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Weekly political notes


Aisha Buhari

2015 Poll: Northern PDP Leaders Ganged Up Against Jonathan-Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has alleged that PDP leaders from the North, including governors and ministers, ganged up against ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections and paved the way for Muhammadu Buhari to emerge president.

He alleged that members of Jonathan’s cabinet and ranking members of PDP including the party’s former chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, deceived the former president and told him outright lies about his chances.

Wike stated this in the current edition of The Interview. In a statement by Azu Ishiekwene, the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Wike said: “Let me tell you the truth; so many people were not sincere with Jonathan. You saw that even in the way some were being unduly sycophantic on issues that were totally out of point…I saw there was a lot of deceit.”

Wike said at the height of the presidential election, there were situations, where politicians who were supposed to be in the field holed up in Abuja, filing false reports.

There is nothing new in Wike’s narrative. It is a known fact that the Northerners, irrespective of party affiliation were not happy and in support of Jonathan’s re-election bid in 2015. The reason was simple and obvious. They wanted power back to North.

But due to obvious lack of political sagacity on the part of Jonathan and his trusted cohorts, including Wike, the godson of his wife, Patience, they did not see the clear handwriting on the wall. That was why Jonathan was defeated. Meanwhile, if Wike claimed to have known all these things then, why did he not disclose or nip it in the bud? Why saying it now that the deed has been done?

Jonathan, Wike and their allies should take solace in the fact that politics in Nigeria is a mixture of hypocrisy, sycophancy, betrayal and selfish interests. So far, the Northerners by their actions and inactions have shown that they understand the game better than their southern counterparts. PDP’s zoning of 2019 presidency to North has vindicated their position against Jonathan’s re-election in 2015. Or is Wike saying he is against Northern presidency in 2019, because of what some of their leaders did to Jonathan in 2015?

Aisha Buhari Wants Probe Of State House Clinic
The wife of the president, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has demanded an investigation into the budgetary spending by the State House Medical Centre. Mrs Buhari revealed on Tuesday that she wanted to do an x-ray at the clinic few weeks ago, but was told the machine was not working.

She spoke at the opening of a two-day stakeholders meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition, organised by her pet project, Future Assured.

She said rather than heed the advice to seek medication in London, she insisted on being treated in Nigeria, because there was a budget for the State House clinic to take care of Nigeria’s president, vice president, their families and staff of the Presidency.

Hmmm, Aisha, it is hoped you discussed with Buhari before speaking, so that it will not amount to kitchen talk. What you experienced or observed at the clinic is a metaphor for the deplorable state of public health institutions across the country. Was it not recently that a multi-billion naira world class hospital built in Akwa Ibom by the immediate past government in the state was shut down for equipment malfunctioning?

Aisha, Nigerians wonder why it took you and your daughter, Zahra, more than two years of living in Aso Rock to discover the obvious mess at the clinic. Does it mean that neither you nor your husband, children, aides or family members use the clinic before now? Well, you tried very well for seeing and speaking out, without minding whose ox is gored.

Now that you have seen the rot in the clinic, it is not enough for you to merely call for probe of the budget allocation to the clinic. It behoves you to impress it on your husband, President Buhari to ensure that the probe will not be like the previous ones that are sat on by his government.

Besides, Madam Aisha, are you sure that the budget allocation to the clinic this year got to the management of the clinic? If yes, what do they do with it? Was it shared or diverted into private pockets as usual? Nigerians need to know. It is only Buhari’s government that can explain.

I’ve Never Thought Of Running For Presidency-Osinbajo
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who has served as acting president for much of this year, said on Tuesday, he has not given any thought to contesting the country’s next presidential election in 2019.

Asked at the FT Africa Summit in London if he had considered running, Osinbajo said he hadn’t thought about it, adding: “None of that is on the cards.”

Osinbajo, a 60-year-old law professor, served as acting president during Buhari’s medical leave, succeeding in calming tensions in the oil-producing Niger Delta region and making efforts to improve the business climate, including foreign currency reforms. This led some business leaders to say that he could provide stability by running for president himself in 2019.

Osinbajo’s answer is not surprising. It is expected of him at this point. It is understandable. But that does not mean that he has not given the idea a thought. It is a lie. He must have given or been prodded to give it a thought. But the present situation is not ripe for him to embark on it. Not because of any legal encumbrances, but so as not to distract governance and ruffle Buhari and the Northern establishment. Any other reason is just a political talk. So, let Nigerians take Osinbajo’s NO as an answer for now.

Wait, how can Osinbajo say he has not given it a thought, when he has occupied the presidential seat in acting capacity and saw how powerful and influential it can be? If Osinbajo says that he wouldn’t like to be given Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s kind of treatment by his boss, especially considering the camaraderie between the two, Nigerians will agree. Otherwise, Osinbajo is not only overqualified to contest, he may even win if he decides to contest against President Buhari or if Buhari decides to ask him to contest.

IPOB Declares Sit-at-home In Anambra, November 18
The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has declared sit-at-home in Anambra State on November 18, to protest and boycott the governorship election in the state. The group said election boycott was the only legitimate tool left in the hands of the oppressed people to register their displeasure with the clampdown in its land.

A statement on Tuesday by the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB Emma Powerful said that Biafrans in Anambra must not only stay at home on that day, but must also make sure those around them do not vote on November 18, because if they vote, Nigeria will never again take the Biafra agitation serious.

As continuously pointed out by Weekly Political Notes on several occasions, it is hoped that IPOB members know that there are no two governments in Nigeria today. While their agitation for Biafra Republic is genuine, it is expected to be carried out within the ambit of the law of the country called Nigeria for now. That their sit-at-home order worked last time is not a guarantee that it will work on the day of Anambra governorship election.

IPOB members have no legal backing to stop Anambra people from choosing their next governor on November 18 or disrupt the election process. The best bet for them is to ask their members to abstain from the exercise. But they should also understand that no law says that all Anambra people must not vote for their governor to emerge in an election.

Ambode Backs Tinubu On Devolution Of Powers, Federalism
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday said the State Government stood solidly behind the position of Bola Tinubu, on issues of devolution of powers and the need to entrench true federalism.

Ambode, who spoke at the Fourth Quarter, 2017, Town Hall Meeting, the 9th in the series, held at the SUBEB Proposed Permanent Site in Kosofe Local Government, said the clamour across the country for restructuring is not out of place as the current political structure is seriously hindering Nigeria’s development.

Ambode, while responding to a question raised by a resident on calls for true federalism said, “I support true federalism; I support all the issues raised by Asiwaju; we are on the same page. That is the page of APC; that is where we are and that is what we are committed to.”

Ambode’s backing of Tinubu on the issue is normal and expected. It is a case of like father, like son. But that does not mean that there is no truth in what they have said. It is time for Tinubu, his godson, Ambode and other APC faithful to move from mouthing restructuring to actualising or practicalising it.

The pontifications and postulations about it are taking the whole time and energy that would have been channeled towards realising it. Nigerians urgently want to see sincerity of purpose among APC faithful towards making restructuring of Nigeria a reality before 2019. If they cannot, they should better spare Nigerians their lip service calls for restructuring, true federalism and get ready to meet them at the poll in 2019 for proper assessment and choice making.

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