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Weekly political notes


Patience Jonathan

Patience Jonathan Wants Out-Of-Court Settlement With EFCC
Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, appears to be tired of fighting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in court and has asked for an out-of-court settlement.In a January 30, 2018 letter, titled “Proposal for out-of-Court Settlement of all cases related to Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan,” Mrs. Jonathan told the EFCC of her intention to settle the matter out of court. The letter, which was written by her counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe, is being considered by the EFCC.

The letter said: “As senior counsel, representing Dame (Mrs.) Patience Jonathan (former First Lady) and companies linked to her and some family members, associates, companies and NGOs, we have thought it fit to engage your commission in a discussion over all issues involving her and the commission with a view to having amicable resolution of all cases as stated above.”

Wonders shall never end in Nigeria. Did Nigerians hear you well Patience Jonathan? What informed your decision after all your grandstanding and claim of innocence? Why the initial gra gra, denial and blackmail of EFCC and Buhari government, when you know that you have questions to answer? Are you saying now that you and your relations are guilty as alleged by the EFCC?

Well, this is an interesting development in government’s anti-graft fight. What will those who have accused Buhari government and EFCC of witch-hunting and persecuting Mrs Jonathan say now?It is hoped that the out-of-court settlement is not an escape route or soft landing for Mrs. Jonathan to go and enjoy her loot. There is need for Mrs Jonathan to publicly declare all her loots before talks commence on the out-of-court settlement, so the loots will be properly audited. Meanwhile, the rate and manner at which looters opt for plea bargain or out-of-court settlement calls for worry and review.

“Underage Voting” In Kano Council Poll, A Propaganda By Opponents, Says Ganduje
Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has described trending photos and videos of children voting in last Saturday’s local council election in the state as “propaganda” by his political opponents.The governing party, All Progressives Congress, APC, won 100 per cent of all chairmanship and councillor seats in all the 44 local councils in the state.However, the social media has been awash with images of children queuing to vote, sparking national outrage.

Speaking, Ganduje said the images were simply propaganda orchestrated by his political opponents loyal to his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
“Ask the international observers who went there, they held a press conference after they went round. All those pictures of children are pictures of assembled school children they took, so it’s not true, it is part of the propaganda,” he said.

Ganduje’s response was expected even though, it didn’t address the issue raised, which is underage voting in the Kano poll. It is not surprising that Ganduje accused his estranged predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of being behind it. But that is Nigerian politicians for you, they always have a way of politicising every serious issue. How does Kwankwaso become responsible for the underage voting pictures that went viral on social media and INEC has washed off its hand and at the same time blamed State Electoral Commission for the mess?

But wait a bit, how could INEC deny complicity when the State Electoral Commission conducted the election with voter register handed to it by INEC? Whether INEC or Kwankwaso is responsible or not, the issue of under-age voting is not new in Nigeria, especially in the North.

It has become a tradition and successive governments benefitted from it. This is simply, because Nigeria has no correct and reliable database of citizens. That is also why it is always easy for civil servants to continue to manipulate their dates of birth unperturbed and remain in service more than required.

Okorocha ‘Anoints’ Son-In-Law To Succeed Him.
Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Monday, anointed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to succeed him in 2019.
The governor stated this at a meeting with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Owerri Municipal Council Area, who visited him at the Government House in Owerri.The governor said he would support the governorship ambition of Mr. Nwosu who is currently his Chief of Staff.Okorocha said he would support Nwosu because he has the qualities of an “ideal leader”.However, Mr. Okorocha said Nwosu, is yet to inform him of any governorship ambition.

Who says Buhari is nepotic and clannish? What can they say about Okorocha and his government of family members in Imo? Where are the letter writers? Jokes apart, it is time for either Obasanjo or Babangida to write Okorocha, before things get out of hand. Okorocha, by his actions and inactions, has continued to show that Imo people are docile. If not, how could Okorocha ever thought, talk more of mouthing it that he will support his son-in-law to succeed him.

So annoying is the fact that Nwosu, apart from being Okorocha’s son-in-law is from the same senatorial zone with Okorocha. This is the same Okorocha who had recently appointed his sister Ogechi Ololo, a commissioner. Remember that his wife oversees five lucrative ministries. Okorocha’s government could be described as a government of immediate and extended family members.It will be a big shame on Imo people if Okorocha has his way and imposes Nwosu on them in 2019. This is the time for real men to stand up and rescue Imo.

Senator Storms JAMB Office With Anti-Snake Venom, Charmers Over Missing Money
Staff of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) were on Tuesday morning, pleasantly surprised when the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, stormed their office with anti-snake venom and snake charmers, a day after a staff claimed a missing N36 million was eaten by snake.JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, laughed when the lawmaker presented him with two packs of anti-snake venom and offered the services of two snake charmers to fish out snakes that swallowed huge amount of money.

The examination board said it suspended the staff, Philomena Chieshe, at its Makurdi office following the bizarre claim.In reaction to the development, the senator visited the JAMB headquarters to ascertain the truth of the matter and to lend his “assistance”.“If a snake can actually swallow N36 million, one day we may wake up in this country to see that a snake has swallowed our foreign reserve or it has swallowed money that was gathered in the TSA,” Sani said.

There was no mystery snake that swallowed money made from the sale of JAMB scratch cards. It was a clear case of fraud usually associated with public service in Nigeria. If not for the change of guard in JAMB, maybe Nigerians will not have heard this bizarre tale being dished out to cover up fraud.This is the same JAMB that was remitting peanut as proceeds before Oloyede came in and remitted N8b within one year, even though it is not supposed to be revenue generating.
With this development, it is hoped that the National Assembly and anti-graft agencies will thoroughly probe the past activities of JAMB and its workers.

APC Senators Attack Saraki, Reject Change In Election Timetable
A group of senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the senate adoption of the conference committee report on Electoral Act amendment to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act.Specifically, the senators said they were opposed to the amendment to section 25 of the Act, which re-arranged the order of the 2019 elections.The senators, 10 in number, left the chambers to address the press while plenary was on.They described the amendment and process of passage as ‘illegal’, vowing that it would not stand.

Leader of the dissenting group, Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa-APC), questioned the conduct of the senate president, Bukola Saraki, in the passage process.This development is not surprising, knowing that it is all about 2019 elections and selfish political interests. It is not about Nigerian or the economy. In the days ahead, more events will unfold in this direction.

It is obvious that this development is capable of dividing the Senate and expose its leadership to attack. This may be part of the intrigues to change the leadership. Saraki must be watchful, considering that this is the first time in recent times some senators are speaking in discordant tunes.

Northern Governors Can Stop Herders/Farmers Clashes– Gov. Masari
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has asked the 19 Northern governors to marshal out strategies that would checkmate herders/farmers clashes, which had resulted in loss of lives in the region.Masari stated this during a visit by the newly elected chairman of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Katsina Council, Abdulhamid Sabo.

Masari said the governors had the capacity to surmount the herders/farmers clashes, which had caused the deaths of several people. He said the region had enough land that could contain the herders and their cattle in one place instead of roaming about.Masari has said it all. But he can set the pace by building ranches in his state. Such will serve as model for other states in the North. There is every need and urgency for the governors in the region to heed Masari’s clarion call, because the herdsmen killings is giving Nigeria, the Fulanis and the North bad name and image.

The herders/farmers clashes are assuming dangerous dimension, capable of tearing the country apart if not tackled adequately. It is gradually pitching the North against South, Christians against Muslims. This is not healthy for a country that wants to move forward.

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