for Democracy and Development–West Africa, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organization.

Buhari Presidency plotting to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy – PDP /PPCO

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declined signing the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 into law, saying that it was capable of derailing preparations for 2019 polls. It was the fourth time he would reject the bill as previous rejections were based on observed errors. The President said he did not want to impose on the country the electoral uncertainty his assent might cause. He said that changing the rules a few months to the next general elections could lead to disruption and confusion. He asked the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by ensuring that the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 comes into effect after the February 2019 polls. He also raised issues on four amendments to the bill and asked the National Assembly to revisit the observations. Buhari, who made his opinion known in a December 6, 2018 letter to the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said he had decided to place the interest of the country above any other matter. The letter was titled,‘Presidential decision to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018’.

It reads: “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the Senate my decision on 6th December to decline Presidential Assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly. “I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general elections, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process. “Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.

“This leads me to believe that it is in the best interest of the country and our democracy for the National Assembly to specifically state in the Bill that the Electoral Act will come into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Elections. “It is also important for the following drafting amendments to be made to the Bill:

•Section 5 of the Bill, amending Section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure “30” for the figure “60” is to be effected.

•Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the proviso is to be introduced.

•Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85(1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the “electing” to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that political parties may give 21 days’ notice of the intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84(2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merger of political parties 

•The definition of the term “Ward Collection Officer” should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalised and undefined term “Registration Area Collation Officer.” “Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

President Buhari had refused to sign the Bill the first time as a result of the reordering of the election sequence by the National Assembly, and the second time because of what the Presidency called “drafting errors.” He also declined signing the bill the third time because of what the Presidency called “drafting issues that remained unaddressed.”

National Assembly may override Buhari There were indications yesterday that the National Assembly may override President Buhari’s withdrawal of assent on the Electoral Act, 2018. Although several calls made to obtain the reaction of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, yielded no result, a source close to the leadership of the Senate said the National Assembly would likely override the President on the Bill. It is, however, not clear whether the two chambers of the National Assembly can muster the required two-thirds majority to override the President.

The source said: “It is obvious that the National Assembly has bent backward almost to breaking point to give the President the benefit of the doubt. “The National Assembly has no other alternative but to override the President because nobody is in doubt that he does not want to sign the Bill.” “The days ahead will determine what will happen.” Senators express divergent views Former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, and Clifford Ordia, who spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews yesterday, expressed divergent views on the refusal of the President to sign the Electoral Act amendment Bill.

Ndume said the President must have his reasons for declining assent to the Bill. But the Borno South senator said the National Assembly was at liberty to respond as it deemed fit. He added that the rejection would not affect the conduct of the 2019 general elections, saying “the President does not conduct elections.” He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body in charge of elections.

“All the president needs to do is to provide the necessary support, which I am certain that he has done,” he said. Ndume added: “I cannot fully comment right now since I am not aware of the reasons given by the President. “I am sure his reasons will be contained in the letter addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly. Let us wait and see till next week.” Senator Ordia, on his part, noted that the rejection of the amendment bill by the President was a clear sign that the APC was not ready to conduct a free and fair election. The Edo Central senator said that the rejection will further cast doubt on the ability of the President to give Nigerians an election that will be accepted by all. Ordia said: “Many of us are not surprised. We knew the amendment bill was not going to be signed.

“The earlier excuses advanced were just to distract everyone. “Now that we know, we also need to go back to the drawing board as a party and find a way to counter any plans the APC will be hatching.” PDP campaign urges N/Assembly to override Buhari The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) yesterday charged the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by immediately overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the amendment of the Electoral Act. The PDP Campaign said the legislative action had become imperative as the President’s decision was a calculated attempt to hold the nation to ransom. In a statement signed by the spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the President’s action was capable of injecting crisis into the electoral process and ultimately scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The opposition party insisted that the President was avoiding free and fair contest. The statement said: “President Buhari’s repeated refusal to sign amendments passed to check rigging in the election raises issues of his sincerity of purpose and has the capacity to trigger political unrest and violence, which can, in turn, truncate our hard-earned democracy. “The PPCO invites Nigerians to note that this is the fourth time President Buhari is withholding assent on the amendment, without any cogent reason following his rejection by Nigerians. “Nigerians can recall how the Buhari Presidency plotted to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy by delaying the submission of the election budget to the National Assembly, presenting it at the time the legislators were commencing their annual vacation and asking for virement of funds already approved for development projects, instead of sending a fresh supplementary budget for the election.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that are capable of destabilising our nation, just because the people are resolute in voting him out of office democratically. “It is also instructive to note that President Buhari is mortally afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register; for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have been boasting of winning the 2019 elections. “While urging the National Assembly to save our democracy and forestall an imminent electoral crisis, the PPCO also charges all political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general to rise in the interest of our nation and demand the entrenching of rules and processes that will guarantee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, as nothing short of that would be accepted.”

It may affect deepening of democracy— CNPP The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) warned yesterday that the negative impact of not assenting to amendments to Nigeria’s Electoral Act as contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) before next year’s general elections will endanger the deepening of the country’s democracy. In its reaction to the rejection of the amendments to the bill by President Buhari, CNPP’s Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that “there are indications that a cabal that resents credible electoral process is bent on frustrating the signing of any amendment to the electoral laws ahead of 2019.” It urged the National Assembly to save the country’s democracy and veto the President’s assent. According to the umbrella organisation of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, “it has become obvious that while President Buhari may ordinarily wish to ensure credible electoral process, some persons around him, which constitutes the cabal, resent free and fair contest and may have again deceived him into withholding assent to the bill.

“The CNPP as a body conceived as a common platform for political parties in Nigeria shares common concerns of well-meaning Nigerians on issues bordering on rule of law, promotion and defence of democratic principles and practices. “Therefore, this singular rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) by Mr. President is another repressive attempt to stem multi-party democracy and have completely removed the last hope of level playing ground for all political parties in the forthcoming elections. “It is ironical that President Muhammadu Buhari has been promising free and fair elections and at the same time refusing to give effect to the only instrument that would have proven his commitment to credible electoral process in 2019.

“As one of the greatest beneficiaries of free and fair election from the last administration, we thought that Mr. President and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should have been at the forefront of promoting transparency in elections. “However, to save our democracy and to take Nigeria’s electoral process to the next level of free and fair polls, not the next level of rigging, we demand that the National Assembly, as a matter of urgency, override Mr. President’s veto with a two-third-majority. “As it stands, the only hope Nigerians have left now rests on the National Assembly’s willingness to do the needful at this trying moment in our democratic journey.”

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has criticised the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, for allegedly abusing former President Olusegun Obasanjo and some All Progressives Congress governors. He, however, said the affected APC governors, rather than take issue with the chairman, had decided to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to caution…

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has criticised the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, for allegedly abusing former President Olusegun Obasanjo and some All Progressives Congress governors.

Image result for Okorocha knocks Oshiomhole for abusing Obasanjo

He, however, said the affected APC governors, rather than take issue with the chairman, had decided to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to caution him.

The governor claimed the party’s national chairman had, in less than six months, introduced the culture of rascality to the party, adding that the development was not good for the party.

He said, “The APC is not known for rascality and abuses. The earlier he is cautioned, the better for the party.”

In a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, the governor observed that since Buhari became President, he had never used any foul language on any Nigerian, low or high.

Oshiomhole, he said, should borrow a leaf from Mr President, alleging that one of the reasons the Peoples Democratic Party lost in 2015 was the abuses the previous leadership of the party directed at Buhari, who was the APC presidential candidate then.

Concerning Obasanjo, the statement reads, “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is the former President of the country and no matter the provocation or his political activities this time, “Oshiomhole should have considered his status as the former President of the country in talking about him, and should have exercised caution in addressing him. Saying that God would punish the former President was never advisable. This should not be the language of the APC.”

The governor told the APC national chairman that the party did not belong to him, adding that he should carefully select his words when talking about certain categories of Nigerians.

“Oshiomhole should help the party and its candidates by making his points without abusing people. The way Oshiomhole is talking has become nauseating to most Nigerians and the earlier he is cautioned, the better. He should be talking about the achievements of President Buhari and the APC as a party instead of using the opportunities he would have used to do that to be insulting people.

“To say the least, few weeks to the elections, the APC and its candidates do not need Oshiomhole’s abuses or insults but the reasons Nigerians should re-elect President Buhari and elect APC candidates,” he said.

via Okorocha hits Oshiomhole for abusing Obasanjo — AdeLove.com|Best Nigerian Blog

Okorocha hits Oshiomhole for abusing Obasanjo

2019 Elections, Africa, News

Of Buhari, Tinubu, Macbeth and Odu Isa

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Corruption, economy, Facts, Nigeria, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, relationship

Of Buhari, Tinubu, Macbeth and Odu Isa.

“Owe ni Ifa npa, Omoran ni imo” Ifa’s revelation is always in parables; only the wise can understand their meanings.

In his analysis of the Shakespearean Tragedy “Macbeth” Michael Stratford argues that the essence of human pride was covered in three dimensions by this work. He asserted in supports of the works of Majorie Garber on the play which concluded that Macbeth’s confrontation with morality at the end of the play portrayed “real recovery” and completed the depiction of the phases of pride in men. He went further to outline these stages as: The hubris that hurls a man into sin and error, the false pride that secure and justifies all and perpetuates us in evil acts, and the final realization of our immortality and futility of all things.

The play Macbeth has been analyzed by many due to its relevance in everyday human progression. Macbeth was a young and virile soldier honored for his love of Scotland and bravery at war by King Duncan. He was at the zenith of his profession as a soldier and revered titled gentleman in Scotland when the story started. A chance meeting with the “three witches”, their predictions of Macbeth as the King of Scotland, transported this gentleman into a murderer and usurper and finally his death.Given the level of public exposure to education and the current public discourse about the ruler of Nigeria which pulls towards lack of proper formal education, maybe this narrative could be brought home more.

Curiosity recently made me look into the Ifa esoteric and cosmogony and I was amazed at the level of sophistication of the Odu Ifa in explaining and predicting main pattern of human conscious, and unconscious acts; going even further to reveal the purpose and destinies of humans on earth. I was further impressed by the manner with which knowledge and wisdom for managing pride and power were expressively itemized thorough the use of parables.For noninitiates, the Ifa divinity comprises of sixteen major quadrant of ancient Yoruba Ifa cult, which was subdivided into 256 distinct sub-heads detailing all areas of human: wisdom for proper interrelations, truth and moralities, science, cosmology, metaphysics, medicine and other established norms of the Yoruba People of Southwest Nigeria as established by Orunmila. Orunmila the first Ifa priest was reputed to have started the accumulation of this knowledge base, handing it over to his sixteen children, who continued to practice and develop the Ifa practice.

In Odi Isa, amongst the Odu Ifa, Orunmila tried to balance power and pride; where he depicts the travail of the Tiger, the king of the jungle when the entire animal challenged him to battle. The tiger despite his acclaimed overwhelming power, applied wisdom and appealed to the elders for help. The elders asked the Tiger to perform a sacrifice and in respect to the words of the elders, the Tiger performed all necessary rites. And to this day, no animal was able to conquer the tiger.

Tiger’s powerful could have stupidly against public opinion challenged the whole animal kingdom. which will then overrun him and take over his kingdom. When faced with adversities, he went begging the elders for advice. Instead of ruin and death as in Macbeth case, the tiger excel and its kingdom expanded.

Many writers in the pre-2015 era had lauded the achievements of the new progressives led by General Mohamadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The duo in conjunction with other heavy weights in Nigerian politics had performed the first presidential election upset in Nigerian history; the defeat of a sitting president in a general election. The global press was agog in the spirit of the wave of change coming to Nigeria politics.

The emergence of Buhari as the new government leader was heralded as a milestone in Nigerian political arena. Given the sixteen years politicking before his emergence as the president, people were thoroughly misled that the “Buhari presidential dream” was driven by passionate goals for real change. When the new government started showing signs of unpreparedness to rule and obvious lack of cohesion were being revealed, the Nigerian people still believed and attributed it to huge challenges emanating from long period of institutionalized corruption by previous governments. Nigerian new government was later revealed to have been distracted by huge amount of propaganda, vain retribution, illegal and unnecessary arrests and prosecutions in its first year in power.

Apparently, governance and economy finally start to show negative growth. Before the end of the second year, the country which was reputed as one of the ten growing global economies was in recession. Economic indicator aside, the failing security architecture has been witnessed in all theaters of operation. Conflict escalations in most areas were being witnessed. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) continued to rise as conflicts engulfs the state. Youth and elites migration have more than doubled within three years, and statistics on youth unemployment is reading above one third of population. The national currency’s value in international trade fell by over 200 percent in the first year of this government and it took direct intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to shore up the Naira to its current 360 to one dollar status.

Failed economy, repetitive conflicts, insurrections, low school attendance, thriving illicit economies, and high youth emigration, according to Mary Kaldor are signs of failing states. The constant stay outside the country by the president was a minor issue until the whole world was treated to the caricature of Nigerian President’s show of shame in faraway Poland on the Saturday Night Show recently. The lack of grace and charisma that goes with the esteemed office of the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the representative of over 200millon people and one of the fastest growing states globally by this current president reflects his depth of understanding of the power and privilege of Nigeria in global politics.

Tinubu’s rise to stardom in Nigerian politics was midwifed by the NADECO movement against military rule in the late eighties and early nineties. The movement which led to the emergence of this ongoing republic equally blessed BAT with the governorship of the most priced state in Nigeria, Lagos. Lagos represents the hub of commerce and economy of Nigeria. Nigerian position as a giant in Africa business resides in the economic performance of Lagos State. Eight years of his direct rule, twelve years of his protégés ruling, characterized by unashamed plundering of Lagos state’s resources has created a new Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The Czar of Southwest Nigeria was born. By 2014, Tinubu had in his control a war-chest big enough to start and prosecute any political war in Nigeria against any opposition.

When Tinubu pitched his tent against President Goodluck Jonathan, midwifed a coalition of parties to form All Peoples’ Congress (APC) in supports of Buhari, the die was cast. Tinubu’s prowess and political machinery was founded on the Lagos State dynasty. This base he has always controlled since 1999. Experts have posited that the loss of Lagos by the Tinubu gang will surely sound the kernel of his political demise. Recent happenings have shown the arrival of the new Tinubu. Four month to general elections, Tinubu unilaterally influenced the removal of the name of the incumbent governor of Lagos State from the ballot and imposed a new man as the party representative. A move that has been reported irked many locals and party faithful.

Obviously, Tinubu’s power as sole godfather and power broker in Lagos politics is on test as 2019 February elections looms. Buhari’s reign and reelections as president is being supported by the Tinubu’s camp. The alliance many agreed was based on the pact to return Tinubu as president in 2023. This ambition has fueled the unalloyed support from Lagos APC for Buhari’s return. It’s a big gamble on the path of Tinubu and Buhari. Like the proverbial fly, Buhari has tasted the wine and is ready and willing to die in the same cup of wine.

Tinubu’s ambition also has turned him to the fly that refused to heed the warnings of the elders and has decided to follow the corpse into the earth. Ambition is necessary to achieve and progress in life, yet ambitions should be ethically based, no normal leader will continue to aspire to hold and office in which he does not have capacity for managing, and no normal human being will sacrifice the future of his people, merely for his own selfish ambition.

Ambition contaminated by acute pride surely begets disaster. Macbeth ambition was fueled by greed and selfish ambition to rule Scotland, never because he was a pushed by a need to work a better society for his people. His endgame led to war and carnage pushing Scotland which was growing as a nation into complete recession and pillage by ravaging armies. Equally, the Tiger would have resorted to use of might against his enemies as he was in power, but wisdom led him to the elders. Tinubu and Buhari have achieved the impossible in Nigerian politics; the time has come for them both to respect the people and leave the scene. Unrestrained pride and ambition, the elders says always lead to death and destructions.

Don Michael Adeniji                                                                                          Director, African Initiative for Peace and Human Development, Abuja Chicago Illinois. December, 2018

Negotiating new Leadership for Nigeria

Africa, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Leadership have been identified as a service which combine all human and nonhuman resources nurturing them to produce real and measurable results in any organisation or society. Any society without leaders with inherent ability to manage people and resources properly always fail.

The failure of the Nigerian society is regtetable given inherent human reaources and immeasurable minerals deposits. The paucity of able men to steer the affairs of this nation to Eldorado has been blamed on obvious lack of capable hands to manage these inherent potentials.

In 2015, a desperate move by the public led to hugely aclaimed judgemental error. The people elected an ancient and tired hand to manage a festering modern problem. Several schools have concluded that the uniqueness of the Nigerian problem requires a more agile and dedicated decision maker hence current leaders cannot nd might not be the batch to negotiate a new deal for Nigerians.

Great leaders are known by their acute listening and negotiation senses. Unfortunately leadership in Nigeria is based on the use of blunt force to overwhelm all nad any opposition. Government suspends rthe ruke of law and imposes the rule of force to serve their personal ends.

As the 2019 elections approaches,aside from all rhetorics there exists need for an academic look at basic qualifications for a new president for Nigeria. While many analyst and public commentators have contribute to this discussion, I will love to add these few qualities to the till.

For Nigeria to succeed, its leaders must be willing to understand the neeed to articulate national interest and move from self or regional interest. We must have leaders willing to stand and negotiate with global leaders using articulated national interest to design a place for Nigeria in International finance and trade. No nation can develop and geow without playing a major role in international trade. Effective leaders seek to understand the interests of those they lead and to find ways of satisfying those interests in order to achieve organizational and societal goals.

Nigerian are fleeing the country in thousands because of lack of business opportunities and means of achieving their individual and collective aspurations within Nigeria. It is ab I it time the Nigerian State recognise that human security goes beyond proviso of physical armed guards. Nigerian economy needed a boast and noone will give you what you never asked for. Nigeria cannot continue to attend international organisation meeting as a side show. A nation of over 200 million people, the largest market and biggest economy in Africa should be able to negotiate trade deals that give advantage to its people.

The leader Nigeria need should be firm and meliable enough to negotiate local and international business and trading relationships. The era of illmanaged international agreements and negotiations should come to an end. The new leader shoukd look at government as viable concern with potential for growth.

Relationships are the basis of trust. Positive relationships are important because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others. People will be willing to sacrifice more when the leaders visions are clearer and are communicated in more friendly environment.

The right leadership is the voice of the people and uses his voice to negotiate a vision for the people using collaborative approach The age of know all solution leadership shoukd be jettisoned. New leasers must be able to fave squarely the challenge of forging a single vision out of the multiplicity of visions held by the group’s members.

National consensus are not easy to achieve but with the right voice, which the people can trust it’s achievable.

#justkukukilllme

Third Force Movement: Oyinlola Dumps APC

APC, News, PMB, Politics

Prince-Olagunsoye-Oyinlola-TVCNews

Former Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has written the APC NEC of his intention to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr. Oyinlola communicated his decision to the leadership of the party through a letter received at the National Secretariat of the APC in Abuja on Wednesday.

It is understood that Oyinlola, alongside others would be floating a new political party soonest.

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo is said to be behind the new party.

The retired general recently emerged as the leader of the Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) floated by Obasanjo.

Oyinlola was unceremoniously removed as the National Secretary of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013 and he later joined APC in 2014 in the count down to Osun gubernatorial election of August 9.

in 2017, President Buhari appointed him Chairman of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Board. It was seen by many as a pacification after the former military man lost out in the ministerial and ambassadorial appointments.

Mr. Oyinlola has also resigned from the same office.

Atiku Campaign Train stopped in Uyo.

2019 Elections, Politics

Former Vice President and Presidential Aspirant Atiku Abubarkar has paid courtesy visits to the Government House Uyo to see Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom State. He also spent time at the Ukana Private residence of the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Otedola endorses Ambode for a second term — cheepowersblog

2019 Elections, APC, Celebrity Gists, News

Femi Otedola has endorsed Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for a second term.

Femi Otedola has endorsed Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for a second term. The businessman made the call to Lagosians and asked them to vote massively for the governor for the great works he has been doing in Lagos despite the challenges the state faces. According to the entrepreneur: “As a Lagosian and omo Ibile (child of original regions that make up Lagos), I wish to expressly commend and appreciate the great good works our amiable Governor Ambode is doing in our dear Lagos – Nigeria’s No. 1 state. “I have watched and followed keenly, in the almost last three years of the brilliant transformation projects across the state.
No doubt, Ambode is building on the foundations laid by his good predecessors. “He is building roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, water treatment plants, sewage and storm water drainages, solid waste management plants, and mass transportation infrastructure.” Otedola further recalled that Ambode has approved power projects for Lagos, which when fully executed, will make the state almost energy independent. “You are all aware of the newly acquired mass transit buses that are going to be natural gas powered, in order for us in Lagos to be the first to comply with the global climate agenda of de-carbonisation.
“A clean and smart Lagos will catapult us to the modern global village and make us the number four economy in Africa,” he added. Otedola also stated that the Governor is very much keen about modernizing the state through recent technologies that will make the state compete with other developed cities in the world. “A good government is a reflection of an efficient and responsive bureaucracy. It is the catalytic driver for private sector growth. A bad and weak bureaucracy will produce nothing for the people. “We are lucky to have an able governor like Ambode at the helm of our affairs.
He is a knowledge-driven leader, hard working, with a passion for our great state. “My endorsement and recommendations for him to have a second term is performance-based and not just the usual conventional charade of second term endorsement in Nigeria. “I am sure that all my respected compatriots, friends and followers will agree with me that Governor Ambode should please continue with his good job till 2023. “Ambode, please CARRY GO the 2019 election and continue with your passionate work for Lagos State transformation,” he said.
Visit cheepowersblog for the full post.

via Otedola endorses Ambode for a second term — cheepowersblog

Election 2019: “I ‘ll beat Buhari to APC ticket”, Adamu Garba boasts

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics
A presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Garba, has expressed confidence that he won’t be intimidated out of presidential primary election, adding that he would defeat the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to the party’s ticket.
The Adamawa born young politician also said that no nobody in APC has enough resources to buy him over to drop his presidential ambition.
Addressing a news conference on Friday in Abuja, to express reservation over decision by the party to postpone the national convention earlier slated for May 14 to another date, Garba said his supporters nationwide were beginning to express worry.
According to him, supporters were angry over the convention’s postponement but added that if the shift was in interest of the party there won’t be any problem.
On how he will defeat President Buhari who has already declared his presidential re-election, Garba said: “I think the only thing that can make me give up in the presidential primary election is the ballot. If the delegates decided to say no and in a free, fair and transparent election as stipulated by the party constitution, then that is all but I am very sure that I will emerge as winner at the presidential primary of APC
“Who will bought me over? Why will I sell my conscience when I love my party and my country? This can not happene. I don’t believe there is anybody that has anything in this world even if you want to bring back to life my late mum that will say I should drop out for the love of my country, it is not possible I will go to the ballot and let me loose there. I’m not losing anyway, I will win the primary I’m sure about that.”
While expressing reservation for the convention’s postponement, the presidential aspirant said: “Nevertheless, it’s still not a problem to us. Our main target is to ensure that there true, free and fair democracy within the party so that we can have a duly elected person who will be the candidate for the election. We are looking forward to the party to stay true to the constitution and ensure that free, fair and transparent elective convention has taken place, and that is our main target.
“we are fully ready for the convention, our target is for us to be there and demonstrate the fact that the young Nigerians are not ready to be the agent of change, they wanted to be the change themselves, but unfortunately the convention is postponed and we are actually disappointed especially with the level of preparedness we have for this convention.
“As a result of that we the young generation of Nigerians have decided to make sure that we produced within ourselves a credible candidate for the coming convention for the position of party chairman. We believe that the internal wrangling that is happening in the party is calling for all young Nigerians to rise up and take responsibility.”
While revealing that the young stakeholders of the party will produce a chairmanship candidate for the convention, Garba said: “Our senior credible and responsible citizens are getting tired with the happenings in the country which is not in the interest of the country and the ruling party itself.
“We believe APC is our party, we believe APC is a property of Nigeria and therefore we the young general of Nigeria are fully ready to continue with the legacies of our founding Fathers, and therefore we are calling on all the parties involved in the wrangling within the APC to support us because we believe that we have the clear direction.
“We are not in support of this side or that side but we are in support of the party and the interest of Nigeria for Nigerians. Therefore what we stand for is to focus in making sure that APC continue to be the party of choice for all Nigerians.
“We believe that there is need for a new chairman for the APC and this new chairman should vome from among the young, fresh, neutral blood within the party.”

I will Restructure Nigeria in Six Months -Atiku

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics

atiku-at-Chatham.jpgBuhari Lacks Business Knowledge, Cannot Regard Youths, Atiku Says At Chatham House Lecture

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the basic knowledge of how businesses works that why he can call Nigerian Youths Lazy.

He also said he would restructure Nigeria in six months if elected president in the 2019 elections.

Mr Abubakar stated this Wednesday during a question and answer session at the Chatham House in UK after delivering a lecture titled: “The Importance of Strengthening State Economic Management Systems”.

He also said he would offer a matching grant of $250 million each to the 36 states of the federation to challenge them to enhance their Internally Generated Revenue.

He said he was not surprised by President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that Nigerian youth were lazy because he (Buhari) had never managed a business.

“It is doable. In fact, what I’ve told many Nigerians at home is that if you give me six months, I know I will be able to achieve a fast level of restructuring, otherwise the concurrent list issue.

“It’s very easy to deal with it because there is no state that you will call and say ‘I want to give you this responsibility together with the resources’, and will say ‘no’.”

He said he wants people of every state to be able to hold their leaders accountable because of how the federal Government “is being accused of everything, even when it’s not in its area of responsibility.”

“I want to be able to resolve that so that citizens can hold their local leaders responsible for lapses and maladministration.”

Asked if he would consider running as an independent candidate should he fail to secure the ticket of Peoples Democratic Party, which he recently defected back to, he said, “We’ll wait until that time”.

He added that he would make Nigeria attractive for those living in diaspora to return.

On President Muhammadu Buhari’s description of some Nigerian youth as lazy bunch, Mr Abubakar said the president would not describe Nigerian youth as lazy if he (Buhari) was an employer of labour.

“On the issue of youth, I am an employer of labour and most of that labour is youth-dominated and I make a lot of profits from my businesses.

“I don’t agree with the assumption that the youths are lazy or they are indolent. Certainly, I don’t. But I’m not surprised with the fellow (Buhari) who made that remark because he’s not an employer of labour, he has no business, he has no educational institution so he doesn’t relate with youth in schools so I don’t blame him.”

He criticised the multiple exchange rate in the country, saying it does not encourage foreign investors to put their money in Nigeria.

He said “his federal government” will continue to offer support, despite the $250 million grant for states that rank below the average development index, until such a time as they are able to become self-sufficient and sustaining.

“Beyond institutional and administrative reforms to improve operational efficiency of the revenue agencies, the federating units will be challenged to double their efforts in rebuilding the fiscal-social contract, by enhancing service delivery in key areas such as health, education, water supply and infrastructural development.

“Only this would change the predominant perception that government revenues are diverted to the private bank accounts of politicians and their cronies.”

Mr Abubakar who defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the opposition PDP, on whose platform he served as vice president, is seeking the party’s nomination to serve as its presidential flag bearer in upcoming 2019 presidential election.

He criticised senators of his former party, APC, of betrayal following the “shocking and saddening” decision of the Senate not to grant devolution of power to the states during the constitutional amendment last year.

He said the decision by the APC-controlled Senate was “a lost opportunity to honour one of the party’s election promises to bring about change by shifting power closer to the people in the remotest regions of our country”.

Why the North will still vote for Buhari in 2019 –Matthew Kukah

2019 Elections, Africa, Celebrity Gists, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, speaks to TOBI AWORINDE on the socio-economic situation in the North, President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance and the forthcoming 2019 elections

kuka2.jpgYou were one of those who vehemently opposed Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency from the outset. How would you describe the quality of leadership in Nigeria in the immediate past era?

Vehemently opposed to Buhari? Where did you get this from? I think you were sold this dummy in the heydays of ecstasy, frenzy and euphoria of the Buhariphilia, who jumped out of every corner of Nigeria believing that their redemption was at hand. Sadly, today, a good chunk has since apostacised. I never doubted the sincerity of the President’s intention to fight corruption. However, no matter how much you hate leprosy, you cannot cure leprosy by just giving Panadol to the victim.

My fears were threefold and based on experience. First, no matter the goodness, holiness or devotion of any human being, wait until he or she has power entrusted to them and see what they become. So, even in the most optimistic of situations, set goals and expectations and let the person prove himself or herself. Secondly, what Buhari kept saying about corruption did not seem to be the result of some deep reflections. His claims and strategies had never been interrogated. And finally, I insisted that national cohesion was far more urgent a task than just saying ‘we are here to fight corruption’. That informed what you may have referred to as vehement opposition. I was simply warning against too much blind trust and now we are where we are today.

What worries you most about this administration?

I am worried over the lack of fresh ideas, focus, vision and a seeming insensitivity to public feelings; a kind of contempt for how people feel and the impact of policy choices, on the part of this government. This is a season of anomie and alienation. The (Buhari) government seems closed to ideas that challenge their assumptions and apparently does not care what Nigerians think and what they feel. Else, there is no way that you can have a government make the mistakes that this government has made; refuse to engage citizens and simply refuse to give a damn. It is disturbing and, clearly, the government is listening to other drummers. Technically, no one suggests that their views should be taken, but this government has given Nigerians a feeling that they were sold a dummy. This is sad; very sad indeed.

Buhari and the military under his government have continuously claimed that Boko Haram has been defeated. Do you believe them?

Well, this is part of the problem and I think we should let the evidence — not the sloganeering and propaganda — do the talking. The government has refused to listen to the views of Nigerians about the rather incestuous and non-plural ways it has dealt with security and the appointments of their heads. Perhaps the government has a reason for allowing members of only one faith to monopolise the security apparatus, perhaps because it thinks Boko Haram is a problem within Islam and only Muslims can address the issues. Either way, our country is haemorrhaging in a way that ending the Boko Haram conflict will only open a new chapter in a country of people suffering the collective trauma, fear, self-doubt and a feeling of being totally disconnected from the state that has no empathy. With the government seeing this purely as a military operation, we can spend all the money in the world, but we will be nowhere near having a united nation or people. This battle has become a military operation with all its consequences on the economy and the dynamics of the engagement.

What was your reaction upon hearing the news of the Dapchi girls’ abduction?

My reaction was that of shock, sorrow; a tragic sense of déjà vu, and some level of near despair.

Do you agree with Buhari that his response time to the Dapchi girls’ abduction was better than that of the previous administration to the abduction of Chibok girls?

This comparison does not arise. One tragedy is bad enough; a repeat is a disaster. It is like asking whether dying by injection is better than drowning.

Do you think Buhari owes Nigerians an apology, considering his commitment to rescuing the Chibok girls and defeating Boko Haram within the first few months of his presidency?

Why should he apologise? I believe this government has done its best and this is about all it can offer. So, they should be judged not on speculation but on the reality. The issue of an apology does not arise because what we are seeing is the best that is on the table and this is the best team for the job in their view.

Buhari’s health was a major talking point last year with the President spending several weeks on two medical trips. Do you think Buhari owes Nigeria an explanation about what he was treated for?

You mean he should apologise that he was sick? I think we should respect everyone’s privacy. You don’t lose that by being a public servant. I was not happy the way we handled the issue of the President’s health. Others behave differently and I think we should learn not to play politics with everything in Nigeria.

Does his physical fitness worry you, given the possibility of his running for a second term?

There is a Hausa proverb which says, ‘You cannot borrow someone else’s mouth to eat onions’. No one has the right to decide on anyone’s health and as to whether they are capable of a particular function. It is left for the insiders of a party to decide whom they will field as a candidate even if the person is on a stretcher. Today’s weightlifter could fall sick tomorrow. Let the party decide who their best candidate is.

Three of the major promises of this administration are to fight corruption, boost the economy and conquer Boko Haram. Would you say the government has made any significant stride in these areas?

I have said repeatedly that personal opinion does not matter in the long run. Look at the reports from the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations Development Programme, Amnesty International or Transparency International. What does the evidence suggest? You cannot pick and choose what you want to believe. Or look at the entire Nigerian landscape littered with corpses, destroyed businesses and buildings, all the ravages of war. This is very painful.

What achievements do you think the Buhari government has made?

There is a Minister for Information; he has that duty, not me. They said they have technically defeated Boko Haram, reflated the economy, and brought back some Chibok girls and the Dapchi girls, bar Leah. We now have 7,000 megawatts of electricity and so on. They are also telling us about new multi-billion-naira projects which they are embarking on with no idea when they will be completed. The faces of Nigerians tell a different story and, sadly, we are not communicating with one another.

How do you feel about the recent revelation that senators receive N13.5 million monthly as running costs and that House of Representatives members receive N12m monthly?

Senator (Shehu) Sani has done his job. It is left for Nigerians to decide what to make of it. It is a pity that we are in such a state of stupor that nothing can rouse us from our apathy and this country will continue to sink. Will the President, Vice President, governors and ministers ever come clean or does it require reverting to the Freedom of Information Act? In the mafia, they call this destructive secrecy ‘omerta’, an oath of silence under pain of death. This is why Senator Sani deserves our respect for taking the decision he took. We hear that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is claiming ignorance as to these sums. But, as I have always said, governance in Nigeria is a criminal enterprise which functions above the law.

What are your thoughts on governors’ transition to senators when their eight-year tenure is completed?

Well, what else is there for some of these people to do? Can they go anywhere to deliver a lecture or write books on their experiences? This country stands or falls depending on what the governors do.

What is your grouse with Governor Nasir el-Rufai?

What do you mean by grouse?

You recently criticised el-Rufai on his handling of the Southern Kaduna massacre. Do you think there is room for reparations?

Did you read my sermon in its entirety and why do you single out Governor el-Rufai? It was a funeral and there was the need to set the records straight. I simply articulated an evidence-based side of a story that I had played a role in. If that is what you mean by criticism, then fine. We are all entitled to our opinions but we are not entitled to our facts because facts are sacred. I presented my side of the story based on my personal experience with the claims he made.

What can the governor do to make amends?

Amends with, or to, whom? That is within the realm of governance which requires consultation and consensus building.

You have been vocal about the role of the northern elite in the poverty and underdevelopment plaguing the North. Can you elaborate on this?

My field of doctoral research was on Religion and Power Politics in Northern Nigeria and the result was my book, ‘Religion, Politics and Power in Northern Nigeria’. It opened up new frontiers and it was a pioneering research on how religion has been used to mobilise and retain power by the northern Muslim elite. I had over 100 recorded interviews with a cross section of northern politicians across the divide.

This has given me an appreciation of the issues. It does not make me an expert. However, it is because of this that those who do not want to follow the arguments keep falling back and accusing me of being anti-northern or anti-Muslim. This is the easy line for those who benefit from this manipulation but do not want to face the consequences.

There is a noble obligation that all elite owe to those they represent; those on whose shoulders they may have stood; those who voted for them or those who helped them get an education. In the rest of Nigeria, this elite have met these obligations by building schools, hospitals, clinics, and so on for their people. They have bridged the gap between government’s absence and the welfare of their people. This is the story of almost all of southern Nigeria and parts of the Middle Belt.

In the North, the evidence of this dereliction of duty litters the entire landscape, millions of out-of-school children, federal and state government projects such as irrigation and power-generating dams that now lie abandoned in remote communities, structures, such as the Almajiri schools, all in decay in many communities, and so on.

Look at the World Bank, UNDP and other reports on development in Nigeria and look at northern Nigeria. The sad thing is that for the elite, these lives of destitution, illiteracy and squalor are reservoirs of investment from where they draw their oxygen of political relevance. The grinding poverty leaves the people permanently below zero and all they do is continue to look at the stupendous wealth of the elite with awe. In exchange, they (the elite) pretend to offer them (the poor) dubious religiosity through the manipulation of pilgrimages and construction of mosques.

Could that be the reason for the emergence of Boko Haram?

In my view, it is the long historical experience of this distortion of the religion of Islam with its exclusionist tendencies that Boko Haram has exploited. Boko Haram exploited the fact that this elite proclaimed Sharia in 1999 and 2000, while in reality, they did not believe in the religion itself. So, Boko Haram simply has asked them to step aside.

Indeed, the Buhari project presents us with an interesting view. The average northerner has become far more impoverished under Buhari than he was under (former President Goodluck) Jonathan. But they will still vote for Buhari because they see him as the only one who can help bring their derelict elite to order. It is a strange appeal but that is it. They believe their corrupt elite are above the law. They were seduced with Sharia because they believed it was going to help them punish their own elite, who they see as being above the law of Nigeria. These are the issues.

Did the northern elite act against the interest of their people intentionally?

If they were mistaken, 50 years would have been enough to correct the mistake, but as I said, this culture of ignorance, poverty and squalor is an investment. Aminu Kano spent his life trying to open the eyes of his people, the Talakawa. The late Bala Usman, a phenomenal intellectual, made massive contributions in this regard by subjecting this charade to critical social analysis. The result was a ‘saner’ environment for the generation of fresh ideas among Christian and Muslim scholars. Ideology replaced the divisive tendencies of religion among the elite. Fighting the Kaduna mafia and other mafias was an ideological project. Today, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and some of the remnants of NEPU (Northern Elements Progressive Union) politics remain the last of the best wine.

What are the interests for the northern elite?

They want to permanently hold on to power. Inherently (there is) nothing wrong with that if it can be used for the good of the people, but after all these years of monopoly of power under the military and civilians, we northerners are still the weakest, the most sickly, the poorest, the most illiterate, and the most vulnerable. We have the highest number of childhood stunting, which is a danger to the future. The elite have brought shame on us and made us too weak to fight.

Do you believe in restructuring?

Does it matter what I or anyone believes? Even if it determines the outcome of the elections, did the All Progressives Congress not promise us restructuring? Promises have never been a problem. The saddest part of it all is that even the politicians do not expect to be believed, but somehow, we stupidly do. The Kenyan scholar, Patrick Lumumba, once said the tragedy with Africa is that those with ideas are not in power, while those in power have no ideas. The sad thing, he said, is that when the people have a chance, they still vote for those with no ideas.

What do you think the North has to gain or lose in restructuring?

They may perhaps gain the chains of poverty and the fear of those who hold the chains over the majority of our people.

What do you make of the APC committee on restructuring led by el-Rufai?

I have not seen it.

Many have described the APC panel on restructuring as an afterthought by Buhari to score political points. Do you agree?

No idea. Nothing is ever late. It is when honesty appears that matters.

What are your thoughts on the Catholic Church in Nigeria rejoining the Christian Association of Nigeria?

How can we rejoin what we started?

Do you still maintain a relationship with former President Goodluck Jonathan?

I don’t know what you mean by ‘a relationship’. The last time I saw him was when the Peace Committee had a consultative audience with him after the swearing-in of the new administration.

Do you have any expectations concerning the outcome of the 2019 elections?

Let us pray to be alive first. 2019 is a long way away. But I tell you that I have never felt this sense of foreboding. Things could change, but we have to plan how to cross this wide river that lies ahead of us.

Soyinka, Falana to Nigerians: Beware of Obasanjo – Robert Egbe

2019 Elections, Africa, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Olusegun-ObasanjoNobel laureate Wole Soyinka and activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) on Sunday warned Nigerians to be wary of a coalition formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, purportedly to rescue Nigeria.

They said Nigeria was in danger when politicians like Obasanjo, who “supervised the sacking of democratic governments” in Oyo and Anambra states, pretend to be the messiah.

Obasanjo formed the Coalition for Nigeria Movement on January 24, 2018, which he said was meant to salvage the nation.

He asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest next year’s election as he had “failed.”

Soyinka and Falana, who described but didn’t name Obasanjo, spoke in Lagos at the 80th post-humous birthday of the late human rights lawyer Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).

The event was the themed ‘Democracy for the masses through proper and effective governance.

It also featured former Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Senator Shehu Sani, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu, among others.

Soyinka said: “All I want to say in connection with the title of today is just one word: vigilance….There is no question whatsoever that democracy is in danger.

“And so I find it ironic, that those who’ve proved themselves the enemies of democracy who’ve really taken, they’ve really committed acts, not just negligence, but actually inaugurated certain policies which contributed to our being at this point again are once again coming out and positioning themselves as saviours, as messiahs, as the sole possible rescue mission that this nation can even dream of, a nation of nearly 200 million people.

“I find it very strange, and I find it even stranger because at the beginning of this movement towards ‘Rescue Mission’, there were one or two organisations that came out under different names and they had people in them whom I considered worth following, worth encouraging, worth encouraging others to study closely and even consider following.

“The next thing I knew, these movements were being hijacked by the very people who laid the foundation, an ironic word by the way, for the collapse of the democratic edifice.”

Soyinka said he turned one of the groups down when it approached him.

He said: “The next thing we know, they are forming coalitions and I was invited by one of the rescue missions to address them and I telephoned them and I asked the question, ‘wait a minute, which one are you? Are you the original people I saw or is there a faction or is there now a fatherly umbrella under which everybody is moving?’

“And I told them; don’t even come near me, if you’ve signed up on one of those who are the enemies of democracy in this nation.

“Those who inaugurated so-called constitutional amendment programmes, total charades, to assist them to continue to run, which has been scuttled by the direction known as tenure elongation, third term, etcetera for which the entire national treasury was almost bankrupted. And suddenly, here they are they are forming coalitions all over the place, once again, confusing people.

“Who are the genuine leaders, who are those that we can trust?  The answer to that is very simple: look at their track record. That’s all.

He advised Nigerians not to allow themselves “to plunge into a zone of amnesia, in which you conveniently forget unpleasant realities.

“We’ve had presidents in this nation, some of whom inaugurated a never-ending democratic process, which landed us eventually under the most brutal dictators that this nation has ever known.

“We had others also who actually supervised sacking of ‘democratic government’; I’m speaking of Anambra, I’m speaking of Oyo State. A governor was kidnapped under their watch with their complicity; in another instance, thugs actually entered the House of Assembly, sacked the legislators and installed their own candidates; under the same watch.

“And they call themselves the God-designated watchman over the fortunes of this nation? And suddenly, here they are and I see Nigerians flocking to them and asking them once again to lead.

“Mind you, they’ve said very clearly if it becomes a political party count me out o, but paths are already being beaten to their doors, control by subrogation.

“Even if they do not individually put themselves back in the position of power, they are already smoothening the way for their surrogates, their stooges, so that they can continue to misrule from their cosy farmsteads. So, all I’m urging is: be very vigilant. Just look closely at their records, look at the company they keep.

He urged the youth to “grow up” and take political power.

“Why can’t a new generation actually rise, throw us all out of the window and take control of their own lives by themselves? Why do we keep recycling the same jaded, traitors, enemies of the people? Why do you need to go for blessing somewhere if you’ve made up your mind that it is time to take control of your own existence?

“Once again, I don’t want to be misunderstood, I know what I think about this government when voting time comes, I know exactly where I’m going to cast my vote but I’m not going to allow anybody to hoodwink me and say I will show you the path. No, this will be adding insult to injury.”

According to Falana, the government would confiscate some of Obasanjo’s assets, including a university, “at the right time.”

Falana said: “Our country is undergoing serious crises of governance but we must be very careful so that we do not allow those who destroyed the country, those who ruined the nation to pose as the saviour of our people.

Read Also: 2019: Obasanjo under fire for anti-Buhari campaign

“There’s somebody living very close to this place who has been parading himself as the saviour of our people; this guy ruled the country for 11 and a half years cumulatively – three and a half years under the military, eight years under a civilian dispensation. And even wanted to do a third term but Nigerians rejected him.

“The guy is going round the country now, claiming to have solutions to our problems; I wish to say here and we are challenging him to name one thing that he did, any problem of the country that he solved.

“On the contrary, this guy wasted $16billion to generate darkness for the country. This guy formed and took over the resources of the country blindly under what he called blind trust.

“Nigeria is the only country in the world where a sitting President and a sitting Vice-President established private universities when the government refused to fund public universities and other tertiary institutions. But let me tell,

“Gani went to court to challenge the extortion of state governments and contractors by a man who realised about N7billion to set up a so-called library.

“Under the constitution, any gift received while you are in office, other than customary gifts, is forfeitable to the state; therefore, at the right time, this country, when it is properly organised will take over all those universities and libraries that were set up with public funds and that may be sooner than you think.”

Kaduna State Senator, Sani, said Nigeria is not yet in a true democracy.

He said: “In fact, our country is sick, the republic is sick; our people are dying, violence, bloodshed, killings, mass murder is becoming the emblem of our democracy today.

“We are out of PDP misrule but we will be deceiving ourselves to say we are in the Promise Land; we are not in the Promise Land. We must keep vigil,

“The political ruling elite are not yet prepared to see to a democratic Nigeria. Nigeria’s political reality is about personal interest.

“Those who destroyed our country in the past are very much present as born against.”

He urged Nigerians of integrity to support Buhari because “You can’t build a country because of the integrity of one person. The integrity of one person is not enough to rule and sustain a state. We have a President who is a man of integrity but integrity is not enough for leadership.”

Sowore lamented that Nigerians rejected Gani for Obasanjo in 1999.

He said: “I want to say very briefly that Nigeria must be regretting that when they had a chance to choose between Chief Gani Fawehinmi and a Barabbas, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, they decided to choose Obasanjo instead of choosing Gani Fawehinmi and that is why we are regretting today.

The Nation

Oshiomole’s endorsement foolish, childish – Oyegun

2019 Elections, APC, News
oyegun-buhari-and-tinubu

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has described the purported endorsement of Adams Oshiomhole by stakeholders of the party from the South-South geopolitical zone as childish and a foolish charade.

The South South APC leaders were reported to have endorsed former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as the concensus candidate of the zone for the national chairmanship position.

But few minutes after the meeting, four state chairmen of the party and other party leaders washed their hands off the resolution, saying they were “ambushed.”

Oyegun speaking to newsmen on Tuesday at the party’s headquarters in Abuja stated that Oshiomhole cannot be elected in Edo State government house.

He pointed out that the said endorsement was clear indication that “the trumpeters do not understand the rule of the game.

“The endorsement is childish, absolutely childish. The voting is done at the convention and not in State houses, not in government houses.”

When asked why he was being rejected by his hometown, Oyegun said it should be expected, adding that he was not bothered at all by the apparent hostility.

 

DailyPost 

Tinubu bans APC chairman, others from seeking re-election

APC, News, PMB, Politics

Senator-Bola-Ahmed-Tinubu-640x419
Tinubu said the decision was to allow fresh set of people occupy party offices with a view to taking the APC to the next level in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the national leadership of the party had recently fixed May 2,5, 9 and 14 for ward, local government, state and national congresses respectively.

With Tuesday’s pronouncement by Tinubu, the chairman of the party in the state, Chief Henry Ajomale, who had led the chapter for a very long period, will be unable to seek re-election.

Tinubu said: “We fought hard against tenure elongation, and now we are going to have our congresses.

“Some of you who have spent two, three, four terms as ward, local government and state executive members, it is time to go.

“We thank you, we appreciate you. But we want you to step aside. It is time for those who have been crawling for years to walk. It is time for the youths to take over.

“I mean if you have spent eight years, twelve years, you have tried. You should give us chance, let us now have new people.”

Tinubu added that party executive members who had only spent one term were free to seek re-election, provided they did not have records of misconduct in office.

DailyPost

Nigeria as Buhari’s ‘Suara Sobo’ lorry -Festus Adedayo

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

abuuuNigeria of the 1950s and early 1960s had very many interesting personalities. Western Region had its fair share of such. One of them was a man named Suara Sobo (Sobo pronounced as Sorbor). He was a prominent transporter who held the transportation industry of the time by its jugular. An Ibadan man of the Opo Yeosa clan who lived in an area now known as Ring Road, Suara Sobo was wealthy and had a fleet of lorries in his pool. As a trade logo, Suara Sobo’s lorries always had monkeys chained to their entrance which excited and attracted passengers to them. However, his lorries soon acquired very unflattering typecast.

Any passenger who boarded them was literally embarking on a journey that had no certain time or terminal point of dismebarkment as the lorry could be arrested for having no particulars and the inappropriate conducts of the drivers and conductors, which led to road accidents, were legendary. The otherwise pleasurable ride with a monkey on board to marvel at its close resemblance of man could turn awry. It thus became a peculiar refrain in the Western Region to say a man had entered Suara Sobo’s lorry, an equivalent of today’s One Chancelingo among youths. Odolaye Aremu, then Ibadan-based Ilorin-born dadakuwada musician, once sang of the untimely passage of Suara Sobo, years after. At a celebration in his house, said Odolaye, Suara Sobo had hosted the crème de la crème of Ibadan where roast mutton and turkey flesh were feasted upon. People were shocked when, six days later, Suara Sobo’s sudden death was announced to the world.

The anecdote of Suara Sobo may be necessary here. It may be pretty difficult to know what goes on in the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari. Much more difficult is it to download what drives him; what defines him and what he thinks of the other person. The President has one major ambivalent quality which prevents anyone observing him through the media to know his persona – he is terribly introverted. If the Nigerian society were as sophisticated as the west, getting to know the essential Buhari would be easier. The American public today has a triple advantage – it has the benefit of being a free society, an extrovert as president and the benefit of technology to help it un-bowel the mind of the character in the White House. For Nigeria, it is triple assaults: Buhari’s private and public life is guarded like the sentries in hell guard Lucifer, he speaks seldom and runs a double-speak government where his minders tell the world divergent lies without synchro, which, in any case, are far away from the composition of their principal’s mind. Thus, we are left to guess who really Buhari is.

The few snippets available to the public about the person of Buhari are very disgusting. In 1978, while he was the Minister of Petroleum under General Olusegun Obasanjo, he was embroiled in a N2.8 million oil money scandal. The military however gave him a clean bill of health. During his time as a military dictator, the bits were indeed really very frightening. We have Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor as examples. Lean as a cowpea tree but with shining epaulettes on his square shoulders, his first press briefing as military Head of State was a fiasco. Insouciant at what the public may think, when asked by the press if he would tamper with press freedom, he answered in the affirmative. For the months he sat in the saddle, Buhari ruled Nigeria with an iron fist of cudgel and scorpion, like the biblical Rehoboam. There was little or no public window into his private life, except that, upon his return from the detention slammed on him by his dictator successor, Ibrahim Babangida, he sacked the dotting mother of his children unceremoniously. Since then, very little was in the public domain about him. There was however this public perception of him as a very straightforward man.

As head of General Sani Abacha’s Petroleum Development Trust Fund, (PTDF) this public perception availed him. Though many of the projects constructed under the PTDF were marred in allegations of favouritism, nepotism and ethnic preferences of contractors, he still wore the lapel of honour on his shirt sleeve. Global condemnation of Abacha’s primitive heists notwithstanding, Buhari still chose to whitewash Sani’s apparels. He told the world that the Kanuri dictator never stole a dime of Nigerian patrimony. He is yet to recant this blind and I dare say silly, tribal defence of his fellow northerner.

His foray into politics opened the blind a little into his grim persona. As the Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) in the 2011 election, while the rat-a-tat firepower of Boko Haram raged and its hirelings detonated explosives which killed his kinsmen in their hundreds, Buhari said, by attacking Boko Haram, Goodluck Jonathan was attacking the North. He shocked Nigerians in 2012 while speaking in Hausa and addressing members of the CPC from Niger State, who had paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna. Claiming that he was quoting Professor Ango Abdullahi, Buhari identified three types of insurgents in the country. According to him, the Federal Government, led by Jonathan, topped the list, followed by those he described as “criminals who steal and kill Nigerians in the name of religion” and the third was the insurgent group led by late Muhammed Yusufu. Buhari then decorated the final cake with an icing of crimson: “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’

Buhari had earlier demonstrated clearly that he barely tolerated anyone outside his stock. While late Alhaji Lam Adesina was governor of Oyo State, Buhari, in company with Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Buba Marwa and others, he had stormed the state. Fulani Bororo cattle rearers, who have been held as a menace to farmers in the northern part of the state, had clashed with natives who apparently clearly routed them in a scuffle. On a courtesy visit to Adesina, Buhari had been quoted to have lamented how “your people killed my people.” Adesina, who was known never to suffer fools gladly, had pilloried the former Head of State for this clearly sectional statement, stating that as a former Head of State, he ought to have spoken as a nationalist. A couple of years ago, Buhari was also quoted to have told some Islamic brethren that he was committed to ensuring that Sharia was spread to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, a statement reminiscent of that incandescent and self-serving decree attributed to Uthman Danfodio.

In a saner clime, all the above should be enough to carve the effigy of what a Buhari presidency held in store for Nigerians. In the build up to the 2015 elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, among whom Bola Tinubu was a kingpin of renown, deodorized Buhari, latching on his alleged non-corruptive credentials as Nigeria’s hope of redemption from Jonathan’s Ali Baba and the Thieves government. We would yet know that the personal integrity of a leader doesn’t approximate national integrity nor does it put food on a nation’s table. As lacking mental depth as Jonathan was reputed to be, he was greatly pained that APC leaders filibustered on a proposed televised debate with Buhari. A debate would have shown Nigerians what a Suara Sobo lorry Nigerians were about to board.

The last three years but one month of his presidency have shown Buhari very clearly. Still terse in communication and disdainful of the other person, these attributes jutted out glaringly in the last three years. He demurred for months in appointing ministers, which economic experts said was one of the incubating indices of Nigeria’s subsequent collapse into reception and when he eventually did appoint his ministers, the credentials of the appointees could not be compared with that of Goodluck Jonathan’s. Things went bad on the economic front. The president’s bad health, shortly after he was assumption of office, literally halted the administration of Nigeria and the emergence of some hawks nicknamed cabal who are said to run his government rammed in the final nails. Things went so bad on the economic front that many Nigerians anguished at their choice of Buhari while thousands of jobs were lost in the process.

Corruption and security, two key prongs on which Buhari canvassed for votes, have not fared better. Like Jonathan, a curious kidnap of girls of a secondary school at Dapchi was inflicted on the nation by Boko Haram and a more curious release of the girls occurred weeks later. Even though his personal frugal and perhaps incorruptible nature have yet to be impeached, Buhari’s tendency to condone corrupt people who make a ring round him is legendary. With little or no conviction secured of corruption cases in the last three years, Nigerians have concluded that the Buhari government is merely fighting those who, in its very limited horizon, are corrupt; rather than fighting corruption.

If the Buhari government ever attracts investors to Nigeria, he shovels them away with the other finger. Each time he travels out of the country, he does so much damage to the name of the country in an inexplicable way. The latest is his claim on a trip to the UK that the youth of his country is afflicted by indolence and a get-rich-quick blight.

The Buhari government’s I-don’t-care attitude to hundreds of Nigerians killed by Fulani herdsmen and its rationalization of their deaths are another sore point of his government. Now that he has expressed the desire to contest again in 2019, with the above as backcloth, it may be a fitting description to call the government he has run and which he will run if voted into office again as akin to the Suara Sobo lorry and Nigerians, his captive passengers.

90 minutes at NASS’ Entebbe

Now that we have recovered from the palpable shock that a band of unarmed thugs invaded the Nigerian National Assembly (NASS) and bolted away with the legislative authority, the mace, one hopes that Nigerians have recovered their thinking cap lost in the process of our national bewilderment. Last Wednesday, three thugs were reported to have invaded the Upper Chamber, at about the same time that the suspended pro-President Muhammadu Buhari Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, walked in. Not only did the thugs bolt away with the mace, (it was eventually recovered where it was dumped) national outcry was diverted towards Omo-Agege who was promptly arrested but released later by the police.

Now, let us assume for a fleeting moment that the shame of this action on Nigeria never came; that parliamentarians from neighbouring Ghana did not witness Nigeria’s moment of national shame, but how did this shameful drama happen? What sorry pass won’t Nigeria sink into?

This writer has been to National Assembly a number of times and knows how fortress-like its security is. From the first sentry to the last, you would be accosted by about four posts where your entry would be subjected to rigorous scrutiny of policemen, DSS officials and the like. Did these sentries go on a journey like the biblical Baal, god of the Sidonians? How come some urchins not reported to be armed were able to dislodge well-armed officers patrolling Nigeria’s national parliament? After striking and snatching the mace, the three thugs were said to have jumped into a Sports Utility Van and sped off. Who opened the gates for them? How come three thugs overpowered scores of armed sentries?

If you ask me, I think Bukola Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu and the parliamentarians should look outside the parliament for the marionette who fiddled with the strings on the laughable Wednesday. It is not on record that those sentries are constitutionally under the legislature but the executive. The culprit of the invasion is resident outside. But methinks that the invasion is very amateurish and points to the fact that even when it plans to dissemble, the Nigerian state is incompetent on all fronts. Except if the aim of the invasion was to entertain Nigerians to some idiotic comedy, the Villa’s apparatchik ought to have read Ninety Minutes at Entebbe, the story of how Israeli police rescued 102 of their hostages held by Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Operation Entebbe, also known as Operation Thunderbolt, was a code name for a successful counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission which was carried out by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos at the Entebbe Airport, Uganda on July 4, 1976. If the Villa read this book, we would have got a more robust script that would engage future state attempts to force its way through some uncoordinated barbarians.

Northern youths under the auspices of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum on Friday went hard on President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent remarks in London that a lot of young persons in the country prefer to sit without working, stressing that the criticism is an insult on all Nigerian youths.

 

Read More at: 2019 Elections

News, Politics

ApdReports reaching SW shows that there are moves by the Peoples Democratic Party towards changing its name. This was to accommodate one of the conditions given by those who left the party before the 2015 general elections, This decision is said to be the outcome of its discussions with defectors and other members of other political parties that had been contacted to return to the party Ahead of 2019 general elections.

Reports in the media has it that the Name change is  one of the issues to be discussed by the party at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee slater for Thursday,  Kola Ologbondiyan, the national publicity secretary of the party, in a statement said the NEC meeting would hold at the party’s national secretariat. However, the reports did not include any mention of the agenda of the meeting.

Going further, it also reported that the national leadership of the party would use the meeting to brief the PDP’s NEC on the outcome of its discussions with defectors and other members of other political parties that had been contacted to return to the party ahead of the elections. A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was said to have confirmed that the issue of name-changing is real. “It is true that some people are asking us to change our name. We are considering it. But we can’t do it alone. We need to consult widely on it. While doing that, we also need to be careful so that we are not misled. “Is the advice genuine or is it borne out of hatred to mislead us ahead of the elections? We are looking at many possibilities. Are some people trying to mislead us, or they want to really join us to win power back in 2019, or they are planning to mislead us? We will also look at the legal possibilities and encumbrance.”

However, Ologbondiyan, when contacted said he did not know the agenda for the meeting. “The agenda will be known tomorrow. It is not something I can tell you now. In fact, I don’t know it,” he said.

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PDP

”Wicked People Vandalised Nigeria” – President Buhari Speaks From London (Video)

News, PMB, Politics

buhari....-700x467

President Buhari at a meeting with Buhari Diaspora Support Organization in London was reported to have complained that: ”Wicked People Vandalised Nigeria”.

Video Source: Aso Rock. watch the video below : 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPOrhGeJHAw