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Weekly political notes


Oluremi Tinubu

Court Orders Abaribe, Lawyer To Produce Kanu On March 28
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, ordered the defence counsel to produce Nnamdi Kanu in court on March 28, or for his sureties to explain his whereabouts.

Justice Binta Nyako gave the order while ruling on an application for adjournment made by the prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran.

Kanu, who is the leader of the proscribed Indigineous People Of Biafra (IPOB) is standing trial before the court alongside three members of the group for alleged treasonable offences relating to the agitation of the group for separation of the Southeast and Southsouth regions from Nigeria.

He was admitted to bail on April 25, 2017 with the Chairman, Southeast Senate caucus, Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom, and a Chartered Accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu signing his bail bond.

Hmmm, this maybe the beginning of another chapter of Nnamdi Kanu and the Federal Government’s dramatic dance.
Now that the court has asked Abaribe to produce Kanu on March 28, what is next for Abaribe? Will he be able to produce Kanu, having denied earlier that he does not know his whereabouts? What happens to Abaribe if he fails to obey the court ruling?

So suspicious was the fact that the ruling coincided with Kanu wife’s public outcry that she does not know her husband’s whereabouts? That was many months after her husband was not seen in public. Was this a case of the witch crying in the night and the baby died in the morning? With this ruling, there is need for those who prodded Abaribe to stood surety for Kanu to intervene and save him from being embarrassed. Abaribe should not be allowed to carry the cross alone, especially as it is obvious he may not be able to produce Kanu on March 28.

Senate Probes ‘Secret’ NNPC, Agip Account Holding Over N30b
The Nigerian Senate has mandated its committee on public accounts to carry out an investigation into an alleged ‘secret account’ operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Agip oil company.

The resolution was made on Tuesday, after a deliberation on a motion titled, “Urgent need to investigate NNPC, Nigerian Agip Oil Company IPP Security Account”, sponsored by Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West)

Melaye said the account was opened with the name, “NNPC/ Nigerian Agip Oil Company IPP Security account” with address NNPC Garki, Herbert Macaulay Way, domiciled in First Bank Nigeria Plc with account number 2006367288.

The lawmaker added that, “there has been lodgments and withdrawals since January 2017.”

While it is the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to investigate, monitor or probe the activities of the executive, Nigerians are not enthusiastic about the Senate’s endless probes that had been of no effect.

It would be recalled that the immediate past Senate has probed NNPC accounts and cleared both the then Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke and NNPC GMD Andrew Yakubu of any wrongdoing. Today, both of them are in the eye of the storm over alleged acts of corruption. It is time the Senate makes a law to ensure that report of its endless probes will be implemented or acted upon by the executive and not to always be dumped.

Why We Demolished Factional APC Building–Kaduna Govt
The Kaduna State government has justified its demolition of a building belonging to a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The building located at 11b Sambo Road, used by a faction of APC was demolished by the state government Monday morning.
The party since 2015 has been enmeshed in crisis in the state, which has seen it broken into three factions.

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, a leader of one of the factions ‘Restoration APC,’ alleged that the demolition was masterminded by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

The Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KAPSUDA) in a statement signed by its Director-General, Ibrahim Husseini, said the demolition was part of operations the agency was undertaking across Kaduna metropolis in compliance with its mandate.

“In partnership with sister agencies, KASUPDA is clearing illegal structures, tackling street hawking and restoring order across Kaduna.

“This morning, a building on 11B Sambo Close was removed for flagrant violations of land use and non-payment of ground rent since 2010. This illegal violation of use had begun to distress neighbours who were being forced to endure an influx of thugs and blockage of the road,” the statement read.

Kaduna government’s explanation is a fabrication to justify impunity. The action of the government was politically motivated and petty. It shows that the government is intolerant of opposition. Why El-Rufai? Have you forgotten that the beauty of democracy is freedom of speech, association and opposition?

With this action, the Kaduna government has shown that it is oppressive and tyrannical. Why did the state government suddenly realise that the building contravened building plans immediately after it was used by factional APC as office?

Labour Leader Ajaero Joins Imo Gov’ship Race
The General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) Mr. Joe Ajaero, has indicated interest to contest the governorship election in Imo State in 2019.

Ajaero, who is also the President of the United Labour Congress of Nigeria, while speaking in Owerri, said he was propelled by sheer determination to rescue Imo from those he described as “leeches who have turned their back after riding on the back of the people to power.”

It is cheering news that labour activist, like Ajaero who has been critical of government policies is offering himself for service in his state. Whether Ajaero will be given opportunity to serve in that capacity is a different ball game. It is good for him to test his popularity in his state.

It is also hoped that Ajaero knows that politicking in Nigeria is not the same as labour activism. Ex-governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will be of immense help to him in this direction, if he can make any inroad. Besides, if Ajaero’s antecedent in labour activism is anything to go by, the road to Imo Government House in 2019 may end as a dream.

Publish Recovered Assets, Names Of ‘Looters’ Before Sale, Fayose Tells Buhari
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has challenged the Federal Government to publish all the looted property it has recovered, in addition to names of those they were recovered from, before selling them (assets) off.

He also said that the government should endeavour to publish the names of buyers after they are eventually sold.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said Nigerians were no longer interested in being governed through propaganda.

Fayose, spoke against the backdrop of plans by the government to sell off recovered assets, allegedly acquired through corrupt means. President Muhammadu Buhari recently gave a hint of this plan.

Fayose’s advice is very salutary and should be heeded by Buhari’s government. This is because it will help in enthroning transparency, accountability and sincerity of purpose in the planned sale of recovered assets. It is quite disturbing and disappointing that despite court ruling, President’s Buhari’s promise and directive that recovered loots and looters should be made public, nothing has been done in that direction till date.

This has raised suspicions and doubts regarding government’s sincerity in the anti-graft fight. If not, why the delay by the government to disclose the recovered loots and those they were recovered from. Nigerians need to know this because what was recovered was stolen from the public till.

My Husband Was Treated Poorly After Helping APC Win 2015 Elections-Remi Tinubu
Oluremi Tinubu, a Nigerian senator and wife of Bola Tinubu, on Monday revealed that she occasionally scolded her husband for his unwavering support for the All Progressives Congress-led administration, despite the way he was treated.

“I was hurt with, you know, what they did to my husband after the campaign,” Mrs. Tinubu said during an appearance on TV Continental’s ‘Your View’ in Lagos. “Occasionally I’ll chip in and say, you’re still helping out? Why are you helping out?”

But Mr. Tinubu, known as the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, would often reply: “This country matters to me most,” Mrs. Tinubu said.

The disclosure was, perhaps, the first direct confirmation that Mr. Tinubu felt betrayed by the APC administration after he helped the party come to power in 2015

Claims that Mr. Tinubu was abandoned by President Muhammadu Buhari after the 2015 elections have failed to ebb since they first started circulating after the principal officers of the National Assembly were elected on June 9, 2015.

Mrs. Tinubu’s narrative is not new. It is hoped it will not be like that of Aisha Buhari and her husband, President Buhari that ended up as mere talk. One wonders what Remi wants to achieve with this disclosure when her husband has continued to deny any rift with President Buhari and has even moved ahead to accept the task of reconciling aggrieved APC members.

Remi should have known that her husband is a smart and strategic politician, who knows when to retreat and when to surrender; unless Remi is saying that she does not know her husband too well, or has not read the political barometer ahead of 2019. It may not be out place that the best option for Tinubu ahead of 2019 is to remain in APC and reposition it, rather than gambling with the idea of defecting or forming a new party with all the uncertainties. Tinubu may have also realised that the Buhari government, despite its shortcomings and lukewarm attitude towards him since 2015 remains a better choice than for him to be rubbished politically.

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