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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will, on Friday, file a notice of Appeal at the Appellate Court in Abuja to grant interlocutory injunction and set aside the judgment of the National Industrial Court that ordered it to call off its ongoing strike and members to go back to work.

The counsel to ASUU and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, confirmed this on Thursday in an interview.


He said: “We have just sent somebody to the court to collect the certified report of the judgment and get it ready for us to enable us to file our application for interlocutory order of the judgment tomorrow (Friday).

“Even though we have 14 days window to do that, we will file our appeal paper first thing tomorrow morning and that is all I can say for now on the matter.”

Recalls that the Federal Government dragged ASUU to the National Industrial Court and asked it to compel the union to call off its seven months old strike that has paralysed the academic activities in the nation’s public universities.

The court had, however, granted the prayer on Wednesday by ordering the lecturers to go back to work but ASUU did not satisfy with court’s position, hence the proposed appeal.

The Federal Government on Thursday released its timetable for the celebration of the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, released this during a short press conference in Abuja.


He said, “This press conference kickstarts the programmes lined up to commemorate the 62nd Independence Anniversary. Let me now reel out other activities for the anniversary.

“There will be a church service on Sunday, September 25 2022 at the National Christian Centre, Central Business District, Abuja at 3:00pm. This will be followed by a Public Lecture focused on National Unity on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at the State House Conference Hall at 10 am.

“On Friday, September 30 2022, there will be a Special Juma’at prayer at the National Mosque, Central Business District, here in Abuja. On Saturday, October 1 2022, there will be a presidential Broadcast at 7 am. Later on the same day, there will be a Military Parade at Eagle Square, Central Business District, Abuja, starting at 10 am.

“Please permit me to use this opportunity to announce that the award of National Honours will be held as part of the 62nd independence anniversary on October 11 2022 in Abuja. The Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs will give the full details later.

“Gentlemen, celebrating our independence anniversary is a reminder that in spite of the challenges we have faced as a nation, Nigerians have remained resilient and committed to the unity of our country. Let me also reiterate the commitment of this administration to promoting the unity, security and stability of our country.”

“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Government to bear arms is fraught with great dangers.

“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights, to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamoring for.

“That Katsina was able to arm its state security force with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems ” solution to the national question.

” If the Katsina situation conferring advantages on some, in the face of commonly faced existential threats, it means that our unitary policing system, which has failed, is a deliberate method of subjugation which must be challenged.”

The Independence agreement was based on a democratic arrangement to have a federal state and devolved internal security mechanics.

“We must go back to that agreement. Denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organized crime. It is also a deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat.

 “We want to reiterate, that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Ondo State government under the doctrine of necessity have decided to fulfil its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the State, by acquiring arms to protect them. This is more so, given that the bandits have an unchecked access to sophisticated weapons.

 “The State government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.”

[Vanguard]

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has said that it was no longer fashionable for the federal government to fund political parties at this period of Nigeria’s democratic advancement.

The speaker said that using government’s money to run the parties was an indirect invitation for it to assume control of the political parties by dictating choices and policies that might be in conflict with the tenets of democracy.

Gbajabiamila also stated that the international best practice was for parties to be self-funded, adding that using government’s money would also lead to the proliferation of political parties.

According to a statement from the speaker’s media office, Gbajabimila while receiving a delegation of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the national assembly, said that people would simply abuse the process by registering hundreds of political parties in the hope of cashing out on free government money.

He said, “I am not sure how many countries fund their political parties; we will have to do research and to be sure that it is international best practice.

 

“Government is an interested party, if it will be providing the funds. That will also mean they can compromise the system.

 

Gbajabiamila, who also reacted to requests for fresh amendments to the Electoral Act 2022, said it was not advisable to do so a few months before the 2023 general elections.

He said making new amendments to the law this period could disorganise election planning, create unnecessary tension in the polity and raise credibility questions.

[Leadership]

The ongoing attempt by a group of lawyers from a particular section of the country to stop the solidarity rally being organized for Peter Obi in Lagos through the courts speaks volumes. It is a crass display of bigotry; indeed a distressing example of little-mindedness and sheepishness. The move is as sickening as it is disgusting. The action smacks of paranoia. It is, as a matter of fact, yet another irrational attempt by those who are uncomfortable with the momentum around Obi’s presidential aspiration to bring him down.

But those who are abreast of political developments in the land are hardly surprised. They are aware that a certain disquiet, even consternation, has enveloped the polity since Peter Obi stepped forward to bid for the presidency. His quest has brought about an untold angst in certain quarters. Those who are ill at ease with the unexpected development are squirming with discomfort. They do not seem to understand what is about to take place. Could it be a democratic revolution, a revolt, an electoral coup or what? Who could this man be? A phenomenon or a larger-than-life actor on the political scene? The bemusement is still a matter of concern to many, especially those who are not properly disposed to his political ascendancy.

This disquieting scenario is eliciting reactions from interested quarters. At first many were given to dismissing him as a social media creation; a mere flash in the pan. They said he was going nowhere. But each passing day seems to depict a contrary reality. The man could be going somewhere after all.

This is the crux of the matter. Should this man who nobody ever imagined could become such a force be allowed to go somewhere? Those who are still in shock over his meteoric rise will not accept that. They are bent on creating the impression that Peter is going nowhere. Where the impression does not stick, a change of strategy is required. This consists mainly in demonizing him. He has to be maligned with a load of scurrilous whiff. That explains the barrage of anti-Obi drivel that has become the hallmark of a section of the media.

What is the content of the menu they are serving? In recent weeks, a good number of media men and commentators who are loyal to Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate have made conscious efforts to undermine the candidature of Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential standard-bearer. The anti-Obi elements have painted him in lurid colours. Some of them did not stop there, they strayed farther afield to drag his Igbo ethnic group into the fray. Rather than acknowledge his pan-Nigerian disposition, Obi’s traducers have mischievously tried to project him as an Igbo candidate who should be shunned by non-Igbo Nigerians. In fact, they have tried to sell the impression that Peter and his Igbo ethnic stock are not deserving of the presidency. But this piece of blackmail has not worked. It is too lame to deserve any consideration by rational beings. But the Obi traducers are still digging in. They have, in extreme cases, packaged and sold him within their narrow confines as a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). They believe that the IPOB tag will be a stigma that can undermine his presidential bid.

But that has still not worked. That may explain the recruitment of some ethnic lawyers who have gone to court to stop Obi’s supporters from staging a peaceful march in Lagos State in support of his candidature. Bereft of sense and substance, the howlers have told the court that Obi’s supporters are one and the same thing as #EndaSARS protesters of 2020 and should, therefore, not be allowed to march across Lagos State. The stupidity inherent in this charge is crying to high heavens for containment. Can a people or group be this petty? Such bunkum. What crime has Nigeria committed to be cursed with this band of nation-wreckers? I shudder at their lowness and hollowness. They are an embarrassment to the civilized world. Those behind the suit are the real gangsters that the system should get rid of. They are sowing seeds of discord. They have to be stopped in their tracks before they inflict further damage to the country.

The obvious fact in all of this is that those queuing behind Tinubu believe that the easiest way to give their principal an edge in the election is to cut Obi down. This strategy is faulty through and through. Those who believe in Obi’s candidature are not likely going to be taken in by these cheap antics. In fact, it could have a counter-productive effect. To avoid a boomerang, the Tinubu campaigners should look in the direction of their candidate. He requires a lot of packaging for him to penetrate the voters’ market. Those who are interested in his presidential quest should do more to sell him than dissipate energy on running down Peter Obi.

Rather than the ongoing campaign of calumny against Obi, the Tinubu campaigners will be helping their cause if they focus on those positives that can sell their own candidate. They will achieve better mileage with this. Efforts at deriding Peter Obi are not working. Rather, they are becoming jaded and unimaginative. Those who have made this their stock in trade should find a better job to do.

Interestingly, in all of this, the camp of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) is quiet. Nothing is being said or heard about Atiku and his party. Whereas the LP and the APC are at each other’s throats, the PDP and its candidate are luxuriating in a state of unconcern. But are they really unconcerned? Why is it that the APC campaigners are not looking in the direction of Atiku? Do they consider him an easy ride? Their disposition suggests that Atiku is not a force to reckon with as far as 2023 is concerned. They think he should be left alone. I suspect that Atiku and his camp are enjoying the bickering going on between LP and APC. They must be having a good laugh over the disregard for a candidate who has said time and time again that he has a huge vote bank. The APC, which ignited all the fight against LP, will be doing the approaching campaigns a world of good if its henchmen focus on issues rather than the ongoing guttersnipe rhetoric.

If this were a compulsory exam question, a number of politicians would simply answer: it depends.

On what? On what is at stake. What the opponent does and how.

And, of course, how far the resources of the one at the receiving end can go to exact revenge, sometimes in spite of the rules.

As campaigns for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria begin, everything is at stake.

From the office of representatives in state houses of assembly to the positions of 28 governors, 469 national lawmakers, and the president.

In all, about 1,520 positions are up for election and for the first time, Muhammadu Buhari who has been president for nearly eight years and a contestant in all elections in the last nearly 20, would not be on the ballot for what is perhaps the most consequential office.

The stakes to play for are not only high, they are dangerously seductive for two contenders – the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar – two deep pockets who may well be taking their last shot at the nation’s top job.

The real world is not a periodic exam hall.

Nowhere is the ferocity of contest keener than in political campaigns, such as we’re about to commence.

It’s a grisly mess of interests, of wheeling and dealing, and continuous cloak and dagger entanglements worse than the binary choices often present in an examination.

A 2018 report by Daily Trust quoted the INEC chairman, Professor Yakubu Mohmood, as saying that for N242 billion, the 2019 election was the most expensive ever.

That is excluding expenses by candidates, parties and individuals.

The next one might beat that record.

If only it were possible to see the arsenal of Nigeria’s political parties – especially the major ones – on the eve of the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections.

I would not be surprised if they have stockpiled enough weapons to give either Russia or Ukraine a decisive advantage in the ongoing conflict in Europe.

It’s not a laughing matter.

If morning shows the day, the pre-flag off skirmishes among not just supporters but by even the campaign team members of the APC, the PDP, and the Labour Party (LP) show that we could be in for a season of blood sport.

Recent exhibits, of course, include the feisty exchanges between APC’s Femi Fani-Kayode and PDP’s Dino Melaye.

Anyone with the heart to read either of their recent messages to the end risked exposure to post-traumatic stress.

With PDP’s relentless Reno Omokri in the wings, the APC media team led by formidable warriors like Dele Alake, Bayo Onanuga and Festus Keyamo, among others, and the LP’s army of social media avatars at daggers drawn, we’ll have to double down on luck to have a normal campaign season.

If only it were possible to see the arsenal of Nigeria’s political parties – especially the major ones – on the eve of the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections

But what does history teach, really?

Is all the talk about issues-based campaigns wishful thinking?

With all to play for, is it realistic to expect bloodless campaigns?

And in any case, if winning often matters more than anything else in politics, do normal campaigns win?

Normal campaigns may be desirable.

They may even have worked at some point in Athens or Ancient Rome.

Yet, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a constant reminder of the world’s long and futile journey to political amity.

Mass communication tools and their widespread adoption have fuelled the flames and compounded the misery of pacifists hoping for a day of decency in political campaigns.

Also, we have seen from the 2015 performance of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, that social media can be both a facilitator and a big danger to elections.

But perhaps there are exceptions, however imperfect, from which our politicians could take a leaf in the days ahead?

Despite his disability, for example, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the US ran what presidential historians consider some of the most successful campaigns.

In spite of the daunting odds of the Great Depression, FDR ran a campaign in 1932 that ended four decades of Republican dominance, a feat that he sustained and repeated back-to-back in three subsequent terms.

His theme song, “Happy days are here again”, became his party’s anthem.

How a man stricken with polio at 39 could have done it was in part as a result of the genius of his message which offered despairing voters a “New Deal” after the famished years of Republican rule, and partly also as a result of the understanding of the press not to highlight his disability, which frankly, would be a miracle today.

The point is that the only US President who ruled for an unprecedented four terms ran largely issues-based campaigns and won, in spite of his disability.

The stakes to play for are not only high, they are dangerously seductive for two contenders – the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar – two deep pockets who may well be taking their last shot at the nation’s top job

And to think that he had in his corner, the warmonger and one of America’s most notorious publishers, Williams Randolph Hearst, whom he could have pressed to dishonorable ends!

US Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan also showed how even in the age of the TV, focusing on issues and connecting with people can make a difference in election campaigns.

And perhaps the most electrifying in the recent history of US campaigns has been Barack Obama, an extraordinary mobiliser and charming politician whose wife, Michelle, said in spite of all the garbage thrown at Obama by Hillary Clinton’s bullies in 2016, “when they go low, we go high.”

Newly elected Kenyan President William Ruto also provides an example of how to run a difficult campaign without always being nasty.

In spite of his supporters getting trashed and the few he recommended as cabinet members being targets of Uhuru Kenyatta witch hunt, Ruto harped on how the government’s anti-corruption war had lost its way.

While his main opponent mocked and called him an “irresponsible young man deceiving Kenyans with fake promises”, Ruto’s campaign responded by providing a roadmap of how he would tackle the country’s 40 percent youth unemployment.

He spun a legend that he was a “hustler”, just like the ordinary people, and not a member of the corrupt, grasping dynasty.

MKO Abiola’s Hope ‘93 was also, in many respects, exemplary and a number of the current actors played important roles in it.

In comparison with the National Republican Convention (NRC), Abiola’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) was imaginative, folksy and down-to-earth.

Abiola showed a forlorn, divided country that it was possible to believe again.

Since the military railroaded President Olusegun Obasanjo back to office in 1999, our political campaigns have been anything but inspiring.

Obasanjo, both a creature and mastermind of this new era, poignantly described it as a “do-or-die” affair.

As the blatant lies, fake promises and dark schemes of politicians have come back to haunt them, a number of them begotten of this season seem determined to return to their natural habitat – the mud.

It is the duty of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to see to it and the responsibility of citizens to hold the Commission’s feet to the fire

Yet, voters will have to decide whether or not to join them there.

Voters who indulge the demagoguery of politicians, who choose to cheer them on as they kick the leg instead of the ball, cannot blame anyone when charlatans run their lives for another four years.

President Muhammadu Buhari, like those before him, has repeatedly promised free and fair elections.

But that, quite honestly, is not his job.

It is the duty of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to see to it and the responsibility of citizens to hold the Commission’s feet to the fire.

Civil society and the press can also help with the most important question of any election campaign – how?

They can help not only to remind voters of what is important and insist that politicians play by the rules, but also by constantly demanding that the umpire, INEC, should monitor and enforce its own rules.

Campaigns matter because they can help to activate voter interest and also underline the fundamental issues, which for Nigeria, includes security, the state of the economy or where partisan or group interests may lie.

As Gary Jacobson said in his article, “How do campaigns matter?”, published in the May 2015 issue of the Annual Review of Political Science, “The question is not whether campaigns matter, but where, when, for what and for whom they matter.”

The supply side has let us down badly, offering mostly transient amusement, vile abuse or downright bogus promises.

It’s time to demand something more than empty promissory notes.

Something we can hold onto the morning after this seasonal charm offensive has gone.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the acquisition of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited by First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited (First Pension).

First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBN Holdings) acquired 100% stake of First Pension from Access Bank, owned by Access Holdings.

 

In a statement released by FBN Holdings on Wednesday to investors and the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), the company said the central bank had a “no objection” to the acquisition deal.

It was also disclosed that the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) had given approval to the acquisition as well.

“The transaction has the “no objection” of the Central Bahk of Nigeria as well as the approvals of the National Pension Commission and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission”, the statement reads.

[Ripples Nigeria]

 

Thursday, 22 September 2022 12:57

Modu Sheriff meets Obasanjo behind closed doors

The former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, on Thursday met former President Olusegun Obasanjo behind closed doors.

Modu Sheriff arrived at Obasanjo’s penthouse residence at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, and went straight into the meeting with the former President.

Modu Sheriff, refused to disclose the details of his discussions with the former president to journalists.

The former Borno governor informed that his visit to Obasanjo was private.

He described the Balogun Owu as the “Chairman and Chief Executive of Nigeria,” whose wealth of knowledge in public administration, he said, would continue to be of benefit to other politicians.

He stressed the need for young politicians to tap from the experience and knowledge of Obasanjo.

Modu Sheriff said, “It is purely a private visit; you know Baba (Obasanjo) is an elder statesman. If Nigeria is a company, Baba is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Nigeria. So, I came for consultation and had a private chat with Baba.

“If Nigeria is a company, Baba is the Chairman. I’m the younger one, so from time to time, I must come and greet my father, discuss with him privately and go back.”

On whether his discussion with baba was on the Nigeria project, the former governor replied, “I didn’t say that, it is a private visit.”

When asked about his views on the 2023 elections, Modu-Sheriff said, “Your view is my view, what is your view? What is my view? I want my party to win.”

Sheriff, a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is now a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

[DailyPost]

The Peoples Democratic Party’s leadership will issue a statement today on the activities of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Oyo State counterpart Seyi Makinde, ex-Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, and other prominent party leaders.

The party called an emergency meeting after Wike and his loyalists withdrew from the party’s presidential campaign council.


However, the decision on Wike’s camp will be made public following the PDP leadership meeting today.

Following a meeting at Wike’s private residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday morning, the Wike camp announced their intention not to withdraw from the campaign council, which was scheduled for inauguration next Wednesday.

They insisted that Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu must resign from office and his position zoned to South for balance, justice, and equity.


In the sequel to the development, the PDP leadership went into a marathon meeting to determine what decision to take on the actions of the Wike camp.

Confirming the meeting by PDP leadership, the party spokesman, Debo Ologunagba on Wednesday, said;

“As a party, we need to take a firm position to rebuild and rebrand our party. We have been in a marathon meeting since morning (Wednesday). But one thing is clear, no one has rejected our presidential candidate; that is very important. The meeting will continue tomorrow (today) and after the meeting, we will make our position clear.”

Meanwhile, the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday told Governor Nyesom Wike and his group that Iyorchia Ayu will not resign.

Atiku, in a statement, said: “On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him.”


Atiku said he is a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets and that everything must be done in line with the party’s constitution.

“As to the calls for the removal of Dr. Ayu from office, however, I will state that, as a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organised and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that every thing that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution,” he said.

Atiku insisted that if Ayu is removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws of the party.

In his words: “If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal.

“In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him.”

A member of the PDP National Working Committee, Timothy Osadolor, also carpeted Wike for holding on to his grudges for too long.

He warned that his ego might be his undoing.

Osadolor said the call for Ayu’s sacking was a plot to sabotage the party’s chances in the 2023 elections.

He stated, “The situation is being taken too far; Wike is crying too much for a mature person. I don’t know why Wike with all the experiences he had achieved in life cannot get over the loss of the primary. Ego is good but ego to some candidates can lead to destruction.’’

The NWC member further stated, “Why did you want to bring down the house because of your interest? Calling for the sacking of Iyorchia Ayu and supporters at his whims is not possible which he knows is not possible at this time and is not even what he wants.

“I believe calling for the sacking of Iyorchia Ayu is to sabotage the general elections and I believe he is already manifesting in his actions.”

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has mocked the Peoples Democratic Party over the crisis rocking the party.

Keyamo said the party had lost control but came every day to say it wanted to rescue Nigeria.

The spokesman for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council took the swipe at the PDP late Wednesday in a tweet.

This was coming amid the development that the camp of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Wednesday, pulled out of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, insisting that the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, must resign before they could participate in campaign activities.

Keyamo wondered how the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would rescue the country when they could not resolve the internal crisis rocking the party.


In his tweet, Keyamo said, “The PDP that’s in crises because of its inability to control its billowing umbrella gathers everyday and the first thing you hear them say is that they want to ‘rescue’ Nigeria; like a teenager whose legs cannot find the clutch of a car wanting to drive a trailer! ‘No be juju be that?”

The PDP’s crisis continually deepens as the call for Ayu’s resignation continually caused controversy. Wike and the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, have been spearheading this call, with Atiku insisting that Ayu could not be forced to resign.

Atiku, Wednesday, had said, “On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him.”