Monday, 25th September 2023

Weekly political notes

By Samson Ezea
16 June 2018   |   4:14 am
June 12 Annulment: Buhari Apologises To Abiola Family President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, in Abuja tendered unreserved apology on behalf of the Federal Government to the family of the late Moshood Abiola, over the annulment of June 12, 1993 poll, presumably won by Abiola.The president apologised at the Special National Honours Investiture and award presentation…

Biodun Olujimi

June 12 Annulment: Buhari Apologises To Abiola Family
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, in Abuja tendered unreserved apology on behalf of the Federal Government to the family of the late Moshood Abiola, over the annulment of June 12, 1993 poll, presumably won by Abiola.The president apologised at the Special National Honours Investiture and award presentation to heroes of June 12, 1993, poll which was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida regime.

Buhari said the decision to hold the event was not to open old wounds, but to bury the negative sides of June 12 and it’s ill-feelings, hates, frustration and agony.The apology tendered by Buhari was well-deserved for the Abiola’s family, considering what they passed through during and after the June 12 struggle. Till date, Abiola’s family has not recovered from the aftermath of the struggle that cut short the life of their breadwinner, MKO Abiola. To members of Abiola’s family, it was an abrupt end of a journey as they struggled for years to get justice and sustain the legacies left by Abiola, but to no avail.

With Buhari’s apology and honour on MKO Abiola, the family members and supporters may have been pacified, but what about other Nigerians who paid dearly for the struggle? Don’t they deserve honour or possibly compensation from the Federal Government as well? This is considering that the success or otherwise of June 12 struggle was not made possible by MKO Abiola alone. There were other unsung heroes and heroines of the struggle that have been left unrecognised. They also deserve honour and recognition as well, because what is good for the goose is also good for the ganders.

2019: I Don’t Have Obasanjo’s Backing–Donald Duke
A presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Donald Duke, on Tuesday, said his ambition was not backed by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo.Duke, a former governor of Cross River, who recently declared his intention to run for the exalted office, told journalists in Lagos that though he remain close to Obasanjo, his decision to run was personal.On zoning in the PDP, Duke said that it would not deter him from running as it remained his constitutional right.

“Let the people decide. Zoning is undemocratic. I am running as a Nigerian. Zoning has never brought out the best in us. It brings compromise,’’ he said.Duke, whether you have Obasanjo’s backing or not is immaterial at this point. This is because it is your constitutional right to contest for the presidency. Besides, Obasanjo has only one vote and he is no longer a member of the PDP. So, even if you are his stooge, it makes no meaning because he will not be there in PDP, when your fate will be decided. After all, the same Obasanjo had ahead of 2007 elections prodded you and the likes of Dr. Peter Odili, Obong Victor Attah and others to campaign to succeed him, only to make a u-turn last minute to pick Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar Adua as PDP presidential candidate and Goodluck Jonathan as his running mate.

It appears hypocritical to say that zoning in PDP is undemocratic and cannot deter you from contesting. At least, you know there has been zoning principle in the PDP since 1999 and the presidency has already been zoned to North come 2019. Duke may try his luck and perhaps, negotiate for a vice president slot.

June 12: More Nigerians To Be Honoured-SGF
THE Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, has revealed that more Nigerians will be honoured.He made this disclosure while giving the welcome speech at the investiture ceremony for the conferment of national honours on heroes of democracy and the commemoration of June 12 as democracy day at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.In his remark, Mustapha announced there would be more conferment of national honours on other distinguished Nigerians who also contributed immensely to the enthronement of democratic governance in the country.

“Their names and investiture dates will be revealed later. These awards serve as a public acknowledgement of their pivotal contribution to nationhood and a further demonstration of this Administration’s commitment to upholding the ethos of democratic governance,” he said.Well, this remark appeared to be an afterthought by the Federal Government, following criticisms that trailed the non-inclusion of some key players of June 12 struggle such as the Chairman NEC, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, Olisah Agbakoba and others in the list of the awardees. Why were these key players excluded in the list of awardees during the June 12 investiture, only for the SGF to announce that more Nigerians would be honoured later?

Nigerians have always known that Federal Government honours prominent Nigerians with national honours from time to time. So, SGF has not said anything new by his pronouncement. He just tried to cleverly cover government’s obvious lapses, lopsidedness and haste in announcing June 12 as Democracy and honouring Abiola alongside few others. It may be because of this exclusion that some Nigerians are making insinuations that President Buhari hates some sections of the country.

Court Jails Ex-Plateau Governor, Dariye, For Corruption
Ex-Plateau State governor and senator representing Plateau Central district, Joshua Dariye, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption on Tuesday.A Federal Capital Territory High Court, led by Justice Adebukola Banjoko, sentenced Dariye to two years in prison for criminal breach of trust and 14 years for criminal misappropriation of funds.Dariye was found guilty of diverting N1.162 billion state ecological funds, while he was governor between 1999 and 2007. He was first arraigned on a 23-count charge for the offence in 2007.

Hmmm, the chicken seems to be gradually coming to roost. Ex-governors who have delayed their corruption trials for more than a decade now are being thrown into prison by a fearless and courageous judge. The other day it was Nyame. Today, it is Dariye. Who is next, Kalu, Adamu, Shema, Yuguda, Yero? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, this development calls for introspection and reflection. What happened in the trial that led to the duo of Nyame and Dariye being jailed, that had not happened for more than a decade their trials have lingered? Was it that the barber does not know how to cut or that the blade was blunt? Or was it a case of the two? But whatever happened, it is interesting to see new things happening. The prison is meant for the lowly and the mighty.

Not even Dariye’s defection to All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2016 could save him from being jailed for corruption. The imprisonment of the two ex-governors- Nyame and Dariye within one month over corruption has put a question mark on the kind of leadership being provided by state governors. But even at this, some of these governors are transparent and accountable. There are lessons for public office holders, especially governors to learn.

Quite pathetic in Dariye’s case is the fact that he is a chattered accountant, who ought to have known the implications of his financial actions, while in office as governor. Won’t Chief Olusegun Obasanjo say that he has been vindicated, having tried everything possible as President to remove Dariye from office over corruption allegation?

Ekiti 2018: Olujimi Writes Secondus, Demands Automatic Senatorial Ticket To Support Fayose’s Candidate
Former governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti, Senator Biodun Olujimi, has given conditions upon which she would support the eventual winner of the party’s ticket, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.Olujimi who currently represents Ekiti South in the National Assembly, stated this in a letter she sent to the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

In the letter dated May 30, the former deputy governor is demanding that the Senate slot of Ekiti South senatorial district for 2019 be ceded to her unconditionally.She also wants allocation of certain percentage of elective positions, federal and state appointments to her team.The senator is one of the 49-member campaign council recently constituted for Ekiti governorship election by PDP National Secretariat, which has Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel as its Chairman.

Call Olujimi Oliver Twist, you are right. She is a Nigerian politician. What is of utmost importance to her is her political survival, not the welfare of the people she is representing. After all, she has once said on the floor of the Senate that she spent a lot of money to get herself a senate seat. So, it is not surprising that she demanded for automatic senatorial ticket, among other demands as a condition to support her party’s candidate in Ekiti election.

This shows that her unalloyed loyalty does not lie with the party and that she has no trust in the party leadership in the state, especially her former boss, Governor Ayodele Fayose. But truly this is Nigerian politics. It is a game of no trust and honour. For this reason and others, there is need for dialogue with Olujimi. Something must be traded off in the spirit of give and take. Time is of essence. Fayose and the PDP in Ekiti cannot afford to lose Olujimi now after losing Dayo Adeyeye to APC. It will be suicidal for PDP to lose more members to APC.

We’re In Talks With Kwankwaso On New Party-Sen Nyako
Senator Abdulaziz Nyako has said that he and others are in talks with Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso about a new political party.Nyako, who represents Adamawa Central at the Senate said he was preparing with the teeming supporters of his father and former Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) due to marginalisation.
“We have no option than to go; but we are still discussing the party to move to with our entire structure. I have spoken with Prof. Jerry Gana in SDP. I also spoke with Attahiru Bafarawa and fixed an appointment for him with Admiral Nyako. Bafarawa wants us to return to PDP,” he said.

Nyako, it is your right to leave APC, even though the law says lawmakers can only defect in time of crisis in the party. But nobody cares about the caveat anymore since it has been subjected to abuse by politicians. And nobody has challenged the abuse to logical conclusion in court.Meanwhile, Nigerians are worried about the fragmented oppositions ahead of 2019. This may help spilt votes and makes it difficult for the ruling party to be strongly challenged. There is urgent need for the opposition to close ranks and form a formidable alliance to give APC a run for their money.