Friday, 29th September 2023

Weekly political notes

By Samson Ezea
16 September 2017   |   3:56 am
Atiku’s outburst is not unexpected, considering that he is nursing 2019 presidential ambition. He cannot deny it again, considering the disclosure by Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan last week.

Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan

North Holds Public Hearing On Restructuring
The committee set up by the Northern Governors Forum and the Northern Traditional Rulers Council to aggregate the views of Northerners on the restructuring debate will hold public hearings in the 19 states of the region, the committee’s chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has said.

Speaking after the inaugural meeting of the committee in Kaduna, Tambuwal said members have agreed to hold extensive consultations with stakeholders and leaders of thought in member states with a view to coming up with acceptable position that will reflect the view of the entire North.

“We have reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring Nigeria remains a strong, united country. We have also decided to present the case of the North as a single entity desirous of a prosperous country.”

This is a right step in the right direction. It goes a long way to show that the so-called hegemonic North is now aligning with the reality of the time. It means that the debate and clarion call on restructuring of the country cannot be wished away again.

With the North’s planned move on restructuring, it is important for the Southern governors and leaders of the zones to also come together and articulate their positions on the issue. This is considering the fact that the major proponents of this idea are from the South. It is not enough to be individually mouthing the concept, without properly and collectively articulating how it should be carried out for equitable Nigeria.

Again, now that the North has seen the need for restructuring, what is next is how patriotic the task will be carried in the interest of Nigeria, irrespective of tribes or religions. It is hoped that the APC-led government’s committee on restructuring being led by one of the Northern governors, Mallam Nasir El-rufai, will not only implement the collective and agreed report by all Nigerians on restructuring, but will not subdue or replace it with views of the presidency’s cabal or a few Northern leaders. Such will not augur well for a country that is in dire need of leadership direction and peaceful co-existence.

Gov. Ikpeazu Extends Aba Curfew
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on Aba till Friday following the unrest caused by clashes between the Nigerian Army and the supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Ikpeazu made this known in a statement signed by Enyinnaya Appolos, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor in Umuahia on Wednesday. He admonished residents and visitors to cooperate with security agents in order to ensure the maintenance of law and order within the commercial city and its environs.

While the curfew is constitutional, it is a smart move by Governor Ikpeazu to avoid total breakdown of law and order and state of emergency. Whether this is enough to curtail the crisis in the commercial city will be seen in the days ahead.

Just like when Otunba Fredrick Fasehun and Gani Adams started the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) activities in Lagos and the then governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, quickly stepped in to manage the uprising, before the Federal Government intervened. It is believed in some quarters that Gov. Ikpeazu ought to have stepped in before now, considering that he is the chief security of the state.

While Kanu’s agitation is permitted, like any other form of protest, it is must be carried out within the ambit of the law. The military on the hand should operate within its rules of engagement and in line with international best practices. The agitators should equally be reminded that Nigeria is still a sovereign State for now and there are no two governments in operation. The clash is avoidable and innocent souls should be saved. The situation calls for caution and dialogue.

Now that the military may be withdrawn from the streets in Abia, the security agents and the state government should henceforth ensure that activities of IPOB and its leader, Kanu, do not interfere with public peace.

PDP Has Not Learnt From Past Mistakes
The Senator representing Anambra North and PDP governorship aspirant in the concluded primary, Mrs Stella Oduah, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had not learnt from its past mistakes, contrary to recent public “undertakings’’ by its leadership.

She said this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Wednesday, stressing that the party had resumed the denigration of internal democracy, characterised by impunity and imposition of candidates on members and other misdeeds.

Oduah recalled that impunity, imposition, disregard for members and other acts of irregularities in the party’s activities led to its losses in the 2015 general elections.

She said that some of those traits, especially imposition of candidates on members in utter disobedience for internal democracy tenets were recorded in the party’s recent governorship primary election in Anambra.

There is nothing new in Oduah’s narrative, because it is often said that the leopard hardly changes its colour. PDP still remains a party with almost the same politicians with the same thing in common. It is just like a new wine in old bottle.

But instead of complaining of the impunity that characterised PDP in 2015 of which she (Oduah) was a great beneficiary, Oduah should play her own positive role in redeeming the party. Such role cannot be played by criticising the party openly, but by engaging it constructively.

If Oduah’s grudge is about the outcome of the party governorship primary in Anambra from which she withdrew at eleventh hour, that is expected. Maybe Oduah has forgotten that political power is contested for and not given on a platform of gold. Having withdrawn from the race, Oduah lacks the moral ground to complain of its outcome. Besides, in a political contest, there must be losers and winners. Having lost in the primary, it behoves Oduah to work for the success of PDP in the poll. This is because it remains her political platform for now, unless she is defecting to APC. Let her be reminded that there is no party without its own peculiar challenges.

Jonathan Asks APC To Account For N14tr, Others
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has denounced claim by ‎the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he looted public treasury during his reign. The ex-president, however, asked the APC-led government to account for N14 trillion, ‎which he claimed it budgeted in the last two years.

He also asked the ruling party to explain to Nigerians why despite its claim to have recovered almost N2 trillion from his administration as looted funds, Nigeria still wants to borrow N1.6 trillion.

He was reacting to an alleged statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, in which the former minister was quoted to have said nobody could have looted like Jonathan.

Jonathan stated on his Facebook page on Wednesday, that it was funny that no evidence of looting had been established against him, yet the APC spokesman, Abdullahi Bolaji, said he looted public treasury.

Hmmm, Having kept quiet for a long time in the face of the mind-boggling revelations of looting that characterised his government, Jonathan just like Atiku, has challenged his traducers to show evidence of corruption against him.

Even though, none of those who served in the Jonathan government has been prosecuted for corruption, that has not invalidate the fact that the disclosures are shocking as they are embarrassing.

Again, that Jonathan is not directly linked with any of this looting spree that characterised his government does not mean that he cannot take any responsibility or blame for the graft. He has his own fair share of the blame.

Meanwhile, the APC-led government should not only provide evidence of looting against Jonathan, it should provide answers to the poser raised by Jonathan that N14 trillion budget money in the last two years should be accounted for. It will help Nigerians to know how transparent and accountable the APC government is.

Prove Corruption Against Me Or Shut Up-Atiku
“It is sickening to continue to regurgitate allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office,” former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said.

The former vice president advised self righteous political enemies to either prove alleged corrupt activities against him or mind the skeletons in their closets and keep quiet.

The chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said this on Monday at a facility tour of the new ultra-modern Yaliam Press Limited in Jabi area of Abuja.

Atiku’s outburst is not unexpected, considering that he is nursing 2019 presidential ambition. He cannot deny it again, considering the disclosure by Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan last week. Even though, Atiku has not been indicted by any court there has been an age-long perception by some that Atiku is too corrupt. Nobody has provided substantial evidence of corruption against Atiku, although there are several allegations.

For years now, Atiku has been battling to erase this, but to no avail. Some have even challenged him to travel to US, which he has not done for reasons best known to him. Making matters worse for him is his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo, who appears hellbent on frustrating Atiku’s presidential ambition.

This is despite the fact that Atiku has not only visited him, but also apologised to him. Will Obasanjo and Atiku’s traducers provide evidence of corruption against him, keep quiet or support his 2019 presidential ambition? Obasanjo we know may not, but others may.

Wait, Atiku, mind you nobody has provided evidence of corruption against influential political leaders in Nigeria. Not because they are not corrupt, but those with such evidence appear to be equally corrupt. So, you are not the first to ask for such evidence.