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Weekly political notes

By Samson Ezea   |   20 August 2016   |   7:04 am
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

Omisore Is Dogara’s Godfather — Jibrin
Former Chairman, Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives, Abdumumin Jibrin, said that a former deputy governor of Osun state, Iyiola Omisore, is the ‘godfather’ of Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

“His godfather is Sen. Iyiola Omisore. Speaker Dogara is of the habit of taking standing committee chairmen to swear oath of allegiance before Omisore.

This narrative is another cliché from the garrulous Jibrin, considering that godfatherism is not new in the Nigerian politics. It is a political practice since 1999 till date. It only attracts public attention, when there is unresolved disagreement between the parties involved. If not, not many will hear or know of its existence.

The question is; If Omisore is Dogara’s godfather, who is Jibrin’s godfather? Is it Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso, or Aliyu Akwe Doma, that was docked alongside Jibrin and others over alleged money laundering by the EFCC some years ago? Or is Jibrin saying that he is a political “saint” on a salvation mission in the midst of devils?

If truly all committee chairmen were made to swear oath of allegiance before Omisore, it means that Jibrin is among them. It may not be out of place to say that many are becoming wary and tired of Jibrin’s tales, having consistently alleged too many things, thereby creating more much confusion than clarification.

We Won’t Allow Fayose, Wike Hijack PDP, Says Sheriff
Factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has said he will not allow the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike, succeed in their alleged plot to hijack the party.

He said he would not withdraw any of the cases he had instituted against the party.

He said: “We will not let PDP to be hijacked by a few people like Governor Fayose and the governor of Rivers State. They have a script that they want someone to act, but I am a man of principle. This is not about Ali Sheriff; it is about democracy, and the rule of law.”

It is obvious that nobody is hijacking the PDP, other than Sheriff himself, who has refused to allow the party to move forward since he was brought in. There is no doubt that his actions and inactions have given him out as a mole at work.

Sheriff, a longtime opposition politician has not behaved like one since the PDP leadership crisis erupted. There is urgent need to take the party away from him before 2019.

There are clear signs that he is on destructive mission, having rebuffed all the pleas to allow peace to reign. Whatever is Wike and Fayose’s wrongdoing against Sheriff before now is not enough for him to hold the party down, if he really meant well for the party as he has always claimed.

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

My Support For Buhari Personal, Tinubu Tells Abayomi
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has berated a governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Mr. Tunji Abayomi, for the open letter Abayomi addressed to him last week.

Tinubu said his support for the election of President Muhammadu Buhari before and after the 2015 polls was his personal decision.

When Abayomi stirred up a hornet’s nest by his allegation against Tinubu last week, it was clear Tinubu wouldn’t not let go. It is not surprising that Tinubu is returning fire for fire, because some media battles have to be fought to the end. With this, Abayomi and his supporters should know that the battle line has been drawn ahead of the APC governorship primary in Ondo State.

However, there has never been any doubt on whether Tinubu’s support for Buhari’s presidency is personal, just like it was for other stakeholders. But what is not yet clear is whether the support has been well acknowledged. His studied silence on issues pertaining to the Buhari’s government has kept the rumour mill busy.

Buhari Will Be One Of Nigeria’s Best Presidents – Presidency
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari would be one of Nigeria’s best presidents, even as he described the last couple of weeks as those in which the president witnessed the heaviest public criticisms since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.

Shehu said much of the criticism, which he (Shehu) described as unfair had been on account of the unresolved social and economic problems facing the country.

It has been and is always the wish of the people, especially Buhari’s ardent supporters for him to become one of the country’s best presidents, but the worry is when and how. If the performance of Buhari government so far is anything to go by, it means Nigerians have to wait for long for Shehu’s prediction to come true. But that is not to say that government has not performed at all. Just that the social and economic problems are too obvious to be ignored.

Meanwhile, constructive criticism should not be seen as an attack or affront on Buhari’s government, rather a wakeup call.

John Odigie Oyegun, APC National Chairman

John Odigie Oyegun, APC National Chairman

Nigeria Heading For Greatness, Says Odigie-Oyegun
National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said his dream for a great Nigera is being fulfilled, with the nation finally on its way to greatness.

He said that with the turn of events today, he had no regret joining politics and striving to ensure the APC formed the national government.

So far Oyegun has been a good mouthpiece of the APC, since Lai Mohammed was taken to Abuja. Oyegun has defended the APC-led government well, by saying too many things at different times.

But he seems to have always played the ostrich or sat on the offence on burning issues that threaten the existence of the party.

No wonder, Oyegun has continued to be at loggerhead with the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of his party, Mr. Timi Frank, who has consistently accused the party leadership under Oyegun of incompetence. The party needs an authentic spokesman, who is talented in the delivery of the party policies and challenges. If Nigeria is heading for greatness, the people have eyes to see for themselves. But in as much as the country’s move towards greatness is of Oyegun’s personal dream, let it remains so for Nigerians are yet to see the signs of the greatness, talk less of the moves.

Edo PDP, APC Bicker Over Obaseki’s Missing Certificates
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State on Monday traded words over the academic certificates of the governorship candidate of the APC, Godwin Obaseki, which he allegedly declared missing in a sworn-affidavit.

The state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, during a campaign rally on Cooke Road in Benin City, raised concerns over claims by Obaseki that he lost the original copies of his academic credentials.

While such concern is very important, it needs to be further verified and appropriate action taken. It is also of utmost importance for the Edo PDP to concentrate on vital issues, and winning strategies, instead of engaging in trivial issues like missing certificates ahead of the poll.

Incidence of missing certificate per se is not new and may not be criminal, because many have lost and may still lose their certificates. Were it a confirmed case of certificate forgery, that could be used to score some political point against Obaseki.

It will be recalled that similar allegation of certificate forgery against the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole by the PDP, before his re-election in 2010 failed. Edo PDP should avoid the same path if they have no concrete evidence.

Meanwhile, Edo being the only south-south state controlled by the APC, requires that PDP shoud make a bold statement towards returning the state to its traditional political base.

Abdulmumuni Jibrin

Abdulmumuni Jibrin

Jibrin Won’t Escape Punishment, Says Chief Whip
The Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, said that the ousted Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, would not escape punishment for “bringing the image of the legislature into disrepute.”

Which image is Ado-Doguwa talking about in a House that cannot be trusted on issues of integrity since the fourth republic birthed in 1999?

Jibrin has not and is not saying anything new to Nigerians. The only thing is that unlike in the past, Jibrin, an insider is spilling the beans consistently in a different way.

It will be surprising to see the House leadership leave Jibrin unpunished when it reconvenes next month. This is considering the fact that in the past, House members whose recalcitrance is a child’s play when compared to that of Jibrin were duly punished. What may astonish many is the kind of punishment that will be meted to Jibrin.

Buhari Should Know He’s No Longer A Military Man — Oba Akiolu
The Oba of Lagos, His Highness Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to be civil in his approach to governance, saying he should realise that he is no longer a military man.

Akiolu said: “All of us just have to support the President and I advise him to know that he is no more a military man. I am not afraid to say that. The measures they are taking on the rot of the past, honestly, whether they like it or not, it was not totally the fault of former President Goodluck Jonathan. I don’t hide the fact that he (Jonathan) is my personal friend.”

The revered traditional ruler appears to be speaking in tongues. Is he saying that the Buhari government is dictatorial or democratic? Well, many have said this before now, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Maybe Oba Akiolu, now saying it in the spirit of esprit de corps will make government understand it better.

Oba Akiolu’s observation reminds me of the widening gap between Lagos and Abuja. Let’s hope it doesn’t get wider towards 2019.

PDP Postpones Convention, Extends Makarfi’s Tenure
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has has extended the tenure of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee by one year, within which it must put the house in order.

The decision followed the inability of the party to hold its rescheduled national convention in the Rivers State Capital, Port Harcourt, after a Federal High Court in Abuja stopped the convention.

It seems the protracted leadership crisis rocking the PDP may not end soon, with the sudden postponement of its rescheduled national convention. These were the concerns of many when the party leaders insisted that the convention would go on despite the controversial court orders, some upholding and others stopping it.

With this development, it is clear the party leaders have engaged in another exercise in futility, despite that they saw the handwriting on the wall.

The heavy presence of the security agents at the convention venue, hiding under the cover of court order has added another dimension to the crisis and confirmed certain fears in some quarters.

If not, what is the interest of security agents in the party’s convention, if not to provide security towards a hitch free exercise? But instead of doing so, they did otherwise. Their action smacks of the Biblical allusion of the hand of Esau and voice of Jacob.

Now, who is this hand of Esau and voice of Jacob in the PDP crisis? Is it the judiciary or the ruling party? Nigerians will know as events unfold.

Meanwhile, there is urgent need for the PDP members to go back to drawing board, do some soul-searching, make sacrifices to find lasting solution to the crisis. This is to avoid the country becoming one-party state, which is dangerous for the democracy.

Ondo Poll: Mimiko’s Commissioner, Aide Join APC
Ondo State Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative Services, Mrs Yetunde Adeyanju has resigned her appointment and announced her defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Also, Giwa Rasheed, a special assistant to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, also resigned and defected to APC.

Adeyanju said with her resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government, “ a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.”

There is nothing new in their actions, especially as the governorship poll in the state is fast approaching. Nigerian politicians are constantly in habit of jumping from one party to another, provided their interests are taken care of. They have always conjured reasons to justify their actions, even when such is not tenable.

Defection has become a political trade in the country’s politics. It has made Nigerian politicians political prostitutes. So, it is no longer news.

Nigeria Is Most Fractured Now Than Ever Before — Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed concerned over the continued threats of disintegration resulting from the activities of armed groups in the different regions of the country.

Obasanjo said Nigeria has never been as divided in history, except for the country’s civil war period between 1967 and 1970.

Obasanjo who spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) national summit held at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, said the media should not fan the embers of disunity but rather take the lead in the marching towards greater national integration and development.

Good observation by the former president, but bereft of solutions, which is unusual of him. Is he pretending not to know the causes of the restiveness in the country now? Or, is he being smart by half, sitting on the fence at this crucial moment of the country’s history.

It is expected of Obasanjo to boldly hit the nail on the head, considering that the recent and current events in the country are only a replica of the issues that triggered off the civil war. It is the leaders that are fanning the embers of disunity by their actions. The media report what they see and hear only.

Obasanjo shouldn’t end the message at the Summit. He should take it to the appropriate quarters for urgent action, having been a regular visitor to Aso Rock in recent times.

 Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida

Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida

Babangida Favours Part-Time Legislature
Former military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida said he regretted not scrapping the National Assembly or enacting a law to make it optional.

Babangida said: “During my public life, there were a number of decisions we took as military officers or as a political officers that if I had the chance again, I would have done it differently. For example, in 1989, we proposed that the National Assembly should be optional, that is part-time.”

Is that the only action IBB is regretting at 75? What about the annulment of June 12 presidential election and the near-endless transition programme that characterised his regime? What about the diarchy government he introduced?

It is too late now for the former military president. As they say water don pass garri. But if he means what he is saying, let him go to Aso Rock and encourage Buhari to initiate a bill.

Lalong Begins Jang’s Probe
The Plateau State Government has inaugurated a six-man Commission of Inquiry to probe the administration of the immediate past Governor, Jonah David Jang.

A statement signed by the Director of Press to Governor Simon Lalong, Mr. Emmanuel Nanle, said the governor was only exercising “the power conferred on him by Section 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Law Cap 25 of the Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963, (as applicable to Plateau State) and other relevant laws enabling him in that behalf.”

It seems this is an afterthought. Most of Lalong’s colleagues have carried out this exercise already in their states. So why is Lalong remembering it now? Was it forgotten before now or was Lalong in long search for evidence to nail Jang or he had been shopping for people that will do his yeoman job? It is becoming one probe too many for the APC-led government without any meaningful result.

Let Plateau State government remember that many recommendations and findings of previous commission of Inquiries have not been implemented, especially as those that have to do with criminal indictment. This is after public funds had been wasted.

APC Wants PDP Dead — Fayose
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) wants the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dead, because the APC does not want a virile opposition to challenge its obnoxious policies and inability to tackle the problems confronting the country.

Mr. Fayose, who could not attend the convention owing to the blockade of the road leading to the Old Presidential Lodge of the Rivers State government House, where he was accommodated, said the condoning off of the Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt, by the police on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, had the input of the APC-led Federal Government.

While this allegation is weighty and unsubstantiated for now, it may not be far from the truth. But Fayose should remember that PDP’s protracted crisis would have been avoided, if the few PDP governors, including him had not imposed Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff on the party, amidst stiff opposition from party members.

It is clear now to Fayose and others who initially supported Sheriff that what elders see while sitting down, youths may not see, while standing on top of the tree.

However, if it is true that the APC-led government has a hand in the PDP crisis, it means that the government has learned early PDP’s style of garrison politics. This may not be a shocker, considering that there are more baptized PDP elements in APC government today.




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