Weekly political notes
Mace Theft: Police Arrest Senator Omo-Agege
Police on Wednesday afternoon arrested suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, at the National Assembly premises.
Omo-Agege was whisked away in a black hilux van at about 1:54 pm. The arrest is in connection with the theft of the Senate mace, hours earlier.
Senate spokesperson, Sabi Abdullahi, accused the senator of leading hoodlums to the Senate chamber to seize the mace. Omo-Agege after the incident returned to the Senate chamber, where he attended the plenary session.
Hmmm, the Senate is at it again with another drama. Weep not for the Senate for the members know the politics they are playing at the expense of the rest of Nigerians.
Stealing of the mace is not new. It is part of the legislative rascality that has characterised both National and State Assemblies since 1999. Nigerians have witnessed it in the National Assembly before now; so also in Houses of Assembly in Rivers, Nasarrawa, Benue, Edo and other state. And at the end, nothing meaningful comes out of it, apart from public outcry and condemnations. This one will not be different.
So, there is no big deal in what happened in the Senate chamber on Wednesday, unless Nigerians have forgotten so soon. It is all about politics of 2019 and power tussle. It is not about the wellbeing of the suffering masses or impoverished Nigerians that cannot afford three square meal a day.
This may be the beginning of another round of plot to effect change of leadership in the senate. Saraki and his allies in the upper chamber should not be surprised by last Wednesday’s event, rather they should be worried and concerned. With the spate of suspension of dissent voices in the senate, the leadership should have known that some senators with the tactical support of the powers-that-be will fight back. Weekly Political Notes has last week expressed worry over the spate of suspension of dissent senators by Saraki’s leadership.
Let no one be surprised if Senator Omo-Agege is released unconditionally by the Police, and he returns to the Senate chamber unperturbed. This is even when his suspension has not been lifted. They will tell Nigerians that Omo-Agege did not breach any law. Besides, he is covered by immunity over whatever he does on the floor of the chamber. Omo-Agege has already denied complicity in the saga. After all, he is a lawmaker, lawyer and son of a retired judge? Nothing will happen.
After all, it is ‘them, them’. It is about N13.5m monthly bazaar. That may be the reason Omo-Agege is fighting back. They know what they are doing.
Falae Visits Obasanjo, Seeks Collective Effort To Unseat Buhari
The Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae, has called for a collective effort to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Falae, who visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Tuesday, said it was obvious that things were not going right in the country, contrary to promises made in 2015.
He dismissed the notion that he was in Abeokuta to seek support for his presidential ambition, declaring that affairs of the country was more than the political ambition of anybody.
Baba Falae, the only collective effort to unseat Buhari in 2019 is for every Nigerian to get his or her voter card and vote during election. It is not about you visiting Obasanjo and calling for collective effort to unseat Buhari. Remember that neither you nor Obasanjo is in control of INEC, Police, Army, or Nigeria voters. You only have one vote, so also Obasanjo. So, it is about number of votes, not number of visits made or support mouthed.
After all, your alleged support for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 after forming partnership and receiving monetary reward did not earn Jonathan victory in your state Ondo, talkless of Southwest. But if one may ask: When did Obasanjo become your political ally again, after he defeated you in 1999 presidential election? Is this your new love and friendship with Obasanjo all about how Buhari can be defeated in 2019? It is hoped you can get along politically with Obasanjo without complaints.
Meanwhile, your party has every opportunity now with the influx of PDP bigwigs to show its strength. It behoves your leadership to ensure that the party is put in order to provide a vibrant alternative for Nigerians in 2019. That is what is expected of you and it is very important you do not disappoint Nigerians.
2019: Buhari Appoints Keyamo Campaign Spokesman
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a lawyer, Festus Keyamo, as Director General, Strategic Communications of his 2019 re-election campaign.
The Director General of Buhari Campaign Organisation and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, released Keyamo’s letter of appointment to State House on Tuesday in Abuja. The letter dated April 16, was signed by Amaechi.
Amaechi explained that Keyamo’s appointment was to aid Buhari’s nomination process for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the subsequent campaign for the presidential election.
Keyamo is the man for the job having been speaking good of Buhari’s government before now. Who says hardwork does not pay; it pays. Keyamo’s appointment is an evidence.
No doubt, the choice of Keyamo will give opposition a run for their money and capacity. One wonders with the likes of Keyamo, what the political atmosphere will be if any PDP presidential aspirant chooses Femi Fani-Kayode as spokesman in 2019. It will be fire for fire.
Keyamo should know that he has enormous task ahead; which is how to market Buhari and his government before Nigerians. It is a herculean job that requires extraordinary efforts, political dexterity and fact to deliver. But whether Keyamo can deliver or not will be known in the days ahead. After all, political communication is quite different from activism and law practice.
Killings: Sack Service Chiefs Now, Senators Tell Buhari
The Senate, Tuesday took serious exception to the killings in parts of the country, which some members said showed the failure of the service chiefs and heads of other security agencies.
While some senators demanded the sacking of the service chiefs, others call for a practical way of tackling the problem. The government, they argued, should not shy away from seeking foreign assistance to deal with the problem.
The debate followed a motion moved by Senator Sulaiman Adokwe (Nasarawa South Senatorial District) on the killings in his constituency by suspected herdsmen.
While the spate of killings across the country is condemnable, it is not enough for the Senate to ask Buhari to sack Service Chiefs. What is the assurance that sacking the Service Chiefs will end the killings? It is expected of the Senate to interface with the Service Chiefs to ascertain the challenges they are encountering in tackling the killings. Is it that the barber does not know how to barb or that razor is not sharp? This will help in providing solution to the problem.
After all, the same Senate has demanded for appropriation of the 1billion dollar recently approved by Buhari for security. Instead of calling for the sack of Service Chiefs, the Senate should look into the merit of the fund and give it approval. The Senate should also step up its oversight functions to ensure that funds allocated to buy arms are not diverted for 2019 campaigns, as was the case with the ousted PDP government.
Nigerian Govt Orders Probe Of Senate Mace Theft
The federal government has directed security agencies to immediately swing to action to unravel circumstances surrounding the invasion of the Senate chamber by suspected hoodlums on Tuesday.
In a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Wednesday, the government condemned the attack.
Mohammed was quoted as saying the security around the National Assembly complex would also be reinforced to prevent a recurrence.
Of what importance is the government’s order for probe of the incident? What is the assurance that government will act on the findings of probe or that such incident will not happen again? There are other pressing issues that deserve the attention of the government than probing how mace was stole from the Senate Chamber. What should be done is to beef up security around the National Assembly.
Let those found culpable be prosecuted immediately to serve as a deterrent to others who might be thinking in that direction. After all, Nigeria is not a Banana Republic.