Weekly political notes
How Move To Set Up Medical Panel On Buhari Was Aborted-Rep Member
A member of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Baba, has explained how the alleged plot by some members of the House to get a medical panel to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in the United Kingdom was aborted.
According him, the House leadership had come under pressure from some forces within and outside in the last two months to constitute a medical panel on the health of the president, in line with Section 144 of the Nigerian Constitution.
Baba, a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who represents Katagum Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, said the plot was aborted, when lawmakers opposed to it argued that since Buhari transmitted a letter to the National Assembly, informing it that he was ceding powers to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, there was no need to invoke the provisions of the constitution.
Baba said he and other lawmakers opposed to the setting up of a medical panel would have supported the demand if it was clear that the president was incapacitated.
Well, there was nothing new in the move. It was expected, especially as everything concerning Buhari and his health is shrouded in secrecy. At a time, Nigerians were kept in the dark for too long about the whereabouts of their president; a situation that generated political tension. So it could be said that those behind the move were right because it is within their constitutional right and they have not broken any law.
It was even those who opposed the move and nipped it in the bud that should be condemned for failing to perform their constitutional responsibilities. But that is by the way now that Buhari has been hosting government officials in London.
Buhari Good Enough To Continue In 2019 —Presidency
The presidency has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari will seek re-election into office in 2019. One of his spokespersons, Mallam Garba Shehu, maintained that the president is good enough to continue if given the opportunity to contest the 2019 presidential election.
He lamented that many were ignorant about Buhari’s ailment, assuring that the president would speak to Nigerians when he returns from his medical vacation. Shehu is entitled to his opinion. The interesting thing is that he recognises the paramount role of voters in deciding his boss’ 2019 presidential ambition should they decided to field the man. It is hoped that Shehu knows that his boss is yet to complete the job given to him by Nigerians in 2015.
In short, the job seems to be suffering due to Buhari’s health challenges. Until Buhari finishes the job well, the issue of him re-contesting in 2019 remains a dream. This won’t take away the fact that it is his constitutional right to do so.
Meanwhile, Buhari has not told Nigerians that he will be re-contesting in 2019. Maybe he has confided in those who are saying publicly that he will contest in 2019. Who knows? But even his wife, Aisha, has said that she may not support such plan. Only time and events will tell.
I Didn’t Decamp To PDP —Kwankwaso
A former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (APC, Kano Central), has denied reports that he has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Kwankwaso refuted the report through his Personal Assistant, Nafiu Umar Dankura, saying he remained in the APC. “I want to categorically dispel the rumour and fake news that is circulating in some online media and radio stations that distinguished Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has defected to the PDP. This is not true as we all know he played a key role in the formation of the APC and he is still one of the strong pillars of the party,” Dankura said.
The denial is not necessary, because Kwankwaso is also a foundation member of PDP, who accidentally found himself in APC before the 2015 polls. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise seeing him in PDP tomorrow, even with this denial. He is a typical Nigerian politician with inordinate ambition and lacking in principles. After all, he breaches no law if defects to PDP today.
His continued stay in APC will be momentary, considering the frosty relationship between him and his estranged godson and successor, Governor Ibrahim Ganduje, that has so far defied resolution. Besides, his 2019 presidential ambition is not hidden. And as it is today, unless something different happens, Kwankwaso’s 2019 presidential ambition looks impossible in APC. Even in PDP, it may experience hitches and opposition, especially from the North.
UPP Suspends Chidoka, Offodile, Two Others
The United Peoples Party (UPP) has suspended the former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, Hon Chudi Ofodile, National Treasurer of the party, Flint Obiekwe and Nwabueze Anyichie, its Deputy National Secretary.
The quartet were suspended for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities said to be aimed at undermining the authority of the state executive, the party said.
A press release read to journalists at the party’s secretariat in Awka by its publicity secretary, Chief Uche Amaku stated that those involved were suspended indefinitely.
Chidoka and Ofodile are frontline governorship aspirants of the party out of the four aspirants on the list of the party.
The timing of the suspension is suspicious and political, considering that the party is about to conduct its governorship primary in Anambra State. But what does one expect, especially as the activities for the November 18 Anambra governorship election are gathering momentum. Otherwise, why is the suspension coming now?
This suspension may not go beyond the issue of who picks the party ticket, how and why. This development is not good for a party that had shown prospects of making great impact in the election. It is hoped that the party leadership will put its house in order quickly.
Whistleblower: 5000 Tips Received, N11b Recovered —Adeosun
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said the Federal Government recovered N11.6 billion so far from tips received since the Whistleblower Policy was launched in December 2016.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the fifth Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) Lunch Time Seminar, with the theme: ‘The Whistleblower Policy and its Implications for Public Servants, Adeosun said that out of the 5,000 tips received government only acted on 365 of them and that N375.8 million had been paid to 20 whistleblowers who provided information that led to the recovery.
She said 39 per cent (144) of the actionable tips related to misappropriation and diversion of funds/revenue, 16 per cent (60) related to ghost workers, illegal recruitment and embezzlement of funds meant for personnel emolument, 15 per cent (56) related to violation of TSA regulations, 13 per cent (49) related to contract inflation/violation of the Procurement Act and failure to carry out projects for which funds had been released and nine per cent (34) related to non-remittance of pension and NHIS deductions, while others included concealed bail-out funds and embezzlement of funds from donor agencies.
Nawaoo, Who says there are no jobs in Nigeria? There is job for the boys and good gossipers now, which is whistleblowing. Looking at the huge sum paid to those who have blown the whistle well, one will be tempted to get involved. But what about blowing the whistle wrong, mind you, it attracts punishment.
Adeosun, why did government only acted on 365 out of 5,000 tips received? What happened to the rest? Are they sacred cows or have no case to answer? Nigerians have always been informed of the amounts recovered, but no information on how it was expended. There is need for more clarity and transparency in implementing the policy. This will convince Nigerians that the policy is truly yielding a positive result.
Dankwambo Not Behind Anti-Buhari Protests —Northern Youths
Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is not the sponsor of the protests against President Muhammadu Buhari, National President of Northern Youths Emancipation Vanguards (NYEV), Comrade David J. Joshua, has said.
Comrade Joshua made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday. He said the clarification became necessary because some mischief makers were using the social media to link the Gombe governor with ongoing protests demanding that President Buhari should either return or resign.
Hmmm, Joshua, who told you in the first place that Dankwambo is the sponsor of the protest and when have you become Dankwambo’s spokesperson? Whoever is sponsoring the protest is immaterial, because it is not unconstitutional. So, it is of no use declaring Dankwambo’s innocence, knowing what Nigerian politicians are capable of doing for political powers.
Instead of engaging in denial by proxy, even when nobody has publicly accused him of sponsoring the protest, Dankwambo should either be bold enough to tell Nigerians what he knows about it or keep quiet. Unless there is something he knows about the anti-Buhari protest and his conscience is disturbing him.
After all, it is a public knowledge that Dankwambo is nursing presidential ambition for 2019. It is expected of him to work hard towards realising it, even if it means pulling down his perceived opponents. It is all part of politics.
Sultan: Devolve Economy, Not Only Political Power
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on Monday called on Nigerians to focus on devolution of economy rather than restructuring the country. Abubakar made the call at the Niger State Investment Submit in Minna.
He said that the nation was blessed with human and mineral resources needed to achieve greatness. He explained that, Shiroro Dam in Niger, Goronyo Dam in Sokoto and several others across the country should be used to start all-year farming.
“Rather than the clamour for restructuring the country, emphasis should be on Federal Government releasing dams across the country to state governments for massive participation of Nigerians in all-year farming seasons.”
Where are the apostles of restructuring? Sultan on behalf of the North has spoken. With this, one needs no answer regarding why the National Assembly dominated by the North voted against restructuring. There is need for Sultan to be specific on how the economy can be devolved without tinkering with the present political structure called Nigeria.
If it is only about establishing dams and keeping them working continuously for all year farming, it means that the Sultan is not only far from the truth, but is being economical with it as well.