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Weekly political notes


Political activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, Nnamdi Kanu (L), wearing a Jewish prayer shawl, poses in the garden of his house in Umuahia, southeast Nigeria, on May 26, 2017, before commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war on May 30.<br />The war was triggered when the Igbo people, the main ethnic group in the southeast, declared an independent breakaway state, the Republic of Biafra. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

Agitations: Sultan Calls For Dialogue To Douse Tension
Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111, has called on statesmen to douse the current regional tensions in the country. He made the call in Sokoto when Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State paid him Sallah homage in his palace on Tuesday.

The Sultan spoke against the backdrop of the demand by the Igbo for a sovereign state of Biafra and the notice to them by Northern youths to leave the region. He stressed the need for dialogue to resolve all the misunderstandings and problems in the country.

The Sultan said Nigeria is not short of statesmen and that they should help in championing the dialogue. The royal father urged Nigerians to sit together, brainstorm, and move forward. He noted that ongoing agitations in the country are symptoms of rot in the Nigerian system.

There is nothing new in Sultan’s narrative, because dialogue has never been the main issue. Many have called for dialogue before now and several conferences have held with wonderful recommendations. The unfortunate thing is their outcomes have never been implemented. So, why calling for another dialogue or conference with taxpayers’ money without being sure that its outcome will see the light of the day.

Now that the National Assembly, precisely the Senate has asked the executive to submit the 2014 CONFAB report for deliberation, it behoves the Sultan to use his good offices to impress it on powers-that-be to do the needful to douse the tension. What Nigerians do right as a people is more important than what they say right. Enough of these rhetoric and political statements from the country’s esteemed leaders.

My Loyalty To Buhari, Ganduje Unshakable, Says Emir Sanusi
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has said that his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State is unshakable.

Sanusi made the remark on Monday, while delivering his speech at the traditional Hawan Nassarawa, held at Africa House, Government House, Kano, saying, “I am assuring the Federal Government and the Kano State Government of Kano Emirate’s support to ensure peaceful co-existence and unity among Nigerians. Unity is a root for peace and progress of every nation. We must also sit up especially in the area of enlightenment campaign among youth.”

Hmmm, Emir Sanusi, you know have no option, considering that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. It seems you didn’t realised this earlier when you made yourself spokesman of the downtrodden. Even though, there is little or no difference between you and those of the elite class. You have little choice because there are still unresolved questions on the botched probe of the emirate account under your watch by the State House of Assembly.

Maybe, it has now dawn on Sanusi that both him and governor and the rest are all living in glass houses and there is no need of throwing stones anyhow. Meanwhile, the major question for Sanusi is; how altruistic is his unshakeable loyalty to Ganduje and Buhari, because many might think it is sycophantic, hypocritical and self-serving.

Quit Notice: Ohanaeze, ECA, IPOB Slam Kwankwaso
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have condemned the call by the former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on Igbo leaders to apologise and disown the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) over their agitation for self-determination, describing the call as bunkum.

Kwankwaso had advised Southeast leaders to condemn the agitation by IPOB and MASSOB publicly, adding that maybe because they are afraid of the young men or because of possible attacks, they kept quiet.

“So, what should they have done or what should they do? To keep quiet will not help anybody and that’s not the way to go. The way to go is for the elders to come out and say the right thing at the right time. The young men in the North, I don’t know them, but I think the ultimatum they gave, I don’t know and I’m not sure whether it is right from their hearts,” Kwankwaso reportedly said.

Kwankwaso’s statement sounds biased. He has once more shown the Northern irredentism in him. It is an attitude, he has never hidden no matter the situation. Why should Kwankwaso ask Igbo leaders to condemn Biafra agitation publicly when Northern leaders, including him have not condemned the quit notice to Igbos publicly? Who told Kwankwaso that Igbo leaders have not condemned the manner of Biafran agitation by Igbo youths? It is expected of Kwankwaso to remove the log in his eyes before removing that of the Igbos.

Kwankwaso should not only caution his Northern brothers, especially Prof. Ango Abdullahi, he should convince Nigerians that he is not a tribalist. His actions and inactions before now are pointers to that direction. If allowed to continue like this, Kwankwaso’s presidency if by chance becomes a reality, maybe worse than the present government in terms of marginalisation and oligarchic arrogance.

Kolade, Anya, Adebanjo, Others Back Restructuring
Eminent Nigerians from the southern parts of the country on Tuesday, in Lagos, backed the clamour for restructuring and opposed secessionist moves, saying dismemberment of the country would not benefit anyone.

Canvassing unity to build a strong, workable and viable Nigeria, they said there was no alternative to one Nigeria and dismissed agitations for disintegration and secession, saying no one stands to gain anything meaningful from dismemberment of the nation.

In his opening address, Dr Christopher Kolade said: “It is imperative to build a stronger and viable Nigeria and there is need to have a peaceful, productive and progressive country and the only way this could be achieved is to stand in unity.

“We believe that staying together and working together is the only viable way to go. There is no alternative to one Nigeria. As elders, we shall do everything necessary to keep the nation as one. Those that had witnessed war will never stay quiet, when some elements are pushing the nation to the precipice again.”

Calls and pontifications on the need to restructure Nigeria are deafening. What is of utmost important now is not the consistent call, but bold moves to make it a reality. This is because it has become more of motion without movement. It is expected of these elder statesmen and political leaders, who have been calling for restructuring to convince or persuade members of the National Assembly to amend the constitution to give room for restructuring and true federalism.

So, more energy and effort should be channeled towards tinkering with the constitution to make restructuring achievable. But the worry is whether these elders and political leaders can convince or persuade those characters in the executive and National Assembly to change the status quo. This is where the problem lies. This is where proponents of restructuring from the North such as Abubakar Atiku, Ibrahim Babangida, and APC governors should do more work.

I’m Losing Confidence In Security Agencies-Gov Bello
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, said the state spends N100 million monthly on security without the desired result as men of the underworld operate freely. Speaking while playing host to members of the state Council of Traditional Rulers on Wednesday, in Minna, the governor said he was gradually losing confidence in the ability of security operatives to rise to the challenge of kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and murder despite huge sums of money spent monthly by the state government.

“I am sure that if we use a fraction of that money on traditional rulers, we will get better results,” the governor said, adding that going back to the traditional way of securing communities was the way to go.”

Bello’s remark is not only frustrating, it is also self indicting. For a sitting governor, who is also the Chief Security Officer of the state to sound like this simply means he is indeed helpless and tired of security agencies’ failure to do their works. Again, if the governor is talking like this, what is expected of residents of the state, who are looking up to the government to provide security for them?

Gov. Bello, before replacing security personnel with traditional rulers, there is need for you to investigate whether the N100million monthly subvention gets to the security agencies as you directed. There is every tendency of underhand dealings between your government’s officials and the security leadership in the state.

You will be shocked to discover that the subvention is not getting to the security personnel in the field. There is also urgent need for the leadership of the security agencies to not only look into Bello’s complaint, but to investigate their personnel in the state. It is quite unfortunate that this is coming from a state, where the Inspector-General of Police hails from.

APGA Writes Nnamdi Kanu
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has decried Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s call on Anambra people to shun forthcoming gubernatorial poll in the state.

The party, in a letter to Mr. Kanu, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Ifeatu Obiokoye, and made available to the media in Awka on Monday, said the call was irresponsible and devoid of intellectual focus.
It said that Kanu had no authority to speak for the Igbos of the Southeast, although APGA acknowledged him as the leader of IPOB.

APGA’s letter to Kanu is unnecessary, because neither Kanu nor IPOB is a party to the forthcoming Anambra governorship election. Kanu’s call on the people of the state to boycott the election is mere statement of which he is entitled to.

If APGA knows that Kanu has no authority to speak for the Igbos, which is a statement of fact, why writing him and acknowledging that he is the IPOB leader. It is well known that not all Igbos are members and supporters of IPOB.

As for Kanu and his IPOB members, any attempt to disrupt the Anambra election will be resisted by the appropriate authority. At least for now, there are no two central governments in Nigeria.

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