Weekly political notes
Forget Biafra, Buhari Tells Igbo
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday appealed to the people of Southeast not to buy into the idea of Biafra being promoted by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He assured Igbo of fair share of his administration’s developmental projects next year, revealing that some key projects had already been designed for the region, especially in the area of road infrastructure, agriculture and social services that are already captured in the 2018 budget.
Speaking at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, as part of programmes lined up for his one-day visit to Ebonyi State, President Buhari asked Igbo to work for the country’s unity, saying the agitation for the realisation of Biafra was a senseless propaganda being promoted by some misguided youths in the region.
He said dividing the country across ethnic lines was tantamount to betraying the efforts of Nigeria’s founding fathers.
While it could be said that Buhari’s visit to Southeast is a welcome development, despite its political colouration, his appeal to Igbo to forget Biafra is a huge joke. Buhari has said this repeatedly since he became president, but has not acted it. How will Igbo forget Biafra when they are being marginalised like never before under Buhari’s government?
Instead of asking Igbo to forget Biafra, Buhari should, by his actions and inactions, convince Igbo to forget Biafra. It is not too late for Buhari to change his lukewarm attitude towards Igbo. If not, Biafra has become a movement that has come to stay. Although, approaches to its realisation may be different, but it cannot be easily forgotten or wished away. It is hoped that in the days ahead, Buhari will sustain or further demonstrate his new political overture to the Southeast people.
Anambra Guber: My Life In Danger, Obiano Cries Out
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano on Tuesday raised the alarm that his life was in danger, following the sudden withdrawal of his security details by the police.
Obiano, who stormed out of the election stakeholders meeting at Prof. Dora Akunyili Development Centre, Awka after raising the alarm, had waited for hours before the arrival of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The governor said the development was unacceptable and a dangerous signal of what would happen ahead of the governorship election and demanded the immediate return of his security details to avoid overheating the polity.
Idris, who eventually arrived the meeting when almost all the candidates and majority of the stakeholders had left, explained that the withdrawal of the governor’s ADC and policemen attached to politicians was a routine exercise the Police carries out during elections and was not in any way done to witch hunt the governor.
Obiano’s outcry is in order. After all, he is still a sitting governor covered by immunity. Withdrawing Obiano’s security personnel at this point is very suspicious and political, irrespective of the IGP’s explanations.
Being a governor, it is not expected that Obiano should be treated like other candidates in the election. IGP Idris cannot pretend not to know this, because he is not new in police unless he wants Nigerians to believe that he is partisan and acting a written script. If anything unexpected happens to Obiano before or after the election, it will be attributed to IGP’s action. It is hoped that the police authority will obey President Buhari’s order and restore Obiano’s security personnel.
PDP Chair: George Absent As 7 Aspirants Sign Pact
Seven contenders for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship seat on Tuesday signed a peace pact at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
Those who signed the pact were a former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; ex-governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; ex-governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja; former Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; ex-governorship candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje; broadcast mogul, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and ex-Minister of Sports and Special Duties, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja.
However, the ex-Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, who was absent, is expected to also sign the document later
Speaking during the signing of the pact, chairman of PDP Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the essence of the accord was to ensure that the contenders behave in a non-violent manner before, during and after the convention.
While the signing of peace pact by the aspirants is a step in the right direction, it is hoped that they will abide by the agreement. This is considering the character of an average Nigerian politician.
Meanwhile, there is need for the PDP to get its act right ahead of its forthcoming national convention. The PDP faithful should be mindful of the fact that Nigeria needs a virile opposition party that can put APC on its toes. PDP cannot play the role well without putting its house in order.
So, to achieve a hitch-free convention, the election of party officials must be free and fair. The party leaders, especially the governors, must avoid imposition of candidates. That is the only way losers can congratulate winners and allow peace to reign in the party ahead of 2019.
2019 Presidency: Reconcile With Obasanjo or Forget It – Jonathan Tells Atiku
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised a presidential aspirant in the 2019 elections, ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to seek reconciliation with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo if his dream of becoming President must be realised.
Jonathan described Obasanjo as the boss of bosses in the Nigerian political space.
The former Bayelsa Governor said any politician who ignores Obasanjo does so at his own peril.
He called on Atiku to find a way of courting his former boss, if he must realise his presidential ambition.
Jonathan also pointed out that it would be impossible for Atiku to realise his ambition on the platform of the APC.
He noted that the former Vice-President’s chances of becoming President in 2019 would be bright if he contested on the platform of the PDP.
Jonathan was quoted to have said this in an interview he recently granted the Ovation Magazine, published by Dele Momodu.
Jonathan’s salutary admonition to Atiku is very timely and of utmost importance to Turaki Adamawa. Despite Atiku’s hide-and-seek game, which is in his character, his 2019 presidential ambition is no longer hidden. Jonathan spoke out of experience and Atiku must not only listen, he must act fast before it becomes too late.
Ordinarily, it is expected that Atiku should have known Baba Obasanjo more than Jonathan, having worked under him for eight years. But Atiku’s political missteps in his previous attempts to become president proved otherwise. It appeared Atiku has always underrated Obasanjo’s legendary capacity for political mischief and mobilisation. That was why Atiku has paid dearly for it.
With Jonathan’s candid advice, the ball is in Atiku’s court. But whether Baba Obasanjo will budge and support Atiku’s presidential ambition in 2019 remains a guess. This is despite the fact that Atiku has gone to his house to ask for forgiveness before now.
FG Using Court Of Appeal To Cause Crisis In Rivers –Wike
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government of allegedly using Court of Appeal President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to cause crisis in the state through contrived judgments and pronouncements.
The governor alleged that the Court of Appeal president has used her position to set up a special panel for the purpose of dissolving local governments in Rivers and enthrone APC members sacked by the Federal High Court as council chairmen.
Speaking during a thanksgiving service at the Ecumenical Centre in Port Harcourt, Monday to mark the “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award” by the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA) supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Wike said he resolved to bring actions of the Court of Appeal to the attention of Nigerians, law professionals and the political community.
Wike’s allegation is not only damning, it is also worrisome. This kind of professional malfeasance is not expected in Nigerian judiciary so soon, considering what happened in the sector not too long ago.
There is urgent need for Wike to provide incontrovertible evidence to help the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) investigate the allegation. It is too weighty to be ignored, especially coming from a sitting governor, who is also a lawyer. Silence of the NJC is not golden in this matter.
Many may say that Wike has in the past leveled unsubstantiated allegations, there is also need for the accused to state her own side of the story and not to keep quiet. It is of note that if the allegation is true and left unattended to, it may spell doom in the judiciary and erode people’s confidence.
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