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EFCC Detains Nwaoboshi While Police Hunts For Melaye |The Republican News

By Onwuka Nzeshi, Chukwu David and Emmanuel Onani Abuja

This is not the best of time for some members of the Senate. Two of the senators are now in the eyes of the storm.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has for about eight days detained Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North) over alleged fraud.

Also, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) was yesterday prevented from travelling abroad while armed policemen laid siege to his Abuja residence.

Nwaoboshi was arrested over the purchase of a 12-storey “Guinea House” in Lagos and alleged corruption in the equipment contract he got from the Delta State Government.

The building was owned by Delta State before the sale.

The lawmaker purchased the building for N805 million through his company, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited.

Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North Senatorial District, was detained after interrogation on April 17.

EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwajare, confirmed that the senator is in custody.

The Delta lawmaker has asked supporters to be calm and law-abiding, saying his ordeal was the handiwork of “detractors”.

A statement by his media aide, Hon. Andy Onyemeziem, read thus: “We hereby bring to the notice of the general public that on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Senator (Barr.) Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi was detained by the EFCC after series of interrogation over some pending issues part of which is already before the court.

“While, formal charges have been filed against him by the Commission, however, attention is drawn to the ill-treatment meted against his person.

“As a law-abiding citizen, who believes fervently in the rule of law, the senator urges his teeming supporters and well-wishers to remain calm and steadfast to the laws of the land as this is the handwork of detractors, who are bent on tainting the senator’s image and throwing cogs in the wheels of his good works for the Anioma people, the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.”

Meanwhile, it was a day of drama yesterday as armed policemen laid siege to the residence of Senator Melaye, the vocal lawmaker who has been very critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in recent months.

Hordes of policemen barricaded the entrance to the palatial Signature House located on Sangha Street, Maitama and prevented human and vehicular movement in and out of the mansion.

They also blocked the street with their patrol van while a number of the armed policemen took strategic positions beside the perimeter fence of the building.

A few hours after the Police arrived the building, a group of protesters also besieged the lawmaker’s residence in protest and offered to be arrested along with Melaye.

Melaye was earlier yesterday arrested and prevented from travelling abroad by men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The lawmaker, who was on his way to Morocco to attend a Federal Government-sponsored programme was briefly detained at the airport before he was released.

New Telegraph learnt that following his encounter with the immigration officials, Melaye returned to his home in Abuja only for the armed policemen to arrive there seeking to arrest him.

The leader of the Police Squad, an Assistant Commissioner of Police dressed in plain clothes declined to state the reason behind the siege.

The man who also declined to give his name was courteous when our correspondent approached him but he declined to comment on the reason for the siege and how long it would last.

When New Telegraph asked him what their mission was he said: “We are here to do our job. I know why we are here but I have to keep that close to my chest.

If you want details, you can go to the Force Headquarters or call the Force PRO,” he said

Addressing journalists at the venue, the Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda, condemned the development.

He said he had visited the house in order to report back to the presiding and principal officers of the Senate.

Aduda said: “Some of us came here with a view to reporting to the presiding officers and principal officers on what we have seen.

“I will report appropriately on what I saw, but I  don’t believe this should happen.” Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), Mr Frank Tietie, who addressed journalists at the scene of the siege, expressed disappointment at the action of the Police, describing it as an attempt by the Federal Government to silence critics and intimidate all dissenting voices in the country.

Tietie, a human rights activist and lawyer, said it was disheartening that while Nigerians were being killed every day in different theatres of conflict, the security agencies have chosen to silence the lone voice that has been speaking against the killings and injustice in the land.

Tietie challenged the Nigeria Police to tender a court order or any other legal instrument which justifies the invasion of Melaye’s residence and holding him to ransom.

On the argument that Melaye was being hounded by the security agencies because of a pending case against him in Lokoja, Kogi State, the human right activist said the lawmaker cannot answer to the charges because the Police had failed to guarantee his safety in Kogi State.

Meanwhile, some protesters have also besieged the same residence of the embattled lawmaker, vowing to go into detention with him if the Police arrest him.

The protesters numbering over 40 were said to have been drawn from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Abuja.

Melaye has been having a running battle with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and the Federal Government, leading to the Police declaring him wanted on an allegation that he was sponsoring some armed criminals and gun runners in Kogi State.               (New Telegraph)

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OAU, ASUU, CONUA Disown ‘Randy’ Lecturer |The Republican News

By Mojeed Alabi

  • More ‘victims’ recount ordeal with embattled Prof.

 

The sexual harassment scandal rocking the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, is yet to douse, as more damning revelations and verdicts have continued to emerge from, even the unusual quarters.

It is no longer news that the embattled Professor of Management and Accounting, a sexagenarian, Richard Akindele, who was accused by a female student, Ms Monica Osagie, of sexually harassing her in a damning audio recording that has gone viral on social media, has been suspended indefinitely by the Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede-led management of the institution.

But, a new twist to the sexual harassment allegation is that apart from the university’s lecturers’ unions, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), declaring their support for the management’s decision, the unions have also distanced themselves from the embattled professor, claiming he is not their member.

Meanwhile, New Telegraph has exclusively gathered from more ex-students of the Accounting Department of the university’s faculty of Administration, who have narrated their ordeal in the hand of the Prof. Akindele either as just their course lecturer or as their project supervisor.

Some of the students, particularly the 2001 set who shared their experiences on the class’ WhatsApp group, said the lecturer was in the habit of threatening female students that they would fail his examination as a ploy to lure them into his ‘trap.’

They also said unlike other courses they took in the department, Akindele was in the habit of arranging separate seats for both male and female students during examinations.

According to one of the female students, who craved anonymity but whose matriculation number started with MAC/2001/****, the embattled lecturer, who she noted taught her Management Theories with Course Title MAC 201, had lied to her that she failed the course.

She explained; “You know this lecturer has a style of announcing the students’ results in his course. Unlike others who would paste the results by their doors, Akindele would ask us to report to the lobby of his office and ask each of the students to come in one by one.

“If you are a male, he would simply tell you your result in few seconds and you go. But if you are a female student he ‘likes,’ the simple thing is that he will tell you that you didn’t do well. He would just say “you scored F” without telling you the exact score.

“So when he told me that, I just went to my brother who was also a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and when he asked him what happened, the man said my brother should tell me to come to him the following day. Then when I got there the following day, Akindele, just chastised me for reporting him to my brother. At the end of the day, I had an ‘A’ in the course.”

Similarly, another student who was a former students’ union leader on the campus, who graduated from the department in 2002, accused the lecturer of being notorious for such practice, which he described as embarrassing.

The source said; “In fact, I have a classmate who was married to another of our classmates but when she went back for MBA programme, the professor pestered her to the extent that the lady had to show him pregnancy before she could be freed from the pressure.”

It would be recalled that following the hues and cries that the incident generated, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, had in a statement on Thursday, last week, confirmed the indefinite suspension of the lecturer over his alleged complicity in the sexual harassment case.

The university’s decision, according to a statement released by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, had followed the preliminary report of an investigative panel set up to look into the matter by the vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued by ASUU and signed by its newly elected Chairman, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, the union said it was satisfied with the prompt response of the management towards ensuring sanity in the system.

“ASUU-OAU, therefore, encourages the Vice-Chancellor and his team not to relent in their efforts to get to the root of the matter and ensure that justice is done and seen to have been done in the matter. The union also admonishes its members to always adhere strictly to the code of conduct guiding their appointment in the university as they carry out their lawful activities,” the statement added.

When probed further on whether the union would refer the embattled lecturer to its Ethics and Grievances Committee for further investigation and action, Egbedokun told New Telegraph that Prof. Akindele had formally signed out of ASUU some months ago, and so is incapable in that wise of taking any action against him.

Also on its part, CONUA, through a short message to New Telegraph by its Chairman, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, said: “Our position when the news broke was for the university to investigate and establish the veracity of the matter. That has not changed. We went further to state that culpability should be appropriately sanctioned. As for the membership of CONUA for the professor, as I write we’re yet to affect the check off dues of CONUA members. Thank you, sir.”

Meanwhile, the matter took yet another dramatic dimension at the weekend, when for the first time, the acclaimed victim, Ms Osagie, who had hitherto assumed anonymous status, unveiled herself to the public.

Ms Osagie, a postgraduate student of Master’s programme in Business Administration (MBA), who had spoken through her counsellor and Executive Director, Women Advocate Research and Documentation (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, accused the university of maligning her, saying she was never invited to appear before the committee set up to investigate the case.

But, the university in its statement said: “Although the Investigative Committee had invited both Prof. Richard I. Akindele and Miss Osagie, only Professor Akindele had appeared before the Committee, while Miss Osagie is yet to appear or make any representation. The report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the Committee and gave useful evidence. The university is making efforts to ensure that Miss Osagie appears before the investigative committee so that it can hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report.”

However, in a statement issued by Dr Akiyode-Afolabi, a former students’ union leader, said Ms Osagie was compelled to involve the third party, who in turn allegedly made the matter public since the student’s effort to use an internal mechanism to address the matter had failed.

Dr Akiyode-Afolabi wrote: “Contrary to the information coming from the university’s press release, Ms Monica Osagie was never invited by the school management to appear before any panel. We have been in contact with Ms Osagie and have her instructions to inform the management of her willingness to appear before any panel set up by the university, if and when duly invited.”

She added: “In this case in point, Ms Osagie made efforts to inform senior members of the Faculty of Administrations about her predicament and no one was able or willing to intervene leaving her to resort to self-help in documenting her evidence. This, once again brought into focus the need to strengthen regulations and complaint mechanisms in our institutions, so as not to expose students to unethical advances by randy lecturers.”

When New Telegraph called on the university’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Olarewaju to confirm if truly the acclaimed victim was not invited, he explained that only the committee members could confirm that, and that he would find out and get back to us. But as at the time of filing this report, he is yet to either confirm or deny the allegation.

However, by Sunday morning, a letter inviting Ms Osagie to appear before the panel today, April 24, had surreptitiously emerged from the office of the university’s Dean of Post Graduate College and signed by the University Deputy Registrar and Post Graduate College Secretary, Mrs A.O. Fadeyibi.

The letter with Ref. No: ADP 15/16/H/1424, entitled: “Re: Investigative panel on alleged harassment of a female student: Detailed audio recording: Request for the presentation of Miss Osagie Monica Oselode,” reads: “I write at the instance of the Provost, Post-Graduate College to invite you to appear before the investigative panel on alleged harassment of a female student detailed in audio recording at its meeting which will come up at 10:00am on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

“Please be informed that on arrival, you are required to call the Secretary to the panel to facilitate your appearance before the panel. Thank you.” (New Telegraph)

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Regime Change: Redcard Revolt Has First Protest Activity In Abuja |The Republican News

By CALEB ONWE

Last week, the Redcard Movement, a pressure group seeking good governance and regime change in Nigeria launched its first public rally in Abuja. CALEB ONWE reports

The Red Card Movement has been trending on the social media for some time but last week, it’s promoters decided to bring to reality by organising a rally on the streets of Abuja.
This public perception of the group was boosted by the fact that it is led by a former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, a dogged fighter and prime mover of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) fame.
In this latest outing, Ezekwesili and her group are angry about the poor level of governance in Nigeria today and have vowed to mobilise well-meaning Nigerians to dislodge what she described as an incompetent leadership.
Social media enthusiasts are familiar with the barrage of criticism that followed her declaration of a lofty dream to achieve a paradigm shift in the process of choosing leaders in Nigeria and also mindset conversion in part of those who chose leaders.
One thing counting in favour of Ezekwesili is her ability to remain resolute in pursuing this her new project, particularly when one considers her track records in mobilising and sustaining her vision in the BBOG campaigns against all odds.

The Rally
The launch of the movement in the Federal Capital Territory took place at the popular Berger Roundabout in Abuja. It was designed to feel the pulse of the public about this new pressure group.
The first hurdle the movement struggled to dismantle was the embargo the FCT Police command placed on the Unity Fountain, a place where citizens gather to exercise their constitutional rights of free speech.
Amidst heavy police presence, Ezekwesili took the Red Card campaign to Nigerians from all walks of life. She, supported by other members of the team, emphasized that political power belongs to the citizens, who must wake up and stand up against a “failed government”.
According to Ezekwesili, the country would remain in the claws of politicians who were not prepared to reward those who voted them with good governance, if nothing drastic was done to chase them out of office in 2019.
“We are here today to activate the office of the citizen which is the office that every Nigerian citizen occupies. A citizen doesn’t have to be in government in order to have a voice as to how they are governed.
“We want to mobilize citizens so that they will know that they have the power to determine the kind of government that will lead this country, a government that is competent, capable and has character
“When citizens don’t put their voice in how they are governed, then we are going to stay as a failed country forever. We decided to use our red card as a way of saying to people who have failed in governance to go and get out of the field of governance,” she declared.
Armed with the determination to see her dreams fulfilled in 2019, Ezekwesili also disclosed plans to have the movement launched across the 36 states of the federation.
Similarly, another member of the movement, Aisha Yesufu, who is also a member of the BBOG, said the vision of the movement was to lay the foundation for a new Nigeria.
Yesufu, while refuting the claims that the movement was being sponsored by a political party to discredit the current government, said the movement was purely a platform for citizens to express their will and take possession of what belonged to them.
“This movement is not sponsored by anyone. It started organically online by Nigerians who are tired of the bad governance that the APC and PDP have offered over the years. As citizens, we want to entrench leaders who believe in the people.
“Leaders, who are competent and capable of moving Nigeria forward. There is no sponsorship anywhere as this is just a movement by the Nigerian people,” she noted.
Another leader of the movement, Maureen Kabirk, noted that one of the most disturbing things about the current crop of leadership in the country was their penchant for sacrificing the interest of the masses to achieve their selfish aims.
“How many of the incompetent leaders will ever bring out their children to lead a political protest? When employment opportunities are available in places like the CBN, NNPC, these selfish leaders would secretly fix their own children there.
“But when it is time for recruiting the youths into the Police, the military, it would be made open, because they want people they will push to where they would be killed,” she said.
A citizen, Chizoba Nnamani, who probably had been looking for an opportunity outside the social media sphere to express his desire for a change in government, got one at the Redcard Movement rally when he was given the microphone to talk.
Nnamani said: “I am a trader, I came to Abuja and have not benefited from the social welfare of the government. I have never voted in any election before but have decided to get my voters card in order to vote out these politicians”.

The last word
Despite the efforts the proponents of the movement had made to sell their agenda to Nigerians, cynicism is on the increase.
However, with the benefit of hindsight, Ezekwesili and her supporters appear to be overlooking the threats in their ways with an unflinching commitment to the project.
One thing that remains outstanding about this idea, is the need for citizens to be actively involved in all the processes that produce their leaders, by voting and making their votes count. This is the cardinal point the Redcard Movement wants to be promoted. Whether the movement will withstand the opposition that is coming from all frontiers against it and leave its footprints on the sand of history is a matter of time. (New Telegraph)

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Looters’ List: Court Bars FG From Publishing Secondus’s Name

By Onyekachi Eze, ABUJA

Rivers state High court has barred the Federal Government, the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammad or their agents from further publishing the name of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus on their looters’ list.

River State Chief Judge Justice A.I. Iyayi- Lamikanra gave the order in Port Harcourt on Monday at the continuation of the case brought by the PDP National Chairman against the minister and the Federal Government.

Counsel to Secondus, Chief Emeka Etiaba SAN, leading Emeka Okpoko SAN and Emeka Echezona Etiaba, had filed a motion seeking to stop the Federal Government, the minister or their agents from publishing the name of the PDP National Chairman among their so-called looters list as well as any other publication intended to further defame his client.

A statement by his Media Assistant, Ike Abonyi said that although the minister or his representatives were not in court, the presiding judge directed the plaintiffs to serve the defendants the appropriate order of the court.

The case was adjourned to May 28 for the continuation of hearing.

The court had on April 6, granted the plaintiff leave to serve the defendants the originating process through substituted means.  (New Telegraph)

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Why Nigerians Feel Frustrated With Buhari – Presidency |The Republican News

By Anule Emmanuel
buhari-new-pix

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidency, yesterday, explained the frustration of many Nigerians towards the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in an article titled, “Buhari’s 2019 bid and matters arising”, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) government came into power with high expectations from Nigerians that it could make a difference within a very short time.

Garba said because of the huge expectations of many Nigerians, Buhari has become a victim of the tyranny of expectations with many of them being unrealistic. He said: “Nigerians expected him to undo the damage in several decades of misgovernance and naturally, many are already feeling frustrated that he hadn’t done that in three years.”

The presidential spokesman lamented the nature of the opposition in the country, which he noted, goes beyond fault-finding without providing innovative ideas of how things could be improved upon. Garba explained that despite the frustration of citizens, Buhari has indicated his interest to seek another term in office in order to consolidate the gains recorded since May 2015. “An important motivation for President Buhari’s bid for the second term is that the gains made from 2015 should not be frittered. Buhari is not involved in corruption and is not desperate for the office.

“He is among the few leaders we have who are not obsessed with money, cars and homes, but working passionately for the country’s economy, peace and safety. If a corrupt politician wins, we will go back to where we were in 2015,” Garba added.

He noted that all over democracies around the globe, second terms by incumbents are usually harder to get simply because, somehow, there is always some kind of anti-incumbency leading to a loss of faith among those supporters. The media aide insisted that President Buhari would not allow the country to derail to where it was before the emergence of his government. On the third force that is being mobilized to seize power from the APC government, Garba stressed that “a so-called Third Force has failed to get political traction since its birth.”   (New Telegraph)

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Nigeria’s Security Challenge Worrisome, Says Gowon |The Republican News

By Onyekachi Eze

Yakubu-Gowon

Gen. Yakubu Jack Gowon (Rtd)

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd.) has described as worrisome, the security challenges facing the country. He, however, expressed the hope that the nation would not go through the path of civil war again. Also, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, faulted the conduct of government officials to the wanton killings by Fulani herdsmen, noting that the bloodletting is symptomatic of a failed state. Gowon and Dickson spoke at a National Prayer Conference in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Gowon, who is the convener of Nigeria Prays, said his prayer was that Nigeria should not go through the path of civil war again. A statement yesterday by Dickson’s media team quoted the former head of state as saying that Nigerian leaders were concerned with the growing insecurity in the country.

“This is worrisome. When I recall the end of the civil war, I had hoped and prayed that Nigeria would never go through the same experience again. This was what I prayed for and you can see how worrying it is. “All these spate of crises: Is it the militants, is it the Boko Haram, is it the so-called Fulani herdsmen? All sorts of things that are happening: man’s inhumanity to man, that is happening throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.

“Sadly, it is worrying to all Nigerians and this is what all of us who are in leadership positions, your governor and his assistants, all the governors throughout the country, all of us who are leaders are concerned about it, and always aim for whatever they can do to put it under control. “But it is not only they that can do it.

They need the press and support of the people so that they can deal with the problem together. And this is our prayer, prayer for everyone in Nigeria and all Nigeria wherever they are. We hope for greater peace than what we have for now,” the former head of state added. He stressed the importance of prayers, which he said, could help solve Nigeria’s problems better and faster than military generals and soldiers could do with physical weapons of war.

The former head of state assured Nigerians that God would honour the collective prayers and intercession for the nation, while also advising people to shun violence and retaliation. On his part, Dickson said Nigerians must unite in prayers and resolve to work together to ensure fairness, justice, equity and equal citizenship.

“In this country, God’s children, human beings, irrespective of the God they worship, are being slaughtered mercilessly, remorselessly in many parts of the country. “Our nation is bleeding; we must unite in prayers and resolve to do what is right and fair. Our nation should be a nation of fairness, justice, equity, equal citizenship and united by common ideals of being the greatest black nation,” Dickson added. He called on the nation’s leaders to take the responsibility to stop the bloodletting, adding that this is the time Nigerians have to intensify prayers for the nation to overcome its challenges.

He said: “We are united by our common shared humanity and nationality, so injustice and unfairness anywhere should be a concern to anyone and everyone in our nation. “I join you in praying that the bloodletting, unnecessary killings in our nation under any shape or guise ends in Jesus’ name. “God should intervene so that people will feel the need to do the right thing, be fair and just to one another.”    (New Telegraph)

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2019: Reject Recycled, Jaded Politicians, Prof. Soyinka Tells Nigerians |RN

Wole Soyinka

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka at “Le Conversazioni” on Capri, July 2012

Oladimeji Ramon

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said on Sunday that he had already formed his opinion about the government of the ruling All Progressives Congress and knew exactly “where I’m going to cast my vote” when voting time comes.

But Soyinka warned Nigerians not to allow themselves to be hoodwinked by those he said took part in the destruction of the country, but were now parading themselves as the Messiah.

He urged Nigerians not to allow themselves to be plunged into “a zone of amnesia,” but to go back and check the track records of such people and the company they kept.

The don said it was the time that the old political order in the country is broken to give way for a new generation that would take over the country and throw out of the window “the same jaded traitors and enemies of the people” that were being recycled in power.

Also, an activist lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), said Nigeria was facing a serious crisis of governance, and called on the people to be very careful “so that we do not allow those who destroyed the country, those who ruined the nation, to pose as the saviour of our people.”

Soyinka and Falana spoke alongside others at a public lecture on Sunday organised to mark the 80th posthumous birthday of the late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).

The lecture, with the theme, “Democracy for the masses through proper and effective governance,” held at Alausa, Ikeja.

Setting the tone for the discussion, Soyinka, who chaired the occasion, urged Nigerians to beware of those who called themselves the God-designated watchmen over the country’s fortune.

He said, “Don’t allow yourself to plunge into a zone of amnesia, in which you conveniently forget unpleasant realities. We’ve had Presidents in this nation, some of whom inaugurated a never-ending democratic process, which landed us eventually under the most brutal dictators that this nation has ever known. We had others also who actually supervised the sacking of ‘democratic government.’

“I’m speaking of Anambra, I’m speaking of Oyo State, a governor was kidnapped under their watch with their complicity; in another instance, thugs actually entered the House of Assembly, sacked the legislators and installed their own candidates; under the same watch. And they call themselves the God-designated watchman over the fortunes of this nation. And suddenly, here they are and I see Nigerians flocking to them and asking them once again to lead.

“Mind you, they’ve said very clearly: if it becomes a political party, count me out o; but paths are already being beaten to their doors – control by surrogation.  Even if they do not individually put themselves back in the position of power, they are already smoothening the way for their surrogates, their stooges, so that they can continue to misrule from their cosy farmsteads. So, all I’m urging is: be very vigilant.”

Soyinka said while he had already taken a stand on the current government, it would be like adding salt to an injury to allow himself to be hoodwinked by those who want to rule the country by a surrogate.

He added, “For heaven’s sake, also grow up. Why do you need patronage? Why cannot a new order arise from this nation? Why can’t a new generation actually rise, throw us all out of the window and take control of their own lives by themselves? Why do we keep recycling the same jaded, traitors and enemies of the people? Why do you need to go for blessing somewhere if you’ve made up your mind that it is time to take control of your own existence? Why the constant trooping?

“I don’t understand it and that’s why I used the expression grow up for heaven’s sake. Be vigilant and take your own destiny in your hands. Once again, I don’t want to be misunderstood, I know what I think about this government when voting time comes, I know exactly where I’m going to cast my vote but I’m not going to allow anybody to hoodwink me and say I will show you the path. No, this will be adding insult to injury.”

Aligning himself with Soyinka, Falana said, “Like the chairman on the occasion, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said, this period calls for vigilance on the part of Nigerians. Our country is undergoing serious crises of governance but we must be very careful so that we do not allow those who destroyed the country, those who ruined the nation to pose as the saviour of our people.

“There’s somebody living very close to this place who has been parading himself as the saviour of our people; this guy ruled the country for 11 and a half years cumulatively – three and a half years under the military, eight years under a civilian dispensation. And he even wanted to do a third term but Nigerians rejected him. The guy is going around the country now, claiming to have solutions to our problems; I wish to say here and we are challenging him to name one thing that he did, any problem of the country that he solved.

“On the contrary, this guy wasted $16bn to generate darkness for the country. This guy formed and took over the resources of the country blindly under what he called blind trust. Nigeria is the only country in the world where a sitting President and a sitting Vice-President established private universities when the government refused to fund public universities and other tertiary institutions.

“Gani went to court to challenge the extortion of state governments and contractors by a man who realised N7bn to set up a so-called library. Under the constitution, any gift received while you are in office, other than customary gifts, is forfeitable to the state; therefore, at the right time, this country, when it is properly organised will take over all those universities and libraries that were set up with public funds and that may be sooner than you think.”

Also, Senator Shehu Sani said though the country was out of military rule it had yet to attain true democracy. He called on the people not to vote based on political parties but to vote individuals who they could trust.

“The political ruling elite are not yet prepared to see to a democratic Nigeria. Nigeria’s political reality is about personal interest. Those who destroyed our country in the past are very much present as born-agains. The integrity of one person is not enough to rule and sustain a state. We have a President who is a man of integrity but integrity is not enough for leadership,” Sani said.

But the Publisher of Sahara Reporters and presidential hopeful, Omoyele Sowoye, rejected Sani’s description of President Muhammadu Buhari as a man of integrity.

Sowore said, “I want to say very briefly that Nigeria must be regretting that when they had a chance to choose between Chief Gani Fawehinmi and a Barabbas, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, they decided to choose Obasanjo instead of choosing Gani Fawehinmi and that is why we are regretting today.”   (Punch)

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