Weekly political notes
Ex-governor of Benue State and senator representing Benue Northwest district, Senator George Akume, on Tuesday, held a closed-door meeting with the Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Lawali Shuaibu.
Akume was summoned by the APC national leadership, following the declaration by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Monday, that the party had given him “a red card”.
After the meeting, the former governor, who was seen off by Sen. Shuaibu, declined to comment on the outcome of the talks.
He, however, said that he would revisit the party secretariat Wednesday.
With 2019 elections drawing near, politicians have started the game they know how to play well.
Ortom’s red card remarks and Akume’s visit have nothing to do with the welfare of Benue people or the killings in the state in recent times.
It is all about scheming and how to be or remain politically relevant in 2019. It is also not hidden that Ortom is Akume’s godson.
It was Akume, who made it possible for Ortom to pick APC governorship ticket, after losing PDP ticket less than two weeks to the APC primary.
Earlier favoured for the APC ticket was former House of Representatives member, Barrister Emmanuel Jime, who was stopped in favour of Ortom at last minute.
Since Ortom assumed office, Akume has been covertly playing the godfather role, dictating who gets what, how and when.
While this lasted for almost three years plus, Gov. Ortom neither complained openly nor cried out, until after the APC national convention.
That was when it dawned on Ortom that Akume is still in control of the party structure in the state; a development Ortom felt would put his re-election in jeopardy. That was why Ortom raised the red card alarm.
Now that Ortom has raised the alarm and the party leadership has summoned Akume and Ortom for a parley, will anything meaningful come out of it?
Nothing should be expected, other than politics of 2019, of which the Benue people will be at the receiving end.
If Ortom finally defects to PDP, Akume will fight him with the tactical support of the powers-that-be in Abuja.
If Ortom stays back in APC, he may be re-elected, but not without conceding certain things and positions to Akume.
Secondus Leads PDP Presidential Aspirants To Sokoto
National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus on Wednesday led PDP presidential aspirants on a condolence visit to Sokoto State, where bandits killed 39 people.
The aspirants included, former vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former governors of Jigawa, Kano and Sokoto states, Suleiman Lamido, Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa, as well as the former Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Turaki.
Condoling Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Secondus said the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Netherlands was needless, because his country was passing through serious pains as people are killed almost on daily basis.
According to him, the president had failed woefully in the area of security.
“The current federal government has failed woefully.
It is important that Nigerians should look on to God for intervention not the government again,” he said
Hmmm, The visit is not only suspicious, it has political colouration.
This is the first time the PDP leadership, alongside its presidential aspirants are visiting an APC governor over killings in their states.
It is hoped the visit is to truly condole with Governor Tambuwal and people of Sokoto and not to discuss politics of 2019.
This is because it has been speculated that Tambuwal will defect to PDP to contest the presidential primary come 2019.
There is nothing wrong with the idea, because apart from being constitutional, Tambuwal is qualified to contest for the presidency.
Whatever is the case, it is expected that the PDP presidential aspirants will uphold this togetherness and solidarity before and after the party’s presidential primary, where only one of them will emerge.
That is the only way PDP can give APC a run for its money and incumbency advantage in 2019.
Buhari Plotting To Frustrate 2019 Polls–PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to frustrate the smooth conduct of the 2019 general elections, owing to what it called his fears of losing.
The party said President Buhari’s request to the National Assembly to vire N242 billion already approved for other projects in the 2018 budget to finance the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other agencies ahead of the elections is a booby trap deliberately set to drag the elections into a financial controversy in a bid to compromise the electoral process.
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday, the PDP said the financial request of the President is capable of breeding confusion in the polity, if not well handled.
It is high time the leadership of the opposition party PDP becomes constructive in its criticisms against APC-led government.
How would PDP say that President Buhari’s request for budget approval for 2019 elections is a plot to frustrate the exercise?
Many Nigerians will disagree with PDP on this. This is criticism taken too far.
The PDP should commend President Buhari for making such request early enough to avoid fire brigade approach in preparing for the elections.
This is unlike in the past when INEC’s budget for general elections will not come in time and even when it comes and is approved, the electoral body will still go cap in hand begging the executive to release money for the elections.
Again, it is within the constitutional powers of the President to ask National Assembly for virement when the need arises.
That the National Assembly has allocated funds for projects of its members’ personal interests will not stop the virement of such funds.
This is especially when the President has earlier complained that the budget cannot be possibly implemented with such insertions.
Is PDP saying that the constituency projects inserted in the 2018 budget by the National Assembly members are more important than the 2019 elections?
While these projects can be deferred, 2019 elections cannot be postponed or shifted.
INEC Issues Fayemi Certificate Of Return As Ekiti Governor-Elect
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has, at a ceremony in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, issued the winner of the recently concluded governorship election in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi with certificate of return, making him the governor-elect of the state.
Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated his closest opponent, Olusola Eleka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Issuing him the certificate of return was INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Osun, Ekiti and Oyo states, Prince Solomon Soyemi.
INEC’s action is constitutional. There is nothing anybody can say about it.
As it is today, Fayemi is the governor-elect of Ekiti State.
The outgoing governor Ayo Fayose and his supporters can say anything and continue to act drama in the state.
It is their fundamental right to do so.
They can criticise the outcome of the election and at the same time proceed to court to challenge it.
It is expected of them, especially when they are losers in the contest.
It is in the character of Nigerian politicians to criticise any election they lose.
So, Fayose’s tantrums and umbrage against INEC, APC, and security agents are expected and normal.
After all, Fayose and PDP had boasted before the election that they would emerge victorious.
Observers condemned some activities that characterised the election such as vote buying and financial inducement.
Unfortunately, the two major parties-APC and PDP were guilty of this misdemeanour.
But one thing is that none of these abovementioned issues is capable of nullifying of the outcome of election, except the law court.
It is now left for the aggrieved parties in the election to challenge the result in court, but that does not mean that Fayose will not hand over to Fayemi when his tenure expires in October.
Classrooms Built, To Be Commissioned By Senator Melaye Set Ablaze
Hoodlums yet to be arrested have set ablaze two classrooms built by the Senator representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye.
The two classrooms at Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin Noma, Lokoja were billed for commissioning last Thursday, but have, however, been reduced to ashes by the hoodlums.
The classrooms were razed in the middle of Wednesday night, reports say.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga, confirmed the development, but added that no arrests had been made so far.
Nawaoo, who sets classrooms built by Senator Melaye ablaze and why? Security agents need to fish out those responsible for this wicked action.
They are humans not spirit.
Is it because of 2019 politics? For the fact that the classrooms were built for public use is enough for the people to protect it, instead of razing it down.
This is a bad development and it must be condemned by anybody who means well for the people of Kogi State and their future.
It is not about Melaye and his political enemies in the state. Many of these politicians, including Melaye may not have their children in Nigerian schools, talk less of public schools in Kogi.
So, by razing down these classrooms they have not lost anything.
Some may say that renovating of only two classrooms is not enough to justify the constituency project fund Melaye has been collecting since he became senator.
But others are of the view that there may be other constituency projects Melaye has worked on or is working on.
This development is not far from what will be witnessed in the state in 2019.
This ugly incident may not be far from the political enmity between Melaye and Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.