Weekly political notes
Buhari Travels To UK For Medical Reasons
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, undertook a four-day medical trip to the United Kingdom, his spokesperson said.
A statement from his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Monday said, “In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week, the president had a meeting with his doctor.”
Shehu said the doctor requested “the president to return for a meeting which he agreed to do. President Buhari will return today, May 12th,” he said.
He also said on his return, the president’s two-day State Visit to Jigawa, which was postponed because of ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress, will now take place on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Ordinarily, there should be no furore or fuss about Buhari’s medical trip, especially as it was made public. But trust Nigerians, especially the politicians who have made it a campaign issue ahead of 2019 polls. They have even forgotten that Buhari is human and not immune to sickness.
While it is expected of some Nigerians to express concerns over the health status of President Buhari ahead of his seeking re-election in 2019, it is also good to remind them that they are not God that gives and takes life. After all, Buhari’s last medical trip, which generated controversies and tension, including death rumour eventually ended as a hoax, as he returned home alive.
Instead of playing politics with Buhari’s health, Nigerians should pray for him. Buhari is an adult who knows when to retreat and when to surrender. So, calls for Buhari’s resignation are not only political, it is unnecessary at this point.
Anytime, there is need for resignation, circumstances beyond Buhari’s control will enthrone it and nothing will stop. But that does not mean that there is something wrong in Buhari stepping aside to take care of his health. It is high time the constitution is amended to ensure that public office holders make their health status public.
Senate Summons Service Chiefs Over Illegal Possession Of Firearms
The Senate has resolved to invite all military chiefs; the Director General of the State Security Service, Lawan Daura; and the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali over the illegal possession of firearms by non-authorised Nigerians.
The invitation was sequel to a motion on the proliferation of dangerous firearms in Nigeria by Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North). The security officers are to discuss ways to put an end to “this unfortunate situation.”
The National Assembly, especially the Senate has become a house of Summons. Summoning government officials has become the major hubby of the lawmakers, instead of law making. No wonder there is virtually no week that one or two government officials are not summoned or invited by the Senate.
So annoying is it that at the end of such summons, nothing meaningful comes out of it. It mostly ends as exercise in futility because whatever is the decision of the Senate does not have prosecutorial backing. So, if that is the case, is it not time for the Senate to have a rethink on continuous summon of government officials without making any headway? If not for anything, the snub of the Senate by the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim is enough evidence that Nigerians and public office holders are tired of Senate’s continuous summons. Even though it also signals a threat to democracy.
Corruption: Secondus, Others Will Soon Be Docked- Presidency
The national chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus and all other politicians against, whom the anti-corruption agencies had ongoing investigations will soon have their days in court, the Presidency said.
Reacting to a letter to the United Nations Secretary General by Secondus, the Presidency said the opposition party was trying to mislead the UN.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Tuesday said: “It is only a matter of time before the law catches up with them and makes them pay for the grief their mismanagement of the past has caused and is still causing Nigerians.”
Well, it is expected and constitutional that all the accused have their days in court, but what is of utmost importance to Nigerians is to prove the cases against them. There is nothing unusual in docking Secondus and others over alleged corruption, because that is the position of law. Nigerians can’t wait to see the law catching up with them, but the fear is that just like past ones, it may be difficult to secure conviction against Secondus and others.
Guard Your Utterances, Sultan Cautions Politicians
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has cautioned politicians to guard their utterances in the interest of peace, saying politicians should stop abusing one another, especially on the Kaduna incident.
At the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Pre-Ramadan meeting in Kaduna on Tuesday, the Sultan called on leaders and the led to respect one another saying, “We are the only one that can bring an end to the challenges confronting us as a nation.”
He said instances where political leaders go about abusing themselves publicly and is being heard and seen on different media platforms nationally and internationally is not good for the country.
Oga Sultan, it is not only the politicians that should guard their utterances, religious leaders should do so too, because they are major culprits of hate speech. Most of them have become more political than the politicians. They mount pulpits and say ungodly things that are capable of tearing the country apart. Some have been accused of being sympathetic to a particular political party.
If religious leaders guard their utterances and live by example, the politicians will not see what they will play politics with. Prominent roles are expected from religious leaders in uniting Nigerians than from politicians. But it appears religious leaders are found wanting in this regard, thereby giving politicians opportunity to continue to divide the country along religious and tribal lines for their selfish interests.
N’Assembly Invasion: Omo-Agege Risks Indefinite Suspension
Weeks after thugs invaded the Senate and snatched the mace, its symbol of authority, indications have emerged that the upper legislative chamber may be plotting to impose fresh sanctions on suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki met with President Muhammadu Buhari on the invasion and sundry issues affecting the relationship between the legislature and the executive.
Senate should be mindful that Omo-Agege has taken his suspension to court and has secured favourable judgment that declared his suspension illegal. Henceforth, the Senate leadership should be cautious in handling the matter, especially as it is now obvious that Omo Agege enjoys the backing of the presidency. Now that court has declared the suspension illegal, it is left for the Senate to appeal the judgment.
But pending the outcome of the appeal, Omo-Agege is expected to immediately to resume at the Senate chamber and enjoys all his privileges as ordered by the court. With this development, it is clear that Omo-Agege has won round one of the fight. Now, what next for the Saraki and his cohorts that masterminded Omo-Agege’s suspension without recourse to the constitution? Would they insist on Omo-Agege’s suspension or obey the ruling of the court in this regard?
I’ll Jail Ajimobi When I Become Oyo Gov- Communications Minister
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has declared that he will ensure that incumbent governor of Oyo state, Abiola Ajimobi is jailed when he, Shittu, eventually becomes the governor in 2019.
Speaking to journalists Tuesday evening in Abuja, after a closed door meeting with the APC national chairman Chief John Odigie Oyegun, Shittu also spoke about last Saturday’s ward congresses in the state.
Adebayo has counted his eggs before they are hatched. What a myopic statement. Is Adebayo saying that it has been decided by the powers-that-be that he will succeed Ajimobi in 2019? Even if that is the case, Adebayo should wait to win the party ticket and governorship election first, before saying what he will do to Governor Ajimobi. But can Adebayo tell Nigerians how many ex-governors have been sent to jail by their successors since 1999.
Adebayo’s outburst has exposed his arrogance, pettiness and vindictiveness. He has shown that he lacks the temperament to be a leader. This is not the first time he is speaking arrogantly and this may not be the last.
Meanwhile, if Adebayo believes he has enough dossier on Ajimobi that send take him to jail, why not submit it to anti-graft agency for early investigations and trial when he leaves office? Adebayo should be reminded that one plus one in Nigerian politics could be nine or anything. It all depends.
Why We Are Accepting Repented Boko Haram Members-Gov. Shettima
The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima said the government resolved to accept the repented and deradicalised members of the Boko Haram insurgents, as part of peace building process in the crisis-hit areas.
Shettima disclosed this during his speech at the closing ceremony of the two-day Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum for Regional Cooperation on Stabilisation, Peace-building and Sustainable Development in Maiduguri on Wednesday.
“Governments of the region have the largeness of heart to embrace and to reintegrate into the society, the deradicalised members of Boko Haram,” he said.
Gov. Shettima, it is hoped you know the consequences of this decision, especially on the ongoing fight against the insurgents in the state? While there is nothing absolutely wrong in accepting repented Boko Haram members, there is need to ensure that they are truly repented and deradicalised. It should go beyond largeness of government’s heart to embrace them.
Besides, before accepting them there is need to profile them and ascertain their readiness to be reintegrated into the society. This is because it is always difficult to learn left hand at old age.
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