Weekly political notes
To End Oyegun, Others’ Tenure
Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have finally resolved their differences on the position of President Muhammadu Buhari, regarding the extension of the tenure of party officials.
The decision followed a second meeting between Buhari and the governors in his office on Wednesday.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State said, “Gentlemen of the press, you know yesterday, we left you in the dark after the meeting and today we have seen so many captions that there is disagreement between the governors over the issue of party chairman or about the party leadership.
“No. We had a meeting with President yesterday (Tuesday), and we extended the meeting today and we followed up with the consultations with the president now.
“We consulted and all the 24 governors of the APC are on the same page with President that we are going to respect our party constitution, we are going to respect the constitution of the country.
“So, therefore, we collectively agreed that we will have congresses at all levels–local, state, and national.”
This is not surprising, considering that in party politics, it is rare for the governors to disagree with the president’s position on issues.
Where such happens, crisis usually occurs. So, it is not out of place that the governors’ decision to support Buhari’s position is to avoid crisis in the party.
Buhari has spoken as the leader of the party and everybody has to obey him. The good thing is that Oyegun and other party officials have the constitutional right to seek re-election at the convention.
It is left for the governors who want Oyegun to continue in office to ensure he is re-elected. That is, if Buhari should be in support of Oyegun’s re-election.
This is considering that Bola Tinubu is interested in seeing Oyegun removed from office. A move that appears to be enjoying the tactical support of Buhari in recent times, all in a bid to appease Tinubu ahead of 2019.
Lawan Chairs N/Assembly
Image Redemption Panel
The Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe North) has been appointed chairman of a panel to address negative perception of the National Assembly by Nigerians.
Other members of the committee are Senator Biodun Olujimi, Rep. Aminu Shehu Shagari, Rep. Ohiozeh Peter Akpatason, Clerk to the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, Clerk of the House, Abubakar Adamu, Legal Adviser to the Speaker, Mr. Chille Igbauwa and a representative of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
Addressing newsmen at the National Assembly, Lawan said the panel was to organise a programme tagged, ‘Open week’ to enlighten Nigerians on the constitutional responsibilities of the National Assembly.
As good as this looks, it is not necessary at this point, because Nigerians already know the constitutional responsibilities of the National Assembly; unless National Assembly wants to embark on another jamboree.
What has remained unknown to Nigerians until recently was the salary and allowances of National Assembly members. Senator Shehu Sani’s disclosure of the mind-boggling monthly take-home pay was a shocker to many Nigerians. This is despite attempt by National Assembly to justify it.
It is hoped that at the proposed event, National Assembly will throw more light on the bogus salary and allowances of members and why they have refused to reduce it in the face of obvious economic challenges. Nigerians will also like to know why they are always passionate and quick in passing bills that are always self-preserving.
Looters’ List: FG Has No Case Against Us —PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday, insisted that it has no case to answer regarding the list of alleged looters
The Federal Government had in two tranches, named alleged looters of the federation account, particularly during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
But the PDP said those on the list, some of who are not even its members, were individuals who have neither been indicted nor convicted for corruption by any court.
The opposition party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had wanted to use the looters’ list as a ploy to divert public discourse on their failures in the administration of the country.
Yes, it may be true that the list is diversionary and ill timed. That does not mean that the alleged looters who served under PDP government have no question to answer. They have plenty questions to answer and the earlier they prepare their answer the better for them.
It behoves them to prove that they are not looters. This is only for those who have not applied for plea bargain. But for those who applied plea bargain, they have admitted to have taken what did not belong to them.
So, it is wrong for anybody to say that the alleged looters have no question to answer. Besides, If PDP felt it has no case to answer, why the recent apology to Nigerians?
To the APC-led government, the anti-graft war cannot be said to be complete without the naming and trial of alleged looters, who have left PDP for APC. Anything to the contrary, simply means that the anti-graft war is a charade designed to fail ab nitio.
Obasanjo’s Verdict On Buhari
Has Vindicated Me, Says Fayose
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has described call by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Muhammadu Buhari should stop giving Nigerians excuses and that “Nigerians should not re-elect a failed government, who always give one excuse or another for its failure to meet up with Nigerians’ expectations,” as vindication of his position that Buhari had nothing to offer the country.
The governor said: “Even though I do not agree with Obasanjo, history will not be kind to us if we do not acknowledge such a statement, not minding his roles in foisting this present calamity on Nigerians.”
According to a press statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said: “what Obasanjo said is not new from what I said before and after President Buhari was elected.”
Fayose, this one is a case of my enemy’s enemy is my enemy. It is known that you and Obasanjo have not been best of friends politically in recent times. It is true that you have been critical of Buhari’s government since it came into office, but that does not mean that Obasanjo’s verdict has vindicated you.
When did you start to take Obasanjo’s verdict hook, line and sinker? Was it not the same Obasanjo you have called names? You are really a typical Nigerian politician.
What is exceptional and factual about Obasanjo’s verdict, considering that his government was not in anyway better or different?
Is it not the same Obasanjo, who has been critical of every successive governments in the country, since he left office as president? This is especially when his views are not taken or sought for by the government of the day. How has Obasanjo suddenly become your hero?
Nigerian Govt Announces Plans To Profile NGOs
Months after a bill to regulate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) failed in the National Assembly, the government has announced plans to profile NGOs.
The federal government says the profiling is to ensure compliance with regulations against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Francis Usani, Director, Nigerian Financial intelligence Unit (NFIU) said this at a regional workshop on money laundering organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Usani, who is also the National Correspondent of GIABA, said that the profiling would address some “deficient NGOs” in the country.
According to him, “Recently, the Budget Office is doing something to address some deficient NGOs and also engaging the NFIU to profile some NGOs in the country.
“This is going to be a continuous exercise to profile and see the NGOs that are actually committed to their main cause and those not committed to any cause; this will probably be delisted and maybe their registrations be removed.”
This is a welcome development, considering that some of the NGOs have deviated from their main objectives to engage in all sorts of shady deals. Many of them have been accused of engaging in money laundering, while others cannot account for the grants they receive from overseas for years.
Many are handy to be hired or used by politicians to do a yeoman job when the need arises. Profiling the NGOs will help government to separate wheat from chaff as mechanic people have made it a bit difficult for Nigerians to know mad men.
It is hoped that this profiling is not a ploy by the government to gag civil society. Nigerians will surely resist if they discover that the profiling is an attempt to stifle NGOs.
Buhari Approves $1b For Purchase Of Arms
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.
This was revealed Wednesday, by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, while speaking with journalists at the end of a security meeting chaired by the president.
“Of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1 billion,” he said.
The minister also said the recent deployments to Zamfara and other neighbouring states of Sokoto and Katsina is expected take care of the security challenges in the area.
Expectedly, tongues will be wagging on this in the days to come, but of utmost importance is the need to ensure that the money is spent on purchase of quality equipment. This is to avoid another arms deal scandal now or when the government leaves office.