Nigeria needs to be restructured, says Atiku
Recently at a book launch in Abuja, former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar called for a restructuring of the Nigerian federation to cater for the aspirations of its component units. According to him, such restructuring is the only answer to the current agitation for a Biafra Republic.
There is no doubt that Atiku, just like other prominent Nigerians is a long-time advocate of restructuring of the country, but the problem is who will bell the cat. Right from the country’s independence, several Nigerians including the country’s founding fathers have faulted the make-up of the country as arranged by the colonialists. But none of those who are now mouthing restructuring of the country has tried or attempted to do so when they were in position of authority.
Many believe that it is high time our political leaders, elites and political office holders move from making hypocritical statements on the need to restructure the country, to seeing it being done or achieved.
With a democratic setting and a constitution in operation, restructuring of the country can be achieved through the amendment of the 1999 constitution. Unfortunately the constitution has been amended on several occasions since 1999, but no section of how the country should be restructured was amended. Not even the recommendations of the last National Conference were submitted to the National Assembly for consideration during constitutional amendment.
In his recent interview, President Muhammadu Buhari said that he has not read the report of the National Conference and may not read it. With this, it is obvious that the National Conference and its report may end up as an exercise in futility. The political class should brace up for the current challenges by going beyond paying lips service and playing the ostrich to taking action that will point way to the country’s restructuring.
PDP begs striking workers on Fayose’s behalf
After telling workers that if they liked they should remain on strike that he couldn’t sell himself or his wife to pay them salaries, Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has made a U-turn to urge workers in the state to call off their strike and hold talks with the government.
It seems that Fayose underrated the workers and the impact their strike would have on governance in the State. Having seen the impact despite deploying all tricks to break their ranks, Fayose has seen that without civil servants, there is no government. Government in Nigeria goes beyond the State governor and other government functionaries.
Having begged the workers, there is need for the striking workers in the State to engage the government in a dialogue, considering the critical state of the country’s economy today. It is obvious that with the way things are going in the country today, more workers in the days ahead may embark on strike action in states across the country.
State governments should put on thinking caps on how to rejig their economy of the States to withstand the current economic meltdown.
Two PDP house members defect to APC
Recently in the House of Representatives, two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) namely Hon. Tony Nwoye (Anambra) and Hon. Udende Emmanuel (Benue) defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In two separate letters announcing their defection read by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, both men cited what they said were factions in the PDP.
They noted that the PDP has been divided into three factions headed by Prof. Jerry Gana, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The action of the two members of the lower chambers was typical of Nigerian politicians who always capitalise on every opportunity to make selfish gain. Both members were elected to the House on the platform of the PDP, but because of the recent crisis in the PDP, they quickly abandoned the PDP and jumped to APC. Who says that if APC ceases to be the ruling party today or is crisis-ridden, they will not defect back to the PDP?
It is public knowledge that before defecting to the APC, Nwoye had been hobnobbing with APC stalwarts in his State Anambra and at the next level. Nwoye is the PDP governorship candidate in Anambra during the last governorship poll. He lost the election to Chief Willie Obiano of APGA. If the rumour going round is anything to go by, Nwoye may contest the Anambra governorship election next year on APC platform. Nwoye hails from Anambra North zone just like governor Obiano
For Udende, APC is not only the ruling party at the national level, it is also in control of his home state, Benue. So, it is not out of place that Udende has since seen that he needs to defect to the APC to become relevant in the affairs of his state.
Also For the PDP Minority Leader in the House, Hon. Leo Ogor who had threatened that his party would challenge the defection in the court, Nigerians still remember how the court and the House handled the defection of the PDP members to APC in the Seventh House under the leadership of Aminu Tambuwal.
Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan returns
After a media report that he had gone on exile to avoid being arrested, which he has denied, former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan returned to the country. Many believe that the timing of his return was okay, as it would somehow douse tension considering the media report that he was penciled down for arrest and quiz by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
INEC to conclude suspended election in Rivers, other states before July 31
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently said it would conclude the suspended elections in Rivers, Imo, Kogi and Kano states not later than July, 31.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the INEC Director, Voter Education and Publicity.
“INEC hereby issues this statement drawing a road-map to the resolution of the crises and violence which led to the postponement of the elections in the affected areas,” Osaze-Uzzi said.
There is no doubt that under the present leadership of INEC, several polls have been declared inconclusive. A trend that has drawn heavy criticisms against the Commission. Some have threatened to take the electoral umpire to court for its inability to conduct the polls within the legally stipulated time. Now that the Commission has announced its readiness to conclude the inconclusive polls before the end of next month, Nigerians are looking forward to seeing the Commission walk its talk. Anything contrary to this promise will portray the Commission in a bad light. There is every need for the Commission to live up to its billings