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Weekly political notes

By Samson Ezea
10 September 2016   |   3:26 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked Nigerians to first think about how they could contribute to the nation’s development as individuals, before asking about the change his administration promised them.
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

What Nigerians Must Do To Get The Change They Want, By Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked Nigerians to first think about how they could contribute to the nation’s development as individuals, before asking about the change his administration promised them.

Mr. Buhari spoke on Thursday, at the State House, Abuja during the launch of the national re-orientation campaign, tagged “Change Begins With Me”

“Before you ask ‘where is the change they promised us, you must first ask ‘what have I done to be part of the change for the greater good of society,” the president said.
“If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society.”

President Buhari seems to have forgotten that Nigerians voted for him because of the change he promised. What else did he expect Nigerians to contribute to get change? Are Nigerians votes not enough? The ball is in the court of the President to give the people change. Anything to the contrary means that the President is gradually becoming a dog in the manger.

Has the President made any desired or promised change, either in governance or policies? On what basis is he asking for another contribution of Nigerians? How are Nigerians sure if they go on hunger strike for one month, the president will care?

Is Buhari saying that Nigerians have not made enough contributions by accepting increase in tax, price of fuel price, job losses, hunger, high cost of living and others? In the face of all these, Nigerians have remained patient and supportive of the government, but groan and die in silence. It is time for President Buhari and his government to make meaningful contributions for Nigerians to experience change, by reducing cost of governance and overheads and create jobs.

Nigeria Deeply Divided, Says UN Report
The United Nations (UN) in a report just released on Nigeria’s Common Country Analysis (CCA) has described the country as deeply divided.
According to the report, which was read during a consultative meeting on the formulation of the UN Development Assistance Framework IV (UNDAF IV) for the South-East geo-political zone in Awka, it showed Nigeria as a divided society on the basis of the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that had tended to define the country’s political existence.

The report observed that, for decades, different segments of Nigeria’s population had, at different times, expressed feelings of marginalisation, of being short-changed, dominated, oppressed, threatened, or even targeted for elimination. It also painted a gloomy picture for the country, as most of the development and social indices are far below acceptable standards.

The major challenges facing Nigeria, according to the report, are constraints of economic growth and social development and lack of good governance. The report also noted that the situation was exacerbated by the existence of systematic accountability challenges at the federal, states and local government levels.

Nothing is new in the UN Report, even though it is factual. The country that laid Nigeria’s ugly foundation is a strong member of the UN. With all these glaring challenges Nigeria faces now due to incompatibility of its component units, it is high time the UN persuaded the powers-that-be to restructure.

It is not enough for the UN to do a report about division in Nigeria without offering solution. Are they waiting till the divisions push the country to the world before they will intervene? Nigeria is truly a sovereign nation, but its sovereignty is not sacrosanct, especially in time of need.

Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

Looted Funds: FG Recovers N3.4 trn Cash, Assets — Amaechi
The Federal Government has so far recovered a whopping N3.4trn in cash and assets from looters, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said. Amaechi also said the Federal Government discovered N115b looted cash and assets in the United States, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

The Minister made those disclosures in the United Kingdom while speaking at the 34th Cambridge University International Symposium on Economic Crime recently.

“Our president has stopped at nothing to demonstrate that whosoever is caught in corruption-related crimes will not be spared. In his days as military Head of State and through other positions he has held in public life, he has upheld a life of integrity. He is a typical example of how a leader can inspire committed following through the force of example,” Amaechi said.

Amaechi’s narrative is not new, except that it varies a bit with Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s claim on the recovered loot. Maybe Ameachi knows more about the recovered loot than Mohammed, having been a close confidant of Buhari before and after the elections. Or, is the discrepancy in their claims, a continuation of lack of synergy and communication among the officials of Buhari’s government?

They need to know that Nigerians care less about the claim, because they are yet to feel the impact of the recovered loot. Unless they are telling Nigerians that the recovered loot has been re-looted as usual, or kept for 2019 polls?

It is high time Amaechi and his colleagues in the government changed their dancing steps, before the music ceases. Enough of rhetoric, Nigerians are desirous of positive action that will better their lots.

How To End Fulani Herdsmen Attacks, By Ekweremadu

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu recently frowned on incessant attacks in Igbo land and other parts of the country by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

He advised the affected states to pass legislations that would restrict cattle rearing to modern ranches. The senator also suggested the setting up of forest rangers to enforce such laws.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, said Ekweremadu noted that unless Nigeria was restructured to make it more efficient and productive, it would be difficult for the country to wriggle out of its security challenges, pervasive poverty and retarded growth.

The Deputy Senate President said successive leaders would only be dealing with the symptoms and not the root causes of a festering illness.

Ekweremmadu is at it again. Is he indirectly supporting the establishment of grazing ranches, when many are against it. It is of importance that before the affected states pass legislations to restrict cattle rearing, there is need for the National Assembly to amend the constitution to avoid clash with such legislations.

This is where Ekweremmadu, a veteran in the constitutional amendments since 1999, should boldly lead the way. It is imperative that with President Buhari’s opposition to the restructuring of the country, the National Assembly should take the bull by the horn.

That is if they too are sincere and committed to restructuring the country. This is because their body language since 1999 suggested otherwise. It is not too late for a change of attitude among National Assembly members, because the country’s situation is affecting everybody.

Edo 2016: I Won’t Be a Puppet To Any Godfather, Says

Godwin Obaseki

Godwin Obaseki

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has declared that he would not be a puppet to any godfather or godmother if elected governor of Edo State. Obaseki made the declaration during a television interview monitored in Benin City, the State Capital.
“I will not be a puppet to any godfather or godmother if I become governor of Edo State,” he insisted.

The APC guber hopeful said if he needed to be a puppet to anybody, he would rather be a puppet to the good people of the state, whose general mandate he was demanding to become their governor. 
Obaseki described the incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole as a true democrat who, according to him, does not even like the concept of godfatherism, let alone expecting someone else to be his puppet.

Hahaha, It seems Obaseki has quickly mastered the art of political sophistry from his master. If Obaseki says he won’t be a political puppet to anybody, will he be or is he a political godson? If he is a political godson, is there any difference between puppet and godson. Well, it may be a matter of semantics.

If Oshiomhole is truly a democrat, who abhors godfatherism, why the insistence on Obaseki’s emergence at all cost. Obaseki, over to you for further explanation, because Edo people will hold you by your words. Oshiomhole on the hand will hold you by your understanding, deeds and agreement. It will be just a question of time if you win the election. Edo people will hear you and your godfather. Yours will not be different because it is part of the political game. So, it is not a new development.

Buhari’s Supporters Block #BringBackOurGirls Demonstrators
Some supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday blocked members of the #BringBackOurGirls group, as the campaigners made way to the presidential villa.

Members of the group had forced their way through a police cordon at the Three Arms Zone, as they sought a meeting with President Buhari.

But as they edged forward, a group of people, urging an end to the demonstration, blocked their path, saying the president is “a man of peace” whose effort to “move the nation forward” should not be disrupted.

A spokesperson of the group, Idris King, described the #BringBackOurGirls group as a scam, sponsored to undermine the administration of the APC.
“We are for peace. Buhari is a man of peace,” the group chanted.

Hahaha, this development is not only uncalled for, it poses a security risk for the government. It is a known fact that BBOG predates Buhari’s administration. With this it is clear that it was never formed to undermine his government.

It has and still remains a peaceful pressure group, agitating for the release of the abducted Chibok girls. A move that is right and supported by many. Why the blockade now?

While, the group has a right to peaceful protest, which is not absolute, the emergence of a rival group is unnecessary and hypocritical.

Whosoever is behind the rival group is dragging the presidency back to era of crowd renting and sycophancy; a vice that is not good for a government that is faced with several glaring challenges that needed urgent attention. As for the BBOG, is it not time for stock taking and change of tactics?

Why APC Should Win Edo Governorship Election, By Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, has described Godwin Obaseki, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the postponed governorship poll in Edo State, as a seasoned technocrat.

Mr. Buhari said this at the APC’s mega campaign rally, which took place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital.

“Obaseki is a seasoned technocrat and I recommend him to you so that you can continue to grow the state’s developmental stride,” the president said.

The president’s wish and optimism is normal. Whether, it will turn to reality is a matter of conjecture for now. Besides, it takes more than being a technocrat to win an election, especially in a situation where political godfatherism is still an issue.

However, unlike Kogi and Bayelsa governorship poll, Buhari’s presence at the party’s grand rally in Edo shows how seriously he and his party needed victory in the poll. It also smacks of respect for the party’s national chairman, John Oyegun. Being the only APC controlled state in the Southsouth, APC’s loss in the poll may be the end of the party in the zone ahead of 2019.

Sack Three Ministers Now, Senator Melaye Tells Buhari
The senator representing Kogi West zone on the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dino Melaye, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take measures to remedy what he described as a debilitating economic malaise that is drifting Nigeria towards a dangerous precipice.

To stabilise the economy, Melaye, asked the president to sack the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele. He accused two of the ministers of gross incompetence.

What is new in Melaye’s narrative is his specific call for the sack of three key members of the government’s economic team. Before now, many Nigerians have complained over the poor state of economy. And the government has always defended the economy, until it nosedived from technical recession to complete recession.

It is expected that Melaye, being in the same party with Buhari, would have made such call privately. Oh!!! But can being in the same party with Buhari, translate to being on the same page with him? That may be Melaye’s handicap.

Or is he just trying to gain attention after being silent for some time? Is it a warning signal to Buhari on what awaits him at the Senate with his emergency economic stabilisation bill?

Melaye, having accused two of the ministers of gross incompetence, would have suggested their replacement and what is expected of them to salvage the economy.



Ondo 2016: Akeredolu Defeats Tinubu’s Candidate At APC Primary
In what was clearly a keenly contested All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), was last Saturday elected candidate of the party for the November 26 governorship election.

It is the second time he is emerging candidate of the party, as he was in the 2012 governorship election.

He defeated Olusegun Abraham, the preferred candidate of the National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, by recording 669 votes.

Akeredolu’s victory in the primary confirms the unpredictability of the electoral process. It also means that man proposes and God disposes. On whether Akeredolu’s second coming is a confirmation of his popularity in the party and the state, that is yet to be confirmed.

Is the loss of Tinubu’s preferred candidate in the primary, Segun Abraham, a conspiracy or happenstance? Is there any difference between Abraham and Akeredolu in Jagaban’s political dynasty?

Why the choice of Akeredolu in 2012, and Abraham in the just-concluded primary? Are the new Abuja powerbrokers trying to show their political strength? It may be a case of APC selling monkey to buy dog in Ondo. Both have a lot in common. The whole thing may become family affair before the poll.

Ondo APC Primary: Oke Alleges Rigging
An aspirant in the Ondo State All Progressives Congress governorship primary, Olusola Oke, has alleged irregularities in the process.

Mr. Oke said that the exercise, which returned Rotimi Akeredolu as winner, was fraught with malpractices.

According to him, over 500 illegal delegates were included in the list of delegates, while authentic voters were denied the opportunity to vote.

Oke’s allegation is common among losers in an electoral contest. To many, the allegation is belated. It would have been raised why the process was on.

Even at that, Oke should have known better, having been part and parcel of similar situation in his days in the PDP (umbrella), before picking the broom. With this, it seems that Oke is realising too late that there is no difference between the umbrella and the broom. It is just a matter of nomenclature.

As a lawyer, who once served as the PDP national legal adviser, Oke understands better the powers of party national leadership in choosing candidates for elections. So, no amount of allegation will change the tide in his favour.

Ahead of the November governorship poll, the choice is his to make for political survival. Is he ready to stick with the broom, even though it didn’t sweep well for him or will he return to the umbrella for cover and consolation?



Obasanjo To Modu Sheriff: PDP Is Dying
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, recently warned a factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali-Modu Sheriff, that the party was dying.

“I have said to my brother that I wish him well with the dying baby they have put on his laps because PDP is comatose and he was of course not in PDP, he has never been in PDP until now. When I was in PDP, I tried and encouraged him to come and join the PDP, but he did not come, but the PDP they have given him now is a dying PDP, a dying baby, it needs to be in intensive care, otherwise, he will just be an undertaker,” Obasanjo said.

Vintage Obasanjo never shies from stealing a show. This is especially when it has to do with the PDP. Clearly, since he lost out in the power struggle in the party, and tore his membership card, he has never hidden his anger against the party.

Saying that a political party with 12 state governors, many members of National and State Assembly is dying is hyperbolic. PDP has its problems of which Obasanjo’s culpability cannot be excused. That does not mean that the party is dying.

No doubt, Obasanjo’s political life since 1999 is synonymous with the PDP. Destroying the party now is like biting the finger that feed him. Does Obasanjo care?