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Weekly political notes


Olusegun Obasanjo

Buhari To Obasanjo: You Have Questions To Answer Over $16bn Power Projects
President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has questions to answer over the spending of $16 billion on power projects during his administration.Buhari stated this on Tuesday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving the Buhari Support Organisation led by the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali.

Although the president did not mention Obasanjo’s name, he, however, asked “where was the power after a former president claimed to have spent $16 billion on the project?”Many believed Buhari was fighting dirty in order to pay back Obasanjo who has mounted spirited campaign against his re-election bid. But that does not mean that Obasanjo has no question to answer.

One thing Buhari forgets to say was that every Nigerian who occupies public position, including him has questions to answer now or later. This is because an average Nigerian sees public office as an avenue for personal enrichment, instead of selfless service.


Meanwhile, President Buhari has not said anything new, but has just reminded Obasanjo and Nigerians what they seemed to have forgotten. It would be recalled that the controversies and intrigues that characterised the power probe nearly ruined the political career of the chairman of the House Committee on Power, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.Unfortunately at the end of the day and as usual, the report of the committee was not only politicised, it was dumped for reasons best known to the leadership of the House of Representatives. This was despite the fact that many Nigerians have in 2008 described the $16 billion spent on power by the Obasanjo government as a colossal waste.

Ndume Tackles Saraki For Dictatorship, Lack Of Integrity In Senate’
A former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) has blamed the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for the little or no integrity that currently exists in the Senate.He said this while speaking on a programme on Channels Television, where he said he regretted supporting him (Saraki) to emerge as Senate President.While accusing Saraki of targeting those who oppose him, the senator said: “Look at the Senate now, we have been reduced to unbearable level of integrity, just because of few people or few persons. That is wrong.”

Many maybe surprised how and why Senator Ndume who lost his voice in the Senate after his return from the 90 days suspension suddenly found it again. Well, there is no magic. Ndume may have been emboldened by the court judgment that quashed Senator Omo-Agege’s suspension.

So, Ndume’s action is like crying over spilt milk. Yes, suspension may not be a viable tool for Senate to discipline its members; that does not mean that the institution called Senate should be destroyed for selfish reason. The institution deserves preservation and protection if the country’s democracy must survive. Besides, the Senate will outlive its current leadership.But by all standards, Ndume lacks the moral ground to preach integrity in the Senate. Just like every other Nigerian political office, integrity is not only lacking in the Senate, it is far from its members. This is because integrity is earned. It is not fought for, bought or contested like election. That is why it has remained a scarce commodity among Nigerian politicians. And it may remain so for long unless something drastic and good happen to the country’s political system.

APC Can’t Fix ‘Destroyed’ Nigeria In Three Years-Oshiomhole
Former governor of Edo State and chairmanship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that his party cannot fix in three years what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) destroyed in 16 years.Oshiomhole said this while meeting with the APC caucus of the Senate Tuesday, afternoon. The meeting, which initially started behind closed-door was made open to journalists to cover the speeches by Oshiomhole and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Even before emerging the new national chairman of APC, Oshiomhole has joined the government’s buck-passing. Yes, who knows whether that is what was required of Oshiomhole by the powers-that-be before he could be fully supported to become the next APC national chairman.

But instead of continuous complaints and blame game, Oshiomhole should urge his party to start fixing the country, because time is of essence. The whole time cannot be spent blaming past governments, especially the immediate past. APC-led government was elected in 2015 to tackle the myriad of problems bedeviling the country, irrespective of who was responsible.If APC government is insisting that PDP is solely responsible for Nigeria’s problems in the last 16 years, then APC should be reminded that former key PDP members are not only strong members of APC today, they are holding appointive positions. It means that nothing has changed and that is why problems have been multiplying.

Court Orders Metuh’s Trial In Absentia
The trial judge of case involving former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, Justice Okon Abang, has ordered further trial to continue in the absence of the defendant.Justice Abang held that it will not amount to breach of fair hearing. He said Metuh indulged in misconduct by disobeying the order of court, before he did so and fell on his own. He said Metuh disregarded the court proceeding by continuous loud whistling and groaning as if, he was in great pain.” He said the doctor from the medical unit of the court, acted on her own.

With this, it is expected the court constitutes an independent medical examination to know whether Metuh is making mockery of the trial. One wonders why prominent personalities facing criminal trial suddenly become sick. Is Metuh’s ‘sickness’ a ploy to delay or derail trial or a genuine sickness that deserves urgent overseas medical attention? But whether it is a tradition in the judiciary to try a defendant, who is certified ill in absentia is a matter legal minds can extrapolate.

Okorocha Vows To Remain In APC
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has dismissed as mischief alleged plans by him to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Sam Onwuemeodo, dismissed the reports, saying the governor is still in control of the APC in the state.

There have been insinuations Okorocha would leave the APC after appearing to lose out in the party’s ward congress in the state.The insinuations worsened on Monday after he was quoted as saying he can win election in the state as a member of APGA.While Okorocha may seem to have no option now than to remain in APC, his continuous presence in APC without being in control of the party apparatus in the state is very dangerous. One thing in Nigerian politics is that it is not over until it is over. For the estranged APC chieftains in Imo State, who felt they have wrested power and party structure from Okorocha ahead of 2019, it is not yet over.

Okorocha, apart from being an incumbent governor will not lose out completely in the game, considering that he has the financial chest to rock boat for the APC when it matters most. We all saw it in Anambra governorship election, where APC members who lost the governorship ticket worked against APC victory during the election. Today, those people are still strong members of APC, occupying appointed and elective positions and heaven did not fall. What to do is ensure that the levers of powers are netrualised to ensure minimal damages.


Senator Tinubu Endorses Ugwuanyi’s Re-Election Bid
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has extolled the leadership virtues of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, describing him as “a very good and humble man” who she would wish to see return to office in 2019.Senator Tinubu, who is former first lady of Lagos State and wife of national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, spoke in Enugu on Tuesday, where she represented President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the gully erosion control and road improvement works executed by the Federal Government at Awlaw, Orji River Local Government Area.She expressed delight at the peaceful atmosphere in the state saying: “The people of Enugu State are very lucky to have you as their governor.”

The senator, who told Gov. Ugwuanyi that God has already ordained his re-election added: “I wish to see you back on the seat in 2019.”Governor Ugwuanyi is one of the governors whose re-election bid has received massive support from within and outside the state and across party lines.Apart from Tinubu’s wife, many prominent and downtrodden Nigerians have before now attested glowingly to Governor Ugwuanyi’s exceptional leadership qualities.

This speaks volume of Ugwuanyi’s personality, performance and leadership style. One thing good about the governor is that he is not carried away by accolades as he has consistently and strongly focused on providing good governance and development. With this development, opposition parties have to work extra hard to the give the governor a run in 2019.

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Olusegun Obasanjo
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