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weekly political notes


 Aisha Buhari

Aisha Buhari

People Are Causing Divisions Within APC – Aisha Buhari
The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday accused some unnamed people of creating divisions within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mrs. Buhari levelled the allegations in an interview she granted the Hausa Service of the BBC that was aired in part on Tuesday.The President’s wife, who was responding to a question by her interviewer, said: “This worries us a lot now because they believed they are the ones who suffered, but are nowhere today. Those who didn’t do anything, who don’t even have voters’ card are the ones in positions, doing everything.”

In another part of the interview she said:  “What I am afraid for them is the rebellion of 15 million people.” She was perhaps talking about the number of voters who made her husband’s ascension to power possible.

In response to a question on whether the President knew those causing the problems for his government, Aisha Buhari said: “Whether he knows or he doesn’t know, those who voted for him know. There is nothing I will tell him. He can see. Among all the people he selected, if he is asked among 50 people, he doesn’t know 45. I don’t know them, despite staying with him for 25 years.”

Mrs. Buhari said that her husband has not told her his plans for 2019, but she has decided.Hahaha, President Buhari’s wife is gradually throwing herself to the political ring. Even though, it may be Buhari’s wish for her to remain in the background away from limelight. She is proving that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

Before nko, is it easy to be the wife of the most powerful President and first lady of the most populous black nation in Africa? After all this is a country, where the wife of an ordinary ward councilor could be power drunk, talk less of the president’s wife.

Meanwhile, Aisha has touched on the brewing crisis in the APC when it mattered most, though in parables. She has not only disclosed that there is a deep crisis in APC, she has also confirmed insinuations in some quarters that Buhari abandoned those who worked for his victory in the 2015 election and embraced total strangers.

What an indictment and lamentation from someone who should know better. Is she saying that Buhari and Nigerians had been deceived for long by those who claimed that Buhari appointed those he knew and trusted?

Aisha’s worries are justifiable and she seems to understand the implications of the APC crisis more than her husband.Whatever Ashia has decided for 2019 is certainly worth knowing. Hopefully, by the time the entire tape is played this Saturday, it will be clear what she is up to.

Special Status For Lagos: Akiolu Blames Obasanjo
The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has lamented the rejection of a bill seeking special status for Lagos State by the Senate, adding that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was the reason the state has not been granted a special status.

Akiolu, who spoke on Tuesday at the ‘2016 3rd Quarter Town Hall Meeting’, held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, explained that Obasanjo had the opportunity to grant Lagos the special status during his eight-year tenure, but never did it in spite of the pressure mounted on him.

Akiolu said: “Obasanjo is the reason Lagos has not got a special status. I personally led eminent Lagosians to meet him during his tenure to ask for a special status for Lagos. Obasanjo told me and others that he had already drafted the special status plan for Lagos, but the former president never fulfilled that promise. If he had done it then, the issue of its rejection by the Senate would not arose.”

Maybe Akiolu has forgotten that Obasanjo has never hidden his disdain for Lagos during Bola Tinubu’s administration, for reasons best known to him. Complaining of his actions and inactions towards the state then is not of importance now, because they are too many to be enumerated.

It included the seizure of the state’s local council allocations, endorsing the census exercise figures that made Kano State more populated than Lagos in 2006, moves for the PDP to takeover Lagos in 2003 general elections and others. So, saying that Obasanjo was never friendly to Lagos while in office as President is just to state the obvious.

While the reasons for his disposition to the Lagos then were not too clear, one cannot say categorically that he has changed now. What is known for sure is that Obasanjo does not want to share the political limelight with anybody. Maybe if Tinubu has aligned with him politically, perhaps, he would have shown mercy on Lagos.

There’s Hunger In The Land, Northern Leaders Tell Buhari
Northern leaders gathered in Kaduna, the Kaduna State Capital recently and told  President Muhammadu Buhari to work harder to fix the nation’s economy because there was hunger and starvation in the land.

The northern leaders, however, said that despite the current economic woes bedeviling President Buhari’s administration, their votes for him (Buhari) in the 2015 presidential election were never wasted.

If Buhari or any other northerner presented himself for Presidency in 2019, they said, they would gladly vote for the individual.A former Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spoke on behalf of the elders at the Northern Group’s Summit organised by the Northern Elders Forum in Kaduna on Monday.

He said: “We will not join those who say President Buhari should stop reminding us of a past that is haunting us today.  But we will join those who remind him daily that hunger is stalking millions of homes. Inflation is making life difficult by the day.”

The position of the so-called Northern elders is not surprising. It is a case of monkey no fine, mama like am. Besides, their desperate quest for political power after the untimely demise of President Umaru Musa Yar Adua was never hidden. That’s why they mounted stiff opposition throughout President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and eventually betrayed him in 2015 polls.

Now that one of their sons is in the saddle, whatever he does, including inducing hunger is right and should be supported by all. That is the trouble with leadership and followership in Nigeria. The Northern elders have boldly voiced out that come 2019, they would retain power at all cost. That is to say; come 2019, there will be no vacancy in Aso Rock.

However, why will anybody blame or envy them? With power of incumbency, security agencies and all the apparatus of government at their disposal, their wish may come to pass in 2019.

They may not be wrong with their wishes, considering that PDP has equally zoned its presidential ticket in 2019 to the North since last year. So, 2019 may be North versus North, with the rest of the country as mere political spectators.

Why the complaints of hunger and starvation in the land, when holding political power is the ultimate thing in the land. Is the ownership of political power not enough to provide water and food? What an irony.

Many Militants Are Mere Extortioners-Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari said the aim of the Niger Delta Avengers who are attacking oil and gas installations in the region was to colonise the country economically.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke, while granting audience to Germany’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Frank-Walters Steinmeier, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari said: “Another serious form of insecurity has reared its head in the Niger Delta. The objective is to colonise the country economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations.

“We are trying to speak with their leaders, to know how many groups are there. We are also working with the oil companies.“We need to understand who the real agitators are, and engage with them, so that confidence could be restored in the region.”

“The Niger Delta situation is more complex, since the militants have no central command, and some of them are mere extortioners.”This narrative is not unusual of President Buhari. Instead of deploying carrot-and-stick approach in tackling militancy in the Niger Delta, Buhari appears determined to use only stick. Is it achieving the optimal or expected result?

Meanwhile, it is incorrect for anyone to say that militants are trying to colonise the country economically, when the people of the Niger Delta have not been given their due share in the affairs of the country. Despite being the goose that lay the golden egg, Niger Delta region is still in a deplorable state. Is that fair?

If many of the militants are extortioners as alleged by Buhari, it behoves the government to fish them out and engage genuine ones among them. Instead of wasting time, President Buhari’s government should dialogue with the Niger Delta people on the way out of the militancy.

Negotiation Must Precede Peace Talks In PDP –Ex-Speaker Bankole
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, has warned leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the SouthWest to emulate the reconciliatory moves that the national leaders of the party have initiated.

Bankole made the call during the meeting of the regional wing of the party held in Ibadan, recently, under the theme: ‘Working together to regenerate our party in line with the spirit of the founding facilitators.’

Bankole said: “There will not be reconciliation without negotiation. I attend this meeting because it is targeted at negotiating and reconciling the forces in the party.

“The option of going to court will not take this party anywhere and I will not be a part of it. This kind of meeting is not complete without some key figures that are still aggrieved out there. The South-West wing of the party must emulate what our national leaders are doing so that we can align and remain a strong force.”

It seems Bankole has returned from vacation, having been incommunicado for sometime now. Well, no time is late because it is better late than never. It is for good that those who have benefitted immensely from the PDP are realising the need not to throw away the baby and the bath water.

So, Bankole’s admonition regarding the PDP crisis, especially in the Southwest is good and very timely. Especially, considering the fact that before the botched Port Harcourt convention, the party stakeholders from the zone could not speak with one voice on who occupies the chairmanship position zoned to them.

Truly, for the reconciliation to be genuine and binding, there must be negotiations that involve give-and-take arrangement. With the brewing crisis in the APC, especially in the Southwest region, many believe that this is the appropriate time for PDP to put its house in order.

PDP Kicks As APC Sweeps Ogun LG Poll
The ruling All Progressives Congress in Ogun State won all the 57 chairmanship seats in the 2016 local government and local council development areas election, held recently in the state.

The election was conducted by the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) to elect chairmen and councillors into the state 20 LGs and 37 newly created LCDAs.

The APC won 346 out of the 349 councillorship seats, while the Unity Party of Nigeria won two councillorship seats in Oke Odan ward in the Ifesowapo LCDA and Omu ward in the Leguru LCDA.

The Peoples Democratic Party won one councillorship seat in Ona Otun-Igbogila ward in the Yewa South Local Government.However, few hours before the commission completed the announcement of the results, the PDP in the South West Zone, condemned the outcome of the election, alleging that it was fraught with irregularities and violence, which were allegedly masterminded by the APC.

Why are PDP members kicking? Are they surprised by the outcome of the poll or were they expecting anything different? If they were, it means they are deluding themselves.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, local council elections have been jobs for the boys. The ruling party in the states pays the pipers and dictates the tune. So, why should Ogun’s case be different?

Local councils are appendages of the state government and will remain so, unless the constitution is amended to give them the leverage to operate independently and effectively. Anything to the contrary will remain an exercise in futility.

Senatorial Rerun: Umeh Vows To Trash Peter Obi
A former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chief Victor Umeh, has said he will beat an ex-Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, in any political contest.

Umeh spoke amidst speculation that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might field Obi in the Anambra Central senatorial rerun that has been delayed for about a year.

Speaking in Awka, the Anambra State Capital, Umeh, who is the APGA candidate said: “Even if Obi contests, I will defeat him. I am more acceptable at the grassroots than Obi and that is why you see me everywhere.

Sometime politicians talk as if Nigerians do not know where they are coming from or who they are. The history of APGA, Umeh and Obi is an open book, no matter how Umeh tries to twist it. If not for Obi’s massive support, Umeh wouldn’t have survived the protracted APGA leadership battle with the party’s founder, Chief Chekwas Okorie.

Umeh should remember that no matter how long he wears long red cap, there is no way, he can measure his popularity with that of Obi, a former governor of Anambra State for eight years. Doing so will amount to self-deceit, which is the worst thing any person can do to himself.

There is no doubt that Umeh’s version of APGA started and ended with Obi’s government in Anambra. It might be surprising to many with short memory, why Umeh is demonising Obi now, but it is not unconnected with the frosty relations between Obi and his successor, Willie Obiano. That is typical of Umeh.

From this, it is clear that Umeh will do anything possible to destroy Obi in as much as Obiano supports his senatorial election. That is politics, especially in Nigeria, where an average politician is a wheeler dealer.

Tinubu Makes Peace With Former Political Foes
Following the boiling crisis in the All Progressives Congress, the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has started reaching out to his former political foes in the Southwest in order to consolidate his influence in the region. That is what some reports say.

The multi-layered crisis in the ruling party is threatening the erstwhile chummy relations between Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari.The crisis in the ruling party started before the 2015 general elections, but became full-blown after Buhari was sworn in as president. There has been discontent within the Tinubu camp.

There is nothing wrong with Tinubu’s move to reconcile with his former political foes, if that were to be true, especially now that he seems to be losing out on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Tinubu, a political guru must have realised that there are no permanent enemies in politics, but permanent interests.

However, Tinubu should know when to surrender and retreat politically. Besides, Tinubu severed relations with some political allies based on ideological differences.

Now that the tide appears to have moved against his interests, there is urgent need for him to re-align, starting from his stronghold-the Southwest region.

Meanwhile, how the realignment might save Tinubu is not yet clear, considering that some may cash in on this opportunity to take their own pound of flesh. Obviously, this is not best of times politically for Asiwaju. But in politics, they say it is not over, until it is over.

Why DSS Arrested Judges, Raided Their Homes–AGF
The raids carried out weekend by the State Security Service on residences of senior judges were routine investigations, and were legitimate, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, has said.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Malami said the government had resolved to fight corruption, and would not be deterred by class or reputation of suspects.

“Once crimes and criminality are concerned, nobody is an exception. I think the undertone should be exclusively the consideration of the existence of a prima facie case; existence of reasonable grounds for suspicion of commission of a crime,” he said.

“And if there are, no member of the legislature, judiciary and executive can definitely be exempted from investigation. I think where we are now is the point of investigation and that is what is taking place.”

Malami said the search and subsequent arrest of seven judges were steps in an ongoing investigation that even constitutionally guaranteed immunity does not prevent.

Many will say that Malami’s position is expected, being an appointee of the government. However, the raging argument is about the legality or not of the DSS action. Opinions are varied on this, but that has not taken and will not take away the position of the laws on the matter.

While those against the raids argue that principles of separation of powers should have been upheld in the matter, others believe that with the provisions of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, the DSS action is legal.

Meanwhile, not many will be surprised with the mixed reactions that have continued to trail the raid, considering that the incident is unprecedented in the history of Nigerian judiciary. Time will tell, on the essence and credibility of the raids.

Just like every other sector of human life, the judiciary is not immune from corruption. So, whoever is found to have desecrated the temple of justice for selfish reasons should face the music. This is because temple of justice is the temple of God.

In this article:
Aisha Buhari
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