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Weekly political notes

By Samson Ezea
01 September 2018   |   4:16 am
Ex-Delta Governor, Uduaghan Joins APC, Gives Reasons The immediate past governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has formally defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Uduaghan confirmed his defection at a meeting of the APC national caucus held at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Tuesday. Speaking on reasons…

Senate president Bukola Saraki. Photo

Ex-Delta Governor, Uduaghan Joins APC, Gives Reasons
The immediate past governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has formally defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Uduaghan confirmed his defection at a meeting of the APC national caucus held at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking on reasons for his defection, Uduaghan in a statement titled “Moving on to the Bigger Playing Field” released by his spokesperson, said with his desire to attract development and bring permanent solution to the Niger Delta crisis, APC is the only platform on which he can achieve his aims for the region.

Hmmm, it is often said that when politicians say good morning to you, just open the window to confirm that it is truly morning time. The above statement showed how unreliable, deceitful and untruthful majority of Nigerian politicians could be, especially when it comes to power tussle.

They can tell blatant lies to justify their actions and inactions. Or else, what would it cost Uduaghan to tell Nigerians that his defection from the PDP to APC is to see if he could achieve his 2019 senatorial ambition? Now, why is Uduaghan hiding behind attracting development to Niger Delta as reason for his 2019 personal political ambition? This is a man whose scorecard as governor of Delta State is not fantastic and remarkable. It is not near average. So, how could Uduaghan now think he can perform wonders or magic as a senator, when he could not do so as governor for eight years?

Is Uduaghan saying that it is only politicians in the ruling APC that are performing well in offices and attracting development to their states? Can he mention them and list the development projects they have attracted to their states or zones? Maybe Uduaghan has forgotten that his botched 2015 senatorial bid, which failed because President Goodluck Jonathan wanted Senator James Manager, instead of Uduaghan is a public knowledge. The simple truth is that Uduaghan’s defection is driven by his selfish ambition, not patriotism or altruism as he claimed.

What I Find Attractive In APC -Akpabio
The APC government’s style of fighting corruption and poverty is what attracted former Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio to the party, the lawmaker says.

Describing the two as twins, Akpabio, after an APC caucus meeting on Tuesday night praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership style.

“The first thing you need to know about the APC, from the point of view of leadership, I am quite impressed about it. The President has kept his integrity intact. He has been able to improve the image of Nigeria and restore a lot of respect to Nigeria from the international community. I can assure you that he alone can attract millions of people. He is that infectious. Of course his stance on corruption and that Nigerians have food on their table is something that is applauded all over the world.

“I am joining the APC to stabilise the government and to assist the government to create employment opportunities for Nigerians so that we can fight the twin brother of corruption, which is poverty.”

It is just like Uduaghan, like Akpabio. There is no difference in what prompted their decisions to defect to APC. It is about political survival and relevance; forget their sophistry and explanations. It is lies embedded in rhetoric.

Nigerians don’t know what Akpabio likes in Buhari’s way of fighting corruption. If it is about sparing some corrupt people as sacred cows, witch-hunting and blackmailing perceived political opponents through media trial, Akpabio will surely like it, because he is safe now. This is especially now that he has joined APC and has become clean. Akpabio can say anything he likes, but Nigerians know the truth about his defection. With time, the true picture will emerge.

Akpabio should know that having defected to APC, much is expected of him by the Presidency and the party leadership. He needs to work hard to overcome the herculean task before him in 2019, especially now that his estranged son, Governor Emmanuel Udom is in control of the state with enough resources and other factors at his disposal. The outcome of 2019 polls in Akwa Ibom and Southsouth zone will determine Akpabio’s worth and future relevance in Nigeria politics.

Court Rejects Application To Halt Planned Removal Of Saraki
An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday, rejected an application seeking to suspend plans by some senators to remove the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

In an application brought before the court by two senators, Isa Misau and Rafiu Adebayo, the applicants asked the court to allow a motion ex-parte compelling National Assembly members to maintain status quo, pending the determination of their substantive application in court.

The senators, represented by their lawyers-Emeka Etiaba and Mahmoud Magaji, presented their motion on Tuesday, on behalf of the plaintiffs. Their main request is for the court to determine whether Saraki’s defection amounts to a reason for his removal under the law.

Sometimes, it appears both lawmakers and lawyers do not understand Nigerian Constitution well. Removing Saraki or not is a constitutional duty of the NASS, in accordance with National Assembly rules. It may not be on the ground of his defection from the APC to PDP. It could happen when the court is able to establish that there was no crisis or division in his party when he defected. So, asking court to stop Saraki’s planned removal is like stopping the senators from performing their constitutional responsibility, which no court will allow.

What should be the main issue is if Saraki is removed unconstitutionally by less than two-third majority of the senators. If APC is able to mobilise 73 senators on its side to impeach Saraki, there is nothing anybody or court could do, because that will be constitutional.

Instead of dissipating resources and energies in court to halt the planned removal of Saraki, Senator Isa Misau and Rafiu Adebayo should rather work hard to ensure that APC does not get the required number of senators to impeach Saraki. This is what is expected of them if they really love Saraki and are out to defend and protect his position. Anything contrary is like playing to the gallery or building castle in the air.

Senators Who Defected From APC Will Lose In 2019, Says Bauchi Governor
Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, says senators who recently left the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his state were merely playing to the gallery.

Addressing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Abubakar said the defection will not affect the party in 2019.

He added that the senators and their parties will lose in the 2019 elections, just as they did in the recently held by-election in the state.

Abubakar said even though the defectors ‘spent a lot of money to defeat the APC in the Bauchi South Senatorial by-election, the party came out victorious.

Politicians, especially governors behave like demigods. They talk arrogantly, forgetting that political power is ephemeral. If one may ask, what gave Gov. Abubakar the temerity to declare that senators who defected from APC to PDP in his state will lose election in 2019? Is Gov. Abubakar saying that he has perfected means to rig out by hook or crook the duo of Isa Misau (Bauchi Central) and Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North) in 2019 for defecting from the APC to PDP?

Gov. Abubakar should throw more light on his statement, because he seems to have something mischevious up his sleeves ahead of 2019 polls. It is possible Abubakar has some plans to compromise the elections and cause Misau and Nazif to lose election in 2019. There must something unknown to many that made Abubakar to boast the way he did. It is not enough for him to conclude that the outcome of the recent senatorial by-election won by APC will determine the outcome of 2019 elections.

If Abubakar and his party that were not on ground before 2015 could dislodge PDP government at the centre and in Bauchi in the 2015 elections, who said it is not possible to defeat APC in 2019.

2019: Ex-Plateau Gov, Jonah Jang Joins Presidential Race
Former governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang has joined the race for the number one seat in the country. Jang declared his ambition for the exalted seat on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jos, on Tuesday.

Jang said that in the interest of equity and fairness, it is time for the Northcentral region to produce President, stressing that it is the only geo-political zone that has not done so in the North.

With Jang’s entry, the race for the PDP presidential ticket will become more competitive. Jang, having served as both military administrator and civilian governor for years has what it takes to lead the country. Unfortunately for Jang, becoming President of Nigeria goes beyond experience and number of years in public service. There are other factors that are not in Jang’s favour.

Even though PDP has zoned the presidential ticket to the North, Northcentral zone may not be its favourable destination now. This is despite the fact that it is the only zone in the North that has not produced President. Even if the party decides to consider Northcentral zone, Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s candidacy will receive more support than that of Jang, should Saraki join the race.

It is not out of place that Jang’s entry into the race may be his last political game, having said that he would not contest the Plateau North senatorial seat he currently occupies in 2019. After all, age is not on Jang’s side. His stewardship in the Senate in last three years plus is neither here nor there.