Weekly political notes
PDP Truce Will Expose Forces Behind Crisis, Says Makarfi
The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said reaching a truce with Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, would expose those instigating crisis in the party.
According to Makarfi, parties in the crisis have agreed to maintain peace to pave the way for reconciliation.
Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State said he would not go into the details of those who were involved in the reconciliation.
According to him, “what is important is that we have agreed to form a joint committee that will look at all the issues, with a view to getting lasting solution to all outstanding issues, so that we will move as one body.”
While, it will be interesting to expose those behind the PDP crisis, such should be done without rocking the boat for the party again. If Makarfi is not ready to expose those behind the reconciliation, it is of no use exposing those behind the crisis. This is because such exposition may be detrimental to the peace process in the party for now.
For this obvious reason, such thinking should be jettisoned for now, while the two warring factions and the party faithful consolidate on the peace process with every sincerity and commitment. That is what matters most for the party and lovers of democracy.
However, it is not out of place that as the peace process progresses, events and circumstances may unmask the instigators and the peacemakers in the crisis. It may be just a matter of time. But of the utmost importance is the need not to allow frivolities and unnecessary distractions to derail the ongoing peace initiative.
APC: Oyegun Must Go, Says Tinubu
A former Governor of Lagos State and leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has called on the chairman of the party, John Oyegun, to resign from office.
Tinubu said Oyegun is amongst those who have managed to remain within the party, because of what they could benefit, rather than the sacrifice they could make.
Tinubu’s comment came in the wake of a major dispute that followed the conduct of the party’s primary in Ondo State earlier this month.
He said Oyegun had betrayed the tenets of APC and had been a willing tool in efforts to derail the APC agenda.
“Oyegun’s transgressions are a warning. He is, but the mercenary of forces that seek to return the nation to the old ways. If they get away with this infraction, no one can say what or whom they will undermine tomorrow. Much is at stake,” Tinubu said.
Anybody who has closely observed events and intrigues in the party and the government since it was formed and won the 2015 presidency, would know that Tinubu’s outburst was that of accumulated political anger and frustrations.
It is a known fact that Tinubu is not only instrumental to the successful formation of the APC, he was also a major factor behind Oyegun’s emergence as party chairman and President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the poll. The appellation “National Leader” of APC, even though, it is unconstitutional is a confirmation of his importance and immense contribution to the party’s success.
The question is; at what point did Tinubu fall out of favour with Oyegun, the man he made national chairman against all odds? And who hijacked Oyegun from Tinubu?
It seems the political tide moved against Tinubu immediately Buhari assumed office and Oyegun realised that power resides in the Aso Villa now and not at Bourdillion anymore.
So, from the time of ministerial appointment, choice of National Assembly leaders, to Kogi governorship election debacle, Tinubu, and his supporters were being secretly boxed to the corner politically by some forces in the party and the presidency.
The political game-plan has been to gradually dismantle Tinubu’s political empire and the party’s national leadership, particularly Oyegun appears to be the hatchet man.
The outcome of the Ondo APC governorship primary, which was another political slight on Tinubu appeared to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The question now is; can Tinubu singlehandedly uproot Oyegun without suffering serious bruises that may further mar his future political career?
Your guess is as good as mine as the APC House of “Commotion” continues to unfold and entertain the audience in the days ahead.
Oyegun: I Will Not Join Issues With Tinubu On Ondo Primary
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said that he would not be drawn into a war of words with one of the national leaders of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over allegations levelled against him by the latter on the Ondo State governorship primary, until after the governorship election in Edo State.
Oyegun, who spoke in Benin City, the Edo State capital, said: “Asiwaju is a well respected leader of the APC and as such, I cannot be heard speaking evil against him,” adding that he had to consult properly with other leaders of the party before making any definite statement, because you know we have a crucial election here in Edo, which is my priority right now.”
According to Oyegun: “I don’t want to lose focus and I know Asiwaju also wants us to win, because we all worked hard for this. So, maybe after the election if there is need, I will speak if there is no need, I will relax.”
Oyegun’s diplomatic disposition is not without wider consultation with other major party stakeholders, including President Buhari. It is not impossible that Oyegun may have been advised to ignore Tinubu for now. After all, silence is golden.
Meanwhile, how long will Oyegun remain silent in the face of these weighty allegations leveled against him by Tinubu? Of what importance is his silence in this situation, considering that this development will likely balkanise the party more and cost it some electoral victories, if not properly handled.
Is there no urgent need for the presidency, the party leadership and its faithful to go back to drawing board to reposition the party and government for better cohesion and performance?
This could only be achieved where there is peace. Unfortunately for the APC, there is no genuine peace without justice. It is better the party remains cohesive ahead of 2019. But nothing is impossible in politics, especially when it has to do with family affairs.
Looters Behind Niger Delta Militants, Says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed those who looted the nation’s resources as being behind Niger Delta militants sabotaging oil installations, in order to frustrate his government.
President Buhari was speaking at an interactive session with Nigerians living in the U.S, where for the umpteenth time, he blamed the failure of past leaders from 1999 to 2015 to save for the present economic mess, when the country was experiencing oil boom.
Buhari’s buck-passing is now new. The only difference is that in his usual character, he has gone overseas to make the wild allegation that looters are behind the resurgence of militancy in Niger Delta.
It will be recalled that MEND and some individuals have made this unsubstantiated allegation before now. It is hoped that Buhari has not joined the bandwagonists and fifth columnists in this direction.
Besides, Buhari should be mindful of the fact that, it is his responsibility as the President to reveal the identity of the looters and the militants and bring them to book. Unfortunately, none has been brought to book, since Buhari assumed office.
However, Nigerians seem to be getting tired of the conspiracy theory by Buhari and his cohorts. What is of utmost importance to them now is the quick solution to the militancy in the Niger Delta. This is because the militancy is taking toll on the already recessed Nigerian economy and Nigerians are at the receiving end.
Biafra: No Room For Referendum, Says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Biafran activists to toe the path of democracy, by joining a political party to advance their interests within a united Nigeria.
According to him, a referendum, which some of the agitators clamour for, is unlikely.
The President stated this at the weekend during a news conference in New York to mark the end of his visit to United States for the 71st United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA).
“What I see is those who feel strongly about creating a state within Nigeria, rather than joining a party and campaigning. You cannot practice democracy by creating a state within Nigeria,” Buhari said.
It is obvious now that President Buhari is losing sleep on Biafra agitations. His actions and inactions on issues concerning Biafra agitation point to that direction. Even if referendum is not part of Nigerian’s constitution, what stops Buhari as a democrat, from allowing people to choose where to belong?
Buhari’s assertion that Biafran activists should join a political party to advance their cause in a united Nigeria is very big challenge to the Igbo political class. It is Buhari’s indirect way of taunting the Igbos for lacking a cohesive and strong political platform to negotiate their future in Nigeria.
It is a clear message to Nnamdi Kanu and his supporters that they have no cause to fight for under a Buhari government.
What an insult to the Igbos that are supposed to know and do better, but chose the easy path for personal and pecuniary reasons. Igbo political leaders over to you people, 2019 is fast approaching. Where do the Igbos belong and what are on the table for them?
Buhari Will Take Nigeria To Promised Land, Says Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will take Nigeria to the Promised land.
He spoke at the 56th Independence Anniversary Interdenominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre in Abuja.
The promise of God, he said, includes building a new Nigeria, where there will be peace from northeast to the Niger Delta, and where there will be jobs for the unemployed.
“We are on our way out of the wilderness.”
Describing Nigeria as the light of the world and salt of the earth, he appealed to Nigerians not to be dismayed by the economic situation.
“We should not be like children of Israel when He took them out of Egypt and after few problems became grumblers in chief.”
What a wonderful sermon by Osinbajo, who is also a renowned pastor. Unfortunately, this is not what many hungry, frustrated and unemployed Nigerians want to hear now. They prefer to be in the Promised Land now than being carried there as carcasses.
Osinbajo should know that Nigerians are not only grumbling, they are weeping, crying, wailing and lamenting, because it has never been this bad.
Even though, Osinbajo is not the Biblical Moses in this case, there is urgent need for him to urge the Moses, if he will listen to act faster before the Isrealites move from grumbling to revolution.
Buhari Inherited N1.5tn Debt On Road Contracts, Says Fashola
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited road contractual liabilities worth N1.5tn, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said.
Fashola said this on Sunday through his Special Adviser, Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello.
The minister said the ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, but added that it had now developed a road map, consisting of identifying and prioritising heavy traffic bearing roads for conveying essential goods and services across the country.
Fashola’s new explanation is not different from what he has been saying before now. People are not interested in the roads contract debts Buhari government inherited. They are interested in the number of roads the present government has constructed or is constructing. Why peddling the debts, without the assets inherited? There is need to place both side by side for clarity. If not, it is not needful, because government ought to be a continuum.
After all, governor Akinwumni Ambode has not been telling Lagosians how much roads contract debts, he inherited from Fashola, rather, he is busy constructing and rehabilitating roads in Lagos.
Major Nigerian roads are increasingly becoming death traps. Blame game aside, it is high time Fashola hits the ground running because, precious time is passing.
I Can’t Predict When Recession Will End, Says Adeosun
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said she cannot predict when the nation will get out of the current economic recession.
She, however, said that some of the government’s efforts towards reflating the economy has started yielding results.
The minister said: “I don’t want to predict when we will get out of recession. Let me tell you that we will get into growth and that’s how you get out of recession, because of the stimulus that we are providing.
“And it may take longer than we would like, but we will definitely get out of it. We are already seeing some positive signs in agriculture and solid minerals and with what we are trying to do with other sectors, I am very sure we will get out of it soon.”
Not many Nigerians will be surprised with Adeosun’s assertion. After all, even when the economy has recessed, she said it was on technical recession and it was a matter of semantics. So, she may be right not to know when it will end, because she didn’t know when it started.
Adeosun seems to have dissipated more energy on rhetoric, than providing clear answers to the country’s financial cum economic challenges. This may be responsible for questions on her capability or otherwise, in taking the country out the economic mess.
Not helping the situation for her is the consistent discordant tunes among members of the Economic Team on the way forward, especially between Adeosun and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
That was why when Emefiele has said that Nigeria would start getting out of the recession by the fourth quarter of the year, Adeosun said she was not sure of when. Adeosun has openly canvassed for cut in interest rate, but Emefiele opposed and retained it.
Amaechi’s N-Delta Group Inaugurates 3 Committees On Peace, Security
A group of Niger Delta stakeholders, who met, last Saturday, in Abuja, at a meeting convened by Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, has set up three committees to draw up a framework to address peace and security issues in the region.
Former Vice President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), and Urhobo ethnic nationality youth leader in Delta State, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, who attended the meeting, disclosed this.
He lambasted some Niger Delta leaders and groups, especially the Niger Delta Coastal States Consultative Forum, which berated Amaechi for summoning the meeting, saying: “The meeting convened by Chief Rotimi Amaechi at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja went well. It was well attended by representatives drawn from all the ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta.”
“At the end of the meeting, three committees were set up to draw up framework, especially to reach out to stakeholders in the Niger Delta for addressing the peace and security in the region,” he said.
While it is within the constitutional rights of Amaechi to convene a meeting on Niger Delta problem, such, if really for altruistic reason ought to be done in collaboration and consultation with all ethnic and aggrieved groups in the region.
This has not been the case in the region over the years. That has remained the mistake of the leaders of the region in the past that has compounded their problems over the years. Amaechi is toeing the same path and nothing different is expected.
It may be a tall order, but the reality is that the Niger Delta problems cannot be solved without unity, sacrifice, sincerity and co-operation among the stakeholders and people of the region.
As long as the people continue to sing in discordant tunes as being seen presently, their problems will not only continue to linger, outsiders will continue to capitalise on the situation to divide them more.
Amaechi, other leaders and groups in the region should be mindful of the fact that posterity will not only judge them, history will surely remember them also, either on the positive or negative side.