Weekly political notes
800-Meters-Walk: Stop Deceiving Nigerians, Frank Tells Presidency
Immediate past Deputy National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has urged the Presidency to stop using propaganda concerning the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the President’s 800-metres-walk is not an achievement.
Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, Frank said since the seat of power has decided to play politics with mere 800-metres-walk, it will be better for Buhari and other presidential aspirants to take up a walking contest at the National Stadium in Abuja, where all Nigerians will see them and not only in Daura.
The President was reported to have walked 800 metres from the praying ground back to his residence in Daura during Sallah prayer on Tuesday.
Indeed, celebrating the 800-metres-walk by President Buhari is laughable, pedestrian and condemnable.
It shows how Nigerian leaders have reduced governance to mere politics and grandstanding.
But who blames Buhari and his handlers, who believe that the only way to reply Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s allegations that Buhari is not healthy to lead the country in 2019 is to engage the President in an 800- metres-walk in Daura, Katsina.
One wonders how such walk will convince Nigerians that President Buhari is fit enough to lead Nigeria in 2019, especially when capacity to provide good governance is not only about being physically fit, but also being mentally fit, knowledgeable and visionary.
It would be recalled that ahead of 2015 elections, President Goodluck Jonathan led members of his cabinet, PDP leaders to Abuja stadium for physical exercise called show of force, another exercise to hoodwink Nigerians.
But despite that, he lost the election. Who knows whether that is what Buhari and his handlers are trying to copy ahead of 2019.
Fayose Vows To Complete All Capital Projects Before His Tenure Expires On October 16
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose said on Tuesday, that all ongoing capital projects will be completed and inaugurated before he vacates office on Oct. 16.
The governor made the promise while speaking at the 2018 edition of the Annual Udiroko Festival in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
The governor said he had resolved to complete all ongoing projects in consonance with his promise, when he was sworn-in for a second term in office not to abandon any project embarked upon.
It is good for Fayose to complete all the projects his government initiated before leaving office. There is no law that says he must do so, unless Fayose is saying he has enough fund to do so.
Even if the funds are available, Fayose should not be in hurry to leave behind shoddy jobs in the name of completing all the projects he started. But where are the funds, when Fayose’s failure to pay salaries contributed to his party losing the recent governorship election in the state.
Fayose should be reminded that government is a continuum.
And for this reason, it is better for him to do quality jobs to the best of his ability and hand over the rest to his successor, leaving behind good record of stewardship.
That could also help him avoid being hunted outside office.
This is very important, considering Fayose’s frosty relationship with the APC-led government that may stop at nothing to embarrass him outside office.
Kwankwaso Urges PDP To Pick Presidential Candidate From Northwest
One of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirants, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, has advised his party to pick its presidential candidate from the Northwest zone to brighten its chances of winning the 2019 election.
Kwankwaso, who addressed PDP delegates in Benin City, Edo State, Tuesday, ahead of the presidential primary fixed for September also said that the party can cash in on the population of the zone to emerge victorious.
If PDP heeds Kwankwaso’s advice in picking his presidential candidate, it simply means that the likes of Ex-vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwabo and other aspirants from Northeast and Northcentral zones would be shut out of the race.
This action will not only be undemocratic, it will be unfair and discriminatory.
Instead of heeding Kwankwaso’s advice, PDP should go for a free and fair primary that will produce the most popular candidate.
With this, losers in the contest will see every reason to support the winner.
Governors must not hijack the primary process as usual and impose whosoever they want on the party.
This will engender crisis in the party as other aspirants could defect to another.
While it is true that Northwest zone has highest number of voters in the country and is at the same time Buhari’s stronghold, that does not mean that if the likes of Kwankwaso and others from the zone work hard, PDP cannot win the zone without choosing its presidential candidate from there.
So, for Kwankwaso and other aspirants from Northwest zone, there is so much work to do in the zone to ensure that PDP makes a big inroad, not minding whether the presidential candidate come from the zone or not.
I Won’t Interfere With Governorship Primaries-Gov Shettima
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has thanked the people of Borno State for the solidarity and support given to him in the last seven years, promising not to interfere with the forthcoming governorship primary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
According to him, it is God that gives power to whom He desires.
The governor also cautioned some politicians whom he alleged have looted the state treasury, own four private airlines and recently joined the ruling party not to dictate a successor for him.
Shettima, who stated this while hosting his last Sallah party for APC stakeholders at Government House, Maiduguri on Tuesday, expressed happiness with the people of the state who trooped out to peacefully celebrate the Eid el-Kabir across the state.
Shettima has spoken like a politician that he is. But Shettima knows inside his heart that he is not sincere at all.
How can he say that he will not interfere in the party primary and at the same time expect his estranged godfather, Ali Modu Sheriff, who returned to APC recently not to also interfere?
It is hoped that Shettima knows that Nigerians know he could interfere in the primaries using his protégés.
Even if Shettima intends not to interfere, the fact that his estranged godfather is back in the party, will force him to interfere.
Just like other outgoing governors across the country, Shettima will work hard to choose a successor that will cover his track well.
That is the truth. Shettima can say whatever he wants to say, but Nigerians know the truth.
2019: I’m Under Pressure To Run For Senate-Ngige
MINISTER of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has alleged that stakeholders across the Southeast are pressuring him to run for the senate in 2019, explaining that he was giving it a serious consideration.
Addressing journalists at Obosi in Idemili North Council Area of Anambra State, Ngige said that following the pressure, he started consulting on the issue, adding that the result of the consultations would be made known in the next two weeks.
He said: “The people who are pressurising me, including my constituents, people of Anambra State and some prominent people from the Southeast, are all in agreement that we need to go and better the milieu of the Ninth Senate.”
Well, while it is the constitutional right of Ngige to contest for any elective position, it is an act of political condescension for Ngige, who had been governor, senator and now serving Minister to turn around to contest senatorial seat again in 2019.
Haba, is it not the senatorial seat Ngige lost in 2015, before he was compensated with ministerial position?
Even when rerun was ordered for the senatorial seat following the nullification of the election earlier won by Uche Ekwunife in 2015, Ngige refused to participate in the rerun.
It is obvious that as far as Anambra Central zone and Anambra politics is concerned, Ngige has paid his dues and it is time for him to contest the highest office in the land, or that of the vice.
This was made clear to Ngige during the last Anambra governorship election, where his anointed candidate, Paul Chukwuma lost the party ticket during the primary and his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the governorship election to Governor Willie Obiano, even in Ngige’s zone.
While Nigerians do not know those pressuring Ngige to contest and why, Ngige, as an experienced politician should know that not all those, if any, asking him to contest mean well for him politically.
There is every need for Ngige to look before he leaps, to avoid being rubbished politically again.
I Rejected Overtures To Replace Ekweremadu, Say Abaribe
Leader of South East Caucus in the National Assembly and Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the unity existing among senators from the zone had sustained Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
Abaribe, who spoke at the public presentation of the report of the implementation of the 2017 capital budget of the Federal Government in the South East, in Enugu, on Tuesday, said he rejected overtures made to him severally to replace Ekweremadu as the number two in the Senate.
“South East senators are united. That is why your son (Ekweremadu) has remained as Deputy Senate President.
They had approached me severally, to say ‘is he the only one that should be there.
But I know we have unity of purpose; we’re united as South East senators,” he said.
If this is true, Abaribe deserves commendation for showing strength of character in a situation so tempting. It is hoped that he will remain steadfast alongside other Southeast senators.
This is politics and every politician wants power because without power or relevance you have no weight.
The battle for Ekweremadu’s seat is not over yet, considering that the APC-led government is not relenting in its quest to take over the Senate leadership by all means.
If Abaribe could reject the overture, not every southeast senator will reject such juicy overture, as some of them are already lobbying for it.
So, it will not be a surprise if they succeed, but history will remember Abaribe for being
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