OTHERS' VIEWS

OTHERS' VIEWS

Only in Nigeria lecturers are paid by Accountant-General - ASUU
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/only-in-nigeria-lecturers-are-paid-by-accountant-general-asuu

Asake Sells Out O2 Academy Tickets In 5 Minutes, Crashes Site
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/asake-sells-out-o2-academy-tickets-in-5-minutes-crashes-site

Court fixes Oct 6 for hearing of Electoral Act suit against Tinubu, Atiku
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/court-fixes-oct-6-for-hearing-of-electoral-act-suit-against-tinubu-atiku

Army captain announces takeover in Burkina Faso — second coup in 8 months
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/army-captain-announces-takeover-in-burkina-faso-second-coup-in-8-months

Independence: Buhari lists achievements, begs ASUU to resume
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/independence-buhari-lists-achievements-begs-asuu-to-resume

Nigerian armed robber with over 60 operations, arrested in the U.S
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigerian-armed-robber-with-over-60-operations-arrested-in-the-u-s

‘I’m not dead’ — first runner-up kicks as third-place aspirant lays claim to Ekweremadu’s seat
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/i-m-not-dead-first-runner-up-kicks-as-third-place-aspirant-lays-claim-to-ekweremadu-s-seat

Aisha Buhari begs Nigerians over hardship
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/aisha-buhari-begs-nigerians-over-hardship

BBNaija: 7 remarkable highlights from ‘Level Up’ season
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/bbnaija-7-remarkable-highlights-from-level-up-season

Campaign funds donors can’t be anonymous, INEC tells political parties
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/campaign-funds-donors-can-t-be-anonymous-inec-tells-political-parties

Too early to judge Jose Peseiro as Super Eagles coach – Pundits
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/too-early-to-judge-jose-peseiro-as-super-eagles-coach-pundits

[OPINION] Ruto and Falana: Brother for enslavement and brother for liberation - Owei Lakemfa
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-ruto-and-falana-brother-for-enslavement-and-brother-for-liberation-owei-lakemfa

Nigeria at 62: We shall enthrone Nigeria of our dream – Atiku
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigeria-at-62-we-shall-enthrone-nigeria-of-our-dream-atiku

INEC confirms death of missing staff in Anambra
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/inec-confirms-death-of-missing-staff-in-anambra

INEC confirms death of missing staff in Anambra
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/inec-confirms-death-of-missing-staff-in-anambra

Again, Atiku, Wike meet over PDP crisis
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/again-atiku-wike-meet-over-pdp-crisis

[OPINION] Between Tinubu and Atiku: Whose headache is bigger? - Bola Bolawole
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-between-tinubu-and-atiku-whose-headache-is-bigger-bola-bolawole

[OPINION] Of all things, ‘ponmon’ lo kan! - Bolanle Bolawole
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-of-all-things-ponmon-lo-kan-bolanle-bolawole

Nigeria at 62: Tinubu promises to eschew violence, divisive, incendiary politics
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigeria-at-62-tinubu-promises-to-eschew-violence-divisive-incendiary-politics

Buhari’s 2022 Independence Day address
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/buhari-s-2022-independence-day-address

 

[OPINION] Why is Bola Tinubu hiding in London? - Farooq Kperogi
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-why-is-bola-tinubu-hiding-in-london-farooq-kperogi

[OPINION] Ogun 2023: Adebutu/Akinlade’s Ignominious Power-Sharing Debacle - Femi Ogbonnikan
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-ogun-2023-adebutu-akinlade-s-ignominious-power-sharing-debacle-femi-ogbonnikan

[OPINION] The Tears of African Goddess - Samuel Olanrewaju Bill
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-the-tears-of-african-goddess-samuel-olanrewaju-bill

[PRESS STATEMENT] Ihedioha Apologises Over 'saboteur' Comment, Says Intention Blown Out Of Proportion
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/press-statement-ihedioha-apologises-over-saboteur-comment-says-intention-blown-out-of-proportion

[OPINION] An Unworthy Celebrant - Obienyem Valentine
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/opinion-an-unworthy-celebrant-obienyem-valentine

Court jails Mama Boko Haram, 3 others, 7 years
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/court-jails-mama-boko-haram-3-others-7-years

Peter Obi’s supporters defy police, rally at Lekki
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/peter-obi-s-supporters-defy-police-rally-at-lekki

My manifesto 95% ready, says Peter Obi
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/my-manifesto-95-ready-says-peter-obi

Return of N151m housing allowance tears PDP chieftains apart
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/return-of-n151m-housing-allowance-tears-pdp-chieftains-apart

Interpol arrests two alleged Nigerian cyber fraudsters in South Africa
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/interpol-arrests-two-alleged-nigerian-cyber-fraudsters-in-south-africa

I’ve forgiven men who made me abort 15 pregnancies – Kudayisi
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/i-ve-forgiven-men-who-made-me-abort-15-pregnancies-kudayisi

Mbappe overtakes Ronaldo, Messi in list of world’s richest footballers
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/mbappe-overtakes-ronaldo-messi-in-list-of-world-s-richest-footballers

Nigeria resident doctors demand increased funding for health sector
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigeria-resident-doctors-demand-increased-funding-for-health-sector

One Million March: ‘Obidient’ group grounds Aba
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/one-million-march-obidient-group-grounds-aba

We have improved health facilities, says Buhari
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/we-have-improved-health-facilities-says-buhari

Independence Day: We must not lose hope in Nigeria — CAN President
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/independence-day-we-must-not-lose-hope-in-nigeria-can-president

Nigeria At 62: Sheikh Gumi speaks on military ‘taking over’ govt
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigeria-at-62-sheikh-gumi-speaks-on-military-taking-over-govt

2023: Farooq Kperogi attacks Tinubu over London trip
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/2023-farooq-kperogi-attacks-tinubu-over-london-trip

2023: ’Igbos don’t have morals for putting forward Peter Obi’ – Asari Dokubo
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/2023-igbos-don-t-have-morals-for-putting-forward-peter-obi-asari-dokubo

Nigeria Troops rescue Chibok girl with four children
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigeria-troops-rescue-chibok-girl-with-four-children

Woman says she connived with her boyfriend to ‘kill my husband’s manhood’ [VIDEO]
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/woman-says-she-connived-with-her-boyfriend-to-kill-my-husband-s-manhood-video

Peter Obi cannot win 2023 presidential election – Omokri
https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/peter-obi-cannot-win-2023-presidential-election-omokri

 

The British were in power after their greedy conquest of our country; the highest decisions that affected Nigeria and Nigerians came from the colonial office in London; the colonial masters prepared most of the constitutions under which we were governed; and the British controlled the wealth of the nation. So overwhelming were these influences that whenever the Governor General “broke air” in Lagos, the whole country heard the sound. Those of us who witnessed this British omnipotence still shudder to recall how disrespectfully Nigerians were treated.

Clearly, it was only through self-rule that this unbecoming treatment could be stopped. Consequently, the era witnessed the activities of many nationalists who, as occasion demanded, had to suffer untold privations in their quest to win independence for the country. Many of them went to jail; many were exiled in parts of the country ideal only for insulating “trouble makers”; many resorted to the instrumentality of strikes and riots to frighten the colonialists out of their smug dictatorship. Many of our nationalists participated in the constitutional conferences that prepared us for the eventual self-rule. This was Nigeria on the eve of October 1, 1960.

With Independence, Nigerians became the master of their own affairs, with their destiny clearly thrust upon their own hands. Now, hopefully, the final decision on issues affecting Nigerians would have to be taken in Lagos. A progressive cleansing of the country was enthusiastically envisaged. Nigerians thought that in no distant time, the country would become eldorado itself, a famed giant that would be an example for other nascent countries in Africa to emulate. The talk of the time had it that the only way to progress, to give meaning to our victories from colonialism was to avoid the vices and weaknesses of the colonialist and build on the positive legacy they left.

The joy of independence and the pervasive influence of our nationalists ensured that almost all of them were successful politicians in a country that was grateful to them. But a genuine retrospect into our journey so far is uninspiring. All the vices of the colonialists are now with us, infinitely magnified. Even the positive legacies of the colonialist have been bastardized. Very soon we even noticed that life was more dignified and respected under colonialism. If what Nigerians suffer today should give testimony and report to our independence, it cried out “we have failed woefully in the business of nation building”. Many factors buttress this assertion.

Political factors are the most fundamental. The aim of independence is essentially for self-rule. When you rule yourself, you would have the opportunity to determine other things that happen about you – economically, socially and otherwise. But looking at our political scene, one finds out that Nigeria has fared badly. Our post independent politics are dreary and confusing records of intrigues, shamelessness and abracadabra. We have never had a statesman, who would be able to rise above petty distractions and face the problems of the country head-on. What we have always had were glorified ethnic champions and tribal chieftains that almost always succeeded in creating more problems than they solved. The field of politics has been polluted to the extent that men of goodwill and genuine patriots are not given the chance; some of them have chickened out because the political field is too severe for their comfort.

Pretending a patriotic mission of solving these problems created by our civilian politicians, soldier politicians have had reasons to intervene. Being actually inspired by an aspiration to steal from the nation’s resources, they had merely compounded our problems. It was the soldiers’ intervention that proximately caused the civil war; it was soldiers that annulled June 12; it was soldiers that turned almost all our cherished ideals upside down. They merely, in my opinion, relinquished power in the conviction that the country had reached a dead end: inexorably moving towards a revolution.

The economic cause of our failure, as aforesaid, is linked to our political failure. Because we have incompetent politicians, they often promulgate faulty economic policies. The result is an unfortunate sequel: the collapse of Agriculture, hitherto the mainstay of our economy; the precarious dependence on oil; the deterioration of transport; the “death” of the naira; monies borrowed from international bodies at usurious interests, without any productive investment to vouch for their judicious use. The result is an economy quite unable to export the equivalent of its imports.

Let the religious causes of our failure enter the picture. Ideally, in a country, religion should be separated from politics, especially in a plural country such as ours. But somehow our leaders have always appealed to religious sentiments in words and deeds. Was it not a President of this country that furtively “dragged” us into the Organisation of Islamic Conference without evident qualms? Such acts, doubtless, make us to seek for religious reasons behind whatever our leaders do. The country is regrettably the worse for it.

It has become normal for Nigerians to be killed on account of religious riots. Many centuries ago, the Chinese T’ai Tsung lay it down that no Emperor should ratify a death sentence until he had fasted three days as a demonstration of how they revered life. Upon its recklessness, the colonial days showed marked respect for human life like the Chinese of T’ai Tsung’s time. Today, besides during religious riots, lives are taken daily without compunction. The number of unresolved murder cases in Nigeria of today will surely present accountancy with problems. The enormity of social and other serious malaise that bedevil our country leave much to be desired. The level of moral depravity in our homes and institutions is alarming. Dressing is now defined in terms of nudity. The social foundations of our nation have been dislocated, so we reap ethnic and other crises in return. One wonders when all these things will stop!

Regrettably, one of the solutions to the perennial problems in the country by our leaders is to gag the press and go after some influential Nigerians. Whilst they do this, the crime rate is increasing. When you see the level of crime and factors that push people into criminal activities, you will conclude that Nigeria is really in trouble. The good leader would war not against influential Nigerians, or institutions, the Ojukwus, The Insider magazine, the Nigerian Labour Congress, not even against criminals that torment us, but against the common enemy – poverty, for it is out of it that crime and disorder come.

With these signs of our failure staring us in the face, Nigerians were wrong to celebrate the last independence with pomp and circumstance, forgetful of their predicament. Many platitudinous speeches were delivered to commemorate the celebrations; there were events to add colour to the entire thing; and don’t forget, many advertisements were placed congratulating Nigeria for its “achievements” so far and perhaps for its future greatness.

One is not saying that a 44-year-old country does not have the right to congratulate itself, but my quarrel is with the manner of our celebration. You want to know; perhaps, how best we should have celebrated? We should have put on sackcloth and ashes to openly show remorse for so much faith and hope betrayed. Conferences should have been organized. The speakers should have endeavoured to teach us the perusal of history, to show us the rise, progress, decay, death; and whence, how and by what accidents and errors those great changes and failures have happened, and above all, how to repeat or avoid them. Since all factors making for revolution are with us today, the speakers should have also endeavoured to teach us how revolution commence and how they are carried out and by what a fatal chain of circumstances the wisest men are driven far the limits of moderation, and by what impulses an enraged people is precipitated into excess at the very thought of which they would have shuddered.

I tried to hold my tears but I could not! I tried to be strong but became weaker seeing this beautiful black woman grief-stricken and crying bitterly. I was so touched and seriously disturbed. I ran to her with anxiety and I asked her; Mama! Why are you crying?

I have never seen a prettier woman, so beautiful! Despite her age, she looked like a damsel. So beautiful, gorgeous and charming! words failed me to describe how beautiful she was. An epitome of beauty, a pride to other black women, the desire of every king, colorful and wonderfully made! Million questions came to my mind. Why is this beauty queen crying? Why is this black goddess seeding tears? I bowed before her and asked her majesty gently again, Mama! Why are you crying?"

I could not hold my tears when she replied me with soft and angelic voice:

"My son, as you can see, I am a 62 years old woman. I am the most famous black woman on Earth, the most fruitful black woman and  I am so blessed, my house is full of gold and silver likewise my land is flowing for milk and honey. I was once the envy of every black woman. Even the women of other colors once marveled and astonished about my beauty and natural endowment. Some of the most societal, strong and powerful women of today once prayed to be like me. 

"I gave birth to over 200 million princes and princesses who were supposed to reign and enjoy all my riches and wealth in a royal way. But what a pity! Many of these princes and princesses were scattered all over the world searching for greener pastures with royal beads on their necks even as I have many at home. Those at home who are supposed to walk majestically round my palace and enjoy all my riches live in abject poverty just like slaves! Most of them find it so difficult to eat and they lack elements of comfort and convenience,

"Where are my pride, honor, dignity, strength, glory, self-esteem and royalty? most of my children are suffering despite all I have? Other women who used to fear me, appreciate my beauty, tremble because of my strength and potential, who saw me then as a giant now mock and laugh at me! Even those that used to run to me then for help and assistance, they all see me now as nothing, and none one of them accord me my respect again! So why won't I cry?"

"My home was once a safe haven. Thousands ran to my land from far and near to seek refuge but now no one is safe in my home that was once a fortress. Sleeping with two eyes closed now became a taboo. Life is becoming valueless and crime is becoming the order of the day. Why won't I cry?" Tears were rushing down from my face, I was so  depressed and gloomy. I felt the pain of this caring mother as she continued her story: "Most painful is that my children don't see each other as siblings again! The foreign and imported religions tore them apart, tribalism and politics put a sword between them"

"What a pity! Many of my beautiful damsels have turned to a quean, trull and woman of the streets and many of my young men have turned to fraudsters, ritualists, kidnappers and are involved in other forms of immoral acts because of poverty"

I was so sad, in my sober mood I asked her, "Mama, with all your riches and wealth why are you children still suffering like this?" She replied, "Due to the selfishness of some who in the name of power intentionally make others poor in order to continue to manipulate them.  due to the wickedness of few that aim to enslave others in the name of politics. Due to  egotism and self-absorption of few who are in charge of the resources! They are milking others dry while getting fat. They wine and dine all day while others are crying for just water to drink! They are getting richer and wealthier daily at the detriment of others, so depressed, they use religion and ethnicity to divide others to have their way"

I tried to comfort this beautiful Mama, but the more effort I offered, the more she cried. What a mother! The pride of womanhood! She concluded, "I won't stop crying until my children are happy, until I see the end of their suffering, until my children are safe in my land, until I see smiles on their beautiful faces! Until all my children are treated like prince and princess and not like slave again! Until I regain my fading glory, till the world accords me my respect again, until a giant in me rises again, until kidnapping becomes a history. Until everyone can go to bed with two eyes closed, until justice and peace reign"

This is a clarion call to all of us! Together we can make mama smile again. If we work together as one we can redeem the fading glory. Together we can build this nation as we have no other nation to claim.  Christian or Muslim, Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba, whoever you are - we are siblings. PDP, APC, LP and others, let's build this nation together! Both good and bad people could be found in every religion, tribe and political party. Let's join hands together and build a nation where justice and peace reign! 

Happy 62nd Independence to Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Long life 

and prosperity!

The Ogun State chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in the news again for the wrong reason. This time, it is about the hoopla surrounding the illegal signing of documents formalising the sharing of public positions between the governorship candidate of the party in the coming 2023 general elections, Hon. Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu, and his running mate, Hon. AbdulKabir Akinlade.
The deal, which ostensibly depicts desperation for power, has since thrown the conventional and social media platforms into frenzied reactions. Without giving a hoot to the state of the common patrimony, the leaked document exposed how the two candidates had callously and irresponsibly appropriated almost everything belonging to the people even when they were not sure of winning the election.   

At a time of institutional meltdown like this, anything can happen especially in a party that has an uncanny capacity for irrationalities. We have all watched with disdain the distasteful disagreement among the key stakeholders in the party at the centre over the power-sharing, and very lately too, the shocking revelation of corruption which is now weighing heavily on the neck of its National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu. Like a gargantuan purulent sore or festering corpse abandoned by close relations, the PDP has become a public health hazard in Nigeria. And no doctor can heal it because its foundation is built on the principles and ideology of looting. A party founded on the tradition of sharing and looting can never survive an ideal politics of good governance.
By being unable to put its house in order, by playing politics with its own constitution, the PDP at all levels has shown itself as a party that cannot be trusted with power. They had done it before; they failed to meet the aspiration of the people. When it became clear to them that they could not survive the removal of the feeding bottle from their mouths, they practically went down on their knees begging the people for forgiveness.

Even at that, it has now become obvious from the unfolding drama that no lesson has been learned. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, in a moment of eccentricity, had cautioned the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, on the consequences of taking the people for granted for too long, urging the party hierarchy to return to the path of justice. But, as they say, when a crisis has reached a stage of self-destruction, the brain ceases to work.

The PDP in Ogun State is at a stage of self-annihilation by watching its standard bearers condescending to a ridiculous level of concocting and signing an illegal document on how to share the commonwealth of the people in broad daylight. One thing they have failed to realise is that Ogun State is no longer a place for political charlatans. In the last three and a half years of the present administration, Governor Dapo Abiodun has practically and successfully laid a benchmark for good governance.

The least one would have expected from a party that is angling to take over the reign of power from the incumbent governor is a programme of action that is not only unbeatable but also implementable. That way, the electorate would be able to weigh the better option. But unfortunately, that was not the thinking of the state compradors when they sat down to concoct the document that has now thrown spanners in the wheel of their progress. No blueprint on the socio-economic problems, infrastructural development, healthcare delivery system, insecurity, education as well as other myriads of challenges confronting the state in a period of global economic meltdown.  All they care about is winning the election by default. Need they be told that Ogun State with its sophistry, educated and enlightened citizenry has gone far beyond that level of pettiness?   

Thanks to the eagle eyes of the Whistleblowers who alerted the people of the evil plot even before it was hatched. Never again will the state fall back into the abyss of the immediate past era of impunity and executive recklessness when things were done without recourse to the people’s feelings, emotions, and sensibility.

Eyes are now open more than ever before. Therefore, there can be no more room for any form of arbitrariness, greed, or avarice. With campaign activities now effectively on, what the electorate will want to see in the candidates who would be going round every nook and cranny of the state canvassing for votes is their antecedent and what they are bringing to the table for the good governance of the state; after all, periodic election and the ultimate power transition is to ensure responsible and accountable governance. Accountability is a key requirement of good governance as a fulcrum of democracy. Good governance is the process of measuring how elected office holders conduct public affairs and manage public resources and guarantee the realization of human rights in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption and with due regard for the rule of law. In its wider scope, good governance includes identifying a vision, developing a strategy, selecting and supporting leadership to deliver that strategy, assurance that progress is being made, stewardship of resources, and the guardianship of quality and safety-all done to the highest standards of probity and transparency.

For us in Ogun State, the ideology of godfatherism is no longer fashionable. So also the idea of surrogacy by those who want to control the levers of power has irretrievably crumbled. It is an open secret that the immediate past Governor Ibikunle Amosun is privy to some of the underhand dealings involving Akinlade and his cohorts in their desperation for power. While playing the ostrich, masquerading as a dedicated supporter of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the same time, he deploys some of his surrogates to the opposition party to undermine the re-election bid of Governor Abiodun. But in doing so, Akinlade took his desperation for power a notch higher, signing a deal for sharing the proverbial national cake he had never been a part of its baking in the first balance. For most stakeholders in the state, that was the highest level of disingenuous. Yes, queer and strange, indeed.   

In a quick rebuttal of his alleged involvement in the shady deals signed by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (SIA) Media Office to ward off the shame and embarrassment it has caused, Amosun exonerated himself, saying the report linking him to the PDP was aimed at discrediting his hard-earned reputation.

His words: “The attention of Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been drawn to media reports, claiming that he has entered into a political deal with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State and Hon Oladipo Adebutu.

“We wish to state that the report is false and malicious. Senator Amosun has no agreement with either Hon Oladipo Adebutu or the PDP in Ogun State.

“This story is nothing more than mischief to mislead the public and discredit the hard-earned reputation of the former governor of Ogun State.

“We have stated before and wish to state once again, categorically, without any fear of contradiction that, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has nothing to do with the PDP in Ogun State. And he is not a party to any alliance formed with anyone or group of persons in the party.”

The rest is left to the members of the public to discern the truth and genuineness of the disclaimer knowing the intrigues that culminated in the exit of Akinlade from the APC.

With or without his involvement in the illegal power-sharing deals, the desperate ambition by Adebutu and Akinlade to govern the state by default has already run a full circle with Tuesday’s (September 27) judgement of the Federal High Court in Abeokuta which nullified all Ogun PDP held on the 25th of May, 2022.

Hon. Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo, Tuesday, who delivered the judgment, ordered that the party should immediately conduct of fresh governorship primaries within 14 days using the INEC-certified delegates list to accommodate all interests/groups. It also barred the electoral umpire from recognizing Ladi Adebutu as Ogun state PDP governorship candidate for the coming 2023 general elections.

By this judgment, Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) has won but the PDP is in a dilemma. The State Chairman of the party, Hon. Sikirulah Ogundele, in his reaction to the court’s verdicts, said the party would study all the judgments and take the appropriate line of action based on the advice of its legal team.

Whichever way the pendulum eventually swings, the fact is that Adebutu and Akinlade have by their action inadvertently cast a tragic pall over the capacity of the PDP to deliver on its promise to provide good governance. And it speaks to the imperative of the need by the electorate to scrutinize candidates who will be parading the streets to seek their votes. It suffices to say that a party that flouts its internal rules of engagement cannot be trusted with power.

It is not by mere coincidence that the PDP at the state and national level has been so enmeshed in the battle of wits. From the outset, it was never conceived as a genuine political party with the interest of the masses. It was created to serve the interest of a few power mongers.  And until those who control the levers of power return to the principles of service and fairness to all, peace will remain ever elusive to the party.

As earlier posited, a party that is founded on the principles and ideology of looting can never survive a genuine test of integrity, which is why the ambition of Adebutu and Akinlade to govern the state has hit the rock. The same fate also awaits any other candidate angling to take over the reign of power from the incumbent Governor Abiodun with the sole aim of appropriating what belongs to the state’s people. 

By playing intrigues over the sharing of public positions even when the election has not been won, Adebutu and Akinlade have wittingly or wittingly pitched themselves against the collective aspiration of the people for the rapid socio-economic and industrial transformation of the current government in Ogun State, which has been the main preoccupation of the administration of Governor Abiodun since its inception. Without necessarily gloating over the fate that has befallen the party and its flag bearer, the judgment denotes the triumph of light over darkness.

Questions and concerns over Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s absence from the Nigerian public space, which has trended on Twitter for days on end, are not misplaced or ill-willed gotcha maneuvers by political detractors. They are legitimate expressions of anxieties over the fitness of a man who has the most probable chance to be Nigeria’s president in 2023.

 

Forget what flawed, poorly designed—and, in some cases, transparently partisan—polls say about the 2023 presidential election. The auguries, for now, favour a Tinubu win next year. Atiku Abubakar and the PDP are mired in an irrecoverably debilitating internal turmoil, and Peter Obi’s wild popularity in the Southeast, the South-South, and some parts of the Christian North is not sufficient to win a presidential election—unless it transcends these regions and leads to actual votes in his favor.

So, heightened apprehensions over Tinubu’s disappearance from public view—and at events where his presence is required— aren’t the idle, bilious indulgences of his haters that his defenders might say they are. They sprout from an acknowledgement that he could be president who will decide the destinies of 200 million Nigerians.

Tinubu was the only presidential candidate who failed to show up in person when presidential candidates of Nigeria’s 18 registered political parties met on Thursday to sign an accord that commits them to a peaceful campaign in the 2023 presidential election. That event was too momentous to miss. Why did Tinubu miss it? What was more important than it, and where is he?

A member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council by the name of Ayo Oyalowo told Arise TV’s Charles Aniagolu that Tinubu is resting in London. “What’s he doing in London? He can’t rest in Lagos,” Oyalowo said. “They will not let him rest. So, he came [sic] into Abuja most of the time. They will still not let him rest. This man has been working for an average of 20 hours in 24 hours in each day. So reasonable people thought, ‘Oga, you need to leave this country because they will not let you rest.’”

This is a curious defense of Tinubu’s self-engineered blackout from public view. Even if it’s true that he needed to take a break from the high-pressure exertions of political campaigns, why did he choose to leave the country on or shortly before an event as important as the signing of a peace accord among presidential candidate, a yearly ritual since 2015 that attracts international media attention? Isn’t that a self-own? 

Most importantly, though, if he becomes president, he would be under even more ponderous pressure than he is as a presidential candidate. Is Oyalowo suggesting that a President Tinubu would relocate the Nigerian presidency to London to evade or minimize the perpetual pressures of the presidency? Which self-respecting patriot who wants to rule his country runs away from it to another country (and a former colonizer’s country, to boot) in moments of pressure? Where else in the world does that happen outside of banana republics?

And why London? Why not, for example, Obudu Ranch in Cross River State or the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State? Or the hills of Iragbiji in Osun State? These are serene, idyllic places in Nigeria whose quietude can restore inner psychic equilibrium and calm frayed nerves. Why do the people who rule or want to rule Nigeria have such deep-seated resentment of and disdain for the country and a corresponding slavish reverence for our former colonizer?

In this, Tinubu is not alone. Even Peter Obi who markets himself, and is touted by his supporters, as “different” from the rest routinely travels to London to “consult” and strategize for the 2023 election—when he is not seeking the endorsement of the same failed old stagers he says he’s different from. He is an Establishment, neocolonial flunkey dressed in borrowed robes. Atiku Abubakar is no different. He is gripped by the same xenophilic fever that causes our leaders to worship the foreign and despise the nation they want to rule. Dubai is his second—some would say first—home.

But Tinubu is the front runner and the likeliest, for now, to succeed Buhari, far and away Nigeria’s most neocolonial president who finds more comfort in London than he does in Abuja and who has abandoned all pretenses to governance. 

In a September 16, 2017 column, I described Buhari as suffering from “Obsessive Compulsive Runawayism,” which I defined as the impulse to desert Nigeria for London, or anywhere else in the West, when the going gets tough, which Tinubu appears to be afflicted by, too.

“This is a president who will leave Nigeria for anywhere at the drop of a hat,” I wrote. “He spent most of 2015 and 2016 traveling the world (for no justifiable reason, in retrospect) and a good bit of [2017] on ‘medical vacation’ in London. So, when he said (or, if you will, joked) that he felt like ‘absconding’ after the enormity of the task he was elected to do stared him in the face, he wasn’t being faithful to the facts. He actually did abscond.” It got even worse after the column was published.

The worries and queries about Tinubu’s frequent habitation in London when he is needed in Nigeria are a direct consequence of our experience with Buhari who has elevated absenteeism, nonchalance, and “ungovernance” to an art. Nigeria’s problems are too enormous to be additionally burdened with another absent, detached, inelegantly insouciant presidency, which Tinubu’s current attitudes suggest we will have should he become president.

Tinubu and his minders need to come clean about the state of his health. If they insist that he is as fit as a fiddle, they need to tell us why he has been uncommunicative in the last few months. Communication with the public is a core feature of the American-style presidential democracy we practice in Nigeria. It is public communication that affords the president the opportunity to influence public opinion, to interface with citizens, and to frame and reframe the contours of national conversations.

That is why we now talk of the “rhetorical presidency,” where the goal of presidential communication is no longer to just persuade lawmakers (which is unnecessary in Nigeria since National Assembly members are often pliant yes-men and yes-women) but to win the popular approval of the public. What sort of presidency does Tinubu want to have if he becomes president? A continuation of Buhari? Well, he may not be as lucky as Buhari has been.

 After eight years of Buhari’s vacant, dementia-plagued presidency, the last thing Nigeria needs is another presidency that will double down on it, that would be conducted through dishonest press releases by presidential spokespersons, paid social media troll farms, and TV appearances by deviously mercenary mind managers.

Decades ago, I remember reading a piece by a writer lamenting the sudden but astronomical shooting up in the price of “garri”, which used to be the staple food of poor and down-trodden Nigerians. For reasons which need not detain us here, “garri” shrugged off its beggarly position in the hierarchy of staple foods and began to rub shoulders with the likes of rice, beans and yam flour. So, the writer, alarmed at what he described as the effrontery of garri and its audacity to join the league of the elites, screamed: “See me, see garri!” Unruffled, “garri” has not looked back ever since! On the contrary, it has been helped by the lacklustre and wanton-destroyer Muhammadu Buhari administration to firmly book its place amongst the elite club of foodstuffs in Nigeria. Since the coming of Buhari, no staple foodstuff has been cheap again in Nigeria. The steep devaluation of the Naira, leading to its dwindling purchasing power – and this coupled with receding opportunities on all fronts – has meant that every essential commodity has become priced beyond the reach of most Nigerians. Bread, which used to come to the rescue as ready-made food for the commoner, now attracts a princely price. It is the rich and affluent who eat bread these days! For Buhari to think, in the midst of all of these, that he has done well, is mind-boggling, to say the least.

Does the president live in this country? Is he aware of happenings around him or is he like Rome’s King Nero? And so did Nero fiddle while his country was on fire! Of all the issues confronting this country and sending it to an early and untimely grave, as it were, it is “ponmon” that the Buhari administration is flexing muscles over! Insecurity is there; inflation or stagflation is there; unemployment is there; ASUU strike is there; derelict infrastructure is there; crude oil theft is there; humongous oil subsidy scam is there; high cost of living is there; soaring cost of foodstuffs is there; skyrocketing house rent is there; crushing indebtedness is there; and crippling transportation cost is also there – despite all of these, ponmon lo kan, if we may borrow the expression, which has now become a cliche, from the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu!

The Buhari administration is said to be proposing a law to ban the consumption of “ponmon”! For a very long time, beef and other forms of meat have wriggled out of the reach of the common man; following suit, fish has zoomed past the common man; and taking a cue from these two, frozen chicken has said the common man must not mention its name again! Egg, at between N2200 and N2500 per crate of 30 eggs, has joined the bandwagon to say bye-bye to the common man! “Ponmon”, the last hope of the common man, is now under siege! From whence, then, will the common man source his animal protein when all available doors appear shut in his face? And it is not as if “ponmon” at all comes cheap these days anyway; it is just that it is still a shade more affordable than the other sources of protein or a semblance of the same. We have even been told that “ponmon” has no nutritional value but it confers a semblance of respectability to have a form of “meat” perch gingerly on your food or sit pretty in your soup or stew!

In the South, the South-west especially, “ponmon” has also attracted the status of a delicacy; so banning it will attract similar opprobrium as banning stockfish (Okporoko) and fairly used wears (Okrika) in the South-east. Remember, promising to ban these items for being injurious to the people’s health and well-being were some of the “sins” the Igbo refused to forgive Chief Obafemi Awolowo for! So, if the proposed ban on “ponmon” flies everywhere, I am sure it will fail spectacularly in the South-west whose trade mark “owambe” parties will be incomplete without the delectable “gbegiri”, “egusi”, “efo riro”, “ila asepo” soups garnished with “orisirisi” and “ponmon kika”! Let no Buhari dare us!

One conspiracy theory says the focus on “ponmon” or hides and skins is another smart plot to divert the country’s resources in the direction of the North that produces the hides and skins in the same manner the Raw Materials Research Council has done with “Kilishi” while serious issues are left unattended to by the Northerners/Muslims and, possibly, Fulani, who head these organisations and the Buhari presidency. Each day and with each policy, these folks give us additional reasons to scream “To your tents, O Israel!”

*Buhari’s one country, two systems*

Ondo State’s Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu has, once again, hit the nail on the head with his exposure of the nepotistic tendencies of President Buhari who favours his own core and Muslim North in every respect but treats the other parts of the country, especially the South, as orphans or, better still, as second class citizens.

Titled “We believe in one Nigeria but we cannot have one country, two systems”, Akeredolu was reported as saying: “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 clamouring 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 confers 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 mechanism. 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. The Ondo State government, under the doctrine of necessity, has 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 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”.

The statement, succinct and poignant, was personally signed by the governor; possibly to show the importance he attached to it. It is good that the impunity and audacity of the conservative North have become as clear as daylight for some of our people to see. Unfortunately, not all of them have seen the light yet. Many still wallow in their self-inflicted darkness because of selfish interests which, ultimately, will become their Nemesis. It is a good thing, however, that a few of our leaders are being forced to speak out now that the rascality of Northern leaders has got them choked to the throat.

Nevertheless, they kept it too late and have been too timid in their response. Femi Falana, SAN, has advocated ad infinitum and ad nauseam that the state governors challenge the excesses of the Federal Government in the law court. That is one legacy no one can take away from Bola Ahmed Tinubu. When he was the governor of Lagos state, Tinubu incessantly challenged the excesses of the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency and won severally, helping to extend the frontiers of democracy and deepen the tenets of true federalism. After him, no other governor has been as audacious, brave, courageous, and focused. If Akeredolu will now fill the void in the interest of all, he has my support.

*FG/ASUU tango: Escalating or de-escalating the crisis?*

The Buhari administration dragged ASUU to the National Industrial Court after eight months of strike action by the university lecturers who have now been ordered by the court to go back to the classroom. The government said on the heels of that judgment, it would soon direct the universities to reopen. ASUU, however, has vowed to appeal the NIC judgment – and had since proceeded to the appeal court. I dare to say that rather than taw, the ice has hardened. Rather than de-escalate, the crisis has escalated. Bragging rights have entered into the fray. Honour and foolish pride, to quote the Jamaican reggae music artiste, Jimmy Cliff, are now at stake more than ever before.

As ASUU goes on appeal, the matter can drag up to the apex court. And knowing the way the wheels of justice grinds with snail’s speed here, this matter may last till this government leaves office. Is that the intention? Again, some conspiracy theorists say the goal of some cabals in the Buhari administration is to so give this government a bad name that the people will vote it out in 2023 so that, hopefully, the candidate of its liking – Atiku Abubakar, a fellow Northerner, Muslim and Fulani – will stand a chance of being voted into office. Otherwise, why should a government winding up and getting closer to election year behave the way this government is doing?

It is only in the South that the politically naive speak of political parties or party programmes and policies. Preoccupation with merit and ideals are only for Southerners whereas selfish and clannish interests rule the waves in the North. What the North’s political establishment follows is: Who is our man? Who will hold power in trust for us? Who will best serve our parochial interests? Who will give us the advantage over the South? Hence, Tambuwal will stab his old Comrade and helper, Wike, in the back in the interest of the conservative North. There are no principles, ideology or morality involved. Otherwise, why has it become rocket science for the North’s political establishment, suddenly trooping into Atiku’s PDP, to understand and accept the simple logic of Wike’s demand for inclusivity and a restructured party? They seek none of the ideals the South fusses about but are fixated on a continuation of Buhari’s naked and arrogant promotion of the Fulani/core Northern interests and the continued subjugation of the South. Destroying education, which is the South’s industry, appears as one of their goals. Did Boko Haram not say that Western education is poison?

Now, if you force the horse to the river, can you force it to drink? If the lecturers are forced to resume, can they be forced to teach? When you ask students to resume and they congregate on campus without being taught, is that not a sure recipe for disaster? Bad as it is, the students being scattered abroad, as they are now, but under the watchful eyes of their parents, is better and safer than asking them to resume and congregate on campus and are not taught. Idle hand, they say, is the devil’s workshop.

If the Buhari administration orders the universities reopened without any solid assurance that the lecturers will immediately resume their teaching job, then, know, for certainty, that the government has an evil intention up its sleeves!

There is a saying that the bigger the head, the bigger the headache! Between Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and his counterpart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, whose head or headache is bigger? Tinubu has been many things that Atiku has not been. Tinubu has been a pro-democracy activist; Atiku has not. Tinubu has been a senator of the Federal Republic; Atiku has not. Tinubu has been driven into political exile in his fight to see to the end of military dictatorship and the return of the country to democratic governance; Atiku has not. Tinubu has been a two-term state governor; Atiku has not. The nearest Atiku got to it was that he won election to be governor of Adamawa state in 1999 as the country made a return to democratic rule but was immediately nominated by former military dictator and presidential candidate of the PDP, retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, as running mate. Obasanjo and Atiku went on to be declared winner of the 1999 presidential election, as a result of which Atiku became the country’s vice president. Although he won election as governor, Atiku was not opportune to be governor for even a minute. So, no one can say what kind of governor Atiku would have made. His running mate, Boni Haruna, was the lucky man who became governor in his place.

Tinubu and Atiku have both been recurring decimals in the politics of the country since military dictators Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) and Gen. Sani Abacha broached the idea of a return to democratic rule in the late 1980s, although IBB kept shifting the goalpost. As politicians, the two men climbed on the shoulders of godfathers to reach a position of stardom. Atiku was helped by Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who was Obasanjo’s Number Two man as military Head of State, and his political machinery. Tinubu, on the other hand, was helped by the Afenifere political machinery. So were the words of Isaac Newton fulfilled, to wit: ”If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” The two men later became giants in their own rights on whose shoulders others began to perch.

Tinubu will be remembered, for good and for bad, for his two-term tenure as governor of Lagos state. While his contribution to the infrastructural development of Lagos is subject to debate when the resources at his disposal are placed side-by-side his achievements, no one can deny that he established a governance template for the state that has survived to this day. His phenomenal increase of internally generated revenue (IGR) such that the state withstood and survived the onslaught on it by President Obasanjo must be saluted. Obasanjo seized the federal allocations to the local governments in the state as a result of Tinubu’s creation of additional local governments in the state. The fair and just action expected of Obasanjo was for him to have supported Tinubu’s action rather than pillory him for it; punish the entire state; and disobey court orders ruling his action as illegal. No other state in Nigeria would have survived that onslaught but Lagos under Tinubu did. It is doubtful if any other governor could have demonstrated such bravado but Tinubu did.

Of the Class of 1999, so to say, Tinubu is the last man standing, as it were. He is the only governor of his set of 1999 – 2007 that is still politically active and relevant at the highest level He remains the only godfather still installing and removing governors and other political office holders at will. For good and for bad, he has maintained a vice-like grip on Lagos. Some may lambast him for this but, truth be told, not a few would love to be able to do in their own domain what Tinubu has been able to achieve in Lagos. Since he left office in 2007, we can count three other successive governors that he has installed: Babatunde Raji Fashola, 2007 – 2015; Akinwunmi Ambode, 2015 – 2019; and the incumbent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, 2019 to date. Tinubu’s political tentacles also extend outside Lagos to the entire South-west region where he is known to have installed governors or helped the governorship ambition of others, be it Adams Oshiomhole in Edo; Olusegun Mimiko and Rotimi Akeredolu in Ondo; Kayode Fayemi and the governor-elect, Biodun Ayobami Oyebanji in Ekiti; Rauf Aregbesola and Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola in Osun; Isiaka Ajimobi in Oyo; and Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun state, etc. There are other political office holders at executive and legislative levels that owe their rise to Tinubu’s political sagacity.

As a politician of immense stature, Atiku, too, must have helped many politicians within his own sphere of influence; otherwise, it would have been practically impossible for him to have been a recurring decimal in the country’s politics in the past two or so decades. My conclusion, however, is that Tinubu has done more than Atiku in this respect. Not being allowed to govern as a state governor robbed Atiku of the opportunity that Tinubu had. Besides, Atiku’s tenure as vice president was mired in controversy as he was accused of vaulting ambition, treachery, and disloyalty by his boss, Obasanjo. The sensational tango between Obasanjo and Atiku not only made Atiku’s second term in office a nightmare but also continues to haunt the ex-VP to this day. During their first term in office (1999 – 2003), Obasanjo practically relinquished governance to Atiku while he junketed all over the place. The privatization programme that Atiku reportedly midwife has been widely criticized as short-changing the country to the benefit of few individuals and cronies of the powers-that-be. On the other hand, today’s vile tradition of “jeun s’oke”, “area boys and girls”; “alright sir” and “twuale” boys and girls that has become a menace, especially in Lagos state, has been squarely placed at Tinubu’s doorsteps. And unless the trend is urgently addressed, disaster lurks around the corner not only in Lagos state but also in the entire South-west, which is fast catching the bug. Why, for instance, are the Southwest leaders not borrowing a leaf from Igbo leaders whose youths are immersed in business activities and have cornered the country’s entire economy? Just as he has created a political template that has endured, Tinubu can do – or could have done – similarly on the economic front for Yoruba youths.

So, the two leading contenders have issues from their past dogging their footsteps. They also, in addition, have issues arising from their individual party primaries that are not going away quietly or quickly. For Tinubu, it is the Muslim-Muslim ticket while, for Atiku, it is the Gov. Nyesom Wike challenge. Could any of the two have avoided the bind they now find themselves? Had Tinubu chosen a Christian as running mate, the Muslim North would have been at his throat all the same. Some Christian leaders from the North are disappointed they were not chosen. Some others are simply latching on the issue to de-market Tinubu so that their preferred Northern candidate – Muslim/Fulani – can stand a chance. It has got nothing to do with religion! Those in the South joining the bandwagon should quickly become politically sensitive enough to understand that de-marketing Tinubu, a moderate Muslim and Southerner, promotes the chances of Atiku winning the laurel. Should Atiku win, the Fulani stand the chance of 16 unbroken years of rulership of Nigeria! After what we have seen of the crass nepotism of Buhari, it beggars belief that any Southerner or Middle Belter or even Christian North will contemplate such a disaster!

I think Tinubu made the correct decision of choosing a Kanuri man (Northeast) than if he had chosen a Fulani from the Northwest as his running mate. Many would have preferred if the running mate were the governor of Borno, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum; but that is where the North differs from the South in political sagacity. Rather than drag the position with his godfather, ex-Gov. Kashim Shettima, Zulum deferred to his former boss. That was what Osinbajo should have done in the Southwest, which he did not. Atiku may be reaping some fruits from Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim ticket wahala but he has his own headache in Gov. Wike that has refused to be placated after he lost the PDP primaries to Atiku as a result of the gang-up by Northern leaders against the Rivers state governor. Rather than defer to Wike and his demand for inclusivity in the PDP, Atiku appears to have decided to defy him and call his bluff. It remains to be seen what damage Wike and his allies can do to Atiku’s presidential ambition.

Between Tinubu and Atiku, who has the bigger headache and who reaps more from the calamities of the other person? Will Tinubu lose more votes as a result of his Muslim-Muslim ticket than Atiku will lose as a result of his face-off with Wike and his camp or vice-versa? Will Atiku benefit more from Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim headache than Tinubu will benefit from Atiku’s problem with Wike or vice-versa? How does the headache of the two leading combatants benefit the dark horse of the race, Peter Obi? For now, the answers to these questions blow in the wind!

His Excellency William Ruto, Kenya’s newly minted President, prides himself as the Hustler-in-Chief of the country. He says he is from the “Hustler Nation” – the informal economy where he used to sell chickens for survival.

However, having a dog-eat-dog street ideology as he claims, does not preclude a sense of basic human decency. It is indecent and completely un-African for a man to invite a brother to a ceremony with the latter traveling 6,090 kilometres to rejoice with him, only for the celebrant to announce to the world that the brother he invited, in his view, no longer exists!

That was what Ruto did when President Brahim Ghali of of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic ,SADR, better known as Western Sahara honoured the Tuesday September 13, 2022 invitation to attend Ruto’s inauguration.

The next day, when the Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita visited him, Ruto tweeted: “At State House in Nairobi, received a congratulatory message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Kenya rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country.”

The world was stunned because even a man high on substance would not behave that way. Shocked Kenyans were up in arms and Ruto quickly deleted his tweet. An embarrassed Kenyan Foreign Ministry two days later, issued a statement signed by its Principal Secretary, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, distancing Kenya from its new President and reiterating the country’s commitment to the African Union, AU, and the United Nations, UN, Security Council Resolution 690 of 1991 for a fair referendum in Western Sahara. It dismissed Ruto’s tweet as: “ Kenya does not conduct its foreign policy on Twitter or any other social media platforms, rather through official government documents and frameworks.”

What did the Moroccan Monarchy offer or promise Ruto? Was it part of the Western Sahara phosphate and riches it has been using to entice poor African countries and bribe the European Union, EU, until the European Court stepped in?

It is expected that the President of an African country like Kenya which so courageously fought for liberation and lost over 20,000 liberation fighters, including its symbol, Dedan Kimathi, would value freedom. That Ruto would forget the contributions of Kenya to the decolonisation of the continent and back an African country colonising a sister African country, is a betrayal.

He claims to be Kenya’s first evangelical Christian President; how come he does not seem to have heard the Biblical injunction: “Thou shall not covet your neigbour’s house…nor anything that is your neigbour’s” as Morocco is doing in Western Sahara?

So, in the first two days of his presidency, Ruto had to swallow his words, but he is likely to try again to subvert the Kenyan and African peoples.

Western Sahara was occupied by Spain in 1884 and converted into Spanish Sahara in 1934. The 21st Session of United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 1966 declared “the inalienable right of the peoples of Ifni and Spanish Sahara to self-determination”. It therefore asked Spain to conduct a referendum that would allow the Saharawi exercise their right to self-determination.

Spain on August 20, 1974 announced it was going to abide by the UN’s decision by holding the referendum. On October 16, 1975 the International Court of Justice, ICJ, based on the request by the UN, ruled that there is no legal link or territorial supremacy binding Western Sahara with either Morocco or Mauritania. Spain on November 14, 1975 decided to abandon Western Sahara, including exhuming Spanish corpses from the cemeteries.

With Spain fleeing, Western Sahara got its independence. However, on April 14, 1976, its neigbours, Morocco and Mauritania, invaded the new country and shared it. The Saharawi fought back under the POLISARIO Liberation Front. But while Mauritania later abandoned its own share of the loot, Morocco continues to hold on to it. In 1984, the Organisation African Unity, OAU, based on the recognition of most African countries, admitted Western Sahara as a full member. In reaction, Morocco left the OAU.

A contrast to President Ruto is the international lawyer, Mr Femi Falana of Nigeria, who is leading various human rights campaigns on the continent, including the right of the African peoples to freedom. A torn in the Moroccan monarchy’s flesh, he uses advocacy and the courts to advance the rights of the Saharawi people to live in a country free of foreign occupation, rights abuses and discrimination.

One of the most famous cases he was involved in was that of Western Sahara icon, Madame Aminatou Haidar, who had visited Nigeria and the United States in 2009 but was prevented from re-entering Morocco on her way home in occupied Western Sahara. Morocco which claims the Saharawi are Moroccan nationals, seized her passport and exiled her to the Canary Islands, Spain, effectively making her a stateless person.

She refused to leave the Lanzarote Airport, insisting she must be returned to Morocco and allowed travel to her beloved Western Sahara. Falana mounted a legal defence for her and as the then President of the West African Bar Association, WABA, flew out to the Canary Islands to offer Haidar who was on hunger strike, solidarity and legal services.

In a joint press conference he held with her, Falana warned that : “African lawyers cannot ignore the enormity of the crimes committed by the Moroccan authorities against Sahrawi civilians…”. The international campaigns became an embarrassment and the Moroccan Monarchy buckled and allowed Haidar return home.

At that press conference, Falana vowed to “take all necessary steps at the level of the statutory bodies of Africa and the UN, to win respect for the rights of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and also to guarantee for its activists and lawyers the freedom of movement and the peaceful expression of opinions and political beliefs.”

In September, 2022, thirteen years later, Falana fulfilled part of that vow when he successfully sued six African countries: Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Malawi and Tanzania at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. The court, ruling in Falana’s favour held that “the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara is a serious violation of the right to self-determination (and) all states have legal obligations to assist the Sahrawi people in the full realisation of their right to self-determination and independence.” So African countries should not have admitted Morocco into the African Union.

The African court also declared that “the presence of Moroccan forces in Western Sahara is a military occupation, which violates international law”.

So, while Brother Ruto is working for the enslavement and colonisation of the African peoples in Western Sahara, Brother Falana is fighting for their liberation and the complete de-colonisation of the African continent. Time will tell.

Halima Abubakar, a Nollywood actress, has reacted to the legal suit filed against her by Apostle Johnson Suleman.

Recall that the duo have been at loggerhead after the actress alleged that she was in a romantic relationship with the cleric.

She had admitted that she had an affair with the preacher because he told her he was divorced with three children.

Halima, who is battling an unknown ailment, also accused him of feeding bloggers negative stories about her.

 

Suleman, in a suit filed by his lawyer, accused Halima of defamation, blackmail and publishing demeaning statements about him.

The suit read in part, It is our brief that you caused to be published malicious, defamatory and demeaning statements about our client in several micro-blog sites, chiefly Gistlover, and your Instagram handle Halima Abubakar, which have wider reach within Nigeria and the world.

These statements, made by you, knowing fully well that they are false, untrue, malicious, defamatory, baseless, and a tool of blackmail of our client, impugn the reputation of our client and reduce him in the eyes of responsible and right thinking members of the society.

Reacting on her Instagram page, Halima said she will meet him in court.

JS, See you at the court, She wrote.

Last modified on Saturday, 01 October 2022 06:41

Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) officials have retrieved a baby in a dumpster in a street in Ikoyi.

Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin announced that the newborn was found.

The LAWMA staff went to the Ikoyi police division at about 10 o’clock in the morning to file a report on the discovery.

Hundeyin said they were going about their routine duty of moving wastes when they saw the baby wrapped in a polythene bag.

A police team led by the Divisional Crime Officer rushed to the scene and rushed the baby to Military Hospital, 81 Division, Dodan Barracks Ikoyi.

The infant received medical treatment and has been moved to a Motherless Baby Home In the metropolis.

Hundeyin assured the baby was doing fine, and confirmed that the police had commenced an investigation.

The spokesman added that infanticide is a crime and punishable, The act contravenes Section 327A of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria.

Last modified on Saturday, 01 October 2022 06:41

Responding to the raid on his homestead the other day, I was quite taken aback at the extent to which the vocabulary of terrorist kingpin Belo Turji sought to normalise and legitimise his criminal enterprise. Quite astounding was the assumption of diplomatic equivalence he drew between his empire and the Nigerian government. He contended “There have not been any attacks in the last five months since we reached a truce with the government but now that the military has attacked our home, we feel betrayed especially after the death of vulnerable people in the airstrikes..For the past five months, we didn’t attack or kill anyone around Shinkafi. As a result, farming and other business activities were flourishing without any hitches..I feel embarrassed when my name is mentioned after attacks by other bandits and terrorists. Apart from my house that they destroyed, many other buildings belonging to innocent citizens in the forest, were also affected. Peace is priceless and I am ready to be a peace advocate unless the government wants him to be a warmonger. I am ready for either peace or war. Whatever the government wants, we can give them a multitude.”. 

Exasperated at being serially teased with the assessment that he lacks the national political infrastructural network commensurate with his escalating political profile, Peter Obi responded with the counter punch that he would rather have nothing to do with those kind of structures. “those structures are the structures of criminality and we want them dismantled now. We want to ensure that the next election is based on character, capacity, competence,

 

commitment to do the right thing. Nigeria is, not just in a fiscal mess, it is at the last stage to collapse”. 

What is generally understood as constituting these structures in which Obi is found lacking can be extrapolated from those contenders to whom such lack is not ascribable. The identification of this lack in Obi (within the context of Nigerian politics) is relative to the capacity of other contenders to possess this ‘asset’ in abundance. Beyond this anecdotal citation, there remains the question of how to adequately characterise the definition of Nigeria as a structure of political criminality and dysfunction. The ascription of the criminal enterprise of Bello Turji as a structure of criminality is obvious enough. Not so similarly obvious are its institutional parallels that have self-legitimised as the organising principles of the Nigerian state. This is why Nigeria merits being cited a rogue state. 

This structure and infrastructure of political dysfunction and criminality consists of mutually reinforcing layers. First (proceeding from the premise that politics is a game of numbers) is the rigged population figure of the country at the level of general inflation of the census figures across the country with emphasis on the purpose of attributing to the North whatever figures it takes to perpetuate its political dominance. This is the precursor to the subsequent layer of voter registration figures which is little more than a mere extrapolation from the fraudulent population census.

 

The history of census in Nigeria is summed up in the following excerpt: ‘Attempts to conduct a reliable post-independence census have been mired in controversy, and only one was officially accepted. The first attempt, in mid-1962, was cancelled after much controversy and allegations of over-counting in many areas. A second attempt in 1963, which was officially accepted, also was encumbered with charges of inaccuracy and manipulation for regional and local political purposes. Indeed, the official 1963 figure of 55.6 million as total national population is inconsistent with the census of a decade earlier because it implies a virtually impossible annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent. After the civil war of 1967-70, an attempt was made to hold a census in 1973, but the results were cancelled in the face of repeated controversy. No subsequent nationwide census had been held as of 1990, although there have been various attempts to derive population estimates at a state or local level. Most official national population estimates are based on projections from the 1963 Census’

 

In order to sustain an original lie, you will need to keep telling subsequent lies in a manner that is consistent with the logic of the first lie. Hence, according to the London guardian newspaper “About 10 million new voters signed up between January 2018 and early 2019 – according to data released by the Independent National Electoral Commission– twice the number that signed up in the first nine months of registration, between April 2017 and January 2018. But analysis of the data for each of the country’s 36 states and its capital shows that INEC has increased the number of new registered voters by almost exactly the same percentage across all states. The correlation is a “statistical impossibility” and does not reflect Nigeria’s demographic changes, according to data analysts working with The Guardian. Additional data seen by The Guardian also shows irregularities in registration for the 2015 election, until now considered to have been free and fair.On average, voter registration in each state increased by 2.2% between April 2017 and January 2018, and by 7.7 per cent for the whole registration period ahead of Saturday’s election. Plotted on a scatter line graph, there is a 0.99 correlation across all the states, without a single outlier. According to three separate data analysts, the parity cannot be a coincidence. “Only God works that closely,” one analyst said

The other proximate layer of this reality is the party membership register and the attribution of membership figures that borders on the delusional. To give you an idea of the absurdity we are talking about, the governor of Yobe state who doubled as the caretaker chairman of the APC, Mala Mai Buni way back in January bore the testimony that “Today, APC parades over 41 million registered members, asserting our position as Africa’s largest political party and of course, Nigeria’s leading political party”. This is against the background that the total number of votes secured by the APC in the 2019 presidential election was 15m. If we accept but not concede that this number is authentic, the implication of Buni’s figure of 41m is that in the interim between 2019 and January 2022, 26m Nigerians have joined the ranks of the APC. We should be able to do a reality check and ascertain this improbable accretion when the results of the 2023 general elections are collated.

 

To the previously identified layers can be added the generation of slush funds for party activities and operations especially the general elections. I shall resist the temptation to employ contemporary presidential contenders as a most appropriate illustration of what we now call the subversive monetization of Nigerian politics. Nonetheless (and this is not coming from me)-to the question he raised of where will the Tinubu, Atiku and Obi’s multi billion naira campaign funds come from? Festus Adedayo provided this response “It is however alleged that the bulk of his (Atiku) campaign funds will come from government money, given to him by his loyalist PDP state governors, as well as former and present occupiers of government positions. The same goes for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu. On Friday, the Atiku Campaign Office attacked Tinubu by calling him a billionaire without a known business. This is a description similar to what Americans mean when they say, ‘we have seen the bucks, where is the shop?’ What is being alluded to is theft of the public patrimony. Till date, although the humongous wealth of Tinubu has kept tongues wagging, no one can say precisely what its source is. Like Atiku, it is said that the bulk of his campaign funds will come from state governors in charge of public money in Nigeria, especially those in his APC, and individuals who hold cash cow positions in federal and state-owned agencies and corporations. Drug monies, laundered funds and all manner of illicit funds easily find their way into election funding”. 

Dr Chidi Odinkalu recently brought to the fore a little discussed dimension to the wherewithal of such slush funds. The surprise is that the revelation has not precipitated a commensurate controversy and has become captive to a conspiracy of silence. Wrote Odinkalu “Three days before Nigeria voted in the presidential election in 2019, on Wednesday, 20 February, a little known official from Saudi Arabia dropped into Abuja to visit Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, who was running for re-election. His name was Ahmed Qattan, described as the “Minister of State for African Affairs” in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His arrival was as unheralded as it was suspicious. He lingered long enough for the bowels of his corpulent aircraft to be emptied.The day after he received Sheikh Oattan, President Buhari “expressed astonishment at the huge amount of foreign currency flooding the country intended to influence the outcome of the general elections beginning on Saturday.. Yet, faced with what he acknowledged was evidence of a peril to that sovereignty in the form of possible foreign money to influence the destination of Nigeria’s presidency, General Buhari chose to become an advocacy NGO rather than live up to his oath of office. The suggestive visit of Sheikh Qattan on the eve of Nigeria’s 2019 elections touches upon the greyest of grey zones in the governance of Nigeria’s elections – the role of foreign money”.

 

Another layer is the mobilisation of the powers of coercion comprising the legitimate weilders (the national security forces) and its illegitimate counterpart consisting of sundry thugs, notorious crime syndicates, sorcerers and freelance muscle men. Next is the aspirational control over the media and the propaganda industry; and the emergent culture of subverting the judiciary. 

You cannot build something on nothing is a popular aphorism and you cannot equally predicate truth on falsehood. The story of Nigeria is increasingly looking like the contemporary culture of collapsed multi storey buildings whose fate was foretold by flawed and faulty foundations. To break the vicious cycle within which Nigeria is ensnared requires nothing less than a disruptor, a positive shock therapy. If Peter Obi wins he would most probably serve this utility. His rivals in the APC and PDP are the candidates of the status-quo whose presidential tickets are an advertisement of all that has gone wrong with Nigeria. It is worse. With the imperative of national unity and integration in view, these tickets are provocatively and incurably defective. 

Last modified on Saturday, 01 October 2022 06:53
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